09:00 - 09:20 Welcome and Opening comments


Federation Ballroom Hyatt Hotel, Canberra

Friday 29th March, 2019

09:20 - 09:50

Leadership: Diversity, Drive, Disruption

Amna Karra-Hassan

Organisational Development Coordinator, Lebanese Muslim Association; Former Communications Officer, Australian Federal Police

Amna Karra-Hassan 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 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’s courage and contribution to the community and women’s sport enables her to share her experiences on collaborating with community leaders, small business owners, local government, traditional and social media and thought leaders. She shares how she engages in the story telling process to help others overcome adversity, build confidence, resilience, and lead with perseverance and courage.

09:50 - 10:20

How Full is Your Bucket?

Lauren Hepher

A/Paramedic Educator and Intensive Care Paramedic, Ambulance Tasmania; Mental Health Advocate

Lauren Hepher is currently A/Paramedic Educator and Intensive Care Paramedic at Ambulance Tasmania and has also worked as Acting Clinical Support Officer and Intensive Care Paramedic. She is a Course Coordinator at EMST Australia and President of the Ambulance Employees Sub-branch of the Health and Community Services Union (HACSU). Lauren is concerned about the workload for Tasmanian paramedics and is passionate about helping Ambulance Officers understand and look after their "bucket".

10:20 - 10:50

My Leadership Journey

Wing Commander Cheryl Neal

Deputy Director Military Recruiting (Attraction), RAAF

Wing Commander Cheryl Neal is a descendant of the Darug people of NSW. In her current role, Deputy Director Military Recruiting, she oversees the development of Navy, Army and Air Force marketing campaigns to recruit to the Australian Defence Force. On embarking on an ADF career, she initially entered as a medic because she felt she didn’t have the confidence to lead. Once in, she realised her leadership potential and this, paired with her aptitude, enabled her to pursue a successful career as a Commissioned Officer. Cheryl has since gone on to lead diversity initiatives for the Air Force. She believes programs like the Indigenous Pre-Recruitment Program enable young Indigenous men and women to flourish in a supportive environment. 

10:50 - 11:10 morning tea

11:10 - 12:40

Panel Discussion

Navigating Your Path

Your personal brand is not only about who you are and what you want to be known for. It also relates to what you want to achieve and how you aim to achieve it. Create a pragmatic and purposeful plan for on-going professional and personal achievement. Establish a personal vision, prioritizing investment in professional development and identifying and achieving key career goals.

Fatima Abbas

Deputy commissioner NSW State Emergency Services

Fatima is currently the Deputy Commissioner at the NSW State Emergency Service, where she is responsible for an abundance of corporate services, including ICT, transformation, project management, people and development and corporate governance. Fatima has executive level experience in human resources management, corporate planning and strategy, and organisational change management. She has previously held executive appointments at the Sydney Opera House, in the financial services (superannuation) industry, and at NSW Fire & Rescue. Not only this, Fatima is a registered Organisational Psychologist, and holds various qualifications in Management, Psychology and Human Resources.

Senior Constable Sarah McGuinness

Sergeant, Security and Counter Terrorism Command, Queensland Police Service; 40 under 40 IACP Award Winner

Senior Constable Sarah McGuinness continually strives to make her community a safer place. She has worked in multiple units, such as the Cultural Engagement Unit and the Crime Prevention Unit, and on various projects, including administrative tasks, field training, and police beats. She created protective behaviour and domestic violence programs to improve the policing services provided to both the CALD community and women, and her leadership and community outreach has allowed her to enhance the profile of women in policing. Senior Constable Sarah McGuinness became Gold Coast Police Officer of the Year in 2015, and is a representative for the Queensland Police Service in the Rotary Group Study Exchange. In 2018 she won the highly prestigious 40 under 40 International Policing Award hosted by the International Association Chiefs of Police. 

Stephanie Rotarangi

Deputy Chief Officer, Country Fire Authority VIC; Highest ranked female officer in CFA history

Dr Stephanie Rotarangi joined the CFA in March 2018 from the Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, where she served as Chief Fire Officer since 2016. In her current role as Deputy Chief Officer with the CFA, she is responsible for overseeing CFA’s Operational Capability across the state and also CFA’s Growth Programs which has oversight of service delivery in Melbourne’s outer metro area and Victoria’s growing regional cities. Prior to moving to Victoria, Stephanie was the Chief Executive and Principal Rural Fire Office for the Otago region of her native New Zealand. She has an impressive firefighting career spanning 20-years. She has a PhD in Geography, a Masters in Environmental Science and a Bachelor of Forestry Science. 

12:40 - 13:30 Lunch Break

13:30 - 14:30

Development Session

presented by Suzi Finkelstein

Be Brave, Adaptive and Experimental

Although Australia has made significant progress in the gender equity space, we all know there is a long way to go until we reach parity. This session provides a national focus on current initiatives whilst also having a future focus. Our aim is to empower individuals and teams, across all departments, to make all kinds of small and large-scale change.


14:30 - 15:00

Keynote Presentation

Donna Adams

Deputy Secretary, Department of Police, Fire and Emergency Management; 2014 Tasmanian Telstra Business Women's Award Business Innovation Award Winner 

As Tasmania Police’s highest ranking female police officer, and most senior female member of the Tasmanian public service, Donna Adams has a unique story to tell. Her skills as an investigator, leader, and innovator have seen her achieve the rank of Assistant Commissioner and the state service role of Deputy Secretary – both higher levels than any woman before her. Donna has been a mentor and supporter of both sworn and unsworn women in Tasmania Police, encouraging them to seek out opportunities for professional development, promotion, and to demonstrate leadership. In 2014 Donna was awarded the Tasmanian Telstra Business Women's Business Innovation Award for her work, which saw Tasmania Police become the first police organisation to roll out mobile devices to the frontline.


15:00 - 15:20 afternoon tea

15:20 - 16:00

Keynote Presentation

Commissioner Katarina Carroll

Commissioner, Queensland Fire and Emergency Services

Commissioner Carroll chairs the QFES Board and is on the Board of the Public Safety Business Agency (PSBA). She is also on the Board of the Australasian Fire Authorities Council (AFAC), is a member of the AFAC Commissioners and Chief Officers Strategic Committee (CCOSC), and is on the QUT School of Justice Advisory Panel. She is a member of the Australian and AFAC Male Champions of Change, which works to advance gender equity, inclusive cultures and achieve significant and sustainable improvements in the representation of women among a paid and volunteer workforce of more than 280,000 people. Commissioner Carroll is also a member of several federal and state government committees including the Australia-New Zealand Emergency Management Committee (ANZEMC), the Ministerial Council for Police and Emergency Management – Senior Official Group (MCPEM SOG), the National Risk Reduction Steering Committee and the Queensland Disaster Management Committee.

16:00 - 16:50

Leading for the right reasons

Liz Ellis AM

One of Australia’s highest profile elite athletes and most successful netballers ever; Broadcaster; Author

Liz is one of Australia’s highest profile elite athletes and most successful netballers ever. She surpassed the record for most test matches played for Australia in 2005 and captained the Sydney Swifts and Australian Netball Team until her retirement in 2007.
Liz's career highlights include 3 World Championships, 2 Commonwealth Games Gold Medals and 4 National Premierships (Sydney Swifts), as well as being named Australia's Most Valuable Player on four occasions. Liz is also a highly successful and experienced broadcaster. Appearing on television and radio as a sports commentator and presenter, Liz is the expert commentator on Network Ten and Fox Sports for the Trans Tasman Netball season broadcast. Liz’s articulate and engaging wit and down to earth manner has also seen her in demand on many entertainment programs on both radio and TV and broadcasting for ABC Local radio around the nation.

16:50 - 17:00 Review & Closing Comments

Lieutenant Colonel Jasmin Diab

Base Commander, Campbell Barracks, Australian Army; Vice-President of Women in Nuclear Australia; Australian Representative on the Women in Nuclear Global Committee

Jasmin joined the Australian Army in 2001. After graduating from the Australian Defence Force Academy and Royal Military College Duntroon, she was allocated to the Royal Australian Engineers as a Combat Engineer. Jasmin has spent the majority of her career providing operational and training support in countering chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive threats. Jasmin is a big advocate for thinking differently and is a co-founder of the Defence Entrepreneurs Forum Australia (DEF Aus) which encourages bottom up conceptual innovation through pitching ideas to Defence senior leadership. She is also the Vice-President of Women in Nuclear Australia and the Australian representative on the Women in Nuclear Global committee. Jasmin has a Bachelor of Science, in physics and chemistry, a Masters in Defence and Military Studies and has just completed her research thesis on how international nuclear safeguards can utilise machine learning around uranium mining for a Masters in Engineering Science (Nuclear Engineering).