Tuesday 28 October 2019







We are excited to announce that we have now confirmed some amazing speakers who will be sharing their experiences and knowledge at our Conference. Read their full biographies below.

The program is now available, click here to view. Please note this is subject to change.

To register now, click here.



Simon Griffiths - Co-Founder, Who Gives a Crap

Simon is an engineer and economist turned social entrepreneur. In 2007, after turning down his dream job offer as a corporate high-flyer, he moved from Australia to South Africa to immerse himself in his true passion: development aid. There he discovered that the biggest problem faced by NGOs and social entrepreneurs is a lack of funding.

Driven by a passion to use business to give back, in 2010, Simon had the idea to start a toilet paper company that builds toilets in the developing world. In 2012, he launched Who Gives A Crap with a crowdfunding campaign, agreeing to sit on a toilet on a live webfeed until he had pre-sold the first $50,000 of toilet rolls. The multi-award winning launch attracted global media attention and generated over $1 million of PR value.

Since launching, Who Gives A Crap has tripled in size year-on-year, primarily relying on word-of-mouth to fuel its growth. In five years, Who Gives A Crap has donated more than $1 million.

Simon is also well known as the co-founder of Shebeen, a non-profit bar in Melbourne’s CBD that opened in February 2013 and ran for 3.5 years. Shebeen sold exotic beer and wine from the developing world, with 100% of the profit from each sale going to a development project in that drink’s country of origin.

Simon is one of Australia’s most prominent social entrepreneurs. His work has been covered by countless media outlets around the world, including The Huffington Post, MTV and The Stanford Social Innovation Review.

Simon has led the way in his field and will share his thoughts on the importance of being bold!


Jason Clarke - Founder, Minds at Work

Celebrated author, adventurer, gold medal Olympian and popular TV chef; Jason Clarke is none of these things.

He is, however, one of the most sought-after creative minds in the country, but he thinks of himself a Plumber of the Mind, the guy you go to when your head gets clogged.

As founder of Minds at Work, he’s been helping people ‘think again’ since the end of the last century, working with clients across Australia in virtually every industry and government sector on issues ranging from creativity and trouble shooting to culture change and leadership.

His mission? To help people think. His vision? A future that works. He doesn’t know what he’ll be doing in 2020 but he’s open to suggestions.

Jason will speak to us about the importance of Embracing Change



Liz Van Vliet - Host, Being Indispensable

Liz help’s Executive Assistants be perceived as indispensable by developing their strategic thinking and eadership skills and improving their ‘power’ (often referred to as ‘soft’) skills.

Liz came to the role of Executive Assistant following a successful career in sales and marketing working for blue-chip companies such as IBM in Australia and North America. After an enforced career break due to Breast Cancer treatment I successfully applied for an Executive Assistant role operating under the delusion that it would be the perfect “all care and no responsibility” role to help ease me back into paid employment.

Also the host of Being Indispensable, a podcast that started as a way for Liz to find
inspiration and to help make sense of the challenges that the role of Executive Assistant was presenting her with.

Liz will be sharing a case study titled Leading through Change. 

Click to read the full biography.


Jane Jackson - International Career Management Coach

Jane Jackson is an international Career Management Coach, Speaker, and Podcast Host on a mission to make careers guidance accessible to all who need it. Author of #1 Amazon Bestseller, Navigating Career Crossroads, and Host of “Your Career” Podcast (awarded Top 20 Career Podcast globally by Feedspot).

Having worked in Hong Kong, San Francisco, London, Singapore and now Sydney, Jane has a background in public relations, FMCG, fitness, education and coaching. She has spent the past 19 years coaching her clients to confidently take control of their careers and create a dream role that is personally satisfying and rewarding.

Jane will speak on the topic of Resilience- How to avoid emotional burnout

Click to read the full biography


Tamsin Simounds - The Edge co-founder and head of coaching and leadership

Tamsin is a certified Modern Psychology Practitioner and Leadership Strategist, helping Australasia’s top leaders achieve transformational change. Tamsin has upended conventional wisdom about what it takes to become an impactful leader, allowing leaders to put away the rule book and lead with an open mind and courageous heart.
While the rest of the world is encouraging leaders to ‘be more confident’ and unknowingly provoking self doubt, Tamsin shatters the myth that you need to be more confident and instead gives leaders the permission to focus on the innate value they bring to the table.
On top of ten years of experience in corporate leadership, Tamsin is highly trained in leadership strategy, modern psychology, and emotional intelligence. She is tertiary qualified and holds a long list of certifications including Diplomas in Modern Psychology, Management and Leadership, as well as being a Master practitioner of Neurolinguistic Programming and Clinical Hypnotherapy.


Amy Chandler - Co-Founder, The Edge

With more than ten years’ experience as a media adviser and public relations manager working across PR, media, government and public affairs, Amy’s strategic communications advice and services have been utilised by some of Australia’s most senior decision makers including federal ministers and CEOs.

Amy has attracted millions of dollars worth of PR coverage and has managed public relations for two of South Australia’s most iconic tourism attractions. She has grown and managed social media accounts with over 250,000 followers and her communications strategy has generated hundreds of thousands of dollars through email campaigns, won awards and grant submissions.

Once described by a former employer “as the most relentlessly positive person you’re ever likely to meet”, Amy is an energetic speaker and regularly consults and speaks for a diverse range of clients about PR, building your brand as a leader, and what it takes to increase your impact and influence in 2019.

She’s also a freelance writer for publications like


Ron Gibson - Founder of Go Networking

A speaker, writer, mentor and coach Ron founded Go Networking in 1994 with a mission to help business owners, professionals and consultants get more clients, more consistently, more often. Each year, Ron delivers more than 200 seminars, workshops and keynotes all over the country. And all his presentations deliver pure, practical, tactical and actionable content. Importantly, he shows you how change your habits around networking, referrals, advocacy and relationships from the traditional “I know that” to the 21st century “how good am I at that?’’ Ron ‘walks the talk’.

He has built his own successful business exclusively from the strategies and habits he’s going to share with you today. If you want more referrals, more clients and more business listen up. Ron has real-world answers and insights that will make an big difference to your business winning success


Douja Elhajj - Principal Mediator at Insight Dispute Resolution (IDR)

Douja has post‑graduate qualifications both locally and internationally, in human behavioural therapy, psychology and science. Douja is an expert in the field of Mediation and Dispute Resolution, assisting individuals in dispute for more than 16 years.

Douja specialises in mediation involving complex legal and interpersonal matters. Her philosophy is to avoid a “quick fix” and to find sustainable solutions to improve relationships, whether working, familial, interpersonal or commercial.

Douja believes that “by understanding ourselves, how we relate to others, and our motivations ‑ we can break down barriers of misunderstanding and the possibility of conflict, to be able to move forward”.

Douja will be facilitating our Workshop on day 2, ‘Managing conflict within the workplace’.



Lydia Hart - Executive Assistant & Leader of Business Support, Roy Hill Holdings

Lydia has over 20 years of experience in the mining and resources industry as an Executive Assistant for Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director level positions. She was a finalist for the CEO Magazine 2018 Executive Assistant of the Year Award and Winner of Australian Institute Office Professionals (AIOP) WA Division – 2017 Office Professional of the Year Award.

Some of Lydia’s numerous achievements include driving culture and business improvement by building effective relationships between management and employees and creating, sourcing and leading large business administration teams, ensuring business goals were effectively supported.

Lydia is passionate about fostering a sense of teamwork and collaboration across organisations and providing mentoring and coaching assistance to individuals.

Lydia is currently Executive Assistant to the CEO and Leader of Business Support at Roy Hill Holdings and will be joining one of our panel discussions at the Conference.


Maria Wallace - Executive Assistant to Harriet Elvin, CEO Cultural Facilities Corporation

With over twenty-five years’ experience, Maria is in her ideal profession. She provides Executive Assistant support for her CEO Harriet Elvin, the management team, and also the governing Board of the Cultural Facilities Corporation in the ACT Government. Last year marked the ten year anniversary of this executive and assistant partnership.

Previous roles include in the legal sector, statistics and Defence within Federal Government, as well as recruitment, team engagement, and learning and development in the private sector. In her present role, Maria is able to pursue her passion – and promote – all things ‘arts and culture’ in Canberra!

In her role as the ACT President of the Australian Institute of Office Professionals (AIOP), Maria looks forward to continuing to work with the passionate Canberra team, promoting the further recognition of all in the office professional community, and growing and developing the network here in Canberra.

Maria will be joining one of our panel discussions at the Conference.


Ashley Wright - CEO, GHD

Ashley’s career spans 28 years of professional experience across Australia, South Africa, Botswana, Namibia and the UK. Ashley has been an Executive Director of GHD Pty Ltd since 2013 and was appointed Chief Executive Officer of the Group in April 2016. He is responsible to the Board for the performance of GHD, including implementation of the strategy and business plan.

Most recently Ashley was the General Manager Europe, Middle East & Africa, as well as holding responsibility for Strategy, Marketing & Brand Communication and Operational Support. Prior to this he was State Manager Western Australia. He completed the London Business School Advanced Management Program in 2015, is a Graduate Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, and was an Executive Member of Consult Australia – Western Australia Division from 2003 to 2016.

From 2006 to 2013 Ashley was a founding director of the ROADS Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation tasked with building capacity in the road construction and maintenance industry through the development of underprivileged youths in regional Western Australia.


Lily North - Executive Services Manager, Halikos Group & AIOP NT President

Lily’s genuine passion for professional development and ability to leverage her strategic connections has been the secret weapon that has seen the Australian Institute of Office Professionals (AIOP) NT Division transform to one of the fastest growing Divisions in Australia and a formidable presence on the professional membership scene.

Lily’s boundless energy and drive along with her diverse skills and experience are well utilised in her role at the Halikos Group which is a multi-faceted company with interests across seven industries as diverse as development, construction, real estate and retail. Lily is the Executive Assistant to the Managing Director and Marketing Manager, and is proud to be part of a Territory owned and operated business employing almost 400 people. Lily is also the Chair of the Halikos Helping Hands committee which is a staff run group that raises money for local charities.

Lily’s received national recognition in 2017, when Lily was a finalist in the CEO Magazine Executive of the Year Awards, Executive Assistant category. In 2016, Lily was the Runner Up in the Executive PA Magazine Excellence Awards, ‘Up and Coming’ Category.

Click to read the full biography


Karen Tighe - Master of Ceremonies

Karen has been a regular face and voice of ABC TV and radio sport since joining the ABC in 1989.

After completing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications and Psychology at Macquarie University in Sydney, Karen spent eight years as a TV sports broadcaster and presenter, anchoring golf, tennis and other major sporting broadcasts on the ABC network.

Karen is an excellent master of ceremonies who regularly hosts major conferences, corporate and sporting functions.