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2019 VET CEO Conference

17 May 2019
Doltone House - Darling Island


Claire Madden

Director of Hello Clarity

Claire Madden ( is a leading voice internationally on Generation Z. As an author, social researcher, keynote speaker and media commentator, Claire is in demand internationally as an expert in interpreting social trends, demographics and implications of generational change. Claire is the author of Hello Gen Z: Engaging the

Generation of Post-Millennials. Claire is highly regarded for her dynamic and engaging presentations where she translates robust, research-based content into strategic applications for educators, managers and business leaders. Claire is commissioned by some of the nation’s largest companies and leading brands to interpret the changing landscape and communicate the implications for business and society.

As a media commentator, Claire is regularly interviewed on prominent television programs including The Drum, The Project, The Today Show, SkyNews, Sunrise and The Morning Show, as well as on the radio and in print media. Claire is on the board of a financial services company and is also a PhD candidate, studying the impact of Gen Z and work.

Gerry Gannon

RTO/Compliance Manager

Gerry Gannon has been a journalist, broadcaster, MC and media trainer in Australia for the last 30 years and is now one of the best known speakers and facilitators in Australia. A specialist conference MC, facilitator and media expert, Gerry is renowned for his wit, passion, easy-going nature and commitment to those he works with. He has worked extensively in both Australia and overseas and provides media skills training to government, not-for-profit organisations and industry entities, as well as conducting speech and presentation training courses. Gerry’s real passion is people; whether it is helping them reach their potential through training and support, MC at an event or providing valuable perspective and advice, Gerry’s easy humour and experience provides a refreshing opportunity for growth and knowledge for everyone he meets.

Keith Abraham

Industries across the globe turn to Keith Abraham for inspiration, insights and ideas on how to not only set goals—but how to achieve them—to bring out the best in their people, their leaders and their business.

Keith Abraham is the global authority on goal achievement and the creator of the GoalDriver™ Formula. A formula designed to accurately determine what energises and engages each individual, driving them to achieve the unimaginable, unreachable and unattainable.

With over 22 years as a professional speaker, delivering to over 340 clients in 29 different countries, Keith Abraham has been the recipient of multiple awards throughout his career. In 1999, Keith became a Certified Speaking Professional (CSP), putting him in the top 7% of professional speakers worldwide. He has experienced great success in Australia and in 2002 he received the highest award given to a Professional Speaker—the Nevin Award. In2012 he was named Keynote Speaker of the Year. Adding to his already impressive CV, Keith is the best-selling author of five books, published in 12 languages, covering the areas of passion, goal achievement, customer loyalty and focus. As a regular contributor to publications and a frequent guest on business media and podcasts, Keith’s expertise and authority on the subjects of goal setting, goal achievement, goal centric-cultures and goal alignment is recognised globally. Keith is passionate about the work he does. 

Keith has learnt through his career of being on stages worldwide, is that to have the biggest impact on conference attendees, it is so much more than just turning up and presenting. Keith embodies his work and has become the real life, living example. Delivering an exceptional learning experience and inspirational presentation, attendees want to implement the ideas and insights immediately into their life and business role.

Keith creates a seamless experience from the moment you book him, to the professional preparation time he takes getting to understand your business—all leading to attendees who are more engaged in a highly interactive and industry-relevant presentation. Keith leaves the audiences with resources to put what they have learnt into practice. Adding value to the learning experience for your people is Keith’s number-one priority. That’s why you’ll see that your standard conference investment includes so much more.

Laurie Kelly

Private individual

Laurie Kelly (Senior Consultant - Brain Friendly Training Pty Ltd) speaks both nationally and internationally on current knowledge of how the learning brain works to maximize the impact of teaching, and to create an openness factor in our approach to change and new learning.

With over 30 years experience as a National and International consultant, he has a reputation for having an uncanny ability to communicate on a level that everyone can appreciate and is passionate about the importance of the information he shares. Laurie's experience in improving brain engagement and thinking skills is vast - he is one of the most sought-after presenters in his field.

He preaches and practices the principles of Brain Friendly Training in all his work, so expect the ‘talk to be walked’. Have fun and enjoy the experience.

Michael McQueen

Multi-award winner, trend forecaster and six-time bestselling author

Michael McQueen is a multi-award winning speaker, trend forecaster and six-time bestselling author . With clients including KPMG, Pepsi and Cisco, he has helped some of the world’s most successful brands navigate disruption and maintain momentum. In addition to featuring regularly as a commentator on TV and radio, Michael is a familiar face on the international conference circuit having shared the stage with the likes of Bill Gates, Dr. John Maxwell and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak.

Michael has spoken to over 300,000 people across 5 continents since 2004, and is known for his engaging, entertaining and practical conference presentations. Having been recently named Australia’s Keynote Speaker of the Year, Michael was inducted into the Professional Speakers Halls of Fame.

Coming from a background in marketing and research, in 2004 Michael founded a consultancy specializing in demographic shifts and social trends called The Nexgen Group.

Michael’s first book The ‘New’ Rules of Engagement was the culmination of a 3-year study of the key drivers of youth culture around the world. With an emphasis on the values and attitudes of Millennials, this 2007 release focussed on helping business leaders, educators and parents better engage a younger generation.

In 2009 and 2010, Michael went on to release a range of gift books called Memento and Wisdom which were designed to bridge the generation gap in families by helping parents pass on their stories and life lessons to the next generation. Building on the international success of this gift book range, Michael created an online memoir-writing app for parents called

Michael’s third bestselling book Winning the Battle for Relevance was a landmark title that explored why even the greatest businesses and institutions become obsolete and how others could avoid their fate. Drawing on research tracking 500 of the world’s most iconic brands over 5 years, Michael outlined a range of strategies for organizations and businesses who are committed to staying ahead of the curve by re-inventing themselves before they are forced to do so.

In 2016 Michael's research emphasis shifted to focus on the key habits and mindsets that enable organizations and individuals to stay at the cutting edge over time. He released his fourth bestseller Momentum: How to Build it, Keep it, or Get it Back in October that year. Receiving wide acclaim worldwide, Momentum outlined a simple but powerful formula for staying on a growth trajectory and ensuring that a success groove doesn't become a rut.

Michael's newest book How to Prepare Now for What's Next is a revealing glimpse at the key trends that will shape the coming years including Artificial Intelligence, robotics and nanotechnology. Michael's explores the technological shifts and social changes that no organization or individual can afford to ignore and offers a practical game plan for thriving in an age of disruption.

Mr Mark Paterson AO, Chief Commissioner and Chief Executive Officer - Australian Skills Quality Authority

Chief Commissioner and Chief Executive Officer - Australian Skills Quality Authority

Mr Mark Paterson AO has extensive experience across government and industry, including experience leading government departments at both the state and federal levels. Mr Paterson is a former Secretary of the NSW Department of Trade and Investment, Regional Infrastructure and Services; the Australian Government Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research; and the Australian Government Department of Industry, Tourism and Resources.

Mr Paterson commenced as a Commissioner of ASQA on 30 May 2016, and commenced as Chief Commissioner and Chief Executive Officer from 1 January 2017.

Phill Nosworthy

Advisor, speaker and writer

Phill Nosworthy is an executive advisor, speaker and writer in the subject areas that surround making business and life meaningful.

His insights into personal mastery and career acceleration have gained him a cult following among high performers in Fortune listed companies the world over.

He has worked in more than 40 cities and 25 countries globally and counts Microsoft, ING, Universal Music and the Commonwealth Bank amongst his clients.

He is the founder of Switch L+D, an online learning platform that gives anyone, anywhere the same level of career development that has only ever been reserved for the highest performers of Fortune 500 companies.

Senator the Hon. Michaelia Cash MP, Minister for Small and Family Business, Skills and Vocational Education (Invited)

Tamara Simon

Speaker, Author and Coach for RTOs

Tamara Simon is The Business Specialist for RTOs who is driven by curiosity, change and simplicity.

As a Speaker, Author and Coach, Tamara helps Registered Training Organisations solve problems and find untapped opportunities so they can implement simple systems which save time and money whilst maintaining compliance.

With over 20 years experience in VET and business management including CEO of Queensland’s Forest Industries ITAB (FITAB), Tamara’s mantra to RTOs is “if you don’t like compliance and don’t like change, then don’t work for an RTO or be one”.

Tamara has written the first business book specifically for RTOs:  The Five Little RTO Pigs – Helping Registered Training Organisations build simple, profitable and compliant RTO businesses which uses the analogy of The Three Little Pigs Fairytale to show how RTO businesses are built, but there’s 2 others: The Reno and The Rundown.

Tamara has also launched Australia’s only ‘Managing an RTO’ RRR Webinar PD program.  By providing RTO CEOs and RTO Managers with practical and simple tools to Refocus Re-Energise and Rebuild (RRR), they are able to get CLEAR on their Business, People and Systems.

Tamara’s leadership and management expertise was recognised as a Finalist in the Queensland Telstra Business Women’s Awards and AIM’s Excellence Awards; and she received QITC’s ‘Leadership in VET’ Award.

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