Speakers

2 - 4 Sep 2019
Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre

Inspirational speakers

Challenging, inspirational, insightful and intriguing – this year’s speakers will leave you with a lot to think about and some amazing ideas to implement. Check back to see who’s been added to the agenda.

Michael Ackland profile picture

Michael Ackland

Group Executive, Telstra Consumer & Small Business

Michael is currently Group Executive for Telstra’s Consumer & Small Business function, which looks after the needs of millions of consumer and small business customers across Australia. Michael joined Telstra in 2016 as Executive Director of Telstra Country Wide, with responsibility for more than 350 retail stores and over 16,000 partners nationally. Prior to Telstra, Michael was the CEO of GE Healthcare in Australia and New Zealand. In his 12 years at GE, he held various executive leadership roles across GE’s Australian and New Zealand business, including financial services, corporate and healthcare divisions. Michael joined GE from the Boston Consulting Group where he was a Principal

Jenni Barnett Profile picture

Jenni Barnett

Digital Channel Executive, Telstra

Jenni joined Telstra in August 2018 and her role is to accelerate the impact of digital, and deliver on Telstra’s T22 strategy and beyond. She is accountable for digital and digital assisted channels, digital product to drive sales and service outcomes, and transforming customer experiences. This includes driving a digital first approach, as well as connecting customers across the “golden trio” of channels as she calls them – stores, contact centres and digital – to ensure we deliver the best outcome for our customers as they move across channels. Prior to Telstra, Jenni was one of the execs to establish the well-known market leading digital team at the Commonwealth Bank and take it from a start up to a high performing commercial and customer focused channel, in less than four years.

Meg Bonighton Profile picture

Meg Bonighton

Customer Service and TCC Executive, Telstra

Meg Bonighton joined Telstra in March 2018 and is currently the Customer Service & Telstra Contact Centres Executive. Meg spent 20 years in financial services, most recently at the National Australia Bank, where she led the Home Lending, Customer Products and Services portfolio. She has an outstanding career leading large sales and service teams and driving transformation change within complex organisations.

Daniel Flynn profile picture

Daniel Flynn

Founder and Managing Director, Thankyou

At the age of 19, Daniel was jolted into action after learning that 900 million people lack access to water, while Australia’s bottled water industry was worth $600 million. In 2008 he launched Thankyou, a social enterprise that has given more than $6.2 million, impacting over 857,000 people in 20 countries. His big picture thinking is behind Thankyou’s disruptive marketing campaigns that have led to their products being stocked by Australia’s biggest retailers.

Michael Griffiths profile picture

Michael Griffiths

Channel Enablement Executive, Telstra

Michael Griffiths leads the Channel Operations function within the Consumer and Small Business team. He has worked in Telstra for over 15 years, and during that time he has led strategy, operations and transformation activity in product, commercial management, sales operations and channels (contact centres and retail stores). Prior to joining Telstra, Michael worked with Accenture where he led engagements in the telecommunications, health and sports management fields in Australia, Asia and the United States. Outside of work, Michael enjoys spending time with his family and hiking.

Fiona Hayes profile photo

Fiona Hayes

Retail and Regional Executive, Telstra

Fiona Hayes, former Executive Director of Global Contact Centres, is now Head of Telstra Retail & Regional heading the Telstra Store Networks in Telstra Consumer & Small Business. Fiona has a long-standing career in telecommunications, commencing with Telstra in a front line role approximately 20 years ago. In the course of her career, Fiona has worked across many parts of Telstra’s Consumer and Operations business units. She has enjoyed a number of varied positions including senior roles leading contact centre and retail operations, front line customer sales and service, transformational change and process improvement, business planning, investment management and strategy. Fiona has two young sons and lives in Melbourne with her husband Glenn.

Julia Morris profile photo

Julia Morris

Entertainer

Julia Morris is one of Australia’s most popular stars and has over 30 years’ experience performing to crowds all over the world. She has appeared in every major comedy festival, shared the stage with stars including Whoopi Goldberg and Robin Williams, and hosted prestigious events from the Sydney Comedy Festival Gala to the Midwinter Ball at Parliament House. Julia now co-hosts Network Ten’s hit reality show I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!

Andy Penn profile picture

Andy Penn

Chief Executive Officer, Telstra

Andy became Chief Executive Officer in May 2015, having served as Telstra's CFO and Group Executive International. An experienced senior executive with a career spanning more than 30 years, Andy spent 20 years with AXA Asia Pacific, where he held a number of positions including Group Chief Executive (2006-2011), Chief Executive Officer for Australia and New Zealand, Group Chief Financial Officer and Chief Executive for Asia.

Hugh Van Cuylenburg profile photo

Hugh van Cuylenburg

Founding Director, The Resilience Project

Inspired by a trip in the far north of India, Hugh discovered resilience in its purest form. On his return to Australia he was motivated to share his universal learning and developed a practical program based on wellbeing and resilience studies. The Resilience Project’s approach to living with purpose is based around embracing Gratitude, Empathy and Mindfulness to build resilience and a positive mindset.

4 & 5 Sep 2019
Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre

Inspirational speakers

Challenging, inspirational, insightful and intriguing – this year’s speakers will leave you with a lot to think about and some amazing ideas to implement. Check back to see who’s been added to the agenda.

Telstra speakers

Michael Ebeid profile picture

Mike Ebeid AM

Group Executive, Telstra Enterprise

Mike joined Telstra in October 2018 as Group Executive, Telstra Enterprise. Responsible for revenues in excess of $8bn, he manages a growing business that delivers connectivity, platforms, applications and tailored industry solutions to Telstra’s enterprise and government customers. He is also responsible for Enterprise’s international operations, with approximately 3,500 people in 20 countries and the largest subsea cable network in the Asia Pacific region.

Andy Penn profile picture

Andy Penn

Chief Executive Officer, Telstra

Andy became Chief Executive Officer in May 2015, having served as Telstra's CFO and Group Executive International. An experienced senior executive with a career spanning more than 30 years, Andy spent 20 years with AXA Asia Pacific, where he held a number of positions including Group Chief Executive (2006-2011), Chief Executive Officer for Australia and New Zealand, Group Chief Financial Officer and Chief Executive for Asia.

Other inspirational speakers

Vala Afshar profile picture

Vala Afshar

Chief Digital Evangelist, Salesforce

Vala is the Chief Digital Evangelist for Salesforce and author of ‘The Pursuit of Social Business Excellence’. He has also authored over 400 articles and is a regular contributor to HuffPost, Inc Magazine and ZDNet. As co-host of a weekly thought leadership show called DisrupTV, Vala has interviewed more than five hundred Fortune 1,000 CXOs, start-up founders, venture capitalists, and tech and media analysts. He has more than 380,000 Twitter followers and was named Forbes Magazine’s most influential digital business leader for CIOs and CMOs on Twitter for 2017/2018.

Alisa Camplin Warner profile picture

Alisa Camplin-Warner

Winter Olympics Gold Medallist

Best known for winning Australia’s first ever female Winter Olympic Gold Medal, Alisa is an in-demand keynote speaker and corporate consultant. As well as helping organisations achieve sustainable success through a focus on resilience, mindset and improved human performance, she’s also a highly experienced non-executive director, was awarded the Order of Australia Medal in 2007 and became a Member of the Order of Australia in 2018.

Michael Cordell profile picture

Michael Cordell

Creative Director CJZ

Michael is co-founder and Creative Director of CJZ, Australia’s largest locally owned production company. He has a wide range of credits as director, writer, producer and executive producer across scores of factual and drama productions. His series Go Back to Where You Came From for SBS was awarded an International Emmy and a Rose d’Or for best international television production. Other credits include iconic factual series Bondi Rescue and the documentary feature Jimmy Barnes Working Class Boy. He is passionate about storytelling across many genres.

Sam Docherty profile picture

Sam Docherty

Co-Captain, Carlton Football Club

Sam is the Co-Captain of the Carlton Football Club and a life-long Carlton fan. Having joined the team he supported as a boy, he’s won the John Nicholl’s medal and was named in the 2017 All-Australian team. Despite ACL injuries that ruled him out for the 2018 and 2019 seasons, he was elected vice-captain in 2018 and co-captain in 2019 – a testament to his dedication, professionalism and focus on putting the team first.

Gabrielle Dolan profile picture

Gabrielle Dolan

Business communication specialist

A global thought leader on authentic leadership and business storytelling, Gabrielle has worked with high-profile leaders, top 50 ASX companies and multinationals to humanise their communications. She’s a bestselling author, graduate of Harvard Kennedy School of Executive Education and the brains behind Jargon Free Fridays, a movement aimed at promoting plain speaking in the workplace.

Kurt Fearnly profile picture

Kurt Fearnley AO

Paralympic gold medallist

One of Australia's most inspirational, well-known and respected athletes, Kurt is a three-time Paralympic gold medallist and four-time World Para Athletics Champion. He’s also been a winning crew member of the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race and – incredibly – he’s also crawled the entire 96km Kokoda track. Today, Kurt is actively involved in various charities as a board member, patron and ambassador, and is a Commissioner of Sport Australia and Board Member of Paralympics Australia.

Kerry Obrien profile picture

Kerry O'Brien

Former ABC Four Corners host

Kerry O’Brien is one of Australia’s most distinguished and respected journalists with six Walkley Awards for excellence in journalism, including the Gold Walkley. His time at the ABC has seen him interview many distinguished world leaders, from Barack Obama, Nelson Mandela and Mikhail Gorbachev to Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair, as well as influential figures in the arts, science and business.

Bernard Salt profile picture

Bernard Salt AM

Demographer and social commentator

Bernard Salt is widely regarded as one of Australia's leading social commentators. He currently heads The Demographics Group, providing specialist advice on demographic, consumer and social trends for business, and writes weekly columns for The Australian dealing with social, generational and demographic matters. Prior to that, Bernard founded KPMG Demographics and is widely known for his six best-selling books and media appearances.

Kamal Sharma profile picture

Kamal Sarma

Founder and director of Rezilium

Kamal’s journey has taken him from monk to executive to venture capitalist to keynote speaker. And this unorthodox path has helped him form a unique perspective on life. As one of the leading authorities on leadership and resilience, he is a speaker, trainer and the author of three books, including the international bestseller ‘Mental Resilience: The Power of Clarity’. Today, Kamal is the founder and director of Rezilium, a strategic leadership firm, and Chair of the Conversations Think Tank at RUOK?

Emily Verdouw profile picture

Emily Verdouw

Award-wining video journalist

Emily Verdouw is a video journalist who directs, produces, films and edits short documentaries for TV and online. She won the 2018 Young Walkley for visual storytelling. Her stories have explored sensitive topics like the Port Arthur massacre, domestic violence perpetrators, PTSD in soldiers, suicide, the mental health of refugee children and brain disease in football. She has reported around the world for outlets like HuffPost, BuzzFeed and SBS VICELAND.