HR Main Conference Schedule – National HR Summit

HR Main Conference Schedule


9:10 am

Welcome from the Principal Partner

Monica Watt

Chief HR Officer, ELMO Cloud HR & Payroll

9:15 am

KEYNOTE: Finding the resilience within

In her book, Any Ordinary Day, Leigh Sales talks intimately with people who’ve faced the unimaginable, from terrorism to natural disaster to simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Expecting broken lives, she instead finds strength, hope, even humor. Leigh brilliantly condenses the cutting-edge research on the way the human brain processes fear and grief. This book is about what happens when ordinary people, on ordinary days, are forced to suddenly find the resilience most of us don’t know we have.

Leigh Sales AM is an Australian journalist and author. She is the host of the Australian television channel ABC’s flagship news and current affairs program 7.30. In 2019, she was awarded an Order of Australia for her services to broadcast journalism.

Leigh Sales

Australian journalist and author,

10:00 am

INDUSTRY KEYNOTE: How Citibank transformed its global L&D

Providing relevant, personalised learning experiences that support the strategic priorities of one of the world’s biggest global banks with over 200,000 employees can be challenging. Peter Fox, Global Head of Digital Learning and Talent Technology is leading the transformation of Citi’s global learning function from a fragmented, inaccessible system to a consolidated, user-focused learning experience that delivers demonstrable value and ROI. In this global keynote, Peter will reveal key learnings from the transformation journey and discuss the strategies and processes employed to deliver a data-driven evaluation of employee skills, a robust assessment and selection of technology platforms and examples of how to prove the value of investments.

Peter Fox

Global Head of Digital Learning and Talent Technology, Citi Group

11:00 am

PANEL: Creating strong middle managers and supervisors

Execution of HR programs and business strategies often takes place at the mid-level and supervisory level. While HR teams develop HR programs, it is the line managers, supervisors, and middle managers who can really make things happen. How can we make sure that middle managers are aligned, coached and trained to succeed?

  • Which HR and L&D programs can best cultivate human and soft skills in managers and supervisors?
  • How to coach leaders and managers to build their emotional intelligence and empathy
  • Proven HR strategies that help leaders and managers to become thoughtful, authentic and inclusive


Sam Sheppard

Senior HR Executive,


Ronan Carolan

Vice President HR, Thales Australia

Martin Cowie

People & Development Director, OMD

Natalie Hunt

HR Director, People Experience, NOVA Entertainment

Samantha Robertson

Head of People & Culture, Seafolly

11:45 am

LEGAL UPDATE: Dealing with spiteful and vexatious employee claims

All too often, aggrieved employees lodge claims purely to spite their employers and those employers are forced to invest time and resources in conciliating or settling. How can you prevent vexatious claims from going too far?
  • To what extent can an employee pursue a claim that lacks merit?
  • When and how should employers settle claims from employees?
  • What recourse can employers take when defend against vexatious claims?
  • Courts approach to vexatious claims that don’t have any reasonable prospects of success

Joydeep Hor

Founder & Managing Principal, People + Culture Strategies

12:30 pm

How to get your HR team AI-ready

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is here to stay, yet many HR professionals are unsure how to prepare their teams for a future that utilises AI to its fullest potential. How can HR leaders take proactive steps now to build a AI-enabled HR team?
  • Gain insights into how AI will impact you, your team, and your HR service delivery
  • Get an outline of the new AI-focused skills and roles required by future HR teams
  • Learn how to utilise HR data and metrics to determine where to begin your AI journey
  • Hear some tips on creating a business case for future AI investment

Joel Smith

Head of Sales, ELMO Cloud HR & Payroll

2:10 pm

PANEL: Leading a flexible and remote workforce

As workplaces become more agile, HR professionals will become the essential bond that keeps the team cohesive and provides employees with a sense of belonging. How do you foster collaboration, teamwork, agility and cohesion in an increasingly remote work environment?

  • Managing remote, virtual and outsourced employees from an HR perspective
  • Successful HR programs that support gig economy workers and contractors
  • Communication strategies to create a cohesive culture in a remote and virtual world
  • HR programs that combine targets and metrics with flexible work arrangements
  • Next level: what type of workplace flexibility will employers offer in the next five years?


Sophie Schaedel

Managing Partner, Business Consulting, Quinton Anthony


Holly Barnes

Head of People & Culture, Moodle

Gill Diggle

HR Optimisation Director - APAC, SIRVA

Rowena Fraser

Talent Specialist - Organisation Development, Hastings Deering (Australia) Limited

Susie Gleeson-Byrne

Head of Human Resources, Uber Australia and New Zealand

Sue Jennings

HR Director, AbbVie ANZ

3:45 pm

PANEL: Surviving and thriving in the future – shaping culture and leadership

HR teams in the future will need to shape corporate cultures and business practices to create the best workforce to meet future needs. What cultural and behavioral attributes should we be focusing on?

  • Building a culture to position your organisation for evolution and transformation
  • Practical tips for and strategies for selecting, developing and managing employees that will help your company succeed in the future
  • Developing capability for the future – but what does the future hold?
  • What do HR teams and employees need to do to survive and thrive in the Fourth Industrial Revolution?


Kylie Green

Global SVP of Consultancy, Reward Gateway


Jodette Cleary

Chief People & Innovation Officer, Hi Pages Group

Dan Cook

HR and Career Researcher,

Trudie Harriman

Chief People Officer, Craveable Brands

Tanja Van Heerden

Executive General Manager, People & Culture, The NRMA

Viona Young

Chief People Officer, Eftpos Australia

9:10 am

2020 and Beyond: HR leadership in the future

We live in an increasingly dynamic and fluid world. As workplaces transform, employees are demanding more flexibility and technology is promising to liberate HR departments from transactional tasks. What will HR roles look like in the future?
  • Preparing your workforce for future challenges and opportunities
  • What does the future hold for progressive and flexible work options and benefits?
  • How can we guide and support teams for a future that is uncertain?

Tammy Ryder

General Manager, People and Culture – Central, Coles

10:00 am

HR spotlight: Telling stories through data

HR leaders increasingly need to think ‘big picture’ and analyse HR data to drive decision making. In the future, how will HR teams use data to tell stories?
  • Making connections across data and information to inform successful decision making
  • Using data and analytics to influence stakeholders at all levels
  • How to shape data into a narrative to help reveal findings, trends or underlying patterns
  • Using visualisations to explain how and why HR data changes over time
  • How can we use data to think differently about the employee experience?

Susan Pettifer

Director - People, Performance and Technology, City of Sydney

11:15 am

Digital Transformation: What leaders need to know and consider as they evolve their HR strategy

Digital transformation is an ongoing force in business today. But what is it exactly and how can leaders navigate it? Explore the implications for people, processes, and technology; the risks of ignoring the digital transformation trend; and the rewards one can garner from riding this wave.
  • Understand the essentials of digital transformation and impact on people processes
  • Explore the technology and disruptors of Industry 4.0.
  • Identify where your company is along the continuum of digital transformation
  • Discover what you need to do to bring your organization up to speed
  • Delivering the rewards of a digital transformation

Mallika Sandhu

Senior Insights Consultant, LinkedIn

11:45 am

PANEL: Leveraging HR technology to focus on people and culture

Technology will change everything. As tech solutions streamline the more transactional and administrative areas of HR, our roles will become more about guiding and coaching line managers through change and the complexity of human relationships. But first we need to successfully implement HR tech in our organisations.
  • Practical lessons learned during a variety of different HR tech rollouts
  • Examples of successful AI and automation programs that have automated routine HR tasks
  • Which transactions can we automate with self-service and what should we retain in human hands?
  • Making the transition to focusing on helping people to deliver their best work every day

Lynette Davis

HR Director, Head of Knowledge & Insights, Coca-Cola South Pacific

Vernon Griffith

Global Head of HR Service Design & Delivery, QBE Insurance Group Limited

Nikki Symonds

Group Manager Corporate & Enterprise IT, Origin

12:30 pm

Supporting career development within an agile work structure

The world is moving quickly. Progressive organisations are responding by transforming hierarchical structures into agile teams. Now more than ever, being quick, agile and responsive is everything. But how do we offer career development and certainty in this new dynamic and flat structure?
  • Agile strategies, structures, people, processes and technology
  • Shifting away from hierarchical, command and control leadership structure
  • What does a non-hierarchical approach to career development look like?
  • Enabling talent to move around to gain experience on different projects continue learning
  • What career progression can we provide in a lean, low hierarchy environment?

Kim Lee

Chief People & Performance Officer, The Star Entertainment Group

2:15 pm

KEYNOTE INTERVIEW: Employee Engagement and Collaborative Performance Management

The connection and commitment employees exhibit toward an organization can lead to higher levels of productive work behaviors. By creating a work environment that enables people to perform to the best of their abilities, companies can reap the benefits of collaborative performance management. In this interview, hear how managers and employees can work together to achieve and realise a shared goal. High employee engagement strengthens relationships, builds accountability and delivers business results.

Interviewed by: Conference chairperson

Christian Campanella

Human Resources Director, Pernod-Ricard Winemakers

2:45 pm

PANEL: Creating a personalised employee experience

The concept of employee experience is moving to the next level. HR professionals now increasingly need to personalise our approach to create individual experiences for our employees.
  • HR programs that foster personal strengths, passions and purpose
  • HR technology solutions that help HR teams to apply personalisation in a scalable way
  • How four different employers have taken holistic approaches that acknowledge that their employees are ‘whole people’
  • Practical examples of highly connected and personalised people management strategies


Sam Sheppard

Senior HR Executive,


Natalie Britt

HR Director, International Convention Centre

Linda Carroll

Head of People & Culture, Affinity Education Group

Vesna Garnett

Chief People & Culture Officer, THE ICONIC

Anish Singh

HR Director, Australia & New Zealand, Unilever

Gayle Fearnet Smith

Head of Organisational Development, Sodexo

3:45 pm


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