AHRI QLD Conference 2024

13 and 14 June, Shangri La, Cairns

Excellence and wellbeing – reshaping your HR toolkit

Explore the ways in which we can lift HR practice to the next level and add more value within organisations.

Day 1 – Thursday 13 June

8:15am
Coffee and networking
9:00am
opening comments

Rod Francisco FCPHR · QLD State President · Australian HR Institute

9:15am
KEYNOTE: HR leadership in a crisis

Session description coming soon

10:10am
KEYNOTE 2: Organisational design – When a crisis makes us think that we might not have it right and its impact on workplace wellness

Mica Martin · CEO · Cairns Regional Council

Session description coming soon

11:00am
Morning tea, expo, networking
11:30am
SESSION 3: Developing a Sustainable and Affordable AI Strategy

In the rapidly changing landscape of AI, HR is confronted by uncertainty. Blind adoption of AI holds risks, emphasising the need for informed decisions to build an affordable and sustainable AI strategy. Understanding AI and the changing Web3 HR technology environment makes strategic planning even more difficult. This session simplifies AI complexity and explains conventional, generative, and predictive AI types. It highlights data’s pivotal role in AI solutions and its’ importance when establishing trust in AI models. To emphasise the importance, we look at Gartner’s AI Hype Cycle and the positioning of AI Data Labelling and Annotation as the cycle moves towards the “Plateau of Productivity” in less than two years. The session introduces new AI data annotation roles in HR to ensure data quality. Automation tools enhance these roles, aligning with evolving work patterns and encouraging knowledge retention. Employing inexperienced annotators on low wages from developing nations was once acceptable to rapidly build generative AI products, but the practice no longer fits enterprise AI models. 

12:20pm
SESSION 4: The true cost of HR performance minimalisation versus HR compliance excellence  

Excellence is a standard that HR professionals strive for but, regrettably, is a target that is often missed.  This can be because of constraints in time and resources, or even in skills, but can also be driven by a need to ‘toe the line’ for senior management.  Getting by with doing the bare minimum may look good on the balance sheet, and taking action to please superiors can of course avoid internal friction.  However, prioritising these considerations often falls into the category of a taking a short term ‘win’ without a proper understanding that longer term time, cost and even professional reputation may be being sacrificed on that altar.  In this session, Cameron will discuss what excellence looks like and the importance of taking the longer-term view when considering the legal and other downsides that can play out if things go wrong by not putting excellence at the forefront of HR decision making. 

1:10pm
Lunch, expo and networking
2:00pm
SESSION 5: Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging: Ticking boxes does not create excellence 

Pride in Diversity, a national not-for-profit employer support program specialising in LGBTQ+ workplace inclusion, will share best practice insights into HR, organisational change, and workplace diversity. As the publisher of the Australian Workplace Equality Index (AWEI), the leading benchmarking tool for LGBTQ+ workplace inclusion in Australia, Pride in Diversity is at the forefront of driving best practices. 

This session will explore actionable strategies, tools, and techniques that go beyond standard checklists, enabling organisations to foster a culture of excellence in diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB). Drawing on Pride in Diversity’s expertise, this session will discuss effective approaches to implementing strategic initiatives aimed at fostering cultural and organisational change. 

This session will discuss how the AWEI drives progress across various sectors by establishing benchmarks and leading DEIB initiatives. Additionally, it will offer insights into the AWEI Employee Survey, a valuable tool that provides data on the impact of inclusion efforts on organisational culture and employee experiences, regardless of identity. 

2:50pm
SESSION 6: “HR is different up here!" Exploring HR in Tropical Northern Australia

In this interactive presentation, Dr Leigh-Ann Onnis will delve into her recent research on HR practices in Tropics.  

Exploring the narrative that “HR is different up here!”, Leigh-Ann’s research has uncovered support for the notion that place influences HR practice. The HR professionals who participated in the research, study provided insights the aspects of living and working in the Tropics that shape their understanding of how, and why, places influence HR practice.  

Taking these findings to the next level, this interactive session will consider how who we are, and what we do, is shaped by where we do it!  

3:40pm
Afternoon Tea, expo and networking
4:05pm
SESSION 7: Coaching – how to bring out your best in a HR team  

Session description coming soon

4:55pm
Closing comments

Rod Francisco FCPHR · QLD State President · Australian HR Institute

5:00pm
Networking drinks
6:00pm
Networking drinks concludes

Day 2 – Friday 14 June

8:30am
Coffee and networking
9:00am
opening comments

Rod Francisco FCPHR · QLD State President · Australian HR Institute

9:20am
KEYNOTE: Developing Northern Australia – in designing the future of work in the regions, matching economic prosperity and organisational wellness cannot be ignored  

The Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) is a key government pillar in the development of northern Australia. With seven years of experience in project finance, and headquartered in Cairns, NAIF works closely with local government and state jurisdiction partners to unlock the full potential of northern Australia while ensuring long-term sustainability.  

As we look ahead, NAIF will reflect on the organisation’s journey, from commencement to building a key agency ready to help deliver the Australian Government’s ambitious agenda for the north.  

10:15am
SESSION 2: A neuroscience perspective on psychosocial safety

The human brain is an intrinsically social organ and directs immense resources to the task of keeping us safe in our social environments. The brain fundamentally operates in either state of trust or a state of threat, and that, in environments of social threat, exposure to even subtle patterns of incivility will shrink our brain’s glucose, oxygen, energy and essential ability to participate effectively at work.  

The Code of Practice for managing psychosocial hazards at work covers a range of hazards across organisational, experiential and relational aspects of work. An understanding of the social brain at work can help us increase safety across these factors.  

In this session, Leanne will explain why only an approach that integrates psychosocial and psychological safety will be effective in increasing wellbeing, safety and performance in the workplace. The session will propose an integrated model and provide tools and insights to help you implement it in your workplace.  

11:05am
Morning tea, expo, networking
11:30am
SESSION 3: Let's Talk Culture - The Conversations You Need to Create The Team You Want

Culture is your unseen competitive advantage. It’s the intangible quality that sets top-performing teams apart. But what role do your people leaders on the front-line play in building and shaping it?  

Backed by research of over 1,000 front line managers exploring their contribution to building and shaping culture through the lens of communication, Shane explores the essential role these leaders play in shaping a team culture by design. In “Let’s Talk Culture”, you’ll finally get a practical and clear framework for creating a team culture by choice. You’ll also learn how to use culture conversations as a tool to re-establish or strengthen trust in the new world of work.  

By the end of this session, you’ll walk away with five practical conversations to design your team’s culture and elevate your role in shaping the future of your organisation. Whether you’re a seasoned HR leader or new to the game, this session will equip you with the tools you need to become a culture champion in your organisation.

12:20pm
SESSION 4: Organisational agility – the role of the leader in managing wellness in isolated and remote teams 

Commander Alfonso (Alfie) Santos · Commanding Officer · HMAS Cairns

Session description coming soon

1:10pm
Lunch, expo and networking
2:00pm
SESSION 5: How Family Friendly Workplaces create socially responsible employers

Peggy Vosloo · Client Advisory Director

Eloise Kirkwood · Head of Talent · QIC

Session description coming soon

2:50pm
SESSION 6: Making HR a little less complicated, reluctant, alarming and painful

Sandra Almeida CAHRI · Group HR Manager | Harmony Mining & AHRI Councillor

Anna Blackman FCPHR · Director | Talent Insight Solutions & AHRI Councillor

Sandy Tacey CPHR · Director People Services | University of Queensland & AHRI Councillor

David Concannon CPHR · Chief Operations Officer | Employer Branding Australia & AHRI Councillor

Session description coming soon

3:40pm
Closing comments

Rod Francisco FCPHR · QLD State President · Australian HR Institute

Ready to reshape your HR toolkit?

Join us for an insightful two-day conference to discover practical toolkits, reshaping your future HR excellence and create organisational wellness