Sydney Symposium 2019

Thursday 18th and Friday 19th July 2019

Shangri-La Hotel


Publisher, Women’s Agenda


Australian Paralympian


Chief Online Political Writer & Author; Author, Journalist and Presenter, ABC’s 7:30 Report


Special Counsel, Thomas Greer


Journalist, Author, Walkley Award Winner

09:20 - 09:50

Keynote Address

​CEO, Australian Women Donors Network

Prior to leading the Australian Women Donors Network, Julie’s diverse experience spanned government, corporate, NFP, university and media roles. She has co-ordinated international OECD conferences, won an Excellence Award for her work with the National Centre for Gender and Cultural Diversity at Swinburne University and last year was named in the Herald Sun’s 50 Women in Victoria You Should Know. Julie has studied Philanthropy and Social Investment and has served on NFP and philanthropic boards. She currently holds Board roles with the Perpetual Foundation, Canadian based G(irls)20, and MECCA’s M-Power Program. She is most proud of co-producing two intelligent, independent, capable, compassionate daughters.​

Julie Reilly

09:00 - 09:20

Welcome and Opening Comments

Program Director, WLA

Suzi Finkelstein

Senior Facilitator and Executive Coach, WLA

Janet Horton

09:50 - 10:20

Keynote Address 

​Australian Paralympian

In 2008 Madison became the youngest athlete to be selected on an Australian Paralympic or Olympic athletics team, and catapulted from an unknown junior racer to a crucial member of 4X100m relay team in the Beijing Paralympics. Madison found her calling in the endurance events, collecting a bronze medal in the 800m at the IPC World Championships and clocking the fastest debut marathon for any female athlete at the London Marathon. Madison similarly left the field behind in a breathtaking final sprint to become world champion in the 800m at the IPC World Championships in 2015.Leaving Rio with two silver medals to her name, after joining her teammates with a silver medal performance in the 4x400m relay, and narrowly missing gold in the 800M. ​

Madison De Rozario

10:20 - 10:50

Keynote Address

​President, Australian Federation of Air Pilots

In October 2018 Louise was elected as the 32nd AFAP President. Throughout her 17-year career with Sunstate Louise has flown the Shorts 360, Dash 8-100, 200, 300 and 400. For the past 12 years Louise has also been an active member of the Sunstate Pilots' Enterprise Bargaining Agreement negotiating team and Secretary of the Australian Federation of Air Pilots (AFAP) Sunstate Pilot Council Committee. In 2009 Louise was elected AFAP Vice President of Administration and Finance with responsibility for oversight of budgeting and financial governance matters. In 2010 Louise established the AFAP Women's Network, providing a unique forum to identify and pursue industrial and professional issues relevant to women members. Since its inception, the number of women members has increased by over 300%.​

Captain Louise Pole


CEO, Australian Women Donors Network


Managing Director, Twitter Australia




Clinical Director for Surgery, RAAF

10:50 - 11:10

Morning Tea

Sue Kench is the Global Chief Executive of King & Wood Mallesons, taking on this role in 2017 after leading the firm in Australia for four years as Chief Executive Partner, Australia. Sue was the first woman in Australia to lead a top tier law firm in that role. Sue works closely with Wang Junfeng, the Global Chairman and the firm’s International Management Committee. She became a Partner in the Real Estate practice of legacy Mallesons Stephen Jaques in 1996 and has held a number of board, management and leadership positions in the firm over the past two decades.​

​Global Chief Executive, King & Wood Mallesons

Sue Kench

Tarla Lambert is the publisher and part-owner of Women’s Agenda, Australia’s leading online news website for professional and entrepreneurial women. She’s a writer, commentator, politics enthusiast and fierce advocate for equality. Women's Agenda has established a valuable place in the Australian media landscape, covering everything from business, tech, and politics through to lifestyle, finance and leadership. Tarla specialises in content strategy and production, editorial, social media, events and digital partnerships.

​Publisher, Women’s Agenda

Tarla Lambert

Michelle Penfold is a co-founder of AIEF and former CEO of the Australian Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong (AustCham), the largest Australian business organisation outside of Australia, representing over 1,000 Australian businesses across Greater China. Michelle began her career in the hospitality industry and spent eight years working in hospitality management in Sydney, London and Hong Kong after completing a Bachelor of Arts (Communications) at The University of Technology, Sydney in 1988, majoring in Journalism and Political Studies.As a Founder and Director of AIEF Michelle is responsible for all stakeholder relationships and engagement, as well as internal and external communications including media and marketing and events.​

​Founder and Director, Australian Indigenous Education Foundation (AIEF)

Michelle Penfold

Sanushka is a corporate lawyer specialising in capital markets, corporate finance and mergers and acquisitions. Her practice is largely cross-border with an Asia-focus and Sanushka have expertise in capital markets and M&A transactions involving clients in the People's Republic of China, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Indonesia and India, as well as capital markets and M&A transactions involving clients in the USA and the UK. Amongst her professional achievements, Shanushka was named by the Australian Financial Review as one of the 100 Women of Influence in Australia 2018. She has a particular interest in India and am a co-founder and director of the School of Policy and Governance, co-founder of the Australia India Youth Dialogue and National Vice Chair of the Australia India Business Council (AIBC).​

​Special Counsel, Thomas Greer and National Vice Chair, Australia India Business Council

Sanushka Seomangal

12:40 - 13:30


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

11:10 - 12:40​

15:30 - 15:50

Afternoon Tea

16:30 - 16:40

Closing Comments

Program Director, WLA

Suzi Finkelstein

Senior Facilitator and Executive Coach, WLA

Janet Horton

Agenda Day 1

Thursday 18th July 2019

Agenda Day 2

Friday 19th July 2019

09:00 - 09:20

Welcome and Opening Comments

Program Director, WLA

Suzi Finkelstein

Senior Facilitator and Executive Coach, WLA

Janet Horton

09:50 - 10:30

Keynote Address

​Managing Director, Twitter Australia

Suzy is Twitter Australia’s Managing Director, responsible for local operations including its advertising business and operations. Previously, Suzy ran Twitter Australia’s online sales business for almost three years which experienced strong growth under her leadership. Australia is part of the fastest growing region in the world for Twitter, which has more than three-quarters of its users outside the United States. Suzy is passionate about helping brands integrate new digital technologies to achieve their business objectives in innovative ways. Working with a range of clients across multiple industries, Suzy helps Australian businesses engage with and understand the value of Twitter. Mother to two young girls, Suzy is a keen swimmer and Surf Lifesaver for North Steyne SLSC. You can find her on Twitter @suzynicoletti​

Suzy Nicoletti

10:45 - 11:10

Morning Tea

In this session we will meet professionals who work in sectors that are generally dominated by one gender. We will learn about how they challenged the system and how their inspiration followed their passion. Panellists will field questions about being the minority in a workplace.​

'Let’s talk about non-traditional roles’

Panel Discussion

11:10 - 12:50​

Panel Members

Panel Members

Annette is a consultant Orthopaedic surgeon based in Victoria and recently elected by the Fellowship to the RACS Council. She is lead a project with the International Committee of the Red Cross and the AO Foundation in Switzerland to establish minimum standards of care for people with limb injuries in disasters and complex emergencies, whilst also undertaking a Masters of Surgical Education at the University of Melbourne. She is the Clinical Director for Surgery and Perioperative Services for RAAF, holds the rank of Group Captain. The first female to graduate from the Victorian Orthopaedic training program in 1990, she practiced initially at Monash Medical Centre with specialization in Paediatric orthopaedics. She joined the RAAF in 2000, and subsequently shifted towards Trauma Surgery. She has undertaken five deployments to war zones including three tours in Afghanistan.​

​Clinical Director for Surgery and Perioperative Services, Royal Australian Air Force

Annette Holian

Simone is a founder of the organic beef industry in Australia and has been pioneering the development of major market opportunities for her organic beef network since the mid 1990’s.  She is a Director of the Organic Federation of Australia, currently merging into the newly expanded Organic Industries of Australia, and was a member of the Federal Government National Food Plan Advisory Group – in recognition of the growing importance of the organic food sector to Australian agriculture. Simone is an organic beef producer and joint Managing Director of the AOM Group, an organic meat company that represents farmers in their quest to achieve fair market returns for their organic beef and lamb products. She was recently recognised as a finalist in the 2018 AFR 100 Women of Influence. Simone and her family currently operate an organic beef property near Goondiwindi.​

​Director, Australian Organic Meats

Simone Tully

Donovan is a Registered Nurse, Midwife, and lecturer for the Bachelor of Midwifery program at the University of Newcastle. Donovan is an early career researcher; his PhD explored the use of technology for engaging fathers in an online web-based mindfulness intervention. To date Donovan’s team has developed a Neonatal Virtual Reality program designed to provide health professionals and students with accessible and repeatable neonatal resuscitation lifesaving skills. Donovan is an alumni of CSIRO OnPrime and OnAccelerate programs designed to assist researchers to develop skills in the commercialisation of deep technologies from universities to commercial viability. ​



16:40 - 17:30

Networking Drinks

Eleni established Galmatic in 2007 with the launch of the Galmatic Car Care Handbook for Girls and the Galmatic Car Care Workshops for Women. Her experience in program design and facilitation includes working with three leading Registered Training Organisations, author of the Galmatic Handbook, 6 E-Books, 2 E-Courses and the first Car App for Women in Australia. She was a 2013 Telstra Business Womens’ Awards Nominee and has extensive experience in corporate training and program design in a variety of industries. Eleni is also an Author and Trainer with 15 years in the entertainment industry that has helped her to develop a training style, which is unique, adaptable, entertaining, engaging and motivating. 

​Author, Trainer, Grease Monkey and Founder, Galmatic

Eleni Mitakos

12:50 - 13:40


14:20 - 15:00

In Conversation

Annabel Crabb is an Australian political journalist, commentator and television host who is the ABC's chief online political writer. She has worked for Adelaide's The Advertiser, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, the Sunday Age and The Sun-Herald, and won a Walkley Award in 2009. She has written two books covering events within the Australian Labor Party, as well The Wife Drought, a book about women's work life balance. She has hosted ABC television shows Kitchen Cabinet, The House and Back in Time for Dinner.

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 second book, On Doubt, was published in 2009.

Annabel Crabb and Leigh Sales 

15:00 - 15:10

Closing Comments

Program Director, WLA

Suzi Finkelstein

Senior Facilitator and Executive Coach, WLA

Janet Horton


AFL Coach


Author, Trainer, Grease Monkey and Founder, Galmatic


Global Chief Executive, King & Wood Mallesons


AFL Coach, 2013 Football Woman of the Year

Jocelyn is a proud Aboriginal woman born and raised on the lands of the Gadigal people of the Eora nation and a direct descendant of the King and Smith families. She now lives with her family in the Hunter Region of NSW and is actively involved in Wollombi lore. Jocelyn founded her business, Fivegrants Consulting, in 2006 and was a founding supplier of Supply Nation. She has worked on projects with Supply Nation, Yarnteen and Indigenous Business Australia and recently led the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence through a period of extensive change in leadership. Jocelyn is currently the Chair of the Independent Advisory Panel for the NSW Aboriginal Land Council’s Economic Development Strategy.​

​Director and CEO, First Australians Capital Ltd

Jocelyn King


Director and CEO, First Australians Capital Ltd


​Director, Australian Organic Meats


Broadcaster, Writer, Author and Social Commentator


President, Australian Federation of Air Pilots

Yumi Stynes is a broadcaster and writer who's been working in Australian media for almost two decades, evolving from music reporter to her current, 'more mature' focus as a writer on Arts, Culture, Food, Gender Politics and Human Sexuality. She’s known for her honesty, warmth and humour. Like many women, Yumi is juggling — she does a daily radio show, works on several writing projects (including her recently released Zero F*cks cookbook), and regularly runs 10km for a laugh — all while raising four children. She hosts Is Australia Sexist? on SBS television and fronts 'Ladies, We Need to Talk', the popular podcast with ABC Audio Studios.​

With over 18 years of coaching experience in the WAFL, AFL and AFLW, Michelle has had a long and successful career that has contributed to the game’s exciting evolution. Her role at West Perth Football Club was followed by a three-year stint at South Fremantle Football Club as midfield coach. Michelle later took on a dual role at Melbourne Football Club as the Senior Coach of their Women’s Team and Development Coach for the Men’s team before being appointed by Fremantle Football Club to be the inaugural coach of their AFLW side from 2016-2018. Michelle was awarded the 2013 AFL Football Women of the year. Her achievements have made it clearer that when it comes to football or business, gender should be no barrier to kicking goals. ​

Michelle Cowan

​AFL Coach, 2013 Football Woman of the Year


Secretary, NSW Health

13:30 - 15:10​

Interactive SESSION

‘Women Kind - Unlocking the power of women supporting women’ 

Catherine Fox is one of Australia’s leading commentators on women and the workforce. An award-winning journalist, author and presenter, she is regularly invited to address audiences around Australia and often appears in the media. During a long career with the Financial Review, she edited several sections of the newspaper, and wrote the weekly Corporate Woman column; and she has published four books, including her latest "Stop Fixing Women” (NewSouth), which along with her journalism was awarded the 2017 Walkley Award for Women’s Leadership in Media. In 2012 Catherine helped establish the annual Westpac/Financial Review 100 Women of Influence Awards; she is a member of the Australian Defence Force Gender Equality Advisory Board and Australian Women Donors Network board, and co-founder of the Sydney Women’s Giving Circle.​

Dr Kirstin Ferguson is a professional company director and Chair, keynote speaker and author. After beginning her career as an Air Force Officer, Kirstin was an executive in a corporate law firm where she held various leadership roles for many years.  Kirstin then became CEO of a global consulting firm before commencing her board career. As well as Honours degrees in Law and also History, she also has a PhD in corporate governance and leadership for which she has received industry and academic awards. Dr Ferguson was the creator of the Walkley nominated #CelebratingWomen campaign in 2017 and is also the author of Women Kind with co-author Catherine Fox.  She was awarded the Queensland Award by Women & Leadership Australia in 2018.​

​Journalist, Author and Walkley Award Winner

Catherine Fox

​Company Director and Chair, Creator of #celebratingwomen, and Author, Women Kind

Dr Kirstin Ferguson

10:30 - 10:45

Executive Program

​Secretary, NSW Health

Elizabeth Koff has held a number of Senior Executive roles within the NSW health system, including Director Clinical Operations South Eastern Sydney Illawarra Area Health Service and Chief Executive of Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network. In February 2015, Elizabeth commenced in the role of Deputy Secretary, Strategy and Resources at the NSW Ministry of Health where she was responsible for strategic health policy development and system-wide planning of health services. In May 2016, Elizabeth was appointed Secretary, NSW Health. As Secretary, Elizabeth is committed to strategically re-shaping health services to provide better value care and improved patient outcomes, ensuring NSW continues to lead the nation in delivering high quality care to its communities.

13:40 - 14:20

Keynote Address



Elizabeth Koff


Company Director and Chair, Creator of #celebratingwomen, and Author, Women Kind

New South Wales Award for Excellence in Women's Leadership

15:10 - 15:30

15:50 - 16:30

Keynote Address

Broadcaster, Writer, Author and Social Commentator



Pioneering Surgeon and Obstetrician

Please note: Dr Alison Morgan, Dr Catherine Hamlin's niece, will be accepting this award in person on behalf of Dr Hamlin


Platinum education Partner


09:20 - 09:50

Keynote Address

Managing Director, Australian Gender Equality Agency  

Dr Fitzsimmons is a Senior Lecturer in Leadership with the University of Queensland Business School. He is also a Chartered Accountant with over 30 years of practice. He is the director of the AIBE Centre for Gender Equality in the Workplace and Managing Director of the Australian Gender Equality Council (AGEC), a body whose members comprise of peak national bodies representing women across industry sectors in Australia.

His PhD in Leadership examined successful attributes of CEOs and differing pathways to CEO roles for men and women. In June 2015, Dr Fitzsimmons and Professor Callan and working with the Committee for Perth, released ‘Filling the Pool’, a major report into gender inequality in Western Australia and what government, organisations and individuals can do to address the issue.   ​

Dr Terrance Fitzsimmons

Dr Terrance Fitzsimmons

Managing Director, Australian Gender Equality Agency