Adelaide Symposium 2018

Thursday 19th July 2018

The Playford

Registrations for this event have now closed.

Morning Tea


Afternoon Tea

16:50 - 17:00 Review and closing comments

17:00 - 18:00 Networking drinks

09:00 - 09:20 Welcome and Opening comments

Leveraging growth opportunities for female talent

This panel will consider the extent to which organisational culture and personal elements need to align in order for women to flourish. How do we overcome the risk factors with regards to women's fit, functioning and growth in the workplace? What are the enablers for women leaders to flourish? And how are organisations enabling growth opportunities for female talent?

Panel Session

Keynote Address

Alexandra Tullio

Owner & Founder of Alex Tullio Consulting, Speaker and Leader 

Alex Tullio is the results oriented change-agent that business owners and leaders turn to in order to develop a hugely successful business that is authentic to their values and vision. Over a career spanning more than twenty years, Alex has developed a deep level of experience in growing and transforming businesses into profitable enterprises. Before launching her own business, Alex held many senior leadership roles at organisations such as Citibank, IOOF and Bendigo Bank. In her most recent role on the group executive at Bendigo Bank, Alex was accountable for the performance of the retail and business banking division, which includes approximately 3,570 staff, a network of over 500 branches and a loan book of $31 billion.

Keynote Address - Stop fixing women in workplaces

Catherine Fox

Journalist, Author and Presenter

Catherine is one of Australia’s leading commentators on women and the workforce. A journalist, author and presenter, she is regularly invited to address audiences around Australia ranging from the Defence Force to corporates and local government, and often appears in the media. During a long career with the Australian Financial Review she edited several sections of the publication, and wrote the Corporate Woman column and for Boss magazine before leaving to set up her own consulting business in 2012. Catherine helped establish the annual Westpac/Financial Review 100 Women of Influence Awards and is on several advisory boards, including the Australian Defence Force Gender Equality Advisory Board.

Development Session

Be Brave, Adaptive and Experimental

The time for action is now. It is up to each and every one of us to take accountability for our own part in creating gender equity. This session will explore the Women & Leadership Australia’s 100 Days for Change initiative which represents one hundred days of taking practical action to effect real change. We will work together to identify change levers, outcomes and commitments.

Keynote Address - Beyond the comfort zone

Samantha Gash

Ultra Marathon Runner

From a background as a corporate lawyer, Samantha is now an endurance athlete, corporate presenter, writer and social entrepreneur. Her thirst for adventure, experience and thrill for life has allowed her to discover what she cares about the most - achieving social change through the vehicle of adventure and running. She has run 379km non-stop across Australia's Simpson Desert and was the first woman and the youngest person at the time to complete Racing the Planet's Four Desert Grandslam where she ran 4 x 250km self-supported across the driest (Atacama), windiest (Gobi), hottest (Sahara) and coldest (Antarctica) deserts in the world. Her journey was featured in the award-winning film, Desert Runners. She is an Ambassador for World Vision, Lululemon, the Mindful in May Campaign, Run Melbourne and Travel Play Live.


Dr Julia Baird

Journalist, Broadcaster and Author; Host of The Drum, ABCTV 

Julia Baird hosts The Drum on ABC TV and writes columns for The Sydney Morning Herald and The New York Times International Edition. Her writing has appeared various publications including Newsweek, The Guardian, and Harper’s Bazaar. Her much lauded biography of Queen Victoria was released in 2017. Baird began her journalism career at The Sydney Morning Herald where she worked as a columnist and election editor. She previously hosted the in depth interview program Sunday Profile on ABC Radio National. At Newsweek she edited and wrote cover stories on Sarah Palin and MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow. She covered the 2012 US presidential campaign for The Monthly, the ABC, and The Sun-Herald. Her PhD in history, on female politicians and the press, formed the basis of her 2004 book Media Tarts: How the Australian Press Frames Female Politicians.

Annabel Crabb was originally scheduled to speak but has unfortunately had to cancel her appearance. She sends her sincere apologies.

Adelaide Symposium 2018

Registrations for this event have now closed.

Thursday 19th July 2018

The Playford

Ashleigh Stiling

HR Advisor, SIMEC Mining Whyalla 

Ashleigh grew up in Whyalla. She has been with Harsco Metals & Minerals for almost nine years working in admin, quality training, operations and supervisory roles. She now works in the safety arena. Ashleigh often gets asked if she thinks working in a male dominated industry is mostly an art of survival. Ashleigh thinks it is more an art of acceptance. Ashleigh is leading culture change where she can comfortably go to work in what is considered to be a man’s world but be a female in it. Ashleigh won the Telstra South Australian Young Business Woman of the Year for 2015.

Zita Adut Deng Ngor

CEO, Women’s Legal Service (SA)   

Zita Adut Deng Ngor graduated with Bachelor of Laws and Legal Practice (Hons) and a Bachelor of International Studies in 2003. In 2009 she completed a Masters in Public and International Law at the University of Melbourne. Zita Ngor has had an active interest in working with and advocating on behalf of disadvantaged groups within society. In 2001 she received a Centenary Medal for service to the community and in 2013 she was selected to one of three NGO delegates to the Australian Government Delegation to Commission on the Status of Women 57 where the theme was the elimination of all forms of gender based violence against women. She was also selected as one of four South Australian finalists for the Australian of the Year Award in 2016. 

Cr Paula Luethen

Paula Luethen MP, Member for King, South Australian Parliament; Councillor, Tea Tree Gully Council

Paula has a successful twenty year track record in executive consulting, senior leadership, change management, coaching, facilitation, and community engagement. After 20 years leading change in the Commercial sector Paula made a decision to transfer her professional skills and experience into roles serving the community and knocked on 7000 doors and was successfully elected to Council.She is currently knocking on 14000 doors in a quest to represent her local electorate at a State level and drive further change in her community. 

Sarah Powell

Founder, Champions Academy

Returning to her hometown of Darke Peak in South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula after a decade away, Sarah Powell was distressed to see how quickly the once thriving community had declined. Recognising that sporting clubs are an incubator of leadership and the hub of community participation in rural communities, Sarah established the Champions Academy to teach young people to recognize their potential and give them the skills and confidence to become leaders, advocates and change agents. Sarah was awarded the Rural Industries Research & Development (RIRDC) 'Rural Women’s Award' for SA in 2015, for the design and development of the Champions Academy concept. She went on to win the national award and was named Rural Woman of the Year in 2015.


CEO, Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources


Founder, Champions Academy


Journalist, Author and Presenter


Journalist, Author
and Presenter


Operations Manager, Harsco Metals and Minerals


Executive Local Connection, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank


Ultra Marathon Runner


CEO, Women’s Legal Service


Councillor, Tea Tree Gully Council

Vicky Welgraven

Board Member, Reconciliation South Australia

Vicky is a proud, strong Adnyamathanha woman, from the Northern Flinders Ranges in South Australia. She has always been passionate about Aboriginal women’s rights, reconciliation and education of the wider community about her culture. She has worked in the Public Sector, both in Federal and State Government for the past 23 years and has held a number of key positons including managerial positions. In 2016 Vicky was appointed as the Strategic Agency Representative for Reconciliation South Australia and in 2017 she was nominated for the 2017 Australian of the Year Awards. Vicky has also been appointed by the Premier of SA the Honourable Jay Wetherill , to the Premiers Council for Women issues relating to Women and assisting in facilitating a whole of government approach to addressing the needs of all South Australian Women.


Board Member, Reconciliation South Australia

South Australia Award for Excellence in Women's Leadership

Award presentation and acceptance speech


Founder, Body Image Movement

Keynote Address

Sandy Pitcher

Experienced Chief Executive and Board Member; Chair, Environment Institute, University of Adelaide 

Sandy Pitcher was Chief Executive of the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources from January 2015 to March 2018. In this role, she focused on developing a vibrant nature-based tourism strategy for South Australia, connecting people to parks and delivering on the state’s ambitious climate change agenda. Sandy was also the Deputy Chief Executive of the Department of the Premier and Cabinet for five years. In 2012 Sandy was awarded the South Australian Telstra Business Woman of the Year for the Community and Public sector category, and went on to win the national title in November 2012. Sandy has experience as a Chief for Gender Equity at the SA Equal Opportunity Commission and is passionate about ensuring all staff, regardless of gender, are supported in achieving their full potential.

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