Speakers at Government Diversity & Inclusion Virtual Summit 2020

Sheldon Boland
Deputy Principal
Baringa State Primary School
and Co-chair
Queensland Department of Education ABLE Workforce Inclusion Steering Committee

Sheldon Boland is Deputy Principal at one of Australia’s fastest growing schools, on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast.

As Co-Chair of the Queensland Department of Education ABLE Workforce Inclusion Steering Committee, Sheldon takes great pride in supporting diverse and inclusive departmental workplaces across the State, guided by the department’s 'We All Belong' workforce diversity and inclusion framework.

Inclusion sits at the core of his currently developing thesis, after being awarded a research scholarship with Queensland University of Technology in 2019. Sheldon has Master level qualifications in Education (majoring in Guidance and Counselling), and was awarded the University of Southern Queensland Multicultural Community Services Award at the completion of these postgraduate studies.

In balancing work and study, Sheldon lists family, ultramarathon running, and fishing as his favourite pastimes.

Dr Crystal Bruton
Manager – Inclusion and Intersectionality
Department of Justice and Community Safety, Victoria

Crystal has over 10 years experience in the areas of family violence and violence against women in the context of health promotion, community development, advocacy, research and policy development at non-for-profit organisations, academic institutions, local government and state government.

Crystal has a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), titled Stories of strength, survival and the family violence system: Women’s experiences of separating from an abusive, intimate male partner, which focuses on the lived experiences of Victorian women who have separated from an abusive partner and their experiences within the family violence socio-legal system in the context of separation.

More recently, Crystal has focused on inclusion and intersectionality in the family violence and justice systems.

Tony Clark
Director – Communications and Engagement
Victorian Health and Human Services Building Authority

As Director at the Victorian Health and Human Services Building Authority (VHHSBA) Tony leads the co-design, engagement and communication practices across Victoria for the public health, mental health and ageing sectors for major infra-structure initiatives.

Tony is also the Chair of International Association of Public Participation (IAP2) Australasia the international peak body for community engagement and is a Director for the Victorian State trustees.

Loosing his sight at the age of 20 Tony is a strong advocate for disability, education, social enterprise and employment issues, and brings extensive leadership experience spanning state and federal government, the non-profit sector and the Australian business community.

Amanda Crammon
Associate Director – Inclusion & Diversity
Department of Premier and Cabinet


Jacki Done
Manager – People and Culture
City of Charles Sturt

With an extensive career in senior leadership roles in Organisational Development, HR, Learning & Development, Change Management, WHS and Business Improvement across local and state government and the private sector, Jacki is passionate about lifelong learning and career development and brings a well-rounded skillset to people leadership, strategic planning, business performance improvement and driving change to deliver business results in complex, multi-divisional organisations. 

Jacki is currently the Manager of People & Culture at the City of Charles Sturt and is also an independent member of the Loreto College Board of Directors.

Nicki Elkin
Senior Relationship Manager
Pride in Diversity

Nicki has as over 15 years’ experience in a number of commercial roles across a wide range of sectors, both in the UK and Australia.

Nicki has a strong corporate background. She is skilled at the development and implementation of sales and marketing strategies, and is passionate about creating and managing relationships with industry KOLs and stakeholders, to achieve mutual goals.

Passionate about inclusion and diversity, Nicki was a foundation committee member of the Medtronic LGBTQ network, Pride.

Nicki has a BEng (hons) in Mechanical Engineering from University of Leeds, an MBA from Leeds University Business School and a Master of Marketing Communication from University of Canberra.

Her experience in strategy development and stakeholder engagement will see Nicki add value to her portfolio of members, from the corporate and NSW Public sectors.

Jacinta Evans
Executive Director Inclusion and Engagement – Community Services Directorate
ACT Government

Jacinta Evans (B.App.Sc, Master of Public Policy) is an experienced public sector leader who has worked across health, education, community services, multicultural affairs, disability and workforce capability.

Jacinta has a strong strategic policy approach, with a demonstrated history of working collaboratively with government and the community, informed by evidenced based practice to achieve outcomes. In 2017 she was awarded a Churchill Fellowship to investigate best practice in managing violent behaviour in schools, including considering inclusion practices and preventative programs.

She has a long term interest in enhancing our understanding and appreciation of diversity and inclusion in schools, communities and the workforce.

Dr Deanne Gibbon CSC OAM
Associate Director – Workplace Diversity and Inclusion
The University of Queensland


Joshua Griffin
Head of Inclusion and Talent Development
Special Broadcasting Services (SBS) Australia

Josh Griffin is the Head of Talent Development and Inclusion at SBS, responsible for Talent Acquisition, Organisational Development, Learning and Diversity & Inclusion.

Josh is focused on building understanding, capability and accountability for inclusive outcomes whilst seeking to remove barriers that prevent people from doing their best work. He believes that diversity and representation is only half the solution, with the key to achieving genuine economic and social benefits at work residing in how authentically a workplace lives up to its values and rhetoric on inclusion.

Antoinette Holt
Manager – Corporate Development
City of Canterbury Bankstown

Antoinette leads the Corporate Development function at the City of Canterbury Bankstown.   She has worked as a Human Resources Leader both in Australia and internationally and specialises in the design and delivery of strategy, operations and cultural change initiatives. 

She has worked in a number of diverse sectors, including management consulting, retail management, higher education and local government. Antoinette’s current role is focused on building leadership capability, organisational development and driving cultural change.  

Katherine Jeffries
A/g Director of Inclusion, Diversity and Cultural Change Inclusion
Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

Katherine Jeffries is the acting Director of Inclusion, Diversity and Cultural Change at the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Katherine has spent the majority of the last ten years working across Government in a range of roles relating to inclusion and diversity.

From the removal of restrictions for women in combat roles in the Australian Defence Force, to improving inclusion of staff with disability at her current workplace, Katherine is a well-versed leader in all matters I&D. Katherine is driven to see inclusion become business-as-usual in the workplace; where respect, understanding and a strengths-based approach to staff and their abilities becomes the norm.

Katherine is passionately fierce about family, seeing her little people grow, busting out some karaoke in the car, and all things arts and craft (when time away from the 4-year-old permits!).

Amanda Lawrie-Jones
Disability Inclusion Consultant
Accessible Action Consulting

Amanda Lawrie-Jones is a skilled Disability Inclusion Consultant with decades of organisational capability experience, working in both government and non-government sectors. Her field of expertise focuses on the social model of disability and supports organisations to improve outcomes and increase participation for people with disability.

She provides functional expertise and valuable lived experience from the perspectives of people with disability to shift mindsets and promote access and inclusion within your organisation. Her purpose is to enable our clients to progress their access and inclusion journey by developing strategies, policies, and processes to include people with disability from a customer, community and employee perspective. 

Amanda is a strong advocate for shifting mindsets and breaking down barriers and to influence people to think differently about disability. Her leadership in this area is demonstrated by her commitment to her community connections on several Boards, including a member of the Victorian Disability Advisory Council reporting to the Minister of Disability, Ageing and Carers, The Hon Luke Donnellan. 

Justin Lokhorst
South Australian Strategic Partnership Manager
Australian Bureau of Statistics

Justin Lokhorst is the South Australian Strategic Partnership Manager at the Australian Bureau of Statistics in Adelaide and has over 20 years experience in a variety of analytical, technical and leadership roles.

Justin is recognised for his pragmatic, customer-focused delivery of outcomes in conjunction with his inclusive leadership of staff. 

He has built large, high performing and diverse teams through a focus on inclusion and workplace adjustment.  In 2017, he was awarded the Australian Public Service Commission individual award for Diversity and Gender Equality, recognising his effort in providing an inclusive workplace for all staff.

Libby Lyons
Workplace Gender Equality Agency

Libby Lyons was appointed Director of the Workplace Gender Equality Agency in October 2015. She oversees the statutory reporting process that gathers gender equality data from more than 10,000 employers, covering more than 4 million employees. Soon after taking up her appointment at the Agency, Libby initiated the development of a strategic plan focused on maximising the Agency’s world-leading dataset and expanding the reach and impact of gender reporting nationally and internationally.

As part of this strategic vision, Libby has travelled to Singapore, Chile, Argentina, Mauritius, Indonesia, Vietnam, The Philippines, South Korea and Japan to speak with government and private enterprise on the business case for gender equality and the Agency’s dataset. She also presented at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women in New York in 2018 and 2019.

In leading the Agency, Libby is focused on working closely with employers to achieve gender equality and takes part in regular roundtable and speaking events with business leaders and their peers to share their experiences, challenges and successes in creating workplaces where the skills and ambitions of employees are equally recognised and rewarded regardless of gender.

Libby was listed in Apolitical’s 100 Most Influential People Working in Gender Policy for both 2018 and 2019 and was featured in 200 women who will change the way you see the world. She is a member of Chief Executive Women and is a proud Ambassador for Honour a Woman, a volunteer organisation working to achieve gender balance in the Australian honours system.

Prior to joining the Agency, Libby had a distinguished career in corporate affairs and government relations, including heading up BHP’s Olympic Dam corporate affairs division, as well as senior roles at Atlas Iron, CITIC Pacific Mining, Alcoa of Australia, the Western Power Corporation and Telstra.

Libby has a strong personal commitment to public service, having started her career as a primary school teacher. She also sat on the boards of non-profit organisations SIDS and Kids WA, and was Executive Chairman for Kalparrin, a charity that supports the families of children with special needs and disabilities.

Bronnie Mackintosh
Manager - Inclusion & Diversity
Fire and Rescue NSW

Bronnie Mackintosh is the Manager for Inclusion and Diversity at Fire and Rescue, NSW. She had 17 years of operational service as a Firefighter and Station Officer before moving into her new role. Her career has encompassed many roles, spanning general firefighting, rescue, operational communications, community safety, and education and training. 

As the manager for Inclusion, Bronnie is responsible for enabling Inclusive work teams in which all employees of FRNSW feel they belong and are valued.

Bronnie is a Winston Churchill Fellowship recipient. She undertook a global study tour to research how international fire agencies are changing their workforces to be more reflective of the diverse communities they protect. On the back of this research, Bronnie has spoken at numerous industry conferences in Australia and the United States and completed a 6-month secondment doing diversity and inclusion project work at the Australasian Fire Authorities Council (AFAC). 

In June 2018, Bronnie spoke at TEDx Sydney about the changing face of firefighting and the need for communities to better understand the role of firefighters. Watch Bronnie's TED talk here

As part of the implementation of her Churchill Fellowship research, Bronnie organised the inaugural Firefighters Mutual, Girls Fire and Emergency Services Camp. This week-long residential camp for teenage girls was a multi-agency collaboration between FRNSW, NSW Rural Fire Service and NSW State Emergency Service. In a unique research partnership, Monash University measured the impact on both the participants and the volunteers. (www.girlsonfire.com.au

In June 2019 Bronnie was awarded the Australian Fire Service Medal in the Queen’s Birthday honours for her contribution to the sector.

Bronnie is a Dual- International rugby union and rugby league player and played 17 test matches for Australia in the Wallaroos and Jillaroos between 1997-2007. Bronnie has a Bachelor in Sport Science and is currently studying working on her MBA. 

Phillipa McDermott
Lead - Indigenous Employment and Diversity
Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC)


Harleen Oberoi
Diversity and Workforce Planning Advisor
City of Sydney

Harleen is an award-winning talent and diversity specialist, skilled at partnering with C-Suite executives and integrating business strategies through people and organizational capabilities. Her approach is action-oriented with an ability to make the connection between human resource initiatives and improved bottom line business results.

For nearly the last decade Harleen has helped organizations combat barriers based on disability, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation and other differences with the aim of establishing a new, more productive organisation where everyone can bring their whole selves to work.

Harleen speaks at conferences as an inclusion strategist, cultural change catalyst and thought leader in the area of workforce planning to help organisations succeed by building more inclusive, fulfilling and productive workplaces.

She has been trained to administer Cultural Transformation Tools (CTT), a detailed and comprehensive cultural diagnostics and values assessment instrument. She also is trained in Neuroscience coaching strategies for leadership growth.

Specialties: Diversity & inclusion, Workforce Strategy and planning, Culture and Change, Organisational development

Rebecca Quinn
Director – People and Culture
Parks Victoria

Rebecca has been working in human resources for over 10 years and is a leader in organisational development, strategy and workforce planning across the public sector. She has an honours degree in psychology and master’s degree in business.  She enjoys partnering with stakeholders to reach their goals through best practice HR interventions. She has been Parks Victoria’s Director People and Culture since 2016.  

Rebecca’s current role oversees human resource delivery to around 1,200 employees across over 100 work centres throughout Victoria, to support Parks Victoria in building and retaining an engaged workforce to deliver world class park management. Rebecca is passionate about delivering talent solutions to Parks Victoria that build a high performing workforce to ensure business continuity while responding to emergencies and serving the community. 

In her time at Parks Victoria, Rebecca has led the delivery of a People Strategy and a Diversity and Inclusion Plan, to support Parks Victoria in having contemporary human resources practices so that they not only represent and are connected to the community that they serve, but are recognised for being an employer that truly inspires people to bring their best selves to work who deliver to the Victorian community.    

Most recently, Rebecca has led Cultivating Culture, Growing Together, a whole organisation activity to build on Parks Victoria’s existing culture to become high performing and enhance organisational effectiveness through a range of workshops and initiatives designed to empower and engage employees at all levels.  The program also included the launch of a Wellbeing Framework that concentrates on Healthy You – looking after yourself, Healthy Us – looking after each other and Safety First, with the overarching themes of Leadership, Caring for Country and Culture to ensure a safe and inclusive workplace for all.

Roman Ruzbacky
Diversity and Inclusion Lead
Emergency Services Telecommunications Authority (ESTA)

Roman Ruzbacky is an experienced diversity and inclusion manager and practitioner and former analytical chemist.Roman is the Diversity & Inclusion Lead at ESTA 000.

Roman passions lay in designing and implementing diversity and inclusion initiatives (including gender equity, racial equity, LGBTIQ, flexibility, accessibility and generational diversity) and bringing these to life to bring about real change. He has completed ten successful WGEA Employer of Choice for Gender Equality citations and was proudly part of the Barring Djinang 5 -year Aboriginal Employment Working Group and VPS Enablers Network.

At the core of the work is the belief that people should be treated with dignity and respect and have the ability to participate in all aspects of work and public life. Roman is a seasoned and passionate practitioner who delivers results and takes people with him on the journey to raise consciousness and build competency.

Zemeel Saba
Director – Culture, Leadership and Capability
LaTrobe University

Zemeel’s career spans as both as a General Manager and People and Culture and in Executive roles in local government, health and with statutory authorities. Zemeel is now focused on Culture, leadership and Capability strategy design and business partnering to systemically embed and enable culture reform that is underpinned by contemporary inclusivity projects and programs.

Zemeel authored the 2018-2022 La Trobe Culture Strategy, Diversity and Inclusion Plan and Gender equality blueprint.

Most recently Zemeel lead in the design of a new La Trobe Capability, High Capability and Succession planning frameworks and a new workforce strategy to align with the Universities’ Organisational reset due to COVID 19.

Andrea Smith
Senior Advisor – Culture, Diversity and Inclusion
Energy Queensland

Andrea is a passionate D&I practitioner with a career devoted to ensuring everyone can realise their potential.

Andrea is currently leading Energy Queensland’s diversity and inclusion work, focusing on sustained cultural change and tangible business results. Andrea built her expertise with a Masters in Strategic Organisational Development focusing heavily on D&I and she was recognised in 2018 as a finalist for the AHRI HR Diversity Champion Award.

Andrea also leads the Diversity Practitioners Association, a Queensland-based professional industry association committed to supporting change-makers to build and sustain diverse and inclusive organisations.

Jane Spring
Assistant Commissioner, Capability and Leadership Strategy
NSW Public Service Commission

Jane Spring is the Assistant Commissioner, Capability and Leadership Strategy Division. In her role at PSC, Jane is responsible for leading strategies in the areas of diversity and inclusion, leadership development, graduate recruitment, Aboriginal Employment, talent management and driving these aspects of workforce reform across the NSW Public Sector. Jane’s Division also ensures the legislative system architecture contained in the Government Sector Employment Act 2013 is fit for purpose and provides regulatory and workforce policy advice to the sector.

Jane is a deeply experienced senior executive in the NSW public sector and has held a wide variety of senior executive roles across a number of NSW government departments and sporting organisations including a period as the acting CEO of the NSW Institute of Sport and senior leadership positions with the Sydney Olympic Park Authority and the Sydney Organising Committee for the Olympic Games.

Jane has held board memberships with Western Sydney Local Health District, Venues NSW, University of Sydney Senate, Wheelchair Sports Australia and the Combat Sports Authority. Jane is a Fellow of the Governance Institute of Australia and the Australian Institute of Company Directors and is also an Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Public Administration and the University of Sydney. Jane is also Company Secretary for the Institute of Public Administration (NSW). Jane holds a Masters of Public Administration, Bachelor of Law and a Bachelor of Economics (Hons) from the University of Sydney.

Rev Lin Surch
Founder and Chief Executive Officer
Beyond Gender

Reverend Lin Surch is the founder and CEO at Beyond Gender; Australia’s national inclusion, belonging and well-being program. Beyond Gender provides best practice support to workplaces in all aspects of Interfaith Inclusion, LGBTQ+ Inclusion, well-being and belonging.

Lin holds extensive experience in LGBTQ+ workplace inclusion, gender diversity, access and inclusion, building resilience and psychological safety. She is known for her dynamic and engaging workplace inclusion workshops. Across her career, Lin has supported hundreds of organisations across Australia and the APAC region, where she has consulted on inclusion projects, built employee networks and facilitated thousands of workshops to tens of thousands of employees across the public and private sectors.

An ordained Interfaith Minister, Lin has lived experience on the intersectionality of diverse sexuality, gender and faith. Her practice in multi-faith and inter-spiritual inclusion at work incorporates the disciplines of psychology, neuroscience, organisational development, workplace diversity, education theory and cultural studies.

Lin lives in Sydney with her partner Tracey and their four beloved fur babies; Ruby, Theo, Meg and Jagar. In her down time, Lin loves to spend time with her beloved friends, and Ministers at Sydney Sacred Centre, Pitt Street Uniting Church. A trusted consultant and inclusive change agent, Lin contributes to many panels, conferences, podcasts and continues to influence leaders and corporate communities in Australia and across the globe as they navigate the ever-evolving world of diversity and inclusion. 

Peter Thorning 
Director, Regulatory Strategy and Board/ISSC Services
Office of Industrial Relations (Qld)

Peter is the Director, Regulatory Strategy and Board/ISSC Services at the Office of Industrial Relations (part of which is Workplace Health and Safety Queensland). This role has a key focus on the implementation of regulatory strategies across the business areas of OIR to ensure a modern and effective approach, including strong emphasis on risk-based and responsive regulation. Peter is responsible for leading and managing a small team to support the Regulator, the Work Health Safety Board and Industry Sector Standing Committees for OIR.

Peter is a Partner Investigator for the Australian National University led, and Australian Research Council funded, study “Working longer, staying health and keeping productive”. As part of this study, he led the survey research of medium to large businesses and organisations in Queensland, to better understand the beliefs and practices of Australian employers about older workers.

Superintendent David Tucker 
Commander – PoliceLink
Queensland Police Service

David is a Superintendent of Police with 38 years of policing experience in a variety of areas including general duties, child protection, youth justice, training, education, projects including sixteen years as a Commissioned officer serving as staff officer to the Assistant Commissioner, District Officer - Innisfail, District Officer - Redcliffe, Ethical Standards Command, and Policelink and Programs. During his time at Innisfail he was the District Disaster Co-ordinator for tropical cycle Yasi for the Innisfail Disaster District.  

In leading the Policelink non urgent contact centre for nearly five years he has been exposed to the challenges of delivering services which result in almost 2 million contacts per year.  David has a strong interest surrounding issues of inclusion and diversity which was validated during his studies for his Master of Education (Educational Leadership). 

In 2019 David was awarded an Exemplary Conduct Medal (Corporate) for the action he had taken in the QPS workplace surrounding inclusion and diversity, in particular with respect to LGBTQ+ inclusion.

Speaking opportunities are still available for Government Diversity & Inclusion Virtual Summit 2020

Introduce your company, showcase your leadership and demonstrate how you can help by speaking to this senior gathering of HR, Diversity & Inclusion, People & Culture, and Organisational Development executives across government sectors.

For sponsorship opportunities at Government Diversity & Inclusion Virtual Summit 2020, please contact Damien Yong on +61 (0)416 394 326 or email damieny@questevents.com.au

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Government Diversity & Inclusion Summit 2020