Sydney Corporate PA Summit 2018 - Australia's biggest and best conference for Executive Assistants (EAs) and Personal Assistants (PAs) Sydney Corporate PA Summit 2016 - Australia's biggest and best conference for Executive Assistants (EAs) and Personal Assistants (PAs)
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Conference program
Sydney Corporate PA Summit 2016 - Australia's biggest and best conference for Executive Assistants (EAs) and Personal Assistants (PAs)

The Conference Program

Tuesday 7 August 2018

Wonderful speakers, inspiring, thought-provoking. Great Summit. Great networking experience.

8.30      Registration and Welcome Coffee

9.00      Opening remarks from the chair
Dr Joanna McMillan, Australia’s favourite and most trusted health and wellbeing experts

Anh Do,
multiple award-winning author, artist (winner of the 2017 Archibald Price People’s Choice Award), comedian, actor, producer and creator of the ABC series, ‘Anh Do’s Brush with Fame’

Anh’s personal philosophy – his father’s favourite Vietnamese saying – is “There's only two times in life - now and too late”. A Vietnamese refugee arriving in Australia in 1980, on a treacherous boat journey involving pirate attacks and death, Anh has since grabbed life by the horns, seizing opportunities to really make the most of his talents and abilities, forging a life full of incredible positivity and potential and here he’ll share his insights and experiences and how you too can forge ahead and create a meaningful career and life for yourself:

  • Adapting your career path and developing the confidence to reinvent yourself
  • Recognising, finding and making the most of opportunities
  • Courageous leadership - taking charge of projects, teams and conversations
  • Building meaningful, positive and productive relationships with others
  • Dealing with bullies and difficult personalities
  • Developing a positive mindset for when adversity strikes
  • Recommendations for when you feel stuck in a rut and life lacks meaning
  • Bringing humour and happiness to your life and those around you

Holly Ransom, CEO, Emergent, Chair of the G20 Youth Summit and youngest person to be named in Australia's '100 Most Influential Women' (2012)  
Stability is something that unfortunately we can’t all rely on nowadays, and change is more and more a part of our everyday professional lives and adapting to change needs to be faced head on rather than feared. The EA/PA role is no stranger to this phenomenon, and staying relevant and indispensable is key. Hear expert advice from high-profile CEO, Holly Ransom, on how you in your role can adapt to changing expectations and pressures and build on your expertise and ideas to make yourself not only indispensable to your manager, but equally make yourself a force for positive change within your business:

  • What key aspects CEO Holly really appreciates in her EA, and vice versa – plus her experience of manager/EA relationships within organisations she has worked with
  • Recommendations on how to best manage your manager
  • How Holly values the role of the EA/PA, and envisages the future for the industry
  • Fostering connection + building a productive and professional boss/EA relationship – and common pitfalls to be aware of
  • Tools for communicating with multi-generational bosses and leadership teams
  • Staying ahead of the game - preparing yourself + your boss for change and periods of stress
  • Tools for building resilience and a positive mindset
  • Key strategies for problem-solving and setting goals and objectives
  • Becoming an intrepreneur – how you can step outside your comfort zone and realise your professional ideas to make the most of your career and benefit your manager + organisation

10.45    Morning coffee

11.15    EA CASE STUDY
Be a ​GATEWAY, not a GATEKEEPER, and other lessons from the front row
Peggy Grande, Former Executive Assistant to President Reagan
With a decade of experience working as the Executive Assistant to​ President Ronald Reagan in his post-presidency office, Peggy Grande has served at the highest level of the EA profession​.  She​ knows what it takes to not just survive - but thrive.  She will share stories and insights learned directly from her ten years working alongside a global icon and discuss the importance of developing an executive presence and a leadership mindset, regardless of your title or role.  As a mother of four, Peggy knows firsthand the challenges of juggling personal and professional life and will reframe the myth of work/life balance in a new and positive way.  She approaches the EA role from a fresh and inspiring point of view which will challenge you, motivate you and give you renewed perspective and enthusiasm for your job.  She will talk about:

  • The importance of both the mechanics and the mindset of the EA role in order to be truly successful
  • The vital difference between establishing a partnership vs. becoming a partner
  • Seeing yourself as a leader and setting the pace and the tone for your workplace
  • Prioritizing People amidst productivity, ensuring relationships remain intact
  • Learn to Lead, Live and Leave the Lasting Legacy of your own choosing
  • What's next for the future of the EA/PA profession – where the role is headed and how to get there


Lisa O’Neill, International speaker, author and motivator and highlight of the 2017 NZ Corporate PA Summit
Lisa O’Neill (highest-rated presenter at the Corporate PA Summits Auckland 2017) is an inspirational speaker, and an expert in personal branding and professional empowerment. Learn practical tools and advice from Lisa on how to be your own brand ambassador, and how to present your best self in your business, and in life.

  • Authenticity, knowing who you are and having the confidence to be yourself and feel great
  • Creating a brand and image that sells what you do and who you are
  • Creating high energy in yourself and in those around you
  • Lifting your standards with energy, excellence and enthusiasm
  • Boosting your feeling of confidence, self-worth and valuing yourself and your career
  • Tips for presenting yourself as a polished person

12.45 Lunch

13.45    Health And Wellbeing Focus: Be Your Own Health Advocate
Dr Joanna McMillan,
Australia’s favourite and most trusted health and wellbeing expert
Dr Joanna McMillan is one of Australia’s best-known health, nutrition and lifestyle experts. In this presentation, she will share with you the latest knowledge – busting myths and misconceptions along the way - on how food, drink, exercise, activity, stress and sleep can all influence not only your health in the immediate and long-term, but also drive high self-esteem and happiness, and in turn optimal productivity and performance. Invaluable, practical advice to enable you to take charge of your personal health, and to help you drive the health of your organisation:

  • Common health problems seen across businesses Australia-wide - what to be aware of
  • Tools to decipher the vast information and trends, and debunk myths, around nutrition and fitness to make the best decisions for your own wellbeing
  • Taking control of your own holistic health - proven ways to boost your mental and physical health for optimal work/life balance
  • Small easily-implementable changes, and mental and physical wellbeing exercises, you can make in your demanding work day to create more energy, increase performance and happiness, restore balance and avoid feeling overwhelmed
  • Tips on nutrition to fundamentally help your wellbeing both at work and at home
  • What does a healthy lifestyle look like in today’s relentlessly stressful working environment? Finding time to incorporate your wellbeing into your already hectic day to make sustainable change for the better
  • The impact of psychological wellbeing on your physical health
  • How to become an effective and influential wellbeing advocate in your workplace

Nadine Champion,
martial arts Sensei (teacher), author and entrepreneur

Champion by name and nature, martial arts expert Nadine Champion is a master of courage, resilience and developing the inner strength to face fear and adversity head-on. She presents globally to audiences such as Facebook and Telstra and today she will share her motivational and inspirational lessons and their relevance to each and every EA and PA, both professionally and personally:

  • Developing inner strength, determination, resilience, confidence and courage
  • Challenging your thinking and reactions around fear - changing your mindset to succeed
  • Summoning up the courage to step outside your comfort zone and tackle challenging situations head-on – using your 10 Seconds of Courage to really experience bravery
  • Dealing with nerves, adrenaline and fear
  • What does it take to communicate courageously with people? Finding your voice.
  • Getting to know yourself on a deeper level and living up to your values and ideals
  • Creating more opportunities to be brave

15.15    Afternoon tea

15.45    Sponsor Prize Draws


  • Keeping up to date with the latest technological trends and advances – their practical use within the EA/PA role
  • Tips and tricks to using technology better to organise and prioritise your workload and enhance your productivity
  • Hands-on advice on how to wrangle the multitude of new and existing technologies
  • The changing role of the EA and how new technology fits in - what does the future look like?
  • Using technology to your best advantage to free up time, avoid becoming swamped and become more productive: essential tips and tricks on time management, email management, prioritising workloads, managing competing priorities, goal setting…
  • IT upskilling

Dr Elizabeth Lombardo,
America’s Most Interviewed Celebrity Psychologist
Success is more than achieving external accolades. Dr Elizabeth Lombardo works with household names who seem to ‘have it all’, but who feel very unhappy on the inside. She helps them with her theory of True Success - having the internal passion and happiness to create a life of meaning, fun and fulfilment. Imagine waking up to every day with very real feelings of excitement and the motivation to feel and achieve your best. In this session, Dr Elizabeth will guide you on:

  • Strategies to control your inner critic and create a life you love
  • How to develop the most resilient type of self-confidence and self-belief
  • Developing the confidence to deal with a multitude of situations, including public speaking
  • How to change your dialogue, to get more of what you need, and create true success
  • How to optimally deal with anyone – the positive and the negative people in your life
  • Ways to prosper and experience genuine positivity and achievement, even during tough times

17.10    Closing remarks from the chair

17.20    Close of summit followed by networking drinks

Sydney Corporate PA Summit 2016 - Australia's biggest and best conference for Executive Assistants (EAs) and Personal Assistants (PAs)
Hundreds of Testimonials from previous EAs and PAs who have attended the Corporate PA Summit Summit history with Ita Buttrose Contact Us
Sydney Corporate PA Summit 2016 - Australia's biggest and best conference for Executive Assistants (EAs) and Personal Assistants (PAs)
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