Executive Assistant Congress Sydney Agenda

20 – 21 November 2019, Pullman Quay Grand Sydney Harbour

Conference Day One – Wednesday 20 November  2019

8.30 Registration
9.00 Opening remarks from the chair

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

Kya Blondin, Director, People & Government, Sydney Opera House

Anthony Carthew, Executive Assistant to CEO, PA of the Year Australiasia (2018) – Executive PA Media Awards, Sydney Opera House


Taking control of workload and prioritising your time

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

Natalie Sands, Executive Assistant to Managing Director Australia & NZ, Franklin Templeton Investments

10.40 Morning Coffee
11.10 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

Jennifer Tosich, Executive Assistant to Group Executive – Brand, Marketing and Public Affairs, Virgin Australia

Agnes Balcer, Executive Assistant to Board Members, PwC

Ruth Crilly, Executive Assistant to Executive Dean, Faculty of Medicine and Health, University of Sydney


Positioning yourself for managing up

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

Carly Hartas, EA to British Consul-General (Sydney) & Deputy Trade Commissioner APAC, UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office

12.40 Lunch


The art of negotiating and influencing to achieve a win-win solution

  • Communicating with confidence in high-stakes situations 
  • How to build trust so you get “yes” more often 
  • Influencing others without being aggressive 
  • Tips to ensure you listen and are heard

Dr Neryl East, Speaker and Facilitator, Neryl East Communications


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

Anthony Carthew, Executive Assistant to CEO, PA of the Year Australiasia (2018) – Executive PA Media Awards, Sydney Opera House

Lauryn Brokate, Chief of Staff, Office of the Secretary, Department of Premier and Cabinet

Liv Wilson, Executive Assistant to Managing Director ANZ, Linkedin

15.05 Afternoon tea

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

Nat Kennefick, Executive Assistant to VP Retail & Mass Sales and Head of Regional & Sales Execution, Optus


Thriving in the Challenge of Change   

  • Understanding the nature of change and why it can be hard
  • Building change resilience and developing a positive mindset
  • Supporting your team and executive during constant changing situations
  • Discovering hidden opportunities that change brings

Clare Edwards, Principal, BrainSmart Consulting  

17.10 Closing remarks from the Chair and end of conference day one
 17.10-18.30 Networking drinks

Conference Day Two – Thursday 21 November 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

Angela Kamper, Executive Director, Brand, Digital & Communications, Department of Customer Service NSW

Simone Cook, Director of People and Performance, City of Canterbury Bankstown

Marcus Grimes, Head of Regional & Sales Execution, Optus

Lorraine Salloum, People, Culture & Performance Executive, Achieve Australia

Elena Kirillova, former State Director, NSW/ACT, Austrade


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

Desiree Anderson, Executive Assistant to Chief Executive Officer, GE Healthcare

10.55 Morning tea

Utilising One Note as your powerful tool to allow you to become paperless


This session will empower you to take control of your work and optimise the use of technology to take control of your time, productivity, collaboration and work results.

You will get an insight into:

  • Practical tips and shortcuts to save you time
  • Managing large volume of information with simple ways to collaborate with others
  • Making good use of different functions within this powerful tool
  • Discovering ways to take your notes and link them to Outlook

Mario Halouvas, National Learning & Development Manager, Priority Management Australia


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

Gayle Edwards, Executive Assistant to Chief Executive Officer, Life & Investments, Zurich Financial Services Australia

13.10 Lunch

Panel Discussion: Developing the career roadmap for your professional progression

  • Setting performance goals and career aspirations
  • Creating development plan towards your ideal career path
  • Building skills to further your career as professional EA
  • Leverage your EA skillset to transition into a different role

Gayle Edwards, Executive Assistant to Chief Executive Officer, Life & Investments, Zurich Financial Services Australia

Fiona Walmsley, Senior Solicitor, Office of General Counsel, NSW Treasury

Kylie Smith, former Executive Assistant, Westpac

Ingrid Bayer, Australia’s Success Coach for VAs, VA Institute of Australia


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

Kylie Smith, former Executive Assistant, Westpac


Closing remarks from the Chair and End of Conference


Get information on our exciting post conference workshops on

Working Smarter – managing your workload and priorities for you and your Executive using Outlook

Becoming an Expert in your Field of Excellence


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