Australia CHRO Executive Summit

16 June 2022 | The Fullerton Hotel Sydney

16 June 2022
The Fullerton Hotel Sydney

Collaborate with your peers

Get together with Australia's top CHROs to tackle shared business challenges and critical priorities facing your role today. Participate in this one-day, local program with peer-driven topics and interactive discussions with your true C-level peers.

Join your peers to discuss the most critical issues impacting CHROs today:

Driving Employee Experience to Retain Top Talent

Reinventing Strategic Workforce Planning

Developing Leadership Skills That are Essential for the Future

Australia CHRO Governing Body

The Governing Body Co-Chairs shape the summit agenda, ensuring that all content is driven by CHROs, for CHROs.


Julie Carroll

Serco Asia Pacific
Chief Human Resources Officer

Rebekah Donaldson

Qantas Airways Limited
Executive Manager, People

Helen Fraser

Laing O'Rourke
General Manager, People

Benjamin Morris

Group General Manager, Human Resources

Michelle Phipps

Chief People Officer

Louise Spittle

The Arnott’s Group
Chief People Officer

Duncan Thomas

Bravura Solutions
Chief People Officer

What to Expect

Interactive Sessions

Hear from CHRO practitioners and thought leaders on how they're solving critical challenges impacting your role today in Keynote sessions, and join smaller, interactive discussions with your peers in Breakout and Boardroom sessions.

Community Networking

Make new connections and catch up with old friends in casual conversations during dedicated time for networking designed to better acquaint you with your Australia CHRO community.

Peer-to-Peer Meetings

Connect with like-minded peers in a private, one-on-one setting through Evanta's Peer-to-Peer Meetings. You will be matched with peers in your community based on your shared interests and priorities.


15 June 2022

18:30 - 21:00  Governing Body Welcome Reception

Governing Body Welcome Reception

Exclusive to Governing Body members and select guests, this dinner is a can’t-miss opportunity to connect with your peers prior to tomorrow’s Executive Summit. Please join your colleagues for an evening of good food, wine, and lively networking.

08:00 - 09:00  Registration & Breakfast

09:00 - 09:45  Keynote

Why CHROs Make Great CEOs?

Sarah Derry headshot

Sarah Derry

CEO Pacific

Accor Asia Pacific

The pandemic has put a spotlight on the importance of ‘softer’ leadership skills in the C-suite and one of the greatest lessons we’ve learned in recent years is that businesses don’t create value; people do. To succeed and thrive in today’s evolving economy, CEOs are expected to have more than just good operational skills and financial acumen. They must also have a broader set of people-focused skills that can help bring aboard talent that will contribute to their organisation’s success—something that CHROs often have in abundance. The CHRO role has evolved into an integral, strategic part of driving a company forward. They are people leaders who have a deep understanding of the direction and aspirations of their organisations and are able to contribute well beyond human capital.

In this Keynote session, Sarrah Derry, CEO of Accor Pacific talks about her incredible career journey from a leader within talent and culture to the CEO role. She will cover:

  • Why having an in-depth understanding of people and culture was such a valuable experience for her new role
  • Traits that make a top CHRO and how it translates into the skill needed for the CEO role
  • Why people – before strategy – are key to success in the modern business world

09:45 - 10:00  Break

10:00 - 10:45  Breakout Session

Origami: Future of Work Getting Started

Anish Singh headshot

Anish Singh

Human Resource Director Australia & New Zealand

Unilever Australia

The pandemic has forced people to re-evaluate what they really want out of their life and career. Work-life balance, flexibility, and well-being are front-of-mind for employees as they look to their employers for certainty about the future. As companies around the world are experimenting with new ways to manage employee expectations, the adoption of a four-day workweek has sparked great interest and excitement. As exciting as it sounds, the looming question is, does it actually work?

Join this session to hear from one of Australia's early adopters of the four-day work week, Head of HR Unilever, as he unfolds:

  • The effect of a four-day workweek on talent retention & benefits to business
  • How does working fewer hours affect employee productivity and engagement
  • Why companies like Unilever are leaning toward the future of work

10:00 - 10:45  Breakout Session

How Managers can Impact Learning Culture — For Better or for Worse

Sarah Danzl headshot

Sarah Danzl

VP Customer Marketing & Communications


Our research found that managers are uniquely positioned to either encourage learning or even dismiss it altogether. In a positive learning culture, people are 92% more likely to say their manager supported their development. This means managers can be instrumental to the success of company L&D initiatives. What can you do differently?

Join Degreed to explore:

  • What the workforce learning data says about management
  • Why it’s important for managers to encourage employee development
  • Four steps managers can take to create a positive learning culture

10:00 - 10:45  Executive Boardroom

How to Advance a Culture of Belonging in Uncertain Times

Matt Seadon headshot

Matt Seadon

Managing Director APAC


Natasha Cuthbert headshot

Natasha Cuthbert

General Manager - People and Culture

Viva Energy

Jasmine Doak headshot

Jasmine Doak

General Manager, P&C Comm & Corp

Coles Group

Employees have developed a new set of expectations since the onset of the pandemic and as the impact of the great resignation sets in, enabling a sense of belonging has become critical for retaining individuals and driving organisational success. Recognition is a key driver of belonging, it can help someone feel welcomed, known, included, supported, and connected. Learn more on how organisations are applying the concept of belonging and R&R to further employee engagement and retention.

Join this session to discuss:

  • How an inclusive culture that fosters belonging can elevate the employee experience
  • How recognition can be applied to increase belonging across an organisation
  • Examples of how organisations are using recognition to advance a culture of belonging

10:00 - 10:45  Executive Boardroom

Increase Engagement and Retention by Creating High Impact Leaders

Tony Tran headshot

Tony Tran

Lead People Scientist

Culture Amp

Bridgid Connors headshot

Bridgid Connors

Chief People Officer

Epworth HealthCare

Jodie Blake headshot

Jodie Blake

Group Executive People, Safety & Culture


With employees having more job opportunities to choose from, 91% of HR leaders are increasingly concerned about employee turnover in the near future. It can be challenging to keep employees happy and productive but failing to achieve employee retention can prove even more costly. We frequently hear how staff feel that their managers don't support them enough, don't communicate well, and don’t create the space and opportunities for them to learn. When it comes to developing your people and increasing employee engagement, there’s no faster or more effective way to start than with your managers. After all, the success of managers is one of the primary indicators of success in an organisation. 

Join this session to discuss how to: 

  • Understand employee turnover with predictive methods
  • Instill soft skills in leadership development and support them to develop habits that create a more engaged workforce
  • Foster a learning culture that is committed to employee engagement and development

10:45 - 11:30  Networking Break

10:55 - 11:20  Peer-to-Peer Meetings

Peer-to-Peer Meetings

Connect with like-minded peers in a one-on-one setting through Evanta’s Peer-to-Peer Meetings. You will be matched with peers in your community based on your shared interests and priorities.

11:30 - 12:15  Breakout Session

Drive Efficiency and Efficacy of HR Technology Investments

Radha Shreeniwas headshot

Radha Shreeniwas

Vice-President, Global People - APJ


Ever since the onset of COVID-19, technology has become even more essential in responding to uncertainty and creating a more adaptive, agile, and composable organisation. Gartner research reveals that even amid the current cost constrained environment, where one-third of HR leaders plan for budget cuts this year, 90% still plan to either maintain or increase their investment in technology. It is becoming increasingly important for HR leaders to plan for their technology investments with more caution than in years past, taking into account issues such as employee attrition and declining employee productivity.

In this session, you'll learn how to:

  • Make a comprehensive HR technology strategy and maximise technology investments
  • Employ technology with a more human-centric mindset for a better employee experience
  • Bring greater value to the HR function and the entire organisation

11:30 - 12:15  Breakout Session

Change Starts at The Top: How Leaders Can Foster a Truly Inclusive Culture

Rebecca Nash headshot

Rebecca Nash

Group Director People


Though the conversation around Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion has been ongoing for decades, many organisations have still yet to fully champion its ideals. While more and more organisations strive to offer equal opportunities to the workforce at large, true diversity cannot be achieved without a culture shift. The first step is for organisations to recognise that their current culture is out of sync with its vision, purpose, core values, and strategic objectives. Leaders play a critical and often underestimated role when it comes to establishing an inclusive and equitable workplace and organisations must ensure diversity amongst their leaders to foster a truly inclusive culture. After all, how can anybody reasonably believe that you prioritise Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion if your leadership team is entirely homogenous?

In this session, Rebecca Nash, CPO, AMP talks about AMP's incredible journey to accelerate the representation of women at senior levels. She will cover:

  • Why a cultural transformation is imperative for a truly inclusive workplace
  • Why diversity in leadership is important and how to drive better outcomes through purpose and values
  • How to develop our leaders’ understanding of inclusive leadership capabilities and how to best demonstrate and assess these capabilities

11:30 - 12:15  Executive Boardroom

Meeting the Needs of the New-Age Workforce

Jess Moore headshot

Jess Moore

Director of Strategy ANZ

SAP SuccessFactors

Jo Cairns headshot

Jo Cairns

Chief People and Safety Officer

Bingo Industries

Pierre De Villiers headshot

Pierre De Villiers

General Manager People Centre of Expertise

Allianz Australia

The pandemic has forever altered how we all work and organisations are confronted with a workforce that is exhausted and overwhelmed, questioning what work means, and thinking through their options. This has put added pressure on CHROs to understand how they can meet employees’ expectations for what they want in a job. It turns out that people want growth opportunities, to be able to create impact, and to find meaning, purpose and personal connection at work. Employees increasingly want to bring their authentic selves to work, and it is the responsibility of HR leaders to deliver an employee experience that enables them to do so.

Join this session to learn:

  • How to accelerate organisational agility by tapping into employees’ whole selves
  • How to pursue internal opportunities that align with employees’ personal values, passions and interests
  • How to inspire your workforce by prioritising ESG

11:30 - 12:15  Executive Boardroom

Technology and its Impact on the Workforce of the Future

Dave Burrows headshot

Dave Burrows

Director of Workforce Planning


Marieke Bruinstroop headshot

Marieke Bruinstroop

Chief People Officer

Guzman y Gomez

Rosemarie Dentesano headshot

Rosemarie Dentesano

Executive General Manager - People, Culture and Safety

Power and Water Corporation

The availability of emerging technologies has profoundly altered and augmented work as we know it. In the face of changing workforce dynamics spurred by technological innovation, how can CHROs prepare their organisation and people?

Join this session with your peers to discuss:

  • Forming a strategy that anticipates future workforce supply and demand
  • Leveraging strategic workforce planning for roles that may be transformed or fully replaced by technology
  • Closing the skills gap to unlock employee potential and improve business outcomes

12:15 - 12:25  Break

12:15 - 13:30  Lunch Service

12:50 - 13:15  Peer-to-Peer Meetings

Peer-to-Peer Meetings

Connect with like-minded peers in a one-on-one setting through Evanta’s Peer-to-Peer Meetings. You will be matched with peers in your community based on your shared interests and priorities.

12:50 - 13:30  Break

13:30 - 14:05  Keynote

The Great Reshuffle and Taking a Skills-First Approach

Adam Gregory headshot

Adam Gregory

Senior Director, APAC Talent Solutions


Employees across the globe yearn for more fulfilling and purposeful roles, better suited to their personal lives and individual values. The ensuing ‘Great Reshuffle’ represents a paradigm shift in company culture, as organisations largely reconceptualise their traditional mission statements.

Inevitably, talent retention has emerged as a critical challenge amongst HR professionals, and EVP surfaces as a top agenda item. Moreover, to account for talent shortages and to keep up with emerging digital skills, organisations need to upskill their current workforces, and use data to shape talent acquisition, recruiting and retention, and improve employee engagement.

Ultimately, organisations that can successfully capitalise on these evolving conditions will have a decided edge. But what immediate steps should HR leaders take in order to do so?

Join this session to discuss key ideas around:

  • Flexibility as a hygiene factor for employees and a must-have to help retain talent
  • How adopting a skills-based approach is crucial for an organisation’s long-term success
  • How to cultivate a company culture that fosters a sense of belonging and fulfilment amongst employees

14:05 - 14:20  Break

14:20 - 15:05  Breakout Session

Going Green: Creating Sustainability in the Workplace

Angie Young headshot

Angie Young

General Manager Sustainability


In 2022, HR leaders play an increasingly critical role in their organisation’s application of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) initiatives. Drawing on people-oriented skills, HR leaders have the power to promote sustainable policies, not only centered on the well-being of individuals, but also on the broader environments in which they reside.

To ensure these policies are implemented successfully, it is crucial to establish a clearly operationalised approach to – and a shared understanding of – the sustainability paradigm. So, which immediate actions should an HR leader take in order to amplify the journey towards sustainability in the workplace?

Join this session to discuss valuable takeaways on:

  • Why sustainability is becoming increasingly more strategic within the HR leadership role
  • What does sustainability mean in a heavy carbon emitter?
  • Bringing people on the journey of transformation
  • A case study on workforce transition in Collie

14:20 - 15:05  Breakout Session

How to Embrace Engagement When Raising Wages Isn't Enough to Attract and Retain Top Talent

Kylie Green headshot

Kylie Green

Global SVP Consultancy

Reward Gateway

Amid a massive talent shortage, organisations have boosted wages to try to attract and retain workers, and whilst pay will always be a factor in attracting talent, it turns out that it’s far from the only motivator. Employees want employers to recognise their value and foster connections on a human level. Rather than simply increasing wages to win the War for Talent, HR leaders should focus on improving the Employee Value Proposition by creating a human-centric culture and experience. This should embrace the shift in a candidate-driven market to deliver employees exactly what they need in their day-to-day lives to make a meaningful difference.

Join this session to learn how to:

  • Lead with purpose by embracing the employee-employer relationship and nurturing your change-makers
  • Attract and retain talent by improving your EVP and showing you appreciate your people, without the expense of a company-wide pay rise
  • Develop personalised rewards that embrace individual choice

14:20 - 15:05  Executive Boardroom

Human-Centric Technology – An Asset or an Impediment?

Cian Zoller headshot

Cian Zoller

Human Resource Director


Steve Hill headshot

Steve Hill

Group Executive, People and Workplace

Aware Super

HR technology now touches every part of employees' day-to-day work including their career path, and impacts how they feel about where they work. Organisations must account for this as they foster a new value proposition centered on the human deal they enter into with their current and future employees. HR technology plays a major role in creating a connected experience for all employees.

In this session, HR leaders will learn:

  • How to leverage human-centric technology to enhance productivity and drive greater ROI
  • How to use digital tools to help simplify workflows and improve processes
  • Build a digital workplace that enables positive employee engagement and increased collaboration

14:20 - 15:05  Executive Boardroom

Designing the Ultimate Employee Experience in a New Era of Work

Crissa Sumner headshot

Crissa Sumner

Head of Employee Experience (EX) Solution Strategy - Australia & New Zealand


Helen Fraser headshot

Helen Fraser

General Manager, People

Laing O'Rourke

As staffing shortages, turnover, and burnout present existential threats across the enterprise, understanding how employees think and feel has become increasingly crucial for any organisation’s success and survival. 

In the new era of work, the need to transform employee experience (EX) strategies and better align EX & customer experience (CX) programs to elevate HR as a business-critical function has reached heightened levels of importance. As employees expect more frequent, contextualised, and personalised experiences in the new era of work, traditional methods of isolated and periodic employee listening have become redundant. To effectively attract and retain talent, and provide business leaders with real-time data-driven insights to inform their decisions, HR leaders must re-conceptualise how to effectively measure and enhance the overall experience of their employees to effectively drive critical business outcomes. What ideas and innovations are your fellow CHROs considering? What immediate steps can HR leaders take to drive change?

Join this session, alongside Dr Crissa Sumner, Head of Employee Experience Solution Strategy AU/NZ at Qualtrics to discuss how to:

  • Revamp your Employee Value Proposition (EVP), in line with evolving employee expectations & changing psychological contracts
  • Measure KPIs beyond engagement & empower managers in your organisation to improve employee engagement with real-time insights, innovative action planning tools & better level technology to drive real-time alters & actions through integrated workflows
  • How to leverage advanced analytics to gain new insights to personalise the employee experience & drive engagement, productivity & retention whilst connecting data across employee journey listening posts; and combining your EX & CX data

15:05 - 15:35  Networking Break

15:35 - 16:20  Breakout Session

Leveraging Innovation to Drive Internal Mobility

Dean Summlar headshot

Dean Summlar

Vice President HR - Pacific Zone

Schneider Electric Australia

The war for talent is getting increasingly intense and will continue this way if HR leaders are not prepared to think differently about the future of the talent marketplace. In today’s fast-paced digital economy, constant innovation and reinvention are keys to survival, and simply adding more people to the mix is no longer a viable option. Creating desirable career opportunities for employees within your organisation is essential to prevent attrition and progressive organisations go one step further and help employees fully realise the opportunities available across the organisation.

So, what must organisations do to maximise the potential of internal talent, and set themselves on the right course to innovate and thrive?

Join this session as HR leaders discuss:

  • Internal mobility strategies to address building skills required now and for the future in an organisation
  • Creating more agility in organisations, allowing resourcing to become more fluid
  • How to drive cultural change around talent mobility where employees own their development

15:35 - 16:20  Executive Boardroom

Building a More Agile and Strategic HR Function

Trudie Harriman headshot

Trudie Harriman

People Director - Retail Ecosystem

Woolworths Group

In recent years, the need to adopt Agile methodologies and processes has emerged as a top priority across organisations. Accordingly, we have seen that this requires a significant shift in culture and mindset across the enterprise. Yet, despite these considerations, many HR leaders remain entrenched in the long-established view of HR as a support mechanism, serving in the background of this transformation, rather than actively leading it. However, like any other cultural transformation across the enterprise, it is pivotal for HR leaders to be at the forefront – serving as active drivers in the move toward the Agile organisation. But what immediate steps can HR leaders take to transform existing HR strategies, and adopt Agile methodologies?

Join this peer-led session with Trudie Harriman, People Director - Retail Ecosystem at Woolworths Group, to discuss:

  • How HR leaders can become fluent in Agile Operating Models and Ways of Working
  • How to cultivate organisationally Agile ecosystem models, rewarding adaptability
  • How HR leaders can apply Agile methodologies to their strategic objectives

15:35 - 16:20  Executive Boardroom

How Mental Health Awareness Can Help Shape a Better Workplace

Ryan Atkins headshot

Ryan Atkins

Human Resources Director, Australia and New Zealand


Stephanie Palmer headshot

Stephanie Palmer

Head of Human Resources

Credit Corp Group

Ben Richardson headshot

Ben Richardson

Chief Content Officer


The events of the last few years have increased levels of stress, depression, anxiety, and other mental health concerns in the workplace. Despite the fact that mental health issues are so prevalent, they are still considered to be "reactive" in many organisations. Mental health education and awareness in the workplace not only have the power to reduce stigma but can also improve organisational culture and change the entire mental health approach to "proactive". HR leaders should seize the opportunity to advance their organisation’s commitment to employees’ psychological and emotional well-being.

Join this session with HR leaders to discuss:

  • What does the future workforce look like and what are the key opportunities to improve workplace wellbeing?
  • What are the business benefits of mental health awareness at work?
  • How to empower leaders to promote mental health within their organisations

15:35 - 16:20  Executive Boardroom

Beyond the Data — Redesigning HR Strategies With Human Analytics

Annie Schmidt headshot

Annie Schmidt

Group Chief People and Culture Officer

St Vincent's Health Australia

Melissa Irwin headshot

Melissa Irwin

General Manager People, Culture and Transformation

Endeavour Energy

As organisations have been pushed to digitalize at the speed of light within the past few years, HR leaders are redesigning strategies so that data and analytics are at the core of their decisions. Despite the fact that they have now started to use people analytics more effectively to provide better business outcomes, organisations still lack the ability to embed data analytics into day-to-day HR strategies, which ultimately help define a corporate plan to foster talent and build long-term value.

Join this session to learn:

  • How can data make a difference and help with better decision-making?
  • How to unlock the power of data and combine and correlate different data sets to transform it into actionable information
  • Understanding the risks of using data and best practices for young players to create a meaningful change

16:20 - 16:35  Break

16:35 - 17:10  Keynote

Leadership Now - Why we Need Everyone at all Levels of a Business to Think Like Leaders

Matt Church headshot

Matt Church

Author and Leadership Educator

Guest Speaker

Right now, the degree of uncertainty and change is off the charts. Leading now requires more from each of us and perhaps more from all of us? In this inspirational and practical session Matt Church, founder of Thought Leaders and author of ten great leadership books will explore the topic of leading now. Matt believes that we are all leaders and that historically we have asked for three things consistently from our leaders: to replace fear with confidence, confusion with certainty and to mobilise us in pursuit of a better future. This session explores how all leaders are key to creating cultures worth belonging to and achieving work worth doing. Especially now!

17:10 - 17:40  Closing Reception & Prize Drawing

15 June 2022

We look forward to seeing you at an upcoming in-person gathering


Venue & Accommodation

The Fullerton Hotel Sydney

Your Community Partners

CHRO Thought Leader
Program Partners

Community Program Managers

For inquiries related to this community, please reach out to your dedicated contacts.

Olga Fisher

Program Manager

02 9094 4986

Denzil Fernandez

Program Manager

(04) 282 88 558