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Keynote Speakers

Jelena Dokic | Former World No. 4 Tennis Player | Commentator | Speaker

Jelena Dokic has had a storied and well-documented life and tennis career both on and off the court. With a stellar playing career which included defeating then World Number 1, Martina Hingis at the age of 16. Her rapid ascent through the world ranking was marred by her off-court struggles.

Jelena has penned the best-selling autobiography ‘Unbreakable', a book which details her career and her life. In the book, she details the struggles of being a refugee, dealing with poverty, racism, bullying, and discrimination. She also talks about the physical and emotional abuse she suffered for over 20 years at the hands of her father which started when she was just six years old. She also talks about dealing with heavy depression and almost committing suicide.

Jelena now pours her efforts into commentary as one of the key voices for Nine Network’s coverage of the Australian Open. She is also a motivational speaker speaking on topics which include resilience, mental health and empowerment.
 


Leanne Faraday-Brash | Brash Consulting | Principal

Leanne Faraday-Brash FAIM, FAHRI, FCOP is Principal of Brash Consulting, a boutique Organisational Psychology practice specialising in organisational capability and culture, “workplace justice”, conflict resolution, leadership development and change. 

In a sliding doors moment, just after the introduction of federal unfair dismissals law, Leanne returned from maternity leave in 1993 to find her employer, a major bank, defending the biggest case of gender discrimination in Australia until Kristy Fraser-Kirk and David Jones. This changed the course of her practice. Leanne works with the dysfunctional and toxic to the high performing and elite and everything in between. 

Leanne coordinates the Media Panel for the College of Organisational Psychologists and has appeared on radio, television and in numerous broadsheet and digital news publications. She has worked on five continents and with companies including Thomson Reuters, Amcor, Holden, Nike and extensively in higher education and government. 

Leanne is a Certified Speaking Professional, the highest internationally-recognised speaker accreditation. Her book entitled “Vulture Cultures: How to stop them ravaging your performance, people, profit and public image” was published in 2012 by Australian Academic Press. She was also a contributing author to a three-volume series published in the U.S. entitled “Feminism and Women’s Rights Worldwide” (Michele Paludi Ed.)

Outside work Leanne is a volunteer Field Psychologist with the Red Cross through the Disaster Response Network of the APS. She loves sport and sits on an advisory board to St Kilda Football Club and is State Integrity Officer for a large grass roots sporting organisation, overseeing their Member Protection Program.
 


Professor Michelle Tuckey | Centre for Workplace Excellence | University of South Australia

Michelle’s research focuses on designing mentally healthy workplaces that are resistant to workplace bullying and occupational stress. Her research advances the risk management of bullying as a work health and safety hazard, including evidence-based practical tools and interventions to diagnose and minimise the organisational risks for bullying. Michelle’s other research interests relate to creating an organisational climate that supports mental health, promoting high-quality leadership to support well-being at work, and harnessing mindfulness at work. Michelle serves on the editorial board, as guest editor, or reviewer for several international scholarly journals in the field of occupational health psychology. In addition to her academic publications, Michelle’s research has been applied in a range of organisations and by work health and safety regulatory bodies nationally and internationally, and was cited in the recent South Australian Parliamentary Inquiry into bullying and fatigue in healthcare.


Sarah McCann-Bartlett | Chief Executive Officer | Australian HR Institute

Sarah McCann is the incoming Chief Executive Officer of the Australian HR Institute. She has extensive, global experience in membership and trade bodies and has held senior roles across a variety of sectors in Australia, the UK and the USA.

Sarah was Director General (CEO) of the British Constructional Steelwork Association from September 2011 to December 2019. In this role, she established a new sector apprenticeship programme, created a new market development programme to drive market share gains for constructional steelwork, and drove rapid growth of the group’s certification arm.

Previously, Sarah held a number of senior executive positions at the Victorian Building and Plumbing Industry Commissions, including as Deputy Commissioner. She helped lead the Commissions’ response to the February 2009 bushfires, and developed and implemented a shared Corporate Services model between both Commissions, including developing and leading strategies to drive the change process.

Sarah has also held roles representing and supporting the Australian wool industry with the Australian Wool Corporation and its successor The Woolmark Company in Melbourne, the UK and New York where she held the role of President and Group Manager, Americas.

Sarah holds Commerce and Arts degrees from the University of Melbourne, an MBA from Monash University, and postgraduate qualifications in marketing. She is a Fellow of the UK Institute of Directors.

Sarah lives in Melbourne with her husband and 12-year-old son, and their three dogs.


Julie Nielsen | Executive Director | WorkSafe Victoria

Julie Nielsen has had a life-long commitment to health and safety. This has led her take on a range of health and safety roles, including her current position as the Executive Director, Health and Safety at WorkSafe Victoria which she commenced in 2018.


Dr Skye Saunders | School of Law at the University of New England | Associate Professor

Dr Skye Saunders is an Associate Professor in the School of Law at the University of New England and is a recognised expert in the field of sex discrimination law. Skye has been researching, presenting and consulting on issues of workplace sexual harassment for more than a decade. Her work 'Whispers from the Bush- The Workplace Sexual Harassment of Australian Rural Women' (2015) is the first Australian research on the complex issue of sexual harassment in rural and remote workplaces. In 2017 the Victorian Women's Trust produced a short documentary film called 'Grace Under Fire' which is based on Skye's research on sexual harassment in rural workplaces. In 2018, 2019 and 2020, Skye was a delegate to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women in New York with the YWCA Australia. Skye was also recently awarded the Chancellor’s Distinguished Young Alumni Award (University of Canberra). Skye also practises law as Special Counsel on Sex Discrimination matters, is an Honorary Associate Professor at the Australian National University College of Law and is the Vice President of the YWCA Canberra. She is currently researching for her new book project, 'Defying Gravity- Rising Above Sex Discrimination in the Workplace'.


Michael Schneider | Managing Director | Bunnings Australia and New Zealand

Michael Schneider was appointed Managing Director Bunnings Australia and New Zealand in March 2016. Since joining the business in 2005, he has led Store Operations teams across Australia and New Zealand. Before joining Bunnings, Michael held a range of senior operational, commercial and human resources roles across regional and national markets, both in retail and financial services businesses.

Mike is passionate about the mental health and wellbeing of his team, encouraging open communication, actively driving conversation around resilience and taking a no tolerance approach to bullying. He is known for his collaborative, genuine and honest leadership style. He believes that team members’ ability to connect with customers and the local community is key to the business’ success and that this requires an ongoing investment in building the best team as well as creating a culture that builds trust, inspires action, develops people and drives performance.