Main program

National Convention & Exhibition 2022

Monday 15 August – Wednesday 17 August


Monday 15 August 2022

Opening Keynote

Start Finish Activity
5:00 PM 6:30 PM

Embracing an Opportunity Mindset – Science-backed Strategies to Thrive during Change

Shadé Zahrai, Principal and Director, Influenceo Global

During times of change, the default human response is often to experience overwhelm and to enter ‘crisis mode’. Yet the most successful, most productive and most fulfilled professionals are those who understand how to master their mindset and focus on the plethora of opportunities that change and challenges present.

Shadé Zahrai will guide you through the neuroscience research behind how to embrace an opportunity mindset, how to feel more empowered and focussed, and how to influence others more effectively. Shadé will reveal some of the latest evidence-based practices to transform your performance, supercharge your impact, and optimise team engagement.

Key takeaways

  • Understand the neuroscience behind how we respond to change to ‘bio-hack’ our internal processes for enhanced productivity and performance
  • Develop a toolkit of simple mindset mastery strategies to help you thrive and navigate complex emotional states
  • Learn must-know tips on how to make these mindset & behavioural changes stick around for the long term

Tuesday 16 August 2022

8:30 AM9:00 AM

AHRI Convention Master of Ceremonies

Mimi Kwa, Journalist and author

9:00 AM


10:10 AM

Embedding innovation into everyone’s DNA

Duncan Wardle, Former Head of Innovation and Creativity, Disney

None of us are going back to “Business as Usual”, and the secret sauce to success lies in the culture you create at work.
Innovation is not something that happens by chance. It’s the result of building an environment in which it can thrive, and you have to give people a set of tools that you may use every day to grow. Companies set on creating a culture of innovation will not only survive, but they will thrive! This goes far beyond having an “Innovation Department”” Now is the time to instil a culture of innovation among every member of your team.
During Duncan’s time as the Head of Innovation for Disney, a company known for redefining pretty much every industry they touch Duncan’s decades of success weren’t merely a matter of luck or chance. Duncan’s results were a direct reflection of his ability to create a thriving, innovative culture, and to ensure that everyone on his teams were put in a position to let their inner creativity run wild.

10:10 AM11: 00 AMMorning tea break
11:00 AM12:00 PM

1a The Futures of the world of work

Ben Hamer CPHR, Chair, AHRI Future of Work Advisory Panel, Lead, Future of Work, PWC

Andrea Clarke, Founder, FutureFit Co

Reanna Browne, Founder, Work Futures

Peter Williams, Partner, Innovation, Deloitte

Natalie Slessor, Head of Customer Futures, Lend Lease

What are the factors that are driving the incredible transformation in the way we do work? This panel of some of Australia’s leading futurists and experts in how the world of work is evolving will explore the futures ahead of us and the opportunities these will present to a changing workforce.

Concurrent sessions 1: Business strategist

Concurrent sessions will explore how HR professionals can enhance understanding of organisational strategy, operations and influence human capability to drive and enable a competitive, agile and effective organisation.

1b Culture in a hybrid world

Aaron McEwan FAHRI, VP, Research & Advisory, Gartner

As organizations plan and launch their post-pandemic work design strategies, many leaders are using organizational culture as the key justification for bringing employees back into the office. Without in-person experiences and time in employer-controlled spaces, they worry connectedness to organizational culture is compromised. However, the future of work is hybrid! The way culture is experienced by employees has irrevocably changed and requires leaders to adapt to the new realities of how culture is lived in the organization. Most organizations are trying to optimize legacy drivers of culture to keep employees connected to culture in a hybrid world. However, these drivers have been rendered ineffective by the new environments we are navigating. The best organizations are uncovering new drivers within hybrid work to maintain cultural connectedness. They understand that hybrid work is not a threat to cultural connectedness – it is an opportunity to strengthen cultural connectedness.

Join this session to explore how organizations are leveraging hybrid work to drive cultural connectedness in today’s new work environment.

  • Hybrid or remote knowledge workers spend 65% less time in offices than before the COVID-19 pandemic and are meeting with their teams in-person two days a week less.
  • Senior leaders blame these changes for a lack of connectedness to culture: Currently, only one in four hybrid or remote knowledge workers are connected to their organizational culture.
  • Forcing employees back into offices to safeguard the previous approach to drive culture connectedness “by osmosis” will backfire, as there is a significant link between flexibility and connectedness.
  • Culture connectedness increases employee performance by up to 37% and employee retention by up to 36%.

1c Diversity, equity and inclusion: Critical building blocks for an HR strategy

Dr Michelle Phipps FCPHR, AHRI Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Panel Chair | Chief People Officer, VetPartners

Fiona Krautil CPHR, Principal, Diversity KnowHow

Liz Griffin FCPHR, Head of Indigenous Employment, Generation One, Minderoo Foundation

Mathew Paine CPHRChief People Officer, Department of Planning and Environment

Diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) has never been so front of mind with societal expectations of workforce representation evolving at a rapid pace. What are the DEI opportunities and barriers that HR is presented with and how can these be channelled to drive positive change? A panel of executive DEI and HR leaders will explore a variety of current issues including the value of targeted intervention, creating cultural safety, active allyship and the critical importance of inclusive leadership development – as well as what practical steps can be taken today to progress your organisation’s DEI strategy.

12:05 PM1:05 PM

2a The future favours the flexible

Anita Patrick CAHRI, Human Resources Director, PepsiCo ANZ

Dr Sean Gallagher, Director, Centre for New Work, Swinburne University

Dr Ruchi Sinha, Associate Professor of Organizational Behaviour, University of South Australia

David Concannon CPHR, Chief Operating Officer, Employer Branding Australia 

Hybrid work is here to stay, with flexible working arrangements now considered an expectation from employers rather than a ‘nice-to-have’. So how are organisations embedding flexibility into sometimes very traditional structures and attracting workers looking for more flexible work arrangements? A panel of HR experts will share their own experiences in evolving employee value propositions in a post Covid age.


Concurrent sessions 2: Workforce and Workplace Designer

Concurrent sessions will investigate workforce strategy design and the creation of HR solutions to equip an organisation to achieve strategic and operational goals


2b Advancing reconciliation and Indigenous employment through workforce design

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

Barbara Sheehy AAICD, National Indigenous Manager, People and Culture, Australia Post

Cath Brokenborough, Executive Lead, First Nations Engagement, Lendlease

Melissa Riley, Senior Manager, Indigenous Engagement, Commonwealth Bank

Gina Bass, Director, Inclusion, Diversity and Wellbeing, Transport for NSW 

The prominence and focus on an organisation’s Indigenous affairs and reconciliation performance has increased significantly in recent years, with many organisations considering it a key strategic pillar and priority. And yet, reconciliation and Indigenous inclusion in Australia’s workforces remains alarmingly low – in 2018, less than half of all working age Indigenous Australians were in work, and still today, more than half of Indigenous workers experience workplace racism. In this session, learn about the findings of Australia’s first Indigenous Employment Index, and how organisations can – and are – actively designing and embedding reconciliation, and Indigenous inclusion into Australian workplaces.

2c Belonging! New Workplace. New Workforce. New ways. New Data.

And what it all means to the People and Culture profession and the work we do everyday.

Rhonda Brighton-Hall FCPHR, Founder and CEO, mwah | AHRI Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Panel member

James Hancock, Co-Founder, mwah

After 5 years of serious dedicated Belonging research, we can talk confidently on what really matters. We can codify the essential elements that allow every individual to thrive, and map the impact that has organisational performance.

We use data, research, and some awesome case studies to give you a new way to understand and leverage your unique culture. From this comes new ways of working, new ways of leading, and an ability evolve your organisation through any cycle.

Whether it be ‘community’ rather than organisational employment contracts, democratisation of data to every person, performance alongside inclusion, or getting the people ‘S’ element of ESG data right, the way organisations are designed now, will fundamentally change the HR profession for the future. Right now, we are presented with both our biggest opportunities and greatest challenges.

We look at the impact of new ways to measure and understand culture, the data you will need, and exactly what to do when you get it.

2d The Era of Choice: Empowering Employees in the New World of Work

Monica Watt, Chief HR Officer, ELMO Software

The pandemic has shifted employees’ thinking from why, to why not? Why can’t I work a condensed week? Why can’t I work remotely? It’s forced employers to rethink essential business practices and embrace the rapidly changing nature of work if they want to retain, motivate, and engage their staff. But while hybrid work is here to stay, how do organisations ensure it doesn’t damage productivity in the long-term? In this session, ELMO’s Group CHRO, Monica Watt, will discuss:

  • How to maintain and strengthen company culture within a dispersed workforce
  • The importance of flexibility, choice, and autonomy for today’s workers
  • How to get managers on board with the shift from input to outcome
  • Why it’s time to forget the five-day-week
1:05 PM2:10 PMLunch break
2:10 PM3:10 PM

3a HR’s role in improving the productivity of Australian workplaces

Michael Brennan, Chair, Productivity Commission

Michael Brennan, Chair of the Productivity Commission will explore the critical role that people management has to play in raising productivity levels in organisations and the wider public interest. In particular he will identify some of the specific people management practices that can both boost worker output and contribute to more fulfilling and happier working lives.               

Concurrent sessions 3: Culture and Change Leader

Concurrent sessions will examine how HR can influence an optimal organisational culture and provide valued insights to achieve individual and organisational objectives.



3b Unlearning the future: Practical strategies for the future of work

Reanna Browne, Founder, Work Futures

The many and varied futures of work can be overwhelming, and it can be difficult to move from futurist narratives to practical actions that we bring to work on Monday.

Learn how to think and act like a futurist in an uncertain present with Reanna Browne, practicing futurist and HR expert by unlocking new ways to take action in the present. Reanna will reframe the way we think about the future and how leaders can leverage external change to disrupt short-termism and move from either/or to and/both thinking and transform the present.

3c Are you driving your culture, or is your culture driving you?

Corinne Canter, Head of Consulting, Human Synergistics Australia

Culture can accelerate or break the execution of strategy, motivate high performance and ethical behaviour or it can create collateral damage no organisation wants to be associated with.  When it comes to workplace culture, here’s what’s true: Culture is the only thing that makes your organisation unique and different.

And in 2022 as CEO’s elevate culture from the a ‘nice to have’ program of work to the main game and critical success factor –HR professionals have a renewed opportunity to act as cultural architects and activists to ensure culture is a potent and unassailable force in helping your organisation bridge successfully into the new post-covid world of work.

A world where hybrid working has become an expectation and where the war for talent has gone next level. Skill shortages are increasing especially in specialised skills, prompting those with the highly sought skills to leave their existing employers for organisations with positive workplace cultures because in this post covid world, a good pay cheque isn’t enough for talent retention.

Yet, how to shift culture can feel elusive. You cannot see it or touch it and you cannot do it without senior leaders or employees being on board.

This session focuses on the skills and capability required to lead culture change effectively and sustainably. Attendees will learn ;

  • How to develop the business case for change
  • How to turn senior leaders into culture change advocates
  • How to crowd source your culture strategy 
  • The 10 critical “must know’ factors to successfully work on your culture
  • Participants will also receive resources to help build a successful business case 

3d Show Them Who You Are – How to win the battle for talent through transparency

Rachael Townsley, Director of Marketing, Indeed

In this session, Rachael Townsley, Indeed Australia’s Marketing Director, will discuss the importance of transparency and how organisations can leverage transparency to win the battle for talent. She will identify the key factors driving job seeker and employee behaviours and demands, strategies you can implement to ensure greater transparency and how embracing corporate transparency will translate into a stronger employer brand and a successful recruitment and retention strategy.

3:10 PM3:50 PMAfternoon tea break

3:50 PM


4:50 PM

Why wait? Using goals as a vehicle for change

Sebastian Terry, CEO, 100things

In a world of constant disruption and change, it’s our goals that act as our personal vehicle for evolution. Integrating every aspect of our lives. Sebastian Terry, Founder of 100 things will reframe not only your perspective on what it is to realize and attain personal and professional ambition, but how to turn goals into reality in just four steps. In a story that has gained global attention, Sebastian will share how personal development inspires collective evolution.


Wednesday 17 August 2022

Start Finish Activity
8:30 AM 9:00 AM

AHRI Convention Master of Ceremonies

Mimi Kwa, Journalist and author

9:00 AM
10:10 AM

Impact Players: A mindset for success

Liz Wiseman, Researcher, Executive Advisor and Author

What is an Impact Player? They create extraordinary value everywhere they work. Many teams and organisations will have Impact Players, they have talent and drive but have a different level of impact.

Why do these individuals achieve this and how can we instil this mindset for success more broadly?
Liz Wiseman, a New York Times bestselling author and globally renowned researcher seeks to answer the question, why do some people play at their full potential while others remain underutilized? Liz will draw on the insights from her most recent book, Impact Players to share what these individuals and teams do differently and how we can be coaching for a mindset so that we can all perform at our peak.

10:10 AM 11: 00 AM Morning tea break
11:00 AM 12:00 PM

4a From program to process: Designing equitable workplaces

Aubrey Blanche, Senior Director of Equitable Design, Product & People at Culture Amp; Founder of The Mathpath

How many products, processes, and programs are poorly designed and/or produce real-world harm because the right voices weren’t let into the room where the building…happens? How much money has been spent on “diversity & inclusion” while companies remain homogenous and underrepresented employees struggle to thrive?

Funding external partnerships and PR don’t address daily microaggressions underrepresented employees face, while unconscious bias training has been shown to potentially increase bias in the workplace. An almost singular focus on women in the workplace has left women of colour behind, erased the experience of people with disabilities, and left almost everyone with “diversity fatigue”. Progressive business leaders are questioning many traditional “best practices” that haven’t shown to have positive impact on employees, and are building new, data-informed and intersectional strategies to truly move the needle. Join The Mathpath Aubrey Blanche, Senior Director of Equitable Design, Product & People at Culture Amp, to learn how you can evolve your programs to create fair experiences for every employee and build better, safer products.

Concurrent sessions 4: Trusted Partner

Concurrent sessions will explore how HR is a trusted partner through building and fostering relationships and partnerships with key stakeholders to ensure organisational capability

4b Redefining the role of the leader

Alexandra Badenoch FAHRI, Transformation, Communications and People Group Executive, Telstra

Four years ago Telstra announced T22, a transformation strategy that would see the organisation radically simplify its structure and move to agile at scale to improve customer experience and reduce its cost base. Through T22, Telstra completely redefined the role of the manager – separating leaders of people from leaders of work – and Alex will share how Telstra approached this change and the impact it has had on employee engagement, productivity and customer experience.

4c Navigating the path: Advancing your career in HR 

Fiona Michel FCPHR, Non-Executive Director, AHRI | Chief Executive Officer, Braemar Hospital 

Robert King FCPHR, State HR Manager – WA/SA/NT, Target Australia

Andrew Timming FCPHR, Professor of Human Resource Management and Deputy Dean Research & Innovation, School of Management, RMIT University

Penny Lovett FCPHR, Executive General Manager HR, InvoCare

Sonia McDonald, Leadership coach, author and advisor 

The HR profession has never been more valued. In a time of rapid change and evolving workforce expectations as an HR professional you have a unique opportunity to reflect on your own skills and career progression.

 A panel of HR leaders with experiences from a wide variety of industries and sectors will explore how they have moved forward in their careers and share some practical advice. Whether it’s building your skills, bolstering your network or taking other steps to set yourself apart – let’s start considering what your next step may be. 

12:05 PM 1:05 PM

5a It’s time for HR to get serious about work design: Implementing the SMART model

Professor Sharon Parker, John Curtin Distinguished Professor of Organizational Behavior, Curtin University and Director, Centre for Transformative Work Design

As organisations strive for mentally healthy workplaces it is becoming clear that work design is a critical and often neglected piece of the puzzle. World renowned job design expert Professor Sharon Parker will explore the SMART work design model which is increasingly being applied within Australia in order to ‘redesign’ work and make it SMARTer.

Professor Parker will also share both Australian examples and rigorous international studies on the topic and explain the key role of effective human resource management in supporting work design efforts in organisations and the importance of HR professionals upskilling in this area.

Concurrent sessions 5: Expert Practitioner

Concurrent sessions will unpack strategies for HR professionals to continue to build operational knowledge and skills individually and in others.

5b Laws of Attraction: Understanding what candidates and employees really want 

Kathleen McCudden CAHRI, Chief People and Culture Officer, SEEK

Caroline North, Market Research Manager, SEEK ANZ

In today’s talent market, understanding candidate and employee expectations has never been so critical. Join SEEK’s Chief People and Culture Officer Kathleen McCudden and senior researcher Caroline North for an interactive discussion on the challenges HR teams face attracting candidates in a tight market, how key drivers of candidate attraction have shifted in recent years, and how to use data to build effective EVPs and retention strategies.

5c  Risky business: The role of HR in risk management 

Susan Sadler CPHR, Director of Red Wagon Workplace Solutions | South Australian State President, AHRI

Marcus Zeltzer, Co-Founder, Yellow Canary

Jarrad Parker, Executive Counsel, Nine Entertainment

Liana Reinhardt FCPHR, Chief People and Strategy Officer, Credit Union SA 

Risks are inevitable and risk management is a critical aspect of an organisation’s operations. Risk management should be factored in all planning and decision-making, but do we always apply this lens to the HR function? A panel of leaders in legal and regulatory risk assessment will explore the moral and legal obligations the HR function must consider and share what can and sometimes does go wrong.

5d Building a future-ready workforce at scale and speed  

Globalization Partners

David Young, Global expansion and hiring expert, Globalization Partners

Craig Goldblatt, Vice President of Partners & Alliances, Globalization Partners

The ability of every company to keep up with the fast pace of change is now critical now more than ever. Companies must have a clear strategy to build a future-ready workforce to thrive in the years ahead. How should they navigate the challenges of building their teams at scale across new geographies?

This session will cover:

  • How to build a future-ready workforce
  • How to lean into talent hubs
  • How to leverage technology for your global growth efforts
1:05 PM 2:10 PM

Lunch break

2:10 PM 3:10 PM

6a The metaverse: What is it and how it will change the way we work

Michael McQueen, Trend forecaster and bestselling author

Emile Perrine, Chief Learning Architect – KPMG Transformation Experience, Management Consulting, KPMG Australia

Ben Swift, Educational Experiences Lead, Associate Director (Research), and Senior Lecturer, Australian National University

Zerafina Zara, VR Account Executive

A metaverse is a network of 3D virtual worlds focused on social connection, so how can this futuristic world impact the way we work? Trend forecaster and bestselling author Michael McQueen and a panel of experts will explore the ways the metaverse is set to change our working lives – and sooner than most of us realise.

Concurrent sessions 6: Organisational Enabler

Concurrent sessions will address how HR professionals’ harness critical thinking and technical knowledge to optimise and delivery of HR practices and services.

6b WorkforceX – A new category in workforce experience has arrived

Heidi ChambersDirector –Employee experience and Digital Transformation | Product owner of WorkforceX | Deloitte

Kirsten Watson, Partner – HR Transformation | Human Capital, Deloitte

Peter Williams, Partner, Innovation, Deloitte 

Sarah Tobin, General Manager Human Resources, Westpac 

As the 2021 winners of the AHRI HR Technology Innovation award, Deloitte will share how they redefined their own employee experience with WorkforceX – a single, mobile-enabled engagement platform that would seamlessly connect people to each other, strategy and technologies. Now being used across Deloitte globally and extended to external clients, hear from Kirsten Watson and Heidi Chambers who will showcase the workforce trends of the future, describe how these are enabled and empowered through technology, and what the true modern workforce will look like in years to come as humans and technology truly come together.

6c Workplace Monitoring: Bolstering or bruising trust? 

Stan Gallo, Partner, Forensic Services, BDO Australia

Remote or hybrid working is becoming the new ‘norm’ for many workplaces, and with businesses struggling their way out of the pandemic, employers are looking into monitoring as a means of maximising the efficiencies of this new world model whilst also minimising potential losses. There is a plethora of employee monitoring solutions offering to assist organisations in maintain high productivity levels and ensuring staff are doing the right thing when working remotely, but some go far further than others.

The nature and extent of monitoring applications can be truly frightening to the uninitiated. Understanding them before making decisions is critical. Using real world examples, Stan will take you through an interesting and enlightening session that will consider the trials and tribulations of monitoring employees in a real-world environment and delve into the underlying question of. Can monitoring can be used to build trust or is it dangerous unless trust is already established?

3:10 PM 3:50 PM Afternoon tea break

3:50 PM


4:50 PM

The Resilience Project: Building resilience and happiness through practical, evidence-based mental health strategies

Hugh van Cuylenburg, Co-Founder, The Resilience Project

Resilience is the ability to bounce back from adversity. It is a necessary skill for coping with life’s inevitable obstacles and one of the key ingredients to success. Having resilience minimises the effect that negative, stressful situations can have on us. These skills allow us to face challenges, learn from them and apply these skills so we can live a healthy life.

The Resilience Project explores evidence-based approaches to building resilience, in order to develop and sustain positive mental health. Through storytelling Founder, Hugh van Cuylenburg will explore the strategies of Gratitude, Empathy (kindness) and Mindfulness and will share simple ways you can practice these in your daily life.