WIMWA Summit 2016

WIMWA 2016 Summit – 9th September 2016

Themes for the day were resilience, championing change, and moving the conversation forward.

Perhaps one of the strongest Australian examples of resilience is Rosie Batty, Australian of the Year 2015, who joined us in a conversation with Rebecca Prain to share her remarkable and very inspiring story.

A dynamic panel of industry leaders including Laura Tyler – BHP Billiton’s Vice President Strategy and Performance, Dr Vanessa Guthrie – Toro Energy’s Managing Director and CEO and Lance Hockridge CEO and Managing Director of Aurizon, Professor Bob Wood – UNSW and Director of Centre for Ethical Leadership and Linda O’Farrell – Head of People at Fortescue Metals Group. The panel was chaired by the award-winning author and journalist Leigh Sales.

A WIMWA favourite Professor Bob Wood, from the Centre of Ethical Leadership at Melbourne University’s Business School, who last year made a compelling link between sexism and workplace safety, in 2016 shed some light on the merit myth and shared strategies for identifying real talent.

As expected there were also inspiring industry stories including Kyra Bonney (Chandler Macleod’s WA Indigenous Manager and 40 under 40 winner for 2015) with her niece Shequita Bonney, Kate Frost (Iluka Resources’ Principal Mining Engineer), Jayne Finch (KCGM Underground Project & Planning Engineer) and Nicole O’Keefe (TradeUP Chair and BHP Billiton Apprentice Electrician).



Lance Hockridge

Lance Hockridge CEO and Managing Director of Aurizon. He is a Federal Government Ambassador for Equal Pay, a founding member of Queensland’s “Male Champions of Change”, Deputy Chair of the Queensland Premier’s Domestic and Family Violence Task Force, and a business representative of the Gender Equity Advisory Board for the Australian armed services.

On behalf of Aurizon, Hockridge is a signatory of the United Nation’s Empowerment Principles (WEP) which has been signed by over 960 companies worldwide and only 26 companies in Australia. In March 2016, Hockridge was awarded the United Nations CEO Leadership WEP Award for championing cultural change and gender equality in the workplace. He was the first Australian CEO to receive the award.

Rosie Batty

Through incredible trauma and grief Rosie Batty has become a leading voice against domestic violence resulting in her being named Australian of the Year 2015. Rosie’s story is not only one of amazing courage and inspiration, it is also a story of leadership as she continues to advocate and encourage change through government, education, corporate organisations and society’s behaviour.

Her public speaking appearances are a remarkable story of resilience, courage, inspiration and making a difference.

Rosie Batty is a leader in the crusade against domestic violence and has turned her personal tragedy into a fight to help others. Her relentless work in this area lead to Rosie been named the 2015 Australian of the year and the Pride of Australia National Courage Medal recipient.

Rosie’s name has become synonymous with the words courage and resilience. Only hours after her son’s life was tragically taken, Rosie gave voice to many thousands of victims of domestic violence who had until then remained unheard.

Rosie Batty rose above her personal tragedy and the great loss of her 11 year old son, Luke, who was the victim of domestic violence at the hands of his father in a very public assault. Rosie’s ability to articulate the train of events that had led to this tragedy, has demonstrated the wider implications of her experience.

Now a tireless campaigner, Rosie established The Luke Batty Foundation and launched the Never Alone Campaign, asking all Australians to stand with her and beside all victims of family violence by signing up at neveralone.com.au

Leigh Sales

Leigh Sales is an award-winning journalist and author.

She anchors 7.30 on ABC television. From 2006 to 2008, she was the network’s National Security Correspondent and from 2001 to 2005, Washington Correspondent, covering the momentous years after the September 11 terrorist attacks.

Leigh won a Walkley award in 2005 for her coverage of issues surrounding Guantanamo Bay and was also nominated for her on-the-ground reporting of Hurricane Katrina.

Her first book, Detainee 002: the Case of David Hicks, was published in 2007 to widespread critical acclaim. It was shortlisted for the 2008 Victorian Premier’s Literary Prize and won the 2007 George Munster Award for Independent Journalism. Her second book, On Doubt, was published in 2009 as part of Melbourne University Publishing’s ‘Little Book on Big Themes’ series, which features leading Australian writers including Germaine Greer, David Malouf and Don Watson.

Leigh’s writing has appeared in The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Australian and The Monthly. She writes a fortnightly blog for the ABC called ‘Well-readhead’.

Before joining the ABC, Leigh worked for the Nine Network. She has degrees in international relations and journalism.


Laura Tyler

Chief of Staff to the CEO and Head of Geoscience, BHP Billiton

The first woman to be appointed as an asset president within BHP Billiton and winner of the inaugural Thiess Women in Resources National Awards (WIRNA)

After starting her career in the British civil engineering industry, Laura moved into mining in 1994. Since then, she has worked across three continents in operations spanning civil engineering, open-pit mining and underground mining.

Laura is passionate about attracting and retaining women in the sector. She led the introduction of Cannington mine’s first diversity plan to ensure the business supports females with high potential, before the mine transitioned to South32.

Laura was the first woman to be appointed as a Vice President of the Queensland Resources Council and the first woman to be appointed as a BHP Billiton Asset President at Cannington.

Now in the Office of the CEO at BHP Billiton, Laura draws on two decades of experience running company assets to work with senior executives on delivery of the Company’s strategic plan.


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