Melbourne Symposium 2018

Tuesday 24th & Wednesday 25th July 2018

RACV City Club


Morning Tea


Afternoon Tea

Melbourne Symposium 2018

Registrations for this event have now closed.

Tuesday 24th &
Wednesday 25th July 2018

RACV City Club

Agenda Day 2

Morning Tea

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.


Josephine Palermo

General Manager, Engagement and Change Management, Telstra

Making a difference in organisations and communities is Josephine Palermo's passion. With a PhD in Organisational Psychology and numerous publications in areas of quality enhancement, cultural change, coaching and leadership, she uses an informed, energetic and hands on approach to create lasting change in people, processes, and total systems. Key responsibilities in her current role at Telstra are the development of integrated change management plans to support the rollout and embedding of key strategic programs. She has extensive experience across higher education and public health industries, designing and implementing large scale change and process improvement programs Josephine lived and worked in the Sultanate of Oman for the Minister of Higher Education on a quality assurance program for the nation, that is still referenced today. 

Margo Field

Emotional Fitness Advisor  

Margo has what is called a slash career, she dual tracks an exciting working life. At a corporate level, she has more than 40 years of experience in the health sector, including several CEO roles in both the public and private sector. She has worked national and high - profile organisations including the RACGP, GPSA and Work Healthy Australia. Margo also runs a business that is all about helping people, teams and organisations to be get unstuck from life’s sticky experiences and situations. 

Tony Johnson

Regional Managing Partner and CEO, Ernst & Young 

Tony Johnson is the Chief Executive Officer of EY in Oceania, a member of EY’s Asia Pacific Operating Executive and Global Practice Group. Over his career Tony has combined leadership roles within the firm with successfully leading client account teams to deliver strategic, operational, transaction, governance, assurance, risk, due diligence and regulatory reviews and services. His career has been primarily focused on the financial services sector locally and internationally. Prior to his current role Tony was the Regional Managing Partner for EY’s financial services business in Asia Pacific with responsibility for 5,000 professionals in eight countries. Tony has a Bachelor of Economics, Master of Business Administration (Executive), Graduate Diploma of Applied Finance & Investment and is a Fellow of the Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand, Fellow of Finsia and a Member of Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD)

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

Making a difference: ingredients for success

Tracey Horton AO

Chairman, Navitas and Commissioner Tourism WA 

Tracey is the Chairman for Navitas Limited and Chairman and Non-Executive Director of various ASX companies, Government bodies and not-for-profit organisations. Tracey has extensive international business and education experience, with her most recent executive role as Dean of The University of Western Australian Business School, where she was awarded the life-time title of Emeritus Professor. Tracey was recognised for distinguished service to business and business education and appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2017.

16:30 - 17:30 Networking drinks

16:20 - 16:30 Review and closing comments

09:00 - 09:20 Welcome and Opening comments

Keynote Address

Anna Thomas

COO, Stockdale & Leggo

Anna Thomas is the Chief Operating Officer of major Australian real estate network, Stockdale & Leggo. With over fifteen years’ experience in consulting, sales, marketing, marketing and training, Anna has innovated a traditional real estate business. She was recognised as a Telstra Business Women’s Awards Finalist in the Corporate and Private Award in 2016, a 2017 Finalist in the Real Estate Business Awards ‘Industry Thought Leader of the Year’ Award and a Bronze Stevie winner in the Woman of the Year category in the 2017 International Business Awards. She is also the Founder and Brand Ambassador of the ‘Empowered Women in Real Estate’ initiative, a community empowering women to believe in themselves and step forward into leadership roles.

Women, work and the confidence to stop calling yourself 'lucky'

Jamila Rizvi

Author, Columnist, Host and Commentator 

Jamila Rizvi is a writer, presenter and commentator. She writes a weekly political column for News Limited and appears regularly as a commentator on Channel 10, Channel 9 and the ABC. Jamila was previously Editor in Chief of the Mamamia Women's Network and prior to entering the media worked for the Rudd and Gillard Governments. Jamila's first book, Not Just Lucky, a career manifesto for millennial women, was published by Penguin in 2017. She is an ambassador for CARE Australia and a board member of the McKell Institute Melbourne and the Melbourne Writers' Festival.

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

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.

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.

09:00 - 09:25 Welcome and Opening 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.

Conquering the Paper Tigers

Robyn Davidson

Author Tracks and Traveller 

At the age of 27, Robyn Davidson walked three thousand kilometres alone across the Australian desert, with a dog and four camels. She became instantly famous, and to set the record straight, she wrote Tracks – an international best seller, published in 20 languages, never out of print, and made into an international feature film. That success launched an extraordinary career as a writer, explorer, filmmaker and cultural commentator. She has lived with and written about nomads worldwide, gaining unique insights into ways of thinking that have relevance to our Western life. A heroine and role model to her millions of readers, Robyn continues to inspire people to move outside their comfort zone.

Leading for the right reasons

Liz Ellis AM

Most capped Australian Netballer and Broadcaster 

Liz is one of Australia’s highest profile elite athletes and most successful netballers ever. She surpassed the record for most test matches played for Australia in 2005 and captained the Sydney Swifts and Australian Netball Team until her retirement in 2007. Liz is also a highly successful and experienced broadcaster, appearing on television and radio as a sports commentator and presenter since her retirement from playing. In 2009, Liz became a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in the Australia Day Honours for "services to netball and the encouragement of women in sport, and to the community through support for a range of charitable organizations".

15:00 - 15:10 Review and closing comments

Amna Karra-Hassan

Founder and President, Auburn Giants AFL Club and works in the Community Liaison team at the AFP

Amna Karra-Hassan is an activist and advocate for diversity, inclusion and gender parity. She works for the Australian Federal Police in the Reform, Culture and Standards portfolio which is responsible for engaging the workforce in cultural change. Amna is also the Founder and President of the Auburn Giants AFL Club and has pioneered programs for women of minority communities in Western Sydney. She uses her influence to change the conversation on gender, culture, faith and representation.

Keynote Address

Bridget Brennan

National Indigenous Affairs Correspondent, ABC  

Bridget Brennan is the ABC’s first National Indigenous Affairs Correspondent. From Brisbane to Broome, Melbourne to Mutitjulu, Bridget reports from Australia’s diverse Indigenous communities around the country and covers issues and events affecting Indigenous people on a national scale. In 2017, Bridget led the ABC’s coverage of the historic Uluru Statement from the Heart. She has been a reporter for a decade with experience working in Australia and Asia. At the ABC she has worked at flagship news and current affairs programs such as Four Corners, 7.30 and AM. A Dja Dja Wurrung, Yorta Yorta woman from Victoria, Bridget is passionate about improving media coverage of Indigenous people, and Aboriginal women in particular.

Keynote Address


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.


Regional Managing Partner and CEO, Ernst & Young


Chairman, Navitas and Commissioner Tourism WA


Newsreader & Journalist


Most capped Australian Netballer and Broadcaster


Author, Columnist, Host and Commentator


Journalist, Author and Presenter


Author Tracks and Traveller


Author, Sports Journalist and TV/Radio Presenter


Founder & President, Auburn Giants AFL Club


Zoologist, Author & Film Producer


Managing Director, Australian Gender Equality Council


Emotional Fitness Advisor


COO, Stockdale & Leggo


General Manager, Engagement & Change Management, Telstra

Keynote Address - Use your fear

Dr Tammie Matson

Zoologist, Author, Film Producer and Entrepreneur 

Dr Tammie Matson is a world expert on elephants and has inspired thousands of people, from children to adults, to achieve their dreams through her award-winning books, speeches and African adventures. Inspired by a visit to Zimbabwe at the age of fifteen, Tammie achieved what many said could not be done as a young woman from North Queensland, by first becoming a wildlife researcher in Africa, then achieving a PhD in zoology and becoming a published author – all before she turned 25. Today, she balances her passionate commitment to conservation with being a mother to two sons under age 6.

Bindy Edelman

Global Diversity and Inclusion Manager, Xero

Bindy Edelman is the Global Head of Diversity and Inclusion for Xero, where she is responsible for the diversity and inclusion program across Australia, New Zealand, the US, the UK and Singapore. She previously worked as the Global Diversity and Inclusion Manager for WorleyParsons. Bindy started her career as an employment lawyer with a particular interest in equal opportunity and discrimination law. She has an Honours Degree in Law and a Master of Laws from Monash University.

Victorian Award for
Excellence in Women's Leadership

Award presentation and acceptance speech


TV and Film Actress, Comedian and Marriage Equality Advocate

Maria Katsonis

Public Policy Fellow, University of Melbourne

Maria Katsonis is a Public Policy Fellow with the Melbourne School of Government at the University of Melbourne. She has a deep understanding of policy, having spent 20 years in the Victorian public service as a senior executive. This included Director, Equality and Director, Governance with the Department of Premier and Cabinet and Executive Director at the Victorian Public Sector Commission where she led governance and service delivery reviews at the request of the Premier and ministers. Maria has a Master of Public Administration from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and was named an Australian Financial Review/Westpac Woman of Influence in 2016 for her leadership in diversity and inclusion. She is a beyondblue Ambassador.

Keynote Address

Christine Krause

Head of Operations Risk and Outsourcing Management 

Christine is Head of Operations Risk and Outsourcing Management at Future Fund.  The Future Fund is Australia’s sovereign wealth fund, investing for the benefit of future generations of Australians. Christine also spent 10 years at KPMG and PwC in various external and internal audit manager roles. Christine is a chartered accountant and has completed her MBA. Christine was selected as one in five females in Australia to undertake the Executive Advantage Program with WLA.  She is here today to share some insights into her journey over the last year, with a particular focus on the impact of being vulnerable in the work space.

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