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Melbourne Symposium 2022

Friday 16th September 2022

Sofitel on Collins, Melbourne

Panel Members

Ifrin Fittock

Chief Executive Officer, SisterWorks

Nyadol Nyuon OAM

Lawyer and Human Rights Advocate; Director, Sir Zelman Cowen Centre, Victoria University

TASNEEM CHOPRA OAM

DE&I Cross Cultural Consultant; Director; Broadcaster; Author; AntiRacism Champion

Dr Niki Vincent

Commissioner for Gender Equality in the Public Sector, Victoria

Lauren CallAway

Assistant Commissioner, Family Violence Command, Victoria Police

Mannie Kaur Verma

Principal Lawyer & Founder, Regal Lawyers; Founder, Veera - Brave Girl

15:10 - 15:30

Afternoon Tea

17:00 - 18:00

Networking 

We all know that diverse and inclusive workplaces benefit individuals, organisations, teams and society and they have a significant impact on trust, commitment, performance, reputation, and financial performance. But what do inclusive workplaces and teams actually look and feel like? What are the practices of today's inclusive leaders? In this session, our expert panel will discuss the practices and principles that have supported their journeys as inclusive leaders and their stories will give you the knowledge and confidence in enacting these ideas to create a more inclusive workplace.

The Practices and Principles of Inclusive Leadership

Panel Discussion

11:00 - 12:30​

Ifrin is the CEO of SisterWorks, a Victorian based For-Purpose organisation supporting migrant and refugee women, to gain confidence, be independent, and learn new social and vocational skills to improve their economic outlook. Growing up in Indonesia in a Chinese migrant family, and subsequently migrating to Australia, Ifrin deeply understands the challenges these women face. After 23 years in the glamorous world of corporate and consulting, Ifrin was introduced to SisterWorks during her sabbatical as a stay-home mum. Starting her journey as a volunteer in 2018, Ifrin has held several leadership positions in SisterWorks, including Head of Social Enterprise, Chief Operating Officer and Deputy CEO, before assuming the CEO role. She has watched it grow from a small grassroots charity into the respected social enterprise it is today. Ifrin is a passionate diversity and gender equality advocate, an inclusive leader, and a proud mother of 3 strong and determined girls.

Dr Niki Vincent was appointed as Victoria’s first Public Sector Gender Equality Commissioner in September 2020. She is responsible for overseeing implementation of the Gender Equality Act 2020 and plays a key leadership role in promoting gender equality in the Victorian community and workplaces. Previously, Niki held the positions of South Australian Commissioner for Equal Opportunity and CEO of the Leaders Institute of South Australia. She holds an appointment as an Adjunct Associate Professor in UniSA’s Business School and has established and run two successful not-for-profit organisations. In addition, Niki is an active ambassador for Time for Kids – a respite foster care organisation – and sits on the board of InTouch Multicultural Centre Against Family Violence. Niki is a mother, stepmother, grandmother, and foster parent. 

A Cross-cultural Consultant, Tasneem addresses issues of diversity, equity and inclusion across organisational leadership, including intersectionality within government, corporate and community sectors. She was recently appointed the inaugural Ambassador for Women of Colour, Australia – and in 2020, awarded an OAM (Order of Australia Medal). Tasneem has been named an Anti-Racism Champion by the Australian Human Rights Commission and holds a Distinguished Alumni Award from La Trobe University. In addition to her Consultancy, Tasneem is a Director for The Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI)The Crescent Institute, the South Asian Australian’s Researching Ideas (SAARI) as well as a Strategic advisor to Fire Rescue Victoria (FRV), the In-Touch Multicultural Centre Against Family Violence and the La Trobe University School of Humanities. She is also a published author, panellist and sought-after commentator.

Lauren grew up in Sale, Gippsland and joined Victoria Police in 1994. After working operational duties in Melbourne, Ballarat, and Geelong, Lauren took promotion to sergeant in the Intelligence and Covert Support Department (ICSC) where she spent six years involved in forensic intelligence, special projects, and establishing the Sex Offenders Registry. Lauren spent a year in the Crime Department as an Acting Inspector establishing the first iteration of the Violence Against Women and Children Strategy Group. She was promoted to Commander in 2018 where she worked on developing organisational education strategy, leading the specialist training areas, and producing quality outcomes in education and training. In September 2020, she took up a new role as Assistant Commissioner of Family Violence Command and is currently the chair of Victoria Police Legacy having been a Board member since 2010. Her goal within the Police Legacy environment is to simply create a culture of compassion.

Born in the UK, Mel moved to Melbourne with her mother at a young age and became one of Australia’s biggest Stars of Women’s Cricket. After retiring from her playing career, Jones has focused on supporting, developing, and expanding opportunities and careers for women in sport both on and off the cricket field. Jones has hit many milestones including one of the first ever female commentators for the IPL and the first female cricket lead in T20 in Australia. In 2018, Mel was announced as part of Fox Sport’s Cricket team. In January of 2019, Jones was presented with one of Australia’s highest honours; the Medal of the Order of Australia for services towards cricket and the community. In November 2019, Jones took on a new role as a Director on the board of Cricket Australia. Mel is a regular when it comes to getting involved in charity work and initiatives surrounding equality. Mel is currently an ambassador for Victoria University, Red Dust & Change Our Game.        

Nyadol Nyuon is a lawyer, community advocate, writer, and public speaker. She was born in a refugee camp in Itang, Ethiopia, and raised in Kakuma Refugee camp, Kenya. In 2005, at the age of eighteen, she moved to Australia as a refugee. Since then, Nyadol has completed a Bachelor of Arts from Victoria University and a Juris Doctor from the University of Melbourne. She is a vocal advocate for human rights, multiculturalism, the settlement of people with refugee experiences, and those seeking asylum. Nyadol is also a regular media commentator having appeared on ABC’s The Drum, Q&A and contributing to many Newspapers. She has been the recipient of the Future Justice Prize, the Australian Human Rights Commission’s Racism. It Stops With Me Award, Harmony Alliance Award, Afro-Australian Student Organisation’s Unsung Hero Award, and was co-recipient of the Tim McCoy prize for her advocacy on behalf of the South Sudanese Community.

09:05 - 09:30

Welcome & Opening Comments

Program Director, Women & Leadership Australia

Dr Janet Smith

09:40 - 10:10

Keynote Address

Commissioner for Gender Equality in the Public Sector, Victoria

Dr Niki Vincent

Tasneem Chopra OAM

DE&I Cross Cultural Consultant; Director; Broadcaster; Author; AntiRacism Champion

10:10 - 10:40

Keynote Address

10:40 - 11:00

Morning Tea

Assistant Commissioner, Family Violence Command, Victoria Police

Lauren Callaway

Ifrin Fittock

Chief Executive Officer, SisterWorks

Program Director, Women & Leadership Australia

Dr Janet Smith

13:15 - 14:05

Development Session

12:30 - 13:15

Lunch

15:30 - 16:10

Keynote Address

Cricket Commentator & Presenter; Women in Sport Advocate

Mel Jones OAM

Karen Taylor

16:50 - 17:00

Closing Comments

Chief Executive Officer, Australian School of Applied Management

16:10 - 16:50

In Conversation

Lawyer and Human Rights Advocate; Director, Sir Zelman Cowen Centre, Victoria University

Nyadol Nyuon OAM

Program Director, Women & Leadership Australia

Dr Janet Smith

09:30 - 09:40

Welcome Address

Chief Executive Officer, Women & Leadership Australia

Karen Taylor

Louisa Coppel

Founder & Director, The Big Picture Strategic Services

LGBTIQA+ Disability Rights Activist, Writer, & Educator

Jax Jacki Brown OAM (They/Them)

Jax Jacki Brown OAM (they/them) is an LGBTIQA+ disability rights activist, writer, and educator. Jax runs their own business in LGBTIQA+ disability rights and inclusion where they provide guest speaking, education, workshops and training. Jax is interested in what meaningful leadership looks like for people with disabilities.

What is Inclusive Leadership and Why does it Matter?

Inclusive Leadership involves embracing and practicing both Diversity and Inclusion. This Development Session will build on the Panel Session by further exploring the signature traits of Inclusive Leaders and highlighting strategies and practical actions needed to create psychological safety and reduce unconscious bias in the workplace.

Mannie is a lawyer by profession and an advocate of women's rights by nature. She passionately advocates for marginalised communities, regularly appearing on various media panels and programs to provide a voice to those who are often absent from our judicial system. Her efforts and pro bono work have been recognised widely. She has been named as one of Melbourne’s most influential lawyers by Herald Sun and is also a finalist of Women of the Future 2021. Mannie is the Principal Lawyer and Founder of Regal Lawyers, an innovative disrupter in the legal industry, being one of the few law practices in Australia that places intersectionality at the core of its work. Mannie is also currently conducting research with Deakin University with an aim to improve the representation of diverse women in politics. Her proudest achievement is to represent and advocate for migrant women who have been subjected to domestic violence, through the non-profit organisation Veera – Brave Girl.

Principal Lawyer & Founder, Regal Lawyers; Founder, Veera - Brave Girl

Mannie Kaur Verma

Jax Jacki Brown OAM (They/Them)

LGBTIQA+ Disability Rights Activist, Writer, & Educator

09:00 - 09:05     Welcome to Country

Louisa is Director of The Big Picture Strategic Services, which she also founded in 2006. A word nerd and stickler for quality, she is passionate about working on the things that make a difference – in people, in organisations, and in the wider community. Her work focusses on drawing clarity out of confusion and helping her clients make decisions about what really matters. An accredited facilitator of the Team Management System™, Louisa also works as a coach and mentor and develops and delivers training programs for clients. Prior to establishing The Big Picture, Louisa worked in government, the arts, and with other not-for-profit organisations. She has been a Board Director for Film Victoria since 2020.

Louisa Coppel

Founder & Director, The Big Picture Strategic Services

Dr Sarah Hanieh is the founder of the social enterprise The Amp-Defy Academy, an online academy that teaches children how to identify, challenge and reject stereotypes from an early age, so they can dream big without boundaries. Sarah trained as a paediatrician and received her PhD from the University of Melbourne in 2015, for which she was awarded both the Chancellors Prize and the Deans Award for Excellence. She has worked with a number of non-governmental, academic and international institutions including Medecins Sans Frontieres and the World Health Organization, as well as holding several leadership positions including Executive Director of Women’s Health, Research and Policy. In 2018 Sarah was selected to take part in the Homeward Bound Project, the largest all women expedition to Antarctica. In addition to her work with The Amp-Defy Academy, she currently works as a Senior Research Fellow at the Doherty Institute, University of Melbourne.

Vicki Abraham, B. App. Sc (Occupational Therapy) has been in private practice for 22 years and established Abraham OT Services P/L (AOTS) to provide community and clinic based occupational therapy to people with varying conditions. In 2013 Vicki was awarded the George Alexander Fellowship through the International Specialised Skills Institute. This enabled her to travel overseas and research rehabilitation clinics in Europe and America and to establish what was lacking here in Australia. After much research within the rehabilitation field, AOTS established an evidence-based clinic specialising in Upper Limb Rehabilitation, utilising robotic and computer-based devices – the first of its kind in Australia.  The AOTS clinic assists clients who are unable to use, or have limited use of, their arm to regain movement in order to incorporate this arm into their daily occupations (daily living activities). The therapies provided aim to enhance client’s independence, wellbeing and quality of life.  

14:05 - 14:40

WLA in Action

Dr Sarah Hanieh

Founder, The AMP-DEFY Academy; Senior Research Fellow, University of Melbourne

Vicki Abraham

Managing Director, Abraham OT Services Pty Ltd

Dr Sarah Hanieh

Founder, The AMP-DEFY Academy; Senior Research Fellow, University of Melbourne

Vicki Abraham 

Managing Director, Abraham OT Services Pty Ltd

Victoria Award for Excellence in Women's Leadership

14:40 - 15:10

Chief Executive Officer, Djirra; Co-Chair, Change the Record

ANTOINETTE BRAYBROOK

Chief Executive Officer, Djirra; Co-Chair, Change the Record

ANTOINETTE BRAYBROOK

Victoria Award for Excellence in Women's Leadership

Mel Jones OAM

Cricket Commentator & Presenter; Women in Sport