Brisbane – 8 March 2018



Date:    Thursday 8 March 2018

Time:   Registration from 11:30am–12:00pm,  Lunch 12:00pm–2.30pm

Venue: Pullman Brisbane King George Square – Ann St & Roma St, Brisbane QLD

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.

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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 Sally McArthur is a CSIRO OCE Science Leader in Biomedical Manufacturing and Professor of Biomedical Engineering. She is part of a team at Swinburne exploring new ways to link industry and academia to create a new generation of entrepreneurial, innovative and internationally connected graduates capable of driving the medical and manufacturing sectors forward in Australia and internationally.Professor McArthur’s personal research couples materials, surface engineering, physical science, analytical chemistry and biochemistry. Using these tools, she creates novel interfaces capable of eliciting specific physical and biological responses. Her CSIRO OCE Science Leader role focuses on the development of 3D tissue model systems as new in vitro test platforms for the biomaterials, pharmaceutical and medical/bio technologies sectors.

Professor McArthur leads the Australian National Fabrication Facility Victoria (ANFF-Vic) Biointerface Engineering Hub, an open access facility for academic and industry researchers to gain expert support to connect biology with technology. As an engineering researcher Sally has obtained approximately $20 million in funding from research councils, industry and government in the UK and Australia, including the $1.8 million ARC Industrial Transformational Training Centre in Biodevices launched at Swinburne in 2015.


City Executive South East QLD, Arcadis Dr Louisa Carter is a public infrastructure architect and urban planner with 25 years’ experience in city development across a range of disciplines including architecture, urban design, urban planning, transport planning, cultural heritage and infomatics. She has worked both within government and consultancy services, and has a strong appreciation of the processes affecting the (re)development of urban areas.

Louisa is driven to deliver city infrastructure and urban outcomes which are integrated, sustainable and optimized. Louisa is also a GBCA Greenstar Communities Assessor, a Board member for Green Cross Australia and a representative on the Property Council’s Committee for Cities Queensland and Consult Australia’s Queensland Division Committee.


Vice President of Operations, Northern
Representative for Gender on the Jacobs Inclusion Council
JacobsSinead is the Executive Director of Operations in Queensland leading approximately 500 employees in the Building and Infrastructure Team incorporating Transport, Built Environment, Water & environment and Project Management operations.

Sinead is a dedicated advocate of gender equality and flexibility having started out her career as an engineer 20 years ago – and subsequently seen little change in the representation of women entering and progressing through the profession. She believes specific interventions are required to advance gender equality in the industry and plays a lead role in advocating for change as the senior executive for Jacobs’ Northern region. She is accountable for overseeing Jacobs Northern women in leadership target, set at 28% overall for ANZ, over 5 years; and is one of our two gender equality executive sponsors for the Jacobs ANZ Inclusion Council. Sinead is committed to creating a flexible and equitable work environment where paid work and care is shared in families so that both women and men have opportunities to reach their full potential. She is particularly unique in her current role, having been promoted to the leadership team whilst on parental leave; and is awaiting the arrival of baby number two, due in April 2018.


Defence Force Recruiting
Captain Larissa Cody joined the Australian Regular Army in 2008 and studied Civil Engineering at the Australian Defence Force Academy. She is a graduate of the University of New South Wales and holds a Bachelor of Civil Engineering (Honours Class I). She graduated from the Royal Military College – Duntroon in 2011, and was commissioned into the Royal Australian Engineer Corps.

In 2013 – 2015 she was posted to the 6th Engineer Support Regiment (6 ESR) fulfilling appointments as the Plant Troop Commander and the Acting Construction Officer. Her notable contributions during this period included: management of approximately 80 personnel during Operation NSW BUSHFIRE ASSIST; construction management during the Army Aboriginal Community Assistance Program 2014, located in the remote Australian outback; and delivery of the civil scope of works for the construction of the Holsworthy Explosive Hazards Training Area.

In 2016 Captain Cody posted to the School of Military Engineering where she filled the position of Civil Training Troop Commander. During this period she completed the UK Royal Engineers Force Protection Engineering Course, achieving Student of Merit. She also assisted in the development of several engineering courses, including: introduction of the Weapons Effects and Force Protection Engineering Course; and redevelopment of the Non-Equipment Bridging Package.

In 2017 Captain Cody returned to 6 ESR, taking up the position of Project Engineer within the Regimental Works Office. In this position she led delivery of the 7th Signals Regiment refurbishment project prior to deploying to the Middle East on Operation ACCORDION. During her deployment she fulfilled the role of Project Engineer, delivering approximately $10 million in infrastructure works while also acting as the Level III Physical Force Protection Advisor to the Joint Task Force Commander.

Captain Cody enjoys a wide range of sporting activities including triathlon and Aussie Rules Football. She is married to Benjamin who is an Army Officer currently posted to the Cargo Helicopter & Unmanned Surveillance Program Office.

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