Brisbane Symposium 2018

Wednesday 2nd &

Thursday 3rd May 2018

Rydges Southbank

Registrations for this event have now closed.​

Morning Tea


Afternoon Tea

Brisbane Symposium 2018

Registrations for this event have now closed.

Wednesday 2nd & Thursday 3rd May 2018

Rydges Southbank

Agenda Day 2

Morning Tea


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

16:30 - 17:30 Networking drinks

16:20 - 16:30 Review and closing comments

09:00 - 09:20 Welcome and Opening comments

Stop Fixing Women in Workplaces

Women are regularly told they are to blame for their own marginalisation in the workplace and need to be more confident, negotiate better, speak up, support each other, strike a balance between work and home. As a result much of the time and money spent on diversity programs has focused on fixing women instead of addressing the structural barriers - the bias and discrimination woven through daily practices and attitudes. How do we work on changing the rules and norms to give women a fair go? What does a successful intervention look like? What are the challenges and how do you get around backlash to action?  Catherine Fox will facilitate this enthralling panel session where we will ask men and women leaders what we can all be doing right now to start fixing the system and making fairer workplaces for everyone.

Panel Session

09:00 - 09:20 Welcome and Opening comments

15:00 - 15:10 Review and closing comments

Keynote Address - Girl Stripped Bare

Tracey Spicer AM

Author, Newsreader and Journalist 

Tracey Spicer is an author, journalist and television presenter who has anchored programs for ABC TV, Network Ten, Channel 9 and Sky News over the past 30 years. Renowned for the courage of her convictions, passion for social justice, and commitment to equality, she also has a wicked sense of humour.Currently, she works as a weekly columnist for Fairfax, presentation trainer for Outspoken Women and the Australian Film, Television and Radio School, and media trainer at Spicer Communications. She appears regularly as a commentator on ABC TV and Channel 9. Her first book, The Good Girl Stripped Bare, was published by Harper Collins in April 2017.

Keynote Address

Claire Madden

Social Researcher, Business Consultant, and Founder and Director of Hello Clarity 

Claire Madden is a social researcher, media commentator, keynote presenter, TEDx speaker, business consultant, and Founder and Director of strategy and communications agency Hello Clarity. Claire is a leading voice on the emerging generations, changing demographics and social trends. Claire is in demand for interpreting what these factors mean for educators, managers and business leaders. With academic qualifications in communications and postgraduate studies in leadership, Claire brings robust, research-based content to her engaging presentations and consulting. As a social commentator, she is regularly interviewed on prominent television programs including The Today Show, Sky News, Sunrise and The Morning Show, as well as on the radio and in print media. Claire is on the board for a financial services company and on the Advisory Board of UTS Business School.

Megumi Miki

Culture and Leadership Author, Speaker, Facilitator and Coach and Founder of Quietly Powerful

Megumi Miki is an author, speaker and consultant in leadership and culture, with a background in strategy, economics and finance. She has worked for over 20 years with large organisations such as NAB, AustralianSuper, ANZ, Accenture, state and federal government departments, SMEs and not-for-profit organisations. Megumi takes a practical approach to enabling organisations and individuals to achieve their vision and break out of the status quo by helping people to be smart together. In the uncertain, changing, global and inter-connected world, Megumi believes that the ‘alpha’ or ‘hero’ leadership style alone is outdated and inadequate. She launched Quietly Powerful in 2016 to expand the definition of what good leadership looks like and empower quieter professionals and those outside majority groups to fulfil their leadership potential. 

Catherine Clark

CEO, Netball Queensland   

Catherine is an experienced Board Director, CEO and Senior Executive with a background in government, the not-for-profit and commercial sectors. Her background in sport as an athlete and coach has translated into a passion and track record for achieving results by building effective high performing teams and organisations in her many leaderships roles. Catherine’s career includes senior roles in Sport and Recreation New Zealand, CEO roles at GymSports New Zealand and Gymnastics Australia through the Beijing, London Olympic and Delhi Commonwealth Games Cycles. In 2015 Catherine left a strategic HR role with the Queensland Government’s Department of Education and Training to take up the CEO post at Netball Queensland.

Superintendent Virginia Nelson

Assistant District Officer - Patrols, South Brisbane 
Police District, Queensland Police 

Superintendent Virginia Nelson is currently the Superintendent - Patrols at South Brisbane District in Brisbane Region. Having joined the Queensland Police Service at 18 Virginia has more than 28 years’ service and has worked in rural, regional and metropolitan areas across Queensland. With a background in General Duties and prosecutions in recent years Virginia has undertaken a number of appointments as Project Officer, Traffic Coordinator, Staff Officer and Patrol Group Inspector. In 2016 Virginia was awarded the Bev Lawson memorial Award by the Australasian Council of Women and Policing for her leadership and commitment to the development of women in policing.

Keynote Address

Debbie Kilroy OAM

CEO, Sisters Inside 

After her release from prison in 1992, Debbie Kilroy established Sisters Inside to fight for the human rights of incarcerated women and to address gaps in services available to them and their children. Since then, Debbie has completed four tertiary degrees – in social work, forensic mental health and law – and was the first and only former prisoner to be admitted as a legal practitioner in Queensland. As the Chief Executive Officer of Sisters Inside, Debbie works at the coalface of human rights activism and her eloquent advocacy to highlight the over-representation of women, particularly Aboriginal women and girls in Australia’s prisons has earned her many accolades. She has spearheaded a long list of ground-breaking programs which have broken the cycle of imprisonment.

Keynote Address - Growing the next generation of female leaders

Dominique Lamb

CEO, National Retail Association 

Dominique Lamb is the CEO of the National Retail Association and Director of NRA Legal, who has extensive experience providing industrial relations and employment law advice to a range of small, medium and large businesses across a range of industries. In 2011, she was awarded the Australian Institute of Management’s Young Gun of the Year Award and in 2016 Dominique was a finalist in the Brisbane Women in Business Awards. In her downtime, Dominique is a strong advocate for victims of domestic violence and has volunteered with the Women’s Legal Service Queensland for over six years. Dominique is currently serving on the WLSQ board as well as being the Chair of their Dancing CEO’s event which raised $260,000 in 2017. 

Keynote Address - Is this my beautiful life?

Jessica Rowe OA

Author, TV Host and beyondblue ambassador 

Jessica Rowe is a news presenter, author, columnist and mother of two girls, Allegra and Giselle. She has been working in the media industry for over 20 years and is passionate about removing the stigma around mental health conditions. It is a very personal campaign – having grown up with a mother who has bipolar disorder, she understands the chaos and heartache that a mental health condition can cause to a family. Because Jessica wanted to help others by sharing her experiences, she became a beyondblue Ambassador in 2002. 

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.

Angela Pippos

Author, Sports Journalist and TV/Radio Presenter

Angela left her native South Australia in 1997 to pursue a sports journalism career with the ABC in Melbourne. She’s best known for anchoring the sports segment on the ABC TV News for almost a decade. She’s appeared on a number of sports programs including Network Ten’s Before the Game and The Back Page on Fox Sports.Angela has just released her second book, Breaking The Mould – Taking A Hammer To Sexism In Sport and the television documentary she wrote, produced and presented about the rise of women in Australian Rules Football, League of Her Own, aired on the Seven Network in February 2017.

Nicole Hollows

CEO, SunWater Limited

Nicole Hollows was appointed SunWater Chief Executive Officer on 26 April 2016. Nicole is an experienced senior executive, with a career spanning more than 20 years in the resources sector. Prior to joining SunWater, she was Managing Director of global resources firm AMCI Australia and South East Asia. She was Chief Executive Officer of Macarthur Coal Limited from 2007 to 2011 and, under her leadership, the company grew from A$700m to A$5bn market capitalisation and was listed on the ASX Top 50 Companies Index. Nicole believes in leading a high performance culture and streamlined systems to achieve operational excellence.

Adam Fennessy

Partner - Advisory, Government and Public Sector, EY

Adam Fennessy is a partner in Ernst & Young's Advisory Practice, with a focus on government and strategy. This follows a 20 year career at State and Federal Government level. Adam was Secretary of the Victorian Government Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) from January 2015 to June 2017. He led the organisation in creating liveable, inclusive and sustainable communities across Victoria while maintaining the State’s world class liveability.Adam was appointed as a member of the inaugural Victorian Male Champions of Change group in 2015, and led change to embed gender equity across DELWP and areas of state government. Adam was awarded a Public Service Medal as part of the 2018 Australia Day Honours list, for “outstanding public service to a range of government departments in Victoria.”

Dr Terrance Fitzsimmons

Managing Director, Australian Gender Equality Council 

Dr Fitzsimmons is a Senior Lecturer in Leadership with the University of Queensland Business School. He is the director of the AIBE Centre for Gender Equality in the Workplace and Managing Director of the Australian Gender Equality Council (AGEC). His PhD in Leadership examined successful attributes of CEOs and differing pathways to CEO roles for men and women. Dr Fitzsimmons has published many papers in leading journals exploring the issue of gender equality in leadership roles. He has worked with many of Australia’s largest firms on their diversity programs and speaks regularly in Australia and overseas in the area of gender equality and inclusion.

Facilitated by 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.

Keynote Address - Challenge and Success

Tracey Vieira

Chief Executive Officer, Screen Queensland 

Tracey Vieira was appointed as Chief Executive Officer of Screen Queensland in February 2014, the latest role in a stellar career promoting the Australian screen industry in Queensland and the United States. Tracey has launched new initiatives for the industry including the first feature film with SVOD company Stan, a creative partnership initiative with YouTube, a business building program, Australia's first VR series with a broadcaster, and leading significant cultural change within the organisation. Tracey also introduced the organisation’s first Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Strategic Plan and a Gender Equity Policy to drive change both behind and in front of the screen.

Keynote Address - The time is now to stand up!

Tammy Medard

Head of Diversified Industries & Global Subsidiaries Institutional Banking Australia, ANZ

Tammy was appointed Head of Diversified Industries & Global Subsidiaries (DIGS) Australia in May 2016. As Head of DIGS, Tammy has national responsibility for leading the provision of tailored financial and capital management solutions to ANZ’s largest clients operating in the Manufacturing, Transport, Healthcare, Government, Education, Services and for global subsidiaries of large multinational corporations. Previous to this Tammy was Chief Executive Officer of ANZ Laos. Based in Vientiane, she took over the role at a time where ANZ aimed to lead the advancement of the Laos banking sector. 

Agenda Day 1


Newsreader & Journalist


TV/Radio Presenter

Claire Madden

Founder, Hello Clarity






TV Host


Author & Presenter


CEO Sisters Inside


CEO SunWater Ltd


Queensland Police


National award


CEO Screen Queensland

Megumi Miki

Founder of Quietly Powerful


CEO Netball Queensland

Keynote Address - Leadership Lessons

Major General
Simone Wilkie AO (Retired)

Commander, Australian Defence College 

Major General Simone Wilkie was commissioned into the Royal Australian Corps of Signals in 1983. She served as a Lieutenant and Captain in a range of regimental and instructional appointments in Land and Training Commands. As a senior officer, Major General Wilkie has fulfilled the roles of Director General Training Forces Command; Chief of Staff, Army Headquarters; and, after promotion to Major General, Commander Australian Defence College. Following the release of the First Principles Review of Defence by Government, Major General Wilkie was appointed to the newly established position of Head Joint Enablers. In this role she is responsible for the delivery of joint enabling support to the Australian Defence Force. 

Queensland Award for
Excellence in Women's Leadership

Award presentation and acceptance speech


Non-Executive Director, Chairman and Creator #celebratingwomen

National Award for
Excellence in Women's Leadership

Award presentation and acceptance speech

Gail Kelly

Businesswoman, former CEO, Author


Journalist and Radio Presenter

dominique lamb



Managing Director, Australian Gender Equality Council


CEO Jetts Fitness


CEO Sisters Inside


Queensland award

Rihanna patrick

Journalist and Radio Presenter ABC Radio

hianna began her broadcasting career at an Indigenous radio station before joining the Queensland public service as a communications officer. She then joined the ABC as a news and current affairs cadet. During her 15 years at the national broadcaster, Rhianna has worked across triple j news, television documentaries, RN and co-hosted an aviation podcast. Rhianna currently presents a national programme named after her across ABC Radio every Sunday night.

Keynote Address - 5 Real Life Lessons on Leading People

Elaine Jobson

CEO, Jetts Fitness

Elaine Jobson is a Fitness Industry veteran having spent 23 years in executive positions working for a number of the large fitness brands. Her roles have taken her all over the globe having worked in Asia, Europe, South Africa and now Australia. She is best known for teaming up with well-known industry entrepreneurs including Mike Balfour OBE Founder of Fitness First, Sir Richard Branson owner of Virgin Active South Africa, and now Brendon Levenson founder of Jetts Fitness. Having previously won the Deloitte Best Company to work in South Africa, Elaine is passionate about building successful companies through great cultures and growing exceptional Leaders.


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