Main Conference Schedule


9:00 am
9:05 am
10:00 am

HR spotlight – 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 supporting teams for a future that is uncertain?  
Fiona Lund

Head of People and Sustainability, flybuys

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?  

  • Building the human and soft skills of managers and supervisors  
  • Do we need a new type of leadership and management to support the Fourth Industrial Revolution? 
  • Creating leaders and managers with emotional intelligence and empathy 
  • Helping leaders to become thoughtful, authentic and inclusive in the way they manage their teams 


Ronan Carolan

Vice President HR, Thales

Sarah Edwards

HR Business Lead – Strategy and Transformation Pacific Region, Schneider Electric

Mandy Mirghashini

HR Transformation Lead, Shell

Jennifer Tiffin

HR Director APAC, Bunzl Australasia

11:50 am

Legal update

Details tbc

12:30 pm

Principal Partner session: 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 an 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
James Della-Porta

Regional Director, ELMO Cloud HR & Payroll

2:00 pm

Panel: Leading a flexible and remote workforce

As workplaces become more, 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 a remote work environment? 

  • Managing remote, virtual and outsourced employees from an HR perspective 
  • Talent mobility and flexibility – guidance on managing gig economy workers and contractors  
  • Creating a cohesive culture in an increasingly remote and virtual world  
  • Empowering managers to provide individual approaches for individual employees  
  • Balancing targets and metrics with agile and flexible work arrangements  
  • Next level: how to prepare your workforce to become even more flexible  


Sally McNeilly

Director – People and Culture, Imperium Group

Kristy Pownall

Head of People, CHU Underwriting Agencies

Chris Turner

National Lead HR Business Partner, GFG Alliance

2:50 pm

Case study: Driving a continuous learning culture to support your organisation’s business goals  

  • Aligning your L&D initiatives with your organisation’s business goals 
  • Using technology to support a continuous learning culture 
  • Preparing your organisation for the future of work  
  • Strategies implemented in Allens to assist employees for future leadership roles 
Justin Sterns

Head of Learning and Development – People Technology and Analytics, Allens

3:50 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 behavioural attributes should we be focusing on? 

  • Building a culture and skillsets will help your organisation to evolve and thrive   
  • Selecting, developing and managing workforces that will demand more of their leaders 
  • 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? 


Robyn Djelassi

Head of People & Operations, Vinomofo

Merryl Dooley

Chief People Officer, Tabcorp

Helena Karlinder-Östlundh

HR Director, MECCA Brands (HRD Hot List 2019)

Caroline Monzon

Acting Chief Talent Officer, Development Victoria

9:00 am

Opening remarks from the Chairperson

Jessica Kaaden

Vice President, AHRI Victorian Council

9:10 am

Case study: Communicating and driving cultural change

As businesses change, cultural change becomes essential for survival. And now more than ever, HR is steering the ship of change.  

  • Encouraging communication and problem-solving within and between departments 
  • Influencing employees and managers away from having fixed mindsets  
  • Encouraging people to be open to ideas and feel ownership of cultural change 
  • Building leadership capability to drive cultural change 
  • Driving cultural change as a steady piece of work, not a big bang approach 
  • Encouraging employees to stop, think, and internalise cultural change programs   
  • Promoting the values that drive better performance and help overcome outdated behaviours
Rebecca Quinn

Director – People and Culture, Parks Victoria

9:50 am

Case study: Preparing leaders for the future of work 

There are a lot of changes ahead with the future of work. Will there be a change in requirement from our leaders to meet these future demands? It’s one thing to prepare for the future of work but how are we going to prepare our leaders? 

  • Understanding future workplace trends and their impact on leadership 
  • Changing the way leaders think about themselves and of leadership 
  • Pragmatic leadership skills to deliver successfully in a transformation environment 
  • Effective outcomes from enterprise wide development program over multiple years 
Lindy Visagie

Group Head of Organisational Development and Strategic Change, Dulux Group

11:10 am

How to drive strategic HR 

In today’s ever-changing business climate, HR professionals play an essential role in leading the successful transformation of their organisations. How do you transform your organisation core strategy to deliver value? 

  • Embarking on the transformation journey and how to deliver organisational change 
  • Leveraging data driven insights for performance management and employee satisfaction 
  • Building internal capability for leadership and responsiveness to change 
Ken Anand

Former Chief Transformation Officer, Teachers Health

11:50 am

Panel: HR technology to automating routine HR to focus on people and culture

Technology will change everything. As technology streamlines the more transactional and administrative areas of HR, our role will become more about guiding and coaching line managers through change and the complexity of human relationships. How will HR tech liberate HR professionals and what should we be focusing on? 

  • When repetitive tasks get done by robots, what can HR teams achieve? 
  • The humanistic approach will remain a key aspect of HR thus the industry will become more emotive and adaptable to the modern world 
  • Which high value transactions should we focus on when we have automated and enabled self-service for the rest? 
  • How HR teams can become organisational coaches, with a primary focus on helping people in the organisation deliver their best work every day 


Natalie Britt

HR Director, ICC

Mark Cook

Head of People and Culture – Future Business & Technology, AGL Energy

Brett Holmes

Head of Shared Services, BlueCross Aged Care

12:40 pm
1:40 pm

Case study: Developing effective rewards and remuneration initiatives  

Leading employers today understand the importance of a customised, individual rewards program that reflects the needs and preferences of their diverse workforces.  

  • Understanding what types of incentives motivate your employees 
  • How to structure rewards and compensation to meet employee expectations and your organisation’s objectives 
  • Recognising, inspiring, connecting and empowering employees 
  • Practical strategies for creating a recognition culture in your organisation 
Rita Hudson

Senior Director – Organisational Capability, Gold Coast Hospital and Health Service (Winner of Best Reward and Recognition Program 2019 – Australian HR Awards)

2:20 pm

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 linked visualisations to explain how and why HR data changes over time 
  • How can we use data to think differently about the employee experience? 
Peggy North

Chief People and Culture Officer, Monash IVF Group

3:20 pm

Panel: Creating a personalised employee experience

We are shifting from viewing our workforce as a collective to appreciating and embracing the uniqueness of individuals. Accordingly, HR will be shifting focus from an employee experience to individual experience. 

  • Educating employees to discover their personal strengths, passions and purpose 
  • Facilitating high communication between departments, greater involvement with staff family and passions, and a focus on career development for staff  
  • Solutions that apply personalisation wisely in a scalable way  
  • Taking a holistic approach that sees employees as whole people and aims to ensure the best for each  
  • Examples of highly connected and very personalised people management strategies 


Giovanni Abelardo

Director – Employee Engagement and Experience, The Ascott

Renato Marasco

Employee and Labour Relations Leader, Boeing

Mari Ruiz

Executive People Experience, Melbourne Airport

Robert Tanti

Chief People Officer, Hydro Tasmania

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