Speakers

The largest ever line-up of retail leaders and CEOs

A stellar line-up of speakers has been confirmed. Stay tuned for more speakers to be announced.

Paul Zahra

CEO
Australian Retailers Association

Biography

Paul Zahra is a CEO, Non-Executive Director, Board and Company Advisor and one of Australia’s most influential diversity advocates. A leading force in the Australian Retail Industry for over 40 years, Paul’s corporate roles have included Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of former ASX listed department store, David Jones Limited as well as senior leadership roles at Target Australia and Officeworks Superstores.

Paul has been previously credited for leading the digital transformation of one of the oldest department stores in the world, achieving market-leading momentum, resulting in financial stability for the business during the worst retail conditions in 25 years and leading to its successful sale at a premium in 2014.

Paul is currently CEO of the Australian Retailers Association, a not for profit that is the country’s oldest, largest, and most diverse retail body, representing a $400bn sector which employs 1.3m Australians. The ARA has gone through a significant transformation during his leadership, welcoming the recruitment of well-known large and major retail brands since his appointment, whilst successfully retaining 95 per cent of members that are small to medium size businesses.

Starting his working career in a family small business, he has been a strong advocate for small to medium size retailers, celebrating their contribution to the intellect and diversity of the retail community.

A powerful champion for diversity and inclusion in the workplace, Paul has led numerous high profile LGBTI campaigns and initiatives. He is the former Chair of PwC Diversity and Inclusion Board, Former Chair of the Pinnacle Foundation, Former Chair of Australian Institute of Music and currently an ambassador for the 30% Club Australia. He has held non-executive director roles in ASX listed companies, private equity, start-ups and not-for-profits in the education, retail and FMCG sector.

Paul is an alumnus of Stanford University, USA, and a Graduate of Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Nicole Sheffield

Nicole Sheffield

President
Australian Retailers Association

Biography

Nicole leads the development of Wesfarmers™ Group-wide data and digital ecosystem. This is a new role for Wesfarmers, reflecting the strategic importance and growth potential of our data and digital strategies. Prior to joining Wesfarmers, Nicole held a number of leadership roles. Most recently she was the Executive General Manager, Community; Consumer, at Australia Post.

Leah Weckert

Leah Weckert

CEO & Managing Director
Coles Group

Biography

Leah Weckert became CEO and Managing Director of Coles Group on 1 May 2023. Leah joined Coles in 2011 and has held several senior roles across the Coles Group. Most recently, Leah was Chief Executive, Commercial and Express leading the supermarkets business units and the Coles Express business. Before this, Leah was Chief Financial Officer and played a leadership role in the demerger from Wesfarmers in 2018. Leah has also held roles as Director Strategy, Director People & Culture, State General Manager Victoria Operations, and General Manager Merchandise, Strategy and Innovation.

Prior to joining Coles, Leah worked at McKinsey & Company, advising large private and public sector clients, and Fosters Group in Strategy and Business Development. Leah’s qualifications include a Master of Business Administration from Harvard Business School, a Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) from Adelaide University and a Bachelor of Science from Adelaide University. She is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a member of Chief Executive Women.

Michael Schneidler

Michael Schneider

Managing Director
Bunnings Group

Biography

Mike Schneider was appointed Managing Director, Bunnings Australia & New Zealand in March 2016. Prior to this he led the store operations teams across Bunnings Australia and New Zealand, after joining Bunnings in 2005. Before joining Bunnings, he held a range of senior operational, commercial and human resource roles across regional and national markets, both in retail and financial services with The Warehouse Group and Westpac.

Mirja Viinanen

Mirja Viinanen

CEO & Chief Sustainability Officer
IKEA Australia

Biography

With over 20 years’ experience in the home furnishing retail sector, Mirja’s journey at IKEA began in 2011 in Germany.

She relocated to Asia in 2014 to take up a management opportunity with IKEA Japan, before returning to Germany as Country Deputy Retail Manager, while also leading the transformation process of Service Office corporate services for IKEA Germany.

Moving to Australia to step into the role of CEO in September 2021, with leadership experience from the biggest IKEA retail market globally, Mirja’s focus has been on accelerating the transition as an omni-channel retailer and increasing accessibility for more Australians, and now New Zealanders, to shop with IKEA, wherever and however they choose.

Mirja also leads the integration of the sustainability agenda into the core of the IKEA business in Australia and New Zealand.

Jack Gance

Jack Gance

Chairman & Co-Founder
Chemist Warehouse

Biography

Jack is the Chairman of the Chemist Warehouse Group and a Co-founder of this $5 billion retail group. Jack has a wealth of experience in retail having been involved in the growth of the business since 1972. Additionally, Jack created the largest distribution business in Pharmacy and created the iconic brands Le Specs, Le Tan, Australis and Colours of Australis.

Jack Gance

Craig Foster AM

Former Socceroo, Broadcaster, Adjunct Professor, Sport & Social Responsibility, Author, Human Rights Activist

Biography

Craig Foster AM is the 2023 NSW Australian of the Year, a former athlete and Co-Chair of the Australian Republic Movement. With 29 caps for the Socceroos including as Captain, Craig was Captain and Club Captain of Crystal Palace FC in England, followed by a20 plus year broadcast career with SBS television and now Stan Australia. Well known for his social justice advocacy, his high profile campaigns include the rescue of a young Bahraini refugee from a Thai prison which is the subject of the book ‘Fighting for Hakeem’ and a new documentary film, ‘The Defenders’ on Amazon Prime Video which won the audience award at this year’s Sydney Film Festival. Assisting many Afghan women and girls to flee the Taliban in 2021 which is captured in the online, award-winning film, ‘Die or Die Trying: Escaping the Taliban’; the Game Over campaign to free hundreds of refugees offshore and various anti-racism campaigns. Craig is an author, speaker, filmmaker, human rights activist and holds a Masters in Sport and a law degree.

Jack Gance

Dr Kellie Nuttall

Lead Partner
Deloitte – AI Institute

Biography

Dr. Kellie Nuttall leads Australia’s Strategy and Business Design practice, and directs the Australian Deloitte AI Institute, roles that see her helping some of Australia’s most iconic brands transform into AI-fuelled businesses. Kellie is also a faculty member of Singularity University and is focused on harnessing exponential technologies to address global grand challenges. Kellie holds a PhD in consumer decision making and nudge psychology, which allows her to readily apply its theory to decision making in a professional setting.

Catriona Noble

Dr Claire Naughtin

Senior Research Consultant
CSIRO’s Data61

Biography

Dr Claire Naughtin is a Senior Research Consultant at CSIRO’s Data61, where she leads the Digital Futures team. She is passionate about bridging the gap between research and the real world and equipping leaders with a data-informed narrative of the future to help guide long-term decision-making. Claire specialises in future-focused, strategic foresight projects, working across a diverse range of policy and industry domains. In her most recent work, Claire co-led the delivery of CSIRO’s Our Future World report – a once-in-a-decade report that identified seven emerging megatrends that will shape the next 20 years for Australia.

Catriona Noble

Josh Bannister

Executive General Manager Retail, Brand & Marketing
Australia Post

Biography

Josh Bannister is Australia Post’s EGM Retail, Brand & Marketing. Josh joined Australia Post in July 2022 and was appointed to the role of EGM Retail, Brand & Marketing in January 2024. With an extended network of approximately 4,300 post offices and over 22,000 team members, Licensees and extended workforce, Josh is responsible for leading Australia Post’s strategy to drive future sustainable growth.

Prior to this, Josh held leadership roles at McDonald’s, holding deep expertise in field operations, commercial development and business growth. Josh is a true champion of the customer and has led significant growth programs that have resulted in increased customer base, profitability and market share. 

With over 25 years of experience in operations, network strategy and commercial development and property, Josh plays a critical role to how Australia Post’s retail network continues to serve customers and the community. Josh has a track record in all areas of business operations, property and portfolio management, combining strategic nous with a commitment to high performance.

Josh holds membership as a Certified Practicing Accountant.

Catriona Noble

Faye Ilhan

Managing Director
WooliesX

Biography

Faye Ilhan is the Managing Director of idX, a platform business within WooliesX at Woolworths Group. With over 23 years of experience in the digital and retail industries, she is passionate about leveraging digital and data to improve the lives of customers and is committed to fostering a culture of innovation and collaboration with teams. She is responsible for connecting the Woolworths Group digital ecosystem to grow customer value. idX includes In-house Digital Media Agency, Customer Success Teams, Digital Platforms, Customer Identity & Personalisation.

Faye has held a number of leadership positions, including Interim Managing Director of Dan Murphy’s, General Manager of eCommerce Sales & Digital Innovation for WooliesX, and Director of Internet at Homeserve PLC in the UK. She has driven digital transformation, launched new businesses such as Woolworths at Work and Everyday Market, and worked to deliver exceptional customer experiences.

Ian Bailey

Ian Bailey

Managing Director
Kmart Group

Biography

Ian was appointed Managing Director, Kmart in February 2016 and assumed the responsibility for leading the Kmart Group division (encompassing the Kmart Australia and Target Australia businesses) in November 2018. Prior to this, Ian was Kmart’s Chief Operating Officer where he was instrumental in Kmart’s turnaround.

Ian’s experience, both national and international, covers a number of industries including retail, professional services, consulting, technology and healthcare in positions that include general management, sales, business development and project management.

Ian holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering and has completed the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School.

Catriona Noble

Karen Bozic

Group CEO
Craveable Brands

Biography

Karen is a senior retail and consumer executive who has worked in some of Australia’s most iconic retail brands: Woolworths, BIG W, Caltex (now Ampol) and Rebel Sport. Karen has been a CFO, COO, GM of Strategy, Transformation and Replenishment and is now the Group CEO of Australia’s largest born and bred quick service restaurant group, Craveable Brands, who operate around 600 Red Rooster, Oporto, Chicken Treat and Chargrill Charlie’s restaurants. Karen is a CEW and ARA member, and is passionate about retail, people and diversity.

Ian Bailey

Angus McDonald

CEO
Barbeques Galore

Biography

Angus is the Chief Executive Officer at Barbeques Galore, a retailer of Barbeques and Outdoor products with a network of 90 stores across Australia. Since joining Barbeques Galore in 2019, Angus has led the development of new store formats, acceleration of new product development, and investment in brand and omnichannel capability. During this time, Barbeques Galore has been recognised as one of Inside Retail’s 20 coolest retailers in 2020, Gold and Silver winner at the 2021 Sydney Design Awards, and winner in the 2022 Australian Retail Innovators Awards.

Prior to joining Barbeques Galore, Angus was a senior executive at ASX-listed Super Retail Group, and was included on Internet Retailing’s 2018 list of the top 50 people in ecommerce. Angus is also a member of the Advisory Board for the National Online Retail Association, Chair of the Retail Doctor Group Advisory Board, holds a Master of Business Administration, and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Jack Gance

Sarah Hunter

Managing Director
Officeworks

Biography

Prior to joining Officeworks, Sarah worked across many areas of the Coles Group in positions including Financial Controller, State General Manager Victoria, General Manager Workplace Strategy and most recently Demerger Program Director, overseeing Coles™ implementation of the proposed demerger from Wesfarmers.

Ian Bailey

Kieron Ritchard

CEO
Fantastic Furniture

Biography

Kieron was appointed as CEO of Fantastic Furniture in September 2018, a leading omni channel retailer with 87 owner-operator stores and vertically integrated manufacturing producing an Aussie-made sofa every 60 seconds. The team at Fantastic believe all Australians deserve great furniture they can truly afford and continue to challenge the status quo of traditional furniture retailers to get customers the look they want for less.

Kieron also serves as Chairperson of Dignity, a highly respected and fast-growing homeless services charity. Dignity was named 2019 Telstra Business of the Year, the first not-for-profit organisation to receive this prestigious gong in the 30-year history of the Awards.

Kieron started his career in 1990 as an insolvency accountant with Crowe Horwath in Sydney, developing an early specialisation in the hotel industry. Relocating to London with the firm’s hotel management consulting arm Horwath HTL in 1995, he worked on hotel feasibility and brand strategy assignments across Europe and the Middle East. He returned home to Australia in the lead up to the Sydney Olympic Games to work on corporate finance deals, real estate development and tourism advisory engagements with Andersen and PwC.

In 2002, Kieron moved to Hong Kong to lead Asia Pacific development for Le Meridien Hotels and Resorts, achieving significant network growth and China market entry. He later joined IHG PLC based in Shanghai to launch the Holiday Inn Express brand in Greater China and secured the first franchisor’s license ever issued to an international hotel group in mainland China. Returning to Australia in 2008 with IHG, Kieron turned his focus to multi-site operations as Vice President of Operations ANZSP.

He joined Yum! Brands in 2010 and became COO of KFC in South Pacific before moving to Transport for NSW as a founding director of NSW Trains, establishing it as an independent rail and bus entity. Immediately prior to joining Fantastic Furniture, Kieron was an Executive Director at Compass Group in Australia responsible for the turnaround of the core business portfolio spanning over 400 sites.

Kieron holds a bachelor’s degree in commerce (Accounting) from the University of Wollongong, a Master of Business Administration from the Australian Graduate School of Business and is a Graduate of Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Catriona Noble

Jane McNally

Outgoing CEO
Camilla Australia

Biography

Full biography coming soon.

Jack Gance

Stephen Younane

CEO & Co-Founder
Retail Prodigy Group

Biography

Steve is the Co-Founder and CEO of Retail Prodigy Group which holds the master retail franchise for NIKE stores across Australia and NZ with the distribution rights for TOMS and Timbuk2. Steve joined NIKE Australia as Retail Director and then to NIKE HQ to head up the retail division for North America. Steve has also held leadership roles at Jeanswest, Myer and Luxottica.

Ian Bailey

Emmanuel Vavoulas

CEO
Blooms the Chemist

Biography

Emmanuel Vavoulas is an experienced healthcare professional and executive leader, with extensive retail experience spanning merchandising, ethical buying, and strategic operations.

Passionate about combining his love of people and science, Emmanuel completed his pharmacy degree before going on to own several pharmacies within the Blooms The Chemist network. He is extremely proud to have continued the brand’s legacy of mentoring and developing talented young Pharmacists and supporting their professional and business growth aspirations.

In January 2022, Emmanuel was appointed Blooms The Chemist’s Chief Executive Officer. He continues to lead the organisation through industry and market changes, delivering a clear brand differentiation strategy and proving that profit and purpose can drive commercial success and personal fulfilment.

Emmanuel holds a Bachelor of Pharmacy from the University of Sydney and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. He has also completed the prestigious Strategic Planning and Management in Retailing program and the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School.

Ian Bailey

Ray Itaoui

CEO
Best & Less Group

Biography

Ray Itaoui has considerable retail experience spanning over 25 years in which he has operated and invested in Australian and global retail businesses including Sanity, Bras N Things, Honey Birdette, Mr Vitamins, MakeUp Cartel and Universal Store and Best & Less.

He also served as the Chairman of Sanity, Bras N Things, Honey Birdette, Mr Vitamins and as an independent non-executive director of ASX-listed Aventus Group until last year when it was acquired by HomeCo in which he is still a significant shareholder. 

Ray also owns and operates Greenway Wetherill Park in 2018, a hybrid lifestyle shopping centre he acquired in 2018 in addition to his current role of CEO of Best & Less which he acquired in June 2023.    

Catriona Noble

Lisa Belcher

Vice President Merchant Partnerships Australia & New Zealand
Global Merchant Services, American Express

Biography

Lisa Belcher is a seasoned sales and marketing executive who is passionate about delivering incremental value to businesses by utilizing the unique assets American Express has developed.   She is responsible for the strategy and partnership approach for clients that accept Amex.  Her vision is that customer-centric retailers leverage Amex to deliver a superior customer experience.  Lisa is also a proud champion of small business and Shop Small particularly in how she can leverage the assets of big business to support local businesses. Lisa brings almost 20 years of experience in both the US and Australia and holds an MBA from Columbia Business School.  She is also on the Board of Directors for Crohn’s & Colitis Australia.

Catriona Noble

Kate Russell

CEO
Supply Nation

Biography

Kate Russell is a proud Awabakal woman from Lake Macquarie and is committed to empowering her community. Kate draws on her extensive experience working across public and community sectors and is driven by a desire to promote opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples – making sure to approach all programs, policies and initiatives through an intersectional lens. Kate is passionate about engaging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities to co-design programs and services using international best practices to make tangible changes in policy.

As a consultant, Kate has worked across multiple policy areas to support the delivery of outcomes and community benefits, with a focus on people and culture programs. Prior to this, she held senior roles at the Department of Planning and Environment, where she oversaw the design and delivery of programs across a portfolio of agencies and over 15,000 staff. Additionally, Kate has spent time working at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Sydney and Canberra and for the Catalan Department of Education in Spain. Kate returned to Australia to work in the community sector to focus on Aboriginal employment and leadership development, and eventually joined the NSW State Government in 2016. Kate’s broad expertise and experience in diversity and inclusion, organisational culture, leadership, human resources and knowledge, and project management enables her to develop programs that recognise the intersectionality of diverse experiences.

Currently, Kate is a Board Director at the Diversity Council Australia and has previously served as a Director for Yilabara Solutions and Interrelate. In July 2023, she commenced her role as Chief Executive Officer at Supply Nation, the Australian leader in supplier diversity. Kate holds a Bachelor of International Studies (Distinction), an MBA and an Executive Masters of Public Administration.

Ian Bailey

Katrina Konstas

EVP, Country Manager and Head of Sales APAC, Afterpay

Biography

Katrina is a strategic senior executive and thought leader with a career embedded in customer oriented roles across sales, marketing, client relationship management and customer loyalty optimism.

Over the last 20 years, Katrina has built her career within the payments and financial service sector, engaging with customers across multiple industries to drive business transformation, consistently deliver against KPI’s and build high performing teams within Asia pacific. With a core focus on communications, digital, PR and media, Katrina is passionate about leveraging her marketing roots to successfully drive sales organisations with a customer first lens.

Katrina is fascinated by the accelerated pace of change and intense competition that is shaping the global retail landscape, this passion for high growth business has led her to Afterpay.

As Executive Vice President, Country Manager and Sales APAC, Katrina currently oversees Afterpay’s achievements in the region, and is responsible for expanding Afterpay’s retailer footprint and driving shared value to merchant customers and consumers.

Ian Bailey

Maurice McCarthy

Managing Director
Optus

Biography

Maurice McCarthy is an experienced telecommunications executive who joined Optus in August 2017 as Vice President, Retail and Channel Sales. In 2021, Maurice was appointed Managing Director, Customer Success. Maurice has spent the last 20 years working in the technology and telecommunications industry. Maurice brings a deep passion and strong background in leading enterprises and large enterprise divisions. Having commenced his career in Ireland, He has worked across the Pacific and Europe.

Customer Success drives Optus’ customer strategy to become Australia’s most loved everyday brand with lasting customer relationships by bringing our customer Channels together and increasing collaboration to support all Consumer distribution channels including Digital Channels, Branded & Non-Branded Retail Channels, Regional and our Contact Centres.

Ian Bailey

Michele Levine

CEO
Roy Morgan

Biography

With over 30 years’ experience as a researcher, Michele has been responsible for thousands of surveys, including many of the largest research projects ever undertaken in Australia, many of which continue to play a critically important part in shaping our society today.

Ian Bailey

Vicki Doyle

CEO
Rest Super

Biography

Vicki joined Rest as Chief Executive Officer in May 2018, bringing more than 20 years’ senior executive leadership experience in superannuation, life insurance, wealth management and banking.

Vicki is passionate about simplifying and demystifying superannuation to help all Australians achieve their best retirement outcomes.

Vicki holds an Executive MBA from the Australian Graduate School of Management and a diploma from the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Vicki has served as an Executive Director on Trustee Boards. She is also a Non-executive Director of the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors and a Director of The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia

Vicki’s experience includes executive leadership roles at some of Australia’s leading organisations, such as AMP, BT, Suncorp and Commonwealth Bank of Australia. She has an extensive background in distribution, strategic marketing, digital, fund operations and contact centres, customer strategy and design and product management

Ian Bailey

Barb Hyman

Founder and Chief Executive Officer
Sapia.ai

Biography

Barb Hyman is the CEO and founder of Sapia.ai, one of the most trusted mobile-first Al recruitment platforms, used by ASX and FTSE-listed companies including Woolworths, Qantas, Kmart, Target, Bunnings, Air Canada, Holland & Barrett, and BT Openreach. Before launching Sapia.ai, Barb spent more than a decade in leadership roles in human resources, strategy and people development at Boston Consulting Group and REA Group. It was in these capacities that she learned firsthand the biases and other problems inherent in the hiring process.

Barb was named KPMG Australian Tech Innovator of the Year for 2023 and has spoken at numerous HR and AI conferences, including the Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) AI Leadership Summit, Consero CHRO Forum, and HR Leaders Forum. She has been featured in Financial Review, the Guardian, the Daily Telegraph, Business News Australia, and other publications.

As Sapa.ai’s CEO, Barb is responsible for operational excellence and company growth, and oversees the company’s Strategy, Operations, Product, Engineering, Data Science, Marketing, Sales, Customer Success, and Implementation functions. She has more than 30 years’ experience as an HR leader and solicitor. Barb holds an MBA from University of Melbourne and a BA/LLB (Honors) from Monash University.

Ian Bailey

David Phillips

Partner
Deloitte Digital

Biography

For twenty years, David has worked within client, agency and consultancy organisations to define and deliver consumer and marketing strategy across FSI, Government, Retail and Consumer Products locally and globally. Before joining Deloitte, he ran strategy and media at McCann where he was consistently celebrated as one of the top marketing strategists within the region.

At Deloitte, David leads the CMO agenda and the Marketing, Data and Technology Melbourne team. He has helped some of Australia’s biggest marketing organisations build the marketing function of the future by through marketing operations, capability and technology integration.

Ian Bailey

Craig Woolford

Senior Analyst
Consumer Sector at MST Marquee

Biography

Craig Woolford began at MST Marquee in June 2021 and was most recently the Head of Research for Citi Australia/NZ. He led a team of more than 50 staff responsible for analysing stocks, interest rates and the economy. Craig was also the lead Consumer Analyst at Citi, leading the team that ranked top three with clients in both Retail and Food & Beverages.

Craig was at Citi for 16 years and prior to that was at CommSec as a lead analyst on the Consumer sector for four years. He is regularly cited in industry journals and the media for his insights about the state of Australian retailing and performance of the major companies across the retail and food and beverages sectors. Craig also has experience in funds management and debt capital markets.

Craig Woolford is appointed as an authorised representative of Retail Mosaic Pty Ltd, who is an authorised representative of MST Financial.

Ian Bailey

Kate Box

Director, Global Business Group
Meta

Biography

Full biography coming soon.

Catriona Noble

Prof Gary Mortimer

Consumer Behaviour Researcher
QUT Business School

Biography

Gary Mortimer is a Professor of Marketing and Consumer Behaviour at the QUT Business School. Prior to joining QUT, Professor Mortimer spent over 25 years working with some of Australia’s largest general merchandise and food retailers.

In 2020, he was appointed as the Chair of the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) Consumer Research Advisory Committee and to the Expert Advisory Group for the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment Employment Zones Reform. Professor Mortimer also sits on the editorial boards or the Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services and International Journal of Bank Marketing. Widely recognised as Australia’s leading retail expert, industry keynote speaker and media commentator. He works closely with Australian television, print, online and radio media to engage broadly with audiences, outside of academia.

Josh Zywien

Chief Marketing Officer
Paradox

Biography

Josh serves as Chief Marketing Officer for Paradox, responsible for driving the company’s brand, digital, and experiential marketing efforts, while also supporting sales enablement and product marketing. Prior to Paradox, he led marketing and product at SmashFly, which was acquired by Symphony Talent in November 2019. Josh is passionate about helping companies better communicate their story — who they are, what they believe, and how they help a particular market solve real, meaningful challenges. Prior to SmashFly, Josh founded his own marketing agency and helped grow Boston-based venture capital firm OpenView into one of the world’s top venture capital brands.

Jack Gance

Fleur Brown

Chief Industry Affairs Officer
Australian Retailers Association

Biography

Fleur leads the Industry Affairs portfolio for the ARA which encompasses policy and advocacy, media, marketing, events and partnerships. Fleur has worked as an executive leader in government, media, marketing industries and prior to joining the ARA ran the award-winning Launch Group agency which was responsible government and investor relations, advocacy and media management for many leading Australian brands and public entities. With a rich background in technology and innovation, she is a former Director of TechSydney, a founding team member of StartupAUS (now Tech Council Australia) a founding director of TEDxSydney and founder and producer the Nine Network’s Entrepreneurs TV show.  Fleur is author of the business book The Business of Being You.

Jack Gance

Debra Galle

General Manager, Non-Food Business Unit
Coles

Biography

Deb is the General Manager for the Health & Home Business Unit at Coles Supermarkets. She leads a large cross-functional team, to drive customer and commercial success across all Non-Food segments. With deep FMCG industry experience across both manufacturing and retail, Deb is known for developing customer-centric growth strategies that deliver impressive commercial outcomes. Deb’s leadership style priorities values and behaviours to build a supportive, transparent, and team-based culture.

Passionate about FMCG retail, Deb aspires to pursue an executive career in the Retail Industry, driving innovation and transformative change.

Jack Gance

Mick Moore

Managing Director
Scalene Group

Biography

Mick Moore is CEO and co-founder of Scalene Group and brings 20 years of retail strategy advisory expertise and commercial and operational experience with leading retailers in Australia and the UK. Following several senior retail leadership roles, Mick founded Scalene to help retailers leverage data science and analytics to deliver customer-centric range and space strategies that transform the performance of their store network. The business has grown to service iconic retail brands in Australia, New Zealand, South-East Asia and the UK.

Catriona Noble

Nathalie Rosette-Barber

Chief Operating Officer
Australian Retailers Association

Biography

An experienced retail professional, Nathalie has strong operations and management expertise and deep experience as a change agent within retail environments. She is a highly collaborative and results orientated leader with a finance, compliance and commercial background and strong strategic skills. Her previous roles have included more than 14 years with David Jones in roles including: Head of Strategy Delivery, General Manager Change Management, and Project Delivery; General Manager – Stores Planning; Administration where she has focused on operations performance and planning and working on large scale transformation programs.

Ian Bailey

Jason Robertson

Director Policy, Sustainability & Impact
Australan Retailers Association

Biography

Jason leads the policy and sustainability team at the ARA, working with members and key stakeholders to progress the policy priorities that are important for Australian retailers, now and into the future. With more than 30 years working in the retail and hospitality sectors, Jason has worked for small business owners, franchise operators and large national brands in a range of roles across operations, business improvement, strategic planning, program management, risk management, sustainability and public policy.

Jack Gance

Cr Yvonne Weldon

City of Sydney

Biography

Full biography coming soon.

Sheerien Salindera

APAC Digital Strategy Lead
Adobe

Biography

Sheerien is both a practitioner of marketing having led the world’s most iconic brands to digitise their customer experience and an adaptive strategist for Adobe’s APAC customers. Specialising in Travel & Retail, Sheerien simplifies complex industry challenges in the age of digital-first experiences to shape customer strategy to get the mix of data, content & delivery spot on for business growth.

Making travel more human and personal across every digital interaction saw Sheerien lead a large team across 40 international markets for Qantas responsible for Digital Sales and Merchandising. As National Marketing Manager for McDonald’s Australia & New Zealand, Sheerien crafted the digital experience strategy including launching smart Digital Menu Boards in-store, in drive-thru, Kiosk Ordering, My Macca’s Mobile App and the largest crowd-sourced social media content in Australia.

Previously, Sheerien worked for DDB a top-tier Advertising Agency where she was able to partner with brands as diverse as the Guardian Media Group, Budweiser, Guinness, Unilever, Philips, Hasbro, Diageo and Tourism Australia to create a number of world-first brand, advertising, marketing and entertainment campaigns.
Sheerien has a Master’s in Digital Communication and Culture so is obsessed about how we live our digital lives. When not thinking about the next experience innovation for her customers at Adobe she likes to surf, DJ and work on community projects.

Lisa Annese

Chief Executive Officer
Diversity Council Australia

Biography

Lisa Annese is the Chief Executive Officer of Diversity Council Australia (DCA), a role she has held since 2014. Diversity Council Australia is the only independent, not-for-profit workplace diversity advisor to business in Australia, offering unique research, practice and expertise across a range of diversity dimensions. As the leading voice on workplace diversity and inclusion in Australia, DCA has a membership of more than 1300 organisations estimated to employ almost 20 percent of the Australian workforce.

Under Lisa’s leadership, DCA has grown significantly in its membership base, organisational size, scope of work and spheres of influence. She has led a broad array of ground-breaking, evidence-based research, including Australia’s first national index on workplace diversity and inclusion, seminal research on the economics of the gender pay gap, leading research on racism at work, and pivotal work on breaking barriers for culturally and racially marginalised (CARM) women in leadership, as well as research supporting individuals being “Out at Work”, main-streaming flexible work and myth-busting workplace responses to sexual harassment and, domestic and family violence.

Throughout her career Lisa has contributed widely to the public debate on issues relating to gender pay equity, paid parental leave, women in leadership, cultural diversity and workplace flexibility. She is passionate about DCA’s leadership on diversity and inclusion as well as its capacity to deliver information and resources that are great for business, for workers and for the community and economy. 

In 2022 Lisa was appointed to the Respect@Work Council, charged with supporting the work of the introduction of the Respect at Work Bill aiming to prevent sexual harassment in Australian workplaces. Lisa is on the Boards of Amnesty International Australia and the non-partisan organisation, Women for Election. In 2018, Lisa was named one of the AFR’s 100 Women of Influence. She is also a member of Chief Executive Women.

Kate Dundas

Executive Director
UN Global Compact Network Australia (UNGCNA)

Biography

Kate Dundas is the Executive Director of the UN Global Compact Network Australia (UNGCNA), the Australian Local Network of the United Nations (UN) Global Compact. As Executive Director, Kate leads a team of experts across the fields of business and human rights, environment and climate change, anti-bribery and corruption and sustainable development. Kate is an experienced and well-regarded executive leader with 20 years of experience across the public and private sectors in sustainability, strategic foresight, strategy and city planning. She holds degrees in Industrial Design, Landscape Architecture and Urban Design, is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, Cranlana Centre for Ethical Leadership, Harvard Executive Education for Sustainability Leadership program and is an Executive MBA candidate. 

Marcel Sieira

Chief Operating Officer
GS1 Australia

Biography

Marcel’s passion is to work with Industry and Government in helping them understand the power of GS1 standards, the benefits that can be realized and facilitate work programs aimed at industry-wide implementation.

He has been involved in e-Business and Supply Chain since 1997 and joined GS1 Australia in 2003, initially, to assist the organisation establish and grow the Consulting Services Group and to develop and launch new industry-wide services.

Prior to joining GS1 Australia Marcel held senior Sales and Business Development Management roles with solution providers focused on e-Business and EDI, Data Synchronization, Warehouse Management and Internet Security Applications.

Over the last 20 years at GS1, Marcel has held several roles and today leads the Business Operations Team covering Marketing, Servies Adoption, Partnerships, Industry and Government Engagement, Advisory and Training Servies, Global Standards and the Enterprise Project Management Office all tasked with assisting the private and public sectors implement GS1 standards and services.

The team’s engagement spans several sectors including Retail and Marketplaces, Food and Beverage, Food Service, Primary Industries, Apparel, Healthcare, DYI/Hardware, Transport and Logistics, and more recently Rail, Mining and Construction.

The team’s work covers a range of operational areas, including e-commerce, supply chain, logistics, traceability, cross-border trade, product authentication and anti-counterfeiting, Sustainability and Circularity, and patient and consumer safety.

As Chief Operating Officer Marcel is part of the organization’s Senior Executive Team, assisting to develop and execute GS1 Australia’s business strategy. He also represents GS1 Australia on a range of Committees and Work Groups both in Australia and abroad.

Danielle Lendich

Chief Executive Officer
Wendy’s New Zealand

Biography

Danielle Lendich has been at the helm of Wendy’s New Zealand for nearly 25 years and has seen a lot of change in the industry over this time.  Danielle is recognised as one of the top operators in the Wendy’s Global system, winning numerous awards for innovation, sales growth, best operator and best marketing campaigns.

Danielle’s career highlights include world record sales at new store openings, Wendy’s NZ lauded response to Covid 19, keeping staff and customers safe and recent technology changes including world first tap and go on drive thru, AI recruitment of staff and using technology and social media to drive sales.

Recognised as an industry leader she has recently been on a New Zealand food industry Dragons Den style Pitch Me Panel.

Shaun Broughton

Managing Director (APAC & Japan)
Shopify

Biography

Shaun Broughton spearheads Shopify’s growing influence in Asia-Pacific — the world’s largest ecommerce market, reaching $2 trillion USD in 2022. Leading a large, diverse team across eight countries, Shaun oversees the expansion of merchant growth and the development of technology solutions that enable global commerce both online and in-store. Under his leadership, Shopify now powers over 25% of all ecommerce in Australia. Before joining Shopify, Shaun held prominent positions at Microsoft, LinkedIn, and Lego Australia.

Hannah Udina

Head of Partnerships (ANZ)
Shopify

Biography

Having spent 10 years in the eCommerce and IT industry Hannah is passionate about the online and offline merchant experience. With specific expertise in Payments and Platforms, Hannah understands the complexities of doing business online and is passionate about building ecosystems. Previously holding global roles and working across Asia, Hannah has had the opportunity of helping businesses expand and do business in Asia. Currently, at Shopify, Hannah works with Agencies to develop and grow their footprint within the Shopify ecosystem. On a personal note, Hannah has a zealous interest in enabling women in technology.

Andrea Quinn

Head of Retail, APAC
Lightspeed

Biography

Andrea Quinn is the Senior Director of Sales, Retail, APAC at Lightspeed Commerce. In her role at the company, Andrea leads the regional sales teams, fostering unity and helping to deliver strategic business growth across Asia-Pacific. Focused on aligning the business strategy with the company’s financial goals, Andrea works with her team to deploy scalable solutions for Lightspeed’s retail customers.

With more than 20 years of experience in the retail industry, Andrea has worked with both start-ups and global corporations across New Zealand, Australia, and other regions. Her expertise spans various facets of the retail sector, including fashion retail sales and management, garment production, finance and operations.

Throughout her career, Andrea has held a number of leadership positions, such as Operations and Distribution Manager for a successful NZ ecommerce startup, Onceit, and Financial Controller and Operations roles at H&M, where she played a pivotal role in establishing H&M’s presence in New Zealand and also led operations in Victoria and Western Australia.Her journey in the retail industry took an exciting turn when she transitioned to the SaaS world, joining Vend New Zealand, a retail POS company. Andrea joined Lightspeed Commerce through its acquisition of Vend. Since joining Lightspeed, she has played a crucial role in building the Revenue Operations function from the ground up, contributing to the company’s scalable growth and repeatable revenue success. 

Andrea’s passion lies in supporting businesses to achieve their growth goals by simplifying numbers and KPIs, making them relevant and easily understood by all stakeholders. She excels in building budgets that serve as roadmaps to success, breaking down revenue targets into clear building blocks with defined ownership across the organisation. Her strategic skills enable her to develop plans that inspire and unite teams toward shared achievements. 

Outside of work, Andrea enjoys a fulfilling life with her husband and their beloved border collie, Mac. She has a penchant for renovating houses and has a keen eye for second-hand and recycled fashion. In her leisure time, you can find her indulging in her love for running or planning her ideal holiday with trout fishing in Lake Taupo and a glass of bubbles close by.

Jana Kotatko

Executive
Telstra Retail

Biography

When leaders create the right cultural settings, exceptional results follow.”  

Jana is an engaging and authentic leader who believes that culture isn’t just important – it’s everything. Recently stepping into lead the Telstra Retail and Regional Business, Jana leads a 4000+ strong team of passionate Sales and Service Advisors unified by a customer-focussed culture that ensures the voice of the customer is heard at every level of the organisation. Before taking the Retail helm at Telstra, Jana spent many years blazing trails in the telco industry, both in Australia and internationally.  

Janet Menzies

Country Manager
Amazon

Biography

Janet is Country Manager, for Amazon Australia and Singapore, taking on stewardship of the China Global Store business in 2024.  Prior to joining Amazon, Janet worked with Cochlear, an Australian manufacturer of medical devices, as General Manager, Australia and New Zealand. For 15 years, Janet was a management consultant, including with McKinsey & Company. Janet was the inaugural CEO of Champions of Change Coalition a group of 300+ leaders seeking to increase the representation of women in leadership and co-founder/former of Chair of Heads Over Heels – a not-for-profit that helps entrepreneurs grow businesses through connections to suppliers, partners and customers.

A 15+ year Australian resident, Janet was born in Canada, and spent 12 years working and studying in the US (Chicago, Seattle, Los Angeles, Silicon Valley).  Janet has an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management and a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of British Columbia.

Dr Eloise Zoppos

Research & Engagement Director, Australian Consumer and Retail Studies (ACRS)
Monash University 

Biography

Dr Eloise Zoppos is a practicing academic at Monash University and the Research and Engagement Director of ACRS (Australian Consumer and Retail Studies unit), a commercial research consultancy operating out of the Monash Business School specialising in retail. She works with major retailers to help them understand their market and unlock growth opportunities, and is passionate about translating evidence-based research into action to help guide commercial and strategic business decisions. She is a regular speaker, writer and media commentator on retail, consumer trends, and sustainability across radio, television, print and online media.

Renee Gamble

Managing Director
Google Australia

Biography

Renee Gamble is Managing Director Google Australia, leading the Sydney headquartered Large Customer Solutions (LCS) sales team, growing and stewarding Google’s customer relationships with CxOs of some of the largest organizations in AUNZ. The LCS team partners with the world’s biggest advertisers and agencies to develop digital solutions that build businesses and brands, helping to shape how companies grow their business in the digital age. Renee is the Executive Sponsor of Google’s APAC Retail Leadership Steering Committee and member of the Google APAC Hiring Committee.

Renee joined Google in 2015 to head up the ANZ Google Cloud business, before moving to the LCS business in 2017. Renee is passionate about building and supporting diversity in the workplace, having been the co-Lead of the ANZ Women@Google Employee Resource Group 2016-2018 and a founding member of Microsoft’s Asia Pacific Diversity Council in 2005 until 2009.

Renee is a Non Executive Director and member of the Audit and Risk Committee of Universal Store Holdings Limited (ASX:UNI) and Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Renee brings an extensive track record of technology and business innovation leadership. Before joining Google she spent over 10 years at Microsoft in Singapore and Australia in various sales and business leadership roles. She previously worked as an industry analyst and business leader with IT & Telecommunications research advisory firm International Data Corporation (IDC) across Hong Kong, Beijing and Singapore. Earlier experience included IP start-ups and software firms.

Beyond her commercial roles, Renee is a volunteer Crisis Supporter with Lifeline Northern Beaches.

Allegra Spender

Federal Member for Wentworth

Biography

Allegra Spender is the Independent Member for Wentworth. She was elected in May 2022 on a platform
climate action, political integrity, future-focused economic reform, gender equity and decency.

Allegra went to Ascham School in Edgecliff, has an Economics degree from Cambridge University, an MSc
from the University of London, and has completed business courses at Harvard and Dartmouth College.
Before parliament, Allegra worked as a business analyst at McKinsey, a policy analyst with UK Treasury and
was later the Managing Director at Carla Zampatti Pty Ltd. Allegra was also the chair of the Sydney
Renewable Power Company and CEO of the Australian Business and Community Network, which addresses
educational disadvantage by partnering low socio-economic schools with leading Australian businesses.

As an MP, Allegra has taken a leading role within the crossbench on climate action. This has included through
the legislation of targets for reducing Australia’s CO2 emissions, strengthened reforms to the safeguard
mechanism, and investment in electrifying and decarbonizing households. Allegra has also been driving
future-focused economic reform, by initiating her own tax review process and putting forward a citizens’
assembly to break the political impasse on housing policy. Allegra has also successfully advocated for the
establishment of a National Anti-Corruption Commission, greater investment in women’s economic
empowerment, and a more humane approach to the treatment of refugees and people seeking asylum.
Allegra is a member of the House Standing Committee on Economics and the Joint Standing Committee on
Migration. She is also co-chair of the Parliamentary Friends of Uluru Statement from the Heart, the
Parliamentary Friends of Entrepreneurs, Small and Medium Business, and the Parliamentary Friends of
International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA).

Allegra is married with three children and in her spare time is a keen runner.

Justin Gaggino

General Manager
Hismile

Biography

Justin is the General Manager of Hismile, a $1 billion Smilecare brand. Justin possesses multi-faceted knowledge across omni-channel retail, but has a specifically strong background within the e-commerce space where Hismile found initial success. Justin’s current focus is making Hismile the largest oral care brand in the world. 

Claire Green

Head of Space Planning and Merchandise Support
Officeworks

Biography

Claire is a retail professional with over ten years of experience, specialising in space planning and merchandise support. Having worked across the UK and Australia, she brings expertise to her role as Head of Space Planning and Merchandise Support at Officeworks. Claire is passionate about leading teams to add value and is dedicated to optimising retail space for organisational success. 

Gareth Jude

Chief Executive Officer
Think UnCommon

Biography

Gareth leads ThinkUncommon who help retailers and their suppliers with the process of innovation. The business was founded on the belief that most retail innovation fails not because of technology or the ‘thing’ but in the process.

Prior to joining ThinkUncommon Gareth held leadership positions in a number of retail businesses including Telstra,  Paul’s Warehouse, Video Ezy and Woolworths.

He is the co-author of “Retail Innovation Reframed” published by Kogan Page.

Trav Heaven

Co-Founder and CEO
Duress

Biography

Trav Heaven founded Duress 6 years ago, and the live saving tech it is now used throughout Department of Defence, Department of Justice, Department of Health, Royal Flying Doctors, Salvation Army, and thousands of other teams across Australia.  Recently retail have started deploying the devices as well,  including  Coles, Telstra, McDonalds, Kmart, Cotton On, Office Works, Hanes, Tip Top and many more. Duress allows team members to quickly and discretely stream live video and audio, request emergency services, notify their team and ping their supervisor, all with a click.

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