Agenda: Positive Forces for Change

Our 2019 National Conference offers an unparalleled opportunity for you to learn tested and pioneering strategies for employment, retention and inclusion of people with disability.

This year’s event is about energy, progress and empowerment. Each session is purpose-built to give you the impetus and know-how to effectively lean into this agenda. Learn from the experiences of our prestigious line-up of speakers and take away valuable, practical solutions you can apply in your own organisation.

The conference will connect a powerful network of 200+ business leaders, diversity practitioners, human resources professionals, industry experts and influencers from the public, private and for-purpose sectors.

Join us for this year’s momentous event: Positive Forces for Change. 


We're thrilled to have Julie McCrossin AM back as our master of ceremonies.

The conference will start promptly at 9am. Delegates are encouraged to stay for a networking function following the conference, from 5 to 7pm. Full catering is provided throughout. 

9.10am: Toward universal design in communications access

Presentation by Tony Abrahams, Co-founder & CEO, Ai-Media. 

Learn more about the emerging trend of universal design as it relates to communications access. In this session, you’ll find out about regulatory approaches around the world and technology improvements that are revolutionising global communications practices.

9.20am: Welcome from the Australian Network on Disability 

Presentation by Peter Wilson AM FCPHR, Chairman, Australian Network on Disability. 

9.30am: KEYNOTE – Leading the next generation of businesses for inclusion

We are honoured to welcome IBM’s Global Disability & Inclusion Leader, and Chair of the International Labour Organization’s Global Business and Disability Network, Yves Veulliet to deliver the keynote presentation at this year’s conference. 

With extensive experience developing the strategic direction of organisations, promoting the economic advantages of inclusion and implementing change across complex systems, Yves will inspire you to seize and progress this agenda. 

10.20am: Table discussions

Led by Amy Whalley, Deputy CEO, Australian Network on Disability. 

10.30am: Morning tea 

Morning tea will be served in the Conference Lounge. 

11am: Vehicles for change – Effective employee networks

Presentations by:

How are organisations harnessing their internal energy to drive systemic change? In this session, you’ll hear about the growth of three very different employee networks and how they’re being used to drive engagement, deliver cultural change and achieve substantive progress across their entire workforce.

11.50am: Accelerating progress with the Access and Inclusion Index – best practice, next practice discussion groups 

Facilitated by Samantha Dancey and Emily Sparling, Australian Network on Disability 

Gain valuable insights into the state of disability confidence across Australian businesses with the official launch of our 2018-19 Access and Inclusion Index Benchmark Report. 

Then, hear from the Top Performers in our 2018-19 Access and Inclusion Index: IBM, Medibank, National Disability Insurance Agency and RMIT. You'll gain first-hand insights into the practices that led to their success and how they used the Access and Inclusion Index to their advantage. 

12.45pm: Lunch and Wide Angle Film Festival screening 

Lunch will be served in the Conference Lounge. 

During lunch, AND is proud to present a special screening of the Wide Angle Film Festival in the Conference Room. One hour of award winning international and Australian short films that reflect the lived experience of people with disability will be available for delegates with an array of access, including open captions, audio description, access for people with mobility disability, adjusted light and sound levels and a quiet space. A triggers list and social story are available from Elisabeth via The Wide Angle Film Festival offers a free Corporate Program to businesses around Australia every year to support access and inclusion goals.

2pm: Winning employment strategies

Presentations by:

Facilitated by Yves Veulliet. 

What does a successful, sustainable strategy for employment of people with disability look like? In this session, you’ll hear about winning strategies from leading employers that you can apply in your own organisation. Through the unique experiences of our panel, we’ll explore innovative and tested tactics to understand and remove barriers, build inclusive employment into your business model, create targeted career opportunities for people with disability, and grow a culture of understanding beyond the recruitment process.

3pm: Afternoon tea 

Afternoon tea will be served in the Conference Lounge. 

3.20pm: Sponsor presentation – Attorney-General's Department 

Presentation by Cameron Gifford, First Assistant Secretary, Celebrating Ability Co-Champion. 

3.30pm: An innovative approach to data collection 

Presentation by Ros Madden and Jane Spring

The NSW Public Service Commission worked with Ros Madden from the University of Sydney to explore new and better ways to improve responses to disability data collection. This new approach to data collection promises to improve the quality of data relating to disability in your workforce. 

3.50pm: Personal leadership 

Panel discussion, facilitated by Kurt Fearnley AO:

Kurt Fearnley will facilitate a thought-provoking conversation on personal leadership. You’ll hear from Angel Dixon and Jack Milne about their hopes and aspirations for young people with disability and how they’re applying their personal leadership to achieve change. Samantha Palmer, Executive Champion, will share her personal leadership journey and insights into how to energise and equip time-poor executive champions to engage their peers and whole organisations on the journey to disability confidence. Clayton Trevilyan will share his unique blend of knowing how to get things done, influencing up and pragmatism to achieve success through personal leadership.

5-7pm: Networking function 

Speakers, sponsors, partners and delegates will have the opportunity to connect at a networking function following the conference. 

Entertainment by Eliza Hull

Conference Program 

Download the full Conference Program (PDF, 7.32 MB)