Wellington – 18-19 September 2019



Conference day one – Wednesday 18 September

08.30 Registration
09.00 Opening remarks from the chair

Taking control of workload and prioritising your time 

  • Explore strategies to deal with continuously large workload
  • Prepare yourself to be flexible and adaptable for urgent priorities
  • Managing distractions to help achieving your goal of the day
  • Discover effective time management tips and tools

Joanne Gallop, Executive Assistant to the Chief Executive, Christchurch City Council


Panel Discussion: Positioning yourself for managing up

  • Bridging the power gap with effective approaches
  • Strategies and methods to help managing your executive
  • Knowing different ways to raise and discuss problems
  • Learning to disagree in a productive way

Stephanie Gill, Executive Assistant & Programme Senior Adviser, Ministry of Education

Jo Doherty, Executive Assistant to CFO & Chief Digital Information Officer, Worksafe

Joanne Gallop, Executive Assistant to the Chief Executive, Christchurch City Council

10.44 Morning Tea

Enhancing organic communication with strategies and tips

  • Cultivating effective communication skills
  • Taking steps to empower yourself and communicate with confidence
  • Handling difficult conversations without misunderstanding
  • Reading the room and understanding non-verbal signals

Lyncia Podmore, Director, YOU Coaching


Panel Discussion: Making sound decisions independently and strategically

  • Taking up the responsibility to make the call
  • Processing information to make better decisions at work
  • Having the confidence in your own abilities to be the voice
  • Understanding what drives your executives in decision making

Annette Dyer, Executive Coordinator, Ministry for Primary Industries

Vicki Faint, EA to the Vice-Chancellor, Victoria University of Wellington

Lisa Lowe, Executive Assistant to the Mayor, New Plymouth District Council

Caroline McGlynn Tran, Dedicated Public Servant and EA Ambassador, New Zealand public department

12.40 Lunch

Strategically planning events and meetings

  • Exploring different management approaches for different events
  • Coordinating events and meetings efficiently
  • Handling short timeframes and achieving objectives
  • Tips on managing budget and keeping track of progresses

Emily Byrne, Director of Marketing, Partnerships & Events, Tourism Industry Aotearoa


Building a positive social media presence for you and your organisation

  • Understanding how social media could impact and represent workplace
  • Using social media to build your personal brand
  • Taking advantage of social media to extend your professional network
  • Promoting and keeping track of your achievements

Libby Greatnews, Social Media Specialist, Housing New Zealand Corporation


Afternoon Tea


EA & Executive session: Elements that makes a high-performance partnership

  • Building the foundation of trust to form a solid partnership
  • Tips on finding a better way to work together
  • Aligning priorities and setting boundaries with your executive
  • Being supportive and achieving mutual goals

Ranjit Singh, Chief Financial Officer, Ministry of Social Development

Debbie Warnock, Executive Assistant to Associate DCE and the CFO, Ministry of Social Development


Managing change positively and thrive in the workplace

  • The nature of change in today’s world
  • Understanding our own and others’ responses to change
  • Building resilience through change
  • Discovering hidden opportunities change presents

Vicki Evans, Coach, Vicki Evans Coaching

17.00 Closing remarks from the Chair and of conference day one
 17.10 Networking drinks reception – take advantage of this exciting opportunity to network with your peers


Conference day two – Thursday 19 September 2019

9.00 Opening remarks from the chair

Executives Panel: Exclusive insights and advice from executives

  • Discovering the qualities that executives find in outstanding EAs
  • Building a positive partnership with executives
  • Setting, managing, and exceeding expectations
  • Giving and receiving feedback from both directions

Mark Sowden, Deputy Chief Executive Housing & Urban Settings, Ministry of Housing and Urban Development

Jill Bond, Chief Executive, New Zealand Kindergartens

Rebecca Blowes, Director of Fisheries Science and Information, Ministry of Primary Industries


The art of negotiating towards a win-win solution

  • Examining practical approaches to settle differences
  • Applying effective negotiation techniques with confidence
  • Reaching mutually beneficial results more efficiently
  • Influencing others without being aggressive

Jon Everest, Director, Everest Conflict Resolution

10.40 Morning Tea

Panel Discussion: Forging a collaborative team with your colleagues

  • Working alongside fellow EAs as a team
  • Supporting one another to grow better together
  • Building collaborative relationships with other EAs in your organisation
  • Constructing a strong EA community at workplace

Lisa Lowe, Executive Assistant to the Mayor, New Plymouth District Council

Brigid Kavanagh-Dee, Executive Assistant to the Vice-Chancellor, Massey University

Mary Huffadine, Senior Administration Officer, Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand

Nicki Williamson, Executive Assistant to the General Manager of Finance and Corporate Services, MidCentral DHB


Dealing and working with different personalities    

  • Understanding and working with different personalities
  • Respecting individuals with different working styles
  • Building interpersonal skills and learn to respond to difficult situations

Vanessa Franks, Executive Assistant to General Manager Corporate Services, New Zealand Transport Agency

12.40 Lunch

Making the best use of technology to boost your performance

  • Explore new ways to make your everyday tasks easier
  • Incorporating the latest technology and tools in the workplace
  • Continuously learning and keeping up with technology
  • Utilising tools to organise and communicate better

Jo Jensen, Managing Director, Strictly Savvy


Finding ways to stop juggling and start balancing your life

  • Discovering ways to keep calm in high-pressure situations
  • Be equipped with practical strategies to conquer unhelpful stress
  • Managing and using stress as an opportunity to grow
  • Channelling your mindset to focus more on the wellbeing of mind

Linley O’Neill, Executive Assistant to Chief Executive, New Plymouth District Council


Closing remarks from the chair and end of confernce