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Speakers

In an Australian first, see an outstanding lineup of international leaders together with domestic experts, never before seen on one stage. They will explores Australia's most pressing equity issues, providing solution-based ideas to lead and manage Australia's workforce of the future.
Valerie Jarrett

Valerie B. Jarrett was the longest serving Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama. She oversaw the Offices of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs and Chaired the White House Council on Women and Girls.

Ms. Jarrett has worked throughout her tenure at the White House to mobilize elected officials, business and community leaders, and diverse groups of advocates. She led the Obama Administration’s efforts to expand and strengthen access to the middle class, and boost American businesses and our economy. She championed the creation of equality and opportunity for all Americans, and economically and politically empowering women in the United States and around the world. She oversaw the Administration’s advocacy for workplace policies that empower working families, including equal pay, raising the minimum wage, paid leave, paid sick days, workplace flexibility, and affordable childcare, and led the campaigns to reform our criminal justice system, end sexual assault, and reduce gun violence.

Ms. Jarrett has a background in both the public and private sectors. She served as the Chief Executive Officer of The Habitat Company in Chicago, Chairman of the Chicago Transit Board, Commissioner of Planning and Development, and Deputy Chief of Staff for Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley. She also served as the director of numerous corporate and not-for-profit boards including Chairman of the Board of the Chicago Stock Exchange, Chairman of the University of Chicago Medical Center Board of Trustees, and Director of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.  Ms. Jarrett has also received numerous awards and honorary degrees, including TIME’s “100 Most Influential People.”

Jarrett received her B.A. from Stanford University in 1978 and her J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School in 1981.

Elizabeth Broderick, AO

Elizabeth has brought together captains of industry, governments and Defence Force chiefs to address gender inequality in Australia and beyond.

As Australia’s longest serving Sex Discrimination Commissioner (2007-2015), Elizabeth worked tirelessly to break down structural and social barriers faced by women and men, and to promote gender equality.

A key advocate for Australia’s paid parental leave scheme, Elizabeth influenced changes to regulations to increase the numbers of women at decision-making level, and to elevate the voices of women in marginalised communities.

Elizabeth established and convenes the globally recognised ‘Male Champions of Change’ strategy, enlisting a ‘who’s who’ of powerful male leaders to tackle workplace gender inequality. She is a powerful and influential voice in the struggle for gender equality, enlisting both women and men as agents of change.

Her review into the treatment of women in the Australian Defence Force led to sweeping cultural reforms. In 2016 Elizabeth was Senior Adviser to the Australian Federal Police Commissioner on cultural change and assisted with implementing a significant cultural change project across the organisation.

She is currently working with The University of Sydney and some Residential Colleges to examine the existing culture of those Colleges and James Cook University on phase two of a project to examine the sexual harassment policies and cultural environment in which the policies are implemented.

Elizabeth is Special Advisor to the Executive Director of UN Women on Private Sector Engagement, Global Co-Chair of UN Global Compact’s Women’s Empowerment Principles and a member of the International Services for Human Rights and Australian Rugby Union Boards.

In 2016 Elizabeth was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia and was named 2016 NSW Australian of the Year. She holds Honorary Doctorates of Law from the University of Sydney, University of New South Wales, University of Technology Sydney and Deakin University.

Dr Richard Denniss

Richard Denniss is the Australia Institute’s chief economist. He is an economist with a particular interest in the role of regulation. Prior to taking up his current position he was an Associate Professor at the Crawford School of Economics and Government at the Australian National University where he continues to hold an adjunct appointment.

Richard has also worked as Strategy Adviser to the Leader of the Australian Greens, Senator Bob Brown, Chief of Staff to the Leader of the Australian Democrats, Senator Natasha Stott Despoja, and lectured in economics at the University of Newcastle.

Richard has published extensively in academic journals, is a frequent contributor to national newspapers and was the co-author of the best selling Affluenza (with Dr Clive Hamilton) and is the co-author of An Introduction to Australian Public Policy: Theory and Practice (with Dr Sarah Maddison.)

Anita Krohn Traaseth

Anita Krohn Traaseth is the CEO of Innovation Norway, the Norwegian Government's most important instrument for innovation and development of Norwegian enterprises and industry. Prior she was the first female MD of Hewlett-Packard Norway. She started her career as a trainee at IBM and has held several executive positions in Norway.

Krohn Traaseth studied communication and management at BI Norwegian Business School. At Harvard University she completed an executive leadership program and earned certification in strategy and innovation from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Krohn Traaseth has received several awards, including Best Female Leader in the ICT Industry in Norway in 2012 and Social Media Personality of the Year in 2013. Anita is also titled as “Top 20 Women in Business in Northern Europe” and “Top 50 Most Inspiring Women in European Tech” in 2015 and 2016.

She is a mother of three, blogger and author of the book, Good Enough For The Bastards - a manager's thoughts about courage, vulnerability and credibility. Parts of the book income is donated to the #HearMyVoice initiative founded in 2015 with Plan Norway International.

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.  

Laura Liswood

In 1996, Laura Liswood co-founded the Council of Women World Leaders with President Vigdís Finnbogadóttir of Iceland. Ms. Liswood is the Secretary General of the Council, composed of women presidents and prime ministers which is located at the UN Foundation in Washington DC.

From 2001-2015, Liswood was named Managing Director, Global Leadership and Diversity for Goldman Sachs and became a Senior Advisor.

From 1992 – 1996, she interviewed 15 current and former women presidents and prime ministers, chronicled in her book and documentary, Women World Leaders

Liswood’s professional experience includes line management in Fortune 500 companies, including airline, banking and media companies. She is the former CEO of the American Society for Training and Development. After the U.S. events of September 11, 2001, Liswood became a reserve police officer in Washington DC for 13 years and recently retired as a sergeant.

She holds an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School, a B.A. from California State University, San Diego.  She holds a J.D. degree from the University of California, Davis, School of Law and is admitted to practice law in California and Massachusetts.

Her latest book, The Loudest Duck challenges traditional workplace diversity efforts and provides strategies to create inclusive workplaces.

Chris Kelly

Chris Kelly is responsible for Sales, Strategy & Product Operations of Dell EMC ANZ’s Compute, Networking & Converged Solutions as well as the associated Software & Services portfolio. With ownership of the P&L and overall Business Unit performance, he is responsible for delivering innovative, yet practical, solutions to the market that take advantage of the full breadth of Dell EMC’s portfolio whilst also leveraging relationships with strategic partners.

Chris leads a team of senior industry executives that bring together deep subject matter expertise and hands on experience related to core technology trends and their application in business to deliver superior commercial outcomes.

With more than 20 years’ experience in the IT industry, Chris has held senior leadership roles in large multinational organizations and managed the operations of a hyper-growth startup.Prior to rejoining Dell in February 2015, Chris held the position of chief operating officer and vice president of CloudFX, an Asia based professional services and consulting firm focused on IT transformation and Cloud enablement services. Chris was instrumental in driving successive periods of aggressive growth and geographic expansion that led to a significant Series-A investment from two of the world’s largest IT corporations.

Before joining CloudFX, Chris was a director at Lenovo where he led the ANZ Channel Sales Organization, and ran the product and marketing business units. Chris also served as director of Lenovo’s Enterprise Product Group across APJ.Chris holds a Bachelor of Business Degree with majors in Finance, International Economics and Marketing.

Professor Cordelia Fine

A professor in the History and Philosophy of Science program in the School of Historical and Philosophical Studies at the University Melbourne, Cordelia is also an internationally acclaimed writer and a Fellow of the Women's Leadership Institute Australia.

Together, her three books have established her “reputation for exemplary clarity on complex topics, pleasing wit, feminist principle – and beneath it all, the animating faith that people can be improved through knowledge,” as The Guardian (UK) put it.

Her second book, Delusions of Gender, was shortlisted for the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Non-Fiction, the Best Book of Ideas 2011, the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize and the biannual cross-genre Warwick Prize 2013, and was a Guardian and London Evening Standard Book of the Year, a Washington Post Best Non-Fiction Book of the Year, and listed in “10 books by women that will change your life” (Sunday Times), “22 books women think men should read” (Huffington Post), “Top 10 books on women in the past 30 years” (The Australian) and “40 new feminist classics” (Literary Classics).

Cordelia's latest book is Testosterone Rex: Unmaking the myths of our gendered minds, “a witty corrective” (Nature) and an Amazon Best Book.

Cordelia has also written for outlets including The Monthly, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times and The Guardian.

Dr. Thomas Hedegaard Rasmussen

Dr. Thomas Hedegaard Rasmussen joined NAB 2017 as General Manager People Analytics, Insights & Experience. Thomas has previously been VP HR Data & Analytics at Shell, and held various HR roles at A.P. Moller-Maersk.

He received his M.Sc. and Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Aarhus, Denmark, where he was Alum of the year 2016, still does research for fun, e.g. his papers on HR Analytics in Organizational Dynamics co-authored with Dave Ulrich (2015) and in Journal of Organizational Effectiveness co-authored with Jorrit van der Togt (2017), and his main interest is bridging management science with practical application, showing the importance of people in value chains.

Thomas believes that data and evidence should supplement business understanding, experience and intuition in decision making on people issues, and that this will enable businesses to deliver more value to customers, shareholders and employees. 

Alia Gabres

Alia Gabres is a Melbourne based Creative Producer, Cultural Broker and Storyteller. She is a CACD practitioner with a focus on arts facilitation using storytelling as a tool for knowledge generation and cultural transmission.

In 2016 she was invited to attend the Makassar International Writers Festival in Indonesia and 2015 saw Alia awarded as one of Melbourne Writers Festivals ’30 Under 30’, attend the Africa Writes Festival in the UK and complete a residency at the School for Social Sciences in Eritrea.

In 2014 Alia was in residence in Indonesia with Kunci Cultural Institute delivering a project that mapped traditional stories and recipes. In the same year she was program coordinator on the Global Express program that launched ‘Dialect’ a multi-lingual publication for emerging writers.

In 2013 Alia was invited as teaching artist with the Minor Disturbance Youth Slam team in Denver Colorado and co-produced an intergenerational narrative project in California. 2013 also saw Alia’s poetry video ‘Cotton Summer Dresses’ selected as a finalist of the National Blake Prize.

Alia has a Masters in Community and Cultural Development from the Victorian College of the Arts and is also currently a member of the Program Advisory Committee for the Creative Writing Degree at RMIT University.

She has sat on Literature, Community Arts and Cultural Development and Multi-Art Form assessment panels for Creative Victoria and the national funding body for the arts The Australia Council.  

Dr Graeme Russell

Dr Graeme Russell is a researcher and consultant, and was previously an Associate Professor in Psychology at Macquarie University. He is an internationally renowned researcher and industry consultant on diversity, gender equality, flexibility, organisational change and work/life.  He has a particular interest in: (i) men and fatherhood; (ii) the relationship between gender equality at work and in caregiving (iii) challenging and changing mindsets about flexibility particularly in relation to men; and (iv) job, work and career redesign. 

He is the joint author of several recent DCA reports including:  “Men Make a Difference: How to Engage Men on Gender Equality”  “Men get Flexible” and “Mainstreaming Flexible Work in Australian Business”. He is also the joint author of:  “First-Time Father”

Graeme has worked extensively in a range of organisations, including Alcoa, AMP, ANZ, Australia Post, BHP Billiton Iron Ore, Caltex, CBA, IAG, IBM, KPMG, Multiplex, NAB, Nestlé, Shell International, Westpac and several Law Firms.  He has also worked in different countries (e.g. Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, China, United States, Japan, Korea, United Kingdom, The Netherlands). 

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.

Sadhana Smiles

Sadhana Smiles is the CEO of Harcourts Group Victoria, the fastest growing real estate group. She started her career as a receptionist, is an accomplished keynote speaker, a well-known industry commentator and author of People Power did you have them @ hello.

In 2013 she was named the Victorian Telstra Business Woman. In 2016 she was one of 100 Women of Influence in Australia.  In 2012 she bought Walk a Mile to her organisation which is now a national event raising funds for White Ribbon and making a statement that violence against women is not OK.

She is the founder of not for profit Links Fiji taking health care to rural areas of Fiji ensuring that the incidence of cervical cancer is reduced. She sees herself as a corporate activist, a change maker who makes things happen.

Sadhana’s goal is to have an impact on ensuring that the colour and gender of leadership and of our workplaces reflects the communities we live in.  

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.
Tanya Hosch

Tanya Hosch is the General Manager of Inclusion and Social Policy at the AFL. 

Ms Hosch has a long and distinguished history in Indigenous policy, advocacy, governance and fundraising. 

Before joining the AFL as the first ever Indigenous person and 2nd woman in their Executive ranks in August this year, Tanya was the Joint Campaign director of the Recognise movement for constitutional reform.

At the AFL Tanya is tasked with the implementation of the AFL’s enhanced Indigenous strategy, advising the AFL Indigenous Advisory Council, reviewing the Respect and Responsibility Policy and implementing the AFL’s Gender Action Plan.

Tanya was recently appointed to the Indigenous Advisory Group of the NAB and is a Board Director of the Indigenous Land Corporation, the Australian Indigenous Governance Institute and a member of the Referendum Council.  In addition, Tanya is the Independent Chair of Price Waterhouse Coopers Indigenous Consulting.

Annabel Crabb (MC)

Annabel Crabb is one of Australia's most beloved journalists. She is the host of ABC TV’s enormously popular Kitchen Cabinet series, and recently wrote and presented a groundbreaking documentary series set inside Parliament, entitled “The House, with Annabel Crabb”.

Annabel is the author of The Wife Drought, a best-selling account of women and work in Australia, and of Stop At Nothing, a Walleye-winning biography of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. Other books include her cookbook, Special Delivery, co-written with childhood friend Wendy Sharpe.

With friend and ABC colleague Leigh Sales, Australia’s pre-eminent current affairs journalist, Annabel hosts the top-rating podcast Chat 10 Looks 3. 

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