Auckland Corporate PA Summit 2018 - New Zealand's biggest and best conference for Executive Assistants (EAs) and Personal Assistants (PAs) Auckland Corporate PA Summit 2016 - New Zealand's biggest and best conference for Executive Assistants (EAs) and Personal Assistants (PAs)
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The conference program with The Hon Julia Gillard
Auckland Corporate PA Summit 2016 - New Zealand's biggest and best conference for Executive Assistants (EAs) and Personal Assistants (PAs)
The Conference Program

Tuesday 15 May 2018

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

8.30      Registration and Welcome Coffee

9.00      Opening remarks from the chair
NADINE HIGGINS, TVNZ News Reporter and Presenter

former Prime Minister of New Zealand

Rt Hon Sir John Key GNZM AC was Prime Minister of New Zealand from 2008 to 2016, winning three general elections as leader of the centre-right National Party. He led the country through the aftermath of the global financial crisis and a series of devastating earthquakes in New Zealand's second-biggest city. When he retired from office New Zealand had one of the highest growth rates and best fiscal positions of any advanced economy. Sir John was well respected in international affairs and chaired the International Democrat Union and the United Nations Security Council in 2016. Wellbeing has always been a priority for Sir John, and whilst Minister for Tourism, he instigated the great New Zealand Cycle Trail, showcasing the best that NZ has to offer local and international tourists. Since retiring from politics, Sir John has been an ambassador for the International Sports Promotion Society and other agencies. Here, Sir John will speak candidly on:

  • Guiding yourself and your team through change – reviewing your mindset, goals and attitude around change to best deal with turbulent times, uncertainty and changing work environments
  • Tools for building your own strength, positive mindset and resilience to face challenges well
  • Boosting your own wellbeing and how in turn you can influence organisational wellbeing - how to motivate, communicate and provide hope, particularly when you yourself are feeling anything but stable
  • Sir John’s view on his expectations of - and how he values the role of - the EA and his advice on what makes an outstanding EA and productive and positive EA/Manager partnership


In our rapidly changing work environments we are often asked to cope with not just changes in business structures & processes but also with a multitude of different personalities.  Naturally different people connect in different ways but how do we best employ emotional intelligence and adapt our communication styles to manage our diverse professional relationships for a happier, more positive and more productive workplace?

  • Understand your natural communication, negotiation and operating style
  • What does it take to communicate with courage?
  • How to deal with conflict and office politics – essential conflict resolution strategies
  • How to connect with diverse personalities, and achieve what you need?
  • Understanding the psychology of the workplace and how you contribute to it – what attitude do you bring to the workplace?
  • Dealing with workplace bullies
  • Create strong and long-lasting relationships with colleagues and clients
  • Overcoming feelings of self-doubt and mastering courageous conversations
  • Find your voice - in a group, meeting or in one-on-one situations

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

Highest-rated speaker from delegate feedback from the Corporate PA Summit NZ in 2017, Lisa O’Neill is an inspiration in how to achieve personal and professional empowerment. With modern lives being a constant juggling act, Lisa will share with you how you can most definitely and effectively achieve the elusive work-life balance - with gusto:

  • Juggling priorities with good planning and how to become a talented multi-tasker
  • Keeping your physical and mental energy levels up
  • How to manage your work-life balance whether you work full-time or part-time
  • Finding balance and the warning signs to watch out for to avoid becoming overwhelmed
  • How to be everything to everyone, exude confidence and be true to yourself along the way
  • Creating your best support networks and identifying your contributors and contaminators
  • Prioritising living a life that you love - experiencing fun, fulfilment and gaining control
  • Building resilience and learning how to handle what life throws at you
  • Mastering the art of delegation

12.45 Lunch

Celebrity Chef, MasterChef New Zealand Winner, Nutritionist and Author

Nadia Lim brings fresh insight into nutrition. Co-founder of the ‘My Food Bag’ business, which has revolutionised boosting nutrition for the time-poor, Nadia brings her holistic insight and extensive knowledge around nutrition, health and wellbeing. In this presentation, she will focus on what you can do to foster essential, good nutrition and lifestyle habits for a healthier, happier and more productive you:

  • The current killer – sedentary work – and how to fight the effects through good nutrition
  • Effectively enhancing the power of nutritious food to boost your performance
  • Essential nutrition and wellbeing habits to help you to de-stress and foster great sleep
  • You are what you absorb – more information on essential nutrients and how to boost them
  • Foods to foster your happiness and boost your immunity
  • Innovative ways in which you can engage not only yourself but also your colleagues in healthy-eating and self-care habits - wellness strategies that work at work

, Optimal Performance and Wellness Expert

Many people are experiencing immense pressure in work and life these days, and this is noticeably so in the EA/PA industry. We are stressing, rushing and juggling in a wild attempt to prioritise overcommitted schedules and get everything done. It's no wonder our happiness, wellness and productivity levels are being affected. Avoidable job stress and poor mental health have proven to contribute to a significant reduction in lifespan. So how to tackle stress? Dr Adrian Medhurst has worked with many corporate and government organisations (Medibank, CBA, Qantas, Fairfax, SBS, BP to name just a few). Here he will share with you his fresh practical, insightful and scientific approach to how you can combat stress and cope under pressure to help you perform at your best both personally and professionally - and help encourage and support your manager and other colleagues to do so along the way:

  • Mastery: a framework for modern life to help you boost your performance and wellbeing
  • Mindset: proven strategies for developing resilience and a growth-mindset
  • Meaning: creating meaningful progress – becoming more creative, adaptive and productive
  • Mindfulness: the statistics and science around mindfulness, and practical, science-based ways in which you can build mindfulness into your professional and personal environments
  • Rest: getting good rest and relaxation, creating healthy sleep habits, and managing fatigue

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

America’s Most Requested 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
Auckland Corporate PA Summit 2016 - New Zealand'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
Auckland Corporate PA Summit 2016 - New Zealand's biggest and best conference for Executive Assistants (EAs) and Personal Assistants (PAs)
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