Day 1

This is a dynamic program, and will update as we confirm topics and speakers.

Welcome to Country


Conference open and welcome


The AICD’s Chair, John Atkin FAICD, will welcome attendees to this year’s Australian Governance Summit and outline some of the major themes.

Creating an achievement culture at Woolworths: Gordon Cairns


The coronavirus presented a distinct array of challenges for Woolworths. Supply chains came under pressure, online demand soared and the company had to ensure a safe environment for staff and customers. What steps did directors take and how did that reflect the organisation's culture? Woolworths Chairman Gordon Cairns details how he and the board responded during the crisis.


Gordon Cairns
Chairman, Woolworths Group 

Changing fortunes for the lucky country?


COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on Australia's economy. GDP has contracted sharply, unemployment has spiked and the recovery has been called a 'slow grind'. How can Australia initiate the next era of growth? And what role will boards have to play? Our panel of leading directors will discuss how Australia and can navigate these uncertain times.


Philip Chronican GAICD
Chairman, NAB

Christine McLoughlin FAICD
Chairman, Suncorp

Peter Hay FAICD
Chairman, Newcrest Mining 



Message from AICD CEO, Angus Armour


AICD Managing Director & CEO Angus Armour FAICD delivers his annual address at the Australian Governance Summit.


Angus Armour FAICD
Managing Director & CEO, AICD

Leading in a post-pandemic world: Robyn Denholm MAICD


The pandemic has been a massive disruption to economies, increasing uncertainty and accelerating change. What will the world look like once the crisis passes? And what role can directors play in shaping the postpandemic world? Tesla Chair, Robyn Denholm MAICD, delivers a special presentation.


Robyn Denholm MAICD
Chair, Tesla 



Accelerating Innovation: How boards can shape the future


Technological changes were progressing at a rapid pace, even before COVID-19 struck. The crisis has accelerated many of these advancements further still. What are the major developments that directors need to be on top of? Do Australian boards have the right strategies in place to foster innovation? If not, then what needs to change?


Andrew Stevens
Chair, Industry Innovation and Science Australia
Chair, Data Standards Body, Consumer Data Right Australia
Director, Stockland Group
Director, oOh! media

Margie Seale FAICD
Director, Scentre Group Limited
Director, Westpac Banking Corporation
Director, Telstra Corporation Limited

Emma Gray
Group Executive, Data and Automation, ANZ

Jamila Gordon GAICD
CEO & Founder, Lumachain

Kee Wong, FAICD
Managing Director and Founder, e-Centric Innovations
National Director, AICD

Concurrent elective sessions #1


Culture Shock: The new ways to work

COVID-19 transformed the nature of work. Busy offices went empty, bustling city centres turned quiet and our daily commutes were suddenly put on hold. Workers began performing their jobs at home - and embraced new technologies to do so. Many of these changes will remain in place, well after the pandemic passes. But what challenges do these transformations pose for management and boards?

Julieanne Alroe MAICD
Chair, Infrastructure Australia
Chair of the Board, ERM Power
Chair, Queensland Ballet

Dr Kirstin Ferguson FAICD
Director, SCA Property Group Director, EML Payments
Director, Hyne Timber
(Appearing virtually from Queensland)

Suzanne Storrie GAICD
Director, Surf Life Saving Australia
Former Crisis Director, COVID-19 Response Team, IAG

Mitch Young
President, Asia Pacific and Japan, ServiceNow
(Appearing virtually from Singapore) 

Not if but when: Building cyber resilient organisations

The rise of remote work requires a greater focus on IT from directors. Boards must be able to meet digitally if face-to-face meetings are impossible. And directors must ensure their organisations have the necessary IT infrastructure for staff to perform their jobs successfully. Increased remote work also demands a greater emphasis from organisations on cyber security. Are Australian organisations safe from online threats?

Paul O’Rourke GAICD
Managing Director & Partner, Boston Consulting Group

Rachael Falk MAICD
CEO, Cyber Security Cooperative Research Centre

Terry Roberts MAICD
CEO & Founder, WhiteHawk
(Appearing virtually from the US)

Alice Williams FAICD
Director, Djerriwarrh Investments
Director, Defence Health
Director, Tobacco Free Portfolios

Damien Manuel GAICD
Chair, Australian Information Security Association
Director, Cyber Research & Solution Centre, Deakin University

Turbulent times for the aviation and tourism sectors

COVID-19 and travel restrictions have had an enormous impact on the aviation and tourism industries. Air travel has collapsed and it could be years until passenger demand recovers to pre-pandemic levels. How have the aviation and tourism sectors handled the crisis and what are their recovery plans?


Darrell Wade
Chairman and co-founder, Intrepid Group

Rob Gurney
CEO, OneWorld

Anthea Hammon GAICD
Director, Western Sydney Airport

Luisa Pastrello
General Manager, Members & Clients, AICD

Break /Networking


BLM, #MeToo and more: how should boards respond to social change?


The Black Lives Matter and #MeToo movements have shone a light on societal issues that cannot be ignored. How should boards and directors react to these developments? Studies have repeatedly shown that greater diversity on boards leaders to a boost in performance. Australian boards have taken measures to become more inclusive but further improvement is still needed. What barriers remain for addressing diversity and how can they be overcome?


Ian Hamm MAICD
Chair, First Nations Foundation

Wendy Stops GAICD
Director, Coles

Jenny Boddington FAICD
Chairman, ANZ Lenders’ Mortgage Insurance
Chairman, Latitude Insurance
Director, Munich Re Australasia
Director, NSW Treasury Corporation

Concurrent elective sessions #2


The NFP Challenge: Delivering through crisis

The pandemic delivered an extraordinary set of challenges for the Not-For-Profit sector. Funding and resources for several organisations has come under heavy pressure. At the same time, the need for many NFPs has never been greater. How can NFP directors plan for the current environment

Virginia Bourke FAICD
Chair, Mercy Health

Gabrielle Trainor AO FAICD
Commissioner, AFL Commission

Robert Pradolin GAICD
Founder and Director, Housing All Australians

Phil Butler, Sector Leader – Not for Profit, AICD

Preparing for black swans: Thriving through tail risk

Many companies and organisations were unprepared for the shocks brought on by the coronavirus. Is climate change the next major risk for organisations? The pandemic has forced some companies to shift their focus away from addressing this important issue. How do boards resharpen their efforts on climate change and sustainability? And how should climate change be dealt with during a pandemic and a severe economic downturn?

Penny Winn GAICD
Director, Coca-Cola Amatil
Director, Goodman Group
Director, CSR
Director, Ampol

Iris Davila
Director, Investment Stewardship, Blackrock

Dr Fiona Wild MAICD
Vice-President, Sustainability and Climate Change, BHP

Deanne Stewart GAICD
CEO, Aware Super 

John O’Brien FAICD
Partner, Energy Transition & Decarbonisation, Deloitte

Day one close


Networking Session


Day 2

Conference open


Chairman, National COVID-19 Commission Advisory Board


The coronavirus pandemic has upturned daily life, crunched the global economy, and dealt out a heavy human cost. Perth Airport Chairman Nev Power is the Chairman of the National COVID-19 Coordination Commission. In this special presentation, he’ll discuss the current situation in Australia and the path to economic recovery.


Nev Power MAICD
Chairman, National COVID-19 Commission Advisory Board

Nowhere to hide: Shareholders, stakeholders and the role of the board


Recent years have seen a lively debate on the purpose of the corporation. Community expectations are shifting and boards are being asked to consider more than shareholder interests. High-profile miscalculations at Rio Tinto and AMP have highlighted the damage that can be done when stakeholder considerations aren't elevated. How do boards fulfil their duties when there are competing interests at stake?


The Hon Nicola Roxon GAICD
Chair, HESTA
Chair, VicHealth
Director, Dexus Director, LifeStyle Communities

Pru Bennett GAICD
Partner, Brunswick Group

Alan Kirkland MAICD
CEO, Choice

Mark Morey
Secretary, Unions NSW

Louise Petschler GAICD
General Manager, Advocacy, AICD



Reimagining capitalism: Rebecca Henderson

Capitalism has produced enormous benefits over the centuries – but there are signs our current system is beginning to fail. Inequality is rising, climate change has not been addressed and many are losing faith in our institutions. Renowned Harvard Business School Professor and company director, Rebecca Henderson, explores that role that business and boards can play in reimagining capitalism for the 21st Century.


Rebecca Henderson
Author, Reimagining Capitalism
Professor, Harvard Business School
Director, IDEXX Laboratories

Mark Thirlwell MAICD
Chief Economist, AICD



Concurrent elective sessions #1


Turning a crisis into an opportunity

The coronavirus has been a crushing blow for many organisations - but some businesses were still able to prosper during the downturn. Adore Beauty had a surge in sales during the pandemic and the company posted one of the biggest IPOs in Australia for 2020. CEO and Founder Kate Morris explains how she grew her business into an e-commerce success story – and details the steps she took during the COVID-19 crisis.


Kate Morris
Executive Director & Founder, Adore Beauty 

How have small and medium enterprises grappled with the coronavirus ?

Thousands of small and mediumsized enterprises suffered a severe decline in revenue during the pandemic and many are still struggling to survive. The Federal Government has introduced several schemes to assists SMEs – but are these measures enough? What more can large companies do to support SMEs?


Kate Carnell AO FAICD
Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman

Joseph Healy
Co-Founder and Co-CEO, Judo Bank

Jayston Small MAICD
Managing Director, Nuffield Group


Louise McElvogue GAICD
Director, Healthdirect
Director, 1st Group
NSW Councillor, AICD

Update on the regulatory environment


Pamela Hanrahan will deliver her popular annual update to bring you up to speed on relevant developments in the regulatory landscape and how they may impact your responsibilities as a director.


Professor Pamela Hanrahan
Professor, Commercial law and Regulation, UNSW



Concurrent elective sessions #2


Mindful Leadership: Governance and Mental Health

COVID-19 and the subsequent economic downturn have had a major impact on Australians’ mental health. Many of us have been placed under an unprecedented strain.

How do directors help others cope? Can organisations maintain an effective culture if staff are not interacting face-to-face? And what should boards do to protect employees' safety and emotional wellbeing?


Peter Joseph AM FAICD
Chairman, Black Dog Institute
Chair, The Ethics Centre

Jacinta Munro GAICD
Deputy Chair, Lifeline Partner, KPMG

Dr Rob McCartney
Chief Medical Officer, Woolworths 
Director, Resile

Matt Pritchard
Head of Government Relations, AICD

Relations with China: Unsettled ties with Australia's biggest trading partner

China remains Australia’s largest export market but the diplomatic relationship between the two countries has come under pressure. Leaders in Canberra and Beijing have been in conflict, with some companies left caught in the crossfire. Where are relations between Australia and China headed next – and what does it mean for Australian businesses?


Allan Gyngell AO
Director, Crawford Australian Leadership Forum
National President, Australian Institute of International Affairs

Dr John Lee
Senior Fellow, US Studies Centre

Dr Merriden Varrall
Director, Australia Geopolitics Hub, KPMG 

Industry on a knife-edge with Solotel's Matt Moran and Justine Baker: How will the hospitality sector recover from the pandemic?

The pandemic and lockdowns were an unprecedented hit for Australia's hospitality scene. Once-thriving bars, pubs and restaurants were forced to restrict their operations or close their doors entirely. Where does the sector go next? And what can directors learn from the hospitality sector's struggles? We hear from Justine Baker MAICD, the former CEO of one of Australia’s biggest hospitality groups, and noted restauranteur and chef, Matt Moran. 


Matt Moran
Chef & Restaurateur

Justine Baker MAICD
Former CEO, Solotel

Ivan Ah Sam
Head of Content & Communications, AICD

Resolve and Resilience : Leading during a crisis

The coronavirus pandemic has been an extraordinary challenge – but it certainly won’t be the last great problem that boards and directors will need to face. These esteemed leaders will offer lessons from their own experiences of dealing with a crisis.


Shane Fitzsimmons
Commissioner, Resilience NSW
Former Commissioner, NSW Rural Fire Service

Dr Tarun Weeramanthri
President, Public Health Association of Australia
Lead, Climate Health WA Inquiry (2019-2020)
Special advisor on COVID-19, WA Department of Premier and Cabinet

Cheryl-anne Moy GAICD
Deputy Secretary and COO, Department of Home Affairs 

Conference close