Speakers

  • Natasha Adamsas
    General Manager – Corporate Affairs, Communications & Brand, CPB Contractors

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

    Senior leader and executive specialising in corporate communications, stakeholder engagement, marketing, business transformation, reputation and advocacy. Experienced in developing and implementing strategies that support business success across varied industries for market leading and challenger brands, including ASX-20 listed and privately owned companies.

    Empowers high-performing teams to create and deliver scalable communication capability to better engage audiences, build reputation and create maximum value. Currently function lead and executive committee member for CPB Contractors, a leading engineering and infrastructure construction company across Australia, New Zealand and Asia.

  • Teeshal Bal
    Head of Metro Tunnel Transition Office, Metro Trains Melbourne

    Session: Building success: navigating the uncharted pathways of a nonlinear construction career

    Whether we accept it or not, despite the industry we are in, we are in the people business!

    I recently heard that there are 2 important dates to remember - the day you were born and the day you discovered your WHY. 

    My WHY is to live knowing that my existence has made the world a better place. 
    HOW - Everything I do is focused on being a better version of me everyday. 
    WHAT - My curiosity & fascination with human behaviour and mind engineering has shaped my determination to build my career and business to inspire people to be best versions of themselves personally & professionally. 

    I possess a unique blend of entrepreneurship combined with engineering, project management & leadership coaching skills.

    PROFESSIONAL HIGHLIGHTS 
    - Delivery of over $5B of successful infrastructure projects in WA and Victoria
    - Building high performance teams that thrive on continuous improvement saving projects over $300k in the first year alone
    - Built two start up businesses generating over $1M in the first year
    - National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) 2022 Emerging Leader Award (Commendation)
    - Co-Author of the Book 'Undefeated' - compilation of stories from 90 migrant women sharing their journey of overcoming to become! 

    I am currently the Head of Metro Tunnel Transition Office supporting the transition from a technically driven big build Metro Tunnel project, to receipt of the asset and testing phase of the project, and readiness for Day 1 operations. 

    I am also deeply passionate in leadership and making an impact on our future women leaders, which is why I am a founder of Grit Leadership. 

    Grit Leadership is a women led NFP and certified social enterprise tackling the problem of gender inequality in senior leadership and poor employee engagement. We offer innovative leadership development programs leveraging technology (VR) and gamification to help women leaders take their place at the table with confidence and create a psychologically safe workplace through inclusive leadership training. 

    This will improve women participation in senior leadership roles and diversity and inclusion metrics. Our surplus funds are chaneled to Flourish Girl, a women led charity impacting our future generation of girls to become unstoppable women leaders through facilitation of resilience workshops in high schools.

    I am available for speaking engagements covering topics such as STEM, Women in Engineering, Diversity & Inclusion and Entrepreneurship.

    Ready to talk? Send me a message and I look forward to connecting with you.

  • Ashley Barnes
    Design Manager, Richard Crookes Constructions

    Session: Effective communication and collaboration between stakeholders: the key to project success

    With a passion for Design, Detailing and Construction since a young age, Ashley has at long last found her career goal in Design Management. A pathway that began back in 2012 at UNSW through the completion of a Bachelor of Architectural Studies. Since then, she has explored the industry from a design sense working as a graduate architect and alongside senior industry designers as a Details Specialist for companies such as Capral, James Hardie and USG Boral. 

    This perfect foundation developed into a role as Lead Designer and Area Manager for The Kitchen Group, servicing from Northern Beaches up to the Queensland Border. Having been exposed to Project Management, Ashley chased a higher education with the Completion of a Masters in Project Management in the Built Environment with the University of Newcastle. This enabled her conversion into the Construction Industry with Momentum Built which gave her the opportunity to deliver a huge variety of projects including Schools, Commercial and Residential projects. This exposure honed her skills in forecasting, negotiation and construction detailing until it was time to move her family to Newcastle. 

    Newcastle presented Ashley with her current position with Richard Crookes Construction and the opportunity to be a part of the delivery of the East End Stage 1 Precinct. As Contracts Administrator and now Design Manager for the QT Newcastle project, Ashley has developed a strong and supportive network of industry relationships, as well as an abundance of experience and skills within the industry which is demonstrated through her ever-growing portfolio and strengthening technical expertise within a dynamic industry.

  • Peter Bennett
    Chief Executive Officer, Clough

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

    Peter Bennett was appointed as CEO and Managing Director of Clough on 1 February 2016. Peter holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of New South Wales and an Executive Chartered Engineer recognition from Engineers Australia. Peter has decades of experience in the energy and infrastructure contracting service sector. His experience spans contracting business process, operational and corporate leadership. Peter has been instrumental in the diversification of Clough as a respected engineering and construction business serving the energy, infrastructure and resources industry in Australia and Asia Pacific and since February 2023 as part of the Webuild Group. Peter also serves on various Boards including Australian Contractors Association and he is Chair of the CEOs for Gender Equity and Type 1 Diabetes Family Centre.

  • Matt Bourne
    Chief Executive Officer, Roberts Co

    Session: How men can ally with and empower women to grow in the construction industry

    Matt joined boutique tier one construction company, Roberts Co.in February 2023 as CEO.

    Prior to Roberts Co, Matt was the NSW/ACT GM of John Holland Building for four years. Matt’s tenure saw John Holland re-establish itself as a leading builder in NSW including the successful delivery of several major projects such as the recent Sydney Football Stadium Redevelopment (Allianz Stadium).

    Prior to John Holland, Matt enjoyed a 24 year career at AW Edwards Pty Limited. Developing from an undergraduate site cadet to an Associate Director.

    A relationship driven leader, Matt is passionate about the future of construction. Specifically diversity, technology and ensuring the growth of all those around him.

    Matt is on the Industry Advisory Board for the Bachelor of Construction Management at the University of Technology, Sydney.

    Matt has received several awards as a Project Manager including National AIB Professional of the Year in 2009.

    Matt holds a Bachelor of Building (Construction Management) from UTS and a Global Executive MBA from the University of Sydney.

  • Margot Brassil
    Director – Strategy, Infrastructure NSW

    Session: Exploring government and industry initiatives to attract more women into construction

    Experienced strategic leader and relationship manager for government and Fortune 100 companies, delivering transformational sector change initiatives. Currently leading collaboration on construction industry and infrastructure policy issues across NSW Government.

  • Danielle Buckland
    National HSE Manager, Mirvac

    Session: The importance of prioritising mental health, safety and wellbeing to increase work efficiency

    With over 20 years of experience in health and safety management across various sectors, I am a passionate and proactive leader who strives to deliver HSE excellence and value for Mirvac and its stakeholders. As the National HSE Manager for Construction, I oversee the implementation and improvement of HSE policies, systems, and practices for all construction projects nationwide, ensuring compliance, quality, and sustainability.

    I bring a diverse and rich skill set to my role, including safety leadership, value engineering, construction management, safety in design, integrated management systems auditing, health and wellbeing initiatives, and critical incident investigations. I am also an Exemplar Global Lead Auditor, a NAWIC NSW Chair for Major Events, and the creator of the Women in Construction Lean In Circle Series. These credentials and competencies reflect my commitment to continuous learning, professional development, and industry collaboration. My mission is to foster a culture of safety, innovation, and inclusion in the construction sector, and to support the growth and success of Mirvac and its people.

  • Rebecca Casson
    Chairperson, Building Industry, Consultative Council, Victorian Government

    Rebecca was the first female leader of Master Builders Association of Victoria (MBAV), and is now the first female President at Incolink. She is also the Chairperson of the Victorian Government’s Building Industry Consultative Council and was the first woman appointed to that position in the Council’s 21-year history.

    Rebecca has a strong background in government, industry, and the not-for-profit sector. She has held senior global roles with responsibilities covering international engagement, government relations, corporate diplomacy, and major projects, together with policy development and implementation.

    After four years of leadership in the Master Builders Victoria, Rebecca has proven herself a great advocate for both her members and the broader construction industry, particularly during the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Rebecca was recognised for her efforts by being named on the 2021 Victorian Honour Roll for Women.

  • Deborah Cownley
    Group Manager, Strategy Management, John Holland

    Session: Transforming lives through inclusion, diversity and equity

    Innovative manager with a strong client focus and experience in corporate and project environments. A collaborative and empowering leadership style encourages the creation and retention of engaged and high-performing teams with diverse portfolios.

    Demonstrated ability to lead teams in delivery of effective governance and compliance through oversight of project processes and systems, audit and compliance tracking, risk and opportunity management, environmental and sustainability management, quality standards and project completion.

    Proven stakeholder negotiation skills that facilitate smooth approval and completion processes.

    Fosters productive client relationships and minimises risk by maintaining a focus on delivering project outcomes and value.

    In-depth appreciation of various contracting environments and collaborative working practices through roles within and overseeing capital projects.

  • Mei Doery
    Project Manager, Icon

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

    With over 13 years’ experience in property and construction, Mei is an experienced project manager with a track record of success on high-profile developments.

    In the last 4 years, Mei has led the delivery of 480 Elizabeth Street, a 52 Level Student Accommodation Tower in the Melbourne CBD, The VCCC Centre of Excellence (CoE), a PCA A grade pharmaceutical lab & GMP manufacturing facility and a highly complex health project, and most recently 36 Wellington with Hines, that at completion will be one of Australia’s tallest timber buildings.

    Passionate about working on projects that make a difference, Mei is advocates for environmentally sustainable design and construction more broadly by proving timber is a viable, and accessible, option to support net-zero carbon targets. Most of all Mei is passionate about helping to attract, empower and retain more females in construction by making it a more inclusive environment. Mei’s mission on Wellington St was to prove to the industry that gender doesn’t and shouldn’t matter when it comes to delivering a successful project, which set a new benchmark for female participation successfully delivering the project with an average 50/50 split of male/females – a result achieved through merit-based recruitment, not quotas.

  • Clare Gallagher
    National Sustainability Manager, Built

    Session: Sustainability trends in 2024 that will impact you, your projects & your organisation

    Clare is passionate about healthier buildings, that use fewer resources and drive positive social and environmental outcomes. 

    She works with clients, integrating their values to inspire change and action on projects and delivering leading sustainability results. Her project highlights include Substation No 164, Barrack Place, - PCA 2020 Best Sustainable Development and 1 Malop St, Master Buildings 2019 Best Sustainable Project (VIC). Clare is currently working on Atlassian's new ultra sustainable Sydney Head Office

    With experience in Green Star and NABERS, Clare has also been recognised by the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) with a Leadership Recognition Award, which acknowledges the influential role Clare has played in advancing health and wellness in buildings.

  • Pilar Gomez
    Human Resources Director, Acciona Australia

    Session: Internal solutions: bridging the labour & skills gap by building skillsets & strengthening your team

    Pilar Gomez is a senior HR professional with over 20 years’ experience across a diverse range of industries, having worked in the banking, telecommunications, engineering and construction sectors.

    She began her career with ACCIONA Headquarters in 2004 having held a number of roles including Program Development Co-ordinator, Director of Management and Executives (Headquarters) and ACCIONA Agua Director of Human Resources. Pilar currently holds the position of HR Director for Acciona’s Infrastructure business in the region of Australia, NZ and South East Asia.

    With tertiary qualifications in psychology and human resources, together with her Executive MBA and Masters in Labour Relations, Pilar has a great understanding of the impact people make within a business and the importance of aligning an employee’s commitment and motivation with business objectives.

    From an industry perspective, Pilar recognises the necessity of investing in training all employees on the importance of diversity and equality so that each employee is accepted and treated fairly throughout the entire lifecycle of the employee’s engagement.

    Pilar acknowledges that the construction industry has improved significantly across aspects involving both behaviour and salary gap, however there is still significantly more to be done. She continually strives to make a personal contribution to drive the change that is so necessary.

  • Naomi Heritage
    Executive General Manager, Asset Operations & Sustainment, McMahon

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

    After an extensive career in Healthcare, Naomi joined McMahon Services in 2023 as Executive General Manager of Asset Operations and Sustainment.

    Naomi is a Fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (FCCA) with proven experience in helping organisations improve systems and analysis reporting to high standards.

    With years of accounting experience, including budgeting and forecasting, cashflows and margin analysis, as well as tendering and estimating for construction and renewables contracts.

    Throughout her career, Naomi has demonstrated her ability to build robust relationships and has experience in stakeholder management.

    Naomi’s role includes managing and utilising assets across McMahon Services’ workshop facilities and stores, transport and logistics, the Port Pirie Recycling Hub, Intract TSI and Marine operations.

  • Donna Hoblos
    General Manager People & Culture, Buildcorp

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

    Donna has more than 18 years’ experience working in People and Culture for the Motor, Equipment Hire and Construction Industries. As the People and Culture Leader at Buildcorp, Donna is responsible for driving the strategic growth, oversight, governance and compliance of the people portfolio and related support required to all areas within the business. She is achievement-oriented with relentless drive and passion for enhancing business performance through people and culture.

  • Cheyenne Killen
    Human Relations Manager, Kane Constructions

    Session: External solutions: finding the people you need by revolutionising the recruitment process

    Experienced HR Coordinator with a demonstrated history of working in Employment Services, Energy and Recruitment industries. Skilled in Talent Management, Energy Industry, Customer Service, Sales, and Communication.

  • Maria Koutsimpiris
    Project Controls Manager – Southern Region, Acciona Australia

    Session: Using data and analytics to elevate project management

    Maria has had over 20 years’ experience in complex, capital-intensive multinationals, leading large cross-functional teams on multi-year, billion-dollar projects. She is the Project Controls manager for the delivery of the Southern Program Alliance (~$3B) at ACCIONA and prior to this had a successful international executive automotive career with General Motors.

    She has an MBA from the Melbourne Business School and BEng(Mech) Hons/ BSc(Mathematics) from the University of Melbourne. She is an EngExec and Fellow with Engineers Australia and is Chartered in Leadership & Management and Project Management. She is the Chair of the National Committee for Women in Engineering and a NED with ANCAP and Community Bank Highett.

  • Caroline Lamshed
    Chief Projects and Wholesale Officer, Simonds Homes

    Session: Actionable strategies to overcome imposter syndrome and build confidence

    Caroline Lamshed is an accomplished professional with extensive experience in the construction and property development industry. Currently serving as the Chief Projects and Wholesale Officer at Simonds Homes since February 2023, she brings over a decade of expertise to her role. Prior to joining Simonds Homes, Caroline held the position of General Manager at Glenvill Projects for over a year, contributing significantly to the company's success. With a background spanning almost 8 years at Metro Property Development, she served as Group CFO and General Manager for Creation Homes Victoria, showcasing her financial leadership skills. Caroline's impressive career also includes a 4-year stint as the Chief Financial Officer at Creation Homes, solidifying her reputation as a seasoned professional in the construction and development sector.

  • Emily Lowden
    Head of People & Culture, BG&E Engineering

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

    Emily is an accomplished HR professional and leverages her extensive experience to drive organisational success through practical people and culture initiatives. Currently serving as the Head of People & Culture at BG&E, Emily has been instrumental in evolving the function to align with the dynamic needs of a thriving business.

    With a background in professional services including key HR roles at Woods Bagot and Bain & Company, Emily focuses on collaborating closely with executive teams to cultivate positive and modern work practices.

    Emily has proven expertise in implementing practical talent management and leadership development programs, along with adeptly managing high-risk employment matters.

    Emily contributes to BG&E's success with a focus on shaping a workplace culture that not only drives business growth but also places a deliberate focus on the development, well-being, and inclusivity of its employees.

  • Tiffany Lyke
    Diversity and Inclusion Portfolio Member, NAWIC

    Tiff Lykke is a Project Manager with over 10 years experience in the rail industry. Starting as a Train Driver, Tiff moved into training then, after completing a Masters of Project Management, she took her operational experience to the world of infrastructure projects. Tiff is part of the LGBTQIA+ community and a member of the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) Diversity and Inclusion Portfolio. She is passionate about helping to make life in the rail and construction industries better for everyone.

  • Lisa Martello
    Director – Infrastructure Delivery | Board Director & Chair of National Diversity & Inclusion Portfolio, HKA | NAWIC

    Session: Strengthening Australia’s construction workforce: challenges, opportunities and changing the status quo

    Lisa Martello (nee Hogben) is a Director, Infrastructure Delivery at HKA, a global professional services and advisory firm, and the lead for HKA's infrastructure advisory business in Victoria.

    Lisa is an elected Board Director with the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC), Chair of NAWIC’s national Diversity and Inclusion Portfolio, a Professional Mentor with the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, co-founder of anti-racism podcast All Hands on Deck and Founder and Content Creator of daily construction catharsis Instagram and LinkedIn account Catching_Bees.

    Lisa is a senior infrastructure delivery leader with over 15 years of experience working on major rail and construction projects in the UK and Australia. Lisa is particularly passionate about inclusive leadership, authentic engagement, workplace culture, and diversity. Lisa is skilled at setting up and transforming teams for high performance and happiness, leading in complex stakeholder environments and optimizing relationships between contractor and client.

  • Rebecca McKelvey
    Manager of Contracts, City of Gold Coast

    Session: Pre-planning solutions to meet deadlines, reduce costs & achieve project success

    CONSTRUCTION, BUILDING and INFRASTRUCTURE 
    A dedicated building and construction industry professional I have worked in both the public and private sectors. Highly skilled and experienced in supervising works/projects from inception through to establishing sustainable, whole of life maintenance programming for the end users. I am a holder of both an Open Builders licence, completed residential inspectors licence, certificate on adjudication and completing graduate diploma in Construction Law at the University of Melbourne. 

    BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT
    My interest has been in corporate social responsibility and endeavouring to spend government money with local industry. Recently I have concentrated on the fields of contracts and commercial management which has included completing adjudication qualifications, Graduate Diploma in Leadership and Management and a Masters of Business Administration from Griffith University. I have been lucky enough to work and learn with some of the industries leaders on a portfolio of projects that have ranged from luxury housing, high density residential, large scale commercial developments, legacy assets for the 2000 Sydney Olympics and 2018 Commonwealth Games Gold Coast, as well as all forms of infrastructure for Australia's second largest Council. 

    GOVERNMENT, POLICY AND TRAINING
    Spending time in the public sector has allowed me to further develop capabilities in writing frameworks and policy, mentoring, identifying skills gaps to develop and implement of continuous professional development for staff, strategy development and implementation, stakeholder management and social responsibility in business. Changing attitudes towards best practice asset delivery by defining and developing projects aimed at industry sustainability, enhanced local participation in government funded projects, focussing on whole of life , responsible asset stewardship.

  • Louise Neville
    Community Relations Manager, Daracon Group

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

    Community and stakeholder engagement specialist with over 20 years experience working in the consulting and construction industries.

  • Eliza Newton
    National Communications Manager, Bouygues Construction Australia

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

    Highly skilled, all round communicator

    • Proven track record in planning, organising and implementing strategy 
    • Strong understanding of government, public sector and regulatory environments
    • Proven leader, also able to constructively contribute and provide support in a team environment
    • Ability to work well in a high pressure environment to tight deadlines
    • Experienced media spokesperson
  • Lyn O’Brien
    WA State Manager | Director, ADCO Constructions | NAWIC

    Session: Unlocking your full potential through the power of mentorship

    Lyn O’Brien has over 15 years’ experience working in senior management roles within the construction industry. She has worked across complex projects in the domestic and international markets providing high levels of delivery and building long-lasting positive client relationships. Lyn’s extensive experience has seen her develop high performing teams through a collaborative leadership style where she encourages skill development and innovation providing maximum benefit to every client and project. She also has a strong passion for diversity and inclusion in the workplace and is a National Director of NAWIC while also receiving the 2022 LHQ Leadership Award for Women in Construction. She holds a Bachelor of Construction Economics and Masters in Quantity Surveying and is an active member of the Women of ADCO program providing mentorship and leadership pathways for women in construction.

  • Amy Pitchford
    Construction Manager | Chair, Multiplex | Building Equality Committee

    Session: Achieving government policy objectives through Building Equality Policy implementation

    Amy Pitchford is a highly skilled Construction Manager with a remarkable career spanning 17 years. Currently serving at Multiplex, she brings extensive expertise in managing construction projects. Her journey includes 5 years as a Project Manager and another 5 years as a Senior Project Coordinator, where she demonstrated her proficiency in various aspects of project coordination. Amy's commitment to the industry is further evident through her role as a Council Member for the Building Industry Consultative Council since January 2018. Additionally, she holds key positions such as Chair of the Building Equality Committee, actively contributing to promoting diversity and inclusion in the construction sector.

  • Dean Riha
    Alliance General Manager, Fulton Hogan

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

    Dean Riha is a seasoned professional with over 16 years of experience, currently serving as the Alliance General Manager at Fulton Hogan. In this role since January 2020, he oversees the Metropolitan Roads Program Alliance, focusing on the removal of level crossings across the region. Dean's leadership extends to various key positions, including Alliance Delivery Manager and Regional Construction Manager in the Southern Region. His responsibilities involve providing governance and senior management support for a program of works, from pre-contracts to delivery. Dean is also the Chairperson of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee, showcasing his commitment to fostering an inclusive work environment. His extensive project portfolio includes significant endeavors like the Bulgana Energy Hub, Hoddle Street Streamlining Project, and Melbourne Airport Southern Apron Expansion Project. Dean Riha's versatile expertise encompasses project management, departmental leadership, and a proactive approach to civil infrastructure development.

  • Jakeline Sandoval
    Site Engineer, Parkview Constructions

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

    Jakeline Sandoval is a skilled Site Engineer in the construction industry, currently employed at Parkview Constructions. With over a year of experience in this role, she has demonstrated proficiency in engineering and construction in the dynamic setting of Sydney, New South Wales. Previously, at Construction Profile, Jakeline held the position of Site Engineer/Contract Administrator for nine months, where she actively contributed to project delivery, procurement, and technical coordination. Her responsibilities included managing project procurement, coordinating technical aspects, progress reporting, and conducting site inspections. Her multifaceted skills encompass document control, quality assurance, and efficient material coordination. Jakeline Sandoval is a valuable professional contributing to the success of construction projects.

  • Gail Silman
    Director, Infrastructure Skills and Diversity, NSW Department of Education

    Session: Exploring government and industry initiatives to attract more women into construction

    I am currently working as the Director Infrastructure Skills and Diversity in the NSW Department of Education in the Skills and Higher Education division.

    I received the Premier’s award for job creation for the Infrastructure Skills Legacy Program in 2018 and was also fortunate to be the recipient of the Premier’s award for Individual Excellence.

    I previously worked in the area of Education and Training policy for the Australian Industry Group. I have had over 30 years experience working in employment, education and training policy and implementation.

    My first degree is in Pure Mathematics and I have maintained my interest in this field, despite going on to study economics and work in the Economics Research Division for the Commonwealth Department of Employment, Education and Training.
    I have a strong personal interest in the role of creativity and its link to innovation, hence my preference at looking at STEAM - Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths - these things are not exclusive! Look at the level of STEM involved in the VIVID in Sydney. We only have to look at someone like Leonardo Da Vinci - he embodies all the elements of STEAM.

  • Nicholle Sparkes
    Property and Construction Executive,

    Session: Leveraging diverse teams for enhanced business outcomes and growth

    Nicholle Sparkes is an accomplished strategist and operational leader within the Property and Construction industry, renowned for developing people, executing strategic initiatives, value creation, and delivering results that exceed expectations .  Her key skillsets encompass overseeing various facets of company operations, ranging Development, Construction, Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG), Health, Safety, and Environment (HSE), as well as Business Process.  Nicholle has an impressive track record in leadership, having successfully established and led high-performing teams.  Her strengths lie in her ability to strategically navigate complex processes and engage in high-impact discussions and negotiations to deliver on objectives.

    Nicholle is also known for her steadfast dedication and pursuit of quality, win-win mentality, and unwavering commitment to due diligence and governance.  Having worked across various industry sectors, including residential, build to rent, education, commercial, retail, defence, and public infrastructure. Nicholle has well over two decades of experience in the property industry, which includes executive management positions at Frasers Property Australia, Laing O'Rourke and Lendlease.

  • Dr Niki Vincent
    Commissioner for Gender Equality in the Public Sector, Victorian Government

    Session: Creating and enforcing policies to prevent sexual harassment in construction

    I am an experienced organisational and community leader with a keen interest in a wide range of local, national and global issues – particularly those involving gender equality, equal opportunity and human rights. I am a skilled communicator, educator, leadership developer, team-builder, networker and influencer – and I frequently speak at a diversity of public and private events and in the media. 

    I commenced my 4-year term as the inaugural Commissioner for Gender Equality in the Public Sector (Victoria, Australia) in October 2020. In this role, I oversee the implementation of the Gender Equality Act 2020, which sets mandatory reporting and other obligations for 300+ public sector workplaces (including universities, local government and emergency services) covering 12% of Victoria’s workforce. 

    Prior to this, I served as the Commissioner for Equal Opportunity in South Australia from May 2016 to September 2020 and as Chief Executive Officer of the Leaders Institute of SA – the renowned leadership development organisation I established (from 2002 to 2016). 

    I currently hold an adjunct position as Associate Professor at the University of SA (in the Business School) and serve on the advisory board of UniSA’s Centre for Workplace Excellence. I’m a board member of inTouch - an organisation that provides support and programs for migrant and refugee women experiencing family violence. 

    I have also served as a member of the 3-person SA Remuneration Tribunal (which sets remuneration for the judiciary, Members of Parliament, statutory officers and elected local government officials in SA). I chaired the Australian Council of Human Rights Authorities and I served on the advisory boards of the Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA - SA &NT) and Play By The Rules until I took up my most recent appointment. I also chaired the SA Government's Voices of Women Board for 3 years (until mid-2014) and I served, with the Vice Chancellors of all SA Universities, on the Higher Education Council, and on the SA Premier's Round Table on Sustainability. 

    I hold a PhD in psychology from the University of Adelaide, for which I received a University Medal for Doctoral Research Excellence. I also received a University Medal for my undergraduate/Honours performance. I have been a State Finalist in the Telstra Business Woman of the Year Awards and an have received an Australian Leadership Award.

    I am the mother of 4 adult children, as well as 3 young adult foster and step-children. I’m an avid hiker, nature-lover, cinema-goer and Radio National listener.

  • Sally Walkom
    General Manager Innovation and Enablement, John Holland

    Session: Leveraging technology to transform the construction industry & your role

    Sally is a senior leader and an expert in transactions between government and business. With 20 years in the public sector, Sally has extensive knowledge of how to navigate government to optimise commercial outcomes for business and public policy outcomes for government. 

    Sally's experience spans major asset sales, procurement of infrastructure and services, directly negotiated transactions, industry development partnerships, business cases, policy and regulation. She has managed divisions of up to 200 people and led multiple complex projects requiring support from diverse stakeholder groups. She has proven her ability to transform culture and uplift capabilities to develop highly engaged teams that deliver.

  • Kurt Warren
    National HSE & Quality Manager, Hansen Yuncken

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

    Kurt is a highly accomplished, insightful & business focused safety executive offering over 20 years’ experience in a range of safety leadership roles in Engineering, Nuclear, Aviation, Defence, Electrical, Rail and Construction. His career is focused on high risk industries with experience across varying business models and organisational risk profiles. From shop floor to boardroom Kurt is an advocate of the application of risk management and looking at work differently. He is currently the National Health, Safety, Environment & Quality Manager for Hanson Yuncken.

  • Dawn Watt
    Chief Executive Officer, Coffey Testing

    Session: From the site to the boardroom: navigating a male-dominated industry

    As CEO of Coffey Testing, Dawn is responsible for a national network of permanent and site-specific laboratory testing facilities, operating in some of the country’s most remote locations. This is where we provide our clients with deep insights into the properties of the materials, soil and rocks they’re dealing with. Using the latest equipment and specialised analysis – and often working evenings and weekends – we get consistent, quality results in the shortest timeframes possible.

    With over 10 years as a manager with Coffey Testing, Dawn has the experience to continually balance the need for high quality results and the need to bring efficiencies and value to our clients. Dawn enjoys managing our highly successful change process and dealing with all the complex situations this creates.

    Dawn is proud to be involved in a business at the top of its game, doing vital work to support the safety and integrity of our clients’ construction projects. As an expert in Construction Material Testing accreditation and compliance, Dawn holds our technical teams in the highest regard.

  • Dave White
    Head of Compliance, Metro Trains Melbourne

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

    Dave White is an accomplished professional currently serving as the Head of Compliance for the Projects Division at Metro Trains Melbourne. With over a year in this role, he plays a crucial part in ensuring regulatory compliance, overseeing infrastructure projects, managing health, safety, environment, and quality (HSEQ) aspects, conducting internal audits, and implementing enterprise risk management. Dave brings a wealth of experience from his nine-year tenure in the British Army, where he served as a Senior Instructor in Rail Operations, Senior Soldier Career Development Specialist, and Senior Manager in Rail Operations. His military roles involved training personnel on railway operations, implementing safety measures, and overseeing rail operations on a global scale. Dave's expertise extends to managing teams, implementing quality control checks, and driving improvements in training standards. His skills include regulatory compliance, infrastructure projects, HSEQ, internal audits, enterprise risk management, and operations management. With a solid background in rail operations and compliance management, Dave White brings valuable insights to his role at Metro Trains Melbourne.

  • Amy Williams
    Head of Strategic Growth and Partnership, GrowthBuilt

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

    With over 12 years of experience in the construction industry, Amy is a passionate and driven leader who excels at developing and executing strategic growth initiatives, building and maintaining strong client relationships, and delivering innovative solutions for complex projects. As the Head of Partnerships and Strategic Growth at Growthbuilt, she is responsible for driving the strategic direction of the business and overseeing all front-end functions including Marketing, Communications, Submissions, Corporate Affairs, Client Relationship Management and Public Relations. 

    Amy leverages her expertise in strategic planning, new business development, and process improvement to drive Growthbuilt's expansion into key growth sectors and foster mutually beneficial relationships with key stakeholders. She also serves on the Property Council of Australia's Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee, co-chairs the Education Committee for NAWIC NSW Chapter, and mentors three young women in the industry. Amy is committed to creating and adding value to the property and construction industry and the communities it serves. Amy is passionate about diversity and inclusion, sustainability, and community engagement.

  • Gladys Woods
    General Manager, Haslin Constructions

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

    In 1991 while Gladys Woods was pursuing an academic career, her partner started a Civil Contracting business. From inception, Gladys took on responsibility for the financial, legal, compliance, HR and ESG aspects of the business. While the company was still fairly small she was able to maintain her teaching career but by 2008 after a decade of juggling 2 part time roles it became untenable to keep doing both, so she moved into the full time role of GM at Haslin.

    The company has grown considerably since then and over the years the role has presented many different challenges, particularly in leadership, strategy and organisational management. Along the way she have developed a passion for Civil and is dedicated to making it an even better industry through diversity, innovation, equality and social and environmental responsibility.