Conference Speakers in 2023

The Corporate PA Summit attracts a fantastic mix of inspirational speakers, celebrity speakers and leading EAs. The 2023 Summit builds upon this tradition, with an agenda packed full of exceptional presentations.

Lisa O’Neill (MC)

Feisty, funny and fabulous. Lisa O’Neill is an absolute beam of light that will electrify your conference.

With the rare ability to deliver powerful messages through side-splitting humour, Lisa is highly sought after as a keynote speaker and MC across Australia and New Zealand.

After more than a decade on stage, Lisa is consistently top-rated in conference evaluations. Participants love her straight-talking, refreshing wisdom and infectious laughter. They respond to her call to live big lives and to become the best version of themselves.

Lisa is the author of five books, ‘Look Gorgeous Be Happy’, ‘Juggling in High Heels’, ’The Lickable Third’, ‘100 Questions to Self Awareness’ and ‘Everything You Want’.

Brooke Neal

Brooke Neal is a former New Zealand hockey player who founded ‘All About Balance’ where she uses her high performance background to deliver mindset and wellbeing coaching to thousands of women in sport and business.

Brooke was a professional New Zealand hockey player for six years, retiring from the game in 2020 after playing 176 games for the Black Sticks. She competed at the 2016 Olympic Games where her team placed fourth. She also won Gold at the Commonwealth Games in 2018, the first time in history this has been achieved.

Brooke is currently a mindset and wellbeing coach, launching All About Balance in 2016. Mental health is more important than ever, but ‘high performance’ and ‘wellbeing’ continue to be two separate conversations. Brooke’s mission is to inspire women in sport and business to put well-being at the centre of everything that they do, and as a result, be able to perform consistently at a high level.

David Knoff

David Knoff is an Antarctic Expedition Leader, Author, and leadership expert who specialises in remote leadership, hostile environment diplomacy, and resilience.

David’s international career has taken him across the globe with experiences as an officer in the Australian Army, diplomatic postings in Pakistan and Iraq, and most recently with the Australian Antarctic Program. In 2019, David was given a leadership challenge unlike no other in modern history, as the Station Leader at Davis Station, Antarctica, he was leading a team of just 24 through the isolation of an Antarctic winter when the COVID-19 Pandemic broke out.

The impact of the pandemic on Antarctic operations saw David’s team without a ride home as planned and facing one of the longest periods of isolation in modern Antarctic History. Returning to a changed world in mid-2021, David’s book, 537 Days of Winter: Resilience, Endurance and Humanity while stranded in Antarctica during the Pandemic tells the story of what it was like to lead a team through unprecedented uncertainty and how to find resilience in the most extreme environments.

David’s experiences in high-pressure and remote environments has given him a depth of experience from which he has developed his own unique leadership style and enjoys working with organisations seeking to rebuild workplace culture and adapt to the rapid changes of the last few years.

Sharndré Kushor

Sharndré Kushor was 18 years old when she co-founded New Zealand based unicorn, Crimson Education, which recently surpassed a valuation of over $1B. Her life passion is helping the people to discover their capabilities, confidence and potential. During her time as Co-Founder and Chief Operations Officer of Crimson Education, Sharndré has helped turn a small start-up into a globally renowned education behemoth with students and teachers in all corners of the globe.

Sharndré was named on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list and was named Woman of the Year in Business and Innovation. Now, 10 years on from founding Crimson, Sharndré has worked with young leaders and founders across edtech, fintech, retail and ecommerce in New Zealand, Australia, the US, Japan and the UK to scale their businesses to achieve over $150M in annual revenue and build high performance teams of over 850 full time staff.

Alongside her work in the start-up space, Sharndré is a philanthropist. After leaving Crimson, she started The One Billion, a New Zealand registered charity that aims to improve 1 billion lives over the next 50 years.

Freddie Bennett

Freddie Bennett learned about decision making when a drug dealer held a loaded gun to his head and pulled the trigger. He learned about mindset and resilience while running across the Sahara Desert. He learned about change, confidence and courage while pulling himself back from the brink of suicide and alcohol addiction. And he learned about business growth and performance while helping his clients to make over $200 million extra revenue.

Freddie is a man on a mission to empower people and businesses to achieve extraordinary things. Guinness World Record holder, Adventurer, Ultramarathon Winner, Bestselling Author, Apple top-25 Podcast host, and media commentator. Freddie has been featured by the BBC, The Guardian, NBC and many more. 

Only a few years ago, Freddie was an everyday guy in the corporate world. He advised the leaders of businesses including Coca-Cola, Microsoft and Virgin Atlantic on how to get their teams ‘unstuck’ and generate massive financial and personal success. But underneath the surface, his life was falling apart. He struggled with mental health issues, alcohol addiction, imposter syndrome, anxiety and burnout.

At 35, disillusioned, broken and overweight, the sudden, brutal death of his father made Freddie realise that life is short. So he decided to give himself one more shot at greatness, and discover what he was truly capable of.

Shelly Davies

Shelly Davies has been described as the love-child of Brené Brown and P!nk—although her very awesome parents would probably disagree. She’s of New Zealand Māori descent—a fact that is literally etched onto her chin—and she’s known internationally for her unconventional and irresistible work in the field of plain language and clear communications. 

At age thirty-seven, Shelly walked away from her family’s five-generation commitment to a conservative Christian religion and started the exploratory period of her life, also known as “f*&king sh!t up.” She drank alcohol and coffee for the first time, started showing some skin to the daylight, and dedicated herself to fluency in a whole new language: profanity.

She now uses her hard-won lessons in badassery to inspire audiences around the globe to know themselves, love themselves, find power, and have joy. Shelly Davies lives in Rotorua, New Zealand with her Carver Boy, unless she’s at home on Aotea, Great Barrier Island, not wearing pants.

Shelly is of Ngātiwai, Ngāpuhi, and Ngāti Porou descent, and is conversational in te Reo Māori.

Rachael Bonetti

Rachael is a former career executive assistant who has supported a high profile billionaire, thought leaders, CEOs and Chairs internationally for 27 years.

Today she’s a passionate advocate for the assistant community and loves creating and delivering the development opportunities she wishes existed as she moved through her own career. Rachael is a corporate trainer, podcast host, Forbes Australia contributor and the founder of The Elite EA Academy. She is also a certified wellbeing practitioner and loves helping people navigate high performance without the burnout.

She works with companies and assistants all over the world on all things career success, mindset and wellbeing.

Anneli Blundell (masterclass facilitator)

As AITD’s L&D professional of the year and Gold Stevie Award winner for Female Entrepreneur of the year, 2021, Anneli’s passion for decoding people and performance dynamics make her a sought-after speaker, mentor and leadership expert. She makes the complex job of understanding why people do what they do (and how to get the best out of them), both accessible and entertaining.
As a Professional People Whisperer, Anneli works with leaders to increase their influence, engagement and interpersonal impact for better business results. She also runs a flagship masterclass called Women@Work, focused on building presence, improving visibility and strategically managing the right professional impact, in male-dominated industries.

Anneli is the co-author of several books on gender equity (including The Gender Penalty: Turning obstacles into opportunities for women at work and the pocketbook: When Men Lead Women: Navigating the facts, fears and frustrations of gender equality as a male leader) and was a featured guest expert on the documentary series, ‘Transcending the gender narrative’. She is the current President of the Vic/Tas chapter of PSA (Professional Speakers Australia).

Oh and she’s a nifty parallel parker, a keen runner and a salsa dancing addict who loves any meal cooked by someone else.

Belinda Brosnan (speaker and masterclass facilitor)

An expert in influential and strategic leadership who’s ‘been there’, Belinda works closely with individuals and organisations at the senior executive level who want to lead change and write the playbook for a better future.

As a trusted confidante with more than 20 years in senior leadership roles, and a PCC accredited coach with over 2,200 paid coaching hours, Belinda is the person today’s senior leaders want in their corner, so they can be authentic and decisive.

Her mission is to help senior leaders get ‘C-suite Ready’ and become more adaptive, collaborative and powerful decision makers.

Having walked the talk, Belinda is direct and pragmatic – she cuts through the fluff and delivers results.

Belinda has held senior leadership roles with News Limited, Macquarie Bank, Urban Pacific, AVJennings and Mirvac, and led marketing and sales strategy for more than 60 well-known brands across her corporate career. At Mirvac, she was responsible for projects worth more than $1.5 billion in revenue, large teams across multiple disciplines, and multi-million dollar budgets.

Belinda draws on her NeuroLeadership and Conversational Intelligence qualifications to deliver programs that are grounded in both science and practical experience.

Author of ‘Start with You, Lead from the Inside’, Belinda is currently writing her second book, ‘Lead Up’, due for release in 2023.

Another important part of Belinda’s life is her work with The Hunger Project. Through her role as a volunteer and global investor, she has facilitated life-changing Leadership Immersion programs to India, Senegal, Malawi and Uganda.

Really wonderful summit. The quality of the speakers blew me away. I’ll definitely be back next year. Thank you.
Port Nelson

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