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Women in Leadership Summit 2017

46.2% of the Australian employees are women, yet 25.5% of organisations have no women in leadership roles?

Women account for 40% of new employees to ASX listed companies, yet only 23.4% of directors at ASX listed companies are women?

The challenges are real so why has progress been so slow? One thing is clear however, the positive impact women have in senior executive roles.

Join W.I.L.S’ inaugural Leadership Summit to address these disparities. We have brought together Australia’s most successful women in business to share their leadership stories, offer advice on dealing with challenges, and discuss how you can make a difference in your organisation.

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  24 - 27 October 2017
Doltone House - Australian Technology Park


Hear from women across so many different industries on how they moved up the corporate ladder and achieved ultimate success in their own ways.


Over three days you will hear stories and advice on how to fully realise your potential as a leader.




Doltone House - Australian Technology Park
2 Locomotive Street
Eveleigh NSW 2015


  • Hear from successful women in leadership roles globally about what it takes to succeed
  • Identify and combat unconscious bias and leadership barriers
  • Take advice from those who have realised their success
  • Hear from male champions of change committed to developing women in leadership
  • Develop the essential skills to further your career
  • Learn how to identify your strengths and become a strong leader
  • Understand how you can make an impact in your organisation

Who should attend this conference

90%CEOs & MDs

85%General Managers

80%Finance/ HR Directors

75%Middle Management

70%Executive and Personal Assistants

Get Ready To Be Inspired!

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

Key Speakers


Macquarie University

Educational Partner for WIL Summit 2017

Macquarie University


Lisa Wilkinson

Journalist, News Anchor, Editor-in-Chief

Nine Network & Huffington Post Australia


Liz Ellis

Former Captain

Australian Netball Team


Mia Freedman

Chief Executive Officer



Diane Smith-Gander

Non-executive Director

AGL Energy, Wesfarmers, Safe Work Australia


Susan Lloyd-Hurwitz

Chief Executive Officer



Suzy Nicoletti

Managing Director

Twitter Australia


Monica Barone

Chief Executive Officer

City of Sydney


Melissa Fein

Chief Executive Officer

Initiative Australia


Helen Szoke

Chief Executive Officer



Elaine Herlihy

Marketing Director

PayPal Australia


Kylie Watson-Wheeler

Senior Vice President & Managing Director

The Walt Disney Company Australia & New Zealand


Adrienne Revai

Chief Operating Officer, Australia

Jones Lang Lasalle


Julie Garland McLellan


The Director’s Dilemma


Dr Amanda Barnard

Office of the Chief Executive, Science Leader

Data 61 & CSIRO


Georgette Nicholas




Jason Pellegrino

Managing Director, Australia & New Zealand



Robbert Rietbroek


Pepsi Co. Australia & New Zealand


Tony Johnson

Chief Executive Officer and Regional Managing Partner Oceania



Commissioner Andrew Colvin


Australian Federal Police


Dr Catriona Lavermicocca

Chair of the Macquarie University ASQC & Deputy Head Department of Accounting and Corporat Governance

Macquarie University

  • Conference Overview

    Join the Women in Leadership Summit 2017 to take that next step in your career. This event will bring together some of Australia’s most successful business women to share their personal stories of leadership struggles and accomplishments. You will hear practical advice on how to overcome challenges to progression and ways in which you can drive career growth and help your organisation capitalise on the gender dividend.

  • Pre-Conference Workshop Agenda

    DAY ONE: Pre-Conference Workshop, 24 October 2017

    8:30 Registration, morning coffee and tea
    9:00 – 5:00 Women In Leadership: Becoming Boardroom Ready

    This one day masterclass will impart the must-have C-suite skills you need to achieve the highest corporate level there is: the boardroom. This program will help you step forward with confidence to make the transition into the executive suite.

    Our exclusive pre-conference workshop provides senior female executives with the opportunity to navigate the board selection process and to explore ways to effectively govern as a corporate director. Tailored to high-achieving women who seek to contribute to corporate governance at the highest level, this program will also serve as a valuable convening platform for women to explore topics of boardroom diversity among accomplished peers and navigate sexism if and when it is encountered.

    You will:

    • Understand how boards operate and how to add value in board discussions
    • Overcome objections by asking insightful questions
    • Facilitate positive discussion with your company directors
    • Understand what to monitor and when to intervene
    • Build rapport quickly and easily to help generate consensus decisions
    • Learn what to look for when undertaking due diligence
    • Understand governance in the listed, private, government and NFP contexts
    • Use real-life case studies to consolidate skills and apply what you learn

    Your Expert Facilitator:
    Julie Garland McLellan, CEO, The Director’s Dilemma

  • Conference Agenda

    DAY TWO: 25 October 2017

    8:30 Registration, morning coffee and tea
    8:50 Opening remarks from the chair


    9:05 The #1 Secret To Work Life Balance – from someone who’s been juggling
    for 20

    Mia Freedman, Chief Executive Officer, Mamamia

    Mia Freedman is the co-founder and creative director of Mamamia, a Women’s Media Company with an audience of millions. The former Editor in Chief of Australian
    Cosmopolitan, she has also been Editor in Chief of Cosmo, Cleo and Dolly. Mia regularly appears on television as a panelist and commentator. She has been recognised as one of Australia’s Most Influential Women by the Australian Financial Review.

    9:55 Why meritocracy is lacking and how to foster effective leadership progression to fully realise your potential as an executive leader

    Professor Gillian Triggs, President, Australian Human Rights Commission

    Emeritus Professor Gillian Triggs is the President of the Australian Human Rights Commission. Gillian was Dean of the Faculty of Law and Challis Professor of
    International Law at the University of Sydney from 2007-12 and Director of the British Institute of International and Comparative Law from 2005-7. She is a former Barrister with Seven Wentworth Chambers and a Governor of the College of Law. She is focused on the implementation in Australian law of the human rights treaties to which Australia is a party, and on working with nations in the Asia Pacific region on practical approaches to human rights.

    10:45 Networking Morning Tea


    11:00 Leading is a privilege not a right! How to become a more effective
    leader and get the most out of your team.

    Liz Ellis, Former Captain, Australian Netball Team

    Liz Ellis is one of the most respected names in netball, with a remarkable 18 year elite career including 2 Commonwealth Gold Medals, 3 World Championships
    and 4 National League titles. She became a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for “services to netball and the encouragement of women in sport, and to the community through support for a range of charitable organizations”. Liz is an experienced broadcaster and media personality, hosting and commentating netball and other sports, and appearing on radio and television as a sports
    expert and personality.

    11:50 Succeeding as a woman in a male-dominated industry

    Suzy Nicoletti, Managing Director, Twitter Australia

    Suzy is Twitter Australia’s Managing Director, responsible for local operations including its advertising business and operations. Previously, Suzy ran Twitter Australia’s online sales business for almost three years which experienced strong growth under her leadership. Australia is part of the fastest growing region in the world for Twitter, which has more than three-quarters of its users outside the United States.

    12:40 Lunch


    1:40 Diverse leadership drives better business: Realising this potential

    Monica Barone, Chief Executive Officer, City of Sydney

    Monica has been the Chief Executive Officer of the City of Sydney since 2006. In this time she has overseen the development and implementation of the City’s long term vision for Central Sydney – Sustainable Sydney 2030. She manages approximately 2000 staff and contractors, an annual budget of approximately $880 million and $11.6 billion dollars of net assets. The City will be providing for a capital works program of $1.8 Billion over the next 10 years.

    2:30 Addressing challenges head on and breaking through the barriers

    Helen Szoke, Chief Executive Officer, Oxfam

    Dr Helen Szoke is a strong advocate for foreign aid and international development, human rights, gender and race equity. Helen joined Oxfam in 2013. Prior to this
    appointment, she served as Australia’s Federal Race Discrimination Commissioner and as the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commissioner. She is Vice President of the Board of the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID), and the ACFID Humanitarian Reference Group (HRG) Champion.

    3:20 Afternoon Tea

    3:40 PANEL DISCUSSION: How to Deal with Difficult Situations?

    Melissa Fein, Chief Executive Officer, Initiative Australia

    Helen Szoke, Chief Executive OfficerOxfam

    Dr Amanda Barnard, Office of the Chief Executive, Science Leader, Data 61 & CSIRO

    4:30 The Curious Case of Women in Science and Technology

    Dr Amanda BarnardOffice of the Chief Executive, Science LeaderData 61 & CSIRO

    Dr. Amanda Barnard is an Office of the Chief Executive (OCE) Science Leader at CSIRO. She received her Ph.D. (Physics) in 2003, followed by prestigious Fellowships at ANL (USA), the University of Oxford (UK) and an ARC Queen Elizabeth II Fellow at CSIRO. She has won numerous awards including the Young Scientist Prize in Computational Physics from the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics, the Malcolm McIntosh Award from the Prime Minister of Australia for the Physical Scientist of the Year, the ACS Nano Lectureship (Asia/Pacific) from the American Chemical Society, and was the first woman ever to win the Feynman Prize in Nanotechnology (Theory) from the Foresight Institute (USA).

    5:20 Cocktail Function and Networking Drinks

    DAY THREE: 26 October 2017

    8:30 Registration, morning coffee and tea
    9:00 Opening remarks from the chair


    9:05 How to fully realise your potential as an executive leader

    Diane Smith-Gander, Non-executive Director, AGL Energy, Wesfarmers, Safe Work Australia

    Diane is Non-Executive Director AGL Energy, Wesfarmers Limited, Chair of Safe Work Australia, Asbestos Safety & Eradication Council, and Board Member of Keystart Loans,
    Henry Davis York, CEDA and Immediate Past President of Chief Executive Women. She has held many past nonexecutive roles including Chairman of Broadspectrum Limited, Deputy Chairperson of NBNCo, Non-Executive Director of the CBH Group, Commissioner of Tourism WA and Board Member of the Committee for Perth.

    9:55 Moments that matter, milestones that made the difference

    Susan Lloyd Hurwitz, Chief Executive Officer, Mirvac

    Susan Lloyd-Hurwitz was appointed Chief Executive Officer & Managing Director in August 2012 and a Director of Mirvac Board in November 2012. Prior to this appointment, Susan was Managing Director at LaSalle Investment Management. Susan has also held senior executive positions at MGPA, Macquarie Group and Lend Lease Corporation, working in Australia, the US and Europe. Susan has been involved in the real estate industry for over 28 years.

    10:45 Networking Morning Tea

    11:00 Reaching the pinnacle of your career and how to maintaining your success

    Lisa Wilkinson, Journalist, News Anchor, Editor-in-Chief, Nine Network & Huffington Post Australia

    “For more than three decades, Lisa Wilkinson has blazed an unprecedented trail through the Australian media landscape, initially in publishing, then on radio and now in television and online. In every forum she has achieved extraordinary success and earned widespread respect”

    11:50 The importance of self-reflection and personal development

    Georgette Nicholas, CEO, Genworth

    Georgette became Chief Executive Officer in February 2016 after four months as Acting Chief Executive Officer following joining the business as Chief Financial Officer. In her prior role as Chief Financial Officer, Georgette has effectively leveraged her financial acumen, industry experience and leadership skills across finance, audit, controllership, strategy, actuarial and investor relations. She has a deep understanding of the mortgage insurance business both in international markets as well as the United States having worked with Genworth for over ten years. Georgette has a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from the University of Bridgeport, Connecticut and is a Certified Public

    12:40 Lunch


    1:40 Fostering women in leadership roles in a traditionally male dominated

    Commissioner Andrew Colvin, Commissioner, Australian Federal Police

    2:30 Creating a positive organisational culture that fosters diversity and equality of opportunity

    Jason Pellegrino, Managing Director, Australia & New Zealand, Google

    Jason Pellegrino is responsible for Google’s business strategy and commercial capabilities across the Asia Pacific region and is a member of Google’s regional leadership team. Jason has been with Google for 6 years in a variety of roles, including Sales Director and Head of Sales Operations and Strategy for Google’s Australia and New
    Zealand business. Prior to Google, Jason spent over 15 years in Corporate Strategy, Mergers and Acquisitions and in Sales with LEK Consulting, PepsiCo International & KPMG.

    3:20 Afternoon Tea

    3:40 PANEL DISCUSSION: How can male champions of change have the most effective impact?

    Tony Johnson, Chief Executive Officer and Regional Managing Partner Oceania, EY

    Kylie Watson-Wheeler, Senior Vice President & Managing Director, The Walt Disney Company Australia & New Zealand

    Adrienne Revai, Chief Operating Officer, JLL

    Robbert Rietbroek, Chief Executive Officer, PepsiCo Australia and New Zealand

    4:30 Essential skills in your leadership journey

    Elaine Herlihy, Marketing Director, PayPal Australia

    5:25 End of Conference

  • Speaker List

    Lisa WilkinsonJournalist, News Anchor, Editor-in-Chief, Nine Network & Huffington Post Australia

    Liz Ellis, Former Captain, Australian Netball Team

    Diane Smith-Gander, Non-executive Director, AGL Energy, Wesfarmers, Safe Work Australia

    Professor Gillian Triggs, President, Australian Human Rights Commission

    Mia Freedman, Chief Executive Officer, Mamamia

    Helen Szoke, Chief Executive Officer, Oxfam

    Susan Lloyd-Hurwitz, Chief Executive Officer, Mirvac 

    Pip Marlow, Chief Executive Officer, Suncorp Bank

    Suzy Nicoletti, Managing Director, Twitter Australia

    Monica Barone, Chief Executive Officer, City of Sydney

    Melissa Fein, Chief Executive Officer, Initiative Australia

    Adrienne Revai, Chief Operating Officer, JLL

    Kylie Watson-Wheeler, Senior Vice President & Managing Director, The Walt Disney Company Australia & New Zealand

    Elaine HerlihyMarketing DirectorPayPal Australia

    Jason Pellegrino, Managing Director, Australia & New Zealand, Google

    Tony Johnson, Chief Executive Officer and Regional Managing Partner Oceania, EY

    Commissioner Andrew ColvinCommissionerAustralian Federal Police

    Robbert RietbroekChief Executive Officer, PepsiCo Australia and New Zealand


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