Day One thursday 7 November

Registration and welcome coffee
Opening remarks from the Chair

Morning Chair:

Dr. Jenine Beekhuyzen
Tech Girls Movement

What Australia needs to do to thrive in tech in the next decade
  • How are internal stakeholders working to achieve export-ready solutions?
  • Building tech for the future: are we keeping up to date?
  • What is the role of a skilled workforce to realise Australia’s innovation and productivity potential
  • Is Australia shaping the future or is it being shaped?
  • Policy: breaker or enabler?

Karen Lay-Brew
Past President and (Founding) Director and Head of Government Partnership / Managing Director
ABSIA / 3Pillars.Digital

The impact of robotics on Australian industry and business
  • How advances in robotics, computer vision, sensing and AI will impact on every sector of the Australian economy
  • Exploring the social effects of robotics
  • Building national capability through education, training and research

Sue Keay
Research Director
Cyber-Physical Systems at CSIRO's Data61

Securing the Australian eco-system
  • Industry, Government, Education: how to work together for shared success
  • Developing a roadmap for the Australian cybersecurity landscape
  • Identifying current risks for consumers, organizations and countries
  • Highlighting the need to change the scale of control
  • Exploring the roles and responsibilities of each player

Kate Ingwersen
General Manager, Cyber Strategy and Performance
Commonwealth Bank of Australia

Networking break
Panel discussion: Redefining leadership
  • How increasing women in leadership positions impacts on leadership style and organisational culture
  • Exploring the connections between women, leadership and responsible innovation
  • What are we doing to prepare the next generation of leaders?
  • What are the technologies and strategies to support positive cultural change inside our organisations?
  • How and why does diversity impact service delivery and performance?


Dr. Jenine Beekhuyzen
Tech Girls Movement


Donna Vinci
CxO, Chief Digital and Information Officer
Bank of Queensland

Bernadette Hyland-Wood
Founder & CEO
3 Round Stones, Inc

Cathy Ford
Queensland University of Technology

Karen Lay-Brew
Past President and (Founding) Director and Head of Government Partnership / Managing Director
ABSIA / 3Pillars.Digital

Lisa Annese
Diversity Council Australia

Melissa Verner Green
National Agency Lead / Board Director
Facebook / Essendon Football Club

Identifying the biggest challenges and opportunities to advance your tech career

The digital revolution means there is no let up for any of us – whatever stage of your career you may be at. It’s essential you don’t allow your career to stall and become a victim of fatalism, which is why we will be reviewing the top resources and skills you should be developing:

  • Assessing the potentially untapped silver linings of the role you’re currently in
  • Developing your skills to achieve career goals
  • Give the best = get the best

Rhody Burton
Head of Cloud Partnerships and Alliances

Realising your board potential

Preparing to take your place on a corporate board means building the knowledge, skills and attitudes that boards are seeking. This session unpacks the process of board selection to help you understand the explicit and implicit ways that boards function:

  • Building your readiness for a board position
  • Pursuing a board position
  • Expanding your personal and professional network

Melissa Verner Green
National Agency Lead / Board Director
Facebook / Essendon Football Club

Networking lunch
Afternoon Chair

Peta Ellis
River City Labs

Daring leadership

What, if anything, about the way people are leading today needs to change in order for leaders to be successful in a complex, rapidly changing environment where we’re faced with seemingly intractable challenges and an insatiable demand for innovation?

  • Rumbling with vulnerability
  • Living into our values
  • Braving trust
  • Learning to rise

Kylie Lewis
Digital Strategist
Of Kin

Why and how I decided to pursue a career in tech: a personal story

Suzy was five months pregnant when she got promoted to lead Twitter's operations in Australia. She has worked in the male-dominated tech sector for decades, starting in Silicon Valley. In this session, Suzy will go over how she managed to overcome the hurdles to work her way up.

Suzy Nicoletti
Managing Director
Twitter Australia

5 key lessons from some of the world’s most successful and innovative women

Experienced leaders and Non-Executive Directors Claire Hatton and Greta Thomas, have been travelling around the globe interviewing amazing and innovative women for their podcast “Don’t Stop Us Now!” In this session, they will share key themes, practical and proven tools that they've gleaned from their international podcast guests, along with evidence backed tips and tools from their careers.

Claire Hatton
Co-Founder / Co-Host
Full Potential Labs / Don't Stop Us Now! Podcast

Greta Thomas
Co-Founder / Co-Host
Full Potential Labs / Don't Stop Us Now! Podcast
Networking break
Ageism: the hidden inclusion issue and the opportunities associated with an ageing population in the tech sector

Ageism is a hidden inclusion issue and most of us harbour some level of unconscious bias when it comes to age. Studies have shown, that at the age of 45, almost half of tech professionals believe their age stacks against them. It is how organisations make use of and support this growing group of people and, just as important, how this group of older workers manage their careers that will increasingly define the tech sector.

  • Busting the myths associated with older consumers and technology
  • How a co-creation process alongside consumers can improve tech outcomes
  • Global trends in ageing and living well
  • Examining how companies can make positive, meaningful changes

Julianne Parkinson
Chief Executive Officer
Global Centre for Modern Ageing

Solving the pipeline problem: mentoring and encouraging young women

The lack of women in technology roles contributes to a vicious cycle where other young women are deterred from entering the industry due to a lack of inspiration, role models, or even a support system. There is an emergence of educational organizations that are addressing this problem by reaching girls from a very young age and offering the opportunity to learn how to code while receiving mentorship from female leaders in technology. This session will explore how mentoring initiatives are growing the talent pool.

Dr. Jenine Beekhuyzen
Tech Girls Movement

Developing an app to save the planet

P-Cubed’s free multi-platform app, Plastic Pollution Preventers, will help young Queenslanders consider how much plastic they use in their daily lives and its environmental impacts. The app allows users to record the quantity of plastic used and make better choices when purchasing products and choosing recyclable and reusable plastic bags. In this session, you learn from and be inspired by these young tech superheroes!

P-Cubed team
Chloe Kyprios / Deepika Bogahawatta / Halle Anderson
Power break
Champagne roundtables

1. Enhancing an organisation’s success and competitiveness through gender diversity

2. Virtual, augmented and mixed reality use cases

3. Co-creating customers’ solutions

4. Finding a mentor for your career

5. Product management – the skills you need to find out “Who’s it for, What’s it for, and Where’s the value?” so you can build great products and great businesses


Alezeia Brown
Senior Product Manager
CSIRO Data 61
6. The role of intellectual property in innovation
Dr. Katherine Rock
IP Advisor
Patent Flare
Closing remarks from the chair
End of Conference Day One
The legendary Women in Tech. Dinner