Flexible Work

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.

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.”

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”

Elisa Choy

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Elisa Choy is passionate about flexible working to enable teams to apply their whole selves to achieve career, family and personal goals. As a working mother of twins (girls), the juggling act is (somewhat) successfully achievable through adopting flexibility at work.
Flexible Working means more than where and when we work. Elisa strongly believes it is a mindset where priorities outside work are honoured equally. Happier selves, happier families, and happier teams are more engaged, productive and achieve more together. 
At Woolworths Supermarkets, she leads a large team where over 80% are female - working supermums.  Flexible Working allows her team to balance busy lives while achieving high performance in a challenging environment.

David Hodges


Flexibility is so important because it's the way to finding balance.  It means we can be there for the big moments for our family, for our workmates and for ourselves.  When we have balance - that flexibility - we're happier and better at what we do in all aspects of our lives. 

David is the managing director for Aginic in NSW and ACT. Aginic is a data analytics consultancy specialising in reporting, visual and advanced analytics.  We use agile methods and demonstrate results within days.  We have over 50 awesome staff and offices down the eastern seaboard of Australia.  

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.

Tony Holland


Tony Holland is the CEO of OzHelp.  During his career with OzHelp Tony has used his skills as a negotiator and change agent to ensure the organisation maintained its national position as a leader in the suicide prevention space. OzHelp has a long history of association with the building and construction and mining industries across Australia.

"With a team of around 30 people working in a number of locations around the country, I really see the importance of allowing for and promoting flexible working arrangements.

Whether it be a person returning after the birth of a precious bundle of joy, a team member requiring some short term adjustments to care for a family member or a new person coming on Board in a staggered way, workplace flexibility seems to be a no brainer.

Sure it can be difficult to negotiate at times, but my experience is the benefits in a whole range of ways are way more helpful to the organisation than managing the minimal challenges that often fade into insignificance.

My advice to other CEO’s is don’t knock until you seriously explore how an attitude of flexibility could be a winner for you."

Bjorn Galjaardt

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Bjorn Galjaardt is an entrepreneur, coach and supporter of flexible work. With a background in sports, education and health and currently studying a master in sports coaching, he understands that it’s all about task management and not time management. Interaction with athletes and clients across the world requires a balanced approach. It’s knowing yourself, then others and reaching success through leadership and performance.

His latest venture is an online pathway with these bright building blocks incorporated, enabling others to achieve their goals without compromising flexibility. He often says, “The difference in coaching is how to do, not what to do. Flexible working requires a growth mindset that can evolve and give options in a mental and physical outcome.”

Link to i4bright website www.i4bright.com and LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/björngaljaardt/

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.

Bob Beusekom

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Bob Beusekom is an entrepreneur, coach and world traveller. His professional sweet spot is where business, finance and technology come together, with a strategic mind and a people focus. Bob is passionate about constant learning and bright people. He is living proof that flexibility in time, location and more, can unleash amazing potential and deliver valuable outcomes. From executive roles in international business to volunteering in developing countries, his inspiring leadership style and no-nonsense mentality, create fun and drive performance and success.

Bob’s healthy as-a-service lifestyle is designed around working hard on complex initiatives with purpose, balanced with periods of mini-retirements. His childhood dream was to travel to 50 countries, but he failed… He has been to more than 100 now and is still counting. Bob’s latest venture is to unlock the best learnings of his rich career and that of his business partner, a former elite athlete and high-performance coach, through an online platform business, enabling him to take flexibility to the next level.

Link to i4bright website www.i4bright.com and LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/bobvanbeusekom/

Melissa Griffiths


Melissa Griffiths is a transgender authority who lives in Melbourne. Melissa raises awareness about gender identity and transgender issues from all angles. She is passionate about making the workplace and society more inclusive for transgender people.  

Melissa is a advocate for transgender rights, media commentator, public speaker and writer. She managed to get a gender identity policy introduced at Brisbane Racing Club, Melbourne Racing Club and Victoria Racing Club. She has also spoken at Women’s March Melbourne about women’s rights and spoken at other events about leadership as well.

"Can you imagine a world where we are all working 12 hours a day and our kids are constantly looked after by friends, family or worse still android nannies? Imagine you never have the ability to see your kids or be with your family or friends or just have time out for yourself.  This is the world we are insidiously creating.

So, let’s instead create a world where we all have the ability to manage our life and balance this with our business/work responsibilities. A world where we all have time to do what we need to do and want to do and still have some time to rest. 

My passion for flexible working day comes from having been in roles where there is no time to even barely eat your lunch and I have needed time to finish early and been unable to do so.  Finding a workplace where you flexible hours and working day can be challenging. So since finding such a workplace and been able to work in such an environment means that I can balance my work commitments with my personal commitments.

If we have flexible working hours this will benefit everyone as it means that employees will be able to get their work done in a timely manner. It also means that schedules can be created which are balanced and meets both the needs and the business you are running or your employer.  This all leads to a more productive workplace and employees as they feel their employer allows them to cater for their lives and feel more valued as a result.

Finally, the other reasons I am passionate about flexible working day are the most important reasons as they lead to a more healthy society.  A flexible working day means people have the time to manage their mental and physical health. This is most important as a healthy society means a more productive society and more empathic society."

Richard McLellan

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Richard McLellan is the CEO of one of Australia’s 56 regional Natural Resource Management (NRM) organisations – the Northern Agricultural Catchments Council (NACC) – based at Geraldton in mid-west Australia. He prides himself on having a workforce with considerable diversity – in gender, age, and cultural backgrounds; in working styles, education levels, work location, life experiences and professional skills – and on encouraging and encompassing flexibility into his organisation’s work ethic in any way possible.

Richard said he is acutely aware that flexibility is a major determinant of job satisfaction among many in the workforce, valued more highly than pay-scales and position titles by many employees. Flexibility in working arrangements – such as being able to work part-time, from home, by teleconference, or with compressed work weeks – allows for easier and better balancing of work-life demands and desires. It benefits staff as workers, but also as mums and dads, sisters and brothers – at home, in families and relationships.

As a career environmentalist and one-time Director of Ecological Footprint at WWF, the international conservation organisation, Richard said flexibility is not only “good for our people, but also good for our planet” It stands to reason that fewer hours in the office, or more flexible working conditions – such as teleconferencing instead of driving or flying to meetings – is good for the environment. Flexible working conditions can help us to reduce our consumption (especially of energy and ‘more stuff’), reduce pollution, and thus reduce our overall footprint. And that’s got to be good for the planet – choosing “more time instead of more stuff”.

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.