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Special thanks to our advisory panel. Their guidence on Australia's greatest equity issues and recommendations for outstanding speakers have been invaluable in shaping this formidable program.
Steven Asnicar

Steven Asnicar is a Director with Diversity Australia and has over 25 years’ experience in People and Culture and Change Management with a strategy, operations, customer service and safety focus.  Steven consults to organisations in both public and private sectors and has worked with departmental heads and CEOs across various industries, including insurance, finance, manufacturing, hospitality, healthcare, transport, utilities, mining, building and construction, security and primary industry.  

Amy Mullins

Amy Mullins has been with the Women’s Leadership Institute Australia (WLIA) for almost four years, leading and managing the institute. WLIA seeks to increase the visibility of women in leadership and catalyse system-changing solutions to achieve gender balanced representation.

Amy is a Member of the Advisory Committee of the Pathways to Politics Program for Women at the Melbourne School of Government. Pathways to Politics is a non-partisan initiative of WLIA that seeks to address the under-representation of women in parliament by providing the skills, training and networks to reach elected office. It is made possible by a generous donation from the Trawalla Foundation to the University of Melbourne.

Amy is also an advisor to the Male Champions of Change.

Until recently, Amy was the inaugural Co-Program Director of the Property Male Champions of Change and co-founded the group of 21 top executives in the property sector.

Amy is passionate about women and men having equal opportunity to thrive and lead in their chosen fields.
Cate Borness

Cate Borness is the Director of Talent & Research at Peter Berry Consultancy (PBC). She completed her Masters in Organisational Psychology and Doctorate in Cognitive Training at the University of New South Wales.  She is a member of the Australian Psychological Society, the Australian Human Resources Institute and the Diversity Council of Australia.  Prior to joining PBC, Cate worked for a global consulting organisation.

As a registered Organisational Psychologist, Cate has extensive experience in organisational development and talent management with an emphasis on psychometric test / survey development and validation, recruitment, assessment and selection, diversity and inclusion, team building, leadership development and executive coaching in both the public and private sectors. She is particularly focussed on improving organisational performance through the use of valid diagnostics and interventions that align with the organisational culture, with a focus on evaluating the impact of such interventions.  Overlaying this is her passion for building and supporting a diverse and inclusive workforce through all the interventions she develops and delivers. 

Dominique Lamb

Dominique Lamb is the CEO of the National Retail Association and Director of NRA Legal, who has extensive experience providing industrial relations and employment law advice to a range of small, medium and large businesses across a range of industries.

Dominique brings a level passion and motivation to her role which is hard to find. In 2011, she was awarded the Australian Institute of Management’s Young Gun of the Year Award and in 2016 Dominique was a finalist in the Brisbane Women in Business Awards.

In her downtime, Dominique is a strong advocate for victims of domestic violence and has volunteered with the Women’s Legal Service Queensland for over six years.  Dominique is currently serving on the WLSQ board as well as being the Chair of their Dancing CEO’s event which raised $219,000 in 2016.

As the CEO of the National Retail Association, Dominique plays an integral role by liaising and advocating on behalf of retailers at a Federal and State Government level on all areas of policy which affect retail businesses both large and small, including but not limited to technical standards, product safety, industrial relations, loss prevention, city planning and infrastructure.

Francine Binns

Fran is known for being highly ethical, inclusive and pragmatic leader, leading teams from across multiple locations and nationalities. She has a demonstrated track record in improving culture, performance and outcomes in organisations that she worked with over the past 20 years.

Her ability to rapidly navigate complex matrix environments, manage multiple stakeholders, clearly communicate expectations, and progress outcomes is integral to delivering successful organisational results.

Fran has been lucky to travel the world, and work throughout Australia and the Middle East. She spent 10 years on the west coast of Australia working within telecommunications focussing on mining, and oil and gas. She recently spent most of the last decade in Abu Dhabi and Dubai working at Abu Dhabi University as the Head of Vocational Department and then becoming part of the Corporate Executive team at a large vocational training company in Dubai.  


Recently, Fran has been building her formal governance skills and experience reporting to Boards and working for the Australian Institute of Company Directors.


She has an Advanced Diploma in Marketing, a MBA from RMIT University, and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. 

Hedy Cray

Hedy Cray is the partner in charge of the Brisbane Workplace Relations, Employment and Safety practice of Clayton Utz and is considered one of Queensland's pre-eminent workplace relations lawyers and trainers. She has over 20 years' experience in industrial relations, employment law, equal opportunity, workers compensation and work health and safety.  Hedy is the "go to" person on strategy and for the hard, complex and sensitive matters, big and small. She leads a team of specialist practitioners providing multi-disciplined options for the resolution of difficult matters and streamlines advice.

Hedy is also a sought after speaker, trainer, investigator and negotiator. She is recognised in leading legal directories, including Chambers Asia Pacific and Asia Pacific Legal 500 for her expertise in employment and industrial relations.
Jacqui Brauman

Jacqui Brauman is the principal solicitor at TBA Law. Accredited Specialist in Wills and Estate, Jacqui’s career of over 10 years in the legal industry has given her a broad experience in many industries, including professional services, government, resource recovery, social work, fitness, hospitality, and agriculture.

Public school educated, Jacqui has been able to gain a Bachelor of Laws, Bachelor of Accounting, Graduate Diploma in Tax Law, and Masters of Applied Law in Wills and Estates.

Jacqui has written and published two legal books; ‘In Case of Emergency’, and ‘Death and Social Media. Jacqui has also written and published three books for empowering women; ‘Steps to Success for Women’, ‘Acres of Diamonds’ and ‘Graduate the School of Hard Knocks’. Her sixth forthcoming book, ‘The Cult of Dissatisfaction’ focuses on helping unhappy professional women realise that equality is possible.

Jahna Cedar

Jahna Cedar is a Nyiyaparli/Yindjibarndi woman from the Pilbara region of Western Australia and is recognised as a strong Indigenous community leader.

She has worked for over 18 years advocating for equal rights and reconciliation of Indigenous people. She has represented her people at the United Nations in New York with regards to children’s rights and equal access to employment, education and training for women and returned in March 2017 where she advocated for the inclusion of Indigenous empowerment wording in the agreed conclusion at the United Nations Commission on the status of Women.

As well as having obtained a Bachelor of Business, Jahna Cedar has Cert IV’s in Training and Assessing, Indigenous Leadership, Career Development and Employability Services. Jahna is a current board member of Pilbara Aboriginal Corporations and Enterprises (PACE), Forum for Directors of Indigenous Organisations (FDIO) and the Curtin University Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Committee. She is a fellow of the Australian Institute of Management and Leadership WA and a member of Australian Institute of Company Directors and Governance Institute WA. Jahna is active in volunteering her time in Mentoring Indigenous women through the Yorga Djenna Bidi leadership program of Leadership WA and providing inspirational speeches to youth in rural areas.

Jahna is currently the Executive Officer of Gumala Aboriginal Corporation, having spent two years on the board of the business previously. A motivational leader, Jahna’s corporate experience includes 12 years in business/human resources management and consultancy, including the implementation of organisational and change management strategies, projects and policy development, in both the Not for Profit and Private sector. Offering an innate leadership style and proven business acumen, Jahna drives consistent results and is passionate about encouraging and developing others, while working ethically towards corporate and strategic goals.

Jahna was awarded 2016 AIM WA Emerging Leader award and was a finalist at the national presentations. She is dedicated to challenging preconceptions, breaking down damaging stereotypes and working hard to make a difference for Indigenous people, specifically women and youth. Jahna was recently awarded “first amongst equals” in the Business News 40 under 40 awards for 2017 and was the youngest person to be elected into the West Australian International Women’s Day Hall of Fame.

Juliet Bourke

Juliet leads Deloitte Australia's Diversity and Inclusion Consulting practice and co-leads the Leadership practice.  She has over 25 years' experience in human capital, management and law. Juliet works with Executives and global organisations to improve workplace performance through cultural change, focussing on D&I, leadership and culture.

Her latest book, the 2016 bestseller entitled ‘Which two heads are better than one?: How diverse teams create breakthrough ideas and make smarter decisions’, helps leaders understand how to systematically create diverse thinking and take team performance to the next level.

Juliet is a member of the Australian firm’s Diversity Council, and sits on a number of boards and award panels, such as the Telstra Business Awards, the Harvard’s Women’s Leadership Board, the Reserve Bank of Australia’s Diversity Council and the Deloitte University Press Editorial Review Board. Juliet’s own awards include Women Lawyers Association of NSW (Achievement Award), University of NSW (Alumni Award) and Centre for Leadership for Women.

A highly engaging public speaker, Juliet has keynoted at hundreds of global conferences, including TEDx.

Janet Brown

Originally from New Zealand, Janet first travelled to the Pilbara in 1999. Moving to Roebourne in the north of Western Australia in 2000 Janet settled into the locally community and set about developing the Roebourne Art School which today is home to many world renowned Aboriginal artists.

Since 2005 Janet Brown has been the Chief Executive Officer at Ashburton Aboriginal Corporation situated in Tom Price. In recent years the corporation’s achievements have recognised and it has been the recipient of a number of awards such as the Banksia Indigenous Leadership for Sustainability Award, the Golden Gecko award for environmental excellence, the NAIDOC Small Business of the Year Award and the Landcorp Sustainability Award. In April 2017 AAC was recognised as being one of Westpac Top 200 Businesses of Tomorrow,

Over the past twelve years Janet has overseen the growth and diversification of AAC from a staff of 4 to over 50. Today the company is not only a registered training organisation but has also diversified into pastoral activities, development of alternate fuel production such as biodiesel, recycling and operating a retail tyre business. As a result of her recognition of the need for AAC to become actively involved in new and emerging markets, AAC began producing biodiesel in 2006 in response to rising diesel costs which were negatively impacting their business and remote Aboriginal communities more broadly. Following five years of incubation, development and production, AAC established their subsidiary AshOil Pty Ltd in July 2010 to lead their biodiesel operations having secured a supply agreement with Rio Tinto to provide up to 50,000 litres of biodiesel per month to its Mount Tom Price iron ore operations in the Pilbara for drilling and blasting. 

At all times Janet  has dedicated her energies to building strong community and stakeholder partnerships, sustainable enterprises while at the same time developing a ‘humble and accountable’ organisation.

Sadhana Smiles

Sadhana Smiles is Chief Executive Officer of Harcourts Group Victoria, the state division of one of Australia’s leading, well respected and fastest growing real estate brands.

She is one of only two female CEO’s in her sector which is commonly referred to as the “boy’s club”.

Starting her career as a receptionist Sadhana has created a brand that has placed her amongst her peers as a thought leader, industry commentator, corporate activist and a contemporary feminist.

Under her leadership, Harcourts Victoria is

  • one of the leading business units globally within the group
  • the fastest growing franchise group in Victoria
  • consistently increasing their market share
  • most recognised, most quoted and most heard brand

With a focus on performance and satisfaction Sadhana has doubled their EBIT over the last two years and increased franchisee satisfaction, sitting at 96th percentile in the sector benchmark. 

All this in an industry that has the 2nd worst pay gap and one where some of her male counterparts have labelled her just about everything a woman can be.

“I am a coloured woman playing in a male dominated industry, earning my seat at the table through my results. Numbers never lie.”

She is passionate about the issues of violence against women and diversity - “our workplaces must reflect the communities we work in”

In 2012 she bought Walk a Mile in their shoes to Victoria, this is now a national event for the Harcourts Group with over 1000 men and women walking in high heels, raising money for White Ribbon and making a clear statement that violence towards women is not OK.

The group has raised over $300K for White Ribbon and funded over 100,000 students to participate in the award winning ‘breaking the silence program’ teaching the youth about respectful relationships.

 She is also working with various organisations in Australia to highlight the issue of dowry deaths of Indian women and the violence some of them face in Australia post their arranged marriages.

In 2013 Sadhana published her first book – People Power – did you have them @ hello, a step by step guide to developing and managing performance driven teams. In 2016 published a self help journal for women based on her own experiences – I want what she’s having.

In 2013 Sadhana was named the Victorian Telstra Business Women of the Year, as well as the winner of the Victorian Telstra Private Corporate Sector award.

In 2016 Sadhana was named one of 100 women of Influence in Australia. AFR/WBC sponsored award.

Sadhana is the founder of Links Fiji, a not for profit, with a focus on conducting pap smears for women in rural areas of Fiji and reducing the incidence of cervical cancer. 

Kelly Stickel

Kelly Stickel is the founder and CEO of Remodista, a social think tank examining global retail disruption. A collaborative thinker, she is focused on understanding the layers ofdisruption in retail and translating insights intoactionable items for retail brands using community as a business model.

Devoting a decade at Accenture and AcquityGroup, Kelly spent a majority of her careerfocused on connecting people, cultivating women leaders, and building business development strategies in management consulting. Starting in recruiting, Kelly worked her way through vendor relations, businessdevelopment, and alliance partnerships focused on marketing and commerce business problems in both B2B and B2C verticals.

Kelly is passionate about cultivating leaders andis currently focused on assisting women in keyexecutive roles in business. Recently awarded the Women of Influence 2016 from ChicagoBusiness Journals, Kelly has since then launchedthe Women to Watch in Retail Disruption program in January of 2016 and expanded the program to Australia.

Kelly is very proactive in the communities of Chicago as she also is on the IoT Council for Illinois Technology Association, speaks on topics around the community such as Internet ofthings and retail, as well as, the importance ofwomen in executive roles, and writes a monthly column on retail disruption and the women towatch for Bizwomen. A graduate from University of Missouri with a degree in Political Science.Kelly is an accomplished mosaic artist andteaches art classes in her local Chicago community.

Nicholas Barnett

Nicholas Barnett has been a director, business leader and consultant for over 30 years. Nicholas is chief executive officer of Insync, a former partner of KPMG, non-executive chairman of Ansvar Insurance and a non-executive director of Mission Australia. He co-founded Board Benchmarking and Gender Worx.

Nicholas is also a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (FAICD) and a member of the Australian Human Resource Institute's (AHRI) Research Panel.

Nicholas is passionate about helping individuals, teams and organisations to reach their full potential. He is an author, speaker and expert media commentator in relation governance, organisation culture, risk and gender diversity. His three books are on leadership, culture, engagement and transformational change.

Danielle Kelly

Danielle leads Herbert Smith Freehills' strategy for inclusion and diversity across the Asia-Pac region. Herbert Smith Freehills is one of the world’s leading professional services businesses, bringing together highly talented people across its 26 offices, to meet clients’ legal services needs globally.

Danielle is passionate about the link between inclusive cultures and an organisation’s enhanced ability to innovate and solve complex problems. Formerly a lawyer, she sits on the Firm’s Global Diversity & Inclusion Council and works closely with the Firm’s clients to help them develop their diversity and inclusion strategy. 

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