Public Sector Executive Assistant Congress 2022 – Agenda

7th Public Sector Executive Assistant Congress – Agenda

16-17 November 2022; QT Hotel Canberra

Conference Day One – Wednesday 16 November

8.30       Registration


9.00       Opening remarks from the chair


9.10     Communicating clearly and constructively with your executive, colleagues, and clients

  • Identifying the different personality types of each individual
  • Approaching every conversation with a productive and professional attitude
  • Preparing for communication challenges across new cultures and organisations
  • Sharing your thoughts and ideas in an efficient and clear way
  • Valuing your own expertise and value as an active participant in professional communications

Madeline Bonfini, Director, RD Consulting


9.55     The EA of the Future:  Futureproof your EA Career

  • Leveraging your existing skills as an EA 
  • Discovering your personal “zone of genius”
  • Building strategies to mitigate a climate of uncertainty
  • Understanding how to incorporate a low risk dual strategy to Futureproof your EA Career

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



10.40    Morning coffee


11.10    Panel Discussion: Practicing leadership as an EA without positional authority

  • Knowing your responsibilities and entitlements as a core support for your executive
  • Establishing a strong rapport with your executive and colleagues as an equal
  • Standing your ground when others unfairly dismiss your input
  • Taking your vital role within the organisation seriously as a modern EA
    Laura-Jane Bourne, Executive Assistant, Australian Financial Security Authority
    Mary-Elizabeth Denmark, Executive Assistant, Macquarie University
    Tracy Coutts, Executive Assistant, Australian Climate Service
    Jillian Gilmartin
    , Executive Assistant to First Assistant Secretary, Service Delivery, Department of Defence


11.55    Managing potential conflict and finding solutions in the modern workplace

  • Highlighting the role of EAs in the Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous world
  • Knowing what behavioural dynamics are operating and how to let go of frustrations
  • Building understanding before conflict becomes unacceptable
  • Developing strong and respectful relationships to support constructive discussion 
  • Identifying the importance of constructive conflict in joint problem solving 

Kim Vella, Founder and Chief Coach, Kim Vella Coaching


12.40    Lunch


13.40  Managing your time effectively to support your executive

  • Identifying the high priority tasks for your principal
  • Arranging your working day according to your needs and strengths
  • Communicating with your executive and colleagues to perfect your workflow
  • Identifying the value of rest and recovery now for better outcomes tomorrow

Jess Bath, Executive Assistant to Deputy Secretary, Higher Education and Skills, Victoria Department of Education and Training


14.25    Panel Discussion: Identifying the responsibilities and opportunities of the modern EA

  • Dispelling out-dated assumptions about your place in the organisation
  • Articulating the scope of your work clearly to reduce misunderstandings
  • Enforcing healthy boundaries to work effectively with your colleagues
  • Challenging the gendered assumptions of EA work
  • Championing the irreplaceable EA—you!

Shannon Edwards, Executive Assistant to the COO, Attorney-General’s Department
Sharna Lawler
, Executive Assistant to Director Health Intelligence Unit, Western NSW Local Health District
Natalie Apostoloska
, Executive Assistant to the Chief Digital Officer, Australian Digital Health Agency
Jess Bath
, Executive Assistant to Deputy Secretary, Higher Education and Skills,Victoria Department of Education and Training


15.10    Afternoon tea


15.30    Becoming a change champion in your workplace

  • Utilising the EA position and skillset to motivate organisational change
  • Anticipating future shifts and emerging needs to prepare early
  • Managing stress and uncertainty in a changing world
  • Developing a flexible and resilient approach to change

Megan Ross, Director, Blend Studio



16.15    Senior Exec Panel: Understanding the skills and features of an exceptional EA

  • Identifying the most useful support that an EA can provide
  • Comparing the support provided by EAs in the past to EAs today
  • Addressing the key concerns around working with a senior executive
  • Creating a high-performance team between an EA and their executive

Carol Cote, Assistant Secretary Finance, Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications, and the Arts

Cameron Gifford, Chief Operating Officer, Attorney-General’s Department

Tony Castley, Chief Information Officer/Chief Information Security Officer, Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications, and the Arts

Stephen Alexander, GM National Security and Space, Business Solutions Group, Bureau of Meteorology


17.00    End of conference day one



Conference day 2 – Thursday 17 November


8.30       Registration


9.00       Opening remarks from the chair


9.10   Discovering the 10 Secrets to Becoming a Superstar EA

  • Leveraging your Strengths and thinking strategically
  • Uncovering and conquering your specific Challenges
  • Developing a mindset to conquer the four main psychological barriers for all EAs
  • Building your confidence and assertiveness while eliminating perfectionism disease
  • Achieving milestones and adding strategic value to your organisation

Katrena Friel, Australia’s Leading Success Coach for Intrepeneurs, Refresh your Thinking


9.55      Taking care of your wellbeing in a difficult era for administrative professionals

  • Reframing the challenges for EAs in recent years as legitimately challenging, or even traumatic
  • Communicating authentically about your personal challenges with your executive
  • Recognising the early warning signs of overwork and mental ill-health, in yourself and others
  • Developing practical skills and exercises to be resilient in challenging situations

Karina Dugard, Senior Coach and Facilitator, Exhale People


10.40    Morning coffee


11.10    Overcoming the challenges of the “new normal” of hybrid work

  • Achieving executive buy-in for your ideal working arrangements
  • Developing a productive team workflow across a geographically dispersed workplace
  • Establishing and maintaining a productive relationship with your executive, no matter the location.
  • Troubleshooting common technical issues for EAs in hybrid work

Carly Hartas, Founder and Director, Country to Coast EA


11.55    Panel Discussion: Mapping your career trajectory as a high-achieving EA

  • Developing “senior EA” skills in procurement and budgeting areas
  • Communicating a unique and memorable personal brand in every interaction
  • Networking with purpose to make connections outside of your immediate circle
  • Building confidence and decisiveness as a career-focused Executive Assistant

Ruby Lambert, Executive Assistant, Bureau of Meteorology
Jenny Whitehouse
, Senior Executive Assistant, Reserve Bank of Australia
Chantel Gleeson-Abdilla
, Executive Assistant to the Chief Information Officer, Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications, and the Arts
Leanne Geach
, Executive Assistant to the First Assistant Secretary, Southeast Asia Regional Division, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Casey-Marie De Veau
, Executive Assistant to FAS Children and Families Division, Attorney-General’s Department


12.40    Lunch


13.40    Utilising your EA skillset to become a project management expert

  • Understanding the operational overlap between project management and the EA role
  • Leading a high-performing team in a dynamic project environment
  • Leveraging your increasing responsibilities as an EA to develop new skills
  • Building rapport with co-workers and stakeholders
  • Achieving positive outcomes with a strong project management team

Brendon Le Lievre, Founder and Lead Coach, Hare Consulting


14.25    Collaborating strategically with multiple stakeholders

  • Communicating effectively with internal and external stakeholders
  • Diffusing tense situations in a professional manner
  • Utilising multiple communication methods to connect more efficiently
  • Connecting with stakeholder’s priorities and concerns to deliver swift results

Chris Huet, Director and Lead Coach, Understood Consulting Services


15.10    End of Conference Day 2