Darwin Symposium 2018

Wednesday 1st Aug 2018

Darwin Convention Centre

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 - Bouncing Back

Katrina Fong Lim

Former Lord Mayor, City of Darwin 

Katrina Fong Lim is a born and bred 5th generation Territorian with a keen sense of public service and community. Her career has been a combination of her passion for serving her local community, together with her outstanding professional qualifications and experience, honed within the government, NFP, B2B and public service sectors over 30 years. Katrina served as Lord Mayor of Darwin from April 2012 to August 2017. Prior to her election, Katrina spent 20 years working in the not for profit sector, including at the YWCA, Crafts Council, NT Centenary of Federation and lastly, as the Executive Director of Australia Day Council NT.

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.

Keynote Address

Karinda Gill

2017 Telstra Northern Territory Business Woman of the Year and Director, Abode New Homes 

Born into a financially challenged family, Karinda Gill set about educating herself from a young age with the goal of achieving financial freedom. Now with a $50 million empire to her name, it seems her younger self did a stellar job. As director of four companies, shareholder of two others and the business manager for one more, Karinda is a serial entrepreneur. Her primary business, Abode New Homes, is a residential construction company focused on helping first home buyers succeed within the property market. By supporting clients in every aspect of creating their dream home, from obtaining finance through to selecting the finishes, Karinda believes everyone should be able to live in a beautiful home that doesn’t cost a fortune.

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

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.

Keynote Address - Girl Stripped Bare

Tracey Spicer

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.    

Darwin Symposium

Wednesday 1st Aug 2018

Darwin Convention Centre


Former Lord Mayor, City of Darwin


2017 Telstra Northern Territory Business Woman of the Year and Director, Abode New Homes


Journalist, Author and Presenter


Author, Newsreader and Journalist

Vicki Baylis

CEO, Department of Education 

As an advocate for early childhood and education with over thirty years of experience working within the schooling sector, Ms Baylis has a strong understanding of the importance of providing a quality education to all students and giving every child the opportunity to engage, grow and achieve. With extensive experience as a teacher and principal in North Queensland, Ms Baylis has also held a range of senior executive roles in Queensland and the Northern Territory before accepting the position of Chief Executive of the Department of Education in 2016. Ms Baylis has strong professional experience and expertise in a variety of areas including Indigenous education, educational leadership, curriculum, learning, and inclusion through working across remote and urban settings to support a diverse range of communities. Ms Baylis regularly participates in national forums and is a representative on several cross-agency and cross-jurisdictional committees.

Rebecca Mills

General Manager, New Energy and Sustainability Territory Generation   

Rebecca holds Bachelor degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Economics. Through various roles in Power and Water Corporation and Territory Generation, she has gained extensive experience in major project development and delivery, as is responsible for the current Owen Springs and Tennant Creek gas fired power station expansions and the NT’s first grid connected battery energy storage project in Alice Springs. Rebecca also has experience in business analytics, strategy, commercial contracts and the development of the NT wholesale energy market. Rebecca was awarded Young Professional Engineer of the Year for the Engineers Australia Northern Division in 2016.

Wing Commander Llani Kenealy

Gender Advisor to the Chief of Air Force
Royal Australian Air Force   

Wing Commander Llani Kennealy joined the Air Force in 1990. She has extensive experience working in strategic human resource policy development, training management, personnel management, and diversity and inclusion. She currently serves as the Gender Adviser to the Chief of Air Force, where she is responsible for ensuring gender considerations are mainstreamed into Air Force planning and operations, and that Air Force continues to meet its obligations under the Defence Implementation Plan for the implementation of Women, Peace and Security within Air Force. In her previous role as Deputy Director Air Force Gender Programs she was responsible for implementing programs and policies that directly supported the attraction, recruitment, retention and progression of women in Air Force, with a particular focus on women in non-traditional roles. She is a member of the Chief of Air Force Advisory Committee and the Chief of Defence Force Gender Equality Advisory Board where she is responsible for providing technical gender and policy advice to senior Defence and government leaders. 

Lenore Dembski

Owner, Paperbark Woman  

Lenore Dembski was born in Darwin and, with the exception of about four years in the early eighties, has lived there all her life. Lenore has now been sewing for herself, her family and other people for over 47 years. Lenore had a retail outlet in Darwin between 1997 and 2004 where she retailed her clothes and those from other designers as well as a large range of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander designed materials, patchwork pieces and homeware items. To a lot of locals, Lenore Dembski is known for her public service work in the Aboriginal employment and training area and her involvement with Aboriginal organisations. However, Lenore was actually a designer and sewer before she even thought about a career in the public service.


CEO, Department of Education


Gender Advisor to the Chief of Air Force
Royal Australian Air Force


Owner, Paperbark Woman 


General Manager, New Energy and Sustainability Territory Generation

Libby Lyons 

Director, Workplace Gender Equality Agency   

Libby Lyons was appointed Director of the Workplace Gender Equality Agency in October 2015. She oversees a statutory reporting process which gathers gender equality data from over 12,000 employers and covers more than 4 million Australian employees. Libby is focused on working closely with employers to create workplaces in which the skills, experience and ambitions of employees are equally recognised and rewarded, regardless of their gender. Prior to joining the Agency Libby had a distinguished career in corporate affairs and government relations, most recently heading BHP Billiton’s Olympic Dam corporate affairs division. Before this Libby was General Manager of External Relations at Atlas Iron, and held senior roles at CITIC Pacific Mining, Alcoa Australia, the Western Power Corporation and Telstra. She started her career as a primary school teacher and has served on the boards of non-profit organisations.

The Northern Territory Award for Excellence in Women's Leadership

Award presentation and acceptance speech


Former Olympian Gold Medallist, Federal Senator and Principal Adviser, Sport & Recreation Participation

Registrations for this event are now closed.

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