Australia CHRO Executive Summit

8 June 2023 | Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel Sydney

8 June 2023
Radisson Blu Plaza 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:

Shifting Business Focus From Critical Roles to Critical Skills

Revolutionizing the Employee Experience to Aid Retention

New Ways of Leading for a New Era of Work

Australia CHRO Governing Body

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

Governing Body Co-Chairs

Julie Carroll

Serco Asia Pacific
Chief Human Resources Officer

Rebekah Donaldson

Qantas Airways Limited
Executive Manager, People Group

Helen Fraser

Laing O'Rourke
Director, People

Benjamin Morris

Group General Manager, Human Resources Culture & Capability

Michelle Phipps

Chief People Ofiicer

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.


7 June 2023

18:00 - 21:00  Governing Body Welcome Reception

Governing Body Welcome Reception

More details coming soon!

08:00 - 08:45  Registration & Breakfast

08:45 - 09:45  Keynote

Pulling Together — How Great Organisations Succeed in a Fragmenting World

Aaron McEwan headshot

Aaron McEwan

VP, Research & Advisory


Jane Adams headshot

Jane Adams

Executive General Manager Human Resources (Technology and Operations)

Commonwealth Bank of Australia

Trudie Harriman headshot

Trudie Harriman

People Director - Retail Ecosystem

Woolworths Group

Kathy Baker headshot

Kathy Baker

Executive Director, People Experience

Transport for NSW

In a world primed to pull people apart, organisations must find new ways to both pull together and push ahead. In this opening Gartner keynote, Aaron McEwan, Vice President, Advisory explores how HR will lead the way in achieving a new, more human model of greatness, sharpening the organisation’s competitive edge, and harnessing the full potential of a changing workforce.

Aaron will share more about Gartner's findings, including:

  • Proactive rest reduces burnout – just 2% of employees at organisations with available, accessible and effective rest are burnt out versus 22% of employees at organisations without.
  • When organisations provide opportunities for intentional interaction, their employees are 5 times as likely to be on a high-performing team.
  • Employees who feel their organisations support their broad development at work are 9 times as likely to feel loyal to their employer and twice as likely to stay at the organisation.

In the second half of this session, you'll hear from some of Australia's leading CHROs on achieving high performance amidst continuous disruption and fragmentation. Expect thought-provoking answers to questions on how to anticipate and prepare for future disruptions, what high-performance looks like in a post-pandemic world and building a human-centric organisation.

09:45 - 10:00  Break

10:00 - 10:45  Breakout Session

Resetting Your Approach to Gender Diversity in a Male-dominated Industry

Melissa Irwin headshot

Melissa Irwin

General Manager People, Culture and Transformation

Endeavour Energy

Despite numerous gender diversity efforts, are you still struggling to attract, recruit and retain women in male-dominated industries? By resetting mindsets and implementing innovative strategies, Endeavour Energy has achieved a significant milestone with 60% of the apprentices’ intake being women this year, which was a massive shift in an industry where it's very difficult to attract women.

Join this session to hear from Melissa Irwin, General Manager People, Culture and Transformation at Endeavour Energy, as she unfolds:

  • Building the organisation's commitment to gender diversity to make long-term change
  • Changing recruitment and assessment processes to eliminate unconscious bias
  • Seeking employee feedback for sustained progress while providing solutions that create a culture of inclusion

10:00 - 10:45  Executive Boardroom

Skills and Mobility: The Key to Growth and Agility in the Workforce

Vanessa Morley headshot

Vanessa Morley

Director People and Culture

Nine Entertainment Co.

Gary Hegarty headshot

Gary Hegarty

General Manager Organisational Development

Graincorp Limited

Steve Borg headshot

Steve Borg

Head of Customer Success ANZ

SAP SuccessFactors

For employers who want to continue being at the top of their league, it's crucial to have a modern workforce that is not only flexible and agile, but also capable of developing critical skills and competencies quickly. To achieve this, CHROs need to embrace talent mobility strategies and encourage employees to develop diversified skillsets.

Join us as we embark on a journey to discover:

  • Foster an enterprise mindset to cultivate critical skills and competencies for your organisation
  • Maximise the potential of your workforce with internal mobility and encourage your employees to build up a portfolio of skills and experiences
  • Leverage workforce data and analytics to enhance employee development and drive retention

10:00 - 10:45  Executive Boardroom

Shaping Organisation Design in the New World of Work

Michelle Williams headshot

Michelle Williams

Chief People Officer

The Lottery Corporation

Sylwia Rutkowska headshot

Sylwia Rutkowska

Chief People Officer, Digital Business and Group Functions


Whether it’s geopolitical upheaval, economic turbulence, or social disruption, businesses must be prepared to adapt quickly to stay competitive. HR leaders around the globe are redefining organisation design strategies and shaping the future workforce to improve efficiency and effectiveness. So how can you implement a fresh approach to organisation design at both strategic and operational levels?

Join this session to explore:

  • Building transparent and concise communication channels with the workforce
  • Partner with other departments to analyse and optimise organisational size
  • Operate amidst ambiguity, uncertainty, and integration while ensuring commercial sensibility

10:55 - 11:15  Peer-to-Peer Meetings

Peer-to-Peer Meeting 1

11:20 - 11:40  Peer-to-Peer Meetings

Peer-to-Peer Meeting 2

10:45 - 11:45  Networking Break

11:45 - 12:30  Breakout Session

Managing Psychosocial Hazards in the Workplace: From Concept Confusion to Clarity & Impact

Paul Hardman headshot

Paul Hardman


K&L Gates

Wade Needham headshot

Wade Needham

Director ESG & EHS

Natural Resources APAC

Psychosocial hazards can exist in every industry, in every workplace, every day. There is no doubt organisations have legal obligations to ensure the well-being of their employees and eliminate psychosocial risks. How can HR leaders apply evidence informed practice for effective safety initiatives?

Join this session to discuss valuable takeaways on:

  • Leveraging both psychological safety as well as embedding psychological health & safety management
  • Having a value of care as well as enabling legal compliance to the intersecting areas of various industrial relations law
  • Risks and Opportunities presented by the current Workers Compensation Developments

11:45 - 12:30  Executive Boardroom

The Power of Belonging: Enhancing Recognition in the Modern Workplace

Jeremy Salter headshot

Jeremy Salter

Customer Success Manager


Amy Singe headshot

Amy Singe

General Manager People, Performance and Culture

Yarra Valley Water

Jamie Preston headshot

Jamie Preston

Associate Vice President HR ANZ & NAPAC

Eli Lilly and Company

Across organisations, the place of work, level of work activity and the way work is approached have all drastically changed for many employees. While these shifts bring a range of challenges that can lead to stress, anxiety, and burnout among employees, it also presents great opportunities for organisations to create a more supportive and engaged workforce through new ways of working. As such, it is imperative that HR leaders continue to develop inclusive cultures that foster belonging and elevate the employee experience. By expanding well-being programs, organisations should strive to make their employees feel welcomed, known, included, supported, and connected.

But what immediate steps can organisations take to do so?

Join this session to discuss:

  • Developing a shared culture and increasing belonging to elevate the employee experience
  • Exploring new opportunities and powerful ways to help employees thrive in new ways of working
  • Tailoring the employee experience to increase engagement and job satisfaction

11:45 - 12:30  Executive Boardroom

Nurturing an Empowering Organisational Culture of Agility, Resilience, and Growth

Rachael Leshinsky headshot

Rachael Leshinsky

HR Director


Steve Hill headshot

Steve Hill

Group Executive, People and Workplace

Aware Super

The culture of an organisation extends beyond its written values. While culture is commonly viewed as an unchanging entity, in reality, it evolves and fluctuates over time. How do CHROs shape the culture that not only aligns with the organisational value but also makes employees feel part of the journey towards organisational goals?

Join this discussion to discover:

  • Identify the key drivers of a positive culture and assess where your business stands
  • Explore strategies for delivering efficiency while maintaining a positive culture
  • Leverage technology and digital transformation to enhance employee experiences and build compliance capability

12:30 - 13:30  Lunch Service

13:30 - 14:05  Keynote

A CHRO’s Guide to People Analytics

Ian McVey headshot

Ian McVey

SVP & GM Visier Applications


A competitive talent market, higher employee expectations and an increased focus on transparency mean organisations need to become more people focused. People analytics allow CHROs to deliver data-informed insights and predictable talent outcomes. What should you do with this information? How does the data affect your approach as CHRO?

Join this session for case studies and practical examples around:

  • Improving transparency and fairness of people decisions
  • Blending financial, productivity and people data
  • Changing the CHRO’s rhythm of data use to impact attrition and diversity

14:05 - 14:15  Break

14:15 - 15:00  Breakout Session

Transforming People and Capability Operations for the Future

Charmaine Higgins headshot

Charmaine Higgins

Group Executive People & Capability


To thrive in the future, people and capability operations need to shift from traditional ways of working to an outcome-based approach. This shift requires HR executives to adopt a hybrid operating model for people & capability strategic workforce planning. This model emphasises the importance of outcomes, clarity in roles and responsibilities, leadership accountability, and a lean team structure to achieve business success.


Join Charmaine Higgins, Group Executive People & Capability at Ventia as she explores:

  • Shifting to an outcome-based approach with a hybrid operating model for people & capability strategic workforce planning
  • Prioritizing leadership accountability and a clear distinction between leaders and enablers
  • Implementing a lean team structure to achieve business success with a focus on outcomes

14:15 - 15:00  Executive Boardroom

Broadening Horizons to Source Leading Talent

Martin Retschko headshot

Martin Retschko

Country Leader, Australia & NZ

Armstrong Craven

Duncan Thomas headshot

Duncan Thomas

Chief People Officer

Bravura Solutions

Marieke Bruinstroop headshot

Marieke Bruinstroop

Chief People Officer


Finding top-tier talent has become harder than ever. When developing a strategic workforce plan, how can CHROs look beyond traditional sources and find new pools of talent to fill the most critical positions?

Join this discussion as CHROs address:

  • Identifying the emerging skills needed for leadership roles
  • Accessing talent pools across new geographies, markets and skillsets
  • Moving from reactive to proactive by developing a strong talent pipeline

14:15 - 15:00  Executive Boardroom

Preparing the Next Generation of Leaders with Succession Planning

Cathy Doyle headshot

Cathy Doyle

Chief People Experience Officer


Deena Amorelli headshot

Deena Amorelli

Chief Human Resources Officer

University of New South Wales

In today’s dynamic business environment, organisations must empower a robust pipeline of skilled leaders to navigate challenges and pave the way for success. A well-structured succession plan can identify and retain top talent while ensuring a smooth transition of leadership.

Join this session to discuss how to:

  • Create development pathways for senior executives while aligning the succession plan with employees’ individual development plans
  • Navigate leadership transitions during complex business environments
  • Address how to balance business performance and leadership development

15:00 - 15:30  Networking Break

15:30 - 16:15  Breakout Session

Panel discussion: Navigating the Evolving Role of the Contemporary CHROs

Benjamin Morris headshot

Benjamin Morris

Group General Manager, Human Resources Culture & Capability


Trudie Harriman headshot

Trudie Harriman

People Director - Retail Ecosystem

Woolworths Group

Dean Summlar headshot

Dean Summlar

Vice President Talent Management & Learning - International

Schneider Electric Australia

Amanda Bald headshot

Amanda Bald

General Manager People and Organisation Effectiveness


The role of CHROs is more complex and dynamic than it’s ever before. With the expectation to wear multiple hats and juggle competing priorities, CHROs must fly at multiple elevations as enterprise leaders, functional leaders, and strategic business partners to CEO and the Board.

Join our exclusive panel discussion while HR leaders share their insights and best practices on:

  • Process an agile mindset and embrace transformational leadership to effectively navigate today’s fast-paced business landscape
  • Balance long-term strategic people initiatives such as talent management and workforce planning
  • Act as trusted advisers to your CEO and the board to address critical emerging issues such as Respect@Work, wage compliance, and psychosocial obligations

15:30 - 16:15  Executive Boardroom

Unlocking the Secrets to Boost Talent Retention for 2023 and Beyond

Sarah Elliott headshot

Sarah Elliott

Chief People Officer

John Holland

Jodi Paton headshot

Jodi Paton

Chief People Officer

The Hoyts Corporation

Employee turnover can be a major challenge for any organisation and the consequences of a high turnover rate can be far-reaching. What practical strategies should HR leaders take to improve their capacity to retain skilled employees and handle talent-related risks?

Join this insightful conversation ready to:

  • Identify and act on root causes of attrition risks
  • Tap into employee needs and voices and explore retention strategies beyond compensation
  • Developing long-term retention solutions to keep your employees engaged and committed to your organisation

15:30 - 16:15  Executive Boardroom

Elevating Employee Wellbeing and Resilience to the Next Level

Shruti Ganeriwala headshot

Shruti Ganeriwala

Head of HR

Unilever Australia

Helen Fraser headshot

Helen Fraser

Director, People

Laing O'Rourke

As we fall headlong into the cost of living crisis and economic uncertainty, forward-thinking companies recognise that prioritising employee wellbeing is not only the right thing to do but also a sound business strategy. Healthier and happier employees lead to higher productivity, lower employee turnover, and enhance the companies’ reputation to attract top talent.

This session will explore:

  • The CHRO's duty of care in addressing the cost of living pressures
  • Enhancing employee wellbeing and resilience for a productive workforce
  • Addressing mental health challenges in the workplace

16:15 - 16:20  Break

16:20 - 17:15  Keynote

Exhaustion to Enthusiasm – Leading Through Rapid Change

Cassandra Worthy headshot

Cassandra Worthy

CEO & Founder, Change Enthusiasm

Guest Speaker

90% of change adoption stems from employee motivation and willingness to embrace the change. 15 years in corporate mergers and acquisitions made Cassandra Worthy, CEO & Founder of Change Enthusiasm is one of the world's leading experts on sparking Change Enthusiasm® in an organisation, delivering insights to transform your organisational culture from surviving change to growing through change.

Join this interactive keynote to gain:

  • A new perspective on the skills required to effectively lead through change
  • Practical framework to quantify your strengths and areas of growth when addressing, working and leading through change
  • An instantly applicable action plan to improve critical leadership behaviours and effectively lead change movements

17:15 - 18:00  Closing Reception & Prize Drawing

7 June 2023

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

Evanta cares about the health and safety of our community. Please review the following recommendations prior to attending the gathering.


Venue & Accommodation

Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel Sydney

Your Community Partners

Program Partners

Community Program Manager

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

Denzil Fernandez

Community Program Manager

(04) 727 41540