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.

  • 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.

  • Belinda Layson
    Beverage Operations Manager, PepsiCo

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

    Belinda Layson is a Beverage Operations Manager at PepsiCo, having previously worked as a Packaging Team Leader and an Improvement Engineer at Lion, and before that as a Process Engineer at Aquacell.

  • Carissa Mansfield
    General Manager People & Culture, Mackay Sugar
  • 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 has extensive senior experience working in HR generalist roles, particularly within the Manufacturing sector.

    She has a practical “hands on” approach to her work and her constant dealings and negotiations with staff, senior management, Union’s and other regulatory bodies has given her excellent organisational and interpersonal skills, enabling me to communicate at all levels.

    She is knowledgeable in all aspects of Human Resource functions coupled with high initiative and reliability.

  • Samantha Read
    Chief Executive Officer, Chemistry Australia

    Session: The future of women in manufacturing: challenges, opportunities and changing the status quo

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

    As an accomplished Director, CEO and engineer, Samantha has unique and diverse experience spanning more than 30 years across the chemicals, plastics, renewable fuels, automotive and steel industries. She is renowned for her strategic thinking, partnership development and business transformation capability, as well as her deep industry and supply chain knowledge.

    Prior to joining Chemistry Australia, she was CEO of the Biofuels Association of Australia and held senior Executive Director roles at GM Holden and General Motors Australia. Her Non Executive Director and external advisory roles have included industry peak bodies and universities, as well as government, regulatory, health, scientific, governance and skills organisations. Samantha has worked across Australia and the Asia Pacific and collaborated internationally.

    Samantha commenced her career at BHP, working in research, strategic planning and manufacturing roles.

    Samantha is a passionate advocate for Australian industry and its significant contribution to Australia’s economic health and community wellbeing, providing skilled and high value STEM jobs, investment and new technologies to meet our future challenges. Samantha has chaired and contributed to numerous government and industry boards and committees focused on policy development and implementation to drive growth and investment in Australian manufacturing.

    Samantha has a long-held interest in supporting diversity and inclusion and is committed to developing the next generation of Australian industry leaders, having recently launched the Emerging Leaders Advisory Council for the Australian chemistry industry. Samantha actively mentors women and is a member of Chief Executive Women.

    Samantha holds a Bachelor of Engineering (Hons), is a Fellow of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute and Graduate of the AICD. In 2015, she was honoured as the Distinguished Alumna for the Faculty of Engineering at Monash University and was a finalist in the 2014 Telstra Business Women's Awards.

  • 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
  • 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

    With over 18 years of accounting and HR experience specialising in hospitality, manufacturing and not for profits she has a vast amount of experience not only in financial management but in hands on operations she understands what is important and critical from a finance department to allow a business to grow and succeed.

    As a dynamic, strategic, people-focused leader, she specialises in providing financial information that a business needs to grow with operational needs in mind. She specialises in transforming teams and businesses to enable sustainable, profitable growth through strategic planning, team empowerment and sound financial management.

    Examples of outcomes delivered included upgrading MRP systems for manufacturing, implementing the Kanban system for manufacturing, lean management, financial operations for not for profits, running the biggest event in Australia for premature and sick babies “Walk for Prems” for over 10 years and a proven track record of cost reduction in the last 3 positions.

    She thrives in fast-paced industries that require a high degree of agility, innovation & customer-centricity: she specialises in hospitality, manufacturing and not for profits.

  • Honi Walker
    Chief Executive Officer, South East Melbourne Manufacturing 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.

  • 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.