Gillian Davidson

Partner, Board Member and Chair of the Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Committee, Sparke Helmore Lawyers

Gillian is a senior partner specialising in general commercial insurance with a focus on liability claims, including property and personal injury. With a reputation for achieving strong outcomes for her clients through her pragmatic and commercial approach, she manages some of the firm’s most strategic client relationships and seeks to find new ways to deliver the very best legal services. Disruption, innovation and transformation are front and centre of the conversations that she has with her clients and team as they seek to respond to the rapidly changing legal and financial services markets.

Gillian is passionate about diversity and inclusion, particularly in relation to gender equity and challenging unconscious bias. She has spent more than a decade championing improved outcomes for women in law, exploring the push/pull factors leading to women lawyers falling out of the talent pipeline and promoting the need for male champions from the most senior ranks of the partnership. As a Sparke Helmore partner, board member and Chair of the firm’s Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Committee, she was instrumental in creating the Six Degrees network that supports Sparke Helmore's community of women both professionally and personally through networking, leadership, mentoring and collaboration. Unapologetic and impatient for change, Gillian has every intention of using her position and influence to continue to rock the boys’ club boat and create cracks in the glass ceiling at every available opportunity.

Demetra Day

Financial Institution and Commercial Crime Underwriting Manager – Asia Pacific, Chubb

Demetra is the financial institution and commercial crime portfolio manager for Chubb Insurance in the Asia Pacific region, and was appointed to this role in January 2018.  Her previous role as the head of the Financial Lines portfolio for Australia & New Zealand involved managing the integration of two of the largest specialty line portfolios in the region after the announcement of the merger of the ACE and Chubb companies in July 2015. 

 

Demetra is a senior executive with 30 years’ experience in positions which require leadership; strategic product planning; achieving financial plans; and enhancing governance practices.  Her career to date has included managing and assessing risks across various jurisdictions within the Asia Pacific region, while building leading business profile objectives and products within different cultures.  Outside of the insurance industry, Demetra has held a non-executive board position in a private company.  She is also passionate about using her skills to help empower professional women in the workforce. 

Demetra’ s qualifications include Bachelor of Commerce and  Bachelor of Science from the University of Melbourne, with post graduate studies in Business (Insurance) from Deakin University.  Professional memberships: Fellow of the Financial Services Institute of Australasia (FINSIA) and Affiliate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD).

Jon Downes

Head of Legal – Australasia
Willis Towers Watson

Willis Towers Watson (WTW), Jon is responsible for legal issues across the business in the Australasian region. 

Prior to joining WTW in 2016, Jon commenced his legal career in the late 1990s in London at what is now Hogan Lovells, before moving to one of Australia’s top law firms, Allens Linklaters, in 1998.  Jon moved inhouse in 2003, holding General Counsel roles at various businesses before moving to WTW.  

Jon is also President of the Association of Corporate Counsel (NSW), and on the board of ACC Australia, a not-for profit industry association representing the interests of inhouse lawyers.

Jon has an interest in diversity and inclusion issues, being instrumental in developing the ACC’s Diversity & Inclusion Charter for in-house lawyers which has just been laucnhed, as well as chairing WTW’s Women & Inclusion Network in Australia.

Carlie Griggs

Divisional Manager – Specialty
JLT Australia

Prior to joining JLT in 2005, Carlie had ten years’ experience working at two international broking firms where she assisted on major accounts, whilst managing smaller accounts autonomously.

As Divisional Manager – Corporate Risks, she provides insurance broking solutions to a number of JLT’s major corporate clients and manages a team of five account managers, overseeing the account management for the team’s client base.

Carlie’s own client experience includes a plethora of major corporate organisations. Carlie also manages the Global Team nationally which involves managing and placing global programs.

Katherine Gobbi

Chief Executive Officer
EMLife

Katherine is the founding CEO of EMLife, a Joint Venture subsidiary of the EML Group, established in 2016.   Katherine has over 16 years’ experience in the Insurance Industry and has held many Senior Leadership roles including working with Regulatory Bodies and more recently EML.

Katherine is a passionate Leader who has extensive experience in personal injury claims management.   Her passion for the Customer is matched only by her passion for her People and evidenced in the culture she has built within EMLife - based firmly on the foundations of Integrity, Customer Centricity, Innovation, Empowerment and Alignment to a higher purpose.  

TRICIA HOBSON

Global Chair and Australia Chair

Partner and Head of Insurance Australia and Asia Pacific, Norton Rose Fulbright

Tricia Hobson serves as Global Chair of Norton Rose Fulbright and Chair of the firm’s Australian Partnership Council.  Head of Norton Rose Fulbright’s Australian and Asian Insurance practice, she is an industry specialist with a focus on financial services, construction, government and cyber risk. 

Acting for listed and unlisted boards, CEOs and their management teams, she has developed one of the strongest London market practices in Australia and is widely recognised as an industry leader.

Tricia is particularly sought after on complex coverage disputes and as lead defence counsel on class actions and difficult/multi-party litigation, predominantly in the financial services and construction industries. She has acted in many high profile, complex directors and officers disputes, as well as a range of other insurance matters including professional indemnity, warranty & indemnity, cyber risk and product development, representing clients in significant Supreme and Federal Court proceedings including the largest class action ever run in Australia. Tricia is ranked as a Band 1 practitioner in Chambers Asia Pacific (Insurance), and is recognised by APL 500 Insurance (Australia) and Class Actions (Australia) as a Leading Lawyer.

She has a strong record on increasing diversity in the legal profession, including serving as a mentor for up and coming female partners and senior lawyers. She serves as Senior Executive Sponsor for sexual orientation and gender identity at Norton Rose Fulbright, overseeing the growth of the firm’s Australian Pride network to include nearly 200 members, and silver status for LGBTI workplace inclusion in the 2018 Australian Workplace Equality Index Awards.

Tricia has a keen interest in innovation and new technologies, and has led a number of innovation initiatives around the changing face of the legal and insurance markets.

 

Tiana Iuvale

Manager – Broker Solutions QLD
CGU Insurance

Tiana Iuvale is Manager Strategic Solutions QLD, part of Insurance Australia Group’s (IAG) Australia Division.   Working within CGU’s Broker Solutions team, Tiana is responsible for developing relationships and implementing strategic initiatives to drive successful outcomes for key broking partners in Queensland.
Before falling into insurance in 2013 she gained expertise in operations, finance, project management, sales and marketing across a range of industries including premium funding, advertising and retail.  Prior to taking on a state leadership role, Tiana was a National Key Account Manager at CGU, servicing a panel of leading national brokers.
As a working mother of two boys, Tiana has a deep personal interest in all aspects of diversity and inclusion.  She is passionate about sharing her story with honesty and authenticity, believing that it is possible to excel at your craft and enjoy a professional career alongside a rewarding personal life.  By sharing her experiences she hopes to inspire the generation at the forefront of change to create a future that is exciting, innovative and equitable.

Linda Johnson

Agency Development Manager
Elders Insurance

Linda is the Elders Insurance Agency Development Manager in Central and North Queensland, assisting Elders Insurance Agents to grow resilient and high performing small businesses that leverage the Elders Insurance Franchise network and support and invest in local communities.

Passionate about adding value and making a difference, Linda started her career in insurance in 2004. Like many, Linda “fell into insurance” when she accepted a role that was to be a short term stint while working out “what she wanted to be when she grew up” -  in between travelling the world and finishing her Law Degree.

Some fourteen years later, Linda’s background in insurance is diverse having held a number positions in Agency and Business Development, Claims, Catastrophe Response Management, Change Management and eBusiness with both CGU and more recently Elders Insurance (QBE).

Susan Karson

Chief People, Marketing and Corporate Affairs Officer
MLC Life Insurance

Susan Karson was appointed Chief People, Marketing & Communications Officer in March 2016. In this role she is responsible for developing and implementing strategies, programs and initiatives for People, Marketing, Brand, Communications and Corporate Affairs to underpin the MLC Life Insurance strategy.

Prior to this Susan was at NAB were she held numerous General Manager People roles in the Business Banking, Wholesale Banking and Wealth Management divisions and was a member of the NAB People Leadership Team. Susan joined NAB in 2005 to drive business and cultural transformation in the Global Markets division. 

Prior to joining NAB Susan held HR roles at CBA in the Institutional and Business Bank, Wealth Management and Finance and Risk Management divisions.

Susan has over 20 years experience in Human Resources and business leadership gained in large and complex organisations, leading teams across multiple locations and geographies and partnering with executive teams to transform business performance through people, capability and culture.

Susan is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. She holds a Bachelor of Arts (Economics/ Political Science) and post graduate qualifications in Human Resources and Education. She is a member of the Australian Human Resources. 

Angus Kench

Vice President Claims – Asia Pacific, Liberty International Underwriters & National President, Australian Insurance Law Association

Angus joined LIU in January 2015 to oversee the casualty claims team across the Asia Pacific region working closely with underwriters, claims professionals and risk engineers to ensure optimum outcomes for the business. Since joining LIU he has taken on the management of additional claims portfolios including workers compensation and crisis management.

Angus has over 25 years of commercial and insurance experience including 18 years leading a casualty claims management, adjusting and investigation business. He has managed casualty claims and litigation across a wide variety of industries including construction, industrial, retail, energy and mining sectors for insurers, corporates and government entities.

Prior to joining LIU Angus was General Manager of a large Australian loss adjusting business overseeing all professional claims staff across multi-lines.

Niki Kesoglou

Global Head of Diversity and Inclusion
QBE Insurance

An executive level OD and HR professional with specialty in diversity management and driving culture change.  With a career spanning a variety of sectors including education, transport & logistics and over 20 years in financial services (both in a large Australian Consumer Bank and a large European multinational Investment Bank), Niki joined QBE Insurance in January 2014, as the Global Head of D&I role after working abroad.

 

Prior to joining QBE, Niki was the Asia Pacific Regional Head of Senior Talent Development and Diversity and Inclusion working for 7 years at Credit Suisse leading the design and execution of regional strategy working with CEOs across the business and putting in place enabling initiatives tailored to support sustained culture change and ensure development and retention of the right talent. 

 

Niki previously worked with Westpac Banking Corporation in Australia for 11 years in a variety of roles, including Head of Diversity, and in areas of Human Resources policy development, project management and business consulting.  In 2006, Niki was awarded the Best Diversity Leader for the Advancement of Women by the Australian Government Agency EOWA (Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency). 

 

She plays an active role in the not-for-profit sector currently serving as a member of the Advisory Council the Sydney Community Foundation’s Sydney Women’s Fund.  She has also served on a variety of committees including The Conference Board - Asia Pacific Talent & Diversity Council and was a Diversity Council Australia Board of Advisor from 2007-12 whilst working abroad.

 

A certified member of Australian Human Resource Institute, Niki completed an Advanced Diploma in Human Resource Management at Sydney Institute of Technology and a number of executive programs including Advanced Talent Management in Singapore and Strategic HR Management at the AGSM University of NSW.

Wendy Lenton

Group Executive – People and Culture
NIB

Wendy was appointed to nib’s Executive management team in September 2017 to lead our People and Culture teams across the nib Group.

As one of Australia's fastest growing health insurers, nib provides health and medical insurance to more than one million customers across Australia and New Zealand as well as over 130,000 international students and workers in Australia.

nib also operates Australia's third largest travel insurer and global distributor, World Nomads Group and recently acquired GU Health, Australia’s only established specialist corporate health insurer.

Wendy has over 20 years’ experience in senior HR roles in companies across diverse industries including Greencross, George Weston Foods, Vodafone, AMP Limited and the Commonwealth Bank; and more recently ran her own HR consultancy. Wendy has a strong track record in making organisations successful through strategic realignment and building a highly agile people culture. 

Wendy holds a Masters in Human Resources (Charles Sturt University) and attended the Executive Leadership Programs at INSEAD (France) and Henley Business School (UK). She was the former Chair of the Vodafone Foundation.

Vanessa Morton

Director
Gary Morton Insurance Brokers

Vanessa has over 10 years of experience in the insurance profession, commencing her career with Allianz on their graduate program in 2001.  Vanessa gained experience through the various areas of a large, international insurer, working in roles such as eBusiness, Business Analyst, Reporting & Planning, Marketing and Sales / Distribution. 

Vanessa was appointed as Allianz Broker & Agency Divisions’ National Sales & Development Manager in 2009. 

In June 2011, Vanessa joined her family’s broking business in NSW, Gary Morton Insurance Brokers Pty Ltd.  Since joining the broking business, Vanessa has become a shareholder of the company and is now a Director.  Vanessa manages the overall operation of the business and a portfolio of clients.

Vanessa participated on the NSW NIBA Young Professionals’ Committee in NSW for 10 years as both an insurer & broking representative and was Chair from 2013-14.  Vanessa has completed a Bachelor of Business and a Graduate Diploma in Insurance. 

Vanessa is a Fellow of ANZIIF and a Qualified Practicing Insurance Broker (QPIB).

Stacey Williams

Executive General Manager – Sales and Engagement
Gallagher Bassett Australia

Stacey commenced her career in the insurance industry in 2002. Over 16 years she has worked across all areas of the industry, leading some of GB’s largest start ups as well as managing projects focussed on Staff Capability, Learning and Development, Claims Operations, Industry Qualification Development, National Induction, Customer Service, and Cultural Enrichment Programs.

In 2014 Stacey was appointed to GB’s Senior Executive Team, in the role of National Client Relationship Manager, responsible for the strategic direction of account management for GB. In 2016, she was promoted to the role of Executive Director – Sales, Account Management and Marketing. Expanding on her achievements in the previous 2 years in client management, Stacey is now responsible for all Sales and Account Management frameworks, within the Australian and New Zealand business. This role focuses on all GB product includes including workers compensation, Self Insurance, General Insurance and Life / Health.

In this role Stacey has achieved a complete review and roll out of the national account management and sales framework, a relaunch of GB’s client services branding, known as ‘myGB’, and invested in technology solutions to meet our clients’ needs. Her approach has been highly successful with GB achieving record growth in many areas in 2017.

Rebecca Wilson

General Manager
Austbrokers ABS

Rebecca Wilson is the General Manager of Austbrokers ABS and has been employed in the insurance profession since 1996.
Previous employers include Warren Saunders Insurance Brokers and Employers Mutual. Over that time Rebecca has gained extensive experience managing insurance programs for large Australian Commercial clients. 
In her current role, Rebecca manages the service delivery over Austbrokers ABS General Insurance Broking business including: Affinity, SME Business Development, Claims Management, Commercial Insurance Broking and Workers Compensation divisions. 
As a qualified Practicing Insurance Broker (QPIB), Rebecca’s Professional achievements include 2010 recipient of the Warren Tickle Memorial award for Insurance Young Professional of the year both Nationally and NSW. Rebecca has previously held the position of Chair person for the NSW National Insurance Brokers Association Young Professionals Committee, and currently sits on NIBA’s NSW Divisional Committee and National Education committee. 
Rebecca’s focus is on business relationships with her clients and the insurance profession as a whole. She prides herself on understanding her client’s needs and negotiating a tailored solution to meet these needs. Rebecca prides herself on delivery of professionalism from both herself and her teams

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