Professor Munjed Al Muderis
Orthopaedic surgeon, author and human rights activist
Professor Munjed Al Muderis is an orthopaedic surgeon and a clinical lecturer at Macquarie University
and The Australian School Of Advanced Medicine. He specialises in hip, knee, trauma and
osseointegration surgery. He is a fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons and Chairman
of the Osseointegration Group of Australia.
Professor Al Muderis graduated from Baghdad College High School (The American Jesuit) in 1991.
He studied medicine at Baghdad University from 1991 to 1997.
As a first year resident Professor Al Muderis was forced to flee Iraq as he refused Saddam’s regime
brutal orders to surgically remove the ears of soldiers who had escaped from the army.
He ended up on a flimsy wooden boat heading to his new home, Australia.
Professor Munjed Al Muderis was detained on Christmas Island, then in Curtin Detention Centre in
He overcame these extraordinary obstacles to become an orthopaedic surgeon, specialising in hip,
knee and reconstructive surgery, and now advocates for the human rights of others.
Professor Al Muderis’ first job in Australia was at Mildura Base Hospital as an Emergency Unit and
Orthopaedic Resident. Four months later he moved to Melbourne as a Surgical Registrar at the Austin
Repatriation Hospital. His career next took him to Wollongong Hospital where he spent a year as an
unaccredited Orthopaedic Registrar followed by a year at Canberra Hospital.
Director, Workplace Gender Equality Agency
As Director of the Workplace Gender Equality Agency, Mary brings a wealth of experience from a distinguished career in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors. Mary served from 2006 to 2020 in the Victorian Parliament, including a term as Minister for Mental Health, Community Services and Women’s Affairs.
As Minister, Mary worked to implement the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010-2022 and was instrumental in establishing Our Watch, the national family violence prevention agency. Mary was the Minister responsible for signing Victoria up to the National Disability Insurance Scheme. She established the Victorian Commission for Children and Young People, including the nation’s first Aboriginal Commissioner, Parkville College – an award-winning Public School in Youth Justice Centres and Australia’s first Mental Health Complaints Commissioner and the Family Drug Treatment Court.
Prior to being elected to Parliament, Mary was the CEO of The Foundation for Young Australians and worked with McKinsey & Company and Consolidated Press Holdings.
Chief Technology Officer, WithYouWithMe
Scarlett McDermott is the Chief Technology Officer of WithYouWithMe, a global technology company working to close the digital skills gap and make careers more accessible for underemployed and overlooked individuals.
Despite an impressive background in technology and cyber security, Scarlett has had first-hand experience of having difficulty in finding meaningful employment and being treated equitably in the workplace, due to being a military spouse and female in a very male dominated industry.
Scarlett is committed to leveraging her own experiences to help other individuals build meaningful technology careers, and businesses to remove the barriers in their hiring and workplace inclusion practices.
Scarlett regularly contributes to publications both in Australia and internationally on diversity and inclusion in leadership, particularly in the technology industry.
Chair, InTouch Multicultural Centre Against Family Violence
Miriam has more than 20 years’ experience managing large and geographically diverse teams, across multiple industries including pharmaceuticals, banking and agribusiness. Her influence extends across business, Government, media, Muslim and broader Australian communities.
Her previous roles have included Chief Operating Officer for FleetPartners, General Manager Commercial Operations for Elders Ltd as well as a number of roles with ANZ Banking Group Ltd.
Miriam has extensive Board and committee experience, holding numerous positions including Chair Contemporary Arts Precincts, member of Crescent Wealth and Crescent Finance boards, Director at the South Australia Film Corporation and Malek Fahd Islamic School (NSW).
Miriam is also the Patron for the International Women’s Day Committee (SA) and is the Multicultural Patron for The South Australian Police Academy.
In 2012 Miriam was named as one of Australia’s inaugural 100 Women of Influence in the Westpac and Australian Financial Review Awards. Miriam is a member of the South Australian Women’s Honour Roll (2011) and is the recipient of the 2012 Governor’s Multicultural Award for the Private Sector.
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Changemaker and Presenter
Cathy Ngo (she/her/hers) is an entrepreneur, speaker and presenter. She is the host of Hire Potential with Indeed, a podcast sharing important conversations about the issues we face in the modern workplace, from diversity and inclusion to remote working, accessibility, fair hiring practices, and much more. Cathy has spent over a decade in HR, Corporate Affairs and Communications and is most passionate about pushing the boundaries relating to diversity, equity and inclusion. Her thought leadership is featured across media, including the Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, ABC, SBS, Women’s Agenda, and radio.
Group Executive, Head of Corporate Operations, Investa
Amy Wild is the Group Executive, Head of Corporate Operations at Investa. She provides strategic oversight of their People & Culture, Information Technology, Brand & Innovation functions. Amy is responsible for helping the business to define its unique corporate identity then bringing this to life through Investa’s employee experience, brand and culture.
Amy has more than 18 years’ experience working in roles spanning human resources, business transformation and organisational psychology. With nearly 15 years’ exposure to the property sector, Amy has extensive experience across leadership, organisational development, succession planning, diversity and inclusion, learning and employee engagement.
Prior to joining Investa, Amy spent nearly 10 years at The GPT Group, holding a series of senior human resources and business transformation roles, including specialist positions in remuneration and change management. She has also held human resource consulting roles in executive development and psychological assessment.
Amy holds dual qualifications in business and psychology, with a Master of Business Administration, Masters of Organisational Psychology and Bachelor of Psychology (Hons).
Diversity Inclusion & Wellbeing Manager | People Culture and Safety, Transgrid
Julie Moss leads Diversity, Inclusion and Wellbeing for Transgrid. She has built both the D&I and Wellbeing functions over a 4 year period from the ground up, developing and implementing the strategies to inspire the culture and behaviour changes required to deliver success. This includes increasing the number of women in leadership at Transgrid from 20% to 30% and increasing the number of men taking primary care parental leave from 0 to 45%. In 2021 Transgrid were awarded the Allan Fels Mental Health Award by AHRI for the multi-faceted approach taken by Transgrid to achieve a workplace that normalises and prioritises mental health. Julie has a background in sales and marketing and has worked in Asia and Europe for global organisations across a variety of sectors. She has led a number of culture change initiatives which most recently includes the introduction of a hybrid working model to Transgrid in early 2021.
Consultant, Get Skilled Access
With a background in training and public speaking Steph brings an open approach to her work. She speaks from the heart about her experiences to assist clients with their disability and inclusion goals.
Diagnosed at 19 with a degenerative eye condition, Steph is passionate about inclusion and changing dated misconceptions around disability. With her lived experience, she has a proven ability to provide practical and actionable disability advice.
Steph proudly navigates the world with her guide dog, Rocky. Her mantra is people with disability can do all things; they just do them differently.
Dr Lisa Chaffey
Senior Consultant, Get Skilled Access
An experienced and accomplished leader across fields of research, inclusion, community development, occupational therapy, and elite sport. Skills in risk management, stakeholder engagement, service design, curriculum and research design and operational delivery.
Lisa is a member of the World Health Organisation, Standards Development Group, Development of global WHO standards for wheelchair provision. She is also the Vice President (Oceania Region) on the Board of the Asia Oceania Zone of the International Wheelchair Basketball Federation.
At GSA, Lisa continues to combine her lifelong experience of being a wheelchair user with her research, program design and community development skills to change how people with disability are part of the world.
Anoop Chaudhuri FCPHR
Vice President HR, Ford Australia & New Zealand
Anoop is a global HR leader, an award-winning entrepreneur, and developer of high performing leaders. Presently VP of HR for Ford Motor Company of Australia and New Zealand, he has worked with thousands of people under his wing across three continents over the last 30 years to solve complex business challenges by harnessing the power of technology, combining multiple disciplines and tapping into the unlimited potential that resides in all of us. Anoop is a Fellow of the Australian HR Institute, a member of the Society of Automotive Engineers Australasia, an International Coaching Federation credentialed Coach, and holds numerous qualifications in Engineering, Human Resources and Entrepreneurship & Innovation. He has mentored hundreds of leaders internationally to unlock their inner hero and be awesome at work.
Inclusion and Diversity Lead
Liz was born on Wadawurrung Country and uses she/her pronouns.
She relishes the opportunity to have a chat over a cuppa and in doing so, learn from peoples valuable lived experience. She works on her empathy to be able to feel authentic in an Inclusion & Diversity space but ultimately, it’s not a space for her to inhabit – rather support and advocate for from a position of white privilege and power.
She has a strong sense of social justice, but willingly admits to often feeling overwhelmed by the complex and many issues of people who are marginalised and disadvantaged. Liz has worked extensively within a Local Government setting and is now the Inclusion & Diversity Lead at Child & Family Services in Ballarat. She is a sister, a daughter, a mother, a partner, a colleague and a friend. She is also optimistic.
Chief Executive Officer
Passion and purpose drew Wendy Sturgess to the not-for-profit-sector. As the CEO of Cafs, Wendy brings with her close to twenty years of senior leadership experience. She has held executive roles at prominent community organisations, including the White Ribbon Organisation, Alpha Autism, Crisis Support Services and Wimmera Uniting Care. She has a proven track record developing and implementing strategies that lead to sustainable organisations and a deep understanding in the areas of mental health, suicide prevention, family violence, disability and trauma informed practice.
As CEO, Wendy leads with an entrepreneurial spirit to cultivate an authentically diverse and inclusive culture. She’s a fierce champion of diversity and led the organisation through the rigorous process to achieve the Rainbow Tick. This accreditation sends a message of safety, particularly as over 20% of Cafs’ team members identify as on the rainbow. Safety for our people and the rainbow families in our community is vital for a health community.
Wendy’s passion and commitment to the Cafs values of respect, integrity, collaboration, kindness and innovation boil down to the impact Cafs has on the people who come to us for support.
Aunty Munya Andrews
Director, Evolve Communities
Regarded by Melbourne University as a ‘leading Australian thinker’, Aunty Munya Andrews is an accomplished Indigenous author and barrister with degrees in anthropology and law. Educated in Australia and the USA, Munya is fascinated by comparative religions, languages, mythology and science and intrigued by the way in which they interact and inform each other. Her second book, Journey into Dreamtime is an easy guide to Aboriginal spirituality that explains Dreamtime concepts in a simple way. An Aboriginal Elder, Aunty Munya’s life purpose is to create better understanding and appreciation of Aboriginal people, leaving behind a legacy of Dreamtime wisdom for generations to come.
Director, Evolve Communities
When most of her friends were having their gap year in Europe in the late 80s, Carla Rogers set off for the remote Kimberley, inspired by a longstanding desire to learn from our First Nations people. In her journey since, Carla continues to evolve innovative solutions for engagement and facilitation. An adventurous and creative soul, Churchill Fellow, highly respected program designer and facilitator, what is most important to Carla is kindness. Her dream is to create an inclusive Australia that honours and respects our First Nations people and culture.
Dr Andrew Heap
Chief of the Minerals, Energy and Groundwater Division, Geoscience Australia
Dr Andrew Heap is the Chief of the Minerals, Energy and Groundwater Division with over 20 years of professional experience as a senior leader at Geoscience Australia.
Andrew has been at the forefront of cultural reform in Geoscience Australia in his capacity as Senior Executive responsible for the organisation’s Science in Australia Gender Equity program. This included leading the application for successful Bronze accreditation in February 2020 and first Cygnet award to be submitted mid-2022. Andrew also leads and promotes broader Diversity and Inclusion initiatives within Geoscience Australia as current chair of the Workplace Relations, Health and Safety Committee.
Before joining Geoscience Australia, Andrew graduated 1st class Hons in Earth Sciences from the University of Auckland (New Zealand) and received his PhD at James Cook University. He has published over 100 scientific and technical papers and is a member of 12 professional organisations. Andrew represents Australia in the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) as Council Member of the Australia–New Zealand IODP consortium, is a board member of the not-for-profit company CO2CRC, and is the Commonwealth’s representative on the Energy National Cabinet Reform Committee Geoscience Working Group.
Dr James Johnson
CEO, Geoscience Australia
Dr Johnson has been the Chief Executive Officer of Geoscience Australia since April 2017. A geologist with over 35 years’ experience, including private sector mining and mineral exploration, Dr Johnson has led teams of geoscientists for 25 years with a range of diverse achievements. Through the discovery of over 2 million ounces of gold reserves in industry, to national scale pre-competitive geoscience programs that have attracted exploration investment to Australia, these achievements have supported Australian industry and attracted exploration investment to Australia.
Dr Johnson joined Geoscience Australia in 2006 and has been head of various divisions with diverse duties including carriage of energy and mineral programs. He has had board memberships of CO2CRC (CRC for Greenhouse Gas Technologies), CRC LEME (CRC for Landscape Environments and Mineral Exploration), and is currently on the board of The National Computational Infrastructure (NCI). In addition, Dr Johnson is a member of the Australian Antarctic Science Council, CSIRO Mineral Resources Advisory Group, the Australian Climate Service Program Control Group, and the Champions of Change STEM Group.
Dr Johnson has a Bachelor of Science majoring in Geology from the University of Sydney and a PhD from the Australian National University. In 2021 he was elected as a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering.
Dr Johnson’s vision for Geoscience Australia is one of unity in deploying geoscience for the economic, social and environmental benefit of Australians. He is driving a strong agenda of inclusiveness, particularly new programs to engage with Australia’s First Nations People. He was joint recipient of the 2021 Australian HR Institute CEO Diversity Champion award.
Dr Martine Woolf
Branch Head National Positioning Information, Geoscience Australia
Dr Martine Woolf heads the National Positioning Infrastructure Branch at Geoscience Australia, leading a national program enabling Australia’s positioning capability. She is the Cultural and Linguistic Diversity champion in the organisation, and was part of the leadership team developing the initial SAGE application of Geoscience Australia.
Martine has worked in a variety of roles in Geoscience Australia since 2011, including many years of leading national and international programs aimed at building resilience to natural hazards. Prior to coming to Australia, Martine worked in the private sector in the UK for the largest global risk management consultancy. Martine has a PhD in Environmental Systems Science from the University of Reading, in the UK, and a MSc and BSc from Wageningen Agricultural University and Research Centre, in the Netherlands, specialising in Landscape Ecology. In her spare time, Martine is involved with running a community language school in Canberra.
Journalist and Author
Catherine Fox is a Walkley awarded journalist and author. An outstanding commentator on women and the workforce, she has spent more than twenty years advocating for gender equality. A skilled and dedicated communicator, Catherine is in high demand as a keynote speaker at conferences and writers’ festivals. She was engaged as the keynote speaker at the Inaugural Australasian Women in Business Law Awards, held in Sydney in 2012.
More about Catherine Fox:
During a long career with the Financial Review, Catherine edited several sections of the newspaper, and wrote the Corporate Woman column. She has published several books, including Stop Fixing Women, which along with her journalism was awarded the 2017 Walkley Award for Women’s Leadership in Media. Her book Women Kind (with co-author Kirstin Ferguson) was launched in 2018 and examines how female solidarity and support 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.
Catherine Fox has been a member of the Australian Defence Force Gender Equality Advisory Board, a board member for the Australian Women Donors Network, and is co-founder of the Sydney Women’s Giving Circle
Founding Director, Serendis Leadership
Maud Lindley is the founding director of Serendis Leadership. She has driven the organisation’s rapid growth into a thought-leading consultancy with a team of consultants achieving results across Asia-Pacific over the last 15 years. Maud has a life-long passion and a unique insight into the human psyche, coupled with a critical business mindset, a deep knowledge of the corporate sector, and 15 years’ experience in coaching senior executives. She provides her clients unparalleled expertise that informs her approach to leadership development, strategic team facilitation and cultural change, particularly in the pursuit of enhancing organisational performance, agility, and inclusion.
She is a sought-after keynote speaker on the topic of inclusive leadership and organisational performance and her articles have been published in Strategy + Business. Maud is a precious partner of boards and executive teams in global banking, multinational industrials, funds management, real estate and professional services. Before founding Serendis in 2003, she held senior management positions in debt capital markets for large investment banks in London and Paris, including HSBC, Société Générale, and UBS. Maud holds a Master in Finance and Business Management (University Nancy II, France) as well as professional accreditation with honours from the ‘Institut des Neurosciences Appliquees’, a leading institute in positive psychology and executive coaching.
Director & Principal Psychologist, Australian Psychological Services
David Burroughs is Principal Psychologist of Australian Psychological Services and has had a 20-year career as a strategist, consultant, psychologist and advisor working across a vast array of organisations and industries both in Australia and internationally. His specialises in strategic approaches for the early intervention and prevention of workplace mental ill-health and has a passion evidence-based practice, innovation and challenging convention to improve people’s experience of work. David collaborates with international thought leaders, researchers and practitioners in workplace mental health and directly supports several Board, C-suite and leadership cohorts across many leading organisations. David holds a number of corporate and industry appointments, including: Chief Mental Health Officer, Westpac Group; SafeWork NSW Mentally Healthy Workplace Ambassador, Champion for Everymind and the National Communications Charter for Mental Health Suicide, Partner at Psychological Safety Australia and co-founder of Mantle Health, the specialist Men’s mental health service. David is a sought after speaker and advisor both here and abroad and brings a highly pragmatic and strategic approach to managing complex people and business challenges.
Julie Chai CAHRI
Founder and CEO, Asian Leadership Project
Julie brings 15 years’ experience from private, public, and not-for-profit sectors working in Diversity and Inclusion, Organisational Development, Human Resources and regularly advises on Boards.
She is the first culturally diverse woman elected as President of The Inclusion Circle (formerly NEEOPA: NSW Equal Employment Opportunity Practitioner’s Association) since its not-for-profit establishment in 1985, serves as an Advisory Board Member at Women & Leadership Australia (WLA) and worked at Australia’s peak diversity body advising hundreds of organisational members across various diversity dimensions.
Shelley Cable GAICD CPA
Director, Generation One at Minderoo Foundation
Shelley Cable is a Wilman-Nyoongar woman from Perth, Western Australia, and the CEO of Minderoo Foundation’s Generation One initiative.
Shelley has dedicated her career to promoting Indigenous leadership and ending economic disparity for her “mob”, striving for the empowerment of Indigenous Australians through financial literacy, and highlighting that self-determination begins with secure employment.
She has made it her mission, through Generation One, to create employment parity with and for Indigenous Australians in one generation. Generation One is working towards the ambitious goal of getting 300,000 Indigenous Australians into work over the next 20 years, with equitable representation across different jobs, levels, and industries by 2040.
Manager of Diversity and Inclusion, Gold Coast Health
Ebru Dogan is currently the Manager of Diversity and Inclusion at Gold Coast Health where she is responsible for setting and driving their Diversity and Inclusion Strategy and Disability Employment Program for a workforce of over 12,000 people. She has over 10 years’ experience in driving inclusion in the public sector as well as social policy reform. Her legal background together with strategic HR insight and passion for equality has led her to oversee the delivery of significant organisational cultural change in Queensland and overseas. She has a Bachelor of Laws from Queensland University of Technology and is proud of her Turkish/Australian heritage.
Author and presenter
Marlee Silva is a twenty-five year old Aboriginal woman from the Gamilaroi and Dunghutti tribes of NSW. Starting her career in the non-profit sector, Marlee’s path was shifted toward a more public profile when she was employed as the Co-CEO of Aboriginal education charity AIME Mentoring. A role which saw her shadow the work of AIME’s CEO for twelve months and in turn, act as the representative of the organisation’s story and direction, in the media and through keynote speaking. It also gave her the opportunity to study at the Summer Institute of General Management at Stanford University in the U.S., making her the first Aboriginal woman to do so.
Since then, Marlee has continued to emerge as a skilled public speaker and presenter. She is also the best-selling author of ‘My Tidda, My Sister: Stories of strength and resilience from Australia’s first women’ and the host of ‘Always was, always will be our stories’, a podcast dedicated to showcasing Indigenous role models, from all walks of life.
Having gained radio experience as a casual host on national youth broadcaster triple j, Marlee has also continued to expand her media reach with successful appearances on NITV’s January 26th Sunrise Ceremony and ABC’s Q+A, both in early 2020.
Marlee is determined to utilise her storytelling skills to inspire people and create change, and uses her platform to advocate for the causes she is most passionate about, which has previously seen her named as a finalist in the Australian Human Rights Commission ‘Young People’s Human Rights Medal’ in 2019. Writing often about issues impacting the Indigenous community and the experiences of women and girls in particular, Marlee has also built a strong online presence with a community of 16k followers on her personal Instagram account and 13k thousand on the account dedicated to her podcast.
Marlee also volunteers for various charities and sits on the board of ID. Know Yourself, an Aboriginal founded charity which provides support to Indigenous children living in out of home care, and Little Colossus, a social enterprise which raises much needed funds for youth mental health programs through the profits raised in the sale of its products.