Main Conference – National HR Summit

Main Conference


Australian Eastern Daylight Time (AEDT)

9:00 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 [company] 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
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 


Lucas Finch

Global Head of Wellbeing, Xero

Kate Renner

Head of Employee Experience, Wisr

11:45 am
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
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

Manager of Consulting Psychology APAC, Criteria

Tom Clay

Human Resources Director, Ampol

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 


Liam Ovenden

Regional Director, People & Performance | Asia Pacific, Colliers International

Maree Slater

Director, People and Performance, NSW Health Infrastructure

Joey Zhang

Senior Director, Regional Employee Experience (HR) - APAC, India & Global New Markets, MongoDB

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 [company] has re-established the company’s core purpose and aligned this with their HR strategy. 

  • Communicating the company’s achievements and significant events 
  • Creating opportunities for mentorship 
  • Selecting and developing leaders that fit the company culture 

Bee Hepburn

Senior Director of Community & People, 99designs

10:00 am

CASE STUDY: Optimising virtual learning and development opportunities

Remote working is here to stay, and L&D has never been more accessible and flexible in a virtual format. With many employees looking for skill development and growth, how are we redesigning the virtual learning experience to create engaging and positive learning opportunities? 

  • Aligning L&D with the redesigned employee experience 
  • Using L&D activities to build connections between teams 
  • Overcoming challenges in self-development, such as prioritisation and prescriptive career development programs 
  • Examples of innovative L&D tools on a budget 

Michelle Ball

Regional Executive APAC Leadership Development, Learning, Diversity & Inclusion, Bank of America Merrill Lynch

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 [company] 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 


Nicole Downs

Group Director of People and Performance, Ovolo Group

Alissa Bartlett

Chief People Officer, JCDecaux

Ryan McGrory

Head of Employee Experience & Internal Communications, Youi

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
4:00 pm
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