Conference Program

Tuesday 18 June 2024

The Corporate PA Summit program is designed to deliver content that is cutting-edge, highly beneficial, easily transferable, empowering and inspirational. It’s designed specifically to help you fulfil your potential and be the best you can be.



INSPIRATIONAL KEYNOTE: Finding purpose, belonging and fulfilment in your role

Dr Julia Baird

Julia Baird is an award winning journalist and best selling author. She hosts The Drum on ABC TV and writes columns for the Sydney Morning Herald, the Age and the New York Times.

Embark on a journey of self-discovery and empowerment with award-winning journalist and best-selling author, Julia Baird. This transformative session will help you uncover what truly matters, and foster a sense of purpose, connection and fulfillment in both your personal and professional life.

Julia will offer practical insights to allow you to lead a life that is both internally fulfilling and externally impactful. You will learn how to embrace adversity and challenges as an opportunity for personal growth, harness the strength of your mind to cultivate positivity and confidence, and align your actions with your values for a profound sense of purpose and satisfaction.

On this journey, you will also uncover:

  • The power of embracing your unique style and strengths to igniting your passion, and empowering yourself and others
  • How to overcome self-doubt, paving the way for fulfillment and clarity of purpose
  • Why authenticity is key to elevating your communication skills and nurturing strong working relationships
  • The importance of self-reflection, mindfulness, and gratitude in boosting your overall sense of happiness
  • How to embrace your personal agency when facing challenges
  • The value of embracing continuous learning as a lifelong journey to self-discovery
  • The power of your influence in positively impacting the lives of others


Becoming a person of influence by finding the confidence within

Michelle Cowan

Michelle Cowan is the highest-rated speaker ever at the Corporate PA Summit in Perth 

Michelle Cowan is Head of Womens Football at West Coast Eagles and has an impressive resume, notably becoming Australia’s first female WAFL assistant coach at the age of 21. Her successful and pioneering coaching career has helped to shape both mens and womens AFL and has been awarded both AFL Football Woman of the Year and AFL DSR Coach of the Year in recognition of her incredible contributions.

Michelle’s influence on the sport is undeniable and is the culmination of her fierce determination, passion and an innate ability to build strong and enduring relationships. She believes relationships are at the heart of any successful business or sporting team and credits this to her success. In this high-energy presentation, you’ll learn:

  • How to communicate with confidence and how to use your voice effectively
  • The importance of self-esteem when it comes to projecting confidence and being assertive
  • How to create your own ‘support team’ to lean on during tough times
  • How to harness the power of positivity
  • The importance of trusting and backing yourself
  • How to ensure your values create real impact


Embracing the Digital Revolution: The future of technology for executive assistants

Gihan Perera

Gihan is one of Australia’s leading experts on AI and its impact on the future of work. He will show you how to be fit for the future in a fast-changing world.

This session will help you gain insights into the evolving landscape of technology, learn about the impact of AI on the role of the executive assistant, and discover strategies for successfully leveraging the changing digital landscape:

  • Understanding the power of AI to boost your productivity and simplify your life
  • Having a possibility thinker mindset for embracing and leveraging technology
  • Learning strategies for continuous learning and professional development to stay ahead of technological advancements
  • Navigating the future with confidence and embracing the possibilities
  • Understanding some of the ethical considerations and challenges with AI and other emerging technology


Building a dynamic duo: The key ingredients for a strong EA / Executive relationship

Julie De Maria, EA to Darren Searle, and Darren Searle, Head of Australia and New Zealand, LOGOS Property

The EA/executive relationship is a critical partnership that sets the tone for productivity, efficiency, and success in the workplace. This session explores the key elements of creating a great working relationship between an executive and their assistant, including effective communication, establishing trust, and maximising collaboration to achieve shared goals. This session will provide you with valuable strategies for cultivating a dynamic duo that drives exceptional results.

  • Understanding the mutual benefits of a productive partnership
  • Identifying common challenges and barriers to effective collaboration
  • Setting expectations for regular check-ins, feedback, and updates
  • Utilising technology and communication tools to streamline collaboration
  • Nurturing an environment of trust through transparency and open dialogue
  • Addressing conflicts and challenges that arise in the working relationship
  • Celebrating achievements and acknowledging contributions


Connect with confidence: Building strong professional relationships

Amy Scott. Amy has run countless communication workshops for ThinkTank over the last 10 years, and we think she’s the best in the world at connecting with diverse personalities and navigating tricky conversations.

In today’s fast-paced digital world, executive assistants face constant pressure to connect quickly. This keynote equips you with practical tools to understand diverse communication styles and cultivate meaningful professional relationships crucial to your role.

Amy’s engaging approach provides actionable insights to boost confidence in navigating conversations with precision. Hone your communication skills to connect authentically and effectively across various corporate settings.

This presentation delivers concrete strategies for impactful communication and fostering enduring connections vital for success in today’s corporate landscape.


The glorification of busy: Slowing down, to speed up – a masterclass in productivity

Cassie Roma. Cassie was our closing keynote speaker at the Corporate PA Summit in New Zealand last year, and is one of the few speakers ever to score an average of more than 6 out of 5 (so many attendees wrote ’10’ next to the 5!) – she’s one of the best speakers we’ve ever had in the 20 years of running the PA Summits.

Cassie Roma is a powerhouse in the boardroom, and in front of a camera. Passionate about creative content, social media strategy, and storytelling across mediums both emerging and traditional, Cassie has literally lived and breathed the digital revolution.

Although she’ll be travelling from Los Angeles for the summit, Cassie has extensive experience working with brands in our part of the world, including Air New Zealand and ANZ Bank. In 2021 she was the advisor to the CEO on The Apprentice Aotearoa on TV1 in New Zealand.

Despite her enormous success in business, Cassie’s main professional goal in life is to deliver results, but have fun doing it.

In her empowering productivity keynote, Cassie will show you realistic strategies for making space to get off the hamster wheel of busyness, slow-down, think deeply, and to find time to work more effectively across your day-to-day projects and ultimately, get more done!



Scaling new heights in your EA career

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.

Led by corporate trainer, international speaker, podcast host and former EA, Rachael Bonetti, this session focuses on empowering you to proactively navigate your career paths, develop essential skills, and seize opportunities for career progression. You will gain insights into career planning, building a strong professional network, and leveraging your unique strengths to propel your career forward, including:

  • How to lead development and goal setting conversations with your executive to ensure you don’t plateau
  • Bridging the gap between what executives are looking for but aren’t necessarily able to articulate
  • Tools to visualise your career progression and identify steps for advancement
  • Cultivating a growth mindset allowing you to easily adapt to new challenges and evolving expectations in the workplace
  • Negotiating advancement opportunities, promotions, and salary increases


CLOSING KEYNOTE: Taking courageous action to advance and grow

Craig Foster AM

Craig Foster, the 2023 NSW Australian of the Year, is as well known for his advocacy of the disadvantaged as he is for his heroics as a Socceroo player and captain. He has been recognised as a ‘True Australian Leader’ by the Australian Financial Review and was awarded the Member of the Order Of Australia (AM) in 2021.

Join Craig Foster AM in an inspiring session as he discusses the intersection between courage, purpose, and career advancement. Craig’s will share his journey from the soccer pitch to becoming a renowned advocate for diversity and human rights, and how living in alignment with your values can help to propel you forward in your career.

Craig will share invaluable insights on the power of taking courageous steps, overcoming adversity, and how shaping your career in line with your personal motivations and values can create meaningful impact. Through his experiences and expertise, Craig will inspire you to uncover the parts of your career that give you a profound sense of fulfillment, so you can bring your best self to your role.

Throughout this presentation, Craig will explore:

  • Courageous action and how it can help you reach your career goals and inspire others
  • Overcoming adversity through resilience and facing challenges head-on
  • How to be guided by your core values, in a way that helps you get ahead in your career – and benefits those around you
  • How to use your influence for positive change and the importance of collective wellbeing
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