7th Women in Emergency Services, Enforcement & Defence Leadership Summit

Explore and embrace distinctive industry challenges to rise through the ranks and showcase your leadership excellence

  • April 1st - 4th, 2019
  • Rendezvous Hotel, Melbourne


Download the brochure

Identify and unleash your leadership strengths
Sharpen your strategic communication skills
Expand your realm of leadership influence
Master resilience to navigate adverse environments


Leigh Wilton AM

Brigadier Wilton has held a range of staff appointments at both Lieutenant Colonel and Colonel. She has held positions as the Senior Officer Manager within the Career Management Agency, Directing Staff at both the Australian Command and Staff College (ACSC) and the Centre for Defence and Strategic Studies (CDSS), and as the Chief of Staff for Headquarters 633 – Afghanistan, and Chief of Staff for Army Headquarters. Brigadier Wilton was appointed as the Director General Personnel – Army in 2016.

Director General Personnel Army
Australian Army

  • Jennifer Lumsden
    Director General Health Reserves
    Royal Australian Air Force
  • Clare Beech
    Assistant Commissioner, Director Clinical Operations
    NSW Ambulance
  • Donna Wheatley
    Metropolitan Fire Brigade
  • Craig Heap
    Commander Surveillance and Response Group
    Royal Australian Air Force


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Event Starting In!

10 Days

Prices start at


More people? More savings!

3 - 4




5 - 9




10 - 14




15 +





Download the brochure
Leadership masterclass - Lead effectively in high-pressure environments
Create your leadership legacy
You can be what you can't see
Mental health in the forces
Strengthen your mindset
The future is female
The benefits of a diverse workforce
Establish inclusiveness
Morning start up
Create a movement within your organisation
Pave the way as a strong female leader
Set your team up for success
Master a work-life balance
Service through sacrifice
Unite, reflect and take action
Unlock your team's potential and peak performance
Pre-summit workshop - 1 Apr


The Defence Force, Emergency Services and Enforcement agencies are the cornerstones of a functional society. Leaders must be equipped with the skills to remain resilient throughout any situation.

By developing and reinforcing stress management practices and developing resilience strategies, you can prepare for adversity and stay calm when things go awry, resulting in more effective decision making. 

In this workshop, Claire will delve into the ways you can use self-awareness to master stress and navigate adversity with ease.

The importance of self-awareness

- Identify your attributes and values

- Fuse your values with your leadership style

- Lead with authenticity to increase your influence

Cultivate a growth mindset

- Retain a positive mindset for leadership

- Turn obstacles into opportunities

- Remain calm under pressure

Strengthen resilience to navigate adversity

- Resilience as a leadership approach

- Build confidence in your capability

- Excel in complex and challenging environments

Manage and limit the effects of stress

- Identify your stress triggers

- Techniques for coping with stress

- Bounce back from setbacks 

  • Jennifer Wittwer CSM Principal Agent Steorra Consulting

Conference Day 1 - 2 Apr

Case Study

Fast-paced, turbulent environments call for adaptable, resilient leaders. With a wealth of experience leading in this environment, Donna will discuss what is required to be an exceptional leader.

- Transform obstacles into opportunities

- Strategies for success

- Position yourself for career advancement

  • Donna Wheatley Commander Metropolitan Fire Brigade

Expert Commentary

In male dominated industries, where there are often few female role models, this means becoming what you can’t see. In this session, you'll hear stories of Jennifer’s life of firsts in the Australian military, coupled with her learnings that have held in her good stead across her professional life.

- Identify your core strengths and attributes

- Find your passion and focus

- Survive, thrive and diversify

Case Study

Mental health can be perceived as a taboo topic and be uncomfortable to discuss. This session will open the door to the discussion so we can close the door on stigma.

-Keep a healthy mind for a healthy focus

-Look out for your team

-Discover and understand your resources

  • Grant Edwards Commander Australian Federal Police

Expert Commentary

In high-stress environments it is essential to strengthen your resilience to navigate adversity. Leading in high-stress environments requires a unique set of skills that encourage others to be strong.

-Forget positive thinking

-Train your brain's filter

-Align your leadership focus and get more out of your day without adding more to your to do list


The Emergency, Enforcement and Defence sector has always been male-dominant, but an emerging culture of fearless women are proving their worth and opening up new opportunities.

-Hear stories of success from renowned industry leaders

-Inspirational insights from fearless women

-Discover how to create positive change 

  • Craig Heap Commander Surveillance and Response Group Royal Australian Air Force

  • Georgia Fine Executive Manager, Land & Building Services Country Fire Authority

  • Natalie Staaks General Manager Community, Communication and Media Emergency Management Victoria

  • Jacinta Thomson Director, Security Management & Assurance Department of Justice & Regulation

Case Study

Inclusive teams are cohesive teams and achieve the best results. In this session, you'll learn to develop your team through acceptance in diversity.

-Discover how diversity can enhance performance and boost the bottom-line

-The importance of setting expectations and cultivating inclusivity

-Create a team of change champions

  • Prudence Hawkins-Griffiths Executive Officer, Officer Training College, Australian Defence Force Academy Royal Australian Navy

Case Study

In this session, you'll discover how industry leaders are creating an inclusive environment for women in law enforcement.

-The importance of mentoring the next generation of female leaders 

-Demonstrate your commitment to other women in the forces

-Create a positive culture shift

  • Daren Edwards Detective Senior Sergeant Queensland Police

Conference Day 2 - 3 Apr

Case Study

BRIG Leigh Wilton will share her career journey highlights, the obstacles she overcame and what keeps her connected to her purpose.

  • Leigh Wilton AM Director General Personnel Army Australian Army

Case Study

Leadership can be leveraged to drive internal change. Cindy will share how they have promoted a ‘A Safe Place’ purpose driven working environment, grown peer to peer engagement and increased community output.


- Build and maintain trust

- Foster a positive workplace culture

- The future of workplaces

  • Cindy Welsh General Manager, People & Culture St John Ambulance (VIC)

Case Study

In this session, you'll learn to become a trailblazer in your field and pave the way for those following in your footsteps.

-Stay true to your expectations and values as a leader

-Implement change

-Raise your voice and be heard

  • Debra Robertson Detective Superintendent, Organised Crime Victoria Police

Expert Commentary

Managing and mentoring an agile team is a challenging task. To motivate the next generation of leaders, it is necessary to support your team and enable them to thrive.

- Empower your team to succeed

- Drive meaningful connections within your team

- Listen, encourage and inspire


Balancing a role with irregular hours and demands rings differently for individual priorities. In this session, discover the secrets to achieving harmony between your personal and professional lives.

-Establish a healthy work-life balance

-Manage conflicting priorities

-Overcome unique industry challenges

  • Jennifer Lumsden Director General Health Reserves Royal Australian Air Force

  • Clare Beech Assistant Commissioner, Director Clinical Operations NSW Ambulance

  • David Baker Acting Chief Officer, Operations Victoria State Emergency Service

  • Erin Pogmore Firefighter, Fire & Rescue NSW Managing Director, NSW SES Volunteers Association

Case Study

Join Lieutenant Colonel Tina McBride as she shares her story of service and sacrifice and how resilience is the key to success.

-Reconnect with your purpose

-Develop resilience

-Stay present and aligned with your self-beliefs

  • Tina Mcbride Lieutenant Colonel Australian Army


Bring all the information from the last two days together in this final interactive session and develop your action plan for change.

-Connect with your peers

-Reflect on key lessons from the summit

-Create an action plan for your return to work

Post-summit workshop - 4 Apr


This workshop will help you to master core leadership skills. You'll discover how to lift engagement, foster a positive workplace culture and ultimately get the best out of your team. This interactive workshop strips away the confusing parts of leadership and focuses on simple foundations that have been proven to make leaders more effective. You will walk away with a thorough understanding of how to create and shape productive cultures while developing your skills in communication, mentorship and team building.

Nurture a positive team environment

- Create trust-based and inclusive work environments

- Influence with integrity

- Maximise team cohesion

Cultivate high-level communication skills

- Utilise effective communication for impact

- Communicate effectively across various ranks

- Manage conflict and difficult conversations with confidence

Be a leader and a mentor

- Understand your purpose

- The role leaders play as mentors

- Lead through example

Foster high performance in your team

- Leverage leadership skills to motivate your team

- Build capacity and consistency through coaching and feedback

- Assertive vs aggressive leadership styles


Rendezvous Hotel, Melbourne

328 Flinders Street, Melbourne, VIC, 3000, Australia

+61 3 ­­9250 1888

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