Suzanne Waldron is a behavioural change facilitator whose masters research focused on moving ideas into action through pro-social leadership. She’s an active ambassador for RUOK?, TEDxPerth Curator and Co-founder/director of short documentary series Stories Out Loud. A published author and media contributor. Suzanne has been nominated for Western Australian of the Year 2016 and twice 40 under 40.



Ashleigh Holt is the Head of Recruitment & Sourcing at Downer. With over 12 years’ experience dedicated to Recruitment, Human Resources, Workforce Planning and Analytics; Ashleigh has worked in senior leadership roles both locally and internationally for some of the largest employers within Resources, Construction, Engineering and Construction including SNC Lavalin, Kentz Engineering & Constructors and BHP Billiton. Ashleigh is passionate about working to increase diversity and inclusion in organisations through resourcing and workforce planning strategies, contributing to the building of high performing teams.

With operational experience in complex and challenging environments, Ashleigh is a true large scale Recruitment SME with well-rounded HR generalist experience that understands operational needs, and a senior leader who enjoys’ working across the broad range of Human Resources and throughout the employee lifecycle to enable and achieve positive business outcomes through their employees.

PROFESSOR COBIE RUDD, Edith Cowan University

Professor Cobie Rudd is the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Strategic Partnerships) and Vice-President at Edith Cowan University (ECU) with key responsibilities to enhance external relations and higher education sector partnerships and oversee professional accreditations. Also leading gender equity in academia for ECU as part of the first pilot of the Athena SWAN Charter in Australia, she is actively addressing the gender imbalance in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine (STEMM). She led ECU’s achievement of a Bronze Institutional Athena SWAN Award in December 2018; making ECU one of only 11 universities nationally to attain this internationally-recognised accreditation.

Previously, she was ECU’s Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Health Advancement), Professor of Mental Health and one of five National Teaching Fellows appointed by the Australian Government Office for Learning and Teaching in 2011; the first in simulation.

Professor Rudd has provided leadership for a diverse range of Statewide and national projects aimed at addressing the challenges of providing a skilled, inter-professional and sustainable workforce that is responsive to evolving community needs. For ECU specifically, since 2010, Professor Rudd has generated over $65 million in external research and capacity-building income. She has also lived and worked in Queensland and Canberra in senior policy research and advisory roles for both state and commonwealth governments.

Professor Rudd has served as a Non-Executive Director on over 13 boards of governance, including the Board for the International Society for Simulation in Healthcare (2010-2013), and as a Non-Executive Director on the Board for the International Association for Research in Service-Learning and Community Engagement (2008-2010). She currently holds a Government of Western Australia Cabinet-endorsed appointment to the State Training Board and was appointed to the Board of the Cancer Council WA in May 2018.

Professor Rudd holds the degrees of Bachelor of Health Science in Nursing from the University of New England, Master of Public Health from Queensland University of Technology, and Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Western Australia. Additionally, she is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

NICK LEIGH, Bankwest

Head of Experience Design

Nick Leigh has dedicated his 25+ year career to design and design leadership. From a backyard startup through agency life to WA’s biggest institutions, Nick has created, built and lead design teams and programs creating experiences for a broad spectrum of industries, platforms and brands.

With entrepreneurial and leadership experience delivering strategic, design, marketing, customer experience and transformation projects, Nick is still humbly learning the idiosyncrasies of human-centred design.


TANYA HA is an award-winning Australian environmental campaigner, author, broadcaster, science journalist and sustainability researcher.

She is an Associate at the communication agency Science in Public and the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute at the University of Melbourne. She was an ambassador for National Science Week in 2009 and now, through Science in Public, is the national publicity manager for Science Week. She has recently been appointed to the board of Diversity Council Australia.

Tanya has worked in the media, advocacy, corporate communication and stakeholder engagement. Tanya was a science reporter for the ABC’s flagship science show Catalyst, and was the host and main reporter for the WIN Tasmania show Warm TV, for which she won the UNAA Media Award for Environmental Reporting. Tanya has also had roles in public policy and stakeholder relations, including over six years on the board of the state government agency Sustainability Victoria.

Tanya now consults on science and environmental engagement and communication for several organisations, companies and research institutions. She is also a regular contributor to ABC Environment and has just commenced as a sustainable cities and business contributor for The Guardian.



Tanya Smith is the Manager, Talent & Diversity at Downer. With over 20 years’ experience dedicated to People, Culture and Employment Relations; Tanya has worked in senior and executive leadership roles in complex and challenging environments for some of Australia’s largest employers within Resources, Construction, Rail, Engineering and the Service’s Industries including Woolworths, Rio Tinto and the Chamber of Commerce & Industry. Tanya greatest passion is working to increase diversity in organisations to leverage on innovative improvements and positive change whilst also coaching & promoting internal talent into senior leadership positions.

With an MBA (HRMgt) qualification and an operational background in logistics & mining; Tanya is a true HR generalist that understands operational needs and an executive manager who enjoys’ working across the broad range of skills and requirements within Industrial Relations and Employee Relations to achieve positive outcomes for a business and their greatest asset the employees.

GENEVIEVE DE MICHELE, Infrastructure & Transport Advisor

Genevieve De Michele is a civil and construction engineer working in infrastructure and transport advisory for government and private clients. Her portfolio includes business cases, procurement, strategy, delivery advice, commercial advice and risk management for some of Queensland’s largest projects. She has worked alongside Brisbane City Council, the Department of Transport and Main Roads, the Cross River Rail Delivery Authority and the Queensland Reconstruction Authority to assist them to plan and deliver major infrastructure projects and complex programs of work.

Genevieve is passionate about mentoring younger generations and regularly participates in industry engagement sessions and alumni events for QUT. Genevieve has also been working for QUT part-time, helping to lead a step-change in the design and delivery of their science and engineering programs, most recently – developing the Design. Engineer and Construct program, connecting the civil engineering and urban development students with industry throughout their coursework.

A/Prof. JEREMY BROWNLIE, Science & Technology Australia

Associate Professor Jeremy Brownlie is the President of Science and Technology Australia – which represents more than 78,000 scientists and professionals in our technology industries. STA’s mission is to bring together scientists, governments, industry and the broader community to advance the role, reputation and impact of science and technology across the nation. For the past two years, STA through its Superstars of STEM program has provided mid-career female scientists, technologists and educators the skills and support to develop a national profile and share their stories and successes with a general audience.

Outside of STA, Jeremy is the Deputy Head (International, Learning & Teaching) for the School of Environment and Science at Griffith University and conducts applied research into the control of pest insects.



Lina De Zilva joined Downer in 2009 as General Manager, Human Resources for the former Works Division’s Australian operations. In 2012, Lina was appointed General Manager, Human Resources for Downer Infrastructure East, incorporating the former Works and Engineering East business streams. In 2016, Lina was appointed Executive General Manager Human Resources, Infrastructure Services.
Lina is a highly experienced HR professional with over 20 years’ senior HR management experience and has led diverse HR functions and teams responsible for HR operations and strategy.
Recently post business restructure, Lina was appointed to Group Manager, Talent, Sourcing & Diversity reporting to the Group Head Human Resources and Industrial Relations.

DR AIRLIE CHAPMAN, The University of Melbourne

Dr. Airlie Chapman is a Mechatronics senior lecturer in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Melbourne (UoM). She is currently director of the UoM Flight Lab and holds a PhD in Aeronautics & Astronautics from the University of Washington.

Her research is in autonomous systems with applications ranging from robotics to aerospace.  She has a special interest in multi-agent robotics, or many robots working together to achieve a task. She has worked on pioneering projects with leading aerospace companies like Boeing, Lockheed Martin and NASA’s JPL.

Her robotic and drone work has shown broad appeal with interviews appearing in the Age, Domain, the Herald Sun, Vogue Australia, and on ABC News Breakfast. She is a twice recipient of an Amelia Earhart Fellowship and is currently a L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Fellow.


As the Head of Asset Performance at AGL Energy, Sarah is responsible for the asset management, work management and operations management systems across Australia’s largest portfolio of power generation.

Sarah is a Chemical & Process engineer who is chartered in both Asset Management and Leadership & Management.

As the chair of the Group Operations Gender Equality Team at AGL, she is passionate about creating an environment where both our women and men will thrive.

STAN KRPAN, Department of Environment, Land, Water & Planning

Stan Krpan is CEO of Solar Victoria in the Victorian State Government’s Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning and is responsible for delivering the Victorian Government’s flagship, $1.3b Solar Homes Program. Prior to this, Stan was CEO of Sustainability Victoria. From 2012 to 2019, Stan led a significant agency expansion of Sustainability Victoria and grew the organisation’s footprint and impact in the areas of climate change, renewables, energy efficiency, waste and recycling.

Stan has an extensive track record in the delivery of high-profile government programs with extensive experience in executive roles and leading reforms in law, health and safety, environmental regulation and sustainability. In 2017, Stan undertook a secondment as CEO of the Victorian Cladding Taskforce commissioned by the Minister for Planning to respond to non-compliant use of cladding. In 2010, Stan undertook an independent review of EPA Victoria’s compliance and enforcement activity. He is Chair of Infoxchange Australia/New Zealand and Connecting up and an Advisory Board Member of the University of Melbourne’s Melbourne Sustainable Societies Institute.



Manager Engineering Fleets, NSW

Sylvia Iskander is a highly experienced professional engineer with over 13 years experience leading diverse engineering teams & functions. Responsibilities have been vast, ranging from working on the Waratah train project, compliance, independent assurance, operation support and design engineering.

She applies her results-led vision through people, enabling her team to define strategic framework that defines the processes, targets and the objectives to empower a high performing team and promoting the effectiveness of a positive workplace culture.

ZRINKA LOVRENCIC, Great Place to Work Australia

Since 2008, Zrinka Lovrencic has been helping Australia’s best become great across a variety of industries working with them to assess their workplace cultures and support them as they seek to transform their organisations.

As the Managing Director of Great Place to Work Australia, Zrinka is the curator of the “Best Places to Work” list published each year, is a featured speaker on workplace trends and management strategies. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce and Masters of Management as well as an MBA, and was awarded NSW Finalist in the Telstra Business Woman of the Year Awards (2013).


As the Head of Asset Performance at AGL Energy, Sarah is responsible for the asset management, work management and operations management systems across Australia’s largest portfolio of power generation.

Sarah is a Chemical & Process engineer who is chartered in both Asset Management and Leadership & Management.

As the chair of the Group Operations Gender Equality Team at AGL, she is passionate about creating an environment where both our women and men will thrive.


After 20 years working in the architectural industry, and currently as BVN’s Head of People and Character, architect Brian Clohessy is a progressive policy maker. He believes in the value of good leadership and the imperative in providing caring and supportive cultures in the workplace. He is passionate about being 100% human which recognises the need to embrace wellness in our lives to bring balance and to foster the creativity of the BVN community. To that end he lives and breathes the implementation of the policies that support BVN’s people to help achieve the right balance in their lives.

Recently winning the AIA’s 2019 Best in Practice Prize NSW award, BVN was recognised for their progressive approach to all aspects of workplace culture. Brian’s belief in providing a balanced workplace culture, where all people can thrive and feel a sense of purpose and place, has been the backbone of BVN’s award winning policies.