3rd Women in Construction, Infrastructure & Engineering Leadership Summit

Lay the foundations for your leadership legacy

  • November 26th - 29th, 2019
  • Swissôtel, Sydney


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- Redefine leadership and collaborative teams
- Optimise your communication skills
- Create adaptive organisations and prepared teams
- Forge personal resilience


Anna Chau

Anna Chau is the Executive Director of Project Advisory at Infrastructure Australia, and was previously the Acting Chief Executive from August 2018 to April 2019. Anna leads the on-going development of the national Infrastructure Priority List, including the assessment of project business case submissions for the Priority List. Anna was previously Chief Economist at AECOM Australia and led AECOM's national Economics team. Anna was awarded the Professional Woman in Logistics and Transport Award by the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport Australia in 2018, and was a Finalist for the same prize in 2017.

Executive Director, Project Advisory
Infrastructure Australia

  • Geraldine Quinlan
    General Manager, Strategic Projects
    SMEC Australia Pty Ltd
  • Caitriona Comerford
    Executive Director, People, Australia & India
  • Sean Treweek
    Chief Executive Officer
  • Rowenna Walker
    Director, Transport Clients NSW & QLD


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Maximise your leadership potential - The power of authentic leadership
Navigate the road to success
The art & science behind effective communication
Become a catalyst leader in your industry
Perfect the basics of leadership
Create & retain engaged leaders
Rethink mentoring & sponsorship
Master the art of networking
The simplicity of a resilient mindset
Juggling clients, projects & demands
From surviving to thriving
Lead with empathy & collaboration
Preparing leaders for 2020 & beyond
Communication - The skill of the future
Becoming tomorrow's leaders
Leading high performing teams
Pre-Summit Workshop

26 Nov


Learning to be self-aware and articulate your vision will develop and enhance your authentic leadership voice. In this interactive workshop, explore the value of authentic leadership, identify your purpose, and learn how to leverage your professional identity. You will be equipped with practical skills to communicate authentically, develop strategies to master emotional agility and learn best practice for balancing your workload and creating a personal action plan to unleash your leadership potential. 

1) Build your professional brand and leadership identity

- Identify your purpose and build your brand 

- Leverage your brand to strengthen your leadership identity

- Align your leadership strength with the expectations of your organisation

2) Enhance authentic and strategic communication

- Learn to understand and prioritise key relationships

- Identify channels for communication

- Develop strategies to make an impact

3) Develop emotional agility and overcome criticism

- Strategies for self-awareness and self-regulation

- Understand the circles of control, influence, and concern

- View criticism as a stepping stone, not a brick wall

4) Balance your workload and create an active career plan

- Manage and maintain a work-life balance with an ever-increasing workload

- Establish a leadership mindset that will accelerate your career development

- Develop a personal action plan

  • Lisa Mason Leadership Coach Delta Performance Coaching

Summit Day 1

27 Nov

Case Study

What does it take to reach the top? It's a question raised by most of us at least once in our careers, yet there is no simple answer. Career success takes dedication, a willingness to learn, and the ability to bring others along for the journey. Geraldine’s extensive experience spans 20 years in the infrastructure industry, overseeing national and international initiatives and teams. Learn from Geraldine as she discusses what it truly takes to be successful in your dream career and as a leader who makes a mark in the industry.

- Be confident in who you are and what you do

- Learn that success is a marathon, not a sprint

- Raise others upon the journey 

  • Geraldine Quinlan General Manager, Strategic Projects SMEC Australia Pty Ltd

Expert Commentary

To be an effective leader, you must be able to influence stakeholders through structured conversations. As an expert in communications, Arabella will give you the skills to make an impact and communicate confidently.

- Understand the psychology behind decision-making processes

- Develop strategies to improve the quality of your communication

- Master empathy-based negotiating and influencing

  • Arabella Macpherson Founder & Communications Coach Resonate Communications

Case Study

Creating change in organisations can be daunting. However, when seeds are sown strategically with the right timing, shifts in foundations start to appear. Danielle will unpack what it takes to be a catalyst leader in your industry. Cover everything from patience, persistence, and finding the right support to going against the grain for the greater good.

- Have a clear vision and understand the ‘why’

- Expect resistance in all its forms

- Remain flexible and play the long game

  • Danielle Bull General Manager, Product Support WesTrac

Case Study

The building blocks of exceptional leadership are vision, purpose, and teamwork. Under Jim's leadership, he has successfully implemented significant projects for the New South Wales and Victorian Government. Learn from Jim as he shares how to develop a vision and a team that lasts the distance.

- Build dynamic and diverse teams for success

- Create an engaging vision for your organisation

- Lead for enduring change in your industry


Recruitment and participation of women have seen increased success over the past year, but there's still a long way to go. Our panel of experts will share how they are creating opportunities to engage and promote women in their organisations. They will teach you strategies to build a diverse and empowered workforce.

- Build a diverse and empowered workforce

- Broadcast your benefits, culture, and policies for exposure

- Is a flexible workplace possible? How does it affect retention?

  • Caitriona Comerford Executive Director, People, Australia & India Multiplex

  • Simon Parsons Practice Leader & Executive Director PTW Architects

  • Ann Austin National Sustainability Manager Lendlease

  • Stuart Pearson National Human Resources Manager Mirvac

Case Study

"If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together." Most of us know that career journeys are not meant to be travelled alone. Having a support network championing you in your journey leads to win-win situations for everyone. Rowenna will explore the dynamic relationship of mentoring and sponsorship, share their insights, and discuss the benefits of mentor-mentee relationships.

- Set goals for personal growth and learning

- Build effective personal and professional relationships

- Embrace the opportunity to learn and give back

  • Rowenna Walker Director, Transport Clients NSW & QLD Aurecon

Expert Commentary

Having the confidence to connect with people when first meeting them is vital for your personal and professional success. The next step is managing those relationships to ensure they are sustained and mutually beneficial. If 75% of people believe their networks do not support the results they need, what actions can you take to beat the odds? 

- Learn the 4 types of networking and make networking work for you

- Know the difference between building a simple or strategic network

- Manage visibility and reap the rewards of influential networking

  • Julia Palmer Relational Strategist and Chief Executive Relatus

Summit Day 2

28 Nov

Case Study

Overcoming barriers and leading through adversity can either break us or provide us with the opportunity to grow. Anna will share her career experience, the obstacles she's had to overcome and the simple truths that keep her resilient as a leader, and human.

- Collaborate to overcome barriers

- Learn to have foresight in situations

- Understand failing is a step forward

  • Anna Chau Executive Director, Project Advisory Infrastructure Australia

Case Study

Balancing tight deadlines and different projects on top of your personal life is no easy feat. The secret is understanding your strengths and limits. Katharina has overseen many projects in her career and will share strategies to stay on top without losing your cool in the chaos.

- Learn to analyse your priorities

- Communication is key

- Assess and learn your boundaries to successful project completion

  • Katharina Gerstmann Principal Transport Beca


Your ability to adapt to disruption sets an example to the broader organisation. Developing an adaptable mindset will allow you to approach challenges and achieve the best results.

- Remain resilient through change

- Think positive, be positive

- Techniques to develop your desired mindset

  • Deb Assheton Director The Amplify Group

Case Study

How can empathy and collaboration be achieved in a more traditional, legacy style industry? Join Sarah as she shares her leadership journey transforming the experience of the London, New York, and Sydney studios of Woods Bagot to become innovative successes. 

- Develop empathy as the new normal to successful leadership 

- Collaborate and engage all stakeholders with experience in mind 

- Create a healthy work-life balance without sacrificing productivity

  • Sarah Kay Global Client Leader Woods Bagot


With 2020 on the horizon, new challenges, hidden issues, and complex questions will begin to emerge. How can we prepare ourselves and future generations? Is technology a burden or an advantage? Is the Australian economy able to sustain the increase in building projects? Our panel of experts will give you strategies to prepare for the future.

- Identify new opportunities for success

- Explore industry influences and their impact

- Create resilient and adaptable leaders

  • Stephen Surjan Head of Operations Roberts Pizzarotti

  • Jo Whatley People & Performance Manager WestConnex

  • Jennie Buchanan Director, Planning Due Diligence & Development Assessment Ethos Urban

Case Study

It’s no secret that advancing technology continues to change the way we work. This progress also heightens the value of soft skills in the workplace. Accomplished leaders understand that the ability to artfully communicate, negotiate, and resolve conflict is as relevant than technical skills if you want to progress. Sean will share how learning to navigate challenging conversations is a skill that will put you ahead of the game, and guide you in creating win-win situations with all your stakeholders.

- Learn how to connect and communicate difficult conversations

- Create win-win situations with stakeholders

- Strategies to strengthen your leadership voice

  • Sean Treweek Chief Executive Officer Meinhardt


Lisa will guide a collaborative roundtable reflection to help you create an action plan with long-term goals.

  • Lisa Mason Leadership Coach Delta Performance Coaching

Post-Summit Workshop

29 Nov


Your ability to self-lead and delegate responsibility stems from your understanding of your team's strengths. In this interactive full-day workshop, explore the relationship between leadership style and project success, develop skills for communicating and engaging stakeholders, and formulate a practical approach to collaboration and team management.

1) The relationship between leadership style and project success

- Recognise how your leadership style may hinder or enhance project performance

- Understand how your leadership style can block or enable change

- Navigate leadership styles

2) Communicate and engage stakeholders in the process

- Analyse how stakeholders think and communicate

- Understand the value of rapport and working collaboratively

- Create a common ground to facilitate inclusive communication

3) Practical approaches for collaborative project management 

- Understand the significance of building relationships and cohesive teams 

- Practical approaches to promote collaboration in project management 

- Leverage team dynamics to pool resources together and create synergy

4) The power of delegation in team management 

- Understand barriers to delegation and the micro manager

- Manage difficult conversations and resolve conflict

- Team leadership vs team management

  • Mel Gholami Managing Director Planix Projects


Swissôtel, Sydney

68 Market Street, Sydney, NSW, 2000, Australia

+61 (2) 9238 8888

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