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Public Service EA PA Summit

In all you do, you have the power to live excellence. You aim for more than just organisation. You work with leadership, efficiency, strategy.
Your success starts with high-level efficiency and is achieved through continuous development.
That’s the purpose of Public Service EA PA Summit. To celebrate and advance your success.
Public Service EA PA Summit is a platform to discuss how Executive Assistants are the driving force behind efficiency and excellence in the Australian Public Service. This event will bring together VIP keynotes, case studies and panel discussions by Australia’s most senior Public Service EAs to give you the tools to develop stronger leadership, communication, time and stakeholder management skills.
Don’t let your success stand still.

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  28 - 31 May 2019
TBC, Canberra


Expert lessons from the highest-performing EAs, thought leaders and speakers


Over four engaging and interactive days, learn how to achieve success as an EA and become an organisational leader in your government department.


Attend out pre and post-conference workshops to learn practical tools to enhance your opportunity in the public sector and make the most of your career. Topics include emotional intelligence, resilience, effective negotiation skills and effective communication.


TBC, Canberra CBD


  • Add more value to the organisation as an EA by adopting a leadership mindset
  • Take control of your career progression within the role and beyond
  • Drive organisational success through high-level efficiency and communication
  • Be inspired by leading EAs from Australia Government Organisations
  • Maximise productivity in through effective change management
  • Boost effectiveness through taking charge of your health and wellbeing

Who should attend this conference

100%Executive Assistant

100%Personal Assistant

98%Office Manager

97%Business Manager

96%Executive Officer

Get Ready To Be Inspired!

Scroll down for more info and the agenda
Easy online booking or call for further assistance

Key Speakers


Michaella Portelli

EA to Assistant Secretary

Office of the National Data Commissioner


Rachel Lucock

EA to Assistant Secretary, Communications Branch, and Assistant Secretary, Governance, Audit and Reporting Branch

Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet


Anita Boz

EA to Deputy Secretary, Social Policy Division

Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet


Julie Elstub-Ross

EA to Chief Strategy Officer

Digital Transformation Agency


Robyn Woodbridge

EA to Chair

Productivity Commission


Derek Wiseman

Executive Assistant

Australian Communications and Media Authority


Cecilia Falson

Private Secretary

NSW Attorney General


Laura Changizi

Executive Assistant, Centre for Population Health

NSW Ministry of Health


Audrey Nolan

EA to Commissioner for Mine, Health and Safety

Department for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy, QLD


Shane Englert

Former EO to Deputy Director General

Department of Innovation, Tourism Industry Development and the Commonwealth Games, QLD


Aisha Aboulfadil

Senior Executive Assistant, Strategy and Performance Division

Department of Environment, Land, Water, and Planning


Elise Blair

Project Officer and EA to the Chief Health Officer of Victoria

Department of Health and Human Services Victoria


Ruth Mooney

EA to Chief Financial Officer

GE Australia


Michelle Chant

Principal, Change Management and Leadership

The Change Collective


Caitlin Wakely

Co-Facilitator, Mentor and Marketing Manager

The EA Institute

  • Day One: 28th May 2019 - Pre-Conference Workshop

    8:30 Registration, morning coffee and tea

    8:50 Opening remarks from chair:

    Pre-conference Workshop

    9 am Workshop A: Emotional Intelligence tools for women in the Public Sector

    Mastering emotional intelligence is of vital importance for the improvement of outcomes for women in the Public Service. Women with high levels of emotional intelligence are particularly adept leaders, with a superior likelihood of promotion.

    This workshop will provide delegates with the knowledge and skills to enhance their emotional intelligence, adapt to different environments, and enhance decision-making.

    Delegates will learn:

    • Understand the importance of emotional intelligence to individual and female empowerment
    • How to assess your own emotional intelligence
    • Techniques to improve your emotional intelligence
    • Assessing the emotional intelligence of others
    • How to use emotional intelligence to improve your strategic decision-making
    • Overriding emotional responses to stressful situations

    12:30 pm Lunch

    1:30 pm Workshop B: Cultivating resilience to drive female empowerment in the Public Sector

    Resilience is a critical skill for female Public Sector leaders, and aspiring female leaders in the Public Service. Resilience is critical in advancing the position of women in the public service from the top to the bottom of organisations.

    Delegates that attend this workshop will learn how to overcome unconscious bias and advance their careers through effective use of resilience techniques and skills.

    Delegates will learn:

    • To use resilience to overcome the pecking order and unconscious bias
    • Understand the basic ingredients of resilience and how to use them
    • How to effectively manage difficult people and situations
    • Performing under pressure to enhance outcomes
    • Working through difficult situations and in difficult environments
    • Manage the challenges in work-life balance through resilience
    • Harness resilience to speak with influence and authority

    Expert Facilitator: Nicole Plotkin, Director And Principal Psychologist, Emotional Health Centre

    5:20 End of day one

  • Day Two: 29th May 2019 - Speaker Sessions

    8:30 am: Registration, Morning Coffee and Tea

    8:55am: Opening remarks from chair: Caitlin Wakely, Co-Facilitator, Mentor and Marketing Manager, The EA Institute

    The Evolving Role of the EA/PA

    9:00 am: Exploring the evolving role of the EA to build leadership into every aspect of your role

    • Becoming an agile and dynamic EA to thrive in the constantly evolving public sector landscape
    • Being on the forefront of organisational change by understanding the importance of leadership in the administration profession
    • Identify where you sit in the Administration Cycle

    Audrey Nolan, EA to Commissioner for Mine, Health and Safety, Department for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy

    9:50am: Becoming a strategic leader to by aligning yourself with organisational goals

    • Becoming an innovative and proactive employee by taking initiatives to meet organisation goals
    • Increase value-add by aligning your thinking with organisational strategy
    • Balancing speed and efficiency with strategic thinking and decision-making
    • Changing perceptions and gaining recognition for your increased contribution

    Shane Englert, EO to Deputy Director General, Department of Innovation, Tourism Industry Development and the Commonwealth Games

    10:40am: Morning tea

    11:00am: Cultivating a professional partnership with your executive to drive workplace productivity

    • Streamlining processes by achieving and exceeding the expectations and needs of your executive
    • Finding and maintaining sync with your executive’s working rhythm to cultivate trust
    • Optimise your partnership by establishing personal and professional boundaries

    Michaella Portelli, EA to Assistant Secretary, Office of the National Data Commissioner

    Maximising efficiency in your role

    11:50am: Boosting productivity through effective time management

    • Maximising workloads when managing multiple high-profile executives
    • Boosting performance by centralising objectives and simplifying processes
    • Being adaptable to busy schedules while keeping on top of logistics
    • Optimising time with your executive to aid decision making processes

    Anita Boz, EA to Deputy Secretary, Social Policy Division, Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet

    12:40 pm Lunch

    1:40pm: Case Study: Supporting your wellbeing when adapting to change

    • Using your past experiences to build resilience to challenges and change
    • Supporting your needs when colleagues are looking to you to drive change
    • Being flexible during periods of organisational transformation to reduce stresses

    Aisha Aboulfadil, Senior Executive Assistant, Strategy and Performance Division, Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning

    2:40 pm: CASE STUDY: Staying organised in high pressure situations to manage workflow in a crisis

    • Meeting tight deadlines to when picking up large workloads in a crisis
    • Using high-pressure situations to optimise processes need to be optimised
    • Staying calm during a crisis to aid decision making and organisational needs

    Rachel Lucock, EA to Assistant Secretary, Communications Branch, and Assistant Secretary, Governance, Audit and Reporting Branch, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

    3:20 pm Afternoon tea

    3:40 pm: Case Study: Diffusing conflict and dealing with difficult people to foster a positive working culture

    • Being assertive when organisational conflict arises to prioritise the needs of yourself and your executive
    • Confidently managing sensitive and confidential matters
    • Achieving your desired outcomes strategically and with professionalism

    Julie Elstub-Ross, EA to Chief Strategy Officer, Digital Transformation Agency

    4:20 pm: MASTERCLASS: Leveraging emotional intelligence to drive workplace productivity

    • Communicating effectively by understanding the value of emotional intelligence to your professional relationships
    • Thriving in the constantly changing environment through emotional intelligence tools
    • Demonstrating confidence and assertiveness in all aspects of your role

    Facilitator TBC

    5:10pm: End of day one & networking drinks

  • Day Three: 30th May 2019 - Speaker Sessions

    8:30 am: Registration, Morning Coffee and Tea

    8:55am: Opening remarks from chair: Caitlin Wakely, Co-Facilitator, Mentor and Marketing Manager, The EA Institute

    Career progression within the role and beyond

    9:00am: Private Sector Perspective: Evolving your career through professional development

    • Taking control of your professional development to become more than an assistant
    • Ensuring you perform at your best while remaining open to career advancement
    • What are the benefits to progressing your career as an EA vs moving into another role?
    • Building your career outside the EA role by saying yes to opportunities

    Ruth Mooney, Senior Executive Assistant and Project Manager Personal Trainer and Wellness Coach, GE Australia

    9:50am: Masterclass: How to Brand yourself as an organisational leader

    Caitlin Wakely, Co-Facilitator, Mentor and Marketing Manager, The EA Institute

    10:40am: Morning tea

    11:00am: CASE STUDY: Identifying and developing a transferrable set of skills to progress your career

    • Determining valuable transferrable skills to move up in your career
    • Leveraging high-pressure experience to demonstrate your professional assets
    • Building a professional network to diversify your skills and progress your career
    • Exploiting opportunities to use your skills in new situations

    Elise Blair, Project Officer and EA to the Chief Health Officer of Victoria, Department of Health and Human Services Victoria

    VIP Address

    11:50am: VIP Address: Motivation and Self-Determination

    As a business entrepreneur, fitness fanatic and mum, Michelle Bridges draws on the lessons she’s learned through both  her successes as well as her slip ups, to offer her audience her key learnings in her latest keynote address.  Michelle leads her audience to uncover their own life learnings through asking questions such as ‘what fuels you?’ and ‘who can you be?’ to ultimately inspire and uplift her listeners to create their best lives.

     Michelle Bridges, Motivational Coach, Entrepreneur & Author

    12:40 pm Lunch

    1:40: Panel Discussion: Building a network to maintain relationships with other EA’s and senior stakeholders?

    • How do you establish key contacts across your department and beyond to optimise administrative efficiencies and decision making?
    • How do you deliver assertiveness and professionalism when communicating with senior stakeholders?
    • How can you maintain professionalism when dealing with difficult people?

    Cecilia Falson, Private Secretary and Office Manager, NSW Attorney General

    Laura Changizi, Executive Assistant, Centre for Population Health, NSW Ministry of Health

    Effective Communication

    2:30pm: Making your job easier with effective communication

    • Building trust and influence with persuasion skills
    • Managing complex stakeholder relationships through effective communication
    • Effectively communicating and collaborating within the team to achieve your objectives

    Robyn Woodbridge, EA to Chair, Productivity Commission

    3:20pm Afternoon tea

    3:40pm: Masterclass: Managing organisational change to support your executive

    • Facilitating yourself through change in the workplace to drive productivity
    • Embracing and viewing change in a positive way to prepare for the challenges that change brings
    • Reflecting on your personal approach to change to develop resilience within your roles

    Michelle Chant, Principal, Change Management and Leadership, The Change Collective

    4:30pm: Case Study: Harnessing your potential by managing your wellness

    • Harnessing your focus and increasing performance with mindfulness training
    • Using mindfulness to be more present, connected and effective
    • Remaining resilient throughout organisational change
    • Understanding the links between physical health and professional performance
    • Tools for managing workplace stress and boosting personal wellbeing

    Derek Wiseman, Executive Assistant, Australian Communications and Media Authority

  • Day Four: 31st May 2019 - Post-Conference Workshop

    9.00 am Workshop A: Effective negotiation for personal and female empowerment

    Effective negotiation skills are particularly important for female members of the Public Service in accessing and managing part-time senior roles, flexible working arrangements and negotiating employment contracts. Delegates will learn how to identify optimal negotiation results and gain tools to ensure best results in internal and external negotiations.

    This workshop provides delegates with the knowledge, skills and experience to enhance outcomes for themselves and other women in the Public Sector.

    Delegates will learn:

    • Learn the importance of personal negotiation for empowerment
    • Improve your negotiation results and processes
    • Improve female outcomes in work, contract or enterprise agreements
    • Represent your organisational values in negotiations
    • Effectively negotiate for improved conditions for female employees
    • Test and improve your negotiation skills through simulated negotiations

    Improve holistic outcomes for women in your organization and the broad Public Service

    12:30 pm Lunch

    1:30 pm Workshop B: Effective communication skills to advance the position of women in leadership

    Effective communication skills are vital to leadership and promotion in the Pubic Sector. Members of the Public Sector need to have strong communication skills to ensure their voices are heard and respected by a variety of stakeholders and decision-makers. This is of particular importance to female employees, who can be unfairly overlooked for responsibility and promotion.

    Delegates for this workshop will learn the skills to further their Public Service careers and ensure effective communication with decision-makers and stakeholders.

    Delegates will learn:

    • Understand the language of exclusion and how to overcome it
    • The language of leadership
    • Communication techniques for different audiences
    • Identifying and changing dysfunctional communication patterns
    • How to respond to communication subtexts to advance careers
    • Ensuring you are heard by decision-makers and considered fairly for promotion

    5:00 pm End of Workshops

    Expert facilitator: Kerryn Gamble, High Performance Culture, Change and Communication Trainer and Author

    Kerryn Gamble is the Founder of Woman of Worth and author of ‘UNSTOPPABLE – the professional woman’s guide to purpose, power & prosperity’.  On a mission to close the confidence and achievement gap, Kerryn applies her expertise in verbal and nonverbal communication skills to transform high-performing women, from invisible to influential. Kerryn is also Vice President of Professional Speakers Australia – VIC/ TAS. A person who can influence conversation and outcomes by the way they communicate both on stage and off, is invaluable to any organsiations. People buy you – your value, your conviction and your confidence in deliverables. Others can’t see your value if you don’t show it.


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