Martha Lourey-Bird


Martha is an exercise scientist with over 20 years’ experience in the academic, corporate and training sectors. She is sought after as a scientific advisor and for her talent as a health and wellbeing presenter. She’s also an engaging, inspiring sports coach and, with a Masters degree in Sports Science, an award-winning University lecturer. Her mission is to make exercise accessible for ‘every body’ and flexible work assists this greatly.
"Flexible working is something I am passionate about both personally (as a working mum) and professionally (as an exercise scientist). If we allow people time within their work day to be physically active, every body wins." 
Staff that exercise regularly are less likely to take sick leave, recover quicker when they do, have more strategies for coping with stress and anxiety and enjoy better sleep and less back pain. They’ve also been shown to be more productive during the working day.
For tips and tricks on how to fit more activity into your work day visit http://www.marthaloureybird.com.au/workplace-wellness/

Conrad Liveris


Conrad Liveris is a corporate adviser on workplaces and risk.  He’s been credited as being “one of Australia’s leading employment and workplace experts” by the ABC.

Conrad improves workplaces exclusively through evidenced based responses and original data. He’s worked on projects in Australia, Asia and the US, working on a variety of workplace and management projects, always focused on improving performance and making out workplaces more inclusive and effective.

With a firm belief of the importance of sharing knowledge, Conrad contributes a column in The Australian and is active across the media in Australia and globally.  He’s also the director of the Australian Management Review.

Conrad is alum of the US State Department, an Associate Fellow of the Royal Commonwealth Society, worked prominently on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, and his work has been acknowledged in numerous parliaments and by the Prime Minister of Australia.

He holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Commerce, he has undertaken specialist and leadership education at the Governance Institute of Australia and the University of California, Los Angeles.

Conrad knows that flexible working is an unstoppable trend.  He understands the need for individuals to have a better more balanced life, and to improve the performance of workplaces.

Conrad completed a cost-benefit analysis of flexible working as part of his masters degree, showing a distinct financial and performance benefit of flexible working for workplaces.

"Flexible working is undeniably a benefit and opportunity for individuals and workplaces alike."

Rebecca Pooley


Rebecca's career is primarily in marketing communications, she she also has extensive experience in stakeholder management, business development and strategy.

With two young children, Rebecca chose to work part-time to raise children and progress her career. After a time, she and a colleague, Nicole, started job-share in a marketing communications management role for a not-for profit.

Rebecca understood the value of what her and Nicole could offer and they went on to pitch job-share for a full time role at a university and were successful. 

Now in her third role job-sharing with Nicole, Rebecca is always encouraging women work out what works for them first and find the organisations that are open to flexible working arrangements. 

Rebecca has worked in various industries including; higher-education, financial services, utilities, health and supply-chain management, the common factor has always been a strategic focus combined with effective member, client or customer communications.

Vivek Prabhu

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In his role as Head of Fixed Income at Perpetual, Vivek Prabhu manages over $2bn in credit focused income strategies. He's a graduate member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD), fellow of Chartered Accountants Australia & New Zealand (CAANZ) and senior fellow of the Financial Services Institute of Australasia (FINSIA). Vivek previously served on Perpetuals Diversity Council (2012-16) and was a member of the workplace flexibility sub-committee.

Outside the office, Vivek has:

  • volunteered in a board capacity for several community based not for profits;
  • mentored university students, colleagues & finance industry professionals through formal mentoring programs; and
  • serves on the UNSW Business School Alumni Advisory Board.

Vivek acknowledges the importance of leaders championing flexibility by being advocates and role models, with a focus on delivering outcomes rather than time spent at the office. Like many Perpetual staff, he values the strong work / life balance flexible working arrangements offer and the positive contribution it makes to both home and work life. Working flexibly has contributed to a lift in employee engagement and personally, its facilitated the opportunity for him to engage in more volunteer roles outside the office, giving back to the community and broadening his own personal development from these experiences. Perpetual was awarded the best workplace flexibility program at the 2016 Australian HR Awards

Nicole Kettniss


Nicole has held senior management roles in energy, procurement and defence organisations and managed the internal communications function for more than 3,000 employees during the NSW electricity mergers.

Nicole and her husband both work flexibly to raise their children while maintaining their career (and while never easy) it was a simple decision for their family unit. 

Nicole has worked part-time and job-shared over the past seven years and always took the initiative to go for the roles that would take her career forward, including pitching job-share to a university advertising for a full-time role. She promotes the benefits of flexible work to others as being good for both the organisation and the employee.

Tony Johnson


At EY, flexibility starts by challenging our assumptions about where, when and how work gets done. Working flexibly helps us deliver on our promise to clients and it also means our people can get to those really important events in their lives like studying for exams, training for sporting events or cheering from the front row as their children take their bows in the school play.

We know people sometimes need to work flexibly over a longer term too, so we’ve structured an approach to help make this happen. For me, a flexible work environment means that I can attend special occasions with my family and friends.”

Amanda McIntyre

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A Partner at PwC and former Senior Executive Officer in the Australian Public Service I worked part time for the more than 10 years, maintaining my career momentum during that time.  I am all about inspiring, empowering and educating women to be senior leaders of the future on their own talented terms. I dream that I will see the problem of gender inequality solved in my lifetime and am resolutely committed to contributing through personal leadership and creating flexible workplaces that empower women.

David Pich

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My first leadership role was at Hewlett-Packard in the UK in the very early 90s. Back then HP led the way in terms of what might be termed ‘progressive corporate culture’. The legendary HP Way wasn’t just a document that gathered dust on the desks of HP’s management, it was a cultural approach that recognised the importance of sound leadership in the achievement of business strategy. As a young HR Manager, I was star-struck by the HP Way! It represented my first exposure to rather alien concepts like office-free workplaces, management by walking around, cascading communication and, of course, flexible working. 

I saw – and experienced – firsthand the positive impact that flexible working had on employee satisfaction and motivation, and of course, on business outcomes. I became and remain a huge advocate. 

Of course, much has changed in the workplace over the 30-odd years since my days at Hewlett-Packard. But what has remained constant is my view that sound leadership is grounded on the understanding of what drives individual employees. One size doesn’t fit all, and this applies to the working day (or night!) and the location, environment and hours that offer the best opportunity for our staff to do and be their best. 

In my own case, I find the idea of rigid working conditions really quite horrifying! I’m an out and proud morning person. Give me a 4am start and an early finish and I’m at my very best. 

The Institute of Managers and Leaders advocates for intentional leadership, and a key aspect of this is the creation of a healthy corporate culture, and flexibility lies at the very heart of this.

Rhonda Brighton-Hall


Rhonda is Founder and CEO of mwah. Making Work Absolutely Human – part toolkit, part think tank and part community. She is also Chair of FlexCareers, Chair of the AHRI Inclusion and Diversity Reference Panel, a Rare Birds Ambassador, past Patron of ASPECT (Autism Spectrum Australia) and recognised as a game changer in the future design of organisations, Human Resources, leadership and flexible work.

With a corporate career spanning BHP, Sara Lee, Luxottica and CBA, across Europe, Asia, and the USA, and a former Telstra Businesswoman of the Year, HR Leader of the Year, and inductee into the Human Capital hall of Fame in 2013, her deep expertise is leadership, culture, diversity and inclusion, and teamwork.

Rhonda did her first TedX talk in 2017 – “Playing with Seven Aces” – on the benefits (and alternatives) to privilege.

A determined optimist, her fundamental belief – That we can design the future of work to work for more of us. And that includes much MUCH more flexibly than we’ve done to date.

 “Flexible work simply means designing work so that it works well with life. We’ve got stuck in some 1860s way of working, and in 2018 we can do better. Whether it be caring responsibilities, parenting, health and wellness, study, or just a passion to be a person who loves life to work well with life, flexibility is the difference between turning up to be and do your best, and turning up burnout. Having a day to celebrate a better way of working – whatever that means to each of us - is a great idea!"

Robert Hawkins

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Having spent several years in rigid workplaces – with the accompanying long commutes – as an engineer, process specialist and manager, Robert Hawkins now freelances as a writer and editor, walks his dog in the mornings instead of sitting in his car, and works to help as many people as possible to regain life by working flexibly.

He believes that flexibility is much more than an accommodation for those who need it the most, but is rather a fundamental right that allows us all to live sustainably and be fully human each and every day. He is especially interested in how flexibility can be rolled out to industries not normally associated with being able to flex: healthcare, manufacturing and retail, for instance.

“We give our best time and energy to travelling to work and being at work, leaving our other core needs to exist in the tired margins of the day. A change in perception is required to enable managers to realise that well-rested and well-rounded individuals are exceptionally good for business. Flexible Working Day is a great way to challenge assumptions about the way we work and to show that flexibility is something to be embraced rather than feared or ignored.

“I’m proud to be involved with Flexible Working Day and excited to see Australia progressing to a human-centred way of working that promotes greater diversity, inclusion and many other social, economic and environmental benefits.”

Michelle Elvy

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Michelle Elvy joined BHP in 2012 and is the new Head of Integrated Operations for BHP Mitsui Coal in Brisbane. She has a varied background, from building international award winning architectural buildings, to managing the design and commissioning major hazard facilities.

For BHP she has transitioned mine’s to owner operations, has piloted ground breaking control technologies and was integral in the design and establishment of BHP Coal’s new integrated remote operating centre or IROC in Brisbane.

Michelle has a true passion for science and engineering, and she has been working extensively to promote inclusion and diversity both within BHP and Globally with organisations such as UN Women. Michelle is an Engineer, a company director, a mother, and an avid cyclist. With a range of post graduate qualifications, and accolades for engineering achievement and her work in inclusion and diversity.

"Flexible work allows people to work when they accomplish the most, feel freshest and enjoy working.  It allows us to meld more into our lives and balance work, family, sport, pets, hobbies or whatever is important together.  This leads to greater productivity, increases morale and increases the ability of BHP to attract and retain high quality emloyees who would otherwise be unable to work due to rigid work practices.

I often talk to people about the flex work triangle, good for the organisation, good for the team and good of the individual.  Every side has to work and have their needs meet otherwise the the whole arrangement doesn’t work."

David Jordan


David is an energetic and passionate executive who’s personal brand message is simple, “I love helping others achieve what they are passionate about”. He has had the privilege of leading teams throughout the retail and franchising sector for the past 15 years.

Whether it be through his current role as Divisional General Manager for the Costa group where he has more than 3000 team members to lead or the various board positions he holds, his approach to flexible working has remained consistent.

“Great people make great companies. We must recognise and appreciate that flexibility in the workplace, wherever possible should be embraced. It shows our people that we trust, care for and want to genuinely ensure that they are able to find balance and achieve a happy and healthy medium. It is our privileged responsibility as leaders to create and environment in which our people thrive and flexibility within the workplace is one of those critical pillars”

Heejung Chung


I've always been interested in the ways people work, and the extent to which people (have to) privilege work over other aspects of their lives. Having lived in 5 different countries, I realise how this varies across countries and that a more balanced life is possible. Another aspect I am very passionate about is gender equality in the labour market and a gender equal division of work within the household. Flexible working really speaks to both of these areas in that it can allow for a better balance between work with other aspects of one's life, and help even the playing field for men and women - i.e., help women stay in the labour market, help men do more in the household.

However, flexible work is not without problems, and this is one of the key research I do as a part of my Work Autonomy, Flexibility and Work life balance project . As I experience daily in academia, large degrees of flexibility at work can result in workers (needing to) work everywhere and all the time, where work encroaches over other aspects of one’s lives. My project aims to explain why this happens to see how we can make sure it doesn’t and good flexible working practices can be developed. Flexible working can be great, if you know how to use it.

Michelle Redfern

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Michelle is the founder of Advancing Women and co-founder of social enterprise CDW (Culturally Diverse Women). Michelle’s activities and work are anchored in her mission which is to achieve gender equality and to advance women in business and the sporting  sector.

Michelle has held executive leadership roles in the Banking, Telco, BPO and 3PL industries for blue chip companies such as  NAB,  Telstra,  Serco  and  Aegis. Michelle is  well  known for her passionate  focus  on inclusion in business and sport, a collaborative and engaging leadership style, as well as being an operating model performance turnaround specialist. 

Michelle is an experienced non-Exec director who holds board roles with Williamstown VFL Football Club, and Good Shepherd Microfinance. She has previously held board positions with the Gippsland League, the AFL’s largest Victorian regional league, Swinburne University’s Business Without Borders social enterprise & the Highvale Netball Association Inc. She is a panel judge for the Telstra Business Women’s Awards and for the Telstra Business Awards. 

“My flex work philosophy is to be able to work anywhere in the world, at any time, in any way. I work at the times when I’m at my most productive and in ways that play to my strengths and that use the myriad of technology solutions available. This is the future of the workplace. Getting the job done without a one size fits all mindset.”

Heidi Dening


Heidi Dening is an award-winning workplace wellness consultant and speaker, the CEO of Workable Wellness, and one of only a small group of leading professionals in Australia who are accredited and dedicated to supporting human health and well-being in the built environment from the International WELL™ Building Institute.

With over 20 years experience in education and health, Heidi specialises in workplace wellness policies, programs and presentations that improves business performance and creates thriving cultures.

Heidi is passionate about flexible working because it allows individuals to look after themselves better. When employees have flexibility so they can work, exercise, think, eat and rejuvenate at times that support their personal and professional responsibilities, they become the best versions of themselves. This directly impacts their ability to create, analyse, strategise, lead and collaborate better at work. Workplaces who embrace flexible working will lead the way in attracting and retaining society’s top talent.

Due to her long-term passion and commitment to education and vitality for all walks of society – from corporate professionals, small business owners, entrepreneurs, to children living on remote islands of Vanuatu - she has received many awards including an Australia Day Merit Award and Westpac’s International Women’s Day Local Hero Award.

In 2017, she was included on the honour roll for the global #CelebratingWomen project. Heidi has been the President of the Personal Trainers Council of NSW, and a board member of FitnessNSW. She is a sought-after presenter, consultant, author, coach and leader with a unique ability to provide realistic strategies that deliver results to individuals, teams and organisations.

David Glasson

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David commenced his working life as a chartered accountant before transitioning to financial roles across the entertainment and agribusiness sectors. In 2006 David moved to Canberra with General Practice Education and Training where he held Chief Financial/Operating and Acting CEO roles over eight years. David was then appointed to lead the Victorian Metropolitan Alliance for GP Training in late 2014. He is currently the CEO of Eastern Victoria GP Training (EV).

EV are responsible for the delivery of GP education and training to over 300 registrars across Eastern Victoria under the Australian General Practice Training program.

It is all about the right training being provided in the right locations, to the right individuals. This ensures our future GP workforce are skilled up to provide ongoing quality primary care to all our communities.

David is a long-standing member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia and New Zealand and is also a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. He holds a Masters in Public Health and is actively engaged with stakeholders throughout the changing landscape of General Practice and primary care.

For David, flexible work arrangements respect the principle of mutual obligation. Where an employer is open to flexible work arrangements in support of an individual’s circumstances, a corresponding respect exists for the reasonable needs and obligations of the employer. For David there are multiple opportunities to engage effectively with individuals over flexible work arrangements. It’s not a one size fits all and what can be done may be influenced at least in part, by the role itself. The best policies though, are those where an individual’s circumstances and preferences can be aligned with the needs of the organisation. It’s about respect for both the individual and the objectives of the role through open dialogue.

Blake Woodward

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I am a first time dad, a management consultant and founder of suittiestroller.com - a website supporting corporate dads in finding work life balance while raising a family, as well as advocating for gender-equal parental leave and support policies. I took 9 months off in my son’s first year and currently work 4 days a week now that my wife and I are both back at work.

Adopting flexible working arrangements have enabled me to be an involved dad. This means assuming responsibilities of daycare drop off, being home to cook dinner and having play time before putting my child to bed. It also means reimagining the possibilities of how and when I work with my team and clients to get the job done.

Becoming a dad has transformed how I view the world and what motivates me at work and in life more broadly. I am passionate about encouraging working dads to challenge the traditional corporate mindset, and equipping them to make important decisions for balancing and sustaining career and family life. Flexible working enables me to attain the personal fulfillment that comes from being both a loving, actively involved dad, while continuing to pursue a demanding and rewarding career.