Former Foreign Minister of Australia & Former Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party
Julie Bishop served as the Member for Curtin in Western Australia, in the House of Representatives from 1998 to 2019, in the cabinets of Prime Ministers John Howard, Tony Abbott, and
Malcolm Turnbull. The longest serving member for Curtin, she was the first woman to be the Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party – a role she held for 11 years, and the first woman to contest the leadership ballot of the Liberal Party in its 75 year history.
Prior to joining parliament, Julie was a commercial litigation lawyer and the Managing Partner of Clayton Utz.
With a warm personality, a quick sense of humour and undeniable intelligence, Julie Bishop draws on her extensive experiences in national and global politics, to deliver keynotes on diverse topics that provide insights into Australia, the world and our place in it.
Australian Banking Association & 37th Premier of Queensland
Anna Bligh is the Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Banking Association. Her priorities include strengthening the culture in banking and delivering the right outcomes for customers.
Anna has had a long and distinguished career in politics, and was the Premier of Queensland for almost five years until March 2012. She was also Deputy Premier and Treasurer of
Queensland and held ministerial responsibilities in Education, Social Welfare, Arts, Economic and State Development and Infrastructure.
Anna’s leadership came to national and international attention as she led the response and recovery effort to devastating floods in Queensland in January 2011. Prior to joining the ABA, Anna was the CEO of YWCA NSW, a not-for-profit organisation striving to build a safer world for women and children with programs and services dedicated to ending domestic
In recognition of her eminent service to the Parliament of Queensland, and as an advocate for education, the role of women in public life and services to the not-for-profit sector, Anna received a
Companion in the General Division of the Order of Australia award in the 2017 Australia Day Honours list.
Anna holds Honorary Doctorates from the University of Queensland and Griffith University. Anna Bligh is a non-executive director of Medibank Private and Bangarra Dance Company.
Department of Veterans' Affairs
After 31 years of distinguished military service in the Australian Army, Liz Cosson joined the Australian Public Service in 2010 and was appointed as Secretary of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) in May 2018. Liz is also the President of the Repatriation Commission and Chair of the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission.
Liz’s diverse career has provided opportunities to develop strengths in driving reform and modernisation, leadership, building relationships, collaboration, setting visions, providing strategic advice and policy development. It was Liz’s leadership, resilience, courage and determination that saw her become the first female promoted to the senior rank of Major General in the Australian Army.
In 2010 when Liz first joined the public service as First Assistant Secretary, Client and Commemorations Division at DVA, she implemented the Anzac Centenary Board, who were responsible for laying the foundations of the Anzac Centenary National Program.
Between 2012 and 2016 she held the positions of Deputy Secretary at the Department of Immigration and Citizenship and Deputy Secretary/Chief Operating Officer at the Department of Health, leading the implementation of major cultural and behavioural reform activities.
In 2016, Liz returned to DVA to take on the role of Deputy Secretary, where Liz has been instrumental in establishing DVA’s transformation program, applying her wealth of knowledge as a veteran and working with partners across Government, the private sector and the veteran community to collaboratively build the future of DVA, improving the outcomes for veterans and their families.
Liz is a passionate advocate for improving services to support and enable all veterans and their families to transition from military service to civilian life.
Liz’s many talents have not gone unrecognised, being awarded a Conspicuous Service Cross in 2001, appointed a Member in the Military Division of the Order of Australia for her contributions to Army and for delivering profound organisational reform in 2011. In 2014, Liz was awarded the ACT Award for
Excellence in Women’s Leadership.
Liz has a Master of Arts (Strategic Studies), Bachelor of Social Science (Human Resource Development) and a Diploma in Management
Department of Education
Jo is a proud Palawa woman from Tasmania and moved to Canberra in 1993 to take up an Indigenous graduate position with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission.
Until recently Jo was the Director of the Higher Education Program Management Team which is responsible for implementing Rural and Regional Enterprise Scholarships, implementing the Regional Study Hubs, administering the Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program (HEPPP), the Higher Education Disability Support Program and the National Disability Coordination Officer Program, implementing the government’s response to the 2015 review of the Disability Standards for Education in relation to higher education; managing a range of learning and teaching research grants and fellowships projects, managing the transfer of the Australian Awards for University Teaching and the Office for Learning and Teaching digital resource library to Universities Australia and the establishment of the equity projects and fellowships reports repository at the National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education.
From 29 July 2019 she commenced a new role, working 50% of her time on Higher Education policy related issues and working 50% of her time to Deputy Secretary David Learmonth in relation to his role as Indigenous Champion and on Indigenous Business is Everyone’s Business issues/matters.
She is also one of several Executive Level Indigenous officers across the APS who provide support to the Indigenous SES Network Steering Committee.
Outside of the work environment she is a single mum of two boys aged 22 and 16, and is involved with a number of Indigenous community organisations and bodies. She is the Deputy Chairperson of the ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elected Body, the Chairperson of the Canberra and District NAIDOC Aboriginal Corporation and a Director on the Board of the Indigenous Reading Project.
Department of Employment, Skills, Small & Family Business
Ms Kerri Hartland was appointed Secretary at Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business in September 2017 before that she held the position of Deputy Secretary, Business Enabling Services at Department of Finance. Kerri brings extensive experience at senior levels having worked in eight different Commonwealth departments and agencies. This includes as Chief Information Officer of the then Department of Industry, Science and Resources; Deputy Secretary of the Department of Human Services, where she led amongst other things Service Delivery Reform; and Deputy Director-General of ASIO. Kerri started life as a journalist and also spent a year working in the Canadian public service.
Dr Cathy Foley, CSIRO Chief Scientist, has made distinguished contributions to the understanding of superconducting materials and to the development of devices using superconductors to detect magnetic fields and locate valuable deposits of minerals.
Dr Foley has made significant contributions to the scientific community as president of several scientific societies and as a member of committees such as PMSEIC giving advice to Government on scientific and technological matters.
Cathy was awarded the `Woman of the Year’ by the NSW Government in 2013 and the International IEEE Award for Continuing and Significant Contributions to Applied Superconductivity 2014.
In 2015 was awarded the Clunies Ross Medal of the Australian Academy of Technological Science and Engineering and in 2016 the Australian Institute of Physics Medal for Outstanding Service to Physics.
As a leader in CSIRO, Cathy is working to help existing Australia to transform to be globally competitive by engaging with Australian researchers and to build new companies and enterprises to assist with the translation of research for economic prosperity.
Royal Australian Mint
Jaala Hinchcliffe was appointed to the position of Commonwealth Deputy Ombudsman in November 2017.
Prior to joining the Ombudsman’s office, Jaala worked at Australian Parliament House with the Department of Parliamentary Services, where she headed the People and Governance Branch, which was responsible for a range of corporate functions including legal services, HR, communications, planning and performance, risk and audit and information management. Jaala has spent a significant portion of her career with the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions where for 15 years she worked across a range of legal functions in that office, including as Senior Executive for Law Reform and Policy and Strategic Review and Reform. Jaala has also worked with Legal Aid Canberra and commenced in the APS as a graduate with the Department of Social Security.
As a proud Canberran, Jaala has been engaged in a number of community organisations in the ACT, including as a board member for Palliative Care ACT. She studied Arts and Law at the Australian National University and was admitted to practice as a Legal Practitioner in the ACT in 2000.
Department of Human Services
Amanda Cattermole is the Deputy Secretary, Health and Aged Care Group in the Department of Human Services. In this role she is responsible for delivering the Medicare Benefits Schedule, the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme and other health and aged care programs on behalf of the Department of Health. These programs include consumer and health care professional registration services, national health registers, electronic claiming channels and targeted outreach to those needing help to navigate the health system.
The Deputy Secretary is the Chief Executive Medicare under the Human Services (Medicare) Act 1973. Amanda Cattermole joined the Department of Human Services in 2017. Prior to joining the Department Amanda held senior roles in the Commonwealth Departments of the Treasury; Prime Minister and Cabinet; Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs; the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services and the Western Australian Department of Indigenous Affairs.
In her earlier working life Amanda was a lawyer, working in Victoria, the Northern Territory and Western Australia, primarily on Indigenous law and social policy matters. Amanda holds a Bachelor of Laws, a Bachelor of Commerce, a Master of Laws and a Master of Business Administration. Amanda received the Public Service Medal for outstanding public service in leading reform of the provision of housing for Indigenous people in remote communities.
Department of Health
Rachel heads up the People, Communication and Parliamentary Division in the Australian Government Department of Health. Before moving to this role in 2016 Rachel worked for over 20 years in policy development and implementation in the Departments of Health and Social Services, including in senior executive roles in aged care, Indigenous health, and population health. Her move to her current role reflects her strong personal interest in building the capability of people and organisations.
Australian Greens Party
First elected to the Senate in 2010, Larissa has been Queensland’s leading progressive voice in our federal parliament for almost a decade. She is co-deputy leader of the Australian Greens and is the Greens spokesperson for Women, Democracy, Mining & Resources, Tourism, and Gambling.
Larissa is passionate about addressing global warming and creating a fairer world where people have access to the services they need, achieving equality for women, clean energy, protecting our environment especially the Great Barrier Reef, and a democracy that puts people and the planet at the centre of decision making, not vested interests.
Before federal parliament, Larissa worked as an environmental lawyer in the community sector for eight years, helping communities to use the law to protect the environment. She was named 2010 Australian Young Environmental Lawyer of the Year by the Law Council of Australia.
Larissa lives in Brisbane with her partner and two daughters, aged 10 and 2, the youngest being the first child to be breastfed in the federal parliament.
Department of Home Affairs
Vanessa holds a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Criminology from Griffith University. She commenced employment with Probation & Parole – Queensland Corrective Services in 1997. Vanessa worked in a variety of Probation & Parole Offices over the following 13 years and progressed to the District Manager level.
After 15 years in Probation and Parole, Vanessa transitioned in to the Custodial arm of Queensland Corrective Services as the General Manager of Sentence Management Services. Vanessa’s responsibilities included supervising 140 staff across the state in nine (9) different correctional centres.
In October 2015, Vanessa was successful in obtaining a direct appointment to the rank of Superintendent in the Australian Border Force. Vanessa was responsible for Detention, Field Compliance and Removals Operations for QLD. She then temporarily moved to Canberra to relieve in the role of Commander Detention Operations in June 2016. Vanessa was permanently appointed to the role of Commander Detention Operations in November 2016.
Vanessa was then promoted to Assistant Commissioner, Detention and Offshore Operations Command in February 2018. This role is responsible for the onshore immigration detention network, regional processing and offshore operations in Nauru and Papua New Guinea.
Australian Labor Party
Senator Deborah O’Neill Deborah is a Labor Senator for New South Wales. She is the Chair of the Privileges committee in the 46th Parliament and also sits on the Education and Employment, Community Affairs and Corporations and Financial Services committees.
She first entered federal politics in 2010 when she was elected as the Member for Robertson. She was elected as a Senator for New South Wales in 2016.
Before entering Federal Parliament, Deb was a high school teacher on the Central Coast for the best part of three decades. She was also a lecturer in the School of Education at the University of Newcastle where she co-ordinated courses in teacher education.
Deb grew up in Western Sydney before moving to the Central Coast. Her connection to the Central Coast community through education guided her into politics. Here she saw the power of the Parliament, combined with her passion for social justice, in bringing people together to create a more inclusive society free from inequality of opportunity.
She is passionate about ensuring all Australian men and women, regardless of their circumstances, have access to secure work, income and a world-class health and education system.
Deb lives on the Central Coast with her husband Paul and they have three children.
She is also an ambassador for CanTeen Australia.
Defence Housing Australia
Ms Steele joined Defence Housing Australia in March 2018. She was appointed Acting General Manager, Property and Tenancy Services in August 2018. Prior to joining DHA she was at the Department of Health where she was State Manager for South Australia-Northern Territory. Christine has worked in APS Senior Executive Service roles since 2009 in various departments, including: Department of Social Services; Department of Health and Ageing; and Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations. She has also previously worked as Head of Research Services for Flinders University and is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Marina Costelloe is acting Branch Head for the Mineral Systems Branch at Geoscience Australia. She is the Immediate Past President of the Australian Society of Exploration Geophysicists (ASEG), represents the Geology and Geography Cluster on the board of Science and Technology Australia and represents Australia on the Society of Exploration Geophysics Pacific Regional Affairs Committee.
Since joining Geoscience Australia 13 years ago, she has worked in mineral exploration, groundwater, critical infrastructure, earthquakes, and contributed to international nuclear monitoring and space weather, she has worked in STEM for over 25 years. Seven years ago Marina joined the cultural audit team at Geoscience Australia and since has been an active member of the Gender Equity Network and Diversity and Inclusion Groups at Geoscience Australia. Marina mentors and coaches many people in all stages of their career. Marina won Geoscience Australia’s inclusive culture award in 2017.
Queensland Police Service
Anna joined the Queensland Police Service in 1997 and have worked in both operational and corporate roles all over Queensland. Anna holds a Bachelor of Justice (QUT), Master of Philosophy (QUT) Understanding policing in remote Indigenous Communities and is currently undertaking her Phd exploring how the police use of technology influence perception and trust.
Australian Greens Party
Rachel is a Senator for Western Australia and the Australian Greens spokesperson on Family and Community Services, Mental Health, First Nations issues and Ageing. She is the Greens Whip and Chair of the Senate Community Affairs References Committee. In her position as Chair of the Senate Community Affairs References Committee, Rachel has shed light on landmark issues on aged care, suicide prevention, petrol sniffing, hearing health, income inequality, pelvic mesh, forced adoptions and out of home care.
Senator Rachel Siewert has been in Parliament for over 14 years. Rachel has a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture, worked in natural resource management and then headed up the Conservation Council of Western Australia for 16 years, working on a wide range of campaigns.
Maree Walk is an experienced, in-demand leadership specialist focused on coaching and mentoring across the public, private and not-forprofit sectors. Maree was the Deputy Secretary, Programs and Service Design in the NSW Department of Family and Community Services (FACS), where she specialised in service design and delivery for FACS. Maree is well known for collaborating across both government and non-government sectors to focus services and practices and help the most vulnerable.
Alison has over 25 years’ experience in organisational and leadership development across the public and private sectors. As a trained and experienced psychologist, coach and facilitator, she works with senior teams to implement organisational transformation, leadership and cultural change programs that provide genuine return on investment.
Alison’s methodology in consulting, coaching and facilitation draws on the disciplines of psychology and management tailored to each client based on their needs. Her approach centres around relational leadership and applied action learning.
Alison has been responsible for leading large teams and organisational interventions, as well as designing and implementing successful, innovative and award winning development programs. Her real world experience is coupled with passion, drive and energy for people development, as well as a strong focus on implementing practical solutions that get results. Alison specialises in culture change, leadership development, executive coaching and career transition.
Alison has worked with senior leadership teams to facilitate their conversations and development toward high performance. This has included group and individual coaching sessions on role clarity, building trust, and reaching agreements on how to work together. She has worked with groups on identifying shared goals and establishing behaviours for effective communication and relationships.
In addition to her coaching expertise, Alison has attained the level of Fellow in the Institute of Learning Practitioners (ILP) and also achieved Level 1 accreditation (highest) level of facilitation expertise in the international Worldsview leadership programs, a testament to the high quality of her facilitation skills. She is one of only a select few nominated facilitators by Engineers Education Australia (EEA – the professional education body for Engineers) to deliver interpersonal and leadership skills development programs to engineering clients across Australia. She is also an accredited provider of Fastlead, a small group coaching program designed to shift those in technical roles to leadership roles.
Department of the Prime Minister & Cabinet
Stephanie joined the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet in December 2017, bringing more than 30 years’ public sector experience to the role.
Stephanie’s role sees her take a ‘whole picture’ outlook to deliver results on behalf of the Federal Government and Australian people. She is responsible for Cabinet and coordinating support for the Prime Minister, machinery of government, legal policy, and governance issues, as well as the Department’s corporate management.
With an Arts (Hons) degree majoring in German philosophy and English literature, Stephanie joined the public service in 1987 as a graduate with the Department of Defence’s Intelligence Agency. She spent 16 years working across a range of areas before a further six years in Defence’s international policy area.
This career-shaping period was followed by deputy secretary roles in the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government, and at the then-Department of Regional Australia, Regional Development and Local Government.
Most recently, Stephanie served as deputy Australian Public Service Commissioner from 2013-2017, where she spearheaded a drive to improve performance management across the APS.
Stephanie has received several awards during her career, most notably the Public Service Medal in 2008 for her policy support to Australian Defence Force deployments overseas and the French Officier de l’Ordre National du Merite for her work to develop defence relations between France and Australia.
Royal Australian Navy
Commander Sarah-Jane White has served as a legal officer in the Royal Australian Navy since 2003. During that time she has enjoyed a wide variety of postings around Australia, as well as operational deployments to Bahrain and Afghanistan. She is currently the Deputy Director Operations and Security Law, in Defence Legal (Canberra) and manages a team of Australian Defence Force, foreign military and Australian Public Service lawyers. Sarah-Jane is also a mother to two young children, and the wife of an Air Force Officer.
Australian Federal Police
Department of Health
The Dream Collective
Brooke Taylor is the Head of Programs & Business Excellence at the Dream Collective, and Executive Coach for female leaders. Previously she was at Google in New York as an advertising executive, manager, and diversity and inclusion champion.
Brooke’s mission is to change the landscape of the corporate world by equipping bold, ambitious women to excel in leadership. Born and raised in Silicon Valley, she believes in the power of innovative ideas to change the world.
Gender Gap Gone
Cath is an Executive Coach with over 15 years’ experience in organisational and professional development. Cath has consulted to over 350 brands globally, including both public and private sector. Cath has coached over 5000 individuals and addressed over 25,000 through workshops and conferences, using the latest research and practical frameworks to inspire action.
Cath’s greatest strength is helping people to gain greater leverage from the messages they tell themselves and those they tell others.