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The Evolving EA
Innovative and Adaptive

Being responsive and resourceful with change - why EAs MUST
look to the future to see what they need to do today

Australia's Leading Conference Series for EAs & PAs -
March 20th & 21st 2019 - Luna Park Sydney

13th Anniversary of the most highly acclaimed forum for EAs & PAs in Australia

Our most interactive, hands-on, practical and challenging conference ever, with 7 major group sessions for EAs

The Evolving EA -
Innovative and Adaptive

Luna Park Sydney 2019
Program at a glance

Day 1

Wednesday 20th March

8.30am Chairperson's Opening Remarks

8.35am Keynote Opening AddressThe Evolving EA - Innovative & Adaptive

9.05am Keynote Motivational AddressThe Innovative Mindset and the EA

9.50am Keynote Technology Speaker Examining the likely impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI) on the EA role

10.35am Morning Coffee

11.05am EA Panel Session Changing trends in workplace structure and role evolution – what can we make of current trends and how they will impact how EAs perform most effectively in their roles

11.55am Keynote Ethics & Governance SpeakerValues, Morals, Ethics and the EA Role

12.40pm Lunch

1.55pm Keynote Resilience Speaker Resilience - how to thrive in a corporate war zone

2.40pm Executive Panel SessionThe perceptive, responsive, nimble and innovative EA

3.30pm Afternoon Tea

4.00pm Keynote Wellness Speaker Mental Health and Wellness in the Workplace – and how this impacts EAs

4.40pm EA Activity WorkshopSpeed Mentoring Discussion Groups to Resolve Key Issues

5.30pm Close of Day One – Cocktail Reception Within Exhibition Area

7.00pm Gala Dinner

Day 2

Thursday 21st March

8.15am Chairperson’s Opening Remarks

8.20am Keynote Productivity SpeakerEmail productivity and management – simple rules and techniques to increase EA and executive effectiveness

9.05am Keynote Featuring EA Panel DiscussionSee the Future of EAs - That are Rocking the Shifting Models!

10.25am Morning Coffee

10.55am EA Panel Discussion The Indispensable and Invaluable EA

11.45am Executive Panel DiscussionThe EA of the Future

12.35pm Lunch

1.50pm EA Activity Workshop Lego Serious Play Workshop – How to break habits and think innovatively

2.50pm Break

2.55pm Keynote Social Media PresentationMaking social media work for you and your executive

3.40pm Closing Keynote PresentationCollaborating to Win

4.25pm Close of Conference


The Evolving EA -
Innovative and Adaptive

Luna Park Sydney 2019

Day 1 March 20th

8.30am Chairperson's Opening Remarks

8.35am Keynote Opening AddressThe Evolving EA - Innovative & AdaptiveWe all operate in rapidly changing workplaces with rapidly changing external business and governmental environments as a result of technological advances plus numerous and constantly evolving communication options. These are having enormous impacts on today’s EAs and the partnerships they have with their executives. The approach and mindset the EA needs to deal with these, so that they act in the best interests of their executive and broader organisation, is the subject of our opening address and will set the agenda for the next two days of this conference. Topics and issues to be considered include;

  • Different influencers of change and the impact each will have – just how important are these and what will the effect on the EA role be?
  • The approach and mindset required to be able to cope with, and then manage, what is happening
  • Will there be a realignment of the EA and executive partnership?
  • What new skills will be needed to remain relevant and how will these be acquired?
  • How do you keep up to speed with constantly evolving change and how can this be incorporated into your routine to make your life easier and more productive?
  • Focussing on experiences from overseas – what progressive EAs need to do to stop their role being marginalised or rolled back
  • Jonathan McIlroyExecutive Director, Education and LearningExecutive Assistant Academy

9.05am Keynote Motivational AddressThe Innovative Mindset and the EA

Adjectives used to describe innovators often include; revolutionary, imaginative, problem finders, empathetic, risk takers, networked, observant, creative, resilient, reflective and many, many more besides. In this keynote you will look at what EAs can learn from someone who has taken a new idea, concept, program or approach & made it succeed.

  • Her “lightbulb” moment – and what the motivations or catalysts for this were
  • How she overcame resistance and pushback to cut through and make it a success
  • There are always doubts and fears to overcome – what were they and what approach was deployed
  • Lessons learned from the experience and the message from her journey that can help all of us as we move forward in our organisations
  • Why an innovative mindset is important for everyone in business
  • Ronni KahnFounder & Chief Executive OfficerOzharvest

9.50am Keynote Technology Speaker Examining the likely impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI) on the EA role

The growing importance and presence of Artificial Intelligence and its penetration into the workplace is impacting on the roles and type of work people are performing and will be performing in the future. This presentation will look at how this development, and perhaps intrusion, could impact on the EA role and their future. Many organisations are hoping AI will help them reduce staff numbers and lower costs, but could that be the case with EA roles? Global trends are already seeing the EA roll rolled back because of technological changes. But what will it truly mean for EAs?

  • How will AI impact businesses and how employees in general will operate in the future?
  • How AI will enhance some of the processes and tasks which will lead to greater efficiencies and productivity in the task-oriented aspects of the EA role
  • Will AI give the EA more opportunity to focus their energies on areas such as:
    • Building networks in the organization
    • Managing and developing relationships
    • Acting as the Corporate Thermometer for their executive
    • Improving interactions with other EAs and stakeholders, particularly those who operate in the senior executive areas
    • Developing and improving the EA skill base in assisting with projects and related tasks
  • Will AI be as successful in replicating the interactions between EAs and their executives, especially the trust dynamic and the EAs ability to determine what is urgent, not urgent and, at times, irrelevant?
  • How will AI deal with the great Emotional Intelligence strengths of EAs and their ability to embrace or display the notions of empathy, mood reading and body language interpretation?
  • Often external factors are present and are a major influence on behaviour and actions. How good will AI ever be at interpreting these, particularly if they are current and unforeseen
  • Craig RispinInternationally Renowned Futurist and Keynote SpeakerThe Future Trends Group

10.35am Morning Coffee


The Evolving EA -
Innovative and Adaptive

Luna Park Sydney 2019

Day 1 March 20th

11.05am EA Panel SessionChanging trends in workplace structure and role evolution – what can we make of current trends and how they will impact how EAs perform most effectively in their rolesThe traditional workplace, as we know it, is changing. Flatter management structures and different chains of communication, increased openness, less formality and a greater reliance on technology have all had their place in organisational ethos change. In the first part of the panel we will examine different workplace changes and their impact on the functioning of the EA role, as well as the impact on management and the wider business. Areas of discussion will include Activity Based Workplaces, Hot Desking, Flexi Working, Remote EAs and Virtual EAs. In the second part of the panel we will examine the rationalisation of the role in many organisations due to perceived efficiency gains that result from technological changes and new management capabilities which have seen many EAs reporting to two or more executives. Then we will look at the impact this has on the level of support EAs can deliver. As an EA, even if many of these changes haven’t impacted you and your organisation yet, there is a strong chance they will in the future, so this is a vital panel for EAs to consider.

    Part 1 – Workplace changes

  • Investigating what EAs can do to make office and workplace changes like these more effective
  • Considering the impact on EA and executive partnership dynamics and options for new paradigms, road rules and ways of working
  • Can and should EAs advise against changes they perceive to be detrimental to their role in supporting their executive(s)?

    Part 2 – Working for more than one Executive

  • Coping with different management styles
  • The skills needed for this situation, particularly when dealing with very different personalities
  • Being impartial and maintaining your professionalism
  • Moderator:David ThomsonManager, Education & TrainingExecutive Assistant Academy
  • Sharon PaulExecutive Officer Service Management OfficeDepartment of Finance, Services & Innovation
  • Tracey RobertsDirector LiaisonRSL NSW
  • Nadine ChilversExecutive Officer to the DeanThe University of Sydney Business School
  • Melissa LeeExecutive Assistant to Chief Executive Officer & General Manager, Strategic Sourcing & MarketingCOS
  • Peita BosevskiExecutive Assistant to Group Chief Executive OfficerQBE Insurance Group
  • Melissa VitExecutive Assistant to Chief Executive OfficeroOh!media

11.55am Keynote Ethics & Governance Speaker Values, Morals, Ethics and the EA Role

The values of an organisation are what support the vision and shape the culture in order to enable an organisation to achieve its overall mission. They are the overall principals and beliefs of the company, in essence, its philosophy of how to be.Values, and by extension culture, are what drive corporate behaviour, and this is where governance comes into play. Corporate governance is about the rules, policies, systems and processes

that govern how authority is exercised and maintained in an organisation, and how this interplay affects the relationship between executive management and shareholders. Right now, executive and management behaviour to under the spotlight like never before and this trend will only continue. Our speaker is an expert in this field and will share with you the implications of values and good corporate governance, as well as provide guidance on the EAs role in this complex and often controversial area.

  • The areas an EA needs to be concerned with and aware of
  • Making a call when you see transgressions, when your judgement is questioned and the ‘whistle-blower’ situation
  • The notion of trust in both individuals and the organization - why this is important and what does trust look like in the real world to customers, clients and other stakeholders
  • Dealing with media in certain circumstances
  • The impact on your personal well-being in delicate situations
  • Brian MoranSubject Matter Expert in Applied Ethics

12.40pm Lunch

1.55pm Keynote Resilience SpeakerResilience - how to thrive in a corporate war zoneToday’s business environment climate has a focus on cost reductions, driving greater efficiencies and ensuring positive stakeholder reactions. This leads to executives continually examining ways to change their organisation’s strategies and approach plus their own personal approach and style of management which often impacts directly on all employees, sometimes leading to ‘unintended consequences’ and, at times, a climate of uncertainty.


The Evolving EA -
Innovative and Adaptive

Luna Park Sydney 2019

Day 1 March 20th

  • Why these types of circumstances often test employee resolve, impact interactions with others and may lead to difficult situations
  • Strategies for dealing with difficult situations and difficult people
  • A toxic work culture – what does this look like and what is the impact on everyone?
  • Dealing with colleagues and executives trying to undermine each other to ‘score points’ and gain a perceived advantage – no matter how false this may be
  • The role of emotional intelligence for the EA in coping with these circumstances
  • The EA and their executive in this climate – how do you handle this and what is the best approach?
  • Stacey CopasInternational Keynote SpeakerAuthor of “How to be Resilient”

2.40pm Executive Panel SessionThe perceptive, responsive, nimble and innovative EAWith changes in technology, organizational structure and resulting management approaches frequently occurring in organisations, todays EA needs to be agile, adaptive and, at times, able to innovate to respond to specific issues and challenges at a moment’s notice.This executive panel session will examine how the EA role is changing, what the impacts of this are and what new skills will be necessary to ensure relevance and, at times, survival.

  • Examining different ways of working and the relationship and communication style changes that occur as a result
  • Investigating the impact of change on productivity and efficiency
  • Assessing potential impacts and changes in culture and communication
  • What works and what doesn’t – focussing on how to manage access to your executives in the new environment and using technology to your advantage
  • Moderator:Robert TaylorSenior ConsultantExecutive Assistant Academy
  • Elaine ChiaChief Executive OfficerCity Recital Hall
  • Ian RobertsonNational Managing PartnerHolding Redlich
  • Margot HarleyChief Executive OfficerRowing New South Wales
  • Steven PearceChief Executive OfficerSurf Life Saving Australia
  • Cindy PenroseChief Executive OfficerAustralian Bar Association

3.30pm Afternoon Tea

4.00pm Keynote Wellness Speaker Mental health and wellness in the workplace - and how this impacts EAs Mental health concerns for staff have never been more at the forefront of management consciousness. Almost all major studies investigating workplace change have elements focussed on employee mental wellbeing Even Activity Based Working is being investigated for any negative impacts in this regard. So, it is important for workplaces to engage in activities and practices to provide avenues and approaches for employees to participate in education, programs and discussions concerning mental health and wellbeing in their workplace. In this presentation our speaker will discuss why mental health is important, what it means, what issues are part of this, and how it may concern EAs and the people you work with.

  • What are the major mental health issues and what impact do they have on the workplace in Australia?
  • Maintaining ‘life balance’ to build resilience and deal with stress
  • Dealing with bullying and harassment in the workplace - what to do if it involves your executive or their direct reports
  • Heidi DeningKeynote Speaker and Global Advisor

4.40pm EA Activity WorkshopSpeed mentoring discussion groups to resolve key issuesIn this interactive workshop activity with all EAs (a bit like speed networking with more defined objectives and outcomes), working in groups at each table, and facilitated by a senior pre-selected EA per group, delegates will learn techniques to help them quickly identify issues of concern for colleagues and peers and tips on how to quickly brainstorm to find solutions. Focussed on helping to develop an innovative and agile mindset, and moving people from being problem focussed to solution focussed, discussions will focus around:

  • What are the key issues or challenges facing members of the group – the current, the common and the uncommon
  • Identifying issues or challenges that might be readily resolved
  • Examining more complex issues and focussing on what groups might do to resolve those in the future
  • Amanda BreenDirector, Amplified Training and Lead Trainer, Executive Assistant Academy

5.30pm Close of Day One - Cocktail Reception

7.00pm Gala Dinner


The Evolving EA -
Innovative and Adaptive

Luna Park Sydney 2019

Day 2 March 21st

8.15am Chairperson’s Opening Remarks

8.20am Keynote Productivity Speaker Email productivity and management – simple rules and techniques to increase EA and executive effectiveness There are 3 key strategies needed to get control of the inbox and master incoming e-mail and its demands. This presentation explores how to quickly implement these so you have more time, radically improve workplace productivity and increase communication effectiveness. You will learn how to:

  • Get a grip on e-mail overload
  • Gain more control of your inbox and that of your executive
  • Speed up email replies and processing
  • Instantly clarify and manage each email when collaborating with your executive
  • Increase attention and energy for the important priorities of your role
  • Steuart Snooks Chief Executive OfficerSolutions for Success

9.05am Keynote Featuring EA Panel DiscussionSee the future of EAs - that are rocking the shifting modelsOrganistation models and structures are changing quickly. Many organisations are global, collaboration rules, and the reporting lines are tangled or just flat. Many organisations are asking if they have the correct business org chart for the future.According to our Chair for this session, Futurist Craig Rispin, this change has been predicted for decades by his community - and he plans to explain the shift to different business models.

Plus Craig will lead a thought-provoking panel of EAs that work in these existing, new and next models - and how they rock their work every day.If you want to see the future, steal ideas to help you and have your mind blown - this session is for you.

  • Learn about the shifts in business models around the world
  • See what that means for EAs and work teams
  • Hear from EAs working in other models
  • Steal ideas from other models ahead of yours
  • Get back ideas from others that are behind you too
  • Moderator:Craig RispinInternationally Renowned Futurist and Keynote SpeakerThe Future Trends Group

EA Panelists TBC

10.25am Morning Coffee

10.55am EA Panel Discussion The Indispensable and Invaluable EAMany executives do not understand, or are misinformed about, what an EA does and how integral they are to the smooth operation of their office, business unit, department, and the entire organization. Imagine what would happen at your workplace if a number of you did not turn up for work for a period – it is fair to say your executives would be somewhat lost and not able to perform at their peak. However, we continually hear about organizations that are reducing the number of EAs they have and reassigning one EA to multiple executives in the interests of efficiency, head count targets and cost-saving. Our panel will share with you their insights and experiences into how an EA can bullet-proof their career and position themselves as an invaluable asset in their role.

  • Why are some organisations rationalising the EA role and having EAs support many executives whilst others are increasing the scope of the EA role when working one on one?
  • Skills you can use to position yourself and what new ones should be considered
  • Dealing with obstacles that may be placed in the way and how to overcome these
  • Guaranteeing your role will be needed and what steps you can take to achieve this
  • Examining why many EAs stretch their roles to embrace projects in conjunction with their executive’s responsibilities to enhance their career and gain additional expertise
  • Moderator:David ThomsonManager, Education & TrainingExecutive Assistant Academy
  • Michelle BowditchExecutive Assistant to Chief Executive OfficerClipsal Solar
  • Kristen ChicktongExecutive Assistant to Chief Executive OfficerGeorge & Matilda Eyecare
  • Laurel KohTechnical Services Advisor, Executive Assistant to Technical Services Leader & Market Development LeaderGHD
  • Alison SheppardExecutive Assistant to Chief Executive OfficerThe Smith Family

The Evolving EA -
Innovative and Adaptive

Luna Park Sydney 2019

Day 2 March 21st

  • Malannie PeterkenExecutive Assistant to Managing Director Loans & Specialised FinanceANZ
  • Catherine BrownGroup Chief Financial OfficerGFG Alliance

11.45am Executive Panel Discussion The EA of the futureEAs and the organizations they work for will need to embrace technology to stay relevant. It is clear it will play an important part in the future for the EA in areas such as cloud-based applications, social media, and website and data management. Also, advances in AI and Machine Learning will be a big driver behind many of the changes that are expected in the automation space. Although this phenomenon may result in the EA being relieved of some of the current tasks they perform, there is still a growing need for the human touch and for the skills that only people possess. A large part of this is the increase in the demand for EAs to have a deeper understanding of their executive’s role, what the organization expects from them and how the EA can contribute to the attainment of these objectives or result areas.

  • Why are some organisations rationalising the EA role and having EAs support many executives whilst others are increasing the scope of the EA role when working one on one?
  • Skills needed to remain relevant and of value to an organization
  • Changing expectations of what an Executive will want from the EA position
  • What can an EA do to embrace future needs of the workplace in a positive manner, in terms of both practical approaches and upskilling – what is best?
  • Working with your executive to understand their role and the expectations of the organization of them – and working with them to achieve this
  • Becoming involved in any changes in organizations – what unique insights and learnings can you offer and how do you stay ahead of any disruptions
  • Moderator: Robert TaylorSenior ConsultantExecutive Assistant Academy
  • Semee DickersonGeneral Manager - MarketingGWA Group
  • Jamie O'RourkeNational ChairmanRSM Australia
  • David RitterChief Executive OfficerGreenpeace Australia Pacific
  • Rosalind OgilvieChief of Staff, Office of the Vice-Chancellor and PrincipalThe University of Sydney
  • April PalmerleeChief Executive OfficerAmerican Chamber of Commerce in Australia

12.35pm Lunch

1.50pm EA Activity WorkshopLego Serious Play Workshop – How to break habits and think innovativelyActing proactively and taking a lead in helping to manage not just the office of your executive, but also their key team and stakeholder relationships, and acting as the facilitator of best outcomes for the whole team and broader organisation, whilst also embracing change, needs EAs who are prepared to think and act differently. This workshop helps EAs learn to be creative and work collaboratively to attain shared goals and objectives – ad think on their feet!! Workshop participants leave with skills to communicate

more effectively, to engage their imagination more readily, and to approach their work with increased confidence, commitment and insight.

  • Engage your auditory and kinaesthetic skills – focus on learning and listening in a process where all participants have a voice
  • Explore the relationships and connections between people and their world
  • Observe different team and individual dynamics
  • Explore various hypothetical scenarios, situations and outcomes
  • Appreciate how to work in an environment where there is a genuine free and honest exchange of opinion
  • Learn how to be able to see things through the eyes of your colleagues – and have them view the same situation through yours
  • Electra KolovosFounder and Principal FacilitatorQuadtree

2.40pm Break

2.55pm Keynote Social Media PresentationMaking social media work for you – and your executive Whether you love it or hate it, or indeed whether your executive loves it or hates it, social media is now a reality of the world we all live in and operate in within our organisations. The real issue at stake is whether you can make it work for you and your executive in a positive manner, and if nothing else, ensure it is never in a negative manner. In this session we will look at the do’s and don’ts of social media and get tips into what you can do to ensure you and your executive have more positive experiences with it.


The Evolving EA -
Innovative and Adaptive

Luna Park Sydney 2019

Day 2 March 21st

  • Choosing social mediums that play to your respective strengths be that writing, video or sharp commentary
  • Making sure what you post is always relevant to the audience
  • How social media can help you stay ahead of the news cycle and help control perception
  • How to use social media in a crisis
  • Social media as a staff engagement tool
  • Social media as a staff hiring tool
  • Social media as a sales and marketing tool
  • Catriona PollardInternationally Renowned Keynote Speaker and Founder & Chief Executive OfficerCP Communications

3.30pm Closing Keynote PresentationCollaborating to WinIn order to deal with issues and problems, both the common place ones of today and the big ones that may be lurking on the horizon, not to mention what might also be looming opportunities, EAs need to be able to work together and with their executives and teams to identify problems, work together to innovate solutions and then collaborate to take it home and win. Earlier in the conference we will have dealt with the first two of those challenges, working in groups, in this sensational closing keynote, one of Australia’s most famous adventurers and leading keynote speakers, who has delivered talks in over 18 countries, will show you exactly why collaboration is the key to every success in an organisation.

  • Why effective collaboration is the most important element of success, whether you’re striving to grow a company or you’re voyaging across an ocean or tundra
  • Identify and learn the critical steps in creating a tribe that is aligned and working together
  • Learn why a tribe that supports each other never puts personal ambition and success over that of the organisation
  • Be enthralled as you uncover why the ultimate organisational culture is founded on collaboration
  • James CastrissionInternationally Acclaimed Keynote Speaker and Founder, Program DirectorMyAdventure Group

4.15pm Close of Conference

Amazing conference with fantastic and relevant content for new or experienced EAs! It was my third year attending and I can’t wait for next year already!

Marie Purchase


This was my first time at the conference and all I can say is that it was an outstanding event. I learnt so much from the speakers and panels. The exhibition was also very useful, and I took lots of information to share with my various teams.

Sandra Kearns


This was my first EA Conference and hopefully won't be my last. A great line-up of speakers and the EA & Exec panellists were just as amazing. Learned a lot of relevant information and will take that back to the office and put into practice.

Suzie Manoly

First State Super


The Evolving EA -
Innovative and Adaptive

Luna Park Sydney 2019

Senior Executives

confirmed as participating at this event include:

April Palmerlee

Chief Executive Officer, American Chamber of Commerce in Australia

April Palmerlee is Chief Executive Officer of the American Chamber of Commerce in Australia. She joined AmCham in 2017 after a distinguished career in government, education, and the corporate sector. Most recently, she was a senior executive at the US Studies Centre at the University of Sydney. Palmerlee has strong relationships with governments, business leaders and the public service in Australia and the U.S.

David Ritter

Chief Executive Officer of Greenpeace Australia Pacific

David Ritter is the Chief Executive Officer of Greenpeace Australia Pacific. He is also an Adjunct Professor in the Sydney Democracy Network at Sydney University, a research affiliate of the Sydney Environment Institute and an honorary fellow of the Law Faculty at UWA. His most recent book is The Coal Truth: The Fight to Stop Adani, Defeat the Big Polluters and Reclaim our Democracy. He has two daughters and lives in Sydney.

Elaine Chia

Chief Executive Officer, City Recital Hall

Elaine Chia, a passionate advocate for the arts, has been CEO at City Recital Hall since 2016. Her career has seen her in senior management roles across marketing, development,finan ce, business operations and international development, working on public-private partnership and international projects across Asia, Europe and South America.

Ian Robertson

National Managing Partner, Holding Redlich

Ian Robertson is a corporate, media and regulatory lawyer and the National Managing Partner of national law firm Holding Redlich. He is also the President of the Board of the Victorian Government screen agency, Film Victoria. His former appointments include Deputy Chair of the Australian Government screen agency, Screen Australia, board member of the Australian Broadcasting Authority, director and Chair of Ausfilm and director and Deputy Chair of Film Australia Limited.

Jamie O'Rourke

National Chairman, RSM Australia

Jamie is the National Chairman of RSM Australia and responsible for the management and strategic direction of the firm on a national basis. Jamie has over 30 years of professional accounting experience, 27 of which have been with RSM. He has worked extensively with Australian subsidiaries of international companies on all compliance needs, and also works closely with high net wealth individuals and family groups. Jamie is a former managing partner of the Sydney office.

Margot Harley

Chief Executive Officer, Rowing New South Wales

Margot is currently the Chief Executive Officer of Rowing NSW and has worked as a senior sports administrator for the past 10 years. Responsible for driving the sport of rowing strategically from a participation, pathway and high performance perspective, Margot draws on her experience from variety of sports, both professional and amateur and is passionate about good governance, good management and above all else good employee engagement.

Rosalind Ogilvie

Chief of Staff, Office of the Vice-Chancellor and Principal, The University of Sydney

Rosalind is a key adviser and strategist for the Vice-Chancellor and University leadership, and the University’s key point of contact for engagement with the Office of the Vice-Chancellor and Principal. Rosalind is a leader in the dissemination of the University’s values and a driving force in unifying the organisation. She has improved the coordination and implementation of policy across all areas of the institution, and is responsible for the direction and management of the Vice-Chancellor’s office.

Semee Dickerson

General Manager - Marketing, GWA Group

With degrees in business and law a strong background in Digital and consumer experience, Semée has worked for various iconic Australian businesses including David Jones and Cochlear. Joining GWA in 2015, Semee become General Manager, Marketing and Innovation in 2017, responsible for development and evolution of iconic lifestyle brands Caroma, Clark and Dorf.

Steven Pearce

Chief Executive Officer, Surf Life Saving Australia

Steven has 32 years emergency management experience as a senior officer with Fire and Rescue NSW and NSW State Emergency Service, where he has been awarded numerous commendations and citations. In 2017, he was appointed CEO of Surf Life Saving NSW, one of the largest and most iconic volunteer member based emergency service in Australia with 75000 members. Steven is currently leading the organisation on significant transformational change, through cultural focusing, innovation, collaboration and technology.

Cindy Penrose

Chief Executive Officer, Australian Bar Association

Cindy has experience in both private practice and legal aid as a criminal defence lawyer and formerly the Assistant Director of the Defence Abuse Response Taskforce, regarding sexual and other abuse in the Defence force and ADFA. Cindy has previously lectured in both criminal law and tort law at Western Sydney University (formerly UWS). Cindy is also a Director with Minds Count (formerly known as the Tristan Jepson Memorial Foundation) which aims to decrease work related psychological ill-health in the legal community and to promote workplace psychological health and safety.


The Evolving EA -
Innovative and Adaptive

Luna Park Sydney 2019

Coaches, Trainers and Consultants

confirmed as participating at this event include:

Catriona Pollard

Internationally Renowned Keynote Speaker and Founder & Chief Executive Officer, CP Communications

Catriona Pollard is one of Australia’s most dynamic and inspiring presenters Her insights into marketing, communications and social media never fail to enlighten, entertain and inspire audiences. As a highly regarded expert, author, speaker and CEO, Catriona has helped thousands of people use PR and social media to grow their business, and inspire them to take action.

Craig Rispin

Internationally Renowned Futurist and Keynote Speaker, The Future Trends Group

Craig Rispin is a Business Futurist and Innovation Expert with expertise is in emerging business, people and technology trends – and how companies can profit from them. Craig has over 20 years experience working where the future has been created – with some of the most innovative companies in the world in the IT, consumer electronics, internet and broadcasting industries. He is an award-winning speaker and has addressed audiences as large as 16,000 people on 5 continents and has consulted with CEOs of leading companies worldwide. He is also the World’s Highest Rated Keynote Speaker on LinkedIn with over 500 recommendations.

Heidi Dening

Keynote Speaker and Global Advisor

Heidi Dening, CEO of Workable Wellness is a sought-after keynote speaker, award-winning business owner, and author of a self-leadership book Her Middle Name Is Courage. She is the only Australian to be selected for a global advisory position with IWBI™ about how our workplaces impact our mental health, and the influence this has on our cognitive ability and performance.

Stacey Copas

International Keynote Speaker, Author of "How to be Resilient"

Stacey Copas, Author of “How To Be Resilient” , is Australia’s leading keynote speaker and facilitator on resilience and finding the opportunity in change and adversity. She has worked with large organisations such as Telstra, CSIRO and Holden, helping their leaders be their best in challenging times. Stacey has also been featured in national media including ABC, Financial Review and The Australian for her insights on resilience in the workplace.

Steuart Snooks

Chief Executive Officer, Solutions for Success

Steuart Snooks is an E-mail & Workplace Productivity Expert who works with senior executives and their assistants who are seeking practical, effective and affordable solutions to the relentless demands of email and the workload it delivers. He has over 20 years’ experience in researching and developing best practices for managing email and restoring it to its rightful place as a powerful tool to facilitate improved workplace and personal productivity. What he teaches can change the way you work . . . forever!

Amanda Breen

Director, Amplified Training and Lead Trainer, Executive Assistant Academy

Amanda is a dynamic, high-energy speaker, motivator and coach. Through the use of neuroscience and positive psychology, she helps amplify the potential of leaders, teams and individuals; making people and organisations THRIVE.

Jonathan McIlroy

Executive Director, Education and Learning, Executive Assistant Academy

Jonathan has over 20 years’ experience in senior management and executive positions and has worked in industries as diverse as banking and finance, education and training, events management and even politics before co-founding Executive Assistant Network.

James Castrission

Internationally Acclaimed Keynote Speaker and Founder, Program Director, MyAdventure Group

James Castrission is a famous Australian Explorer constantly pushing the boundaries of human endurance. He made history by completing the longest unsupported polar expedition of all time, alongside his best mate, Jonesy. In 100 years of polar exploration no-one had EVER walked from the edge of Antarctica to the South Pole and back without assistance. Four years earlier they Crossed the Ditch – paddling 3318km without assistance across the Tasman Sea for another world first. In 2013, he founded MyAdventure Group – business commited to providing Australia’s premier corporate Adventure-based development programs. Harnessing lessons learnt from the most hostile environments on earth, his corporate programs are designed to develop teams and drive competitive advantage in organisations. He holds 2 Guinness World Records for his accomplishments and is highly regarded as one of Australia’s premier public speakers. He has written 2 bestselling books: Crossing the Ditch and Extreme South.

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.

Brian Moran

Subject Matter Expert in Applied Ethics

Brian works with organisations in helping them to understand the internal and external influences that impact on performance. A former CEO, he has worked with private, public and not-for-profit organisations. As well as being Principal of Managing Values, Brian has previously lectured at University of Technology, Sydney in Sustainable Enterprise programs and on the Master’s program at Sydney University in business management. He developed a program "EA Connect" for an engineering company in the public sector."

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.

Electra Kolovos

Manager, Education & Training, Executive Assistant Academy

As a multi-award-winning trainer with over 12 years extensive learning and development experience, Electra is known to take all her participants along on an inspiring and educational journey with her. An exceptional facilitator who never fails to connect with and engage her audience in a positive and practical learning environment. Electra specialises in highly interactive sessions and as one of only a few qualified individuals in Australia training in Lego Serious Play, her sessions are never boring!

Ronni Kahn

Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Ozharvest


The Evolving EA -
Innovative and Adaptive

Luna Park Sydney 2019

Senior EAs & PAs

confirmed as participating at this event include:

Alison Sheppard

Executive Assistant to Chief Executive Officer, The Smith Family

Alison has spent over 25 years supporting senior executives in the education and not-for-profit sectors. She enjoys the ever changing challenges of an EA. In her current role, she is inspired and motivated to achieve by the work that The Smith Family does for disadvantaged Australian children.

Catherine Brown

Senior Executive Assistant, GFG Alliance

Catherine has more than a decade’s experience as an Executive Assistant and has worked in senior support and operations roles within large enterprise, most recently supporting EYC3, the data and analytics practice for EY Sydney. In her current role with innovative industrial business GFG Alliance, Catherine is focused on helping to foster a strong and collaborative team culture within the growing global business.

Kristen Chicktong

Executive Assistant to Chief Executive Officer, George & Matilda Eyecare

Kristen currently works for George & Matilda Eyecare as Executive Assistant to the CEO, Chris Beer, a locally owned optometry collective, now the fastest growing Optometry group in Australia. Kristen’s role is very hands-on as she works with the Executive team to build a company from scratch. With over twenty years' experience, Kristen has a passion for making work fun and thrives in an environment where values and ethics are paramount to the organisation's strategic goals and core beliefs.

Laurel Koh

Technical Services Advisor, Executive Assistant to Technical Services Leader & Market Development Leader, GHD

Laurel provides a high level of executive support to two Senior Executive Leaders at GHD and Technical Services Advisor to 50 Technical Engineer Leaders, coordinating global meetings and organising Technical Conferences. Laurel was awarded a special mention at OTTO Sydney EA Awards 2017 out of 700 nominations and has over 12 years’ experience in Event Management.

Malannie Peterken

Executive Assistant to Managing Director Loans & Specialised Finance, ANZ

Malannie is a seasoned Executive Assistant with over 18 years’ experience, 11 of those spent in senior roles within the ANZ business in both the Auckland and Sydney offices. Prior to ANZ, Malannie held senior EA positions within Lion Breweries, Nestle and started out her EA career with KPMG. Outside of work, Mal is a keen health and fitness enthusiast and Mother to daughter Riley aged 3.

Melissa Lee

Executive Assistant to Chief Executive Officer & General Manager, Strategic Sourcing & Marketing, COS

Melissa Lee is the Executive Assistant to the CEO and GM, Strategic Sourcing & Marketing at COS. She has over 10 years’ experience as a C-Suite EA in a diverse range of industries including office supplies, automotive and fashion. Melissa is responsible for the strategic management of the Executive office working in partnership with her Executives to help deliver on business goals and objectives.

Melissa Vit

Executive Assistant to Chief Executive Officer, oOh!media

With over 12 years’ experience, Melissa has worked as an Executive Assistant across various industries spanning FMCG, Financial Services, Property and is now the “right hand” to the CEO of oOh!media. Known for her personable approach and strong communication, she is solution focused, a true multitasker and strategic thinker. Melissa mentors Executive Assistants and is passionate about seeing them develop, grow and strive for their ultimate role.

Michelle Bowditch

Executive Assistant to Chief Executive Officer, Clipsal Solar

Michelle Bowditch is a C-Suite Executive Assistant with over 15 years’ experience across a wide range of industries in both the public and private sectors. As a diplomat, steward, business manager, connector and editor and event manager rolled into one, she takes pride in devising and implementing unique solutions to complex problems, and being empowered to deliver them.

Nadine Chilvers

Executive Officer to the Dean, The University of Sydney Business School

Nadine commenced her career in the retail space, changing tack after six years moving to an office role at a small property consultancy company. From here she progressed through several corporate organisations and is now the Executive Officer to the Dean at The University of Sydney Business School.

Peita Bosevski

Executive Assistant to Group Chief Executive Officer, QBE Insurance Group Limited

Peita has worked in the insurance industry for more than 20 years. She began her career as a secretary before moving into Human Resources with a focus on project management. In 2010, Peita took up her first role as an Executive Assistant and today is Executive Assistant to the Group Chief Executive Officer of QBE Insurance Group Limited, a global business based in Sydney with operations in 31 countries.

Sharon Paul

Executive Officer Service Management Office, Department of Finance, Services & Innovation

Sharon is the Executive Officer for the Service Management Office. The Department of Finance , Services & Innovation (DFSI) implemented a new service delivery model for the provision of shared services (human resources, finance and ICT) that was provided by ServiceFirst. The Service Management office was established to oversee the contracts and the delivery of projected benefits. The Service Management Office is a small team so Sharon is responsible for ensuring it runs at full potential. Sharon also mentors junior EAs, to help them achieve their full potential.

Tracey Roberts

Director Liaison, RSL NSW

Prior to this, EA to the Director Strategy, Commercial and Legal at Sydney Motorway Corporation. Tracey has a wealth of experience, working across multiple industries such as education, real estate, insurance, construction and now Not for Profit.


The Evolving EA -
Innovative and Adaptive

Luna Park Sydney 2019

Dinner &

More than Just a Conference
A Networking Imperative!

Cocktail reception to be held in the Expo area with the Gala Dinner to follow on the Wednesday Evening

  • All delegates at the 2019 Annual Congress are invited to join us for an astonishing evening at our Gala Dinner!
  • Enjoy Amazing Entertainment at the iconic Luna Park Sydney
  • Held within one of Sydney’s finest venues with great food, fine wines and a stellar show
  • Networking is Easy and Effortless!
  • Attendance at the dinner is included within the registration fee for each delegate and additional guests can attend at a cost of $150 inc GST
Our biggest ever Sydney Congress


The only Expo Designed purely for
Senior EAs and PAs

Even if you can’t attend the full conference, come along and experience the Exhibition with Suppliers Who Care About You And What You Do! Held alongside the #1 conference for EAs and PAs in Australia, this is the Exhibition to visit if you want to save time and meet a range of suppliers in one location at one time, all of whom have products or services targeted at the needs of EAs and their companies. It’s a key aspect of your job, so why not do it the convenient way!

Attendance at this extremely beneficial industry event is FREE so tell all your colleagues and friends to join us at the only targeted supplier showcase in town.

20 & 21 March 2019
Wednesday 10.30am-5.00pm
Thursday 10.30am-1.50pm

Our 2019 exhibition will feature 60 amazing businesses with services and products as diverse as:

Accommodation (Hotels & Apartments), Event Venues, Training Venues, Recruitment, Venue Finding Services, Travel, Transport, Event Organisation, Office Logistics, Software, Corporate & Event Catering,Audio Visual, Office Consumables and Stationery, Corporate Entertainment