Join us in Sydney!

You have just taken a huge step towards addressing your career challenges by learning from Australia’s most influential business women – so trust us when we say you’re in good hands!

 

Please ensure you read the below information about our walks prior to purchasing your ticket

 

On the day you will be grouped with a mentor and up to two other mentees. From there you will walk and talk for an hour.

 

Each mentee must come with a question that they’d like to discuss with their mentor. You’ll be asked to submit this when you book your ticket.

 

If you ‘re not sure what to ask, here’s some ideas:

What makes a great leader?
I’m a start-up. How do I take my business to the next level?
I want to change my career. What steps should I take?
How do I ask for a pay increase?

 

Just know, there is no issue too big or too small. You can come to talk about anything!

To join a Mentor Walks event in Sydney click below to register

If you have already registered as a mentee, please click the below

Please note we are unable to take full time students as mentees

2019/20 Walk Dates

In Sydney, Mentor Walks run monthly events around the Sydney Harbour foreshore from 7.15am and finishing at 8.30am.

Friday, 29 November 2019

Friday, 28 February 2020
Friday, 27 March 2020
Friday, 24 April 2020
Friday, 29 May 2020
Friday, 26 June 2020
Friday, 31 July 2020
Friday, 28 August 2020
Friday, 25 September 2020
Friday, 30 October 2020
Friday, 27 November 2020

Our Sydney mentors

Our mentors are senior executives, thought leaders, business owners, boundary pushers and high achievers at the top of their field.

Each event brings together a group of mentors from diverse industries where they are already established role models. Our mentors can choose to be involved in this event as a one-time commitment or on a regular basis.

We recognise that our mentors lead very busy lives, which is why their names are not disclosed prior to each event and there is no obligation to share contact information outside of Mentor Walks.

Audette Exel AO
Founder and CEO of Adara Group

Audette Exel is founder of the Adara Group and CEO of Adara Advisors . She is also Co-Founder and Chair of Adara Development. Audette is the Vice Chairman of the Board of Steamship Mutual, one of the world’s largest Protection and Indemnity clubs for the shipping industry. Audette is also a NED of Suncorp Group Limited.

Audette’s career history spans from being the MD of Bermuda Commercial Bank, Chairman of the Bermuda Stock Exchange and has sat on the Board of the Bermuda Monetary Authority and Chair of its Investment Committee, whilst also practising as a lawyer specialising in international finance.

Audette has been awarded the following;

Global Leader for tomorrow – The World Economic Forum (1995)
Economic Justice Award – YPO Social Enterprise Network (2010)
Bank Business Owner Award – Commonwealth Bank & Telstra (2012
Telstra Business Woman of the Year Award – Telstra (2012)
100 Women of Influence – AFR’s (2012)
Honorary Order of Australia for service to humanity (2013)
Hero of Philanthropy – Forbes (2014)

Lindley Edwards
Group CEO at AFG Venture Group

Lindley Edwards is a specialist adviser in merger, acquisition, divestments, fund raising, strategic consulting and licensing for growth in public and private companies.

Previously Lindley was a State Manager (Vice-President) with Citibank. Prior to this position she spent nine years with Macquarie Bank and was an Associate Director with the Corporate Banking Division. Lindley has also worked on a secondment basis for Boston Consulting Group and for the Victorian State Government Project.

She is an accountant and a Senior Fellow of FINSIA. Lindley holds two undergraduate degrees, one in Accounting and the other in Banking and Finance. She also holds a Graduate Diploma in Governance of ASX Listed Companies.

In 2000 Lindley was admitted to the Australian Businesswomen’s Hall of Fame.

Suzie Shaw
Managing Director of We Are Social

Suzie Shaw is Managing Director of the social-led agency, We Are Social, heading up its 35-strong Australian team. She joined the company in mid-2015.

Suzie is a strategic and creative thinker with extensive comms and marketing experience across a broad range of categories, including financial services, travel and tourism, FMCG and more. She worked for 14 years in London advertising agencies – including a decade at TBWA London – before returning to her native Australia in 2011.

A skilled networker, Suzie is passionate about championing the progress of women in leadership and is the founder of SWIMM Australia (Senior Women in Media and Marketing). She was a finalist in B&T’s Mad Week Women in Media Awards, named one of The Australian’s top 50 Women in Media, was featured in AdNews’ 40 under 40 and also AdNews’ Women of Influence.

Claire Dobbin
Australian Script Advisor/Editor

Claire Dobbin AM, is an Australian script advisor / editor who works globally with development agencies, screenwriters and filmmakers. Claire is also the Deputy President and script advisor at the acclaimed international script workshop éQuinoxe Europe and regularly runs screenwriting workshops/ lectures in Australia, Iran, New Zealand Europe, India, China, Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

From 1986 – 2000 Claire was the Senior Development Executive at the Australian Film Commission, (Australia’s then national development agency) where her role was to support investment in the development and production of Australian films. Since 2003 Claire has been Chair of ‘Australia’s most significant screen event’ (International Screen Guide), the Melbourne International Film Festival. Claire devised and secured the funds for MIFF’s international film finance market MIFF 37 Sth and also for MIFF’s film investment fund, The MIFF Premiere Fund. Claire chairs the MIFF Premiere fund and has overseen MIFF’s investment in over 50 Australian films receiving their world premiere at MIFF. Many of these MIFF supported films have gone on to screen in major international festivals including Cannes, Berlin, Toronto and Venice and have launched the careers of Australian film makers.

Naomi Simson
Founding Director of RedBalloon

We know her from Channel Ten’s Shark Tank as the ‘Red Shark’ and the best-selling author of Live What You Love. However Naomi Simson has many labels: Entrepreneur, Speaker, Blogger, Mother and a passionate individual to name a few.

In 2001, from just an idea and persistence she founded one of Australia’s tech success stories, RedBalloon, an online experience gift retailer with just $25,000 and a second-hand computer. From its humble, home-based beginnings, RedBalloon with its mantra ‘Give, Share Live’ has now served more than 3.5 million customers and supports more than 3000 activity partners throughout Australia and New Zealand. The company also featured in BRW magazine’s Great Places to Work list five years in a row.

Before founding RedBalloon, Naomi worked for large corporate businesses including IBM, Apple, KPMG and Ansett Airlines – all of which influenced her views on workplaces.

Along with her investments from Channel Ten’s Shark Tank, Naomi is a keen investor and supporter of the start-up community. Recently recognised as the 7th most followed woman on LinkedIn with some 1.5million followers,  Naomi uses the platform to share her insights, experience and observations about business, innovation and success. Naomi has received a number of high profile awards including the 2008 National Telstra Business Women’s Awards for Innovation and in 2011 she won the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Industry category.

Michelle Garnaut
Founder & CEO – M Restaurant Group

Michelle Garnaut is an Australian restaurateur and chef best known for her series of award-winning upscale restaurants in China: M at the Fringe, M on the Bund, Capital M, and the Glamour Bar.  Each became an icon in its city, with the unique M combination of modern European cooking, stylish yet comfortable decor and real sense of place.

Michelle is also a founder of the Shanghai International Literary Festival and the Capital Literary Festival Beijing. M Restaurants have become a hub for cultural events and entertainment, including the annual Shanghai and Capital Literary Festivals, a regular chamber music series in both cities, the Shanghai Chamber Music Competition, a monthly series of talks in both cities and late night entertainment in the Glamour Bar

Bobbi Mahlab
Managing Director of Mahlab

The Managing Director of Mahlab, Bobbi runs an internationally recognised content marketing agency that helps brands become publishers.

A former board member of Publishers Australia, Bobbi has experience on many non-profit boards and is a member of the Sydney Women’s Fund Advisory Board and Detour House. She has a special interest in and knowledge of the publishing and media industries and business.

Bobbi began her career as a journalist. She has two children and has lived in Melbourne, Canberra, New York and Sydney. She is an alumni of the 2015 EY Asia-Pacific Entrepreneurial Winning Women program.

Mandi Gunsberger
Founder and Managing Editor of Babyology

Mandi is the Founder and Managing Editor of Babyology, Australia’s largest digital media company for parents. With a social media following of almost one million Facebook fans, Babyology knows how to reach their audience of 20-45 year old women.

Babyology is now considered the online market leader in native editorial content for Australian parents, reaching an audience of over 1.3M unique visitors a month and counting, with 3.4 million monthly page impressions.

Mandi was recently named one of Australia’s Top 50 Female Entrepreneurs Under 40 and was included in the book ‘Inspiring Rare Birds’, which showcases inspiring women entrepreneurs in all fields.

Amanda Price
Head of high growth ventures- KPMG

Amanda has worked in the nascent Australian start-up world in a number of senior sales, marketing and business development roles until appointed CEO of AirWORKS Media in 2003.

In Los Angeles Amanda joined EYEcorp as the Vice President of Business Development, Partner Relations and Operations. I was responsible for identifying opportunities for growth and acquisition, developing strategic and operational plans, and managing key partner relationships.

In 2010 Amanda founded Ausemerge and has worked with over 80 high growth technology enabled companies to accelerate their entry into the US, providing access to in-market expertise and an established network of Australian and US entrepreneurs, investors, advisors and potential customers.

Amanda joined KPMG in September 2016 as Head of High growth Ventures. The role is responsible for leading the firms interactions with key stakeholders in the start-up community – including early stage, high growth entrepreneurial businesses, incubators, accelerators, angel investors and VC’s – helping to define and develop our capabilities in servicing this unique and exciting market.

Adina Jacobs
Co-founder & Director of Product at STM

Adina is a co-founder and Director of Product at STM, a global brand designing lifestyle accessories for tech devices. Her background is in product development, having worked as Accessories Buyer for a number of Australian brands.

Most days include a good mix of family (3 kids under 10), STM, planning the next work trip and anything else she can squeeze in.

She is an alumni of the 2016 EY Asia-Pacific Entrepreneurial Winning Women program, an eastern region nominee in the 2012 EY Entrepreneur of the Year Award, she’s one of the Rare Birds: Australia’s 50 Influential Women Entrepreneurs and an active member of the Entrepreneurs Association, Sydney Chapter.

Meryl Tankard
Director, Choreographer & Designer

Meryl has over 25 years experience creating/directing full length dance theatre productions, as well as working in opera, ballet, tv, film and musical theatre (Broadway and West End), in Australia, USA and Europe. Meryl also created the opening section of the 2000 Olympic Games Ceremony in Sydney.

Since graduating from Aust Film TV Radio School in 2010 Meryl has been making films and is currently working on screenplay for a feature.

Before directing and choreographing her own work Meryl was well known as one of the leading performers with Pina Bausch’s Wuppertal Tanztheater.

Maisie Lam
Head of Greenlight Operations ANZ at Uber

With 20 years of experience working in the Telecommunications sector in Australia, UK, Europe and Asia, Maisie Lam has held diverse roles across strategy and planning, customer and sales operations, program delivery and change management. She has led business integration teams in the launch of several mobile startups including 3 UK, 02 Germany and Telfort in The Netherlands; and for the merger between 3 and Vodafone in Australia.

After 3 years in Hong Kong (HK), Maisie recently returned to Sydney to take up the Head of Greenlight Operations ANZ role at Uber. Committed to supporting women in their professional career paths, Maisie participated as a mentor in The Women’s Foundation HK program and Mentor Walks HK.

She has a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) and Post Graduate Diploma in Museum Studies from the University of Sydney; and an MBA from the Australian Graduate School of Management (AGSM).

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Melissa Browne
CEO, A&TA

Melissa Browne is an author, financial advisor, accountant and financial wellness advocate.

She is CEO of the award-winning accounting and advisory firm A&TA (Accounting & Taxation Advantage), CEO of the financial planning business for 28-48 year olds who want to financially grow up The Money Barre and Director of Business at the long-day Preschool, Thinkers,inq. Three very different businesses that all are pushing the boundaries in their fields, questioning what is possible and disrupting their industry in order to create the best possible results for their communities.

Melissa also uses her unique, sometimes irreverent but always inspiring voice to speak and write about all things numbers, business, play with purpose and strategy. Her first book is the illustrated business book More Money for Shoes which compares building a business to building a wardrobe and shows you how to build a profitable, successful business. Her second book, Fabulous but Broke, is another illustrated book and uses financial fairy tales to challenge money messages that readers may have and question the notion that you need a fairy godmother or knight in shining armour to save you. Her latest book is Unf*ck your finances and is all about showing Gen X & Gen Y how to unf*ck your finances, develop financial resilience and ultimately embrace financial wellness.

Melissa also writes a fortnightly column for the Money Section in the Sydney Morning Herald and Melbourne’s The Age and has also been a regular contributor to CEO Magazine, Latte Magazine and Gloss Magazine. She makes regular TV and radio appearances including the Today Show, Weekend Sunrise, Weekend Today, Sky Business, Triple J and The Daily Edition. She has also been featured in or written articles for Cosmopolitan, Who, Vogue, Elle, The Collective, Harpers Bazaar, Rendezvous, Madison and more. In 2013 was featured as one of Australia’s 100 most inspiring women in Madison magazine and in 2016 was named one of The Financial Review’s 100 Women of Influence.

Karen Eck
Founder & MD of Eckfactor and Partner of Plus1 Talent

Karen Eck is a specialist in publicising and promoting leaders and their brands in the entertainment, media and business world.

With 25 years of international media and publicity experience, she has worked with some of the biggest entertainment names in television.
Karen founded eckfactor in the United States in 1999, managing publicity campaigns for the Discovery Channel, National Geographic, Columbia Tri-Star International and USA Networks.

As well as her media expertise Karen is the general manager and co-founder of Plus1 Talent, an international celebrity management company.

Lynn Kraus
Oceania Managing Partner, Advisory

Lynn has over 18 years experience in both corporate and consulting environments with broad industry experience across the US and Australia. As a Partner at one of the world’s leading Professional Services firms EY, Lynn has advised clients in Real Estate, Financial Services, Government and Healthcare sectors.

Lynn’s corporate experience includes two years working within Wachovia Corporation and Westpac Bank. Her combination of corporate and consulting experience provides a unique point of difference in providing client service and quality.

Lynn combines a unique technical commercial background with a focus on people and service. Lynn has a passion for diversity and inclusiveness. She is an active advocate for diversity and inclusiveness issues and representation inside EY and the wider market place. Lynn is also passionate about developing senior female executives.

Cheryl Hayman
Non Executive Director

Cheryl Hayman is a professional Non executive Director.  She is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Co. Directors and has over 20 years’ experience in Marketing in large, multinational consumer goods organisations, including Unilever, Yum Restaurants and George Weston Foods. This includes Australian, NZ, and UK experiences. Upon leaving the corporate world, Cheryl started Hayman Strategy, a Strategic Marketing consultancy. Cheryl holds NED positions on Clover Corporation and HGL Ltd, both publicly listed companies, as well as Chartered Accountants ANZ , a public unlisted large membership organisation. She also holds a Board role on Women on Boards, supporting and educating women to achieve greater Board presence.
In addition Cheryl serves on a number of not for profit boards such as Peer Support Australia, and the Australian Institute of Food, Science and Technology. Cheryl has a keen interest in entrepreneurship, and is Chair of Luk Beautifood and on the board of a start up in the edu-tech space.

Patricia Powell-Hughes
Founder and Managing Director of EP Australia

Patricia Powell-Hughes is the Founder and Managing Director of EP Australia, the leading executive search and recruitment firm for TV, media & entertainment. Patricia has led the team for 17 years and is a highly connected industry powerhouse, responsible for head hunting the best and brightest talents for Australian and international media organisations.

Patricia has developed an extensive understanding of the industry and a far-reaching network. Her deep market insight and razor sharp business acumen combine to consistently deliver career-defining opportunities and innovative solutions for key players in Australia and internationally. With her commercially focused market approach, entrepreneurial spirit and dynamic personality, Patricia is a powerful and influential driving force in the industry.

Patricia is an in-demand organisation design and strategy consultant. She regularly advises top TV & media companies as they navigate complex organisational changes such as revitalising team structures, retaining talent and preparation for growth.

Patricia mentors women in the Australian film & TV industry and is an advocate for gender equality in the sector and wider Australia.

Patricia is vice-chair of MediaRING, which is focused on leading, inspiring and driving positive change with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians in the media sector.

In 2016 Patricia established ‘It Was Fun Productions’ a television production company and is in early development of her first television series.

Helen Graney
SVP, Managing Director of Jack Morton

As SVP, Managing Director of global brand experience agency Jack Morton Worldwide, Helen oversees the Australian operations. Helen combines her passion for client service with her marketing experience and an ability to translate business objectives into communication strategy and deliverable projects.

Helen is an experienced executive with over 20 years’ in sales, marketing and management roles, working with the world’s most recognised brands across a wide range of industries, consulting on customer experience, brand experience strategies, employee engagement and internal communications programs.

Helen has a proven track record in business performance in tandem with building a customer service focused culture. A respected and committed leader, with the ability to build high-functioning teams.

She recently led the team to win the production of the Opening & Closing Ceremonies for the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

Helen also sits on the board of Weave, is a business coach for Global Sisters and has been finalist for the B&T Women in Media Awards for the past two years.

Colette Grgic
General Manager at BlueChilli 

Colette Grgic is the General Manager for Innovation at BlueChilli where she builds the programs and frameworks to rapidly scale BlueChilli’s innovation arm in Australia and aboard, bringing together entrepreneurs, investors and large companies to solve the world’s biggest challenges.

A startup founder, advisor and investor, she now guides Australia’s largest corporates on how to innovate like startups and how to work in collaboration with entrepreneurs to create exponential impact through new tech startups. Colette keeps her finger on the ecosystem’s pulse as a mentor, speaker and judge and is recognised as StartupDaily’s Top50 Women in Tech for Australian and New Zealand and the AWLA Emerging Leader in Technology 2016.

She is actively working on getting more women to participate in tech startups through the SheStarts campaign, and is a champion for open innovation.

Michelle Goldstone
Investor, Advisor, Non-Executive Director, philanthropist

Michelle Goldstone is a Director of a private investment company, advisor to HNW families, Chair of the Investment Committee of Impact Investment Group, and Non-Executive Director of a number of philanthropic organisations including So They Can, an African NGO focused on educating the poorest of the poor to break the poverty cycle; and the Jewish Care Foundation responsible for investing capital which enables Jewish Care to provide services for vulnerable and needy members of the Jewish community in NSW. In late 2016, Michelle stepped down as Chief Investment Officer of Ivany Investment Group, where for 10 years she was responsible for investing for the family office as well as banking and funding arrangements, tax, strategy, capital allocation, risk management and structuring. She spent many years as a “big sister” as part of the Big Brother Big Sister Program and is an active member of the Young Presidents Organisation. Michelle has a background in corporate finance and banking. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Western Australia, is a Senior Fellow of the Financial Services Institute of Australia and also a qualified Chartered Accountant.

Yvonne Coburn
CEO, CreatingWE Institute ANZ

Yvonne Coburn is an experienced human resources professional with a background in the delivery of leadership programs designed to achieve cultural transformation for client organisations.

Yvonne has worked as a Feedback Facilitator at Mt Eliza Executive Education, Melbourne Business School, in Leadership and Management. Yvonne has also provided executive coaching at leadership programs for Leadership Victoria, an organisation that provides leadership consulting services to the government, semi government and not for profit sectors in Australia.

Yvonne’s varied career experience qualifies her with a deep understanding of a range of industry sectors. That experience has included a period as a lawyer in private practice, a senior manager in human resources for a large law firm (now Herbert Smith Freehills), a period as a consultant with Morgan & Banks, a founder of Crowe Legal (a recruitment firm), experience as an Executive Search Consultant with A T Kearney & Associates, working as an executive and later advisory board member of search and leadership consulting firm Emissary Partners, service on a number of charity and pro bono boards including school boards and as an elected Councillor on Waverley Council in Sydney.

Erica Berchtold
Chief Executive, The Iconic

Erica was appointed Chief Executive of The Iconic in late 2018. Prior to this she was the Managing Director of the Super Retail Group for the Sports Retailing Division which incorporates rebel, Amart Sports and Infinite Retail.

Prior to joining Super Retail Group she held a number of executive positions at organisations including Specialty Fashion Group, Harvey Norman, Tech Pacific and Rebel Sport and has over 20 years retail experience.

Erica is President of the Australian Sporting Goods Association and a board member of A-League Club Sydney FC.

She is passionate about sport and retail, and she is also passionate about supporting women in both of these fields.

Nicole Kersh
Founder of The Content Folk & Education Director at Silicon Paddock

Nicole Kersh is more than a garage to make-good story. At 21 Nicole discovered a niche by drawing a correlation between her observations and the way the online economy was shifting. Realising it could be applied across any industry, she saw a gap in the market and decided to do something about it and 4Cabling began.

4Cabling is Australia’s leading direct-to- consumer manufacturer, wholesaler and retailer of cabling and IT infrastructure. Teaching herself to code, Nicole revolutionised an industry and built one of Australia’s fastest growing e-commerce businesses.

Nicole recently sold 4Cabling to private equity investors. Fiercely driven by the desire to innovate and create, Nicole has recently started her next venture, The Content Folk, a strategic content marketing agency for organisations wishing to bridge the digital divide.

Claire Hatton
Non-Executive Director, Co-Founder & Podcaster

Claire Hatton, CEO and Co-Founder, Full Potential Labs, Non-Executive Director and former “UK Person of the Year”, is on a mission to help leaders and their teams think better and innovate more. With more than 25 years global business experience, most recently on Google Australia’s country leadership team, Claire knows what it takes to lead a business in the new world of digital.  Claire sits on the Board of ASX listed 3P Learning, a global EdTech company delivering innovative maths and literacy online learning solutions to 5.5m children from kindergarten to year 12. A professionally accredited coach with a passion for neuroscience she coaches, advises and builds leadership capability for some of the world’s most innovative companies. Claire also Co-Hosts the podcast “Don’t Stop Us Now!”, authentic stories and practical advice from awesome, innovative women. She’s an avid traveller with a passion for scuba and photography.

Karina Keisler
Chief Corporate Affairs Officer at Cricket Australia

Karina Keisler is Cricket Australia’s Chief Corporate Affairs Officer. A position she took up 2018. Prior to this, Karina joined NBN Co in 2014 to help CEO Bill Morrow and the team elevate the conversation above the politics and get Australians excited about a connected future. Prior to this she led the corporate affairs team at Vodafone Australia following one of Australia’s most widely known reputation crises. Prior to Vodafone, Karina spent a decade at Telstra in corporate affairs, most recently as principal media adviser and national spokesperson.

Robi Stanton
Vice President & General Manager, Turner International- ANZ & Pacific

Robi Stanton is an experienced media executive having held senior roles across Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia. In Robi’s current role she is responsible for developing and driving the Turner’s strategy, coordinating and leading all company business divisions and overseeing Turner’s global brands and franchises in the Australian market.

Robi oversees all revenue streams for the business and has considerable experience in commercialising new ideas – across broadcast, digital platforms, digital products and local productions.

Catherine Fritz-Kalish 
Managing Director, Global Access Partners

As co-founder and Managing Director of Global Access Partners Pty Ltd (GAP) Catherine has spent the last fourteen years growing GAP to be a proactive and influential network and public policy institute.

GAP initiates high-level discussions between business, government and academia at the cutting edge of the most pressing commercial, social and global issues of today. Through forums, global congresses, research projects, task forces, annual summits and government advisory boards, GAP facilitates real and lasting change by sharing knowledge and creating input for government policy.

Catherine’s broader business experience includes coordination of a number of international initiatives as part of the annual programme for the small and medium sized enterprise unit of the OECD (Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development), at headquarters in Paris, France; experience in marketing and brand management within all 7 divisions of the George Weston Foods Group; and just prior to establishing GAP, working within the TCG Group of companies particularly in the area of startup incubator establishment.

Angela Lovegrove 
General Manager at nbnco

Angela has over 20 Years leadership experience in Technology sector working across the Financial, Services, Fast Moving Consumer Goods Industries, Retail, Not for Profits, Manufacturing and Health. Angela has led the setting up of technology start ups – Quofore Europe, Asia Pacific, Masterpack Europe, Tenuteq Europe, High growth leadership Quofore Asia, Salesforce.com Australia, nbnco Business and Transformation leadership at Telstra Business NSW Australia

Andrea Culligan 
Chief Customer Experience Officer at Redii.com

Over 17 yrs, 7 businesses and 2 countries, Andrea’s passion for entrepreneurship has spanned the globe and a diverse range of industries. Working across branding, communications, publishing, distribution and logistics, digital media and dot.coms Andrea has enjoyed building businesses, solving customer problems and creating new concepts.
This passion and drive has been recognised in numerous areas. Most notably winning the Telstra Young Businesswoman of the Year in 2009 (NSW), the Telstra Small Business of the Year 2009 (NSW), listed on the BRW Fast 100 list (2010) and winning a multitude of client, industry and outcome based awards over the years.
Using her passion for customer experience Andrea has recently taken the role as Chief Customer Experience Officer for Redii.com – a cloud based employee recognition and rewards platform founded by Naomi Simson.
Living life with courage, clear communication and authenticity is her key to personal success and with a thirst for adventure she is regularly torn between the big city lights and the great outdoors.

Julie Demsey
General Manager of SBE Australia

Julie Demsey is the General Manager of SBE Australia, an accelerator program helping female-led companies grow and scale sustainably.

Prior to relocating to Sydney, Julie spent over two decades int he Silicon Valley where she worked with a variety of tech from small start-ups to large companies like Yahoo!

She is passionate about helping companies develop the right culture, high performing teams and sustainable businesses. Julie believes in working smart and effectively in a transparent and collaborative environment. Her objective is to help create opportunities for dynamic entrepreneurs in Australia to excel and lead the growth in the country’s economy.

Anny Havercroft
Director at Thirtyfive Ventures

Anny Havercroft champions digital innovation within organisations.  The marketing communications and media leader built her 16-year career in global marketing communication agencies consulting to top tier ASX, FTSE and Dow Jones companies in the UK and Australia.

Her digital media thought leadership and award-winning campaigns saw her recognised as one of AdNews ‘40 under 40’ top media industry talent.

It’s her desire to help more businesses navigate digital transformation successfully that has led her to leave her role as Managing Director at WPP-owned MediaCom (Melbourne) in 2016 to launch Thirtyfive Ventures, a consultancy that guides businesses and brands through digital transformation.

As an active member of the start-up community, Anny is also passionate about supporting start-ups in an advisory capacity and backing female entrepreneurs through Scale Angel Investors network.

Natalie Goldman
CEO at FlexCareers
Natalie is driven by making a difference in this world, through her passion for creating economic empowerment for women. She has over 20 years experience across numerous landscapes including being an entrepreneur, corporate, Government and Not For Profit – particularly in technology, HR, learning and development and organisational psychology. Most recently she is the CEO of FlexCareers, a disruptive online talent matching platform connecting talented women with progressive employers offering flexible work.
Natalie sits on a few boards including the Women’s Indigenous Network and Global Sisters.
She is a believer of challenging the norm, being curious and innovating, finding better and different ways of doing things, of connecting and collaborating.
Rhonda Brighton-Hall
Founder/CEO of MWAH, Director of the Australian Human Resources Institute

A former HR Leader and Telstra Businesswoman of the Year, Rhonda is a current Director of AHRI, and recognised as one of Australia’s foremost experts in human resources and the people side of business, specialising in leadership, innovation and the future of work. As a recognised champion on true workplace diversity, Rhonda’s fundamental belief is that inclusion and good leadership are not only foundational for good people practices in organisations, but equally of more equitable and prosperous economies and communities.

Her career has spanned four large multi-nationals – BHP, Sara Lee, Luxottica and CBA, living and working in Europe, Asia, and the USA.

She now lectures at Sydney University and works with entrepreneurs, businesses and corporations focused on improving the way we work. To this end, she is CEO and Founder of mwah. making Work Absolutely Human.

Jenny Morawska
President & CEO of The Morawska Group

Jenny has extensive experience in executive leadership and management. Her experience has been gained in various executive roles in a number of large complex domestic and international organisations, in multiple industries, and in both private and public sectors. Jenny held various senior executive roles in Government and CSIRO, and also undertook  University lecturing (ANU, University of Canberra, Macquarie University, University of Technology Sydney), postgraduate studies, teaching and research. She is advisor to the Swedish Foreign Ministry and the Folke Bernadotte Academy, Sweden, and advisor to the United Nations General Assembly regarding establishment of dialogues for peace. As a leader with extensive commercial and government experience, the focus of Jenny’s career has been on delivering tangible commercial results in challenging, complex and fast-paced environments. These have been achieved through a business performance mindset, coupled with excellent transformational change skills, requiring support of diverse stakeholder groups. Her passion is for building a sustainable future for organisations and individuals.

Adelle Howse
Strategic Advisor

Adelle Howse is a C-level leader skilled at navigating complexity to deliver strategic business transformation, operational performance improvement, structured M&A and corporate finance.

8+ years’ experience at executive team level leading international, enterprise-wide strategic business transformation at $multi-billion scale.

Leader of large-scale corporate activity, capital raisings, mergers, acquisitions, investments and divestments with complex finance structure.

Builder of high-performance management teams, business operating models, robust governance and performance-led culture.

Focus on creating successful outcomes from complex organisational situations.

Narelle Hooper
Adviser, Director, Author 

Narelle grew up in country NSW, where her family operated a dairy farm and a pub. Narelle was the first in the family to go to uni and curious about the world, ideas and people ever since. Narelle spent 20 years in business media across print, radio, TV and web, at the Australian Financial Review, Fairfax Media, ABC, SBS TV. Former editor of BOSS Magazine and founding co-chair of the Financial Review – Westpac Women of Influence awards.

I’m on the boards of The Ethics Centre, the women’s global entrepreneurship accelerator Springboard Enterprises Australia and Documentary Australia Foundation. Also part of the mwah.live family, a community and knowledge resource focused on making work absolutely human.

Karen Penrose 
Non-executive Director for public, Government, private and charitable organisations
Karen is a full time Non-executive Director serving on boards including Bank of Queensland, Vicinity Centres, Spark Infrastructure and Future Generation Global.
Karen is active in investing in her skill set as a NED, including as a participant in the AICC Women Leaders Mission to Israel in May 2016, spending time in Silicon Valley in July 2016 and refreshing her coding skills via DeCoded. In May 2017, she attended the global risk summit of the International Institute of Finance in Tokyo.
Karen has specialist knowledge in finance and capital markets, risk management and compliance, mergers, acquisitions and divestments, built throughout her prior executive career which included 20 years in banking with CBA and HSBC and eight years to early 2014 as a listed-company CFO and COO.
Gina Lednyak
Founder and Managing Director

Gina Lednyak is the Founder and CEO of global agency L&A Social Media and has been at the forefront of social media strategy and implementation since Mark Zuckerberg tested and launched ‘the Facebook’ in her University town of Boston. Gina studied engineering and psychology before relocating to Sydney in 2007. She quickly recognised an opportunity in the local market and soon launched L&A Social Media, a full-service strategic social media and digital agency, with a strong focus on creative content execution, analytics, and consumer behaviour.

L&A Social manages the social media strategy, content and implementation for brands like NETGEAR, Sol Beer, Rekorderlig Cider, AutoDesk and many more consumer brands. The company has grown significantly from its humble beginnings in Sydney, Australia now with over 60 global clients across 3 countries and a thriving team. Gina is also the 2016 NSW Telstra Young Business Woman of the Year and previous winner of AIMI Future Leaders Award and B&T 30 under 30.

L&A focuses on results delivered by people with first hand experience of social media success. Gina regularly gives keynote speeches on company culture, fast growth companies, social media and fostering a culture for female entrepreneurs. Through strategic storytelling & a wealth of experience across a variety of industries and skills, L&A Social Media ensures that their brands stay relevant, innovative and start powerful conversations within their target demographic. From digital & brand strategy to social media strategy & implementation, through to content marketing, photography & videography and analytics & insights, Gina’s agency delivers authentic communication as a driver to develop long lasting, trusted relationships between a brand and their customers.
Greta Thomas
Non Executive Director & Co-Founder

Known for her original thinking and ability to communicate, Greta’s career reflects her non-conformist approach. From hard-hitting television reporter to launching eBay in Australia as CMO; from award winning McKinsey management consultant to 4 years working for Bono overseas, Greta effectively bridges the gap between aspiring leaders and leaders; and helps established businesses better emulate and compete with disruptive, start up ventures.

Greta was named one of the ’Leading 50’ Australian women leaders at the Advance Women’s Leadership Summit in 2011.  Today Greta is a non-executive director, leadership and innovation advisor to Boards, and an angel investor. She is passionate about supporting and advancing women leaders and runs specially created, leadership programs for women.She is also Co-Founder of a leadership development business with a particular focus on women. Greta has held senior roles at McKinsey & Company, Bono’s PRODUCT (RED) overseas, as well as C-suite roles at Sydney Opera House and eBay Australia.

Avril Henry
Leadership Futurist

Avril Henry is an acclaimed keynote speaker, consultant, coach, mentor and author, who is passionate about gender, generational and cultural diversity, developing collaborative leaders and positive workplaces. Her consulting business over 14 years has worked with organisations in the private and public sector, to change their culture and build their leadership capability, one leader, team and organisation at a time.Avril’s career has spanned senior roles in finance, IT, project management, change management and human resources. She is a Fellow of CPA Australia, a Senior Fellow of the Financial Services Institute of Australasia, a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management, a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and member of the Australian Human Resources Institute.

In September 2015 Avril was named as one of the 100 Women of Influence in Australia, and one of the 10 most influential women in the diversity space. She has been recognised by the Human Rights Commission and has received several business awards in Australia and the USA, for her diversity programs. In 2006 she received the prestigious Lifetime Achievement in HR Award at the Australian Human Resources Awards, and in 2012 was awarded a global award for Excellence in Leadership Coaching.

She is a senior advisor on cultural transformation, gender and diversity to the Chief of Army, Australia, the ACT Commissioner of Emergency Services and is the longest serving member of the Navy People & Capability Committee. She is the author and co-author of several books on leadership and the different generations at work.

In her spare time you will find her running adventure runs around the world to raise money for the Australian Cancer Research Foundation, Camp Quality and Can Too.

Mariam Veiszadeh
Lawyer, Diversity & Inclusion Practitioner, Advocate and a Social Commentator

2016 Fairfax Daily Life Woman of the Year, Mariam Veiszadeh is a Lawyer, Diversity & Inclusion Practitioner, Advocate and a Social Commentator.

Proud of her refugee background, Mariam is passionate about championing the rights of minority groups in an endeavour to normalise ‘difference’ or rather, normality.

Mariam is an Ambassador for Welcome to Australia, which aims to provide a positive voice in the public conversation around asylum seekers, refugees and multiculturalism.

In 2015, Mariam was selected by Elle Magazine Malaysia as one of 12 women who were helping “change the world”,  alongside the likes of Michelle Obama and Angelina Jolie. Mariam was also a finalist in the Daily Life Women of the Year Awards as well as being awarded Westpac’s ‘Woman of Influence’ Award for 2015.

She was recently a finalist in the 2017 Western Sydney University Alumni Awards in the category of Community Champion.

As a fearless advocate, Mariam is accustomed to being both an advocate against and a victim of xenophobia.  In 2015, she made global headlines as she endured months of cyber-bullying  for simply speaking out against bigotry. Australians responded by rallying behind Mariam using the hashtag #IstandwithMariam. Her experiences of cyber-bullying have been cited as a case study in several publications and books including in Tara Moss’  ‘Speaking Out’.

Her influence is felt in the many initiatives she promotes across her social media platforms in which she collectively has close to 50,000 followers.

Kylie Green
Managing Director for Kimberlin Education

Kylie Green is a marketer, entrepreneur, supporter of women in business, networking champion, mentor, charity worker and solo mother of one. She has a career which has spanned over 30 years to date in entrepreneurial, marketing and senior management roles.

Kylie has recently joined specialist agency Kimberlin Education as Managing Director in February 2018 after spending almost a year in a Senior Manager contract role with Comm Bank’s Women in Focus team. Prior to this Kylie was with Dentsu Aegis Network as Managing Director – Activations for Australia and New Zealand for almost 4 years as Managing Director of ApolloNation activations businesses in Sydney, Melbourne and Auckland as well as Synergy Brand Experience in NZ. In 2016, she steered the agencies to merge and rebrand as MKTG. Prior to joining the Dentsu Aegis Network, Kylie was Head of Marketing for Business Chicks, Australia’s largest network for women and was also a marketing consultant and mentor to several clients and individuals under her own brand The Oven Communications.

Ann Sherry
Executive Chairman for Carnival Australia

Ann is Executive Chairman of Carnival Australia, the largest cruise ship operator in Australasia and a division of Carnival Corporation & Plc.

After joining as CEO in 2007, she has transformed the industry and growth has been in double digits each year since.

Prior to this, Ann was with Westpac for 12 years as CEO Westpac New Zealand, CEO Bank of Melbourne and Group Executive, People and Performance.

In addition to her executive role, Ann holds a number of non-executive roles including Sydney Airport, ING Direct (Australia), ING Group, The Palladium Group, Australian Rugby Union, Cape York Partnerships, Infrastructure Victoria and the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia.

In 2001, Ann was awarded the Centenary Medal by the Australian Government and in 2004 was awarded an Order of Australia for her contribution to the Australian community. In 2015, Ann was named as the overall winner of the Australian Financial Review and Westpac 100 Women of Influence Award.

Lynda Coker
Non-Exec Director and Investor

Lynda is a passionate advocate of female entrepreneurs and is a mentor across a number of accelerator and education programs. She is a NED for The Studio (incubator for mediatech startups) and an angel investor and NED for Scale Investors, which funds female-led businesses. Lynda also mentors specifically FinTech startups and sits on several FinTech advisory boards and has c.20 years experience in working with financial institutions across banking, asset management and insurance. Lynda was nominated as a finalist for Mentor of the Year in the 2018 Women in Finance awards.

Jackie O’Brien
Partner, Norton Rose

Jackie O’Brien is an intellectual property lawyer with more than 30 years’ experience and a partner of global law firm, Norton Rose Fulbright. Jackie has extensive experience in IP litigation including patent, copyright and trade mark litigation, and is highly regarded for her skill in project managing large and complex IP litigation matters, particularly those with global implications.

Described as the “consummate professional” by a major client she has demonstrated legal and technical versatility in matters across a broad range of industry sectors including pharmaceuticals, mining, food technology, lighting technology, personal care products and financial services.

She is ranked in Chambers Global, Best Lawyers, Managing Intellectual Property and World Trade Mark Review as a leader in her field, and won the Partner of the Year Award in the 2014 Lawyers Weekly Australian Law Awards for the strength of her practice, the contribution she makes to the Norton Rose Fulbright corporate social responsibility program and her role as a mentor to other women.

Jackie is Chair of the firm’s CSR Committee, National Pro Bono Partner, and a member of the firm’s National Diversity & Inclusion and Graduate Recruitment Committees.  She also served on Norton Rose Fulbright Australia’s Management Committee in 2016 and 2017.

Nicola Mills
Founder of Pacific Retail Management

Nicola is the founder of Pacific Retail Management serving sushi, juice and coffee in outlets throughout Australia, New Zealand, and the Philippines with the following brands:

– Go Sushi – Australia’s No.1 regional Sushi Franchise
– Wasabi Warriors – fresh sushi with a green heart, in Australia, and the Philippines.
– Kick Juice Bars – fresh Juice throughout regional Australia
– The Cheeky Beans Cafe/s in New Zealand swimming centres.

Nicola was one of Smart Company’s Eight Entrepreneurs to watch in 2015, and in the EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women Class of 2015.

She founded, raised capital, and launched Ready Fund Go (crowdfunding for Australian business) in 2013, and exited in 2016 with a sale to a member of the strategic board.

In 2016/2017 she facilitated, and drove the acquisition, and capital raising of The Cheesecake Shop to Singapore investors, with capital raised in excess of $100million through her personal and business connections.

Jeromine Alpe
Entrepreneur Executive Thought Leader

Entrepreneur Executive Thought Leader with a career spanning over 25 years, as Founder, CEO, HR Director, Executive Coach and Business Mentor. Jeromine is using her experience and expertise as a catalyst to empower female excellence for gender equity, inclusion, diversity, happiness and peak performance.

BCG _Corporate Diversity Partners – leading diversity and inclusion in the workplace through education, inspiration and motivation. Partnering with male champions of change, female entrepreneurs, executive women and our next generation of young future women leaders for greater futures. Fully customised 6-Step Corporate Diversity Strategy to position organisations for growth, resulting in increased revenue and profit. Integrated suite of leadership consultative services to develop and implement talent strategies that compliment and deliver on corporate strategy.  An evidence-based, structured approach to leadership performance and talent management.

Director, People & Culture of Top 300 Organisation. Member of the Senior Leadership Team. Leading through listening, observing and understanding cultures and sub-cultures. A belief that to perform at our peak professionally we need to be at our peak personally.

Partnering with organisations to establish best practice mentoring programs to help people become extraordinary and achieve extraordinary results. Rapidly increase employee skills, productivity and engagement.

YPO Committee Member – Mentor Chair & Young Next Generation Chair.

Ursula Hogben
Co-Founder & practice Leader, LegalVision

Ursula is a lawyer, entrepreneur and investor. She’s assisted over 1000 businesses, including to launch, grow and raise capital. She advises directors and management on strategic and legal issues. She is a trusted General Counsel, Company Secretary, Advisory Board Member and Notary Public.

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Carden Calder
Managing Director, Blue Chip Communications

Carden is a business owner, financial services PR & marketing expert, passionate believer in women’s economic empowerment and mother of three. In 2004, a year after the birth of twin daughters, she co-founded BlueChip Communication, Australia’s leading financial services PR and marketing firm. Three years later, and ten days after the birth of her son, BlueChip was recognised as a BRW Fast Starter and one of the top 25 PR firms in Australia. As a consultant she leads a team who help financial services leaders manage their most important currency: buy-in and belief. The firm specialises in game changing PR, marketing and content for fund managers, insurers, fintech firms, financial advisers, super funds and lenders, among others. The firm’s purpose is to help clients thrive so that Australians have better financial futures. Carden also Chairs the Advisory Board of Rare Birds, a for-purpose business, and has served on the Boards of the NSW Paralympic Organisation and Entrepreneurs Organisation Sydney. Her children are 15 and 11. Prior to BlueChip, Carden held high profile roles in IAG and AMP.

Michelle Guthrie
Former, Managing Director at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Michelle Guthrie is the former ABC Managing Director. She was appointed in May 2016 following an international career as a leading media executive in Australia, the UK and Asia. She brings to the ABC an impressive range of skills, knowledge and leadership across business management and content development.

Educated in Sydney, Michelle started her career as a lawyer in the media group at Allen Allen and Hemsley but relocated the 1990s to News International in London where she helped develop global pay TV businesses including BSkyB and developed content streams and business plans for a wide range of channels in Europe and Asia. Michelle helped launch Foxtel in Australia before relocating to Star TV in Hong Kong where she was appointed Chief Executive Officer in 2003.
She spent several years as an equity adviser and investor based in Hong Kong before being lured to Google Asia in 2011 as Managing Director for Agencies.
Michelle Guthrie comes to the role of ABC Managing Director with a unique vision to lead the broadcaster into the next chapter of its history. She has inherited an organisation renowned for innovation and quality content and is perfectly placed to continue its finest traditions as a public broadcaster while leading it into new directions as a digital media company.
Deborah Thomas
CEO and Non Executive Director

An experienced executive and board director, Deborah Thomas is one of only a handful of women to have run an ASX200 company. As Managing Director and CEO of Ardent Leisure Group she was responsible for the performance of the Australian and US based multi-site entertainment company with a market-cap of ~$1billion. Prior to this role, Deborah was a senior publishing executive and highly respected Editor-in-Chief of the country’s biggest selling magazine, The Australian Women’s Weekly, for nine years.
Deborah has proven skills and experience in understanding customers, creating new products and revenue streams, building brands and driving organisational change in sectors impacted by technological and digital disruption.
A passionate advocate for diversity, with a strong track record of supporting and mentoring young women, Deborah has sat on a number of NFP boards as well as government entities, including three years as Deputy Chair of the National Library of Australia Council. She is also a member of Chief Executive Women.

 

Kari Banick
General Manager at Linfox

Kari is an experienced leader in Supply Chain Strategy. Most recently awarded a Supply Chain Industry SMART award for business continuity execution. Created a retail operations deployment center of excellence delivering more completed projects at a higher level accountability. Well versed in supply chain automation with state of the art solutions in warehousing.

Her core values bring business ethics, collaborative change management and team development together to drive successful results. She creates a culture of contribution.

In my role as an Operations Leader she’s known for:

Having Strategic vision
* Sees the future and builds a path to deliver it
* Translates the complex plainly and clearly
* Develops plans and forecasts to proactively assess the business need for change
* Utilizes resources wisely to maximize investment

Being a Mentor and Coach
* Recognizes and validates gifts and talents
* Provides candid feedback for real development
* Inspires people to feel their work is valuable and contributing meaningfully to the organization

Delivering Results
* Agile and decisive in decision making
* Builds lasting change and a culture of accountability
* Removes roadblocks and embraces conflict to drive creativity and innovation

Specialties: Supply Chain and Fulfilment Strategies, Continuous improvement, systems and process life-cycle planning, network analysis, negotiation, labor forecasting and standards, PMO, capital planning, warehouse design, financial analysis, balanced score card approach to metrics.

Anneke van den Broek
CEO at Rufus and Coco

Anneke van den Broek is the founder and CEO of award-winning pet care brand Rufus & Coco. Now stocked in 9 countries and selling 2.5 products per minute, the brand recently celebrated their tenth birthday by launching into PetSmart stores across the USA. In addition to solving every day pet owners’ problems, Anneke runs a forum connecting women in business and personally mentors four high-growth businesses. She is a passionate advocate for pet welfare, having owned more than 40 pets in her life, and has partnered with the Australian Pet Welfare Foundation to help in their mission to ensure pets are welcome in rental properties and working towards zero euthanasia.

Diana Ryall AM MAICD
Founder at Xplore for Success

Diana Ryall is a leading voice and advocate for Gender Equality in Australia. She promotes women achieving their career aspirations, and challenges men to examine their assumptions about women and their careers.

In 2002, Diana founded Xplore for Success, a boutique consultancy specialising in supporting professionals to achieve career and personal success. Over the past 16 years, more that 15,000 women and men have benefited from Xplore’s career development programs, including participants from organisations including American Express, CBA, Lend Lease, NAB, NSW Trains and Suncorp.

In January 2010, Diana became a Member of the Order of Australia, AM, for her significant contribution to the education community, her commitment to the advancement of women, and her ongoing and wide-reaching charitable work.

Diana is committed to a number of charitable and philanthropic causes. She is an Ambassador for Honour a Woman, Good Return and Dress for Success Sydney. She sits on the Industry Advisory Group for Victorian Police. As a breast cancer survivor, she supports the National Breast Cancer Foundation, and is a key spokesperson for International Women’s Day. Diana also mentors a number of businesswomen and entrepreneurs from around Australia.

Diana Ryall is a leading voice and advocate for Gender Equality in Australia. She promotes women achieving their career aspirations, and challenges men to examine their assumptions about women and their careers.

In 2002, Diana founded Xplore for Success, a boutique consultancy specialising in supporting professionals to achieve career and personal success. Over the past 16 years, more that 15,000 women and men have benefited from Xplore’s career development programs, including participants from organisations including American Express, CBA, Lend Lease, NAB, NSW Trains and Suncorp.

In January 2010, Diana became a Member of the Order of Australia, AM, for her significant contribution to the education community, her commitment to the advancement of women, and her ongoing and wide-reaching charitable work.

Diana is committed to a number of charitable and philanthropic causes. She is an Ambassador for Honour a Woman, Good Return and Dress for Success Sydney. She sits on the Industry Advisory Group for Victorian Police. As a breast cancer survivor, she supports the National Breast Cancer Foundation, and is a key spokesperson for International Women’s Day. Diana also mentors a number of businesswomen and entrepreneurs from around Australia.

Fiona Anson
Co-Founder and Co-CEO of JobGetter

Fiona Anson is the Co-Founder and Co-CEO of JobGetter – a workforce data and analytics platform that measures the changing needs for skills in the workforce. Recognised internationally as one of the world’s leading innovators in HR Technology, Fiona leads the data and partnerships initiatives at JobGetter.

Fiona consults to Education, Industry, Government and Communities to assist them understand the evolving world of work and how to best get, and keep, people in jobs.

Spearheading the annual national initiative, The Jobs Agenda, a national discussion on work, Fiona is a thought leader, speaker and influencer, leading the conversation around jobs, education and the future of work.

Fiona is on the Advisory Board of the University of Technology, Sydney’s (UTS) Advanced MBA program and is a former national board member of the AIIA, Australia’s peak representative body and advocacy group for those in the digital ecosystem.

She is a mentor at UTS’s startups programme and an industry partner for their Bachelor of Technology and Innovation degree. Fiona also mentors at Remarkables, an accelerator for products, services and technology for the Disability sector, and for the Tech Ready Women program. She has also been a mentor and judge at TiE Women’s Create-a-thon, as well as a teacher of commercialising business ideas and creating partnerships at General Assembly.

Fiona is an award-winning businesswoman winning Sydney Businesswomen of the Year, the American Express Award for the fastest growing business in Australia and has been a NSW state finalist for the Telstra Businesswomen of the Year. She has been the go-to Business Expert for the Daily Telegraph and Channel 9 and is regularly featured in the media, most recently on SkyNews and in The Australian talking about the growing skills gap in Australia.

She is passionate about entrepreneurship, supporting youth, inclusion and diversity, millennials, education, women in business and social responsibility.

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Anabelle Bennett
Senior Counsel at 5 Wentworth

The Honourable Dr Annabelle Bennett AO SC is a retired Judge of the Federal Court of Australia and was an additional judge of the Supreme Court of the ACT, having previously practised as a Senior Counsel specialising in intellectual property. She is currently Chancellor of Bond University; an Arbitrator of the Court of Arbitration for Sport; Member of the Board of Directors of the Garvan Institute; Member of the Advisory Council of Questacon; Member and past President of Chief Executive Women; and Member of the Advisory Board of the Faculty of Law at The Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Dr Bennett is a Member of the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes Panel of Arbitrators (ICSID), a Member of the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) Mediation and Arbitration List of Neutrals, a Member of the indicative List of Government and Non-Governmental Panellists for the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Disputes Settlement Process and a Pool member of the NBN Co Dispute Resolution Panel.

Lisa Cotton
CEO at Ideology Group

Lisa’s accumulated experience straddles corporate, government and for-purpose sectors. This allows her think beyond narrow business imperatives and operate with a strong values-system. She is CEO of Ideology Group who engages senior executives in the social sector. Previously, she was co-founder and CEO of The Funding Network, a social enterprise that builds the capacity of non-profit entities.

Rachel Jepson
Head of Internal Communications, Uniting

Rachel Jepson is the Senior communications executive with extensive general communications experience including employee communications, leadership communications and coaching, change communications (people & culture),crisis management, marketing communications, PR, and stakeholder management.

Rachel Etherington
CEO at Cassy Liberman and Ben Krasnostein’s Family Office

Rachel is the started CEO of Cassy Liberman and Ben Krasnostein’s Family Office. Rachel is an entrepreneurial and determined professional; she’s a woman who makes things happen. Her career has spanned the UK, Australia and the USA, focusing on strategic negotiation, high-value sales, fundraising, business development and brand marketing/communications. Following her hunger for challenges and her love of new people and ideas, Rachel moved into the world of real estate. Her distinctive mix of skills and experiences, her international network and fearless approach make her an invaluable partner when navigating the complexities of property transactions.

Annie Arnett
Vice President & General Manager at Hologic
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Jo Dooley
Director of Services, Microsoft

Jo joined Microsoft in July 2018 as the Chief Customer Officer. This newly created role is focused on empowering digital success across the Microsoft Australia business –to ultimately enhance the experience we provide to our clients. This role covers sales and business operations, including transformation across our learning, simplified tools & operating rhythms. Jo’s role is also focused on how Microsoft can continue to make an impact locally on key issues around Diversity & Inclusion, Artificial intelligence (AI) and Skills for the future workforce. Jo is also a member of the Microsoft Australia Senior Leadership team.

Prior to Microsoft, Jo was the Director of Client Services at SEEK for 3 years- where she was a key member of the SEEK leadership team. Jo’s role was to lead the 200+ client services team to solve hirers’ problems across the human capital marketplace. Jo managed the ANZ P&L and was responsible for over 400m revenue per annum, and led business development, account management, customer service, client training and operations.

Prior to SEEK, Jo spent 16 years with IBM where she held various General Management roles across strategy, sales, client relationship teams, operations and marketing, across Australia, New Zealand and Asia Pacific. Jo was part of the IBM Australia board, reporting to the CEO and was also a member of the IBM diversity council. Jo’s last role before leaving IBM was Director of Mid Market and Digital.

Prior to IBM, Jo held positions across marketing and client services at Big W, Sony and Cartwright Williams (now part of Leo Burnett).

Jo holds a Bachelor of Applied Science ( University of Western Sydney) and recently completed the Executive Development Programme at The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania as one of two recipients of the 2017 Chief Executive Women (CEW) scholarships. Jo is also a director on the Victorian Board of the Starlight Children’s Foundation and currently lives in Melbourne, is married with four children and enjoys spending time with family and friends.

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Armina Rosenberg
Portfolio Manager, Grok Ventures

Armina is Portfolio Manager for Grok Ventures, the family office and investment firm of Mike Cannon-Brookes, one of the co-founders of software company, Atlassian. At Grok, Armina oversees the global equities portfolio and analyses fixed income, derivatives, infrastructure and venture capital investments. Prior to this, Armina was Senior Investment Director at Audant Investments, the family office of Robert Whyte, with a focus on global equities.

Armina started her career at J.P. Morgan in 2008 in Australian Equities Research, first as part of the Equity Strategy team, then as one of the lead analysts in the Emerging Companies sector focusing on technology and consumer discretionary stocks. She was awarded the Co-op Scholarship at the University of New South Wales and undertook industry placements at ASX, Commsec, ABN Amro and UBS while completing her Bachelor of Commerce with honours in Finance.

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Gillian Corban
CEO & Co-Founder, Corban & Blair

Business owner, designer, mentor, leader and innovator. Her career has spanned the fields of art and education, government policy, curriculum development, affirmative action and business.

Gillian is Co-Founder of Corban & Blair a product design and manufacturing company.

Past membership of boards includes TAFE NSW, NSW Small Business Development Corporation and the National Procurement Board. Gillian has sat on numerous community and government committees, the Advisory Committee of the Centre for Olympic Studies UNSW, The National Student Design Awards Committee & the Management Committee of Detour House Women’s Refuge.

One of Gillian’s passions is to collaborate with other creatives to tell our Australian stories through the products created for clients.

Gillian received the Centenary Medal for her contribution to business leadership in 2003.
Business owner, designer, mentor, leader and innovator. Her career has spanned the fields of art and education, government policy, curriculum development, affirmative action and business.

Gillian is Co-Founder of Corban & Blair a product design and manufacturing company.

Past membership of boards includes TAFE NSW, NSW Small Business Development Corporation and the National Procurement Board. Gillian has sat on numerous community and government committees, the Advisory Committee of the Centre for Olympic Studies UNSW, The National Student Design Awards Committee & the Management Committee of Detour House Women’s Refuge.

One of Gillian’s passions is to collaborate with other creatives to tell our Australian stories through the products created for clients.

Gillian received the Centenary Medal for her contribution to business leadership in 2003.

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Chew Chan Che
Branch Manager, Gemini Group

Chew Chan spent 10 years as a professional athlete, competing at the highest level – 2008 Beijing Olympic for the Malaysian national Taekwondo team. The training, drive and determination remains with her today despite having retired from the professional sport in 2010.

She is a seasoned senior account manager and business leader driving a divisional recruitment and career consulting team of around 40 people across a broad range of industries.

Passionate about client and satisfaction, she works with senior level stakeholders to provide solutions that meet their business needs across the full spectrum of human resource consulting services.

Consulting, coaching and mentoring occupy most of her time everyday. CC helps people become the best version of themselves.

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Melinda Muth
Director, Streamwise Learning

Melinda is an educator and consultant who specialises in personal and team effectiveness, principally with senior executives and leadership teams. She has designed and delivered executive education programs in Australia, and Asia and the USA. She is a Managing Director of Streamwise Learning, a Facilitator, Faculty Adviser and Fellow of AICD as well as a member of the adjunct faculty at UNSW.

Melinda chairs the board of CuriousWorks and is a director of Harvard Club Philanthropy and PTTR (Paint the Town REaD – a non-profit organisation focused on early childhood literacy). She has previously held a number of senior executive roles including National Director of Business Development and Marketing for Deloitte.

Her qualifications include a Bachelor of Science in Design, magna cum laude, from the University of Cincinnati, an MBA from the Harvard Business School and a PhD from the Australian Graduate School of Management (UNSW) for research in the field of corporate governance. Her doctoral thesis focused on the dimensions of board structure and director networks that impact firm performance.

She has recently published a book with co-author Bob Selden called “Setting the Tone From the Top: how director conversations shape culture.”

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Cat O’Donovan
Corporate Advisory Director, Adara Partners

Cat is a corporate advisory specialist working for a not-for-profit business. She focuses on client delivery, collaboration, and problem-solving. She has experience across mergers and acquisitions, project finance and strategy engagements, and has worked across private sector and government clients throughout her career.

Cat always had a passion for purpose and in January 2019 moved into her current role at Adara Partners which combines her desire to give back with her corporate finance expertise. As Corporate Advisory Director, she manages the day to day operations of the boutique corporate advice firm, whose sole purpose is to generate profits to fund all overheads and emergency project costs of Adara Development, Adara’s not-for-profit arm. Adara Development delivers Maternal Newborn Child Health projects and Remote Community Development projects in Uganda and Nepal respectively.

Her previous experience is diverse, having studied science at university and dabbled in science communication before joining the world of professional services. At EY, Cat worked briefly in audit, then as a transactions financial advisor and lead advisor. In London, she was closely aligned to the renewable energy sector, and developments in this sector continue to be one of her key interests today.

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Julie Dormand
CEO, MercerBell

Julie has over 20 years of industry experience both agency and client side, in roles with a CRM focus. As CEO, Julie is responsible for running the agency and ensuring we deliver best-in-class CX for our clients.

Julie has been a committed supporter of the industry, and acted as Chair and Board Member for ADMA, as well as taking part in speaking and mentoring initiatives. Her involvement was acknowledged in 2014 with the coveted AC&E Jon Clark Outstanding Contribution Award.

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Marina Go
Non-Executive Director, Energy Australia, 7-eleven, Pro-PAC, Autosports Group

Marina Go is an independent non-executive director on the boards of Energy Australia, 7-Eleven, Autosports Group (ASG), and Pro-Pac (PPG). She is Chair of the Remuneration and Nomination Committees for Autosports Group and Pro-Pac, and is a member of the Audit and Risk Committee of all of her boards. She is a member of the Strategy and Innovation Committee for 7-Eleven.

Marina is Chair of the Super Netball Commission, Chair of Ovarian Cancer Australia and a Trustee of The Walkley Foundation.

She is Chair of the Centre For Media Transition Advisory Board at the University of Technology Sydney, a member of PWC’s Diversity Advisory Board, and author of the business book for women, Break Through: 20 Success Strategies for Female Leaders.
Boss magazine named her as one of 20 True Leaders of 2016.

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Mary Darwell
CEO, Sydney Harbour Federation Trust

Mary became the Chief Executive Officer of the Harbour Trust in April 2017. Previously, as the Chief Executive Officer of Arts NSW, she oversaw arts and cultural strategy as well as funding. Mary has also helped lead the development of Infrastructure NSW’s cultural infrastructure strategy and led the Walsh Bay Arts Precinct initiative – a 21st Century creative hub for Australia’s internationally renowned arts companies.

Mary has held a number of roles in Government and the private sector, including heading up the economic development division in Premier and Cabinet, leading carbon and sustainability work at AGL, and working as a commercial lawyer at Mallesons Stephens Jacques. She has also held board positions for some of Australia’s key cultural organisations including Carriageworks, Sydney Festival and Sydney Film Festival.

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Anna Wojt
Director / Global SSO Chief of Staff, PWC Australia

Having worked in various industries for over 17 years, Anna’s focus has been on implementing strategic visions by transforming business processes and systems with a focus on people and experience.

Rather than being a specialist in a narrow field, she has practical knowledge in a wide range of business challenges in private and public sector.

She has led business transformations to success through building and managing physical and virtual teams across the globe.

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Julie Trell
Head of muru-D and Australia Country lead, SheEO

Julie is Head of Telstra’s startup accelerator, muru-D. She comes to the role with a vast and varied background spanning both startup and corporate environments. In her previous role as the Founder of Playful Purpose, she helped companies integrate meaningful philanthropy programs into their businesses. She was an advisor to several startups from San Francisco to London. Julie was instrumental in launching SheEO Radical Generosity in the USA in 2016, a global initiative to transform how we support, finance and celebrate female entrepreneurs and launched SheEO in Australia in 2018. Prior to that, Julie has two decades of experience in corporate philanthropy, spending much of that time as a founding member and Vice President of All Things Fun, Meaningful & Rewarding at Salesforce.com Foundation.

When not working you can find her at the beach, probably attempting a yoga pose with a camera in her hand or hugging a random wild Australian animal.