About the Conference

Our keynote speakers

Rowdy Mclean

Internationally Acclaimed Keynote Speaker

A successful entrepreneur and leader, Rowdy retired from his first company at 34, only to become bored and get back in the game. Helping leaders, businesses and teams, make excellence happen in their cultural identity, leadership development, team dynamics and motivation has become his legacy. Rowdy has spoken to over 250,000 people in the USA, Europe, Asia and Australia. His best selling book Play a Bigger Game has been published in 7 countries.His new book Leadability was released in December 2017.

Robbi Mack

Internationally Acclaimed Keynote Speaker

Robbi Mack is the Queen of HeartBeatz and has a passion for inspiring and amplifying the potential found in human connection. Robbi empowers people with the tools to integrate our minds, with messages from the heart. An expert in emotional intelligence she innately understands the importance of self-awareness, self-management, and the power of empathy in becoming our greatest selves.

Marty Wilson

Internationally Acclaimed Keynote Speaker

If your people are stressed or fearful about change and disruption they need some time with Marty Wilson. He is a TED Speaker who uses proven tips and techniques to build resilience. But he is also a former Australian Comic of the Year so he balances proven scientific data with laugh out loud stories. This makes his programs incredibly human and instantly relatable to a wide variety of audiences.

Garry Mills

Speaker & Coach, Garry Mills Peak Performance

To thrive in the chaos and uncertainty of life, you need a growth mindset. Garry Mills helps people reframe their reality to see fear, challenges, disappointment and problems as opportunities to learn, grow and transform. Garry coaches executives, diplomats and TEDx speakers. He is a former bodyguard for Prime Ministers and Presidents, and has overcome the debilitating effects of depression.

Lindsay Adams

Internationally Acclaimed Keynote Speaker

Lindsay Adams, aka, The Relationships Guy, is a business relationships specialist, relationships underpin everything that we do in business. Lindsay is an engaging and inspiring conference speaker, regularly delivering keynote addresses within Australia, New Zealand and Asia. Professional Speakers Australia inducted him into their Hall of Fame in 2009 and awarded him a Life Membership in 2013.

James Adonis

Internationally Acclaimed Keynote Speaker

Dr James Adonis is one of Australia's most well-known employee engagement and team leadership educators. James's academic history is supported by rich practical experience as a leader in a variety of industries, such as financial services and contact centres, at which his most noteworthy achievements were in relation to his employees's engagement, performance and retention. Still today, he is employed full-time in a leadership capacity with responsibility for more than 100 staff, thereby ensuring he's sharing with his audiences what he, too, is actively putting into practice.

David Wayne

International Keynote Speaker; Leadership and Management Facilitator

David Wayne is a leading global Strategy and Performance Consultant who has worked with Executives and Managers from more than 400 organisations across Australia, New Zealand and South-East Asia, probably including yours. He will share with you what your Executives say are the 6 things that move their EA from a support provider to a true strategic partner. In other words - Indispensable.

Jane Wundersitz

Speaker, Master Trainer, Positive Psychology Practitioner

Jane is a highly engaging and award winning speaker and the founder of WunderTraining. She has been a global pioneer in bringing positive psychology and emotional intelligence into her workplace training and is known for her high impact, research based deliveries that will leave you thinking and ready to act.

Kate Fuelling

Keynote Speaker, Author, Pioneer

Kate Fuelling is an Information Management Specialist, Author and Optimist. Her purpose in life is to lead with courage, fun and respect. Kate thrives on sharing her passion for realistic, useful digital information management solutions through fun, engaging presentations with a serious message.

Catherine Molloy

Professional Speaker & Consultant

Catherine Molloy is an International Speaker, Writer and Communication Expert, specialising in leadership, sales and service. With 25 years of experience in business, education, speaking and transforming lives, Catherine believes that business success rests on the ability to build real connections at velocity. The participants will engage, connect and be more conscious of their communication. Her thought leadership is in how to hack the psychology of communication to build lasting connections, fast.

Trevor Young

Founding Partner & Principal Consultant, Zoetic Agency

Trevor Young is known as the PR Warrior. He is co-founder and principal of content-driven social PR firm, Zoetic Agency.A former journalist with 20+ years of experience in professional PR consulting, Trevor helps companies, organisations and individuals leverage social media and online publishing platforms to build public recognition for their business or personal brand.

Stu Atkins

Speaker and Co-owner Social Seedling

Stu Atkins is a leading disruption, innovation and Social Media specialist with experience presenting to thousands of professionals here and abroad. Having worked at Realestate.com.au, News Ltd and his own online recruitment business, Stu has developed a strong awareness of trends and paradigm shifts which can help businesses to stay ahead of the curve. Currently co - founder of Social Seedling, Stu has his finger on the digital pulse and will empower attendees to challenge the norm to build better business outcomes.

David Thomson

Manager, Education & Training, Executive Assistant Academy

David has a unique mix of training, facilitation, instructional design and coaching skills at all levels combined with over 18 years of strategic business and sales experience. Throughout his career he has worked across a wide range of industry sectors with large corporates, small to medium businesses and within the public sector - Federal, State & Local.

Robert Taylor

Senior Consultant, Executive Assistant Academy

Robert has over 25 years of experience in sales, marketing, business management & training combined with owning & operating own business in the exhibition events sector and holds tertiary qualifications in Economics, Marketing & Training. He has worked in a variety of roles for global corporations, SME's & training organizations in both Australia & overseas.

Senior Corporate Speakers

Michael Hartman

Chief Executive Officer, Skills Impact

Michael has 25 years of management experience, 17 as a CEO in national not for profit organisations. Specialising in Government contracted work with a focus on industry development and vocational education. Currently, Michael leads an organisation focused on multiple government-funded, industry-led projects to improve national skills standards and qualifications across diverse industries.

Judy O'Connell

Victorian Small Business Commissioner

Judy has extensive public sector experience working with small businesses, with a public service career of over 30 years. Judy comes from a family of small business owners - both her father and two sisters operate their own businesses. In December 2016, Judy O'Connell commenced as the Victorian Small Business Commissioner, where she advocates to make sure Victorian small businesses have a fair and competitive environment whilst running their business. Judy also manages the quick, low cost dispute resolution service for small business.

Josie Brown

Executive General Manager Professional Services, State Trustees Limited

Josie's areas of responsibility include Will preparation, Corporate and Client legal, Taxation, Financial Planning and other ancillary areas. She has experience across a diverse range of banking and finance areas, as a result of 24 years' experience in the Financial Services Industry. During her 10 years at State Trustees she has carried out a number of Senior Manager positions across the organisation and has been a key contributor to State Trustees business transformation program.

Stephanie Edwards

Managing Director, RPO Australia and New Zealand, Korn Ferry Futurestep

Managing Director for ANZ Korn Ferry Futurestep, Stephanie Edwards is responsible for the strategic direction and overall accountability for 26 RPO solutions across Australia and New Zealand. An experienced leader with a broad range of knowledge across recruitment model design, implementation, innovation & continuous improvement; change management; and technology.

Robert Klupacs

Chief Executive Officer, Bionics Institute

Robert Klupacs has been CEO of Bionics Institute since 1 May 2017. He is a highly experienced professional, with over 30 years corporate experience, uniquely experienced in translating and commercialising early stage intellectual property into commercial product or investable corporate vehicles. He is especially regarded for his ability to bridge cultural divides and knowledge gaps between academics, corporations and the general investment community and internationally recognised for his ability to lead start-up organisations to mature well focused companies.

Professor Russell Crawford

Executive Dean School of Science, RMIT

Professor Russell Crawford is the Executive Dean of RMIT's School of Science. Russell obtained a Master of Science from Swinburne and a PhD from The University of Melbourne. Previous roles include Dean of Science, Dean of the Faculty of Life & Social Sciences and Head, School of Biophysical Sciences and Electrical Engineering at Swinburne University of Technology. He has also held the position of President, Australian Council Deans of Science. Russell has been in the field of higher education for 34 years with his research being in the broad area of surface science.

Mike Zorbas

Group Executive, Policy and Advocacy, Property Council of Australia

In his role as Group Executive of Policy and Advocacy for the Property Council of Australia, Mike looks after policy on behalf of the property industry, our nation's largest employer. Previously he has held senior roles at Lendlease, Stockland and the Liberal Democrats in the UK among others as well as being a member of the Board of the Sydney Institute and a former Deputy Chair of the Committee for Sydney.

Graham Whyte

Assistant Commissioner, Superannuation, Australian Taxation Office

Graham’s ATO career spans over 35 years. Graham leads employer compliance with superannuation guarantee obligations and improving the client experience for individuals. Graham is a Fellow of CPA Australia and Chartered Tax Advisor and holds a Bachelor of Business (Accounting) and Master of Taxation Studies.

Chevon Fuller

Regional Counsel, Global Law Affairs, Southeast Asia and Australia Region, Boeing Australia Holdings Pty Ltd

Chevon Fuller is Regional Counsel for all Boeing matters in Australia, New Zealand, and Southeast Asia. She commenced this position in June 2017, and is responsible for the lawyers and legal advice provided in this region, including serving as the managing attorney to Boeing Australia Holdings, Boeing Aerostructures Australia, Boeing Defence Australia, and Boeing Singapore, among other entities in the region.

David Marlow

Executive Director, Jewish Community Council of Victoria

David has thirty years of business management and leadership experience, an MBA, experience as a Managing Director working across cultures and languages in Singapore, Malaysia and New Zealand, and substantial experience in leadership roles in the non-profit sector. David was a senior executive at ANZ Bank where he worked for 18 years, across various divisions including the CEO's Office, Group Public Affairs, Retail Operations, Retail Marketing, call centres, Group Technology and Esanda Finance.

Kirsten Pilatti

Chief Executive Officer, Breast Cancer Network Australia

Kirsten was appointed CEO in March 2018. She has an exceptional understanding of the cancer sector having spent over a decade at BCNA and five years at Cancer Council Victoria. Highly regarded for her passion and focus on Australian women and men who have been affected by breast cancer, Kirsten is committed to giving everyone a voice and reducing the disparity of care across the country. Born and raised in Western Australia, Kirsten lives in Melbourne with her partner and two sons.

Senior EA & PA speakers

Sadie Cowley

Lead Personal Assistant & Executive Assistant, Risk Advisory, Deloitte

Sadie believes that being a great EA takes time to develop, and the skills required are like no other role. Being a Lead to 9 other PAs helps her empower and share the knowledge that she has gained over the years. She has worked in the past for Nissan, St John's Ambulance, Plunkett (NZ) and in the UK, she was a director of a successful IT Business.

Anne Cox

Executive Assistant to the Chief Executive Officer, Workways Australia Ltd

Anne has worked as a senior EA, Business Manager and PA since 1998 supporting at both Board level and Senior Executive level in predominantly not for profit environments in the health and employment sectors. Anne is adept at tailoring her specific skills to suit the needs of individual Board members and Senior Executives particularly in the not for profit environment. Anne believes that the secret to a successful career is to have a successful working relationship with your direct manager and to have a can do attitude.

Gloria Utai

Corporate Officer, Agriculture Victoria Services Pty Ltd (AVS)

Prior to joining AVS, Gloria provided executive support to various government and judicial offices within the State of Victoria and the Northern Territory. Gloria has several years of administrative experience with expertise in scheduling and correspondence, knowledge in data management systems and project coordination. Gloria is also bi-lingual and volunteers as an interpreter when required to interpret in Samoan, a pacific language.

Rachel Thomas

Executive Assistant to Managing Director, Chief Executive Officer & Chief Financial Officer, Rural Bank

Rachel Thomas is a seasoned Executive Assistant with over 25 years' experience in a variety of industries (with the last seven supporting the Managing Director and CEO of agribusiness banking specialist, Rural Bank). Rachel has a demonstrated ability to provide senior executive, board members, management, clients and staff with a service quality standard that engenders trust, cooperation and the achievement of organisational and personal goals.

Anne Maree Healey

Executive Assistant to the Vice-Principal Enterprise Doron Ben-Meir, Chancellery Research & Enterprise, The University of Melbourne

Anne Maree has extensive experience as an Executive Assistant having worked along-side senior executives in the areas of Banking, Defence, Law, Engineering and Education. She has worked across Australia and internationally. Anne Maree currently enjoys her role as the Executive Assistant to the Vice-Principal Enterprise, University of Melbourne. Anne Maree has been an Executive Assistant for over 30 years. Anne Maree is also a wife and mother of two.

Mandy Johnston

Executive Assistant to the Executive Manager, Operations, UniSuper Management

Mandy has 25 years' experience as an EA providing support to Executives across the Education and Finance industries. She is passionate about the value added by EAs to an organisation and has just developed an Executive Support sharepoint team site to help the EA community in her organisation. Mandy is proud to have made contributions to Jonathan McIlroy's recent book - The New Executive Assistant - and is an advocate of networking and raising the profile of the EA.

Karen Fogas

Executive Assistant to the Managing Director and Chair, Dairy Australia

Karen has had over 15 years' experience as a Senior Executive Assistant. She has also held positions as a practice manager for a number of legal firms. Her strengths lie in developing and maintaining business relationships, innovation, strategic planning and communication. She has developed high emotional intelligence, effective interpersonal skills and a strong working relationship with her MD, Chair and Leadership Team which helps achieve organisational goals and objectives.

Danielle Battersby

Executive Assistant, RMIT

Danielle Battersby is the Executive Assistant for the Executive Dean within the School of Science at RMIT University. Recently relocated to Melbourne from Central Queensland University in Rockhampton QLD. She has worked in various industries including mining, accounting and higher education with a particular focus in Science and Research. Currently studying a Bachelor of Business Danielle's passion lies within administrative leadership and strategic planning.

Tara Smith

Executive Assistant, PGG Wrightson Seeds

Tara has been an EA for over ten years, working across various industries including finance, health care, automotive and agriculture. Tara specialises in supporting multiple Executives simultaneously, with continuous improvement and streamlining processes at the top of her priority list.

Fiona Hurle

Executive Assistant to the Executive Director, Agriculture Policy Agriculture Victoria DEDJTR

Fiona Hurle is an award winning Senior Executive Assistant with more than 20+ years' experience working alongside CEO, Board and Senior Management. She is experienced in public, private and NFP sectors specialising in politics, energy, agriculture, insurance and manufacturing. Being a professional human behaviour strategist, Fiona leverages her knowledge to influence and lead teams from within her role.

Alanna Best-Dias

Executive Assistant to Chief Executive Officer, Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL)

Alanna is the Executive Assistant to the CEO for the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL). She is responsible for managing the strategic operation of the CEO's office, as well as acting as the conduit to the executive team and the broader organisation. Alanna’s deep expertise in executive administration comes from her experience working for senior executives across a variety of organisations and sectors, predominantly in education, health and technology for more than a decade.