The past twelve months have changed us all. To deliver care throughout the pandemic, you and your teams have had to work differently, at pace and under unprecedented pressure and often without a playbook. As organisations dare to look to the future new ideas are emerging about how we look after our people, about how we support them to deliver care, about how we solve new challenges like retaining staff, reducing elective backlogs in acute settings or attracting staff to work in aged care.

People Summit Australia 2021 will bring together workforce leaders from across Health and Care to learn from experts, share best practice and connect with peers. Together we will explore the learnings from the past 12 months and what this means for the future of workforce planning, deployment, staff engagement, wellbeing, and culture.

This event will help you answer:

  • How do we address the psychological impact of the pandemic within our organisations and beyond?
  • How will the Royal Commission Report transform the future of Aged Care in Australia?
  • How can you maximise efficiency while protecting your staff from burnout?
  • What does the future employer of choice look like for the healthcare workforce?
  • What does a more connected and engaged workforce look like?

People Summit Australia 2021 will be delivered digitally online using cutting edge technology. Sessions will be interactive, discussion or workshop based with delegate participation encouraged.

Our Speakers

The Honourable Jeff Kennett, AC

43rd Premier of Victoria; Chairman of Hawthorn Football Club

Jeff Kennett is one of the most decorated premiers in Victorian history, resigning in November 1999 after 23 years’ service, including 7 as Premier.

From 2000-2017, Mr Kennett was the founding chairman of the highly successful national depression initiative beyondblue. Mr Kennett was awarded the Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) for his work with the Victorian Parliament, as well as his social and economic initiatives. He has served as President of the Hawthorn Football Club from 2005 to 2011, and again from 2017-present.

Prof Natasha Smallwood

Consultant respiratory physician, Royal Melbourne Hospital; principal research fellow, Monash University

Prof Natasha Smallwood (BMedSci BMBS MSc FRCPE FRACP PhD) is a consultant respiratory physician at the Alfred and Royal Melbourne Hospitals and a principal research fellow at Monash University. In addition to her respiratory qualifications, she holds postgraduate qualifications in Palliative Care and Epidemiology.

Natasha has clinical and research interests in breathlessness and severe lung disease, particularly chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. She established and leads a specialist integrated respiratory and palliative care service. As a ‘frontline” healthcare worker she designed and co-led the Australian COVID-19 Frontline Health Workers study, which is the largest multi-professional, national study that has examined the psychosocial effects of the pandemic on health workers.

Natasha is a Board Director for the Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand, and serves on multiple national committees for the Lung Foundation Australia and the Palliative Care Clinical Studies Collaborative. Additionally, she is a taskforce member for various national and international respiratory guidelines.

John Stanway

CEO, The Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne

John Stanway was appointed to the role of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at The Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH) in April 2017. Prior to commencing in this role, John was the Chief Operating Officer at the RCH for more than ten years, overseeing clinical operations. From 2012, John also held the position of Deputy CEO.

Before joining the RCH, John managed Monash Medical Centre, was Chief Executive of the Transport Accident Commission and held various senior management roles at General Motors Holden.

John has a double major in Economics and a Graduate Diploma in Industrial Relations, and he is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

John is the President of Children's Healthcare Australasia and a Board Director for The Royal Children’s Hospital Foundation, Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre Ltd and Murdoch Children’s Research Institute. John was also previously the President of the Victorian Hospitals Industrial Association.

Professor Karen Willis

School of Allied Health, Human Services and Sport, La Trobe University, Melbourne

Professor Willis is a health sociologist and health services researcher. She has had 30 years’ experience researching the health care system, examining the choices that consumers make about health and health care as well as the roles of health professionals within the system.

Her research interests include private health insurance, chronic condition self-management, and mammography screening. Together with Prof Natasha Smallwood, she co-led the 'frontline' health worker study, the largest multi-professional survey examining the psycho-social impacts of COVID-19 on health workers.

Pat Sparrow

CEO, Aged & Community Services Australia

Pat Sparrow is a social policy leader and innovator. She has specific and detailed expertise in ageing policy and aged care, having worked as, and with, a diverse range of stakeholders including consumers, service providers, workforce, health professionals, corporate organisations and Government. This unique ‘360 degree’ perspective informs ACSAs work and approach in all its endeavours whether that is advocating on behalf of members to Government or building key stakeholder relationships to support ACSA members.

As CEO, Pat’s breadth of knowledge, depth of experience and constructive approach are enabling ACSA to achieve results that benefit members and contribute to the best possible outcomes for older Australians.

Renzo Mostacci

CIO, Uniting NSW

Renzo Mostacci is CIO of Uniting NSW.

Gillian Shedden

Executive Director, Eastern Health

In this position she plays a leading role in the implementation of systems that drive cultural improvements. As such, she is responsible for creating a values-based safe workplace in delivering healthcare excellence, whilst assisting Eastern Health to become a more agile organisation.

With particular experience and skill in workplace and employment law, Gill is a highly skilled HR professional who has supported the delivery of business objectives through various business cycles and strategic change programs.

Since May 2014 Gill was engaged with Western Health, originally joining the health service in an employee relations position and developing her career to the latest position as Director People, Culture and Safety. As a member of the Western Health Leadership Team, Gill lead a team of specialists responsible for human resources, employee relations, OH&S, workplace health and risk functions/services.

Earlier in her career Gill has held roles encompassing employee relations with Melbourne Health, Box Hill Institute and Vic Roads.

Gill holds a Master in Workplace & Employment Law and a Graduate Diploma in Workplace & Industrial Relations from Monash University and a Bachelor of Arts from Deakin University.

Richard Ainley

Partner, Health and Aged Care, PwC Australia

Richard is a management consulting partner at PwC Australia. He is national leader for Aged Care and lead partner for health in Victoria. He brings more than 25 years’ experience in consulting, executive, board director and clinical roles. Richard is committed to achieving positive change and new value for systems, organisations and people.

Richard is equipped with a broad span of proven strategic and operational consulting expertise. He has worked extensively with government, public, private and member-based organisations. Richard combines an engaging and inclusive style with a rigorous, analytical approach to deliver exceptional client outcomes.

Richard is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a Fellow of the
Australasian College of Health Service Management, where he has a special interest in developing and mentoring future leaders. He has a clinical background as a physiotherapist.

Angi Bissell

Director of People & Organisations, PwC Australia

Angi has an extensive clinical and senior health leadership profile that enables her to engage with clinicians, leaders and executives.

She has an interest in working with clinicians to build business and leadership skills, working across Australia with executives, pre executives and emerging leaders.

Using her experience in managing healthcare operations in the UK, Australia and South East Asia she has successfully implemented a number of large scale transformational change programs and stakeholder engagements. With a background in health and social welfare, she is be an active contributor to policy change, service development, government and health service reform initiatives.

She has extensive leadership experience with particular interest in developing high performing teams through workforce engagement, performance management and executive team alignment.

Michelle Fenwick

Executive Director, People & Culture, Northern Health

Michelle is Executive Director of People & Culture at Northern Health.

Kate Nolan

CIO, Ballarat Health Services

Kate is Chief Information Officer at Ballarat Health Services.


People Summit Australia will take place on:

Wednesday 28 April 2021

  • 8:00-13:00 AWST
  • 9:30-14:30 ACST
  • 10:00-15:00 AEST


People Summit Australia 2021 will be delivered digitally online using cutting edge technology.

Sessions will be interactive, discussion or workshop based with delegate participation encouraged.


People Summit Australia 2021 is free of charge.

However, places are limited and must be booked in advance.


What technology platform will the People Summit be using?

After attending a number of virtual events ourselves, we selected Hopin as we felt it was straightforward and simple to use with 5 different areas that you would expect to see at an in-person event: Reception, Stage, Sessions, Networking and the Expo. Click here to download a short User Guide to help you navigate the platform.

I registered on the website, do I also need to register on Hopin?

No, you don’t have to reregister for Hopin if you have already registered for the People Summit using the form on the dedicated event webpage. All you need to do is activate the unique link that will be sent to your registered email address.

Can I use Internet Explorer or Edge for the People Summit?

No. You will not be able to access the People Summit at all using Internet Explorer or Microsoft Edge.

Most of the features that the Summit makes use of, including live streaming audio and video, are not supported by Internet Explorer and are supported in a very limited way with Microsoft Edge. This is because Internet Explorer is no longer supported by Microsoft, even if your organisation still uses it.

If you would like to take part in the summit, you should use Google Chrome or Microsoft Firefox on any computer. You may even be able to using a tablet or your mobile phone.

Can I join using a mobile device?

The People Summit can be accessed by Attendees on most modern mobile devices. You can view the Stage, view Sessions, view Expo, chat, and use the Networking features.

Mobile browsers supported


  • Google Chrome

iOS, iPadOS (Apple)

  • Safari

Note: There is no dedicated app for desktops or mobiles on the Stores, no downloads are required.

Can I catch up on sessions that I've missed?

Yes! Every presentation will be recorded and will be shared with everyone who has registered for the People Summit, even if you couldn’t attend on the day.

Look out for more information on this very soon.

Register now

Thank you for registering for People Summit Australia 2021!

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If you have any questions about People Summit Australia or the registration process, please email

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