2022 AES Conference Speakers

The 2022 AES Conference will play host to a variety of speakers, including senior association leaders, along with a range of other industry experts. While our full program is still being developed, just some of the confirmed speakers are included below.

The keynote speaker for Day One is Sandra Parker, CEO of the Fair Work Ombudsman. Sandra will discuss work in the new world, including topics like mental health and wellbeing, the effects of COVID-19 on the workplace and employers' rights and responsibilities. Sandra will be on-hand to answer all your curly workplace employment questions.


Sandra Parker, CEO, Fair Work Ombudsman

Sandra Parker is the CEO of the Fair Work Ombudsman, the national workplace relations regulator. The agency regulates nearly 1 million workplaces and more than 13 million workers. Prior to her appointment, Sandra served in Deputy Secretary roles at the Commonwealth Department of Employment. Highlights included advising the government on workplace relations policy and legislation, managing the government’s $8 billion employment services, and the Fair Entitlement Guarantee and Seasonal Worker programs. Earlier roles included advising the government on national work health and safety and workers’ compensation policy and legislation. Sandra was CEO and Executive Director of the Australian Safety and Compensation Council for four years and a Commissioner for the Commonwealth workers’ compensation scheme. Sandra holds a Bachelor of Education, advanced management qualifications from Harvard University and is a recent graduate of the Company Directors course at the AICD. She is a member of the Respect@Work Council and the Australian and New Zealand School of Government Alumni Council. She was awarded a Public Service Medal in 2018.

Lorraine Finlay, Human Rights Commissioner

Lorraine Finlay is the Human Rights Commissioner at the Australian Human Rights Commission, commencing in this position in November 2021. In this role Lorraine has particular responsibility for protecting and promoting fundamental rights and freedoms, including freedom of speech, religion, movement and association. She also leads the work of the Commission in areas including business and human rights, asylum seekers and refugees, and modern slavery.

Prior to joining the Commission, Lorraine worked as a lawyer and academic specialising in human rights and public law. Her past roles have included working as the Senior Human Trafficking Specialist with the Australian Mission to ASEAN, an academic at Murdoch University, and a State Prosecutor with the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (WA). Lorraine holds a dual master’s in law from New York University and the National University of Singapore, where she studied as a Singapura Scholar.

Corey Tutt, CEO & Director, DeadlyScience

Corey Tutt is a proud Kamilaroi man and Young Australian of the Year for NSW 2020. He is the CEO and founder of DeadlyScience, which provides science resources, mentoring and training to over 180 remote and regional schools across Australia with a particular focus on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. When Corey found out there was remote schools in Australia with hardly any STEM resources he set out to make change. To date, DeadlyScience has provided over 16,000 culturally appropriate books focused on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) as well as telescopes, microscopes and other equipment to spark student interest. Schools involved with DeadlyScience have reported a 25% increase in engagement in STEM and increased attendance. As a board member of Science Technology Australia, Corey is contributing to the development of multiple Reconciliation Action Plans to further encourage participation and inclusion of First Nations peoples in STEM. Corey’s passion for Indigenous education has also been recognised through various awards including the CSIRO Indigenous STEM Champion 2019; AMP Tomorrow Maker 2019 and ABC Trailblazer 2019 and 2020 Eureka prize winner. In 2020 Corey was named a human rights hero by the Australian Human Rights Commission. In his spare time Corey writes for K-Zone magazine and is the author of a children’s book called The First Scientists.

Keith Banks, Former COO, Real Estate Institute of Victoria & Board Director, The Male Hug

Keith Banks is a Queensland Police veteran and served as an operational officer from 1975 to 1995. He is one of the most decorated Police officers in the history of the Queensland Police and is the recipient of the Bravery Medal and two Police Valour Award medals. His police career included deep undercover, criminal investigation, counter terrorism, tactical weapons operations and criminal intelligence. He resigned from Queensland Police to accept a role in the corporate sector and subsequently held various senior roles in retail organisations and membership associations. These roles included (then) Coles Myer Ltd (Logistics, Myer and Officeworks) as well as Asia Pacific Risk Manager for Borders Books. He then moved onto the membership association industry with senior roles in the Housing Industry Association and more recently the Real Estate Institute of Victoria. Keith has completed a Master of Business Administration and is an experienced change manager. He is a current Board member of The Male Hug, a not-for-profit foundation with the vision to encourage men to speak about mental health. He is also the published author of two best selling books, autobiographical stories of his police service and his journey of recovery from post-traumatic stress. Keith brings a unique perspective of the challenges and benefits of transitioning from policing to the corporate world and is an advocate for encouraging authentic conversation of around mental health, anxiety and depression not only on an individual basis but also organizationally.

Jamie Crain, CEO, Sports Medicine Australia

Jamie is Chief Executive Officer of Sports Medicine Australia, a professional membership body focused on improved health outcomes for all Australians through education, and safer participation in sport, exercise and physical activity. Jamie commenced his professional career within the UK travel industry some 20+ years ago working in the British Airways group within their frequent flyer membership divisions, responsible for pricing, yield management and product strategy. 

Returning to Australia in 2008, Jamie worked across a number of senior commercial positions including Origin Energy, Melbourne Airport, and between 2012 and 2017 Jamie was a senior executive at Australian Motoring Services, the commercial arm of the Australia’s largest membership collective: the Australian auto clubs.  He was tasked with delivering national products and services such as travel insurance, wholesale roadside assistance and loyalty solutions for the clubs and their 8 million members. 

Jamie later joined the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, leading the Membership, Marketing, and International support teams, before joining Sports Medicine Australia as CEO in early 2021. Jamie is a member of CPA Australia, CIMA, and holds an MBA from Henley Business School in the UK. 

Dennis Dalla Costa, Business Development Manager, Professional Advantage

Dennis joined Professional Advantage as a Business Development Manager in 1999 and has seen major changes in both technology and vendors within the sector over the past 20 years.

He has consulted within a large number of mid-market enterprises, helping them enhance their business processes via technology and advising on how best to deploy various technologies to enable enterprises to become 'high performing'.

Peter Daly, CEO,  Master Plumbers & Mechanical Services Association of Australia 

Peter has more than 20 years’ experience as a senior executive and Director.  He is the Chair of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s Employment and Skills Committee, member of Victoria’s Industry Workforce Development Group and represents the plumbing industry on numerous government and industry advisory bodies and Boards.

He is CEO and Secretary of Master Plumbers and Mechanical Services Association of Australia; working across membership services, advocacy, apprentice and post-trade training, group training, labour hire and various commercial entities. Peter’s previous executive roles have included oversight of public policy, public affairs, corporate services, and has held various company director roles in membership associations in Australian and the USA. He has been a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors since 2015. 

Cr Elizabeth Mary Doidge, City of Melbourne

Councillor Elizabeth Mary Doidge was elected Councillor in November 2020.

Elizabeth Doidge was born, raised, and has lived her entire life in Melbourne. She has a proud career in the trade union movement, playing a key role in communication and stakeholder engagement. Elizabeth currently works in the construction sector engaging with a diverse range of industry and community stakeholders.

Elizabeth was elected to Melbourne City Council for the first time in 2020. She recognises the important role council will play in the recovery of our city and the opportunity presented to council to contribute to the design of a more productive, inclusive and enriched city for all.

Elizabeth is portfolio lead for Sustainable Building and deputy portfolio lead for Environment and Creative Melbourne portfolios. 

Barry Howlett, Executive Officer, Australian Deer Association

Barry is the Executive Officer of the Australian Deer Association (ADA). The ADA is a membership-based organisation representing the interests of Australia’s 100,000+ recreational deer hunters. With the contentious role that hunting has in Australian society, the ADA, by necessity, has a heavy focus on strategic communications and frontline political advocacy. The ADA is an organisation that has achieved growth and improved financial stability through embracing change. Beginning with reviewing and renewing its governance and management structures, over the past decade, the ADA has pivoted in most areas to remain relevant to its stakeholders whilst remaining true to its fundamental values. Barry has learned and grown with the association. Progressing from a volunteer role, through to part-time as the sole employee, to now leading a small team, Barry, and the ADA, have been forced to be innovative and to think outside of the box to survive. The ADA is currently experiencing strong financial growth through a strategy of value-adding to membership packages.

Hon Dr Gary Johns, Commissioner, Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission

The Hon Dr Gary Johns took up the role of Commissioner following a long and varied career in public service and policy advice, including as the author or editor of nine books on public policy. He was an inaugural board member of Volunteers Australia, a member of the Prime Minister’s Business Community Partnership, and the committee to design the Redress Scheme for survivors of institutional child sexual abuse.

Gary was a member of the House of Representatives from 1987-1996 and served variously as Parliamentary Secretary to the Deputy Prime Minister, Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer, and Special Minister of State and Assistant Minister for Industrial Relations. He served as an Associate Commissioner of the Commonwealth Productivity Commission 2002-2004.

He received the Centenary Medal in 2001 and the Fulbright Professional Award in Australian-United States Alliance Studies in 2002, which was served at Georgetown University, Washington DC.

He was Senior Fellow at the Institute of Public Affairs, senior consultant with ACIL Tasman, Associate Professor, Australian Catholic University, and Visiting Fellow at QUT Business School.

John Kilgour, Chief Executive Officer, Fire Protection Association Australia

John joined Fire Protection Association Australia as Chief Executive Officer in February this year, following roles in senior leadership positions in the public and non-for-profit sectors. He spent a large part of his career in several leadership roles with BP in the downstream retail area, where he led an initiative to create the successful BP Highway Travel Centres in Queensland.  He also served as the Oil Director – Vietnam and CEO of its subsidiaries BP Petco and Castrol Vietnam, which he transformed into a locally led and profitable manufacturing and retail lubricants operation. He then moved into asset management and property consulting, before being selected as CEO of the Committee for Ballarat, which gave him insights into longer term strategic planning that goes beyond election cycles delivering social and economic growth ahead of major population expansion predicted for the region. Most recently, John was the CEO of Civil Contractors Federation in Victoria (CCF), and President of the Victorian Civil Construction Industry Alliance (VCCIA), which represents 20-member based associations across civil construction industry delivering in excess of $22bn per annum of major infrastructure works in the state. John has brought his extensive experience to his role at the Association and is working on strategies to ensure its future sustainability and success.

Cr Michelle Kleinert, Mayor of Manningham

Passionate about Manningham’s open space and our vibrant and connected community, Cr Kleinert believes in supporting local business in addition to community clubs and our youth. In her first term as Mayor, Cr Kleinert led the charge to establish a youth mental health outreach service for Manningham with headspace Hawthorn. She is currently the multicultural ambassador for Mental Health Foundation Australia and holds a mental health first aid certificate. Cr Kleinert has a long standing relationship with Bully Zero and is currently involved in a project to air on TV in late 2022. With a focus on bringing the community together with a positive message all can relate to, Cr Kleinert is committed to shine a light on the ‘be kind’ message as we reconnect with one another post the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Cr Kleinert also dedicates a significant amount of time supporting women in Local Government through her involvement with the Australian Local Government Women’s Association, Victorian branch (ALGWA Vic), where she has served as both president and is currently the Executive Officer. She is a former vice president of the Victorian Local Governance Association (VLGA).

Nick Koerbin (Executive Director and Founder, AES)

With over 30 years of management expertise, Executive Director and Founder of AES, Nick Koerbin is one of the most experienced NFP leaders in Australia. He has held positions as the CEO of Materials Australia, the National Parts Code, as well as senior positions in the Institute of Insurance, Australian Quality Council, the Financial Planning Association, the Australian Human Resources Institute, and the Furniture Industry Association of Australia. Nick created AES with a vision of creating a set of management practices that could be consistently followed to ensure success. Over his 30 years in the industry, he noticed that inconsistent management practices often impeded delivery of services to members, which in turn created issues with membership renewal. By establishing AES and creating the NFP Association Best Practice Self-Assessment, Nick has been able to assist leaders in becoming more confident and informed decision makers so that they can create more effective strategies and implementation plans.

Robert Lucas, Group Chief Executive of the Caravan Trade & Industries Association of Victoria

Robert Lucas is the Group Chief Executive of the Caravan Trade & Industries Association of Victoria T/A Caravan Industry Victoria and the National Caravan Industry Training College having being appointed to these roles in March 2011 and 2015. He has over 26 years’ senior executive experience working within and leading industry associations and business groups. He has a proven track record in turning around poorly performing associations and growing them into sustainable, relevant organisations. He is known for his deep knowledge of contemporary business issues and being a straight shooter in getting things done. He is acknowledged nationally within the caravan and recreational vehicle industry for his long term strategic planning and execution, innovative ideas and restructuring the industries association into one of Victoria’s most vibrant, relevant and forward thinking industry associations. He sits on a number of industry boards and Government committees including the Victorian Skills Authority Manufacturing Industry Advisory Group, Northlink and the Federal Government’s North Western Local Jobs and Skills Taskforce and a number of not-for-profit boards. He has graduate and post graduate tertiary qualifications in Business Administration, Management, HR/IR and Education and Training.

Jennifer Moltisanti, Assistant Commissioner, Australian Taxation Office

Jennifer Moltisanti is an Assistant Commissioner and leads the ATO’s NFP Centre and Government Relations teams. Jennifer joined the ATO in 2003 when she was promoted from the then Australian Customs Service. 

Jennifer has a broad experience in public sector administration and has held a diplomatic role with Australia’s permanent delegation to the OECD as Australia’s first Minister-Counsellor Taxation. 

Jennifer has a Master of Business Administration from the Melbourne Business School and a Bachelor of Arts from La Trobe University. 

Jennifer is fluent in several languages including Italian and French. 

Tristan Moseley, Executive Director of Legal, Governance & Training, Master Builders Victoria

Tristan is the Executive Director of Legal, Governance & Training at Master Builders Victoria. As the Executive Director with oversight of the Master Builders Training Institute (an Industry RTO), he is responsible for ensuring that the industry is provided with the highest quality and most innovative education and training through industry, government and community engagement and course development and delivery by current industry experts. Further to this, in his additional roles at MBV as Chief Legal Counsel and Company Secretary, he provides expert advice, guidance and direction to the CEO, Board and Council of Management on effective governance policies and practices, and has oversight over legal advice both internally as part of the in-house function and externally to members through the member legal advice service. Before joining Master Builders Victoria in 2015, Tristan practised law at top tier law firms specialising in construction, resources and financial dispute litigation.

Michael Paynter, Principal Consultant, Peregrine Industrial

As Peregrine Industrial’s legal advisor, Michael is qualified in law and economics and has over 30 years practical experience in industry and Industrial Advocacy. He is renowned for his excellent legal and interpretative skills on a range of industrial relations, workplace and human resource issues. His proven ability to communicate and perform in a senior management role within large companies, senior trade union, government and industry representatives and associations gives Peregrine its competitive advantage.

Joanne Phillips, Director Member Services, Australian Retailers Association

Joanne leads the membership team at the Australian Retailers Association (ARA). An experienced association manager with over 13 years in the sector, she has led teams in small and large associations spanning sport, health, and professional services industries. She is passionate about creating member experiences that deliver value, build enduring relationships, and generate revenue. Joanne has significant experience driving system improvements and is dedicated to finding innovative solutions that support collaboration at each level of the association.

Alex Reynolds, General Manager, Transformation & Business Systems, Australian HR Institute

With an extensive career in operations, education and membership across private and not-for-profit sectors, Alex has an unrelenting commitment to drive continuous improvement, innovation and member experience through the use of technology, people and process.

As part of AHRI’s Executive team, Alex leads the organisations transformation strategy. With a focus on wholistic organisational growth, this encompasses technology, change management, process, product development and culture shift to an agile and member-centric organisation.

In addition to transformation strategy, she leads the IT, member experience, education delivery and member services departments for the Australian HR Institute.


Kirri Romero, Director and Chief Digital Strategist, The Online Fix

Kirri Romero is the lead digital strategist and principal consultant at the Online Fix, a strategy, mentoring and upskilling digital consultancy. Kirri has over 20 years of experience working in all facets of online, creating successful online experiences working in a variety of industries, from finance to education, food, fashion and health industries. As a top rated mentor and training facilitator for the ASBAS program, Business Resilience Program and Partners in Wellbeing program, as well as her own mentoring client book, in the past two years, more than 300 businesses have been provided with digital marketing strategy and solution sessions. Her foundational knowledge was gained during the formative years of growing the digital presence of AustralianSuper to what you see today, and continues now with her own multi-channel marketing consultancy servicing a range of professional service clients. As a result, her strategy and solutions work is grounded in up to the minute practical experience gained from operating the field. The digital know how gained from years of working online, and her in depth understanding of the online environment has made her adept at adapting to the unfolding trends of digital, while being able to quickly show her clients how to take advantage of the ever changing environment.

Gavin Sharp, Leadership & Corporate Psychologist, Novoture Executive Coaching

With 20 years of experience as an organisational consultant, Gavin Sharp is a registered Psychologist with a Masters in Management. Gavin is a coach, trainer, accredited mediator, facilitator and outplacement specialist. He has consulted extensively to businesses large and small, all tiers of government, private and public schools, higher education, NFPs and NGOs. Passionate about people building individual resilience, and organisations working together in harmony, Gavin believes success can occur through the ability to adapt to change. Prior to establishing his own business, Gavin spent over 15 years providing career transition, psychometric testing, management coaching and mediation. He trains people in leadership, change management, stress management and consults to businesses to help their staff ‘work smarter’. Gavin is experienced in administering and interpreting a wide range of psychometric tests. He is accredited in The Judgment Index (an assessment which examines the quality of our decision making www.jiau.com.au) and the EQi2 (an Emotional Intelligence assessment for coaching, selection and 360 feedback). He provides support to AES clients in the areas of bullying and harassment, performance management, executive and management coaching, career management, conflict management and mediation, plus psychometric assessments. Gavin has a Masters of Management and is a nationally accredited mediator.

Dr Effie Steriopoulos, Event Management Lecturer, William Angliss Institute

Dr Effie Steriopoulos is  an event management lecturer at William Angliss Institute, Melbourne, Australia. She coordinates and teaches: marketing and communications, business development in events, social media and brand strategy, and event evaluation and innovation. Her PhD is situated in the marketing discipline and explores how transformative experiences act as a catalyst for consumers and create brand loyalty. Her research approach is based on phenomenological practice and a qualitative design incorporating thematic analytical approaches. Effie’s research interests are transformative experiences, experiential and emotional marketing with a consumer behaviour focus. Effie also sees events as ways to engage with students, offer them authentic educational experiences and create opportunities for individual transformation. She has published papers in ‘experiences’ relating to tourism and events, overseas study tours and iconic brands. She keeps abreast of event industry developments running annual seminars for students, alumni, and industry. She is also interested in exploring how events can be used as tools for place and destination marketing, while promoting brands and social inclusivity. Effie is on the executive board for the Council of Australasian Tourism and Hospitality Education (CAUTHE), a CAUTHE Chapter Director and co-chair of the CAUTHE Event Special Interest Group (SIG). She lived in Greece for 17 years, worked as a tour guide offering immersive tourism experiences, and decided to move back to Melbourne in 1996. She also speaks Greek and basic German.

Tim Wood, Partner, Fit Brand & Partnerships

Tim is a former marketing executive at some of the world’s best storytelling brands including Nike and McDonald’s. Many of the marketing campaigns Tim led have been recognised globally. Since 2015, Tim has been a partner in the brand and story agency, Fit Brand & Partnerships. Through his works as a consultant, coach and speaker he helps leaders and brands tell better stories. He is the author of the new book Your Amazing Brand Story, a guide for SME’s to help more people and make more money.

Before entering the world of marketing, Tim trained at WAAPA (Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts) then worked telling stories on stage as a writer and performer, then later in advertising as a copywriter.

Anna Yerondais, Chief Executive Officer, Myotherapy Association Australia

Anna Yerondais has many years of experience working in and with the complementary and allied health industry. During that time, she has successfully forged close networks across the industry, as a practitioner and practice-owner, industry association President, and industry in her current role as Association CEO for the Myotherapy Association Australia.

An accomplished and dynamic leader with extensive experience in community and professional development and events organisation, governance, professional development and statutory regulation of professional sectors. Anna is considered an ‘out of the box strategic thinker’ and often likes to challenge the status quo to influence best outcomes.

Simon McCuskey, Master of Ceremonies

Simon MC is Simon McCuskey – a polished Master of Ceremonies, presenter and live event host. Simon worked in local government for over fifteen years as a place manager working on the renewal of the Footscray, Sunshine and St Albans town centres respectively.

Outside of local government, Simon worked on television, hosting a suite of sports and entertainment shows. What started as a hobby has turned into a love, with Simon now a full-time professional event host presenter, a university lecturer (in event management) and a marriage and funeral celebrant.

Simon’s philosophy is you only get one chance to get an event experience right - so let’s do it!


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