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Program & Presentations

Pre-Conference Monday 04 September 2017




6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

Welcome drinks and registration
Venue: Impressions Bar, Copthorne Hotel & Resort Queenstown Lakefront, New Zealand

Sponsored by UniSuper


Conference Day 1 - Tuesday 05 September 2017

8:30 am - 8:45 am

Welcome and opening remarks

Stuart Andrews
Executive Director, AHEIA

8:45 am - 9:30 am

Keynote Address 1

Enhancing staff performance at the University of Auckland: some recent innovations

The New Zealand university system operates under very tight funding constraints, so that enhancing performance of staff is particularly important. Professor McCutcheon will discuss some recent innovations at the University of Auckland to do with establishing clear academic standards, the development of an integrated approach to professional development, and probation for new staff.

Professor Stuart McCutcheon
The University of Auckland

9:30 am  - 10:30 am

Plenary Session 2

How to convert academic vultures into supportive cultures

In this presentation, Simon will share with you:

  • A culture of competition, inequality, and instability pervade many organizations - the precise characteristics that have been shown to limit innovation and wellbeing;
  • This presentation will clarify why this culture has evolved and why this culture is detrimental; and
  • In addition, this presentation will describe some intriguing and novel initiatives that could change this culture and improve universities around the globe.

Dr Simon Moss
Associate Professor of Psychology
Engineering Health Science & Environment
Charles Darwin University

10:30 am - 10:50 am

Morning tea


10:50am - 11:50 am

Plenary Session 3

Are we there yet? - Creating a culture of accountability in academic staff

In this presentation, Diana with share with you:

  • A culture of accountability in academic staff: ACU’s investment in changing academic working arrangements and mindsets;
  • Challenging the traditional idea of an academic career, traditional business models and the 40/40/20 workload allocation model;
  • Academic Career Pathways - the mechanism to shift the conversation to performance, quality and standards, responsibility to enact individual change, and, self-selection;
  • Academic Workload Policy and systems that allows the University to monitor and measure the actual activities/contributions by each academic staff member; and
  • The cultural change needed to holistically integrate mindset shift and the criticality of the narrative and communication, communication, communication.

Diana Chegwidden
Director, Human Resources
Australian Catholic University

11:55 am - 12:50 pm

Plenary Session 4

Academic Promotions – A new approach: Macquarie University case study

  • Existing academic promotions scheme tend to re-inforce the traditional 40:40:20 view of academic work; and
  • Recognising that the nature of modern academic work and career trajectory has changed, Macquarie University has developed a fundamentally different academic promotions process.

Nick Crowley
Deputy Director, Human Resources
Macquarie University 

Svetlana Martynovich 
Executive Officer, Human Resources
Macquarie University 

1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

(Sponsored by Mercer)


2:00 pm - 2:45 pm

Concurrent Session 1A

Business transformation - How to manage the journey and realise the value

The session will provide insight into how transformation can be achieved by addressing three key questions:

  • What is going to change your business model in the next 5 years?
  • What role do people play in the business transformation?
  • How is successful transformation managed?

Rob Hughes
Chief Executive Officer
Rivor Consulting

Concurrent Session 1B

Paperless – The Casual Employment Process Improvement (CEPI) Project

In this session, Chris and Arvinder will share with you the following:

  • Western Sydney University partnered with Acendre and its Payroll provider to deliver the first fully online, end-to-end casual employment process;
  • Presenters will work through the problems of manual and paper-based casual employment practices from each stakeholder perspective;
  • The obstacles encountered and solutions found by Western Sydney University and Acendre will also be showcased; and
  • Finally, a demonstration of the online workflow will be provided.

Liam Ackland
Managing Director, Business Development, Acendre

Christopher Youness
Associate Director, HR Partnerships
Western Sydney University

Arvinder Singh
Manager, HR Information Systems
Western Sydney University

2:55 pm - 3:40 pm

Concurrent Session 2A

Managing for Success – A how to guide for ensuring managers have “those” conversations

In this session, Barbara will share with you:

  • Developing Manager’s skills in performance conversations;
  • Encouraging ongoing feedback; and
  • Managing the fallout.

Barbara Miller
Director, People and Culture

Concurrent Session 2B

Life and Work after 50 - Doing It Differently

Increasing numbers of people are wanting and needing to stay on in work beyond what has been regarded as the traditional age to retire. 

They are negotiating this stage in their lives quite differently from previous generations and constructing later stage careers in new and different ways. The old road maps are no longer adequate and if followed may unnecessarily limit the options. In the University sector this trend is presenting significant challenges and some unique opportunities.
This presentation and discussion will explore the changes that are taking place as a result of the longevity revolution and the implications for individuals as they contemplate life and work after 50.  Topics for discussion include:
  • Life re-imagined - not middle aged, not old;
  • The end of retirement as we know it;
  • What mature aged employees are looking for; and
  • Implications and opportunities for employees and employers.

Geoff Pearman
Managing Director,
Partners in Change

3:40 pm - 4:00 pm

Afternoon tea


4:10 pm - 5:00 pm

Plenary Session 5

Using data analytics and insights to inform workforce strategies

  • For this thought provoking and interactive session, Mercer and Voice Project have come together to explore how data analytics can inform university strategy;
  • Drawing on their extensive databases and experience working with the sector the speakers have looked beyond benchmarking and explored the relationships between engagement, workforce planning and reward in University success – with some surprising results; and
  • The session will provide delegates answers to questions such as how do we develop meaningful insights? And what do we do once we’ve found them?

Dr Peter Langford
Director, Voice Project

Dr Avantika Tomar
Senior Associate,
Workforce Strategy, Mercer

Rupert Griffin
Leader, Career’s Industry Networks, Mercer

5:00 pm - 5:10 pm


Stuart Andrews
Executive Director, AHEIA

6:30 pm - 10:30 pm

Conference Dinner – Skyline Queenstown
(Sponsored by Voice Project)



Conference Day 2 - Wednesday 06 September 2017

8:45 am - 8:50 am


Stuart Andrews
Executive Director, AHEIA

8:50 am - 9:40 am

Plenary Session 6

The 21st century academic: Building research capacity, digital competency and resilience – a Trans-Tasman perspective

In this session, Professor Byrnes will share with you:

  • Developing research and teaching expectations alongside digital literacy capability;
  • How these expectations are informed by competency frameworks, workforce analytics and international research rankings; and
  • How the above challenges play out across the Australasian higher education sector.

 Professor Giselle Byrnes
Assistant Vice-Chancellor
Research, Academic & Enterprise
Massey University Te Kunenga ki Purehuroa 

9:45 am - 10:40 am

Plenary Session 7


Strategic partner or service provider? Reflections on the impact and relevance of HR in Higher Education

The positioning and strategic engagement of HR in institutions varies markedly across the sector. As practitioners enhancing our influence is central to optimising our impact. This session will look at the contribution of HR from an Executive Dean’s perspective and put forward some ideas and generate discussion on how we can strengthen HRs contribution as an indispensable strategic partner in achieving core institutional goals.  The session will incorporate a discussion among participants.

John Steele
Honorary Professorial Fellow
Faculty of Social Sciences
University of Wollongong
HR Global Innovations

10:40 am - 11:00 am

Morning tea


11:00 am - 11:45 am

Plenary Session 8

The longevity revolution – Impacts and opportunities for employers

“Population ageing is perhaps the greatest success of the 20th century and one that should be resoundingly celebrated. The extra years afforded to hundreds of millions of people all over the world are a triumph of civilization.  Humanity has entered new territory and entirely new thinking is required. It is unsustainable to continue to live within previous paradigms.” Alexander Kalache  
This presentation will explore the implications of longevity for workplaces and employers and propose new ways to think about and engage with the challenge that will not go away.  Topics for discussion include:
  • Population and workforce ageing;
  • An alternative paradigm on age and work;
  • Business risks and opportunities; and
  • Becoming an age friendly employer.
Geoff Pearman
Managing Director,
Partners in Change

11:50 am - 12:45 pm

Plenary Session 9

Voice Project Awards 2017 presentation and showcasing

Driving Successful Change: Insights from the Winner of the 2017 AHEIA/Voice Project Award for Organisational Change

  • Since 2014 AHEIA and Voice Project have partnered to recognise universities achieving substantial positive change. Past winners of the award include the University of Newcastle, University of Technology Sydney and Deakin University;
  • The 2017 award goes to a university achieving the highest level of positive change in an Australian university; and
  • Key representatives of the university will share their insights into the role of HR and senior leaders in successfully driving a transformative change agenda while keeping employees onside and engaged.

Dr Peter Langford
Director, Voice Project

12:45 pm - 2:00 pm

(Sponsored by Acendre)


2:00 pm - 2:50 pm

Plenary Session 10

Generation Z is coming: Ready or Not?

In this session, Melissa will share with you:

  • What do Universities of the Present need to be like for the new generations of learners and academics amongst us?
  • How are Digital Natives faring in our environments?
  • The push for skills vs qualifications
  • Workplaces for Millennials
  • What’s next?

Melissa Clark-Reynolds
Digital Strategiest and Foresight Practitioner
New Zealand

2:50 pm - 3:00 pm


Stuart Andrews
Executive Director, AHEIA

Disclaimer: This conference program is confirmed at the date of marketing.  However, AHEIA reserves the right to make changes to this program at any time as circumstances dictate.  Speakers and topics were confirmed at the time of publishing; however, circumstances beyond the control of organisers may necessitate substitution, alternation or cancellations of the speakers and/or topic.  Every effort will be made to ensure any unavoidable changes provide a program of equivalent standard and value.