AHRI Public Sector HR Conference

National Convention & Exhibition 2022

Monday 15 August – Wednesday 17 August


Monday 15 August 2022


8:30 AM9:00 AM

AHRI Public Sector HR Conference Master of Ceremonies

Mimi Kwa, Journalist and author

9:00 AM10:00 AM

Session 1

Responding to a global crisis: Where we stand now, and the road ahead 

Helen Clark, Former Prime Minister of New Zealand

Former Prime Minister of New Zealand Helen Clark is a global leader in sustainable development and gender equality. In July 2020 in response to the COVID crisis, she was appointed by the Director-General of the World Health organisation (WHO) to co-chair the Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response. She also chairs the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health which has highlighted the particular impacts of the pandemic on women, children, and adolescents. Join an intimate conversation with this global leader as we explore the lessons that have been learnt over recent years and what the long, winding and uncertain road ahead may hold.

10:00 AM10:40 AMMorning tea break
10:40 AM11:35 AM

Session 2

The future world of work

Stephanie Waddon FCPHR, Partner, PwC

Dr Damian West FCPHR, Deputy Director-General – Workforce Capability and Governance and Workplace Safety and Industrial Relations at Chief Minister, Treasury and Economic Development

Paula Brewer, Chief People Officer, National Indigenous Australians Agency

Dr Leanne Blackley CPHR, Chief Operating Officer, Comcare

The way we do work in the public service is evolving, employee expectations and digital transformation are impacting future workforce needs. Together with leaders across the sector we will explore how we are preparing for and progressing the nature of work in a post pandemic future.

11:40 AM12:35 PM

Session 3

The great re-evaluation: Building skills for the future

Tiffany Blight CPHR, First Assistant Secretary, People and Culture, Department of Home Affairs

Suzi Woodrow-Read, Executive Director, Leadership and Capability, Queensland Public Service Commission

Jo Talbot FCPHR, Chief People Officer, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Although we appear to have left the immediate threat of the pandemic behind the threat of a global skills shortage and capability gaps being realised locally are still very much in the future. Join the conversation as we investigate capability development will enable Australia to remain competitive in the global market.

12:35 PM1:30 PMLunch break 

Session 4

The state of HR and the Australian public sector

Carmel McGregor PSM FCPHR, Chair, AHRI Public Sector Advisory Panel | Non-executive Director, AHRI

Mathew Paine CPHRChief People Officer, Department of Planning and Environment

Bradley Chapman FCPHR, Deputy Commissioner, ATO People, Australian Taxation Office

Cristy England CPHR, Chief People Officer, Department of the Treasury

Over recent years Australian government departments have been operating in an environment that many had never anticipated, and HR professionals have been on the front line. HR has an opportunity to articulate the future state of not only the public sector workforce but how the HR function can continue to evolve. Join a panel of leaders as they explore the key considerations for HR professionals now and in the future.

2:15 PM2:55 PM

Session 5

Belonging and Inclusion: A public sector where everyone belongs 

Kathrina Lo, Public Service Commissioner, NSW Public Service Commission

Embedding belonging and inclusion across the public sector is a growing priority. The realisation of how much belonging and inclusion can influence wellbeing and performance is undeniable. In this session Kathrina Lo, NSW Public Service Commissioner will explore strategies and opportunities to embed belonging and inclusion and empower our public sector workforce. 

3:00 PM3:40 PM

Session 6

Driving transformation of practice and capability uplift in mental health and suicide prevention: A case study from the Australian Public Service

Rachael McMahon, Principal Psychologist and Director, APS Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Unit

Sam Junor, Framework Implementation Lead, APS Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Unit

Lucy Lyons, Organisational Psychologist, APS Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Unit and former Mental Health and Wellbeing Adviser, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

To support APS agencies to align their practice to the APS Mental Health Capability Framework, the APS Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Unit has developed a comprehensive, six-phase implementation approach. This includes supporting agencies to undertake a Maturity Scale Assessment, enabling them to visually articulate their own mental health and wellbeing system, demonstrating how sections of their system interface and evaluate their system’s maturity against the systems-based and evidence-informed approach to building workforce capability, represented by the framework. This session will provide an overview of the implementation approach being taken and demonstrate how this is driving transformation of practice and capability uplift in the APS, featuring a case study and learnings from the experience implementing the approach with the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

3:40 PM3:55 PMAfternoon tea break
3:55 PM4:30 PM

Session 7

The art of leadership, influencing change and building resilience

Shane Fitzsimmons AO AFSM, Commissioner of Resilience NSW

Shane Fitzsimmons is one of NSW’s most respected and trusted public sector figures. Throughout an extraordinary period of bushfires and extreme weather conditions in NSW Shane Fitzsimmons led through effectively engaging with political leaders and the wider community. He is now the inaugural Commissioner of Resilience NSW and will share his career journey and personal philosophy of leadership and resilience in times of crisis.

5:00 PM6:00 PM

AHRI Convention opening keynote

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 ‘biohack’ 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
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