Our Speakers

Unleash inspiration with our expert speakers - leaders sharing insights on safety, resilience, innovation and success.

Rae Johnston

Rae Johnston is a multi-award-winning journalist with a focus on the geekier side of life. The first Science & Technology Editor for NITV at SBS, her work appears across television, radio, podcasts and online. Rae is also the producer and host of top-rated podcasts Queens of the Drone Age, Hear+Beyond and Take It Blak. Previously, Rae was the first female editor of Gizmodo Australia, and the first Indigenous editor of Junkee. A leading commentator on all things technology, science and pop culture, Rae has worked with every major television and radio network in Australia at some stage of her decadelong career. Today, she makes regular appearances across SBS, ABC and Network Ten. Rae’s work has seen her awarded the Lighting The Way prize for advocacy and support of the Australian games industry at the Australian Game Developer Awards. The Australian Games Awards named her both Journalist of the Year (2018) and The Gamechanger – awarded for challenging the negative misconceptions about video games throughout her career. Rae is a warm and highly professional MC, and has worked with the likes of Sydney Opera House, Oz Comic Con, NSW Government, Australian Academy of Science, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney Writer’s Festival and Australian National University.

Richard de Crespigny

Richard de Crespigny, a Melbourne-born and educated pilot, achieved global recognition for saving over 460 passengers on a severely damaged Qantas A380 aircraft, marking a turning point in his life. With aspirations sparked at 14, he pursued a career in aviation, joining the RAAF at 17 and later transitioning to Qantas in 1986. In 2010, as captain of QF32, he faced a critical situation when an engine exploded, requiring his exceptional skills and leadership to stabilise the aircraft and land safely. This incident, detailed in his bestselling autobiography "QF32," earned him accolades, including the Member of the Order of Australia. Now a highly sought-after corporate speaker, de Crespigny shares his insights on crisis management, leadership, and teamwork, as demonstrated in his second book, "FLY!," released in 2018.

Ally Orr

Ally Orr is a health and wellbeing specialist who started her professional career as a Sport Scientist. She used her experience in high performance sport to bring a people-focused, evidence-based approach into the workplace. Ally has been involved in the research and development of academic material and projects across various organisations and has always remained focused on maintaining a "No BS" approach to health. In 2023, she was awarded the AIHS Australian Emerging Leader of The Year Award for her efforts to push forward innovative solutions to improve musculoskeletal health and ergonomics at Endeavour Energy.

Ambulance Victoria

Over the last decade Ambulance Victoria’s Manual Handling program evolved significantly, as paramedics are required to move patients in uncontrolled environments, often at risk to the safety of either themselves or the patient. Ambulance Victoria’s Health and Safety Department focused on evidence-based best practice manual handling techniques, improved access and implementation of fit for purpose manual handing equipment and support, and the drive of safety culture from the pinnacle of the clinical and corporate hierarchy. Today, there are dedicated equipment and support resources across the state to minimise patient and employee risk during complex extrications. Paramedic Manual Handling Coordinators work permanently within the Health and Safety Department, to deliver strategic goals, improve manual handling culture, train and refresh facilitators and lead the management of manual handling risks across Ambulance Victoria. You will have the opportunity to hear from some of the Manual Handling Coordinators during this presentation.

Andrew Gissing

Andrew is the CEO of Natural Hazards Research Australia. He works with government, business and not-for-profits to make our communities safer and more resilient. Andrew has over 20 years disaster management experience, including in senior executive roles. He previously held the position of Deputy Chief Officer / Director Emergency Management and Communication with the Victoria State Emergency Service and, before joining Natural Hazards Research Australia was a General Manager at Risk Frontiers. Andrew holds Masters (Hons) of Science and Bachelor of Economics degrees and has published in leading international journals.

Anthony Gibbs

As CEO, Anthony has worked with thousands of people, across hundreds of organisations globally, to develop safety culture solutions that support strategy and enable the person component to reach its full potential. Anthony has been committed to the application of psychology to enhance human performance for over 20 years and his background as a psychologist managing addiction and chronic mental health treatment facilities has informed his cognitive-behavioural insight. Regarded as a dynamic facilitator and keynote speaker, Anthony has presented globally on safety, leadership, wellbeing and organisational performance.

Ash Presser

Ash is a risk and safety specialist, registered with the Australian Institute of Health and Safety as a Certified Practitioner and affiliated with the University of New South Wales as an Expert Witness. In the university space, he is undertaking research into health and safety specific to high risk leisure industries and amusements, including surf parks. Ash played a critical role in establishing operations and safety systems at URBNSURF from 2018 and was recognised for his works receiving awards from WorkSafe Victoria and National Safety Council of Australia. Now working with Clublinks Management as a leisure management service provider and Aquatic Risk Services Australia/International, providing risk, safety and training solutions for other surf parks and industries.

Colonel Graham Stewart

Colonel Graham Stewart was born in Perth, Western Australia and has over 30 year’s military experience; he has held a full range of command, training and staff appointments in the single and joint services. Colonel Stewart has a background in pre-hospital care and Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Recovery (HADR) operations both overseas and domestically. Most recently Colonel Stewart was the Director – Work, Health and Safety – Army and is currently the Director - Strategic Hazards – Army, with a focus on how Army prevent and manage Psychosocial (and other emerging) hazards are effecting our workforce.

David List

David List, a seasoned electrician with nearly two decades of experience specializing in large corporate infrastructure, has made a significant transition into the media landscape as the Director of LIST Media. Leveraging his expertise, David founded the YouTube channel thinkLIST, where he discovered through much trial and error that storytelling and narrative significantly boosted engagement with his content. Highlighted in features such as "A Tram Network's Worst Nightmare," the techniques such as the ABT, help boost his following and increase engagement for the video's sponsor. David's commitment to excellence was recognized with an individual award at Ventia and a team accolade from the Australian Water Association in 2020 for creating a method to refill filter media without the need for confined space entry. Through LIST Media, David aims to empower the OHS community with the tools to engage their audience more effectively and communicate their messages with clarity.

Denise Zumpe

Denise has enjoyed a long and successful career as a health and safety professional, with many years in the transport industry gaining end-to-end heavy vehicle supply chain experience. Through her business, CoR Comply, Denise has supported some of Australia’s best loved retailers and most recognised brands with HVNL compliance, cutting through the myriad of misinformation that accompanied the amendment. During 2019-2020 Denise was a regular contributor to Australasian Transport News highlighting to the transport industry lessons learnt in OHS around safety management systems, accreditation programs and the misinterpretation of shared responsibilities. Establishing herself as a thought leader, Denise is now helping to shape the future of Chapter 1A compliance as a member of the technical panel for the Body of Knowledge chapter on Chain of Responsibility, the industry working group for the Registered Industry Master Code of Practice and developing training in CoR for health and safety professionals.

Helen Lingard

David List, a seasoned electrician with nearly two decades of experience specializing in large corporate infrastructure, has made a significant transition into the media landscape as the Director of LIST Media. Leveraging his expertise, David founded the YouTube channel thinkLIST, where he discovered through much trial and error that storytelling and narrative significantly boosted engagement with his content. Highlighted in features such as "A Tram Network's Worst Nightmare," the techniques such as the ABT, help boost his following and increase engagement for the video's sponsor. David's commitment to excellence was recognized with an individual award at Ventia and a team accolade from the Australian Water Association in 2020 for creating a method to refill filter media without the need for confined space entry. Through LIST Media, David aims to empower the OHS community with the tools to engage their audience more effectively and communicate their messages with clarity.

Jason van Schie

Jason is a psychologist (Masters in Organisation Psychology) and founder of FlourishDx – a company that is pioneering ‘psychological health and safety as a service’. This involves taking an integrated and risk-based approach to workplace mental health and making it global and scalable, harnessing world leading expertise, technology and data analytics. He is well known for his educational work as a co-host of the ‘Psych Health and Safety’ podcast, and as lead instructor on the ‘FlourishDx Academy, and ‘Professional Practice in Psychological Health and Safety’ 12-week program.

Marie Boland

Marie Boland commenced as Chief Executive Officer of Safe Work Australia in November 2023. Before joining Safe Work Australia, Ms Boland offered independent work health and safety and workplace relations consultancy services including the 2023 review of the Office of the Federal Safety Commissioner, the 2022 Review of the Conduct of Work Health and Safety Prosecutions in the Australian Capital Territory, an independent review of the South Australian local government sector's One System WHS Management System in December 2020 and the 2018 National Review of the model work health and safety laws. Ms Boland was the 2021 Inaugural Thinker in Residence at the University of South Australia's Psychosocial Safety Climate Global Observatory, and has held senior roles at SafeWork South Australia as an Executive Director, Policy and Community Engagement Director and Chief Policy Officer. More recently, Ms Boland was the Presiding Officer of South Australia’s Construction Industry Long Service Leave Board.

Octavian Simu

Octavian Simu is a Senior Legal Policy Officer at the Sentencing Advisory Council. The Victorian Sentencing Advisory Council this year received terms of reference from the Victorian Government to review the sentencing of occupational health and safety (OHS) offences in Victoria. The Council explores sentencing outcomes for OHS offences in its statistical report, and its consultation paper canvasses the key issues that exist in the space. Recently, the Council completed a round of community consultation across regional Victoria and metropolitan Melbourne. This interactive presentation explores the key findings from the review, and invites the audience to consider what outcomes should be pursued in sentencing OHS offences.

Paul McGorrery

Dr Paul McGorrery is the Chief Executive Officer of the Sentencing Advisory Council. The Victorian Sentencing Advisory Council this year received terms of reference from the Victorian Government to review the sentencing of occupational health and safety (OHS) offences in Victoria. The Council explores sentencing outcomes for OHS offences in its statistical report, and its consultation paper canvasses the key issues that exist in the space. Recently, the Council completed a round of community consultation across regional Victoria and metropolitan Melbourne. This interactive presentation explores the key findings from the review, and invites the audience to consider what outcomes should be pursued in sentencing OHS offences.

Scott Barber

Scott is a safety specialist, professional marketer and copywriter with over 20 years’ experience designing, driving and facilitating communication and education as fundamental engagement tools. Specialising in high-risk safety and rescue, both operationally and as a consultant, he uses his experience across multiple industries to deliver solutions targeting specific stakeholders using communication as the critical driver for change.

Schellie-Jayne Price ("SJ")

Schellie-Jayne Price (“SJ”) leads the AI practice at the law firm and emerging technology policy institute, Stirling & Rose. She has over 20 years' legal experience in international resources companies, including leading the work for multi-billion dollar mega projects, M&A deals and as legal manager for operations in Asia. Her leadership experience includes project, operational and innovation, with real-world experience managing the development and implementation of AI in the resources sector. She is an Advisory Board Member for the WA Data Science (AI) Innovation Hub and Winner of Women in Tech [+] 20 Award for her work in AI.

Susan Sadler

Susan Sadler is the Founder and CEO of Red Wagon Workplace Solutions, which has the mission to provide straight-talking HR advice that makes a difference to individuals, businesses, and the community. Steadfast in her commitment to ensuring that all businesses understand the importance of their greatest asset, their people, Susan has a fierce passion for raising the standard of Australian businesses. Well balanced between the commercial needs of an organisation and an innate ability to conceptualise the requirements of an effective workplace, Susan has the rare combination of a people centric professional, coupled with a strong technical knowledge. Susan has an extensive understanding of employment law and business best practice, underpinned by tertiary studies in human resource management, psychology and law. Recently ending her term as South Australian State President of the Australian HR Institute, Susan is a member of various advisory committees including the AHRI IA Advisory Board, and the Australian Association of Workplace Investigators, and advises a number of universities on HRM curriculum matters.

Tanya Pelja

Tanya is Executive Director, Health, Safety Environment and Quality (HSEQ) at BGIS, where she sets the vision, leads the strategic direction, and manages the performance of HSEQ and Injury Management for APAC. As a multi award-winning expert in her field with over 15+ years’ experience, Tanya has held prominent and influential leadership positions across both Government and Private sectors. Her people focused leadership style allows Tanya to deliver actionable insights for boards and leadership teams. Tanya has a reputation for building organisational culture, increasing risk maturity, leading change management, environmental, health and wellbeing programs. Tanya intuitively builds successful organisational partnerships and high performing teams across business functions.

Tim Driscoll

Tim Driscoll is an occupational epidemiologist and specialist in occupational and environmental medicine and public health medicine. He is Professor in epidemiology and occupational medicine in the Sydney School of Public Health at the University of Sydney, where he is in charge of the general epidemiology. Tim’s main areas of interest are the burden of occupational disease and injury; occupational cancer and exposure to occupational carcinogens, particularly asbestos; occupational lung disease; occupational fatal injury; increasing the practical application and influence of epidemiological principles and findings; and improving the communication of epidemiological principles and findings to workers, management and the general public. He leads the occupational risk factors expert working group in the Global Burden of Disease study.