Diversity and Inclusion Summit 2024

Our Speakers

Ben Aldridge

Founder and Managing Director of 30 Foot Drop


Justin Barnes

Founder and Managing Director of 30 Foot Drop Founder of Rocket Launcher and Perth Networking Club


Sarah Bass

Equity and Inclusion Trainer and Coach


Kane Blackman

CEO of Good Sammy Enterprises


Tasha Broomhall

Founder of Blooming Minds


Jeremy Campbell

Wray, Strategic Account Director, Baker Hughes


Ivy Chen

Manager Corporate, CSA Global Mining Industry Consultants


Clinton Cheng

Director and CFO, GW Corporate Services


Charlene Clarke

Founder and Director Catalyst Central & WiTWA DEI Lead


Candy Choo

CEO of Local Government Professionals WA


Shelly Dival

Autism Design Specialist


Roanna Edwards

Manager of Aboriginal Strategy and Engagement


Amy Evans

Founder of Little Black Dress Digital and Accessibility Activist


Tanya Finnie

Founder and Director of RedHead Communications and Diversity and Inclusion Summit


Dr Yulia Furlong

Dr Yulia Furlong


Shaheen Hughes

Superintendent: Inclusion and Engagement, Gold Fields Australia


Susan Kreemer Pickford

General Manager of Engineers Australia WA


Elizabeth Lang

CEO of Diversity Focus


Sonya Liddle

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Consultant, Sun North Consulting


Nilesh Makwana,

CEO of illuminance Solutions


Toto Olita

Research Associate, Curtin University


Senator Fatima Payman

Labor Senator for Western Australia


Mayuran Sivapalan

Managing Director of Adaptus


Dr Paula Smith

CEO of Global Institute of Training and Presenting


Barry Winmar

Chief Executive Officer of Institute of Indigenous Wellbeing and Sport


Zoya Yukhnevich

Manager of Community Inclusion, Inclusion Solutions

Read more about below.


Our diverse line-up of speakers will highlight relevant topics regarding organisational diversity, leading meaningful discourse on topics affecting all intersections of our communities. As a result, attendees and their organisations will be provided with a valuable and safe space to be inspired and turn thought into action.

Come and hear from experts in the field about their latest research and learn from proven case studies, all while networking with your peers.

Ben has been many things in his life: a soldier, troublemaker, explorer, and poor decision maker. Currently he is a husband, a father, a business owner, quadriplegic, and a person living with mental illness. Founder and Managing Director of 30 Foot Drop, he is a dedicated systemic advocate, innovator, and educator in the disability space.  

Ben will also be speaking on a Panel discussing Ability Inclusion in Practice with Tasha Broomhall, Amy Evans and Shelly Dival.

Ben will also be conducting a MasterMind Session investigating if historical views of disability are holding your organisation back and how to break to the cycle.

Justin Barnes (he/him) holds a Bachelor of Communications and a Master of Business Administration from Edith Cowan University. A lover of travel and culture, Justin is a gay man who has had varied professional experience from Recruitment, to Sales and Marketing to Networking. Justin is also an advocate for inclusivity in all arenas, including from the workplace to sport. He believes the world can be changed through kindness, collaboration and education for a better understanding of each other.

The Future of Sport Inclusivity is a discussion about Justin’s journey from experiencing anxiety around sport as child to becoming an a Club Leader for the Perth Spectres Basketball Club as an adult. Justin will cover his lived experience in sport, where we came from, where we are now, and the future of sport in terms of inclusivity.

Justin will be the Summit’s Day 2 Emcee.

After a career in Human Resources working in multiply industries across four continents over the last 25 years, Sarah’s skills in dealing with the aftermath of inequitable and unsafe environments. Working with the leaders in her organisations, Sarah helped them move from inequity and exclusion to a place where everyone felt safe and able to fully contribute. Sarah now works with multiple organisations and their HR Departments to build Equitable and Inclusive cultures. 

HR have been focussing on the wrong thing – diversity. Their focus should be on equity and inclusion. Great strides have been made in attracting diverse talent to workforces, only for them to leave or become disengaged. Sarah will share practical skills you can use to build equity and inclusion. 

Kane is a father of a child with disability and the Chief Executive Officer of Good Sammy. He is the Chair of the Ministerial Advisory Council of Disability, and a director on various disability and community Boards. Good Sammy’s mission is the employment and development of people with disability. Their 700 employees in Western Australia work within diverse social enterprises in the Retail, Logistics, and Recycling sectors.  

Diversity and inclusion is good business and critical for a healthy society. All employers and employees can help shift the dial, so that people with disability are no longer underrepresented in the workforce by 30%. You can start today at work, at home, or in the community.

Tasha Broomhall, MSC (Psych) is the founder of Blooming Minds and and is undertaking a PhD in psychosocial safety, intersectional inclusion and workplace mental wellbeing. Tasha has been providing mental health and wellbeing programs throughout Australia for 18 years and works with organisations across the globe to build positive mental health cultures with genuine inclusion. Her work has been recognised with the ICCWA Suicide Prevention Award, as a finalist in the LiFE Awards for Excellence in Suicide Prevention, and her ‘Inside Out’ segment with Christine Layton on ABC radio was the runner-up and finalist in the Mental Health Week Media Awards in 2020 and 2021.

We’ve been talking about mental health and work, but we focus on mental illness and not on wellbeing. Instead we should look at what are the organisational and social structures that negatively impact mental wellbeing. There is a huge opportunity to lead organisations from a creative, energised, authentic, human-centred perspective.

Tasha will also be speaking on a Panel discussing Ability Inclusion in Practice with Ben Aldridge, Amy Evans and Shelly Dival.

Tasha will be conducting a MasterMind Session on strategies that organisations can implement to manage obligations around workplace physiological health and safety.

Jeremy is a Strategic Account Director with the Energy Technology Company, Baker Hughes. He leads their Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council in Australia, as well as their Pride At Work network across Asia Pacific. He’s held senior roles in Non-Profit organisations such as Pride WA where he served as President. Jeremy received a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Pennsylvania State University and has been working in the Energy & Resources Industry for nearly 20 years. 

Creating strong community engagement through DEI strategy.

Jeremy will also be speaking on a Panel discussing Corporate Inclusion in Practice with Susan Kreemer Pickford, Sonya

Ivy is an experienced resource and mining geologist who has worked in China and Australia. She manages the CSA Global Corporate consulting team, preparing technical assessment reports to support commercial transactions such as IPOs, mergers, takeovers, and joint ventures in the minerals sector. Ivy describes herself as a migrant working in Australia’s culturally diverse mining community. Throughout her 30-year career, Ivy has held various roles, including company director, a corporate regulator for ASIC, and small-business owner. 

Ivy will be presenting, as well as speaking on a Panel discussing Corporate Inclusion in Practice with Susan Kreemer Pickford, Sonya Liddle and Jeremy Campbell-Wray.

With twenty years’ hands-on commercial and corporate experience in Australia and overseas, Clinton is a highly qualified Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and executive coach. Clinton has developed strong leadership within multicultural environments. Recently, Clinton has worked for the Australian government as an energy policy maker but also leads the international expansion for one of the Chinese leading energy technology companies. He currently runs a consulting firm offering outsourced CFO, board advisory and executive coaching services.

CFO in shared economy model

Candy Choo, CEO of Local Government Professionals WA

Candy Choo is the first female Chief Executive Officer of Local Government Professionals WA – the peak body organisation that advocates for and supports professionals working in WA Local Government. Candy is passionate about the critical role local government has in enriching community connectedness, and the tangible impact it has on community through the diverse services local government provides. She also has an extensive background in corporate governance, risk management and advocacy. Topic: Male, Stale and Pale to Balanced, Talents and Challenge Local government has traditionally been seen as the “male, stale and pale” boys club –Candy will share data and information to explore whether this is still the case and changes that have occurred. Barriers will be discussed but more importantly, good practices will also be celebrated in this presentation.

Shelly Dival, Churchill Fellow, is an autism design specialist with over 25 years of building design expertise. Her grandson’s diagnosis was the catalyst for her research of how individuals with Autism relate to the built environment and specific enabling design. She has presented nationally and internationally on the subject and continues to contribute to research. She is passionate about advocating for a more appropriate built environment for those with Autism and other neurodiversity. 

Designing Autism friendly workplaces – cognitive disability enabling workspaces 

Shelly will also be speaking on a Panel discussing Ability Inclusion in Practice with Tasha Broomhall, Amy Evans and Ben Aldridge.

Roanna Edwards is a woman of Ballardong and Whadjuk Noongar descent. She is passionate about authentic Aboriginal engagement and shifting culture within organisations to create an environment that effectively delivers positive outcomes for Aboriginal people. Previously a Manager of Aboriginal Strategy and Engagement, Roanna lead a centralised team of Aboriginal engagement, employment, and procurement advisors to support the business to not only deliver on the Reconciliation Action Plan, but also worked on broader corporate strategy. Rohanna sought out the opportunities in all business transactions to positively impact the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in remote and regional Western Australia.

Amy is the founder of Little Black Dress Digital, a digital marketing company that specialises in social media, EDMs and website content as well as accessible marketing, a topic that Amy is very passionate about due to her lived physical disability experience. She also has a large Instagram presence of over 16,800 followers. She uses this platform to break down disability stereotypes, particularly those in the fashion industry. 

Disability access in society has come a long way, but what about accessibility in the digital space? Amy will talk you through why accessibility in the digital space is so important and how to create accessible digital content. 

Amy will also be speaking on a Panel discussing Ability Inclusion in Practice with Tasha Broomhall, Ben Aldridge and Shelly Dival.

Tanya is a Global Cultural Strategist with over 20 years of experience working in leadership and cultural domains. She hails from a widely diverse cultural background, having lived and worked throughout several African, European, and Australasian countries. Over time, she has built valuable cultural and intellectual experience to coincide with her academic knowledge on cultural topics and challenges. She holds a postgraduate Diploma in Adult Education and Training and a Bachelor of Commerce specialising in Tourism Management. Tanya has also completed a Diploma in Public Speaking, Certificate IV in Coaching, Certificate IV in Training and Assessment, Diploma in Leadership, Diploma in Front-line Management, and a Diploma in Human Resources. She is currently working on a PhD in Cultural Intelligence.

Yulia Furlong is a Consultant Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist at Perth Children’s Hospital, Head of Service of CAMHS Crisis Connect, Senior Clinical Lecturer at University of Western Australia and a Fellow of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists. Dr Furlong is involved in major suicide prevention RCT and other research studies with key publications on gender incongruence, cultural influences in mental health, and neuro-disabilities, including authorship in the Oxford Textbook of Neuropsychiatry. 

It is important to address a social phenomenon of “embodied inequality” and research examining the roots of trans prejudice and negative attitudes that may be associated with traditional gender role beliefs, anti-feminist attitudes, and a belief that trans-people are psychologically disturbed. 

Shaheen Hughes is the Superintendent of Inclusion and Engagement at Gold Fields Australia, working on gender equity initiatives and leading the organisation’s gender safety response. Shaheen was previously the Chief Executive Officer of The Museum of Freedom and Tolerance and has a background in international, national, and state policy, advocacy and communications, a master’s degree in International Communications and an honours degree in Art History and English Literature from the University of Leeds.  

Gold Fields Australia’s Respectful Workplaces campaign aims to embed deep listening practices and routines and centre safe conversations as a key component of a respectful and gender safe workplace.

A Fellow of Engineers Australia, a Chartered Professional Engineer and Engineering Executive, Susan emigrated to Australia from Scotland in 1999 and spent 15 years in consulting engineering before joining EA. She is Chair of the Curtin University Faculty of Science and Engineering Advisory Council and past Chair of the National Science Week WA Coordinating Committee. In 2018 she won a Women In Technology WA “20 in 20” award for her commitment to advancing the engineering profession.

Securing a diverse skilled engineering workforce in a tough labour market

Susan will also be speaking on a Panel discussing Corporate Inclusion in Practice with Ivy Chen, Sonya Liddle and Jeremy Campbell-Wray.

Elizabeth Ayom Lang is the CEO of Diversity Focus, Perth-based research, consulting, and training company specialising in workplace diversity, equity, and inclusion at the intersections of gender, race, ethnicity, and culture. In recognition of her work, she was named Global 100 Under 40 Most Influential People of African Descent. She represented Australia in the UN Fellowship Program, celebrating the Decade for People of African Descent.

Elizabeth’s presentation will challenge people to reflect on the notion of DEI from an intersectional framework. Through an intersectional lens, participants are challenged to reflect on the notion and centrality of power to understand how it plays out in everyday experiences in the workplace.

For over 15 years, Sonya Liddle has operated and managed Indigenous businesses, providing services within the employment, training, community health, council governance, and resources sectors. Sonya now works closely with clients to drive diversity strategy and execution across Australian energy, resources and infrastructure sectors, as well as Brunel globally. Sonya is determined to create an equal and inclusive future by providing learning-based platforms developed through shared experiences that engage people to move beyond “awareness” and towards understanding and acceptance. 

Stepping Boldly Towards Reconciliation

Sonya will also be speaking on a Panel discussing Corporate Inclusion in Practice with Ivy Chen, Susan Kreemer Pickford and Jeremy Campbell-Wray.

Nilesh Makwana is a technology CEO and entrepreneur with many global and national awards. He is dedicated to making a social impact by focusing on workplace diversity, social inclusion and digital literacy. His greatest strength is identifying how business, government, academia and community can collaborate in mutually beneficial ways. Nilesh is founder of West Tech Assemblage, Borderless Gandhi and a frequent media commentator in local, state, and national publications. 

Toto is CCDM’s Economics Foundation Project theme leader with training in Actuarial Science and Environmental Economics. Her role involves the use of financial and risk analysis to improve the return on investment in crop protection at farm and industry scales. Toto considers herself a global citizen and aims to use her skills, experience and passion to empower communities to utilise the available resources in the most efficient and innovative way to ensure sustainable outcomes. 

Mayuran Sivapalan is the Managing Director of Adaptus, a strategy and project consulting firm that partners with leaders in business and society to improve Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) performance and increase resilience to climate change. With dual degrees and experience in environmental engineering and investment finance, his career has been focussed on the application of leading frameworks from the risk and decision sciences to help organisations with large natural capital and social impact footprints balance financial return with environmental and social outcomes. 

D&I is a key pillar to unlocking opportunities to improve environmental and social performance. D&I initiatives shouldn’t be looked at and pursued in isolation but rather in the context of overall ESG performance improvement. 

Dr Paula SmithCEO of Global Institute of Training and Presenting and Expert in Leadership Communication 

We are privileged to have Dr Paula Smith as our the Day 1 Emcee for our Diversity and Inclusion Summit.

Dr. Smith brings with her to the platform 30+ year’s organisational experience as a trusted advisor, master trainer, MC, executive coach, TEDx coach and 3 times author. Paula is currently the CEO of the Global Institute of Training and Presenting, a training company specialising in workplace and leadership communication.

Zoya has had a strong connection to community for as long as she can remember. Over the past ten years, Zoya has volunteered and worked for a number of not-for-profit and community organisations, with a particular interest in working with young people and people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. Zoya has a Master of International Development and is passionate about working with others at a grassroots level to foster positive social change.

Inclusions Solutions is a community development organisation with a passion for creating inclusive, vibrant and connected communities. Working with local governments, sporting clubs, community groups and organisations, Zoya shares her experiences of inclusion, as well as discussing the trends, movements and research we are currently seeing in the community sector.

Barry is a Nyoongar Man from the Whadjuk peoples of the Noongar Nation with ancestral lineage across all of Noongar country. Barry has over thirty years of leadership experience and has undertaken roles within government, corporate and non-government sectors. 

Barry achieves success through decisive leadership underpinned with his extensive management skills, knowledge of policies and strategic direction, through a practical understanding of financial, physical, and human resource requirements in the operation of effective and efficient organisations.  

Barry’s entrepreneurial and innovative approach to working with the Aboriginal and Non-Aboriginal community in a participative and inclusive approach focus on sustainability for Aboriginal Australians, both social and economic has led to positive outcomes for Aboriginal children, families, and communities.  

Barry strives for an inclusive and diverse Australia that respects and acknowledges the continuous connection of First Nations people to our country. 

Senator Fatima Payman will be giving closing remarks and officially closing our Summit.

Fatima Payman is an Australian Muslim with cultural roots from Afghanistan. Her father arrived in Australia as a refugee and worked round the clock as a kitchen hand, a security guard and a taxi driver, to provide for her, her mum and her siblings – instilling in Fatima the values of hard work and perseverance. She has seen his experience echoed in the lives of many of the workers she met in her time as an organiser at United Workers Union.

Photography is an evolving art,” says Peter Macfarlane of Lao Bide Images. “As photographers, we are evolving in our view and focus in it.” Puns aside, Peter relates how his initial focus in photography was cricket but how this has now has moved into portrait, corporate, and events.

“The human experience is what challenges me now. How challenging are corporate headshots you may ask? Very! Think of when you last had your photo taken for corporate purposes. A good photographer shows more than a face, they show character. My job is to help express your innate character in that image.”

With 10 years experience photographing conferences, Peter finds them fascinating experiences.

“Conferences are where you get to see a person speaking passionately about something they care about. Those great speakers bring their audience along with them and their expressions speak volumes about the impact words have on us. I’m really excited to be the photographer for RedHead Communications’ upcoming conference. Tanya is such a passionate advocate of her craft and I’ve seen how people really think in the moment about what she says. This is going to be a fantastic conference!”

Videographer Kyle Spyrides, Soul Gazing Official Videographer

Kyle Spyrides is a Visual Storyteller who runs Soul Gazing Photography and is currently growing the Decide Your Destiny movement. Decide Your Destiny’ is more than just pretty words. They are the foundation of a philosophy that has seen Kyle through. As the custodian of this philosophy, it is his mission to get it into the hands, hearts and souls of as many people as possible on this planet.


Kaye and Andrew Fairbain, Musicians

Gracing the Summit is the musical styling of ex-Royal Australian Navy Band members and husband-and-wife duo Kaye and Andrew Fairbairn, the latter of whom is a below-the-left-knee amputee. Andrew firmly believes music is a journey that should be shared, enjoyed, and celebrated by all. 

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