Conference Day One

Conference Day One

07 August 2019

Click here for Day Two

Click here for Pre-Conference In-depth Learning Session

08:30     Registration and morning refreshments

08:50     Opening remarks from the Chair

Naomi KnightAlchemist & StrategistNaomi Knight Australia


09:00     Opening Keynote Address: Australia's progress in achieving a world where all people are equal in dignity and rights

This session will reflect on the need to promote equality and inclusiveness in Australian society. Our inspiring keynote speaker is an award-winning Global Diversity and Inclusion Strategist and Social Justice Advocate, who is addressing social disadvantage across government, business, not-for-profit as well as educational institutions in Africa, Australia, United Kingdom and USA.

Fadzi Whande, Global Diversity and Inclusion Strategist

09:30    Keynote Address and Q&A: Fostering greater inclusiveness in the Australian Government workforce

In this interactive Q&A, The Hon. Michael Kirby AC CMG, Former Justice of the High Court of Australia and member of the UN Human Rights Council will address diversity and inclusion issues including:

  • LGBTIQ – does it really make a difference in the workplace?
  • Do changes of government bring different attitudes to diversity issues?
  • The glass ceiling – what’s improved?
  • Stress, pressure, quality of life, suicide – the effects of a toxic working environment

The Hon. Michael Kirby AC CMGFormer Justice of the High Court of Australia

10:00     Keynote Address: Improving diversity and inclusion in government to empower and benefit from Indigenous ways of knowing and doing

Shanell Gadd, Senior Diversity Adviser, Australian Government Department of Veterans' Affairs

10:30     Morning Tea

11:00     Preventing Gendered Violence and Championing Gender Equality in the Workplace

  • How do we talk to our people about gender equality?
  • How do we address the drivers of gender-based violence in the workplace?
  • What are the best strategies to create a meaningful and actionable gender equality action plan?
  • How do we empower our community to champion gender equality?

Jayde de Bondt, Manager, Diversity & Inclusion, North Melbourne Football Club

11:30     Case Study: Missing piece of the Puzzle – Workplace English Classes

This session focuses on Wesley Mission Queensland’s initiatives on creating and managing educational and linguistic programs that reduce diversity and cultural barriers within the local community and the wider organisation

Bilge Ozgun, Diversity & Inclusion Lead - People and Culture, Wesley Mission Queensland

12:00     Keynote Panel Discussion: Creating deep cultural change - promoting diversity-mindedness and inclusion mindedness throughout the public sector

  • How can you develop an organisational approach to diversity and inclusion that truly leads to cultural change?
  • How can you change cultural prejudices we might not even be aware of?
  • Diversity isn’t just about the numbers - it’s about a culture of inclusion. What has to happen to change an entire working culture?
  • What are some of the best strategies for embedding D&I practices in every day work, making sure it is not just window dressing
  • Helping migrant, refugee, asylum seeker background executives overcoming cultural challenges in seeking employment

Panel Moderator:

Naomi Knight, Alchemist & Strategist, Naomi Knight Australia


Fadzi Whande, Global Diversity and Inclusion Strategist

Jo MuirheadFounder and Principal Consultant, Purpleco

Susan Pettifer, Director Workforce & Information Services, City of Sydney


12:45     Lunch and networking break

13:45     Interactive Round Table: Going beyond the social good wash – how to walk your talk and truly achieve the outcome of greater diversity and social inclusion in government

Diversity and inclusion policies and training programs can be popular, but if they are not developed and implemented correctly this can result in organisations looking like they’re just ticking a box without actually achieving much at all. What does it mean to really implement diversity and inclusion? How can organisations best create a space that is truly inclusive of and promotes equal participation of a diverse workforce? This interactive round table session will call upon all delegates’ knowledge and experience of what makes D&I programs really work for their workforce.


Yvonne Lewandowski, Diversity, Inclusion & Development Lead, Urban Utilities

Hema Raman, Senior Lawyer, Market Infrastructure, Australian Securities and Investments Commission

Sunila Kotwal, Diversity & Inclusion Manager, White Ribbon Foundation Australia

14:30     Panel discussion: Fostering a mentally healthy government workforce

  • What are the hallmarks of a mentally healthy workplace?
  • Empowering managers and employees to work together to build inclusive cultures and effective systems for promoting mental health in the Australian Public Service
  • Making reasonable adjustments where necessary
  • Technical interventions - improved processes and procedures, including early intervention
  • Cultural interventions - attitudinal and behavioural changes, such as understanding and connecting with employees
  • Supporting your workforce to communicate effectively about their mental health – creating a positive non-stigmatic work culture
  • Managing mental health conditions within their medically defined parameters

Panel Moderator:

Naomi Knight, Alchemist & Strategist, Naomi Knight Australia:


Harleen Oberoi, Diversity & Workforce Planning Advisor, City of Sydney

Silven SimmonsSenior Director of People, Safety & PerformanceQueensland Health

Winitha Bonney, Thought Leader in the future of work and women of colour in leadership

Tammy PopeSenior Consultant, Diversity and Inclusion & Indigenous Talent Management, Brisbane City Council

15:15     Afternoon tea


15:45     Progressing and engaging women of colour and multicultural communities in government

  • How government can close the double glass cultural ceiling for women of colour in leadership
  • Improving multicultural representation in Australia’s public sector
  • Building executive leadership programs to empower misrepresented, yet highly skilled and capable people

Winitha Bonney, Thought Leader in the future of work and women of colour in leadership

16:15     Invisible disabilities and self-disclosure in the workplace

  • The issues, motivations, opportunities and attitudes to eliminating the barriers for people with invisible disabilities in the work environment
  • How organisations can create a workplace culture in which people with invisible disabilities feel comfortable to disclose and seek support to become productive participants
  • Leading local and global case studies overcoming these issues

Allana BianchiManager, Workforce Futures and InclusionPublic Service Commission, Queensland

Janice Rieger, Associate ProfessorQueensland University of Technology

17:00     Closing remarks from the chair and end of Day One

17:10     Networking drinks

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Government Diversity & Inclusion Summit 2019