3rd Women in Manufacturing Leadership Summit

Practical strategies and leadership skills for the future of manufacturing

  • February 4th - 7th, 2020
  • Rendezvous Hotel, Melbourne


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- Inspiration and advice from successful senior leaders
- Core skills for excellence in leadership in an evolving sector
- Develop your authentic leadership style
- Strategies to overcome common career challenges and obstacles


Michelle Richard

Michelle has been a leader within Thales Group in various capacities since 2001.

In her role as Purchasing Director for Thales Australia, she oversees an annual spend of more than $500M per year.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in Physics from the University of Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada.

Purchasing Director
Thales Australia

  • Rachel Lewis
    General Manager, HSSE Retail ANZ
    BP Australia
  • May Lee
    General Manager, Quality
  • Andrea Pidcock
    Executive General Manager, Lightweight Systems
    CSR Limited
  • Dr Leon Prentice
    Research Director, Metal Industries
    Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation


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Price & Discounts


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16 Days

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*Only one discount applies at any given time.


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Crisis Management Workshop
Blueprint for leadership success
Networking with purpose - Connections that move us forward
The complete package - Redefining work-life balance
Automation, innovation & frontline change
The subassembly - Leadership lessons that shaped leaders
Closing the gap - Mentors in manufacturing
Consciously confident - The mindset that makes us bolder
Safe spaces - Leadership that enables
Why you shouldn’t always “fake it ‘till you make it”...
Manufacturing the future - Tech trends, traps and opportunities
Unpacking your leadership BOM
Navigate change & uncertainty
Authentic Leadership Workshop
Pre Summit Workshop

04 Feb


Chaos and crisis form part of the leadership narrative. Being an effective leader in situations of extreme uncertainty or tension may come as an instinct to some, but for most people, this is a development area. Learn the foundation principles required to function in times of crisis and lead others through the turbulence.

- Understand the genesis of a crisis

- Achieve thought clarity in times of change

- Lead a team through times of turbulence

- Keep yourself and the team motivated

- Maintain focus and direction with clear goals

  • Leanne Faraday-Brash Principal Consultant Brash Consulting

Summit Day One

05 Feb

Case Study

Knowing who you are and what you bring to the table empowers and enables growth. Join Michelle as she unpacks her leadership journey and crucial career moments. Discover how you can silence your inner critic and take the next leap in your journey.

- Discover and embrace your personal brand

- Recognise and respect the value in your peers

- Leverage your abilities and thrive as a relevant leader

  • Michelle Richard Purchasing Director Thales Australia

Case Study

Identify your most important personal values, then discover how they inform your professional interactions and facilitate progression along your leadership journey.

- Connections - How to be intentional about them and why

- Branding - Practical strategies to present your best and authentic self

- Opportunity - Investing in your professional relationships

  • Karen Williams Coach, Speaker & Trainer Karen Williams

Case Study

Work-life balance - we’re all looking for it, told we need to find it, complaining we don’t have it. But what does it mean to balance your personal and professional lives? Sharyn explores sources of balance beyond work and brings meaningful context to this discourse.

- Understand your differing needs and wants

- Find your balance and learn how to communicate this with others

- Build relationships on trust and accountability

  • Sharyn Martin General Manager, Orora Paper & Recycling Orora Limited

Expert Commentary

New technologies like advanced robotics, AI, and machine learning are reshaping the industry. You are responsible for driving growth, managing the operational frontline and the human impacts brought by change. This session will explore the pressures of frontline leadership for an evolving workforce.

- Transitioning from technical specialist to leader

- Successfully leading day-to-day operations and their execution

- Managing change as a frontline leader

  • Anne Koopmann-Schmidt Founder, Lead Like You Advisory Board Member, Manufacturing Futures Research Institute, Swinburne University


We learn from our experiences, but how often do we get to reflect on the leadership lessons learned? Join a panel of seasoned manufacturing executives to share their personal stories of the good, the bad, and the inspirational.

- Experiences that make us confident in our abilities 

- Encounters that make us more resilient and resolute 

- Practices that give us insight into who we are

  • May Lee General Manager, Quality Fonterra

  • Andrea Pidcock Executive General Manager, Lightweight Systems CSR Limited

  • Lucy Clements Operations Director, Premium Wineries ANZ Accolade Wines Australia

  • Angela Tatlis Director, Supply Optimisation Treasury Wine Estates

  • Dr Katy Dimitropoulos Former Director, Global R&D Program Management Office Previously at CSL Limited

Case Study

Mentors play a critical role in your professional journey, guiding you through distinct challenges. But the benefits go both ways. You'll teach your mentor how to listen and lead a new generation of workers. Cathie reflects on her experience as a mentee and her passion for giving back. 

- Leader, mentor, sponsor - finding the right balance

- Make the most out of a mentoring relationship

- Giving back to the next generation of leaders

  • Cathie Hilton Head of Prescription Business Aspen Pharmacare Australia

Expert Commentary

How do future-focused leaders develop confidence and differentiate themselves? The persuasive power of confidence can appear unattainable, but science shows you can rewire your brain. This session will unpack the tools and techniques for building self-confidence with intention.

- What is confidence, and why does it count?

- Practical strategies to build confidence incrementally

- Leverage confidence and thrive as a leader

  • Clare Desira Founder & Director Top Five Movement

Summit Day Two

06 Feb

Case Study

The need for safety and security is one we all relate to - it allows us to be better versions of ourselves. Join Leisa as she shares this truth through her leadership journey, exploring how individuals and organisations can leverage their own safe space.

- Why agreed-upon values are the key to safe spaces

- Build the courage to create and advocate safe spaces

- Create a culture that others can thrive in

  • Dr Leisa Ridges Manufacturing Services Manager Nestle Australia

Case Study

For some people, confidence is something that comes naturally, for others it has to be developed with experience, time and commitment. But as with any skill, it’s going to be an easier journey if you focus on building your existing strengths, rather than fixing your weaknesses. In this session, Lauren will reflect on some of the touchstone moments of her career, the importance of discovering (and leaning into) your passions, and why “fake ‘till you make it” isn’t always the best advice.

- Work with your strengths and use your passion

- Focus more on your achievements and less on what people think

- Know who you are, and why you are here

  • Lauren Beckett Environment Manager Australian Paper

Expert Commentary

As an industry, manufacturing remains at the forefront of tech-driven change, with innovation and automation improving efficiencies and transforming the shapes and nature of its workforce. Join Dr Prentice from CSIRO Manufacturing as he unpacks the latest technology trends and impacts throughout the manufacturing sector, and explores how leaders can stay one step ahead of the game.

- Explore major technology trends

- Understand how tech is impacting skill requirements and align yourself

- Realise the opportunities new tech trends pose for your organisation

  • Dr Leon Prentice Research Director, Metal Industries Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation


What do you need to be the best leader you can be? What can you give back to your organisation to help build its leadership potential? Explore various models for building leaders that embrace values and are exemplary corporate citizens.

- How well have traditional leadership development models served us, and what could we do better?

- How do we create cultures that foster leadership development?

- How can we support one another to enable greatness?

  • Rachel Lewis General Manager, HSSE Retail ANZ BP Australia

  • Madelyn Ring Vice President People, ANZ Carlton and United Breweries

  • Carolyn Thomas Offshore Risk Environment & Regulatory Supervisor, & STEM Superstar ExxonMobil Australia

  • Angela Ewers Director, People & Performance Asia Pacific James Hardie

Expert Commentary

For many, the leadership journey starts in the deep end. But how do you lead in situations outside of your control? Learn from Dr Pizer as she brings her experience and professional acumen to bear.

- Maintain composure in chaos

- Lead others through turbulence

- Build and leverage workplace culture to manage uncertainty

  • Dr Michelle Pizer Executive Coach Michelle Pizer

Case Study

After an inspired two days, this is an opportunity to reflect on learnings, share notes, and connect with each other.

Post Summit Workshop

07 Feb


Learn from award-winning engineer Koopmann-Schmidt who is passionate about developing professionals into influential leaders. She shares foundational principles for leadership across the domains of relationship building, emotional awareness and intelligence, as well as confidence and self-awareness. 

- Authentic leadership - What is it, and why does it matter?

- Develop values-based confidence

- Build your emotional intelligence and communicate with influence

- Lead with values that stakeholders respect and buy into

  • Anne Koopmann-Schmidt Founder, Lead Like You Advisory Board Member, Manufacturing Futures Research Institute, Swinburne University


Rendezvous Hotel, Melbourne

Melbourne, AU

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