Main Conference - National HR Summit

Main Conference


Australian Eastern Daylight Time (AEDT)

9:00 am
9:10 am
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

CASE STUDY: Redefining the employee experience

From a multigenerational workforce to changing employee expectations, creating a personalised employee experience has never been more important in today’s workplace. In this session, hear how Adobe has taken steps to create an inclusive and supportive employee experience that enables individuals to adapt and thrive at work. 

  • Leveraging technology to create accessible and flexible ways of working 
  • Prioritising employee mental and physical wellbeing  
  • Improving the physical office environment to create better working conditions 
  • Analysing data based on employee behaviours, preferences and trends

Amanda Barnard

Asia Pacific Talent Development Director, Adobe

11:00 am

PANEL: Wellbeing strategies for a future workforce

Mental and physical wellbeing continues to be a top priority after prolonged periods of remote work and constant uncertainty. What strategies have been effective and what does wellbeing look like in the future? In this session, hear from various organisations on how they have supported their employees to bring their best selves to work. 

  • Navigating employee anxiety, stress, and burnout 
  • How to drive the conversation on mental health across all levels of the organisation 
  • Examples of successful wellbeing initiatives on a budget 
  • Developing empathy and communication skills in middle managers 
  • How to measure, monitor and assess mental wellness in the workplace 


Duncan Young

Head of Workplace Health & Wellbeing, Lendlease


Lucas Finch

Global Head of Wellbeing, Xero

Mark Blackman

Founder, FLOE

Brooke Dwyer

Group Wellbeing Manager, Qantas

Kate Renner

Head of Employee Experience, Wisr

11:45 am

LEGAL PARTNER: Employment law update – what you need to know for 2022

From return-to-work preparations to changes in industrial relations and Enterprise Agreement (EA) bargaining, this session will look at the legal obligations expected for the year ahead.

  • Returning to the workplace following COVID-19 outbreaks
  • The industrial relations agenda post-federal election
  • Examining EA bargaining trends and future trajectory

Luis Izzo

Managing Director, Australian Business Lawyers & Advisors

12:30 pm

Under the Microscope: Rethinking Performance Management in 2022

Since the pandemic, the way organisations manage their people has changed. The rise of hybrid working has forced leaders to adopt new approaches to track and enhance performance – not forgetting how COVID-19 has impacted employee needs, engagement and productivity. The employee experience (EX) has changed, but have HR’s internal processes kept pace? For performance management to be effective in 2022, employers must enable flexible goal setting, assess different aspects of performance, provide ongoing feedback, and incentivise employees in a meaningful way. This presentation will reveal:

  • How COVID-19 has impacted performance management
  • Why measuring contribution is more important than performance
  • The importance of offering personal goals, as well as professional goals
  • The advantages of moving to project-based performance review
  • How implementing total rewards can humanise review processes

Christina Doyle

Head of Client Strategy, ELMO

2:10 pm

PANEL: The great resignation – How to retain top employees in the new world of work

Organisations are facing increased resignations in this competitive job market with skill shortages and changing employee expectations. In this session, hear how Australia’s leading companies are engaging and retaining their high-performing employees. 

  • Realigning company values with workplace culture 
  • Strategies to create an engaging employee experience in a hybrid environment 
  • Building a strong employee value proposition (EVP) 
  • Successful career development and progression opportunities 


Anneli Blundell



Bre James

Director, Consulting Psychology (Global), Criteria

Fiona Chilcott

Chief People & Culture Officer, Enero Group

Melanie Cole

Head of People & Culture, Car Next Door

3:40 pm

PANEL: Performance management for a hybrid workforce

Performance management has become even more complex, as we embrace new ways of working. How are we changing the way we monitor and manage performance to reflect the current work environment and capitalise workforce capability? This session will discuss progressive performance management practices. 

  • Understanding how emerging trends affect performance such as burnout and fatigue 
  • Leveraging data to monitor and analyse performance 
  • Building a culture of performance and accountability
  • Aligning personal objectives with the overall organisational strategy 


Anneli Blundell



Liam Ovenden

Regional Director, People & Performance | Asia Pacific, Colliers

Maree Slater

Director, People and Performance, NSW Health Infrastructure

Alex Hattingh

Chief People Officer, Employment Hero

9:05 am
9:15 am

CASE STUDY: Building a great company culture in a hybrid environment

Many employees are feeling increasingly disconnected from a company’s vision in this hybrid arrangement, contributing to low engagement and rising attrition rates. It’s important to highlight the role of each individual in a company’s growth, connecting their contributions to the bigger picture. In this session, hear how 99designs has re-established the company’s core purpose and aligned this with their HR strategy. 

  • Establishing and working in a hybrid environment
  • Communicating our vision and the tools used
  • Developing leaders that contribute to company culture

Adam Farrugia

Head of People & Culture, 99designs

10:00 am

Optimism in HR: More Than a Sugar Hit

You'd think it was self-evident that positive businesses led by infectiously optimistic leaders do better. However, many Australians including government, business and NGOs operate in a zeitgeist of pessimism, an atmosphere of "What's Wrong?" rather than "What's Right?". It's a worldwide phenomenon.  A “lack of optimism could create a vicious cycle of disillusionment and social unrest.” A quote from Victor Perton, radical optimist? No, it’s from one of the most influential global business organisations, The World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report 2022, prepared by world leaders in risk. How is a lack of optimism affecting Australian workplaces? In this session, Victor will share:

  • The science of optimism to empower you to make the case and be more persuasively and infectiously optimistic yourself
  • The business basis for optimism in leadership, strategy, innovation and resilience
  • Four very practical habits of an optimist, one of which you and your HR team could apply from today to improve culture
  • The question you should ask and advertise for in recruitment

Victor Perton

Chief Optimism Officer, The Centre for Optimism and Director, Project Optimism

11:15 am

WORKSHOP: “RUOK?” – Navigating mental health and wellbeing conversations

Having authentic and transparent conversations about mental wellbeing can be challenging in a workplace setting, and HR leaders are tasked with navigating these sensitive conversations. In this workshop, Melisah will discuss different scenarios relating to mental wellbeing check-in’s and what we can do to support individuals in need.  

  • Identifying situations where professional assistance is required 
  • How to normalise and promote daily conversations on wellbeing 
  • Recognising warning signs when an employee is under stress or unwell 

Dr. Melisah Feeney

Organisation Psychologist and Principal Consultant, Bendelta

11:45 am

PANEL: Leveraging data for workforce planning

We are seeing a significant shift in developing a workforce for the future and HR data can provide useful insights to help with informed decision-making. How can we use data to understand workforce capability? What are some of the trends outlining the skills and talent required to support the business? This session will examine the ways we can effectively use data to determine future workforce needs. 

  • Identifying metrics that provide insight into preferred work arrangements 
  • Understanding how disruption affects employee engagement and performance 
  • Comparing data before and after the height of the pandemic 
  • Recognising the limits of HR data when making final decisions 


Anneli Blundell



Pip Lyons

Senior People Scientist, Culture Amp

George Bartrum

People Development and Analytics Director, KFC

Shahram Karimi

HR Data Manager, People Analytics, QBE

Kirsten Edwards

HR Lead, Advanced Analytics and Data Science, Rio Tinto

12:30 pm

CASE STUDY: Driving measurable change across diversity, equality, and inclusion

Now more than ever before, diversity, equality and inclusion (DEI) are important pillars to drive innovation and growth in a business, but how exactly do we achieve this transformation in the workplace, especially in a hybrid setting? Hear how City of Sydney has embraced DEI across the organisation and developed strategies that go beyond the checklists.  

  • Developing company workplaces, products, and services to be more accessible and inclusive 
  • Embedding flexible work options across the business 
  • Examples of successful hybrid activities to drive engagement in the company 
  • Creating a team of DEI champions to support the transformation 

Susan Pettifer

Director - People, Performance and Technology, City of Sydney

2:10 pm

PANEL: Redesigning workplace environments

The big return to the workplace signifies a massive shift in working environments. Companies are rethinking office environments as we accommodate a multigenerational, diverse, and generally fatigued workforce. Hear how Australia’s top companies have designed spaces that support a hybrid and flexible workforce. 

  • Successful return-to-work strategies promoting flexibility and work-life balance 
  • Addressing negative feedback about the return to the workplace 
  • Developing a strong communication strategy for leaders supporting teams 
  • Creating a supportive onboarding experience for recent remote workers 


Nidhi Chopra

Head of HR, Adobe ANZ, Adobe


Anjanette Murfet

Chief People and Communications Officer, Accolade Wines

Sophia Bernard

Group Human Resources Director, Volkswagen Group

Emma Martin

P&C Director - Future Workplace, Lion

3:00 pm

CLOSING KEYNOTE: Courage under fire 

Rabia shares her courageous story of strength and how her commitment to truth, justice, diversity, and authenticity sets her apart as a leader.  Having battled abuse, discrimination, chronic health problems, and trauma, Rabia is more than just a survivor. She is a fighter, a trail blazer, change maker and an eternal optimist. In this powerful keynote, hear how you can enable yourself to harness the courage under fire you will need to weather the storms and become the best version of yourself. 

Rabia Siddique

International Humanitarian Lawyer

3:45 pm

Expo Passport Grand Prize and Sponsor Prize Draws

Expo Passport Grand Prize
Collect all exhibitors’ stamps on the Expo Passport for the chance to win a $5,000 cash prize!

Sponsor Prize Draws
Plus, don't miss several exciting prize giveaways from our exhibitors! Visit their stand to discover how to enter the draws!

You could win prizes such as: Vouchers, an Apple Watch, Gift Cards valued up to $2,000, an Amazon Echo Dot Clock and Alexa 4th Generation, a Yoga mat, a place in one of NIDA’s Corporate training courses in Sydney, a FLOE gym system valued $1,995, a work from home kit valued up to $1,000, and much more!

4:00 pm
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