Speakers

  • Laura Besley
    Head of Sustainability, CSR

    Session: Ensuring ESG excellence to elevate your organisation’s operational, business & ESG outcomes

    Laura is a passionate sustainability senior leader with over fourteen years of experience in both environments focused and more broadly sustainability roles across numerous industries including manufacturing, real estate, telco’s, finance sector including insurance and food & beverage. She is a skilled project manager who has worked with organisations on multi stakeholder engagement projects for sustainability reporting including; indices reporting (UNPRI, DJSI) and sustainability assurance including NGERS, sustainability strategy and framework development and reviews including materiality assessments, peer sustainability benchmarking projects, supply chain projects including human rights due diligence and audits, supply chain strategies, and community engagement projects including outcomes evaluation and social impact measurement.

    She is interested in implementing transparent 'sensible sustainable' solutions for businesses to better mitigate their material sustainability risks, to reduce the impact on the environment and to create mutual business and social benefits. She is knowledgeable in sustainability strategy development, data management, investor report writing, community valuation, sustainable development goals, sustainability reporting and strategy, environmental law, and sustainability analytics.

  • Hannah Campbell
    Procurement Manager, Incitec Pivot

    Session: How others can ally with and empower women to grow in the manufacturing industry

    Session: PANEL DISCUSSION: How can we action the shared responsibility of men and women to drive positive change?

    Hannah is a chartered chemical engineer with a rich background in production leadership and business support roles at a leading global industrial chemicals manufacturer. With a passion for promoting STEMM education and championing female role models, she harnesses her extensive experience to inspire and elevate others.

    As a dynamic and youthful leader, Hannah is on a mission to unlock untapped potential and foster an appreciation for the full spectrum of diversity. Her goal is to unite people to make forward-thinking decisions for a more sustainable future, and is particularly passionate about helping secure Australia's sovereign manufacturing capability. She exemplifies courageous leadership and is renowned for her unique blend of technical expertise and people-centric nature, tackling challenges that have previously been unchallenged.

    Hannah is a member of Chemistry Australia's Emerging Leaders Advisory Council and Engineers Australia's Chemical College Board. She was recently recognised as Chemistry Australia's Young Leader of 2023. She is an alumni of Homeward Bound, a global initiative empowering woman in STEMM leadership, culminating in an expedition to Antarctica in November 2023.

    As an engaging storyteller, Hannah is an inspiring and entertaining speaker who uses relatable and vulnerable examples to encourage others to take agency and embrace their unique leadership style. She draws from her experiences in the male-dominated resources industry and shares insights gained from her time in Antarctica and how it shaped her into the leader she is today—and aspires to be.

  • Adam Carpenter
    Manufacturing Mill Manager, Kimberly-Clark

    Session: PANEL DISCUSSION: How can we action the shared responsibility of men and women to drive positive change?

    Session: Understanding, solving and eliminating unconscious bias in the industry

    A dedicated industry professional utilising over 30 years global experience in FMCG Manufacturing, Sustainability, Energy, Industrial Relations, Corporate, Supply Chain Leadership, and Minerals Processing to drive sustainable transformation of industry and its workforce for the future.

    Key skills include Operations and People Leadership, Diversity and Inclusion Change Management, LEAN Manufacturing, Carbon Reduction, Strategic Planning, Risk Management, Business Transformation, Financial Performance Management, Government & Ministerial Relations, Product Development, and Integrated Business Planning.

  • Latinka Cubitt
    General Manager – Administration, Catten Industries

    Session: Roundtable 1: Unlocking your full potential through the power of mentorship

    Latinka Cubitt is an accomplished professional who wears multiple hats as the General Manager and Owner of Catten Industries and LaTink. In the ever-evolving landscape of business, Latinka's journey began in the mid-eighties within the IT industry, where she embarked as a mainframe computer operator. Her tenacity led her through roles as a Systems Analyst, Project Manager, and ultimately an IT Manager, contributing her expertise across diverse sectors including Manufacturing, Banking, Distribution, and Medical.

    In a pivotal move, 2017 marked a significant chapter in Latinka's career as she and her husband Ian assumed ownership of Catten Industries, situated in the heart of Bayswater. Renowned for their excellence in manufacturing Sheetmetal products and providing solutions from Concept to Completion, Catten boasts extensive experience spanning various industries. Their profound understanding of systems and innovative practices has consistently set them apart. Catering to sectors such as Building, Electrical, Renewables, Transport, Shopfitting, Display, Point of Sale, Communications, Furniture, Material handling, General Engineering, and Defence, Catten continues to be a reliable industry partner.

  • Clair Edwards
    Technical Director, Oceania, Symrise AG

    Session: PANEL DISCUSSION: How can we realistically drive change, improve diversity and strengthen our teams and organisations?

    Session: Building essential skills in manufacturing: soft skills to excel in your role

    As the Technical Director for Oceania at Symrise Australia, Clair is a seasoned professional with a passion for innovation and technical excellence in the flavor and fragrance industry. With extensive experience in flavor development and technical leadership, Clair leads Symrise's technical operations across the Oceania region with expertise and dedication. Leveraging a deep understanding of consumer trends and market dynamics, she drives the development of cutting-edge flavor solutions that meet the unique needs of customers in the region. Committed to fostering collaboration and driving continuous improvement, she plays a pivotal role in advancing Symrise's technical capabilities and maintaining its position as a global leader in the industry.

  • Jayne Glasson
    Head of Research & Development, Tegel Foods

    Session: Cultivating personal and professional growth, leadership skills and success

    Session: PANEL DISCUSSION: How can leaders balance technology’s many opportunities with the evolving risks?

    As the Head of Research and Development (R&D) at Tegel Foods Ltd, Jayne Glasson is a seasoned professional with 18 years of experience in the food manufacturing industry. Leading a diverse team of 14 individuals, Jayne is at the forefront of driving product development, packaging development, project management, and commercial systems. With an impressive career that spans renowned FMCG companies such as Heinz, Mars, and Suntory, Jayne brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her leadership role. Jayne is passionate about fostering great team cultures, promoting personal growth (she is currently pursuing her Executive MBA), and infusing creativity into everyday practices.

  • Loulou Hammad
    Customer Director, Alstom

    Session: PANEL DISCUSSION: How can we realistically drive change, improve diversity and strengthen our teams and organisations?

    Session: Leveraging diverse teams for enhanced business outcomes and growth

    As the Customer Director at ALSTOM Group, Loulou is a seasoned professional with extensive experience in manufacturing and engineering. With a focus on building and nurturing client partnerships, she is dedicated to delivering exceptional solutions tailored to the needs of manufacturing clients. Through a strategic approach and a deep understanding of ALSTOM's manufacturing capabilities, Loulou drives customer satisfaction and fosters long-term relationships built on trust and innovation. With a passion for excellence and a commitment to quality, Loulou is instrumental in driving growth and success for ALSTOM in the manufacturing sector.

  • Meighan Heard
    Executive Director, Commercial & Corporate, Mitsubishi Electric Australia

    Session: Building effective communication and collaboration to elevate project outcomes

    As an Executive Director at Mitsubishi Electric Australia, she oversees the commercial and corporate functions of the company, including factory automation, building management systems, power and automotive business units, risk and compliance, and marketing and communications. She also serves as the Corporate Compliance Officer and the Export Control Administrator, ensuring the organisation adheres to the highest standards of ethics, integrity, and security.

    With over 10 years of executive and non-executive leadership experience across diverse sectors and industries, she has a proven track record of delivering strategic outcomes, managing complex projects, leading high-performing teams, and driving continuous improvement and innovation. She is passionate about sustainability and social responsibility and led the development and implementation of the ESG framework and strategy for BaptistCare, where she was the General Manager of Governance and Legal. She has completed several certifications and courses in sustainability, governance, and leadership, hold an MBA degree from Macquarie Graduate School of Management and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

  • Erika Hughes
    Commercial Director, Integra Systems

    Session: Building a successful long-term career in manufacturing

    Session: PANEL DISCUSSION: From the factory to the boardroom: navigating a male-dominated industry

    Erika Hughes has been providing her family business, Integra Systems, with her expertise in management, business development, strategy and marketing since 2001. In her role as Commercial Director, Erika ensures all pillars of the business are strong and drives the strategic direction of the company. Erika has been instrumental in building Integra’s new division, Integra TransForm, into a strong proprietorial division of the business.

    Graduating with a Bachelor of Business from RMIT and a Graduate Diploma in Management Leadership from Swinburne, Erika has a passion for transferring her knowledge and insights in the areas of business transformation, manufacturing digitisation and circularity. Winner of the 2023 Victorian Manufacturing Hall of Fame’s Woman Manufacturer of the Year, she has been recognised industry-wide as a judge for the Women in Industry Awards and has been a guest speaker at many women in industry forums and industry knowledge-sharing events.

    With her diverse knowledge and depth of experience across 20+ years in manufacturing, Erika now enjoys mentoring women in leadership as part of AMTIL’s Women in Manufacturing Leadership Mentoring Program launched in 2022.

  • The Hon. Natalie Hutchins MP
    Minister for Women and Minister for Jobs and Industry, Victorian Government

    Session: Ministerial Address

    The Hon. Natalie Hutchins MP is current Member for Sydenham, and the Minister for Education and Minister for Women. Natalie has previously held the positions of Minister for Industrial Relations, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Minister for Local Government, Minister for Women and Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence during the 2014-2018 first term of the Andrews Labor Government. And more recently, Minister for Corrections, Crime Prevention, Youth Justice and Victim Support.

    As a Minister, Natalie is particularly proud to have been a part of a government that committed to Treaty with the states’ traditional owners, improved conditions for vulnerable workers, established Respect Victoria and ensured women have an equal voice in everything it does. In the past year Natalie has also worked with families of people who have died at work to introduce Workplace Manslaughter laws.

    From her days as a union official to a small business owner, a mum to a Minister, Natalie is committed to fighting for workers, and ensuring a better future for all Victorians. She has always been a fierce advocate for gender equality, for workers’ rights and for justice for Aboriginal Victorians. This continues in her capacity as a Minister and Member of Parliament.

    In 2010 she was elected to represent the seat of Keilor and became the Shadow Minister for Ports, Freight and Logistics and the Shadow Minister for Industrial Relations. She has represented the seat of Sydenham since 2014.

  • Zoe Marshall
    Environmental Manager and Food Safety, Quality Systems, Turosi

    Session: Emission reduction strategies to meet sustainability & organisational goals

    Session: Roundtable 4: Navigating the manufacturing industry’s journey towards sustainability goals

    As the Environmental Manager and Food Safety Quality Systems Lead at Turosi, Zoe is a dedicated professional committed to ensuring the highest standards of environmental sustainability and food safety across all operations. With a background in environmental science and extensive experience in quality management systems, she oversees Turosi's environmental initiatives and food safety protocols with precision and expertise. By implementing rigorous quality control measures and continuous improvement strategies, Zoe ensures that Turosi products meet and exceed regulatory standards while minimizing environmental impact. Passionate about sustainability and innovation, she drives Turosi's efforts to reduce waste, conserve resources, and operate in an environmentally responsible manner. With a focus on collaboration and teamwork, she fosters a culture of excellence and accountability, positioning Turosi as a leader in both environmental stewardship and food safety.

  • Donna Paxton
    General Manager - Group Human Resources, Jayco

    Session: Leading by example: embodying resilience and flexibility in your team as a woman

    Session: PANEL DISCUSSION: From the factory to the boardroom: navigating a male-dominated industry

    Donna currently sits on the Executive Team at Jayco Corporation Pty Ltd as the General Manager of Human Resources for the Group. Jayco build recreational vehicles on a 50-acre facility in Dandenong, employing over 1000 employees. Donna has been with Jayco for over 11 years now.

    After studying Human Resources at TAFE, Donna started her career in a Recruitment agency 24+ years ago. Two years later, she held her first Human Resources Management role at a large Catering Company, Australian Commercial Catering, working across multiple sites throughout Australia before taking a brief break to have her first child.

    Donna then worked for Fiat International at their IVECO Trucks manufacturing facility for 4 years. Donna was the Senior Human Resources Manager there as well as the temporary HR Director for several months.

    Donna then changed industries and became the Group HR Manager in an Apple Orchard and Cold Storage Facility called the Montague Group of Companies before returning to what she loved most - Manufacturing at Jayco.

    With over 24 years of Human Resources experience, Donna's passion is working with people and getting the best results for the Company and the employees. Donna has a keen interest in employee well-being and is an accredited Mental Health Officer.

  • Genevieve Reid
    Director of Business Development and Industry Engagement, Swinburne University of Technology

    Session: Transformative tech trends reshaping manufacturing organisations & operations

    Session: PANEL DISCUSSION: How can leaders balance technology’s many opportunities with the evolving risks?

    Genevieve leads the strategic business development and industry engagement teams at Swinburne University of Technology, working at the intersection of industry, innovation and investment,

    Her sales and management expertise spans three decades working throughout the Asia Pacific region. Genevieve  has a strong track record of creating multi-disciplinary, impactful industry engagement programs linking industry and research for impact - from national clean energy transition to industry 4.0 readiness she is passionate about collaboration that brings about sustainable, beneficial exchange.

    Having enjoyed leadership roles with Oracle Corporation, and Australian technology companies Computershare and Aconex, Genevieve is part of a thriving tech community of women dedicated to supporting women and girls expand their knowledge of the industry and build the confidence and leadership skills needed for career success in the advanced manufacturing sector.

    Genevieve has worked extensively in the non-profit sector as non-executive director of philanthropic organisations ShareGift Australia and Chair of Australian arts institution Craft Victoria. She is a member of the Public Relations Institute of Australian (PRIA) and the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD).

  • Serena Ross
    Chief Executive Officer, Circuitwise Electronics Manufacturing

    Session: PANEL DISCUSSION: From the factory to the boardroom: navigating a male-dominated industry

    Serena Ross is the CEO of Circuitwise Electronics, a contract manufacturer of advanced electronics servicing high reliability industries including medtech, aerospace, mining and defence.  Serena has extensive experience in electronics manufacturing having worked in the industry for over 20 years and is a champion for sovereign capability.

  • Bianca Shepherd
    Engineering Support Workshop Manager, Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO)

    Session: Project management strategies to meet deadlines, reduce costs and achieve project success

    Bianca Shepherd is ANSTO’s Engineering Support Workshop Manager, confidently overseeing the manufacture and fabrication of equipment and specialised parts for critical Australian scientific and landmark infrastructure.

    In particular, Bianca oversees the manufacture of specialised parts for the OPAL multi-purpose reactor, which is required for the production of nuclear medicine that benefits half a million Australians each year. Bianca also enables the continued operation of infrastructure relevant to important health, environment and nuclear fuel cycle research.

    Bianca began her career almost thirty years ago as an Electrical Engineering Cadet at BHP. During that time, she completed an Associate Diploma in Electrical Engineering whilst undertaking an electrical trade, and working in the steel industry.

    Bianca remains grateful for her trade expertise, and developing the next generation of young trade professionals in STEM has become her passion. She possesses strong education and training skills, and has worked at the University of Ballarat to teach electrical modules to apprentices and tradespeople.

  • Karin Vosmansky
    Executive Director, Mack Valves

    Session: Empowering women in manufacturing for continuous leadership advancement

    Session: PANEL DISCUSSION: From the factory to the boardroom: navigating a male-dominated industry

    Karin is a dynamic, strategic, and people-focused leader. She is currently the CEO/Executive Director of Mack Valves, an Australian Valve manufacturer that is part of the HEROSE International group of companies. Karin holds a master's degree in professional accounting, is CPA qualified, and has a public practice license.

    Karin began in the manufacturing industry eight years ago and, in 2020, became the first female Executive Director of Mack Valves in its 85-year history. Previous to that, Karin worked as the financial controller with the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation.

    Her early career saw her working in senior management positions at Delaware North, one of the world's largest food and beverage service brands. This included working at the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games and the Australian Open Tennis. Following on from there she worked at various organisations in the not-for-profit sector and causes that hold personal significance.

    Karin dedicates her time and expertise to philanthropy outside of her professional commitments. She serves on the board and volunteers as Treasurer and Director for Life's Little Treasures Foundation, Australia's premier Premature baby charity. Since the early birth of her son in 2007 due to severe pre-eclampsia and HELLP syndrome, she has been passionate about ensuring families facing premature birth get the assistance, education and support they need.

    For the past 15 years, Karin has also been heavily involved in running 'Walk for Prems', the biggest event in Australia that raises funds and awareness for premature and sick babies. A consummate volunteer, she also supports the local cricket and footy club and is a big advocate for youth sports.

    Karin is also a founding member and Treasurer of the recently formed Women's Defence Connection, which actively supports, mentors, and encourages more women to pursue engineering, manufacturing, and defence careers.

  • Honi Walker
    Chief Executive Officer, South East Melbourne Manufacturers Alliance (SEMMA)

    Session: PANEL DISCUSSION: How can we realistically drive change, improve diversity and strengthen our teams and organisations?

    Session: PANEL DISCUSSION: How can leaders balance technology’s many opportunities with the evolving risks?

    Session: Roundtable 3: Finding your career path in manufacturing

    Session: PANEL DISCUSSION: How can we action the shared responsibility of men and women to drive positive change?

    Session: PANEL DISCUSSION: From the factory to the boardroom: navigating a male-dominated industry

    Honi is a business development, marketing and media communications professional with twenty years’ experience in the not-for-profit, corporate and construction sectors.

    As the CEO of SEMMA (South East Manufacturers Alliance) Honi’s role is to advocate to government on behalf of members, grow the membership, raise the profile of SEMMA and change the perception of manufacturing to Smart, Secure and Sustainable while attracting a new cohort of employees to this growing sector that employs over 600,000 people in Victoria alone and generates $43b towards the Victorian economy.

  • Brett Weeden
    Head of People and Culture, Not A Trace

    Session: PANEL DISCUSSION: How can we action the shared responsibility of men and women to drive positive change?

    Brett is an experienced Senior HR Professional, with over 17 years local and international management experience gained in a variety of sectors (retail, hospitality, health care, disability support and telecommunications). He has a proven track record in learning and development and human resource management throughout my career, particularly over the past 17 years.

    He has a working knowledge of international/EU and Australian employment law and rights, and a clear understanding of the Australian Charter of Employment Rights, the Fair Work Act and other relevant employment legislation.

    He has completed the Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) in Global Human Resource Management through the University of Liverpool, a member of the UK’s elite Russell Group of research-led universities, ranked in the top 1% of universities worldwide. He is currently completing the Master of Business Law (MBL) at Southern Cross University (SCU). The MBL is designed to develop legal acumen to understand, interpret and apply the law in relation to business contexts. SCU is ranked in the top 4% of universities worldwide for business and social sciences.

    He is a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute (FCMI), a Chartered Member of the CIPD (MCIPD), a Professional Member and Certified Professional of the Australian Human Resources Institute (MAHRI & CAHRI) and a Member of the Law Institute of Victoria.

  • Kate Whitney
    Chief Digital and Technology Officer, Treasury Wine Estates

    Session: PANEL DISCUSSION: How can leaders balance technology’s many opportunities with the evolving risks?

    Session: Roundtable 2: Using Technology in your role and how technology will shape your future career

    Kate Whitney has had an obsession with using data in brand marketing since the day she left University.

    With that passion and commitment, She’s been fortunate to work across a number of categories and brands that are true market leaders. Some of her proudest achievements have been whilst working with, and leading, great people in advertising, subscription television, consumer goods, financial services, telecommunication, luxury and omni-channel retail.

  • Bron Williams
    Keynote Speaker, Mentor, PhD Researcher,

    Session: How to excel in your manufacturing career: advanced leadership skills for current & emerging leaders

    Bron Williams is a powerful woman dedicated to helping other women reconnect with their own power. Despite her achievements - including an honours degree, serving as a school principal, being an ordained minister, and having experience working with asylum seekers - Bron once struggled to tap into her full potential because of the expectations of family and society.

    By guiding women to understand their own drivers, needs and values Bron helps women reconnect with their own power, so they can confidently negotiate their salaries and pursue leadership positions, unapologetically celebrating their achievements along the way.