SA Conference: THRIVE
Two days of leading, local HR innovation and strategy to help you thrive in 2022
Tuesday 8 & Wednesday 9 November
National Wine Centre of Australia


With two days of informative content from local speakers, the 2022 AHRI SA Conference program offers unmissable value and insight for all HR professionals. Day one covers a variety of generalist HR topics while day two focusses on the ever-changing Industrial Relations landscape.

The networking function at the end of day one will provide the opportunity for delegates from either day to enjoy connecting in person with other HR practitioners over drinks and canapés.

For the best learning and networking experience, we do recommend attending the full two day conference, however delegates have the option to purchase a one day ticket for either day of their choice. All delegates are welcome to attend the networking function.

Day one & two programs are summarised here, with all the session descriptions listed below. Click a session title to jump to its description or a speaker’s name to open their biography.

Day One: Generalist HR

8:30 AMCheck-in & Exhibition Open 
9:00 AMOfficial Opening 
9:15 AM

Making Brave Choices in the Midst of Change

Dr Gemma Munro – Thought leader, transformational facilitator and award-winning speaker
10:15 AM

Affecting Change in a Modern Workplace: Desire 101

Daniel Panozzo –  Organisational Change Manager, RAA
11:00 AMMorning Tea 
11:30 AM

Skills to thrive as a HR leader

Nicole Underwood – Managing Director, Underwood Executive
Todd Roberts – CEO, Credit Union SA
More panellists to be announced
12:15 PMAre you Hacking Your Human or is it Hacking You? Alexandra Laws – Human Performance Specialist, Speaker and Educator, Performance Laws
1:00 PMLunch 
2:00 PMIndigenous Employment: From Reconciliation Action Plans, to opportunity, to sustainable employment futures.

Brenz Saunders – Founder and Managing Director, Garu InfoTech

Jeremy Johncock – Indigenous Programs Manager, Adelaide Football Club

Chris Wood – Councillor, AHRI SA State Council | People & Culture, Dr Jones & Partners Medical Imaging

2:45 PM

Culture and Hybrid Work

Sarah Griffen – Director, Griffen People
3:30 PMAfternoon Tea 
4:00 PM

“I see you HR” – self-care challenges for HR Professionals in 2022

Samantha Young – Managing Director, Human Psychology
4:45 PMClosing Comments 
4:50 PMNetwork Function 
6:00 PMDay 1 Program Concludes 

Day Two: ER/IR

Time Activity Speakers
8:30 AM Check-in & Exhibition Open  
9:00 AM Official Opening  
9:05 AM Workplace relations under the Albanese Government: What do we know so far? Prof Andrew Stewart – The John Bray Professor of Law
10:05 AM Developments in the law of sexual harassment Kaye Smith – Principal Partner, EMA Legal
10:50 AM Morning Tea  
11:20 AM Managing Mental Health in the workplace Erin McCarthy – Partner, Piper Alderman
Emily Haar – Partner, Piper Alderman
12:05 PM Mediation or Investigation Daniel Krips – Special Counsel, Dentons
12:50 PM Lunch  
1:50 PM Lessons from the Workplace Facilitator: Susan Sadler – Director, Red Wagon Workplace Solutions
2:35 PM Session 6: Title coming soon Dale Beasley – Secretary, SA Unions
3:20 PM Afternoon Tea  
3:50 PM Dismissals – case law update, trends and strategy Will Snow – Partner, Finlaysons
4:35 PM Closing Comments  
4:40 PM Conference Concludes  

Session Descriptions

Day One – Keynote Session 1: Making Brave Choices in the Midst of Change

Why is it so hard for us to make brave choices? How can we summon up the courage, confidence and wisdom needed to make bold decisions in the midst of fear? And how can we learn to embrace change, especially when change feels like the last thing we want?
In this keynote, Dr Gemma Munro will help you to understand and unblock the obstacles to making brave choices and embracing change. Whether you need to move past self-sabotage or to manage fear, you will leave with a deeper understanding of what stands in your way, and some practical tools to make the brave choices or changes you know you need to make.

Participants will walk away with:

  1. An understanding of the blockers to making brave choices and embracing change
  2. Practical tools to develop courage, confidence and resilience
  3. The motivation and mindset to understand the changes you want to make, and make them with success and ease

Day One – Session 2: Affecting Change in a Modern Workplace: Desire 101

Change is supposed to make things better, right? So why do we resist it? And while HR and Change Management may have a seat at the table, where is our collective power? Are we really being heard when it comes to designing and executing change? What makes us similar, where do our edges meet, overlap and how can we all harness the most powerful tool we have, desire?

During this session, Daniel Panozzo, offers up functional tools while challenging our existing thoughts and assumptions around change. He discusses how to engage desire and facilitate change adoption, both individually and organisationally. Regardless of your title, or perceived role in change, you’ll discover how to influence conversations and decisions more effectively within the change process.

Day One – Session 3: Skills to thrive as a HR leader

In today’s business climate the functional role of HR in planning and driving strategic growth is just as important as technology and business leadership. Since the pandemic, HR is certainly expanded its corporate influence and cemented itself a key seat at the leadership table. There has never been a better time to redefine HR in your organisation and your role. In this session, we will explore key themes and trends of HR in business and the critical skills and experiences needed to make an impact as a HR leader.

Day One – Session 5: Indigenous Employment: From Reconciliation Action Plans, to opportunity, to sustainable employment futures.

This session we will bring together a panel to discuss the opportunities and practices applied to attracting and supporting Indigenous employees. Indigenous job seekers face multiple barriers to employment. If employers better understand issues, many of these barriers can be overcome indigenous employment outcomes are achieved. Let’s discuss attraction, recruitment, retention, training and development for both indigenous employees and their employers.

Day One – Session 6: Culture and Hybrid Work

When ‘the way we do things around here’ changes overnight, what happens to Culture? With Hybrid Work now the norm in many of our workplaces we are seeing the impact of this change. This session will explore the key themes, plus the opportunity we have in HR – are we creating Culture by Design or allowing Culture by Default?

Day One – Session 7: “I see you HR” – self-care challenges for HR Professionals in 2022

Sam will take you through your thoughts about the key stressors challenging wellbeing and resilience in HR right now, how the function has changed through COVID for good and bad, and then a practical toolkit to detect burnout, understand the resilience spiral, how to move from burnout to flourishing and how to take your organisation with you. Because wellbeing and mental health are probably the biggest organisational and societal issue we are confronting currently and yours comes first.

Day Two – Keynote Session 1: Workplace relations under the Albanese Government: What do we know so far?

The Albanese Labor Government was elected on a platform of addressing three key workplace issues: insecure work, the treatment of women, and wage stagnation. There was also talk of restoring cooperation and tripartism, not least in revitalising enterprise bargaining. This presentation will review what the government has achieved or proposed so far in these key areas, as well as looking ahead to what we can expect over the next year.

Day Two – Session 2: Developments in the law of sexual harassment

Key changes to the Fair Work Act, Sex Discrimination Act and what this means for employers

Day Two – Session 3: Managing Mental Health in the workplace

Employers are increasingly faced with the challenges of keeping employees “safe” in terms of their mental health and also dealing with the consequences of employees’ mental health challenges in regard to performance and conduct.

With increased penalties in many jurisdictions and model legislation highlighting director and officer individual responsibility, the issues are more important than ever. In the current climate of vast numbers of employees working in a hybrid environment and in a heightened state of anxiety about world events and job security, employers face a very difficult task.

Join Erin McCarthy and Emily Haar from Piper Alderman for a session dealing with these issues and in particular:

The law:

  • Work health and safety obligations to minimise or eliminate risks to mental health in the workplace;
  • When and how the workplace extends to the home, and managing the unusual risks of hybrid working;
  • Assessing capacity and when an employee may not be mentally “fit” for the inherent requirements of the job;
    • The interplay between mental health and performance/misconduct concerns – what the Fair Work Commission has said about procedural fairness and mental health; and
  • Compensability of stress claims under the various state and territory workers compensation schemes

The practical issues:

  • Having difficult conversations with employees who have mental health issues or may be under significant stress and anxiety;
  • When you may be ‘on notice’ of a risk but not have recognised it;
  • Managing mental health while employees are working in a hybrid way; and
  • What will you point to as a measure implemented to manage mental health risks?

Day Two – Session 4: Mediation or Investigation

Pros and cons of mediation and investigation, as well as practical and legal considerations, and pitfalls to watch for.

Day Two – Session 5: Lessons from the Workplace

A case study discussion to better understand how to respond to and resolve workplace issues.

Day Two – Session 7: Dismissals – case law update, trends and strategy

An overview of recent unfair dismissal and general protection cases from the Fair Work Commission and Federal courts with a focus on emerging trends and strategies in minimising risk.

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