Welcome and Opening Address​


Author, Journalist and Television Presenter

Tracey Spicer AM 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. Tracey has written, produced and presented documentaries for NGOs in Bangladesh, Kenya, Uganda, Papua New Guinea, and India, and the National Breast Cancer Foundation in Australia. Her essays have appeared in dozens of books, including Women of Letters, She’s Having a Laugh, and Bewitched & Bedevilled: Women Write the Gillard Years, while her TEDx Talk, The Lady Stripped Bare, has attracted more than 1.5 million views.​


15th March 2018​

08:50 - 09:10

Opening Address

Getting comfortable with the uncomfortable

Deputy Commissioner

Deputy Commissioner of the Australian Federal Police

Leanne is Deputy Commissioner Operations in the Australian Federal Police. This role encompasses Organised Crime and Cyber, Crime Operations and International Operations.

Leanne Close was Deputy Secretary, Criminal Justice Group in the Attorney-General’s Department from March 2016 until March 2017. In this role Leanne was responsible for Criminal Casework, Criminal Justice Policy and Programmes, International Legal Assistance and AusCheck.

Leanne joined the Australian Federal Police in 1986, working in the Sydney Office and attained her Detective Designation. In 1996 she was promoted to Sergeant. In 2002, Leanne moved to ACT Policing performing several leadership roles.  In early 2009, Leanne moved to the role of National Manager Protection and was promoted to the rank of Assistant Commissioner in July 2009.  In 2012, Leanne was transferred to the role of National Manager Human Resources, which she held for two and a half years. In 2014, Leanne held the position of National Manager Aviation, prior to her promotion to Deputy Commissioner.

In 2005, Leanne was awarded the Australian Police Medal. Leanne was conferred with a Masters of Educational Leadership in 2001.

09:10 - 09:40

Keynote Presentation

Lieutenant Commander Kelly Haywood

Senior Officer Instructor, Maritime Logistics School, Royal Australian Navy

Lieutenant Commander Kelly Haywood joined the Royal Australian Navy in 1997 as a Combat Systems Operator. After achieving the rank of Leading Seaman, Kelly changed over to a commissioned Maritime Logistics Officer in 2005. Kelly has served in multiple HMAS Ships. She deployed to the Middle East three times and performed numerous border protection operations and served on various peace keeping missions. Outside of Navy, Kelly is extremely passionate about raising awareness about suicide, depression and mental health and is a Lifeline Ambassador. Through her initiative ‘Choose to Live, Love your Life’ Kelly actively fundraises and speaks in the community about her own personal experiences with suicide.  Kelly won the Western Australian and National Telstra Western Australia Young Business Woman of the Year Award in 2013 and in 2016 was named as one of Business News 40under40 entrepreneurs, taking out the Intrepreneur category. Kelly completed her studies at the Australian Maritime College in 2013, graduating with a Bachelor of Business in Maritime Logistics and Management and is currently studying her Masters of Business.

09:40 - 10:10

Keynote Presentation

My leadership journey


Former Superintendent Ambulance NSW

Susan Webster commenced nursing in 1975 and after 11 years as a nurse and midwife changed direction in Health and became a NSW Ambulance paramedic. After working in metropolitan and rural stations Susan became a Training Officer and educated paramedics for 6 years. During this time Susan undertook her Intensive Care Paramedic training and studied at Sydney University to convert her nursing qualifications into her Bachelor of Nursing.

Susan worked as the Manager of St Ives Station prior to transferring to Sydney Headquarters (Quay Street) as the Station Officer Grade 2. Here Susan developed the Clinical Support role, developed major incident and major event management strategies and managed every major event for Sydney during this period. Additionally, Susan oversaw the Special Casualty Access Teams and was instrumental in deployment of personnel to the Thredbo Landslide, medical management of VIP and Dignitary Protection, looked after world leaders and developed the paramedic team for the NSW Police Bomb Squad.

Susan planned all ambulance responses for the Sydney 2000 Olympic events in the Urban Domain prior to being seconded as Manager Planning and Logistics, Sydney Olympic and Paralympic Games. Following this Susan was seconded as the Manager Tactical Support responsible for all major events and incidents in NSW, including the 2001 September 11 incident.

After transferring to Central West NSW Susan acted as the Inspector for the Central West however was seconded back to various State positions such as manager critical infrastructure, assisted in the management of incidents such as 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami, 2007 APEC event, 2009 Swine Flu Pandemic, 2009 Samoa Tsunami, 2010-11 Western Floods, Susan was seconded as the Manager Special Operations for 12 months and was responsible for all state, national and international deployments as well as the Malcolm Naden Operation Durkin. Susan was a member NSW specialist operation.

For the last 5 years of her career Susan was the State Manager of NSW Ambulance Volunteer and Community First Responder programs. She was also a mentor on the AIPM Balance program.

Susan has received an Ambulance Service Medal, the National Medal with clasp, the St John Ambulance Serving Sister, NSW Ambulance Meritorious Service Medal and clasp and NSW Ambulance Long Service and Good Conduct Medal and 2 clasps. Susan retired in August 2017.

10:10 - 10:40

10:40 - 11:00

Morning Tea

Discussion Panel

11:00 - 12:30

Where to from here


 Queensland Police


Lieutenant Colonel, RAINF
(Former Chair of the PNGDF Gender Equity and Policy Committee)

michelle mosey

Senior Advisor - Cyber Security, Australian National University

12:30 - 13:20

Lunch Break

Development Session

13:20 - 14:20

Dr Janet Smith

Associate Professor (Adjunct)  University of Canberra, Senior Facilitator and Executive Coach

Dr Janet Smith is an Adjunct Associate Professor of Education at the University of Canberra, where she has taught and researched in Educational Leadership and Teacher Education for the past 25 years. During her years at UC, Janet occupied a wide range of leadership positions, including Associate Dean Education, Deputy Head of Schooland Discipline Head. Janet’s recent work at UC involved managing and teaching national and international professional learning courses, specialising in leadership, mentoring, coaching and social and emotional learning. Janet also organised and led UC’s Educational Study Tours to China, and taught a UC Masters of Education course at Hangzhou Normal University in China. Prior to her work at the university, Janet was a high school teacher and school leader for 16 years.

In addition to her work at the university, Janet has also worked extensively as a consultant, focusing on education, leadership, coaching, mentoring, spirituality, professional learning, teacher well being and renewal. Janet holds a PhD, Master of Education, BA, and Graduate Diploma of Secondary Education.

Building Career Changing Connections and Networking Strategically

A major factor that contributes to individual resilience is having a strong and diverse network. Numerous studies have shown the benefits of a strong network; a sense of belonging, increased self-worth and wellbeing, career progression and security. Particularly for women in male dominated workplaces, the data shows that having a network of other women has a significant impact on retention and career progression. This practical session explores the mindsets that hold us back from networking and methods for overcoming them. Participants will take away tips and strategies to build and maintain relationships - the bedrock of a strong network.

Keynote Presentation

14:20 - 15:00


Commissioner Queensland Fire and Emergency Services

Commissioner Carroll joined the Queensland Police Service in 1983 and worked in various roles early in her career including Detective work, a Commission of Inquiry, Criminal Investigation Branches, the Joint Organised Crime Task Force and the Covert Unit. She undertook a number of senior roles throughout Queensland and, in 2010, was promoted to Assistant Commissioner. In 2012 she undertook the role of Program Executive, G20 Group where she planned and was the Operations Commander for Australia’s largest peacetime security operation. In January 2015 Katarina was appointed as the Interim Commissioner of the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) and was permanently appointed to the position in August 2015. The QFES is the primary provider of fire and rescue, emergency management and disaster mitigation programs and services throughout Queensland, and includes Fire and Rescue, Emergency Management, Rural Fire Service and State Emergency Service.

Commissioner Carroll has several tertiary qualifications including an Executive Masters in Public Administration, a Degree in Criminology and a Graduate Diploma in Applied Management. She has achieved numerous international, national and State awards, including the Australian Police Medal and more recently the national Telstra Business Women’s Award for Government and Academia. Katarina was also named as one of the Australian Financial Review and Westpac ‘100 Women of Influence’ in 2015. She is married with two teenage children.

Keynote Presentation

15:20 - 16:10


International Keynote Speaker

Major Matina Jewell (retired is one of the most highly decorated females in Australian Military History). Matina’s military career culminated with a coveted posting to serve as a part of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organisation (UNTSO) in the Middle East.

As the only Australian and female on Patrol Base Khiam, Matina was thrust into the middle of a devastating war between Israel and the Hezbollah.

Matina’s story is one of inspiration – of authentic leadership, of resilience in the face of crippling adversity and of thriving through change across a trail-blazing military carer… and beyond!

15:00 - 15:20

Afternoon Tea

Keynote Presentation

16:10 - 17:00

GEORGEINA WHELAN, am, csc and Bar

ACT State Emergency Service (Former Chief of Staff, Australian Defence Force)

Georgeina Whelan graduated from the Officer Cadet School into the Australian Army in June 1988. She has extensive experience in the command and management of Defence health systems and military disaster response. As an Army Officer Brigadier Whelan deployed to East Timor in 1999 as the Operations Officer of the 1st Health Support Battalion and to Banda Aceh, Indonesia on Operation Sumatra Assist in command of the ANZAC Field Hospital in 2005. She completed RAN Staff Course in 2000, the US Army Military Medical Strategic Leadership Program in 2008, Higher Defence College in 2012 and the Senior Executive Leadership Program at the National Security College, Australian National University in 2016. Georgeina joined the Emergency Services Agency as the Chief Officer of the State Emergency Service in late October 2017 having completed 32 years of military service, most recently as the Director General, Select Strategic Issues Management in the Office of the Chief of the Defence Force and Chief of Staff, Australian Defence Force Headquarters. Georgeina was awarded a Conspicuous Service Cross (CSC) in 2004 and was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in 2006. More recently she was awarded a Bar to her Conspicuous Service Cross in the 2016 Queens Birthday Honours List. She was named ACT Telstra Business Woman of the year in 2015. She holds post graduate qualifications in business management, and defence and strategic studies. Georgeina is married and has four children. 

Review and closing comments

17:00 - 17:10



Senior Fire Fighter, Queensland Fire and Emergency Service

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