Thursday 1st August 2019

Adelaide Symposium 2019

Thursday 1st August 2019

Pullman Adelaide


Chair, Women in Surgery, Royal Australasian College of Surgeons


Journalist, Author and Walkley Award Winner; Director of Diversity, WLA


Managing Director, Retallack Viticulture and Director of Wine Australia


Former ABC radio presenter and Creative Director, Healthy Tasmania


Firefighter and Station Officer, Metropolitan Fire Service


Organisational Development Coordinator, Lebanese Muslim Association; Board Member, Go Active Women; Former Communications Officer, Australian Federal Police

09:30 - 10:00

Keynote Address

​Chair, Women in Surgery, Royal Australasian College of Surgeons

Dr Christine Lai is a medical graduate from The University of Adelaide who undertook specialist training​ in the field of General Surgery.  After obtaining her specialist qualifications with the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) she undertook sub specialty training in the fields of Breast Cancer Surgery and Endocrine Surgery.  She is a Senior Staff Specialist at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, a Visiting Surgeon at Breastscreen SA and Senior Lecturer at The University of Adelaide.  Dr Lai has held numerous executive leadership positions within the RACS including being youngest Councillor to be elected and sit on the board of directors, the Chair of the Women in Surgery Group and is the immediate past-chair of the Younger Fellows group.  She has multiple interests including surgical outcomes and gender equity research, in addition to have had a long standing interest in mentoring of medical students, junior doctors and newly qualified surgeons.

DR Christine Lai


Author, Journalist and Presenter ABC’s 7.30 Report

11:00 - 11:20

Morning Tea

Mary is an agricultural scientist and third-generation viticulturist who has held a range of practical, extension and consultancy roles in the global wine sector over the past two decades. She is currently a Director of Wine Australia, Managing Director of Retallack Viticulture, fellow of the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation, National Farmers Federation Diversity in Ag Leadership Alumni, a past Non-Executive Director of the Australian Wine Research Institute, Wine Communicators of Australia, and Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation, and a ‘Women of the Vine’ Global Symposium advisory board member. Mary was acknowledged via the RIRDC Rural Woman of the Year, as a 100 Women in Australian Agribusiness inductee, recipient of the SARDI Women's Suffrage Centenary Bursary, Businesswomen’s Hall of Fame inductee, and is a PIRSA Women influencing agribusiness and regions ambassador.​

Managing Director, Retallack Viticulture; Director, Wine Australia​

DR Mary Retallack

Khadija Gbla is a very passionate and inspired young African Australian woman.  She has displayed great courage and determination in achieving her aspirations of giving women, youth and minority groups a voice at a local, state and international level. She is the survivor advocate protecting Australian girls from FGM and supporting survivors of FGM. Khadija has been recognized through numerous awards for her vision and leadership, including 2017 cosmopolitan magazine women of the year finalist, 2016 women's Weekly and Qantas Women of the Future finalist, 2016 AusMumpreneur Rising Star and Making a difference –non profit Award, 2014 The Advertiser South Australia’s 50 most Influential Women, 2013 Madison Magazine Australia's top 100 inspiring Women, 2013 Amnesty International Human Rights Activists to watch out in 2013, 2011 State, Finalist Young Australian of the Year just to name a few.​

​Award winning human rights activist, facilitator, consultant and Safe Communities Coordinator, City of Charles Sturt

Khadija Gbla

12:50 - 13:40





13:40 - 14:40​

Panel Members

We can be trapped by our competence, which can hamper opportunities for growth. Has your past best practice held you back? Panellists will discuss how they adapted and thrived in challenging environments by making gradual and meaningful change.​

'Breaking the competency trap and developing adaptive Leadership’

Panel Discussion

11:20 - 12:50​

15:10 - 15:30

Afternoon Tea

17:00 - 18:00

Networking Drinks

In 1987, Adrienne became South Australia’s first female professional firefighter with the Metropolitan Fire Service (SAMFS). Now with over 30 years of service, Adrienne has progressed her career and leadership capacity to become one of only three female Station Officers within the Fire Service. In 2004, she received the Woman of Achievement Award from the Zonta Club of Adelaide for service to the community. To contribute to improving the working conditions of her female firefighting colleagues, Adrienne was actively involved in the National Female Firefighters Network, and is a founding member and currently chair of the SAMFS Female Firefighter’s Forum. This forum addresses the specific employment needs of female firefighters, covering such issues as protective uniform, maternity policy, female recruitment and retention. Adrienne also serves on the United Firefighters Union Women’s Consultative Committee which similarly addresses the working conditions of female firefighters. Alongside of her professional career, and working with her husband in a family business, Adrienne has also been breeding alpacas for over 25 years, developing her expertise in animal husbandry, reproduction and birthing, alpaca fibre classing and judging.​

​Firefighter, Station Officer and Alpaca Breeder

Adrienne Clarke


Award winning human rights activist, facilitator, consultant and Safe Communities Coordinator, City of Charles Sturt

15:30 - 16:10

Keynote Address

Organisational Development Coordinator, Lebanese Muslim Association; Board Member, Go Active Women; Former Communications Officer, Australian Federal Police

Amna Karra-Hassan is an activist and advocate for diversity, inclusion and gender parity. Amna founded the first ever AFL Women’s team in Western Sydney and is widely recognised for the diversity she brought to the game and for taking the code to Western Sydney. The Auburn Giants AFL Club played a critical role in establishing the game in the region, both for women and for its engagement with diverse communities, contributing to the recent inauguration of the GWS Giants in the AFLW.  Amna uses her influence to change the conversation on gender, culture, faith and representation.

Amna Karra-Hassan

10:00 - 10:30

Be heard and remembered: How to use your stories to influence effective change in the workplace

Former ABC radio presenter and Creative Director, Healthy Tasmania

Penny Terry loves a good yarn because she knows good stories create lasting change. She spent 10 years as an ABC radio presenter, broadcasting more than 20,000 stories from diverse perspectives. She is the Creative Director of ‘for purpose’ company Healthy Tasmania Pty Ltd which she founded with her sister, leading a wide range of projects that support Tasmanians to live the best life they can. As a speaker, mentor and MC Penny champions storytelling, demonstrating its necessity along the path to influence. She takes the fear out of contributing to public conversations as she unpacks authenticity, the science of opinion and the power of emotion and vulnerability.​

Penny Terry

Catherine Fox

​Journalist, Author and Walkley Award Winner; Director of Diversity, WLA

Catherine Fox is a leading commentator on women and the workforce, an award-winning journalist, author and regular presenter to audiences around Australia. During a long career with the Financial Review, she edited several sections of the newspaper, and wrote the Corporate Woman column; and she has published five books, including "Stop Fixing Women” which along with her journalism was awarded the 2017 Walkley Award for Women’s Leadership in Media. Her most recent book “Women Kind” (with co-author Kirstin Ferguson) examines how female solidarity is rebooting the global women’s movement. Catherine helped establish the annual Financial Review 100 Women of Influence Awards in 2012 and was named a Woman of Influence in 2018; she was a member of the Australian Defence Force Gender Equality Advisory Board, sits on the Australian Women Donors Network board, and is co-founder of the Sydney Women’s Giving Circle.​

South Australia Award for Excellence in Women's Leadership

14:40 - 15:10

16:10 - 16:50

Keynote Address

​Author, Journalist and Presenter ABC’s 7.30 Report

Leigh Sales is an award-winning author and journalist at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and currently anchors 7.30. Until 2011, Leigh Sales anchored the prestigious Lateline program, interviewing major figures including Hillary Clinton, Tony Blair and Henry Kissinger. In 2005, Leigh won a Walkley Award, Australia's highest journalism honour, for her coverage of Guantanamo Bay and the case of David Hicks. Leigh's writing has been published in The Monthly, The Bulletin, The Australian, The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Diplomat. One of her essays was included in The Best Australian Political Writing of 2007, and her third book, Any Ordinary Day, was published in 2018.​

Leigh Sales

​Chief Defence Scientist and Physicist


Sandy is a first-generation Australian of Dutch, French, Portuguese and Ceylonese descent. She was elected as an Area Councillor in the 2015 by-election and served as Deputy Lord Mayor from June 2017 to November 2018.

Sandy has contributed to the success of Adelaide’s thriving arts and culture community for more than two decades, including having been CEO of the Adelaide Fringe and the Adelaide Festival, as well as producer of the Adelaide Festival of Ideas in 2018. She has been on numerous boards including the Adelaide Convention Bureau, Premier’s Climate Change Council, Adelaide Film Festival, Capital City Committee, as well as a trustee of the Adelaide Festival Centre Trust and Chairs a disability housing solutions organisation Aliro Ltd.​

​Lord Mayor, City of Adelaide

Lord Mayor Sandy Verschoor

Lord Mayor Sandy Verschoor

Lord Mayor, City of Adelaide

Platinum education Partner


09:00 - 09:20

Welcome and Opening Comments

Director, Leadership and Advocacy, WLA

Suzi Finkelstein

Senior Facilitator and Executive Coach, WLA

Janet Horton

16:50 - 17:00

Welcome and Opening Comments

Director, Leadership and Advocacy, WLA

Suzi Finkelstein

Senior Facilitator and Executive Coach, WLA

Janet Horton

10:30 - 11:00

Introduction to Women Kind

​General Manager Employee Experience, Origin

Nilesh is currently the General Manager, Employee Experience at Origin. Nilesh leads the teams responsible for the delivery of enterprise-wide recruitment, employee lifecycle management, people analytics and digital HR transformation. At Origin, Nilesh has held several leadership roles in digital, marketing, operations, business process outsourcing and large customer transformation programmes. Through these roles Nilesh has led and worked with diverse teams across Australia and India to deliver on key business initiatives. Prior to joining Origin, Nilesh held roles with Shell, Gale Pacific and the Queensland Government.


Jon Briskin joined Origin in 2010 and was appointed General Manager, Retail in May 2016. Jon leads the teams responsible for energy sales, marketing, product development and service experience for Origin’s residential and SME customers. Jon has held various roles at Origin, leading customer operations, service transformation and customer experience. Prior to Origin, Jon worked as a management consultant across financial services, energy, technology and government sectors.  Jon holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting and Finance) from Monash University.

Asheley Jones is a highly autonomous, dynamic senior education executive with more than two decades experience in the education, technology and professional service sectors. Her leadership is highly focused on business strategy, organisational change management and policy development. Asheley has a proven track record in developing and implementing a variety of educational programs within the higher education, VET and executive professional development spheres. She has successfully worked with multiple stakeholders in: Academia; State and Federal Governments; industry and not for profit sectors.


Executive General Manager, Retail, Origin

​Head Professional Practice and Industry Engagement, DeakinCo.


09:20 - 09:30

Sponsor Addresses

General Manager Employee Experience, Origin



Executive General Manager, Retail, Origin

Head Professional Practice and Industry Engagement, DeakinCo.