Professional Staff Conference


Professional Staff Conference | 10 - 12 October 2022


The Professional Staff Conference has become an important event in the University calendar.

The Conference provides Professional Staff members the opportunity to share what they do across the University.

The 2022 Conference theme is LIVING OUR VALUES

This year, the Professional Staff Conference is being held both virtually via Zoom over a two day period with an additional face-to-face event at CommBank Stadium, Parramatta. All concurrent sessions will be held at various times between Monday 10 – Tuesday 11 October, with the Conference Closing (including a keynote speaker and prize draw) being held on Wednesday 12 October at CommBank Stadium, Parramatta.

Key Highlights

  • An address by the Vice-Chancellor and President;
  • Presentations by various staff across the University;
  • Updates and sessions on the We Support You campaign;
  • Keynote address from:
    • Kurt Fearnley AO, three-time Paralympic Gold medallist and two-time Commonwealth Games gold medallist - Closing Keynote, Wednesday 12 October
  • Mood booster sessions on topics including mindfulness, laughter yoga, stress reduction techniques and embracing change:
    • Chibs O’Kereke – Monday 10 October
    • Annie Harvey – Tuesday 11 October
  • Time for catchups with our Sponsors plus lots of fun and prizes!

Wednesday 12 October

CommBank Stadium
11-13 O’Connell Street, Parramatta

Attendance Fee $150
(Charged to your business unit or school)

Join us for a day filled with interesting presentations, networking opportunities, and the chance to win one of many exciting prizes*.

Kurt Fearnley AO, Australian Gold Medal winning athlete, will captivate you with stories around his dedication to winning as well as his journey on becoming a passionate disability advocate.

*To be eligible to win a prize, you must be present at CommBank Stadium on Wednesday 12 October.

11-13 O’Connell Street, Parramatta

Visit the 'Getting Here' page on the CommBank website for details.

Yes, parking is available at CommBank Stadium for Conference attendees at a fee of $10 per day.

Parking is at your own expense and can be paid for via credit card upon exiting the carpark.

Entry into the carpark is via the Southern Entry Gate 1.  Enter through the boom gate and follow the road until you see Gate F. See Map.

Entry to the conference is via Gate F on the western side of the stadium. See Map.

Time (AEDT) Session Name / Title Zoom Registration
08:00AM - 09:00AM Registrations Open
09:00AM - 09:30AM Conference Welcome and Acknowledgement of Country
09:30AM - 10:15AM Senior Executive Group Q&A
10:15AM - 10:45AM Morning Tea
10:45AM - 12:30PM We Support You - Session 1
12:30PM - 01:00PM Lunch
12:30PM - 02:00PM Sponsor Visits & Stadium Tours
02:00PM - 03:00PM We Support You - Session 2
03:05PM - 03:15PM Staff Giving
03:15PM - 04:15PM Keynote Speaker: Kurt Fearnley
04:15PM - 04:30PM Closing Remarks & Prize Draw
04:30PM - 05:00PM Refreshments


Keynote Speaker

Kurt is one of Australia's most well known and respected athletes.

Winner of some of the worlds most prestigious marathons, in London, Paris, Rome, Los Angeles, Chicago & New York. The latter two, five times. He won the Paralympic men's wheelchair marathon in Athens in 2004 and retained his title in Beijing in 2008. In Athens he also won gold over the 5000m on the track. He was able to finish a 20 year representative career with a dominant Gold Medal performance at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, whilst also receiving the honour of carrying the Australian Flag into the Closing Ceremony.

Off the racing circuit Kurt has been a winning crew member of the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race, taking line honours in 2011 on board the yacht Loyal, worked in the education and philanthropy sector raising funds and supporting schools in the developing world for the empowerment of people with disability. Kurt has progressed the athlete voice as a council member of the International Paralympic Committee, Board Member of the Australian Paralympic Committee and Board Member of the Australian Sports Commission. However he is most well known for his amazing feat of crawling the 96km Kokoda track.

Session Overview
Drawing on his experiences growing up with a disability in rural NSW, Kurt will talk about the strength in adversity and the importance of community in defining what is possible in life.

Kurt's story will cover the power in embracing each challenge as an opportunity, and each opportunity as an adventure.

Mood Booster Session Speakers

Chibs is a stress and burnout specialist, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction facilitator, former founder, and reformed striver!

He provides practical mindfulness tools to help organisations and individuals reduce stress and burnout.Chibs is also a voice on the app Calm. On Calm, you’ll find a number of his work-stress meditations designed to build resilience and improve well-being by promoting better sleep, reducing stress and anxiety, and developing more mindfulness.

After a severe burnout that had disastrous effects on his mental health, Chibs left corporate to reset, recover, and repair the damage to his health.

During his time off, he discovered practical, scientifically validated tools and techniques to overcome stress, overwhelm, difficult emotions, negative thinking, and overthinking. He then made it his mission to share these tools with others.

Chibs has created a unique framework. He has integrated MBSR techniques from the University of Massachusetts Medical School, positive psychology tools, and years of hands-on experience working with the Vagus Nerve and nervous system.

Annie Harvey has been practising and teaching mindfulness for 7 years. She is a laughter yoga leader and has written a book called The Little Book of Still: Calm for Busy Lives. Her contagious 5minute TEDx talk around #THESTILLEFFECT demonstrates that there is a way to embrace change and cut through the noise to find quietness, laughter and focus within an extraordinarily short period of time.

As a Wellbeing Educator, Annie weaves her story of resistance to change into her workshops and she has a kitbag of tools (such as her laughter yoga which is the most fun you'll ever have exercising!) that she shares and encourages you to take action on. Annie's gift is making the complex simple, distilling her years of study into easy-to-understand speak.

After receiving his career break in radio, Cookie over the last 20 years has established himself as a senior leader in media and helping companies improve their culture.

Cookie is an ideas man, change maker, connector, employee culture specialist, entrepreneur, host, father and husband.

He is also someone who has battled burnout, lost people very close to him, had to reinvent his business in a day, and been on the brink of losing it all!

Cookie found his purpose when launching (Netflix for businesses who want the most for their people) at a time when people (and himself) needed it most. After interviewing over 360+ experts and personalities, Cuppa showed him first hand how the power of storytelling and conversations can change a person's life forever and also galvanise a community to do good.