We're pleased to announce a selection of our speakers for this years conference:
Adam Black

Adam provides strategic financial advice to the department's executive; overall leadership to the department's finance functions and has responsibilities under section 77 of the Financial Accountability Act 2009 (QLD).


Adam has nearly 25 years' experience in the Queensland Public Sector and has been the department's Chief Finance Officer since 2009. Prior to Adam's appointment in DET, he served as Chief Finance Officer in another Queensland government department. During his time with DET, Adam has also worked in senior finance roles in both regional and central offices within DET. Adam is a Fellow Certified Practicing Accountant and a Chartered Accountant.

No Presentation Available.

Steve Brown

As an Innovation Manager within the Innovation Lab at CBA, Steve helps to inspire staff, customers, clients and partners; and bring their ideas to life.

Working hands on, Steve and the wider Innovation Lab team provide expertise in Design Thinking, rapid prototyping and user-experience testing; either leading pieces of work or being a part of multi-disciplinary team.

Amongst other things, Steve is looking at a discovery collaboration between CBA and a global technology manufacturing company, and the future of agriculture with the ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT).

Since joining CBA in 2011, Steve has looked to bring a customer centred, innovative head space to an environment that is highly regulated and traditionally risk averse in nature. Whether redesigning the phone experience when calling CBA, or re-imagining how people financially look after their families overseas, Steve relishes the opportunity to tackle complex challenges that are solving the right customer problem.

Wayne Cannon

As State Actuary, Wayne leads a small team of professionals providing actuarial advice to Government Departments and agencies.  He is scheme actuary to QSuper and the Long Service Leave Central Scheme, advising the governing Boards on funding and risk management.  Wayne is also a member of the Long Term Asset Advisory Board, which oversees the Government’s superannuation assets, as well as the Qld Government Insurance Fund Governance Committee.

Wayne has been in the role since 2001, except for a stimulating two years as Principal Actuary at the World Bank in Washington DC.  Apart from a brief stint with PricewaterhouseCoopers in London, he has worked the vast majority of his career in the public sector, spending several years in the State Actuary’s Office and the Queensland Government Statistician’s Office, after commencing his career at the Australian Bureau of Statistics in Canberra.

Wayne holds a Bachelor of Science with First Class Honours, a Graduate Diploma in Applied Finance and Investment, is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries of Australia.

No Presentation Available At This Stage

Marty Conneely

Marty is a director at Aginic.  Born and bred in Brisbane, Marty started his career at EY and worked as a Chartered Accountant across risk and performance services.  Now at Aginic Marty is able to combine analytics with this background and bring real insight to organisations through data driven techniques. 

More recently, as part of Aginic, Marty has worked to help organisations quantify risk and improve the controls within their business through data.

Li Cunxin

Li Cunxin's (Lee Schwin Sing's) journey is simply remarkable.  He was born into utter poverty in Mao's Communist China and at a very young age was selected to train at Madame Mao's Beijing Dance Academy.  So began Li's journey

The 7 years of harsh training regime at the Beijing Dance Academy taught him discipline, resilience, determination and perseverance.  Li's astounding drive and relentless work made him one of the best dancers in the world

Li then made a successful career transition from ballet into finance. He was a senior manager at one of the largest stockbroking firms in Australia.  Li served on the boards of the Bionics Institute, The Australian Ballet and Councillor of the Australian Council for the Arts.  He was awarded a Doctorate by the Australian Catholic University for his contribution in Dance and Literature and was named 2009 Australian Father of the Year.  Li was recently awarded Queensland Australian of The Year in 2014.  Li is the Artistic Director of Queensland Ballet.

The inspirational story of Li's life is recounted in his memoir Mao's Last Dancer, which quickly rose to number one on the Australian bestseller list and won the Book of the Year Award in Australia and received the Christopher Award for literature in the USA.  It went on to become an international bestseller.  It's in the 52nd reprint . Mao's Last Dancer is now a blockbuster film.

Li's experiences are real; his journey is incredible; his story is true and he is the living example of overcome adversity and achieving excellence in life.

No Presentation Available.
Audrey Dawson

Audrey Dawson is Director of Super Confidence, author of “Holy Crap! Where’s My Super Gone?! Self-Managed Super Made Simple” and regular columnist for My Making Money Magazine.  Super Confidence provides educational, compliance advice and audit services to the self-managed super fund industry. Audrey is a CPA with over 25 years experience with the last few years in the self-managed super fund industry and in particular auditing funds.  What she found was a very complex and complicated area and could see first hand the issues that represent hurdles to people having the confidence to proactively manage their own super fund.  There is so much technical jargon and the government keeps changing the rules being a couple of those hurdles.

There is a lot of information out there and Audrey wanted to try and provide a no nonsense, easy to understand, basic guide as to what those with a self-managed super fund, or those thinking of investing in one, really needed to know about their super fund.

So, being a frustrated teacher,  she wrote  “Holy Crap! Where’s My Super Gone?  Self-Managed Super Made Simple”  which gives you the basics  that enable those that either have a self-managed super fund, or are thinking of investing in one,  to ask the right questions and learn more  about their  fund so that they will never have to utter those words.

Audrey loves empowering people with knowledge, as she truly believes that builds confidence.  Confidence to have control not only of their super fund, but their lives and ultimately their retirement. 

·        What don’t you know?

·        What would you like to know?

·        What should you know?

Audrey can answer all those questions for you.



Justine Eden

Justine has over 23 years recruitment industry experience, and has operated her own recruitment business for over 19 years assisting high profile Government and Commercial organisations to win the war for talent. As both a recruiter and business owner and with a proven track record in a highly competitive marketplace, Justine has a reputation for outcomes, service levels and adding value.


Her clients will attest to her contribution to many critical recruitment projects in challenging situations – and because of this, regularly refer her services to others. The sustained growth in Eden Ritchie Recruitment and brand reputation are a reflection of the core values underpinning the business – these include honesty, integrity, ethics and responsiveness – to BOTH candidates and employers.


Justine has recruited across all aspects of Executive Search and Selection projects in health, accounting and finance, corporate services including HR and operational and general management. As a well-connected executive recruiter Justine has established networks locally and internationally to draw upon, this has played a key role in the establishment of a specialised Health Recruitment division within Eden Ritchie Recruitment. Justine holds a Bachelor of Commerce with an Accounting major and is a member of the AICD.

Greg Edmonds

Greg is the Managing Director of Charles Kendall Australia and has over 20 years’ of valued experience. Charles Kendall Australia was recently established after the rebranding of Project Procure, of which Greg founded in September 2006 and was CEO.

Greg’s key areas of expertise include procurement, contract management, negotiations and dispute management, probity advice and auditing, strategic sourcing, project management, training and cost reduction. Additionally, Greg has experience in human resource management and that experience combined with procurement experience has provided a unique set of skills ideal for developing and delivering training.

Greg has studied at Harvard University Executive Business School, the University of Sydney and is a qualified in procurement and contract management as well as being certified in training and assessment. Greg gained his experience from fulfilling senior management roles within Australian companies such as Woolworth’s Ltd, J.J. Richards & Sons and ENERGEX and more recently providing consultancy services internationally. Greg has provided services to government agencies, government owned corporations and the mining, oil and gas sectors.


Peter Ellyard

Dr Peter Ellyard is Australia’s most prominent futurist. He is also a strategist, speaker and author. Peter is particularly known for his highly original, challenging and inspirational ideas on shaping the future, and for his motivational addresses on future-making.
Peter is a graduate of Sydney University and of Cornell University (Ph.D). He is currently Chairman of the Preferred Futures Institute, which he founded in 1991, where he assists individuals, families, organisations, communities and nations to chart and implement visions and strategies to ensure success in an emerging, twenty-first century integrated, interdependent, global society.
Peter has a distinguished record in public sector leadership and administration, including three years as Executive Director for the Australian Commission for the Future. He held CEO positions in a number of public sector organizations over 15 years, including two associated with environment and planning and one with industry and technology, and was also Chief of Staff of the Office of Environment Ministers in Canberra for three years. He is Adjunct Professor of Intergenerational Strategies at Curtin University, and is a Fellow of the Australian College of Educators, the Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand and the Australian Institute of Management. He has been a Senior Adviser to the United Nations system for more than 40 years, and was involved in the 1992 Earth Summit as a Senior Advisor on both the climate change and the biodiversity conventions. In his other work for the UN system he has been a senior consultant to the UNEP, UNDP and UNESCO.

Peter is the author of three books: Ideas for the New Millennium (1998, 2001), Designing 2050: Pathways to Sustainable Prosperity on Spaceship Earth (2008), and Destination 2050: A Concepts Bank and Toolkit for Future-makers (2013).

David Fagan

David Fagan is director of corporate transition and an adjunct professor of business at Queensland University of Technology, where he runs the “Real World Futures” program.

He was editor and editor-in-chief of Queensland’s major newspaper The Courier-Mail for a decade and was News Corp's editorial director in Queensland before joining QUT.


Hon Shannon Fentiman MP

Shannon Fentiman is Queensland’s Minister for Communities, Women and Youth, Minister for Child Safety and Minister for Multicultural Affairs.

Shannon is committed to social justice and throughout her career has worked to improve the lives of working people. She has also worked in a voluntary capacity for community groups that support women and families in need.

Shannon has been a board member of the Logan Women’s Health and Wellbeing Centre, Secretary of the Centre Against Sexual Violence in Logan and the Duty Solicitor at the Beenleigh Neighbourhood Centre.

Shannon’s own community experience underpins her commitment to reinvigorating the community and non-government sector and genuine collaboration to support Queensland’s most vulnerable. A critical priority for Shannon is tackling domestic and family violence and violence against women more broadly, and she plays a key role in the Palaszczuk Government’s urgent efforts to end violence.

Shannon holds a Bachelor of Laws (First Class Hons) from QUT and a Master of Laws from Melbourne University. She was admitted as a Legal Practitioner in 2007.

Prior to her election to the Queensland Parliament as the Member for Waterford, Shannon worked as an employment lawyer in Beenleigh. She was also a Judge’s Associate in the Supreme Court of Queensland to her Honour Justice Atkinson.

No Presentation Available.

Damien Foley

Damien Foley is Relationship Manager-QLD/NT for the Indigenous Accountants Australia initiative. A Gumbaynggirr man, Damien has had a professional career as an accountant in both public practice and commercial after completing his Bachelor of Commerce at University of Newcastle. He later joined the family business and has been involved in the Indigenous business sector since his role as Treasurer of the South East Queensland Indigenous Chamber of Commerce in 2010.


Damien has spoken at various conferences and seminars around Australia on the subject of Indigenous business and accounting including Yulkum Jerrang in Melbourne, Aboriginal Enterprise in Mining Energy and Exploration in Perth, Reconciliation Week Business Seminars in Brisbane, ASIC Indigenous Financial and Commercial Literacy Workshop in Darwin and most recently the Indigenous Accounting and Business Conference in Melbourne.

David Hardidge

David has extensive experience in technical support functions of large accounting firms providing accounting advice and insights on Australian accounting standards and International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS and AIFRS) and external financial reporting requirements in the private and public sectors.
David’s advice has included acquisitions and disposals of businesses (buy-side and sell-side transactions), IPOs, business reorganisations, infrastructure and public-private partnership (PPP) projects, revenue recognition, purchase-price allocations (PPAs), debt / equity financial instrument classifications, leasing, share-based payments, and tax effect accounting.
David’s current focus is on the new revenue standard (IFRS 15 and AASB 15) and its implications for the private and public sectors.

No Presentation Available At This Stage.
Gerard Kerr

With 20 years of experience, an enviable network, and an intimate understanding of market trends, Gerard Kerr has delivered many of Queensland’s high-level leadership recruitment projects.

Gerard has expertise in leading and managing complex and challenging search assignments across all sectors. He has a keen focus on aligning executive talent with business strategy and culture in order to enhance an organisational performance.

Having assisted many Queensland brands to build their boards and executive leadership teams, Gerard has also contributed to the development of some of the most effective long-range talent acquisition strategies employed by organisations today.

Gerard applies behavioural economic principles and performance-based hiring methodologies to deliver long-term successful outcomes for his clients. He is responsible for developing Kingston Human Capital’s patented needs analysis tools and talent mapping technology.

Gerard is the Executive Director of Strategic Search at Kingston Human Capital and is a founding partner.

A passionate advocate of the Queensland Public Sector, he believes Queensland Government deserves access to the best and brightest talent the market has to offer. His core mission is to help great leaders build great teams.


Kathy Kostyrko

Kathy has had a career in the recruitment industry in Australia and New Zealand spanning over many years, the last 21 years of which have been with Hays. Her roles within Hays have been at a senior executive level, either locally based, nationally or internationally. Currently Kathy is responsible for Hays’ public sector business across Australia as well as presenting our white papers to clients and industry groups on employment-related issues.


Kathy is currently on the Board of the Canberra Business Chamber and the Board of CIT Solutions. She is also a Member of the Governance Committee of the Institute of Public Administration Australia in the ACT, and is a mentor to their Young Professional Network Council.


Kathy is a passionate advocate for gender equity and has been presenting on our survey results on this issue to many audiences around Australia.


Susan Middleditch

Susan Middleditch joined Queensland Health in May 2012, and has held a number of roles with the organisation. Prior to being announced as the Deputy Director-General of Corporate Services Division in October 2015, Susan served as Chief Executive at Health Support Queensland for just over 12 months, and as Deputy Director-General for System Support Services for over two years.
Susan has proven professional expertise in driving change and transformation in high performing organisations. As a Certified Practicing Accountant, Susan has extensive financial and business experience. She also possesses high level experience in strategic planning, risk management, human resource policy development and commercial finance.
Prior to this role, Susan served as the Chief Finance Officer at the Queensland Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation. Susan successfully merged nine Queensland Government agencies into one cohesive and efficient department.
Susan’s professional expertise is extensive and has been brought together through both public and private experience. Susan was appointed to her first Chief Finance Officer role at the age of 25 for the Commonwealth Department of Employment Education and Training in Canberra. She has worked with New Zealand Treasury where she was responsible for assisting organisations such as Air New Zealand and New Zealand Rail Corporation to strategically change and grow their business. She also lived and worked on Norfolk Island where she led the transition of a five-star holiday resort from construction to operations.
Susan holds a bachelor of business degree with a major in accounting, is a Fellow of CPA Australia, and a graduate of Australian Institute of Company Directors, Australia and New Zealand School of Government and the Institute of Strategic Leadership. Susan attended the Harvard Driving Government Performance Executive Education Program in 2014 after being awarded the Sir James Wolfensohn Public Service Scholarship – a prestigious award only offered to three public servants across Australia each year. In 2014, Susan was a finalist in both the Premier’s Awards for Excellence (in the Excellence in Leadership category) and the Queensland Health Awards for Excellence for her work on cultural performance development programs within the Department of Health.

No Presentation Available.


Jim Murphy

Mr Jim Murphy commenced as Under Treasurer on 1 June 2015.

Formerly a senior executive with the ANZ Bank, Mr Murphy is an outstanding senior policy executive and respected government leader. Before his role with the ANZ Bank, Mr Murphy was Deputy Secretary in the Federal Treasury for more than a decade and also held a number of senior executive positions in the Commonwealth Departments of Treasury, Attorney-General and Finance. 

His distinguished career also includes a role as an advisor with the International Monetary Fund in Washington DC, and for a short period he worked as Chief of Staff in the Office of the Prime Minister.  Mr Murphy was also awarded a Public Service Medal for his strategic economic advice that formed the government’s response to the global financial crisis.

Des Pearson

Des Pearson’s public sector career spans over 40 years and across five jurisdictions. He has more than thirty years’ experience at senior, chief executive and statutory officer levels. Des has primarily worked in governance, financial and program management, performance evaluation and accountability roles, including more than 21 years as an Auditor-General of Western Australia (1991-2006) and Victoria (2006-2012).  He currently works as a non-executive Director and advisor on public sector governance, accountability and performance reporting.


Roger Perry

Roger is one of the region’s foremost productivity improvement and organisational design experts. He has been an Assignment Director and Steering Committee member on over 40 transformation programs.
He has provided productivity improvement services for many of Asia Pacific’s most respected companies and institutions including: AMCOR; GE Money; Graincorp; ME Bank; nab; Royal Flying Doctors’ Service; Shell; Telstra; University of Melbourne; Westpac and World Vision.
Roger believes it is not possible to run a transformation services consultancy without being actively involved in a range of client assignments: this being one of the best ways to stay in touch with leading practices and market trends.
Roger has also published widely on productivity improvement and restructuring in publications such as CEO Magazine, Management Today, Retail World, Marketing Magazine, and The Institute Journal.


John Peters

John is a Director (Economics) in Global Markets Research and is responsible for communicating the bank’s views to clients on trends in the Australian and international economies as well as the likely effect on interest rates and currency markets. In John’s capacity as a senior economist in Global Markets Research, he is a regular conference presenter and media commentator on major economic developments and issues.

John has been involved in financial markets for over 25 years and joined the Commonwealth Bank in 2003. John previously worked as a Senior International Economist at Westpac and as Chief Economist at CIBC Australia, and Midland International Australia Ltd.

John has also worked as a senior economic policy adviser in the Commonwealth Public Service in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, and the Federal Treasury. He has also spent time working as an economics writer on the Australian Financial Review and Dow Jones Telerate newswire.


Steve Shepard

With over 25 years of recruitment experience working across Australia and Asia Steve Shepherd is an Employment Market Analyst and is considered a recruitment industry Thought Leader.


In his role with Randstad Australia Steve has sales and operational responsibility for Randstads Professional recruitment businesses as well as Group Public Affairs across the Region


He is a Board Member of the International Confederation of Private Employment Agents (Ciett) as well as the former President and a Life Member of the Recruitment and Consulting and Service Association of Australia and New Zealand (RCSA).


Steve is a trained speaker and has spoken at conferences and consulted to organisations across Australia and Asia on topics such as the aging workforce, employment diversity, work life balance, disability employment, unemployment trends, flexibility in the workforce and the changing nature of work. He is also a regular guest commentator in the media and on Sky Business presenting insights on employment trends in the Australian and international workforce.


Bruce Sullivan

Bruce is one of Australia’s most dynamic and sought after keynote speakers and is a proven performer in achieving results through people for over 28 years. 

A relationship specialist, his practical, hands on experience is based on working in both the community and business. He is a father of two and he currently balances this with being a Director of nine private companies. 

His unique understanding of our ability to relate to one another in the workplace and at home, combined with his practical experience in the worlds of sport, business and home set his work apart and gives a very practical and timely insight into the human side of the corporate environment. 

He brings to the professional speaking environment a diverse and successful career. Managing his own businesses since his teens, he has confirmed his business acumen in the areas of retailing, service, wholesale operations and real estate. By age 24 he had established his own million-dollar network of businesses. 

Voted the Keynote Speaker of the Year by the National Speakers Association of Australia, Bruce will engage and inspire you to do what it takes to be the best that you can possibly be in a world where change is constant and relationships are fragile.


Brett Thebault

Brett is a director at Aginic, a specialist Business Intelligence consultancy based in Brisbane. Originally from the UK, he has a math’s background and worked with a niche analytics company in London for 6 years prior to moving to Brisbane to set-up the Ernst & Young Analytics team in 2011.

Brett and Marty then span-off Aginic in 2014 to focus on the rapid moving trends in BI in Queensland and across Australia. Brett specialises in using data to help improve performance and reduce costs for organisations and works across a broad range of industries including Health, Government and Commercial.


Robert Thorley

Robert is a principal advisor and subject matter expert for Government banking at Queensland Treasury. He has a strong background in strategy and business analysis and has advised departments, statutory bodies and local authorities in the payments, e-commerce, organisational improvement and technology space. 


Robert provides a thought-provoking focus on using innovation to reduce complexity. Prior to joining QT, Robert worked at Brisbane City Council and Queensland Transport and earned degrees in decision-making systems at Queensland University of Technology and psychological science at the University of Queensland.


Jamie Towers

Jamie Towers is the Taxation Partner with Hanrick Curran, a large, independent accounting firm based in Brisbane.  Jamie leads Hanrick Curran's Tax Consulting Division and has been providing taxation advice to a diverse range of clients from family businesses to listed corporates for over 20 years.  


Jamie works closely with Hanrick Curran's clients to simplify taxation obligations and to create tax effective structures and solutions for businesses and their owners. Jamie advises corporate and family groups to help them achieve their asset protection, wealth creation and inter-generational goals. His years of experience combined with his presenting and training experience allows Jamie to take the complexity out of taxation and to explain the issues to clients in a simple manner.


Jamie regularly presents at seminars internationally and in Australia on taxation topics for various professional bodies including Chartered Accountants Australia & New Zealand CAANZ in Australia and the Taxation Institute of Australia.   He is a fellow of Chartered Accountants Australia & New Zealand and is a Chartered Tax advisor.


Jamie likes to challenge the ‘boring accountant’ stereotype.  He loves adventure and among many things, he has trekked to Everest Base Camp, climbed Mt Kilimanjaro, white water rafted on the Nile and kayaked around icebergs in Antarctica.  His passions are travel (a goal to visit 100 countries in his lifetime) and keeping fit by participating in triathlons and in November 2015 he is running the New York marathon and raising funds as part of Team Heart Foundation.


Helen Wootton

Helen Wootton is currently the Director Land Tax within the Queensland Office of State Revenue.  Helen has held a number of roles since joining the Office of State Revenue as Director of the Payroll, Strategy and Business Intelligence Divisions.   


Helen has a passion for business process improvement and has been instrumental in effecting change in these divisions, leading to more effective and efficient business processes.  Prior to joining OSR, Helen managed the DET ICT Program Office, and led business improvement units and was Quality Manager for the Brisbane Institute of TAFE.


Dr Irena Yashin-Shaw

Dr. Irena Yashin-Shaw PhD, founder and Director of Innovation Edge specialises in helping leaders and organisations to implement and benefit from innovation. With a Doctorate in creative problem-solving and a Master’s Degree in Adult Education, she is one of the most highly experienced, highly qualified and highly respected corporate educators and professional speakers working in Australia today.  Using her high-level skills in innovation, creativity and communication she works with organisations to develop strategic approaches to innovation, continuous improvement and creative leadership. The result? Increased productivity, creative thinking and innovative outcomes that drive organisational sustainability and growth.

Recognising that innovation and creativity are key drivers in Twenty-First Century workplaces Dr Irena has developed a suite of programs and tools designed to assist organisations and leaders to develop a culture of innovation and creativity. A sought after speaker and educator, she currently delivers these programs across Australia as well as in Asia and the Middle East.

In 2013, 2014 and 2015 she has been working in collaboration with the Business Innovation and Improvement in Government Network across Queensland to help state public sector agencies and leaders to become more innovative. Her Innovative Leader’s Mentoring Program for public sector leaders focuses on upskilling innovation champions so that they can bring transformation to their agencies.  

Whether delivering a single keynote, workshops or an extended consultancy Dr. Irena delivers results that make a difference. Book a complementary strategy session with her via http://www.innovationedge.com.au/strategy-session or 0411 330 301 if you want to find out how your agency can benefit from working with Dr Irena. 

Presentations will be emailed out to those who joined Dr Irena's mailing list on the day of her presentation.