NZ Public Sector Executive Assistant Congress agenda

7-8 September 2022, Wellington



Conference day one – Wednesday 7 September

08.30 Registration
09.00 Opening remarks from the chair

Building your influence to achieve your goals

  • Knowing your purpose as an Executive Assistant
  • Building your credibility within your role
  • Managing uncertainty from inside and outside your organisation
  • Exerting influence without positional authority
  • Problem-solving as a strategic partner with your executive and colleagues

Eth Lloyd, Senior Advisor, AdmiNZ


Panel discussion: Rethinking your role as an Executive Assistant to build new capabilities during times of uncertainty

  • Understanding new and upcoming challenges brought by the pandemic
  • Taking on extra duties to provide wider business support
  • Overcoming unique challenges and seeing challenge as an opportunity
  • Communicating with senior executives effectively during times of change
  • Redefining your role and exploring the future of the EA role

Lisa Lowe, Executive Assistant to Mayor, New Plymouth District Council
Rachel Phillips, Executive Assistant to the Chief Executive, Tairāwhiti District Health
Carolyn Davies, Executive Assistant, Southland District Council
Francine McGee
, School Manager, Economics and Finance School, Victoria University of Wellington

10.40 Morning Tea

Building new capabilities to provide remote support to your executives

  • Navigating and adapting to the cultural change of remote work
  • Techniques to enhance and achieve productivity in the online working environment
  • Strategies for communicating effectively with your Executives when working remotely
  • Software tools that complement the online working environment

Ingrid Bayer, Founder, VA Institute


Building your professional brand as an EA of the 21st century

  • Creating an authentic & positive reputation
  • Breaking down barriers
  • Moving from transactional to strategic
  • Creating and maintaining a lifelong network
  • Using your brand to create opportunities

Joanne Gallop, President of AdmiNZ & Executive Assistant to Chief Executive, Christchurch City Council

12.40 Lunch

Advancing your communication skills to boost engagement

  • Understanding your communication style and using your voice
  • Identifying your senior executive’s communication preferences
  • Enhancing your confidence and assertiveness with practical tips and tricks

Janine Gould, Co-Founder, Communicate Consultants


Panel discussion: Discovering the delicate art of managing up and building a collaborative business partnership with your executive

  • Gaining a deeper insight into the pressures, demands and requirements of your executive’s role
  • Taking ownership of tasks to clear work goals and priorities
  • Connecting with your executive on a regular basis
  • Building trust as a team and asking for feedback proactively

Lynda Holden, Executive Assistant to Deputy Chief Executive, Ministry of Transport

Debbie Warnock, Senior Executive Assistant and AdmiNZ member

Penny Menzies, Executive Assistant, Worksafe NZ

Mary Huffadine, Senior Executive Assistant


Afternoon Tea


Dealing with competing priorities and managing time wisely

  • Prioritising multiple tasks and setting up to do list
  • Exploring time management tools and tips
  • Exploring strategies to determine top priorities and balance priorities
  • Preparing yourself to accommodate urgent tasks
  • Maintaining focus to commit to established goals for the day

Debbie Warnock, EA and AdmiNZ member


Identifying how you add value and knowing your worth

  • Navigating imposter syndrome and self-doubt
  • Avoiding self-sabotage and becoming your best self
  • Managing your inner critic and having your own back
  • Developing a habit of self-kindness


 17.00 Closing remarks and end of conference day one
 17.10 Networking drinks reception 

Conference day two – Thursday 8 September 2022

9.00 Opening remarks from the chair

Enhancing leadership skills and leading without positional authority

  • Dealing with management and leadership tasks
  • Making independent decisions and taking calculated risks
  • Showing initiatives and taking ownership to solve problems
  • Motivating others and exerting influence

Ness Franks, Executive Assistant

 09.55 Strengthening teamwork with smart use of Microsoft Teams
  • Embracing Microsoft Teams to communicate, collaborate and connect with your colleagues
  • Establishing rules of engagement
  • Building teams within MS Teams and enabling best practice teamwork
  • Managing operational and project tasks to enhance team performance

Chris Macintosh, Managing Director, Priority Management NZ

10.40 Morning Tea

Panel discussion: Keeping your career moving forward

  • Taking ownership to build your career roadmap
  • Gaining support from your executives
  • Advancing your career as a professional EA
  • Winning a new role stepping outside of the EA space
  • Progressing further and choose the right career path for yourself

Ness Franks, Executive Assistant, Strategic and Corporate Services, New Zealand Qualifications Authority
Joanne Gallop
, President of AdmiNZ & Executive Assistant to Chief Executive, Christchurch City Council
Tai Samaeli, ACE Sector Capability Manager, ACE Aotearoa
Dorothy Raroa, Poutiaki
Patricia Ostate
, Executive Assistant to DCE Academic, Otago Polytechnic


Growing mental and emotional resilience in a changing workplace

  • Developing strategies to avoid and manage emotional exhaustion
  • Building mental resilience to keep you on track
  • Navigating new and challenging workplace changes intelligently
  • Facilitating essential self-care and self-kindness
  • Practicing techniques to centre yourself and improve wellness at work

Kerene Strochnetter, Consultant, Mindful at Work

12.40 Lunch

Enhancing your relationships in work and life with emotional intelligence

  • Examining and debunking common myths about emotions
  • Centring emotions as essential within and beyond your role
  • Identifying personal emotional signposts in practice
  • Making emotional choices as a foundation for action

Sherie Pointon, Director, Admin Advantage 


Senior Executives’ panel discussion: discussing expectations and providing advice for executive assistants

  • What are our expectations of a great Executive Assistant?
  • What are the top-notch skills we appreciate the most?
  • Building a strategic business relationship with Executive Assistant
  • Where is the line between professional and personal?

Suzanne Stew, Deputy Chief Executive, Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment
Dawn Baxendale
, Chief Executive, Christchurch City Council

Rex Capil, General Manager, Community Lifestyle Services, Gore District Council


Closing remarks from the chair and end of conference