Main Conference Agenda


14 July 2021, Crown Melbourne

8:50 am

Welcome and opening remarks from the chair

Jessica Kaaden

Executive Manager, People and Culture, Amaze

9:00 am

PANEL: Shaping the future of work

The past year has accelerated our path to the future of work. After a year of constant change, what’s in store for 2022 and beyond? Where do we want to go?  And how will we get there? 

  • Practical HR lessons from the COVID-era 
  • The future of flexibility, HR technology and virtual employee engagement  
  • How are corporates, SMEs and not-for-profits planning workspaces for the future? 
  • Current trends in HR technology and virtual working  
  • What skills will be most important as our workforce continue to evolve? 


Colin Murphy

Regional Corporate Manager, SIRVA Worldwide Relocation & Moving


Anoop Chaudhuri

Vice President, Human Resources, Ford Australia

Fiona Lund

Chief People Experience Officer, flybuys

Gavin Arnott

Head of Digital Adoption & People Experience, Melbourne Airport

Ulrike Fisher

Senior Manager, Global Mobility, CSL Innovation Ltd

10:00 am

CASE STUDY: Evidence-based employee mental health strategies

The stresses of the pandemic have given new importance to workplace mental health and wellness. Here is how one company is helping their employees with their wellbeing.

  • How to consult with staff and leaders about mental health
  • Navigating employee anxiety, stress and burnout
  • Delivering mental health programs in a virtual and hybrid format
  • Overcoming the stigma and challenges of workplace mental health
  • What is a realistic, achievable mental health action plan and target?
  • How to measure ROI on mental health programs and practices
Jacob Bonk

Human Relations Director, Australia & New Zealand, L’Oréal Group

11:00 am

Successfully managing virtual teams

How can managers motivate and inspire employees when they can’t be with them all the time? And how can they promote connection and creativity within their teams? Join us for a deep dive into managing and motivating remote teams.

  • How to cultivate a strong and cohesive team culture in a virtual setting
  • Building trust and accountability among remote team members
  • Tips for improving communication and collaboration
  • Gamification mechanisms to keep employees engaged virtually
  • Promoting team spirit and collaboration with virtual strategies
Marcus Waterreus

Chief People and Culture Officer, OpenPay

11:40 am

From survive to thrive: How HR can navigate the post-COVID-19 world

The global pandemic has changed how businesses operate – perhaps forever. At the start of a new financial year, while many HR professionals are looking to the future, it’s also important to take stock: what did we learn from the experiences of 2020 and what can we do better? In this session, discover:

  • Why it’s critical to continue to learn from the HR community and be brave about experimenting with new ways of leading and working
  • The knowledge and skills that HR will need to succeed in uncharted waters, including metrics & analytics
  • New focus areas: creating a ‘new’ employee experience, building relationships, and enhancing the EQ of our leaders
Emily Johnston

HR Generalist, ELMO

12:10 pm

Innovative ways technology can drive employee engagement

This is HR’s moment to lead organisations in navigating the future of technology for a positive employee impact. In this session, Kellie will share innovative and best practice ways technology can motivate and manage your workforce.

  • Current trends in HR tech and virtual employee engagement
  • Share case studies from Atlassian, Marketplacer and other start-ups
  • Brainstorming technologies that facilitate innovation
  • Identifying trends using people analytics
Kellie Egan

Chief People Officer, Marketplacer

12:50 pm
1:50 pm

Interview: Enhancing the employee experience at Mattel

Hear from Andrea Gannon as she shares how Mattel Australia & New Zealand is  creating an empowering and engaging experience to help inspire wonder in the  next generation and to allow them to bring their best selves to work to have true  impact. 

Andrea Gannon

HR Director, Australia & New Zealand, Mattel

Interviewed by:

Jessica Kaaden

Executive Manager, People and Culture, Amaze

2:20 pm

LEGAL UPDATE: Casual liaisons – overview of the new casual employment regime

The new statutory definition of 'casual' employment in the Fair Work Act comes with new rules around the employment of casual workers.

  • What is the statutory definition of casual employment?
  • Which employees have a right to request casual conversion?
  • Can you refuse a request for conversion?
  • New rules around double-dipping and casual loading
David Woodman

Partner, MinterEllison

3:30 pm

PANEL: Hybrid work arrangements: best of both worlds?

Workplaces are becoming more mobile and transient, tailored to the demands of hybrid working and ‘drop-in’ workers. How can HR teams build a strong and cohesive sense of belonging, equality and purpose in a hybrid environment?

  • Overcoming challenges endemic to hybrid work arrangements
  • Ensuring equity between remote and office-based workers
  • How to provide a stimulating and inspiring space that is designed intentionally
  • Providing equal training and networking opportunities for remote and office workers in a hybrid context
  • How to run hybrid meetings to ensure equality between remote and office-based workers


Jessica Kaaden

Executive Manager, People and Culture, Amaze


Joanne Chin

Chief People Officer, Kraft Heinz

Tristram Gray

Chief People and Capability Officer, Kmart Australia

Jane Murray

Chief People Officer, MLC Life Insurance

Rebecca Quinn

Director – People and Culture, Parks Victoria

4:30 pm
8:55 am

Opening remarks from the chairperson

Jessica Kaaden

Executive Manager, People and Culture, Amaze

9:00 am

PANEL: Building a strong employee experience and culture virtually

One of the biggest challenges of remote working is fostering culture, social cohesion and trust. How can HR teams help people to feel emotionally connected with their organisation's vision in a virtual setting?

  • Cultivating cultural and social cohesion with a remote and digital workforce
  • Risk management: How to ensure that employees are acting ethically when they are at home
  • Practical strategies to help employees to feel connected to your brand
  • Helping virtual employees to share information with each other virtually
  • Virtual events and virtual team building – what works and what doesn’t work?


Andrew Martin

Tutor, NIDA Corporate


Bee Hepburn

Senior Director of Community & People, 99designs

Katy Halliwell

‎Human Resources Director, Mars

Jackie Gates

Executive Manager, HR Business Partnering, REA Group

10:00 am

Leading people in a world of perpetual change

How can HR leaders cultivate a sense of stability and certainty in their workforces, while the world is still shaped by factors we can’t predict or control?

  • HR-led change management strategies for an uncertain world
  • How to set targets and measure output in the new post-pandemic era
  • Negotiating the tension between wellbeing and productivity
Craig Taylor

Chief People Officer, Australia, New Zealand and Japan, Mondelēz International

11:00 am

PANEL: Creative non-monetary benefits that drive employee engagement

While pay raises and bonuses may be off the cards for now, our panellists from Cotton On, AKQA, Monash IVF, and Thales are maintaining employee engagement through a creative total rewards strategy that includes flexibility, training, benefits, wellbeing and time off. Here is how they do it.

  • Finding the right mix between monetary and non-monetary rewards
  • How to assess your current approach to rewards, remuneration and performance
  • Who should receive your rewards, and what should they be rewarded for?
  • How to structure and communicate flexible work arrangements
  • Work life balance benefits: flexible schedules and job sharing schemes
  • Creative and innovative rewards and benefits employees love


Jessica Kaaden

Executive Manager, People and Culture, Amaze


Bianca Di Tullio

Talent and Culture Director, APAC, AKQA

Beth Hall

Head of People Experience & Development, Cotton On Group

Seemali Shukla

Country HR Leader - Australia & New Zealand, HP

12:00 pm

CASE STUDY: Driving diversity and inclusion initiatives

Diversity and inclusion must be integrated into HR policies, managerial capability and the employee experience. This organisation is leading the way when it comes to diversity - here is how they did it.

  • Developing gender-balanced teams to improve performance and engagement
  • Promoting accountability within leadership for hiring, promotion, and retention
  • Using data and industry benchmarks to measure diversity metrics and monitor progress
Seemali Shukla

Country HR Leader - Australia & New Zealand, HP

12:40 pm
12:45 pm

Expo Passport winner is announced

*To enter the draw to win the $2,000 cash prize giveaway, make sure you collect all the stamps from the sponsors! The Expo Passports will be available at the registration desk. 

1:40 pm

Connecting Talent to skills for great careers

Skill development moves beyond the domain of learning and into the talent ecosystem and careers. How can we continuously develop the skills of the workforce to maximise their potential?

  • Leveraging learning development strategies to improve employee performance
  • Retaining talent through skill development
  • Accelerating and building great careers
Anne Le Blanc

Director, Talent Advisory Practice, Directioneering

2:20 pm

PANEL: Performance management and target-setting for the ‘new normal’

The performance review process has been discussed and debated at HR conferences for years. In a post-pandemic world, how should we approach goal-setting, performance reviews and assessment?

  • Successful programs for assessing and measuring remote workforce
  • Recalibrating KPIs to reflect a world that is more flexible
  • How can we make performance goals fair and meaningful in this chaotic, ever-changing, uncertain environment?
  • Ongoing coaching conversations that establish a rhythm of collaboration
  • Bonus, commission and incentives that drive performance in this 'new normal'


Anneli Blundell

Professional People Whisperer,


James Bell

Head of People and Performance, Peters Ice Cream

Nicolette Barnard

Head of Human Resources - Australia & New Zealand, Siemens

Craig Murphy

General Manager Customer, People & Culture, Henley

David Adamson

Head of Marketplace Solutions, Ascender HCM

3:20 pm
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