Diversity & Inclusion Conference 2022
Wednesday 27 April 2022, 8:30am to 5:00pm AEST


8:45 AM9:00 AMWelcome and opening comments 
9:00 AM9:50 AMFrom refugee to pioneering surgeonProfessor Munjed Al Muderis, Orthopaedic surgeon, author and human rights activist
9:50 AM10:25 AMMorning tea break and exhibition 
10:25 AM11:10 AM1a Gender equality in the Australian workforce – where we are at and where we need to get toMary Wooldridge, Director, Workplace Gender Equality Agency
1b Are Australian organisations doing enough when it comes to diversity and inclusion?Scarlett McDermott, Chief Technology Officer, WithYouWithMe
11:15 AM12:00 PM2a Equity and inclusion: Breaking down barriers to intersectional leadership

Miriam Silva, Chair, InTouch Multicultural Centre Against Family Violence

Julie Chai CAHRI, Founder and CEO, Asian Leadership Project

Shelley Cable GAICD CPA, Director, Generation One at Minderoo Foundation

2b Empowered by difference: Cultivating diversity & inclusion in the Australian workplaceCathy Ngo, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Changemaker and Presenter
12:00 PM12:45 PMLunch break and exhibition 
12:45 PM1:30 PM3a Creating your compelling D&I case for change

Amy Wild CAHRI, Group Executive, Head of Corporate Operations, Investa

Ebru Dogan, Diversity and Inclusion Specialist Gold Coast hospital and Health Service

Julie Moss, Diversity Inclusion & Wellbeing Manager TransGrid

3b How diversity and inclusion can transform a workplace

Liz Hardiman, Inclusion and Diversity Advanced Practitioner, Cafs

Wendy Sturgess, CEO, Cafs

1:35 PM2:20 PM4a The business case for disability: Break down misconceptions and challenge unconscious bias to build more inclusive teams

Stephanie Agnew, Consultant, Get Skilled Access

Dr Lisa Chaffey, Senior Consultant, Get Skilled Access

4b Fostering inclusivity at Ford Australia: The evolution of Diversity and Inclusion in a global organisationAnoop Chaudhuri FCPHR, Vice President HR, Ford Australia & New Zealand
2:25 PM3:10 PM5a How to create a culturally safe and inclusive workplace for Indigenous Australians

Aunty Munya Andrews, Director, Evolve Communities

Carla Rogers, Director, Evolve Communities

5b Measuring inclusion and facilitating real change

Maud Lindley, Founding Director, Serendis Leadership

3:10 PM3:30 PMAfternoon tea break and exhibition 
3:30 PM4:15 PM6a Separating fact from fiction – Rethinking your workplace mental health strategyDavid Burroughs, Director & Principal Psychologist, Australian Psychological Services
6b How strong leadership accelerates and influences cultural change

Dr James Johnson, CEO, Geoscience Australia

Dr Andrew Heap, Chief of the Minerals, Energy and Groundwater Division, Geoscience Australia

Dr Martine Woolf, Branch Head National Positioning Information, Geoscience Australia

4:20 PM5:00 PMThe power of listeningMarlee Silva, Author and presenter

Session Descriptions

From refugee to pioneering surgeon

Fleeing Iraq as a first-year medical resident after refusing Saddam Hussein’s regime’s brutal orders to surgically remove the ears of deserting soldiers, Professor Munjed Al Muderis ended up on a flimsy wooden boat heading to his new home, Australia.

Since this time Professor Al Muderis has overcome extraordinary obstacles to become a leading orthopaedic surgeon, clinical lecturer, and fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons. He is a compassionate ambassador for multiple charitable organisations and a powerful advocate for humanitarian work supporting people seeking asylum and refugees. Professor Al Muderis continues to support the victims of the conflict he fled in Iraq, educating local orthopaedic surgeons in complex limb reconstruction and exemplifies the valuable and positive contribution that refugees can make.

1a Gender equality in the Australian workforce – where we are at and where we need to get to

The Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) is an Australian Government statutory agency created by the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012. WGEA is charged with promoting and improving gender equality in Australian workplaces and is led by Director, Mary Wooldridge. This session will detail the current state of workplace gender equality, key challenges for Australian employers and share gender equality best practice.

1b Are Australian organisations doing enough when it comes to diversity and inclusion?

As conversations around Diversity and Inclusion continue and organisations evolve their practices, the simple question remains – is it all just talk? WithYouWithMe has delved in to find out what actions employers are taking to make their hiring practices more inclusive and welcoming to diverse workforces. Join Scarlett McDermott, Chief Technology Officer, where she’ll share the answer of whether organisations are really doing enough when it comes to Diversity & Inclusion in Australian workplaces, and what you can do about it.

2a Equity and inclusion: Breaking down barriers to intersectional leadership

When we consider intersectionality, the simultaneous dimensions of social inequality, most commonly gender, race, class, and sexuality, we discover the unique experiences of individuals who occupy multiple marginalized social categories. When it comes to those who aspire to leadership opportunities this highlights the barriers many people who sit at the intersections of overlapping systems of discrimination commonly face. Join the discussion as leaders share their experiences and address the ways that organisations can unlock the skills, experience of all future leaders. 

2b Empowered by difference: Cultivating diversity & inclusion in the Australian workplace

Enriched by people who think in different ways, it is well established that organisations with high levels of diversity and inclusion benefit from improved productivity, innovation, problem-solving and decision-making. So how are Australian organisations tracking when it comes to diversity and inclusion?  Indeed’s latest Workplace Diversity and Inclusion Survey – one of the most comprehensive studies of its kind in Australia – found that while there is greater recognition of the importance of diversity and inclusion (D&I) in the workplace, this doesn’t always translate into meaningful actions or results, with a significant proportion of Australians continuing to feel like they can’t be their true self at work. 

That being said, progress has been made over the last twelve months – with many workers who identify as being part of a minority group reporting improved job satisfaction and working relationships, despite the significant challenges of a pandemic. Join Cathy to unpack the current state of D&I in the Australian workplace, the influence of the pandemic and what it has taught us, and how we can apply these learnings to drive positive change in your organisation.

3a Creating your compelling D&I case for change

The AHRI Diversity and Inclusion Maturity Model was created in 2019 and is a consolidation of best-practice, global D&I practices in leading organisations. The second level of this three level model focusses upon the way we change mindsets and behaviours, typically organisations at level two have gone above the minimum necessary to meet Australian legal compliance and established D&I programs.

This session will feature AHRI award winning organisation who have adopted a strategic approach that is beyond compliance, have defined D&I as part of organisation strategy and been successful in building a case for change.

3b How diversity and inclusion can transform a workplace

How do you go about introducing and embedding Inclusion & Diversity in a workplace that’s 156 years old? Cafs made a conscious and firm decision to invest in a significant culture change and dedicated resources for inclusion and diversity – including its first I&D Lead position. 

We know that inclusive and diverse workforces help to foster innovation and change, benefiting the communities and families that we serve.  The impact on the organisation through this investment has been significant and has been noted by Cafs colleagues, the broader community, and nationally.  

In 2021, Cafs was recognised for our work at the AHRI National Awards in the following categories: CEO Diversity Champion – Wendy Sturgess; HR Diversity Champion – Liz Hardiman; The Michael Kirby LGBTIQ+ Inclusion Award; The Wayne Cascio Organisational Development Award for Cafs innovative approach to organisational changes in the Family Violence team 2020 

4a The business case for disability: Break down misconceptions and challenge unconscious bias to build more inclusive teams

Join Steph and Lisa in an interactive session as they break down misconceptions and challenge unconscious bias that create barriers to people with disability gaining employment and thriving within your organisations. Their personal experience in living with disability will help you learn and understand how to shift mindsets and attitudes about disability. The expert knowledge they bring to this session will provide you with practical solutions to implement inclusive behaviours that will enable you to think differently and help achieve your organisations disability inclusion goals.

4b Fostering inclusivity at Ford Australia: The evolution of Diversity and Inclusion in a global organisation 

Anoop Chaudhuri FCPHR, Vice President HR, Ford Australia & New Zealand 

Diversity, inclusion and equality are fluid concepts that evolve and morph in response to people and their culture, environmental events, community movements, and societies general understanding and maturity of thought in relation to them. Organisations must work to ensure their corporate cultures, policies and positions, values and behaviours evolve and flex appropriately in response. D,E & I have been of importance to the Ford Motor Company since its inception almost 120 years ago.

Join Anoop Chaudhuri, Vice President, HR, Australia & New Zealand, for the Ford Motor Company, as he shares how Ford recently responded to an environmental event, creating an opportunity to enhance inclusivity, and how Ford is working to continue evolving how diversity, inclusion and equity are shared and demonstrated in the global company and plans to develop them further here in Australia. 

5a How to create a culturally safe and inclusive workplace for Indigenous Australians

Join Aboriginal Elder Aunty Munya Andrews and Community Engagement specialist Carla Rogers for an engaging talk, packed full of takeaways, insights and followed by Q&A. Together Aunty Munya and Carla lead the cultural awareness training company Evolve Communities and are co-Authors of the book Practical Reconciliation: Strengthening Relationships for All Australians in 7 Easy Steps. Their tried-and-tested Seven Step™ approach to Reconciliation and Allyship has been implemented by Diversity & Inclusion professionals in hundreds of organisations throughout Australia including Government departments, social enterprises and some of Australia’s largest employers. Bring your questions and get ready to be inspired and empowered to confidently work alongside Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

5b Measuring inclusion and facilitating real change

What does D&I 2.0 look like? This thought-provoking session will provide practical solutions for your organisation to engage even the most sceptical leaders. What gets measured gets achieved. How can we measure inclusion and determine effective levers of change? Maud Lindley, Founding Director at Serendis Leadership will share a 9-dimension framework to assess how organisations can continue to enhance a culture of inclusion.

6a Separating fact from fiction – Rethinking your workplace mental health strategy

Despite so much interest and investment, it appears workplace mental health activities are not having the impact we need. From concept confusion, the anecdotal fallacy, a reliance on emotion over evidence and a failure to address the organisational barriers to mental health, it is a story told 1000’s of times. Dave Burroughs will capture some of his personal and professional observations from his extensive career as a workplace psychologist and strategist and will cover the cold hard facts of building a mentally healthy workplace, what to do, what measure, where to invest your time and effort, and what you should avoid.

6b How strong leadership accelerates and influences cultural change

Geoscience Australia’s CEO and SAGE Executive Sponsor will outline how strong leadership can accelerate and influence cultural change. They will outline their Diversity and Inclusion journey to become a scientific workplace of choice based on developing a culture where everyone values one another for who they are and what they bring, allowing everyone to maximise their contributions and potential. The session will comprise a presentation that documents Geoscience Australia’s journey so far and what’s to come, including personal reflections and references real-world examples.

The power of listening

In the face of the COVID19 pandemic, Australian organisations were forced to adapt in ways never previously imagined. While workers were faced with obstacles around remote working and other disruptions, the event has given an opportunity to update the way employees engage with employers and each other.

Marlee Silva will explore the ways businesses can better support current and future employees particularly those from diverse backgrounds in raising their voices around the issues that matter most to them and shape meaningful, sustainable change.