NT Conference:
HR Evolution: What’s Next?
Express Your Interest For 2023


SMB colour outside 2022

Sarah McCann-Bartlett FAICD MAHRI, Chief Executive Officer & Managing Director

Sarah McCann-Bartlett has been CEO and Managing Director of AHRI since February

Prior to joining AHRI, Sarah held the positions of Director General of the British
Constructional Steelwork Association and before that, Deputy Commissioner of the
Building Commission. She also held a range of senior positions at the Woolmark
Company in Australia, the UK and the USA.

Since taking up her role at AHRI, Sarah has led a new transformation program focused
on member experience, learning and thought leadership, and HR best practice.

She is enjoying working with AHRI’s state councils and expert advisory panels, as well
as getting to know individual AHRI members.

Mcqueen, Michael

Michael McQueen: Multi-award winning speaker, trend forecaster and bestselling author 

Session title: The New Now – Preparing for trends that will dominate a Post Covid World

Michael McQueen is a multi-award winning speaker, trend forecaster and bestselling author of eight

With clients including KPMG, Pepsi and Cisco, he has helped some of the world’s most successful brands navigate disruption and maintain momentum.

Michael is a regular commentator on TV and radio and his work has featured in publications ranging from the UK Daily Mail to Medium.com and the Huffington Post. In addition, Michael is a familiar face on the international conference circuit having shared the stage with the likes of Bill Gates, Dr. John Maxwell and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak.

Michael has spoken to over 500,000 people across 5 continents since 2004, and is known for his engaging, entertaining and practical conference presentations.

Having been recently named Australia’s Keynote Speaker of the Year, Michael was inducted into the Professional Speakers Hall of Fame.

Mark Puncher

Mark Puncher, CEO, Employer Branding Australia

Session title: Connected people perform better: How to attract great talent and keep them engaged through authentic employer branding

Mark Puncher is a Dad, a CEO and a big fan of gin. He’s spent much of the last 20 years with one hand in marketing, the other in talent attraction and engagement, and both feet in leadership. He has run marketing or employer branding operations in the APAC and the UK for organisations including Guardian News & Media, Hobsons (formerly DMGT Group) and Hanson Wade. Mark lives and breathes employer branding and culture shaping. When he isn’t doing that, his current hobbies include finger painting, 5am ballet and building dens. He also has strong beliefs about the importance of wine.

See Mark introduce what he does and why in a short video here

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Annette Gillanders, Program Director and CEO, biznorth

Annette has a specialist background in Education, Management Consulting, Coaching, Business Coaching, Marketing, Training and Public Speaking. Annette’s extensive background in private industry management has earned her respect across the Territory, she is seen a role model in business, having won five awards for leadership and business excellence, including the 2008 Telstra Northern Territory Business Woman of the year.

Annette has significant experience across several industry sectors including education management, corporate training, marketing and human resources. She has developed and implemented strategic direction, policy and procedure as well as a number of educational/training programs for organisation values journeys, strategic marketing, management and performance management plans, and recruitment and retention strategy to name just a few.

Annette has an extensive understanding of the challenges that face the Territory in the development of business growth. As a small business owner, she travels throughout the Territory facilitating in Business and Human Resources. Clients Annette has worked with include the Department of Defence, Charles Darwin University, Australian Institute of Management and the Department of Business and Employment. She has developed and implemented highly successful programs for the Australian Industry Defence Network of the Northern Territory, AIDN-NT and Parks Australia as well as Roper Gulf Shire.

Diverse and flexible Annette has the unique ability to understand the needs of organisations and individuals, she is focussed and innovative. An engaging and inspirational speaker Annette is frequently sought after to provide motivation and subject matter expertise to a wide range of audiences. Annette is now well established and respected as a business coach and expanding her focus in this area.

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Michelle Barratt, Head of Innovation, Arriba Group

Michelle is the Head of Innovation for Arriba Group which is a family of companies that have been created to give people their best opportunity in life, specialising in allied health, disability and employment services. Michelle is a Registered Psychologist with over twelve years’ experience in health, wellness and injury management sector. She has experience in design, development and implementation of innovative services and products and has a passion for digital transformation that simplifies and improves access to effective and evidence-based supports.

Grant DA Carter

Grant DA Carter, Captain, Senior Military Recruiting Officer, Defence Force Recruiting

Captain Grant Carter is a Calvary Officer within the Australian Defence Force and is currently the Senior Military Recruiting Officer for Defence Force Recruiting (DFR) Center – Darwin. Grant has spent over twenty years in the Australian Regular Army with more than eleven years of those in the Northern Territory.

Grant commenced his career as a solider achieving the rank of Warrant Officer Class Two prior to being Commissioned in 2018. Grant has been privileged throughout his career to command, lead and manage soldiers, officers and civilians both domestically and on warlike operations. To date, Captain Carter’s pinnacle command, leadership and management appointment was in a dual role as the Company Sergeant Major and Second in Command of Training Company One on Operation OKRA in 2017. He immensely enjoyed leading and managing soldiers and officers and planning and executing live fire combined arms activities with foreign militaries whilst on operations.

Grant is passionate about service in the Australian Defence Force, in his current role he is focused on building and sustaining Defence capability through the recruitment of the right people in the right numbers at the right time.

Roland Houareau

Roland Houareau, INPEX General Manager Northern Territory

Roland Houareau is General Manager, Northern Territory at INPEX.

Roland joined INPEX in 2009 and is the nominated corporate representative and a primary leader for INPEX in the Northern Territory.

Beginning his career in the resources industry in the mid-1990s working for Western Mining, Roland then worked with Bechtel for a decade in a range of leadership roles on mega-development projects across Australia and Oceania, including in Darwin.

In his current role, Roland leads the strategic INPEX business framework for the NT and is recognised as an authentic, engaged and community-minded business leader.

Roland is a strong advocate for the Northern Territory and is passionate about seeing the NT prosper, socially and economically. In 2021 Roland was part of the high-profile panel who reviewed the Dan Murphy’s NT development for the Woolworths Board.

Roland is a current Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development in the United Kingdom (CIPD), a current Fellow of the Australian Human Resources Institute (AHRI) and an INSEAD Alumni having completed programs in both Singapore and France. Roland is currently a Non-executive Director & Vice President Finance on the Chamber of Commerce Northern Territory Board, Non-Executive Director and Chair of the Strategy Committee for the Northern Territory Board of Studies. Roland is also Chairperson of the Essington Cannons Basketball Club.

Roland is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD). Roland Holds a first degree in Public & International Relations and Second-degree master’s Project Management from the University Southern Queensland.

Roland lives in Darwin with his wife Catherine and two children.

Roland enjoys spending time with friends and family, likes reading, learning, and travelling.

Libby O - headshot

Libby O, Mentor, Trainer, Facilitator, Coach

The spark behind Libby O came when three consecutive performance management processes ended with my direct report hugging and thanking me profusely. The look on my HR Manager’s face told me I knew something others didn’t and that I should share my 30+ years of management experience. Like you, I’ve witnessed so many potentially brilliant managers crash and burn (causing their senior managers to hurt) because no one gave them the Manual for Territory Managers. My mission is to address that.

Mandy Azzi

Mandy Azzi, Assistant Director, Educator Wellbeing Initiatives Education NT, Department of Education

Mandy Azzi has worked in the field of education in Victoria and the Northern Territory for just over 16 years and is currently the Assistant Director of Educator Wellbeing with the NT Department of Education. Mandy commenced her career in education as a classroom teacher in a secondary school for migrants and refugees in Melbourne. Since arriving in the NT in 2008, Mandy worked as a classroom teacher in the very remote communities of Ngukurr, Yirrkala and Laynhapuy Homelands, providing her with teaching experience in a range of school context. She also spent some time supporting Aboriginal assistant teachers to engage in study pathways towards education qualifications. Mandy then moved into the department’s HR Workforce Capability team in Darwin focussing on areas such as workplace induction, mentoring, coaching and professional development for teachers. Mandy was invited to lead a project on principal wellbeing in 2017 and has never looked back. Mandy is passionate about the wellbeing of school-based educators and supporting the NT Department of Education’s vision for wellbeing for this very important workforce.

Gaurav Sareen

Gaurav Sareen, Lead Partner, Global Investment & Innovation Incentives (Gi³) and NT Public Sector Advisory, Darwin

Gaurav is the Lead Partner for Deloitte’s Global Investment and Innovation Incentives (Gi³) team in Northern Australia and Public Sector Advisory services in the Northern Territory. Gaurav is a qualified lawyer and has over 13 years’ experience working with Deloitte.

Gaurav has an extensive public and private sector background, assisting a range of organisations with project business cases and feasibility analysis, accessing Government funding and financing support, and facilitating regional investment attraction. Gaurav has extensive experience in working on Red Tape Reduction and business review projects in the NT.

Gaurav has been heavily involved with extensive redevelopment projects across the NT. He is deeply passionate about helping shape a better Northern Australia and making a meaningful difference to the local community. Gaurav regularly presents at conferences such as Developing Northern Australia Conference and NT Major Projects Conference.


Diane Hickman, Director, Australian Public Service Academy

Di is a learning and development leader with over 20 years’ workplace learning experience in the financial services and public sectors. Her expertise includes learning strategy; performance consultancy; learning design, development and facilitation; and impact evaluation. In 2021, she led the development of the APS Learning and Development Strategy and Action Plan, which aims to ensure that people across the organisation are continually building new skills and knowledge, and adapting in order to be ready for whatever the future holds. Di currently leads the Capability and Frameworks Team at the Australian Public Service Academy, and has recently released the APS Learning Quality Framework which aims to support the Australian Public Service to identify, develop and deliver high quality, effective and innovative learning experiences. Her morning routine includes a cup of tea in bed and a scroll through her ‘learning and development’ Twitter feed. She would rather run late than miss either!


AJ Kulatunga, Business Strategist and Global Keynote Speaker

Session title: Business at the Speed of Opportunity: Reimagining the Employee Experience

AJ Kulatunga is a Business Strategist and Global Keynote Speaker who believes tomorrow can be better than today. He has published nine business guides, created two business podcasts and is an instructor to 33,000 students around the world on peak performance mindset.

AJ leverages his experiences from a 20-year career in business and technology, including running his own consulting firm, to unlock human potential by reshaping the way we think about innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship at work. His clients include some of the world’s largest tech companies such as Microsoft, Fujitsu and NEC.

AJ lives in Melbourne and when he’s not on stage he enjoys stand-up comedy, 4WDriving and attempting to play guitar like Jimmy Hendrix. Visit AJK.global to learn more.

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