Melbourne – 7 March 2018


Date:    Wednesday 7 March 2018

Time:  Registration from 11:30am–12:00pm,  Lunch 12:00pm–2:30pm

Venue: Crown Palladium Melbourne, 8 Whiteman St, Southbank VIC

Dress Code: Business/Smart Casual


RedBalloon Founder

Keynote Address Synopsis:
Naomi Simson will share with you her insights and experience on how to harness the power of influence and achieve consistent results. Her presentation will explore how to create a focused and engaged team that will ultimately deliver solid commercial value. Naomi will outline the culture framework, and detail how an ongoing and relentless approach to leadership, influence and diversity creates a culture for business growth.

Learning outcomes:

  • Elements of the culture framework that you can do right now with your team
  • How to create a culture of recognition and fun in your workplace
  • The number one driver of employee engagement – no matter what the generation
  • Learn about the drivers of growth; what they look like and what you can implement in your business. You will understand what you can do to drive purpose, alignment and leadership throughout your business.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

As one of Australia’s most prominent entrepreneurs and business leaders, Naomi Simson is known as the founding director of online experience retailer RedBalloon. She’s an investor on Network Ten’s popular television series Shark Tank, a business blogger and author and is now co-founder of the newly formed The Big Red Group (BRG) an organisation housing her 4 businesses RedBalloon, Redii, Wrapped and The Huddle. After recently securing the exclusive rights to bring the world’s first AI digital marketing platform Albert to Australia and New Zealand, BRG is paving the way for fully autonomous digital marketing campaigns. A true business influencer and leader with more than 2 million LinkedIn followers, she’s Australia’s most followed person on the business networking platform. She’s author of three books including the bestseller Live What You Love, I Want What She’s Having and Ready To Soar. Naomi also assists entrepreneurs in turning their ideas into big business through her online course ‘Building your Business Brand’ through her education platform, The Huddle.

As an engaging and passionate speaker, Naomi is relatable across a broad variety of audiences and topics. Often drawing on her own personal experiences, she provides thoughtful and honest conversations on topics such as Purpose, Leadership, Business Success, The Entrepreneurial Journey and Thriving Workplaces. Before founding RedBalloon, Naomi worked for big businesses including IBM, Apple, KPMG and Ansett Airlines – all of which influenced her views on workplaces.

Naomi’s received a number of high profile awards including the 2008 National Telstra Business Women Awards for Innovation, Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Industry category winner 2011, and Lifetime Achievement Silver Stevie Award 2013. And in early February 2017, she commenced her role as a member of the University of Melbourne’s Faculty’s Business and Economics Board.


Catherine McGrath Media

Catherine McGrath is an award-winning journalist and foreign correspondent. For 3 decades she has been one of Australia’s leading women broadcasters as Bureau Chief and Political Editor for SBS and ABC television, radio and online services. Earlier she was the ABC’s South East Asia Correspondent.She passionately believes it is important for women to be supported in developing speaking and communication skills and that Australia must broaden the number and scope of women who speak in the media and at conferences and events.

In 2016 Catherine covered her last federal election leading the SBS political bureau and then opened her own business with a focus on communications training and events.  Catherine presents conferences and facilitates events Australia wide. She also works with some of the country’s biggest companies and public-sector organisations in media and presentation training.

Catherine is a recipient of the Centenary of Federation Medal for Services to Society through Journalism. She is a member of the Canberra Convention Bureau, the Canberra Business Chamber and the National Press Club.

Catherine lives in Canberra and is a graduate of the University of Sydney.


Swinburne University

Professor Dong Ruan is an expert in mechanical and structural engineering. Her primary research fields include the dynamic properties of materials, energy absorption of materials and structures, and impact mechanics. Dr Ruan has secured over $2 million in research grants from the Australian Research Council, Defence Materials and Technology Centre, Cooperative Research Centre for Advanced Automotive Technology, CAST CRC and Rail Manufacturing CRC, among others.

Dr Ruan received the 2013 Eureka Prize for outstanding science in Safeguarding Australia.the 2008 National Telstra Business Women Awards for Innovation, Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Industry category winner 2011, and Lifetime Achievement Silver Stevie Award 2013. And in early February 2017, she commenced her role as a member of the University of Melbourne’s Faculty’s Business and Economics Board.


Technical Director, Arcadis 

Elizabeth Hurst is recognised as a Global environmental expert with over 20 years’ local and international experience. She has worked in a broad range of sectors including transport, energy, mining, water and heavy industry. Key projects include the Mernda Rail Corridor Upgrade for Public Transport Victoria, the Craigieburn Train Maintenance Facility for the Department of Transport as well as the London Channel Tunnel Rail Link.


Senior Vice President & General Manager – Buildings & Infrastructure, Asia Pacific / Middle East

Patrick’s career spans 20 years at Jacobs where he began as a water process engineer before quickly progressing to several leadership positions across various sectors. His experience across multiple geographies in diverse markets has only reinforced his recognition that talent is not defined by demographics. And his professional and personal roles: as a people leader, a technical professional and a father of three daughters, drive his passion for creating a culture where all employees are given the opportunity to reach their full potential. As a result, Patrick is committed to combining diversity, inclusion and opportunity to create a dynamic workforce, increasing innovation and sophisticated solutions for clients and enabling employees to achieve their life and career goals.

Patrick Chairs a Jacobs Diversity & Inclusion Council which sets out and delivers the strategic direction of the diversity and inclusion portfolios. He works alongside a dedicated Jacobs Diversity & Inclusion Manager, a highly engaged leadership team and employee led networks to implement critical initiatives, with a critical focus on flexibility and gender equality.

Patrick is also a signatory of the Consult Australia Champions of Change, which aims to bring about change in the built environment consulting industry. He was also recently nominated a Pay Equity Ambassador by the Workplace for Gender Equality (WGEA) acknowledging the impact of gender bias in the workplace and declaring our commitment to addressing pay equity.


FLTLT Belinda Pavlovic
Defence Force Recruiting

Belinda Pavlovic is a Flight Lieutenant for the Royal Australian Air Force and is a trained aeronautical and mechanical engineering. She also works in the Specialist Recruitment Team for Women at Defence Force Recruiting.

Read more about Belinda in this article published by the Australian Financial Review.



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