AHRI WA Conference 2024

16 and 17 May, Perth Optus Stadium

Exploring the power of connections to shape the future of HR in Western Australia

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

Thursday, 16 May

Coffee and networking
Opening Comments
AHRI address

Beth Hall CPHR · General Manager, HR Standards and Capability · Australian HR Institute

OPENING KEYNOTE: Industrial Relations as the mining boom ends
SESSION 2: Secure Work, Better Pay and Closing Loopholes - Making Practical Sense of Legislative Reform

This session offers a comprehensive overview of the tranche of recent legislative reform, with a specific focus on how these changes effect the HR landscape in Australia. In taking stock of the changes, the focus will quickly shift towards practical insights on what action HR professionals need to take to not only comply but also look to enhance their workplaces. 

Morning tea, expo, networking
SESSION 3: Connecting Workplace Relations - Leaders talk Workplace Relations Strategy for Employers

This panel session brings together leaders in human resources and workplace relations to discuss strategic & practical approaches for employers in managing their workplace relations. The panellists will share their experiences and insights on formulating effective strategies that not only comply with legal requirements but also promote a positive and productive work environment, sharing examples of contemporary practices and strategies. 

SESSION 4: Industrial Relations is at the heart of Human Resources

Jonathon has negotiated and drafted enterprise agreements, led hearings in various industrial relations commissions, and steered his employers’ responses in tribunals, commissions, and even the High Court. However, like many HR professionals, Jonathon’s initial career path did not even consider the role of industrial relations in workplaces. Starting from entry-level HR positions, his career now involves leading and consulting across the human resources-through-industrial relations spectrum, including as a registered industrial agent, and chair of AHRI’s national ER/IR Advisory Panel, amongst other things.  

Practicing industrial relations has ‘followed’ Jonathon throughout his career, teaching him to not only recognise its importance in the practice of HR, but to embrace its central role in all things HR. So, how does an HR professional bridge the complexities and compliance demands of IR with the broader core objectives of HR to drive people outcomes? In this dynamic session, Jonathon will share his experiences on how HR practitioners can confidently navigate the complexities of IR, enhancing their organisations and enriching their people along the way. 

Lunch, expo and networking
SESSION 5: Culture Eats Compliance for Breakfast

This panel discussion explores the premise that while legislative compliance is crucial, the overarching influence of organisational culture often plays a more significant role in shaping employee behaviour and legislative compliance. How do functions such as HR consulting, payroll, finance all influence compliance? Is job security a legislative requirement or an organisational culture issue? Panellists will discuss how culture and legislation interact. 

SESSION 6: Ask Me Anything! Expert Advice on Curly Challenges

After a day rich in learning and discernment, this AMA session convenes a diverse panel of experts determined to help turn insight into action. The panel will draw on intriguing recent case law, offering fresh perspectives on perennial challenges like performance management, navigating workplace investigations and everything else IR. Note your questions throughout the day and we’ll bring them all to life through this session. 

Afternoon Tea, expo and networking
SESSION 7: Leadership Perspectives on Industrial Relations

Leadership Perspectives on Industrial Relations. 

If life is like a box of chocolates, then many workplaces are like a packet of crayons. 

Over the last three and half decades, Celia has been an employee (casual, part time, full time, fixed term and ongoing), an employer of 1000+ fte, a lawyer (in private practice and in-house counsel) and (briefly) a parliamentarian. Through that time and those roles, she has experienced the changing nature of workplaces and the ever increasing size and complexity of workplace laws and regulations. Celia will reflect on those experiences and offer her perspectives on how to navigate the IR and ER environment. 

Closing comments

Friday, 17 May

Coffee and networking
OPENING KEYNOTE: Connecting to the Big Picture

The charts and stats that explain the WA economy, and what your teams are facing. 

SESSION 2: Collaborative Solutions: Advancing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Workplace

Paul Hadfield FCPHR (Moderator) · Vice President of Membership · Australian HR Institute

Beth Shaw · Partner – Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Advisory · PwC

Belinda Riley · CEO · Beyond the Barriers

Join us for an enlightening panel discussion featuring two esteemed HR experts with international experience. Delve into the nuances of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) as these leaders share their insights and strategies for creating more inclusive workplaces. Explore the impact of collaboration in advancing DEI efforts and gain valuable perspectives on fostering diversity in global contexts. 

Morning tea, expo, networking
SESSION 3a: Cultivating our Human Superpowers in a Tech-Focused World

In this session we will share our approach to building your workforce’s human capabilities amidst digital transformation and as new technology performs a bigger role in day-to-day jobs.  

We have entered a period of isolated and anxious workers who are bombarded with noise around the relevancy of their skills and the future of their careers. The need to grow what makes us human, and how we do this in connection with each other, has never been more important.  

Growing our strengths collectively will be key to how we continue to deliver value and maintain relevancy as humans. We will speak to the importance of human connection, social intelligence and connected teaming in building an adaptive future-ready workforce.  

SESSION 3b: AHRI Award Finalists: Leading Perspectives from WA

The AHRI awards recognise initiative, strategies and contributions of individuals and teams that exemplify HR’s contribution and value to organisations and the profession. This panel session features 2023 AHRI award finalists who will share their insights, experiences and success stories related to AI, change management, culture build and transformation, employee relations and more. Attendees can expect to gain valuable knowledge, innovative approaches and understand the lived experience of these fantastic WA based finalists.    

SESSION 4: Connection 5x5

In this dynamic session, five distinguished speakers from diverse sectors of the HR industry will share their insights and expertise on how HR professionals can future-proof their strategies and practices. Speakers will delve into key trends shaping the future of HR, such as technology implementation, the importance of employee well-being and driving high performance teams. Through their short presentations attendees will gain valuable insights and practical strategies to enhance their HR practices and prepare their organisations for the challenges and opportunities of tomorrow. 

Lunch, expo and networking
SESSION 5a: Safe Enough to Take a Chance: Driving Creativity through Connection

Aden Date · Principal · Aden Date & Founder · Only the Human

Jaleesa Maher · Teaching Faculty · Only the Human

Today’s leaders are faced with two simultaneous pressures: the need to innovate in the face of an uncertain future, and the need to maintain the wellbeing of their staff. 

Dive into an engaging, participatory workshop where we bridge this gap between psychosocial safety and the creativity needed to spark innovation. 

Learn through dynamic, participatory exercises how to foster genuine connections and drive engagement within your teams. This session offers an experience of the relationship between connection, safety, and the creativity needed to create transformational change. You’ll be on your feet connecting with colleagues and learning through experience in a safe, welcoming environment. 

This workshop will invite you to think about creativity and connection differently.  

SESSION 5b: Using Corporate Theatre for Understanding and Connection

Join The Experience Lab for a thought provoking session where we delve into the transformative power of theatre in navigating challenging workplace and societal issues. Through this interactive experience, you will discover how the art of storytelling using corporate actors can spark meaningful conversations, foster empathy, and deepen understanding among team members. 

Our expert facilitators will demonstrate how experiential techniques can be applied to various scenarios, encouraging you to consider different perspectives and uncover new insights. Whether addressing diversity and inclusion, inappropriate behaviours or other sensitive topics, this session will offer practical strategies for using theatre as a tool for communication and connection. 

Attendees can expect an engaging session that blends theory with experiential interactions, leaving them inspired to apply these innovative approaches in their own organisations. Join us and discover the power of corporate theatre in building bridges, enhancing understanding, and creating a more inclusive workplace. 

SESSION 6a: Lessons Learned: OD, Leadership and Connections

Join us for a transformative panel session where three distinguished experts in Organisational Development (OD) and leadership development connect to share invaluable insights. Embrace the power of learning from failure as we navigate the complex landscape of effective leadership and organisational dynamics and foster meaningful connections. Our panellists bring diverse perspectives and years of experience, promising a rich discussion to empower attendees with actionable strategies born from success and setbacks. Join us for an enriching dialogue that promises to illuminate the path to leadership excellence, organisational success, and the invaluable lessons found in failure.  

SESSION 6b: From theory to practice: Leveraging academic insights for practical talent acquisition

This session promises to offer a unique blend of theoretical foundations and practical applications, paving the way for innovative approaches to attract, assess, and retain top talent in a competitive market. Join us to discover how you can transform your organization’s talent acquisition approach through the power of academic-practitioner collaboration. 

SESSION 7a: Elevating Organisational Culture: the strategic influence of Senior HR leaders on connection and collaboration

The panel discussion will focus on the power Senior HR roles have in shaping the culture of an organisation through connection and collaboration, reflecting the range and scope of impact we have in the workplace.  

Our panellists will unpack their experiences, where it’s most successful and what pitfalls await us along the way as we seek to execute, shape and drive a more connected workplace. We will explore the high impact our HR leadership can have across an organisation and the changing, business centric and people centric balancing act we often find ourselves in!  

SESSION 7b: It’s more than waving a magic wand: May I be candid about psychological safety?

Myth Busting Psychological Safety and Psychosocial Health & Safety. What’s the difference & why HR needs to be on board! 

Afternoon Tea, expo and networking
SESSION 8: Rise of the Humans: The Future of Work

Change is happening at the fastest rate of human history. It is also the slowest we’ll experience for the rest of our lives, and arguably nothing is changing more than work. Find out about the key trends shaping the future of work from the number one thought leader on the topic in the Asia-Pacific. 

Networking drinks