Sharon Ferrier

Director, Persuasive Presentations

Sharon has a knack for making the complex simple. She believes that ‘passionate people persuade’ and that to make your message stick, you need to balance information with delivery style.

Sharon excels at helping people shine. With a background in science, sales and marketing, Sharon delivers keynotes and workshops on presentation skills, persuasion and influence, networking and corporate storytelling. Sharon coaches senior people ranging from CEO’s and entrepreneurs, to Professors and PhD’s helping them to be engaging and persuasive presenters and enabling them to win pitches, tenders, fellowships and grants.

Arun Pradhan

Learning & Performance Strategist, Deakin Co


Arun is the Senior Performance Consultant for DeakinPrime, one of Australia’s leading providers of blended learning and performance solutions. With over 17 years of experience, Arun has taken the lead creative role in delivering learning campaigns and performance ecosystems to some of Australia’s largest banks, telcos and retailers. He has developed an international reputation as an innovative thought leader and, in 2015, was awarded the eLearning Association’s Individual Achievement Award for Excellence. A self-confessed learning geek, Arun is passionate about leveraging the latest developments in neuroscience, evidence based learning and technology to create positive and lasting change for people and organisations.

Susan Leslie

Director, Learning Wise Consulting


Susan is the Founder and Director of LearningWise Consulting, and has over 25 years’ in learning and development, within government, higher education, and private enterprise. Sue has extensive experience in strategic workplace communication, learner support programs, and designing learning and assessment strategies that support organisational outcomes. The overarching issue Sue found, not addressed in many organisations, was the need to perceive learning within a holistic framework.

Recently, Sue began looking at the impact of automation, globalisation, and the local situation on an organisation’s ability to survive disruption. The development of a holistic learning ecosystem strategy seemed to be the natural outcome. The strategy encompasses embedding learning and feedback activities, collaboration opportunities; support programs; learning resources and infrastructure within the organisation’s culture and business systems.

Michelle Ockers

Learning and Development Strategist


Michelle is an independent Learning and Development (L&D) Strategist and Practitioner. She helps organisations to transform L&D by mentoring, building L&D capability, and strategic consulting. She uses evidence-based approaches such as benchmarking. Her work improves the impact of learning on business results and people’s experience of work and learning.

Michelle’s recent experience includes working on transforming learning at Qantas and leading an Academy at Coca-Cola Amatil. She works out loud on her blog and Twitter, and supports Working Out Loud Circles for Learning and Development practitioners. In 2015 Michelle was a finalist in the AITD’s L&D Professional of the Year.

Paul Rasmussen

Head of Learning and Development, Guide Dogs Queensland


Paul is multi award winning Learning and Development and vocational education Professional. He is a leading commentator on Vocational Education and Learning and Development in Australia and has published work in the areas of Learning and Development, Learning evaluation, Vocational Education and the business of RTO's. Paul has qualifications in Ethics, Organisational Learning and Development, Training, Business Management and Leadership, and has worked in and with a wide range of public, private, government and not for profit organisations. Previously he was the Chief Learning Officer at UnitingCare in Queensland and the National Training Manager for The Spectrum Organisation. He is currently the Head of Research, Learning and Development at Guide Dogs Queensland.

Cathy James

Learning and Development Specialist, Gallagher Bassett Services


Cathy has a passion for learning. Her mission as a learning professional is to challenge expectations, and lead a change in the perceptions of training in all its forms.

In her current role as L&D Specialist, she is an instructional designer, e-learning designer, facilitator and LMS administrator all rolled into one. She also manages a successful internship program.

In 2016, Cathy picked up GOLD for two awards at the LearnX Impact Awards – Best Talent: Instructional Designer and Best Learning Project: Induction. And she was proud to have the company recognised by the Australian Association of Graduate Employers (AAGE) in 2017 as a finalist for Best Internship Program.

She is excited to be presenting at the ATID Conference for the first time.

Deb Travers-Wolf

Learning and Development Consultant, SAP Learning


Deb is a commercially astute, OD, Diversity and Change professional with a career spanning 20 years of local, regional and global experience in Human Resources and General Business Management.

Deb is a passionate advocate for Customer Intimacy and Workforce Inclusion and believes for business to transform in the global, digital economy, and for individuals to thrive in the 4th Industrial Revolution, “Learning is a necessity, not a Luxury” and “Inclusion, a Right, not a Priviledge”.

Most recently, as a member of SAP’s Global Leadership Facilitation team, Deb has supported leaders in becoming the most trusted leaders in the industry, and to multiply their impact, by harnessing the collective intelligence in their teams.

Deb holds a a Bachelor of Arts in Communications and a Master of Management in HRM from MGSM.

Gina Brooks

Director, Training X Design


Gina is one of Australia’s most sought-after learning & development consultants because she measures her success by her clients' achievement of core business outcomes.

In the past 18 months, Gina has designed and delivered 147 training sessions to over 1220 people; she has delivered 54 mentoring sessions and spoken at 9 conferences. During this time, Gina’s company, Training x Design, has positively impacted over 40 companies. This includes guiding 28 CEOs to implement a Learning & Development strategy as one of their core business functions. In recognition of her expertise, Gina was shortlisted as one of just two finalists for the 2017 AITD Learning & Development Professional of the Year Award.

Jacqueline Menyhart

Program Specialist, Learning and Development NSW Ambulance


Jacqueline is the Leadership Program Specialist at NSW Ambulance. She is driven by public service, achieving what is “too dirty, too hard, too complex and too expensive” for the private sector. After returning from a few years consulting to the legal, banking and NGO sectors in Cambodia, she spent years beyond the black stump, coaching caseworkers and managers in the NSW Child Protection Agency. Jacqueline’s background is in prosecutions and international crime cooperation. She most recently worked at the NSW Department of Justice, in organisational development and leading state-wide programs such as Forum Sentencing NSW. Jacqueline engages learners using her advocacy experience in forums such as courts, and the OECD/ Asia Development Bank Anti-Money-Laundering initiative. Jacqueline holds a Masters in International Relations, degrees in law, politics and management, along with qualifications as a change manager and as a mediator.

Julie Dirksen

Learning Strategy Consultant Usable Learning


Julie is a consultant and instructional designer with more than 20 years’ experience creating interactive e-Learning experiences for clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to technology startups to grant-funded research initiatives. She loves brains, and games and evidence-based practice. Her MS degree is in Instructional Systems Technology from Indiana University and she’s been an adjunct faculty member at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and an Elearning Guild Guildmaster. She wrote the book Design For How People Learn and she’s happiest whenever she gets to learn something new. You can find her at

Justine La Roche

Director, Leadership & Learning Curve Group


Fascinated by how people learn and excel at work, Justine draws on her experience as a psychologist, management consultant and business leader to design solutions that promote both individual growth and organisational performance. Having partnered with the majority of the ASX Top 50 throughout her career, Justine combines broad industry exposure and awareness of current business challenges with her own general management experience as Director of Curve Group. Specialising in learning and leadership, Justine’s areas of expertise include people strategy, leadership development, talent management and blended learning design, informed by Masters degrees in both Organisational Psychology and Applied Positive Psychology. In recent years Justine’s learning & development programs have achieved industry recognition from the Australian Institute of Training & Development and Australian HR Awards for clients such as Australia Post, Vicinity Centres and Bakers Delight.

Sandra Lammas

Manager, ICT Training University of Southern Queensland


Sandra is the Manager of the ICT Training Team at the University of Southern Queensland. Her team provides in person and online training to staff and students in IT systems utilised through the University. Sandra and her team are always excited about trying something new and she believes innovation (and a hint of fun) can be the key to engagement.

Her biggest success to date has been implementing multimedia micro-training to staff which has been so successful, it’s now in its third year of production.

She believes that its not only important to get the messages across, but to also get them coming back for more.

Mandy Geddes

General Manager Education Institute of Executive Coaching & Leadership (IECL)


Mandy joined the Institute of Executive Coaching and Leadership (IECL) in 2002 and is currently the General Manager, Education. She is passionate about supporting new coaches on their learning journey, and has been instrumental in the development of IECL’s coach training program and Alumni community. Mandy has led the implementation of two social learning platforms in 2009 and 2016, which have been designed to encourage maximum engagement with both learning concepts and peers, pre and post the face-to-face learning element of programs. IECL’s current platform on Jive software has won AITD’s 2017 Excellence Award for Best Use of Social/Collaborative Learning. On this platform, Mandy oversees an Alumni community of over 4,500 people across Australasia, and is also an online moderator of up to 20 coaching classes at any given time. She believes social is best, even for baby-boomer learners!

Helen Blunden

General Manager Education Active Learning Solutions


Helen is the Managing Director of Activate Learning Solutions and has over 24 years of experience within learning and development across private, public and not-for-profit organisations.

With a specialty in performance consulting and social networked learning, she believes that organisations need new skills to navigate through a complex world of constant change. Helen has a passion for enabling people to learn beyond the traditional tools. She believes in the power of networks and communities supported by social tools that drive collaboration, meaning and engagement in the work

Helen believes that the “learning is the work and the work is the learning”–the tools are instruments that enable us to connect with peers who can inspire us with fresh new ideas so that we can apply them into our own personal or professional contexts. With experience across all forms of learning, from facilitator-led instruction, online and blended, virtual and social, she practices what she preaches. She is an active user of social tools and emerging technologies and uses these with her clients to put the fun, exploration and curiosity back into learning.

Helen presents at various conferences around Australia on how people can use social media to build and create global peer networks for personal and professional development as well as build their online reputation.

Helen is the founder of Third Place an informal social networking community of Learning Professionals across Melbourne, Sydney, Newcastle, Adelaide and Brisbane to meet, share and learn from each other in person and through social media.

Bella Broadway

Founder/Principal Consultant, Connection and Wellbeing Australia (CAWA)


Bella has been working in the Disability, Training, Mental Health, Trauma Support, Behaviour Intervention, Child Protection, Education and Advocacy sectors for over 20 years.

During this time Bella has performed a variety of roles in both Government and Non-Profit organisations within different states of Australia.

Bella is passionate about using Social Enterprise to create a suicide safer community. She was honoured to lead teams to be awarded the Suicide Prevention Australia LiFE Award for Excellence in Suicide Prevention (2015 and 2016) and was short listed for an individual award in 2017.

Bella is determined to support all Training Organizations to ensure they reflect the voices of Lived Experience / Peer Perspectives (LEPP™) throughout the work that they do.

Along with her vision of a suicide safer community, Bella’s mission is to ensure that all workspaces, training spaces and services are informed about and inclusive of all Australians."

Emma Weber

CEO & Founder, Lever Transfer of Learning


Emma is the founder of Lever – Transfer of Learning and developer of the Turning Learning into Action™ (TLA) methodology. Emma’s firm belief, and the platform on which she has built her successful global business, is that the key aim of learning in the workplace is to create tangible business benefits. She established Lever to help organisations and their employees convert learning into effective action back on the job. Under her guidance Lever now delivers TLA programs throughout 20 countries and in 12 languages. A recognized authority on the transfer of learning, Emma has been a guest speaker on learning effectiveness at conferences in Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia and the USA. She shares her passion and expertise through her writing - ‘Turning Learning into Action: a proven methodology for effective transfer of learning’ was published in March 2014 by Kogan Page. And Emma’s second book, ‘Making Change Work: How to create behavioural change in organizations to drive impact and ROI’, co-authored with Jack and Patti Phillips of the ROI Institute, was published on May 3rd 2016 by Kogan Page.