Executive Assistant Congress Melbourne agenda

Conference Day One – Wednesday 27 March 2019

8.30 Registration
9.00 Opening remarks from the chair

Delegation and authority – Changing people’s perceptions of executive assistants

  • Dealing with the label of “you are just an EA”
  • Gaining support from your executive on delegation of authority
  • Improving confidence when working with other executives on behalf of your boss
  • Stretching your comfort zone to expand your role and take more responsibilities
  • Getting involved in organisational events

Narrelle Matthey-Aickin, Executive Assistant to Chief Marketing Officer, ANZ


Panel discussion: Managing multiple priorities and conflicting demands

  • Determining top priorities and balancing priorities
  • Responding to unexpected change in schedules
  • Planning ahead and giving enough notice
  • Negotiating and acting on behalf of your executives

Kaye Mercer, Executive Assistant to CEO and Executive Team, Alumina Limited

TJ Wong, Executive Assistant to CEO, Monash College

Ann-Marie Davis, Executive Assistant to DCEO Strategy Development & CRO, NDIS

Abilene Roscoe, Executive Assistant to General Manager Corporate Services, VMIA

10.40 Morning Coffee

Establishing the foundation for powerful and effective communication


Working with any measure of success involves a commitment to communicating in a manner that works effectively for ourselves, our colleagues and key stakeholders

  • Learn about the 5 key pillars that drive the foundation for communication excellence
  • Understand the 4 key communication styles or languages
  • Exerting authority through communication excellence
  • Enhancing professional presence when communicating

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


Panel discussion: Building a strategic partnership with your executive and

collaborative relationships with other officers in your organisation

  • Understanding how your organisation works
  • Building trusted working relationships with other executives and colleagues
  • Applying the art of saying “no” when necessary

Carissa Elliott, Executive Assistant to the Chief Executive, Vicroads

Jo George, Executive Assistant to CEO, Whitehorse City Council

Tessa Curtain, Executive Assistant to Chief Customer Officer, NAB

Mina Italiano, Executive Administration Manager Asia Pacific, Itron

12.40 Lunch


Embracing change in a positive and supportive way

  • Getting mentally prepared for constant change in the public and private sector
  • Discovering the benefits of change and supporting change in your organisation
  • Sharing the ownership of change with your colleagues
  • Supporting your executive during change and under conditions of uncertainty
  • Using change as an opportunity to learn new professional skills

Caroline Cameron, Founder, Director, and Executive Coach, Possibility to Reality


Panel Discussion: Creating your roadmap for career progression and development

  • Looking for career options outside of EA role – where to from here?
  • Creating a development plan and building skill sets
  • Discussing the professional EA career path
  • Discovering skill sets needed to move within the public sector

Samantha Webb, Executive Assistant to CEO, Beyondblue

Shannon Whelan, Executive Assistant to CEO, LJ Hooker Home Loans

Andrea Kaldi, Business Operations Advisor, State Library Victoria

15.05 Afternoon tea

Managing stress for better work-life balance

  • Understanding the causes and triggers of stress
  • Making plans and organising ahead to cope with daily pressure effectively
  • Striking a balance between work, life, relationship and relaxation

Sabina Vitacca, Mindfulness Consultant, Meditate Now


Making the most of networking opportunities    

  • Understanding the business case for effective networking
  • What are the social networking opportunities I should go to?
  • Engaging with EAs inside and outside your organisation
  • Tips and advice for networking
  • Using networking to your professional advantage

Phyllis Vellu, Executive Assistant to Dean and Deputy Dean, The University of Melbourne

17.10 Closing remarks from the Chair and end of conference day one
 17.10-18.30 Networking drinks – Take advantage of this exciting opportunity to put your newly learned networking skills to practice

Conference Day Two – Thursday 28 March 2019

9.00 Opening remarks from the chair

Panel discussion: Advice from the top – what are your senior executives expecting?

  • Building a strategic partnership with your executive
  • Setting and managing expectations
  • Discovering skills that your boss values the most in the executive assistant profession
  • Using effective communication to give your EA feedback

Jo Mithen, Chief Executive Officer, Monash College

Merryl Dooley, Chief People Officer, Tabcorp

Katrina Cheesewright, EA Team Manager Melbourne, EY


Improve self-confidence and shine in your EA career

  • The evolution of the EA role
  • Maintaining a positive attitude – the art of communicating with professionalism and confidence
  • How to identify and develop the areas of interest to you to grow your skills and networks
  • Stepping out of your comfort zone – the art of saying Yes to the right things!
  • Remembering the ‘Big Picture’

Samantha Webb, Executive Assistant to CEO, Beyondblue

10.40 Morning tea

Are you Efficient or Effective?


You often hear these terms being thrown around, but what do they really mean?

Are efficient people more productive because they get more work done? Or should you be more focused on being effective?

While efficiency refers to how well something is done, effectiveness refers to how useful something is. In the forever busy role of an assistant, Mario gives you some very practical tips on how to achieve a balance of both, to be more productive.


  • Learn the difference between efficient and effective
  • Identify strategies that will enable you to get your work done and be more productive
  • Plot your work on a matrix to allow you to better prioritise
  • Implement an effective decision making process
  • Define questions and strategies to allow for greater efficiency

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


Panel discussion: Creating and supporting mentoring programs and EA networks

  • Building effective mentor and mentee programs
  • Identifying specific areas requiring development
  • Building a constructive mentor mentee relationship for mutual benefit
  • Establishing an EA networking group and a mentoring program in your organisation

Rachael Bonetti, Executive Assistant to CEO, Bupa

Jayne Romeril, Executive Assistant to the Chief People Officer, Tabcorp

Adele Selby, Senior Personal Assistant/Paralegal, Lander & Rogers

12.50 Lunch

Behavioural awareness – exploring and respecting different working styles

  • Understanding different working styles, their strength and weakness
  • Exploring human brain domination
  • Respecting individual differences at workplace
  • Improving interpersonal effectiveness between you and your colleagues

Cynthia Mahoney, Director, Cynthia Mahoney & Associates


The leadership lens: Leading without positional authority

  • Why working with diverse, difficult or different people fast tracks careers and results
  • How we unconsciously bring out the worst in people and why
  • How to boost your influence by changing your mind
  • Why the power of perspective is the best tool for building strong relationships

Anneli Blundell, Professional People Whisperer, AnneliBlundell.com


Closing remarks from the chair and end of conference


Get information on our exciting post conference workshop on

Unleashing the power of Outlook to be more productive

Building effective interpersonal skills for working with diverse personalities and thinking styles

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