Advisory panel

Official Event Advisory Panel

Quest Events would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank the official event advisory panel who contributed their valuable time and expertise to ensure the agenda for this event is timely and relevant for all stakeholders involved with flexible and agile working across industry. 

Heejung Chung
Reader in Sociology and Social Policy
University of Kent

Heejung’s research interest lies in the cross-national analysis of welfare states and their labour markets, including research on national and company level work-family reconciliation policies. Recently she finished a 4 year project funded by the UK Research council on flexible working, where she shows that on one hand that it enables women to maintain their labour market positions after childbirth yet on the other can also lead to workers working everywhere, all the time.

Emma Heuston
Practice Leader

A corporate lawyer with 18 years’ experience, Emma left the corporate rat race of Sydney in 2013 and moved to far northern New South Wales. Following her seachange, Emma has:

• worked as a remote Practice Leader (Partner equivalent) for Australia’s leading NewLaw firm, LegalVision Australia, managing a remote team of 5;
• written a book , “The Tracksuit Economy – how to work productively and effectively from home”;
• won the 2018 Lawyers Weekly Women in Law Thoughtleader of the Year Award for her work in the remote working space; and
• established the Tracksuit Economy and Remote Economy consulting services and resources.

Michelle Elvy
Head of Integrated Operations

Michelle possesses 20 years of professional and management experience, predominantly in the mining, resources and construction. Michelle has worked at all levels of organisations - designing, constructing, commissioning, operating, and across multiple business models from Alliances, Public Private Partnerships, EPCM and Joint Ventures.

Michelle’s holistic and inclusive approach is a hallmark of her leadership. Her strength lies in deep technical competence, a broad knowledge and people skills. She has both the eye and passion for detail, while still maintaining the long term goal front of mind.

Michelle enjoys working in operations innovation, continuous improvement, corporate governance and risk management. Michelle can add value at the Board and executive level on: strategy development; audit & risk (committees); finance & cost modelling (AASB) and governance systems. Her unique blend of management and technical skills helps to drive strategy and business planning cycles in order to improve competitive positioning and improve efficiencies. She is an experienced strategic thinker, who can "paint" the pathway to value creation for an organisation.

Robert Hawkins
Humans Are Not Robots: The Fundamentals of Work Flexiblility 

Having spent several years in rigid workplaces – with the accompanying long commutes – as an engineer, manager and process improvement specialist, Robert Hawkins now freelances as a writer and consultant, walks his dog in the mornings instead of sitting in traffic, and works to help as many people as possible regain life by working flexibly.

He believes that flexibility is much more than an accommodation for parents and carers, but is rather a fundamental right that allows us all to live sustainably and be fully human each and every day. He takes special interest in how it can be rolled out to industries not normally associated with flex, such as healthcare, manufacturing, construction and retail.

His first book, Humans Are Not Robots: The fundamentals of work flexibility, will be released in the first half of 2019.

Llewella Jago 
Rowdy Digital

Llewella has had an extensive career in marketing, communications and media for private enterprise and government. Llewella returned to Australia nine years ago from senior marketing positions with the Guardian Media Group in the UK and Southern Cross Austereo in Asia to work in federal government in Canberra.

During Llewella’s time in federal government she was a senior communications adviser for a Coordinator General, Chief of Staff for the Hon Alan Tudge MP, led a $200 million program to partner with the largest companies in Australia, led communications for the Referendum Council and refocused stakeholder engagement for the Office for Women.

Jo Palmer
Pointer Remote Roles

Jo grew up in NSW’s Snowy Mountains. She attended boarding school in Sydney for her high school years, before moving to Wagga Wagga to study a Bachelor of Education at Charles Sturt University. She has spent time living abroad in the US and the UK and has travelled extensively through Europe and South East Asia.

In 2013, Jo establish a comprehensive learning and tutoring business (The Learning Tree) which, went on to operate in three regional towns (Holbrook, Finley and Wagga) in southern NSW. In 2014, Jo has gained employment working remotely as a sponsorship manager for a Sydney-based corporation. This role was the motivation behind co-founding the sponsorship and event management company Agri Alliance, which operates in the agricultural industry, in 2016. Jo started her third business, Pointer Remote Roles after a BBQ in 2017 when she noted the skills and professional experience that her friends around the table possessed, we not being utilised to their full potential. So Jo built a platform that connects businesses with employees or contractors who can work remotely. The business model has resonated and she continues to be inundated with professionals from all over the country, seeking remote work.

John Preece
Chief Property Officer
Hub Australia

John joined Hub Australia as Chief Property Officer in 2018.  In this role, John leads a team responsible for sourcing and securing new clubhouse sites, the refurbishment and fitout of the spaces to create amazing environments for Hub members, managing the technology infrastructure, ongoing portfolio management, and working closely with our Bespoke clients to create individual workspaces for larger corporates.

John has over 20 years of experience in commercial property and project management.  He has held a range of senior positions in global property agencies including Knight Frank and DTZ in Australia, and CBRE in Europe.  He also has a multi-disciplinary skill set, having worked across project management, occupier solutions and office leasing, as well as running Knight Frank’s full-service North Shore agency business in Sydney.  He is a Fellow of the RICS, and a licensed real estate agent.

Vanessa Vanderhoek
Chief Executive Officer
The FlexAgility Group

Vanessa Vanderhoek is a Canberra-based executive coach and facilitator, volunteer Psychological First Aid Officer, keen runner and mum (and step-mum) to three kids. Through her coaching and consultancy practice Career Inside Track she’s passionate about supporting employers and employees to make flexible work work. Vanessa believes that while there has been a lot of talk about flexible work for some time now and despite the great work done by some organisations, it’s not a reality for many people who struggle to achieve this in their workplaces.

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Flexible & Agile Working 2019