Developing agile and responsive communications strategies to engage audiences for maximum impact

13 – 15 October 2021 | Melbourne

The current environment of disruption and upheaval has brought a renewed emphasis on the communications function and its role in underscoring the business bottom line. While organisations across Australia have transitioned out of crisis mode and into the new “business as usual” – nothing has slowed down. The Communications function is set to be a vital part of helping organisations to absorb and adapt to the changes that the last 18 months have brought. 


Now operating in workplaces and industries that no longer look the same, it will be essential that communications professionals are able to engage and connect a distributed workforce working in a hybrid format, effectively manage key stakeholders, support employee wellbeing and reinforce organisational vision and missions. Of equal importance will also be brand and reputation management, reintroducing brands to target markets, build the relevance of offerings into the broader news context in a thoughtful and empathetic way and embedding CSR into communications strategies. 


The 7th Annual Corporate Comms Leaders Summit will bring together leaders from across sectors to demonstrate how communications professionals can achieve timely, compelling and empathetic communications and prepare for the future of their function. Delegates will also gain tools and strategies to measure the impact of their strategies to align and measure internal and external communications and effectively engage audiences for maximum impact. 


This event will take place via the EventsAir platform, which has the capacity for full networking, live Q&A, 1 to 1 meetings, contact sharing, notes plus much more. The sessions will also be recorded and then available for four weeks following the event should the attendees miss any sessions and wish to watch in their own time.

Key takeaways

Drive increased engagement from your audience through timely, relevant and compelling communications that cuts through the noise

Adapt your communications to the new distributed workplace to increase employee wellbeing, motivation and performance

Implement a stakeholder management plan to effectively manage and communicate with diverse stakeholders

Navigate brand, reputation and crisis management in transformed workplaces and industries

Develop communications strategies that keep you responsive and agile in a volatile environment


Margaret Stuart

Head of Corporate and External Relations

Nestlé Oceania

Suzie Brady

Director of Communications

Adobe Asia Pacific

Joanna Stevens Kramer

Head of Communications and Public Affairs ANZ

Johnson & Johnson

Jemimah Brennan

Head of Corporate Communications Asia Pacific


Jacqui Abbott

Group Director of Content Communications

Foxtel Group

Laura Brusca

Vice President Corporate Communications


Candice Lester

Head of Corporate Communications ANZ


Marnie Carroll

Head of Corporate Communications


Warwick Ponder

Head of Corporate Affairs and Communications

Eftpos Payments

Bede Fennell

Executive General Manager Corporate Affairs, Government and Industry

Tourism Australia

Cori Moran

Head of Communications and Public Relations ANZ


Ailish Hanley

Head of Public Affairs, Sustainability and Communications


Lucille McCart

APAC Communications Director


Jennifer Durante

Head of Communications and Fundraising

Melanoma Institute Australia

Lavinia Rajaram

APAC Head of Communications

Expedia Group

Megan Crane

Head of University of Marketing and Communications

University of Sydney

James Rickards

Director of Corporate Communications


Rebekah Cassidy

Head of Communications


Samantha Gallagher

Head of Communications


Elise Meakin

Director Digital, Social and Creative Media

Queensland Health

Matt Moran

Communications Director ANZ

Ford Motor Company

Rachelle Bryant

Content and Channel Manager

Treasury Wine Estates

Nicole Lyons

Head of Communications

AGL Energy

James Howe

Head of Corporate Affairs; Chair


Katherine Loftus

Client Communications Manager; Board Director

Victorian Managed Insurance Authority; IABC APAC

Shane Cummings

Director Change and Communication

ACT Government

Cathy Jamieson

Head of Corporate Communications


Shannon Bakker

Strategic Communications and Public Affairs Leader

Shannon Bakker Consulting


  • Conference Day 1 - 13 Oct 2021
  • Conference Day 2 - 14 Oct 2021
  • Post-Conference Workshops

8:00 AM

Registration opens

9:00 AM

Opening Remarks from the Chair 

James Howe, Head of Corporate Affairs, Bupa, Chair, IABC APAC 

9:10 AM

Effectively aligning your communications strategies with organisational goals to maximise the impact of your communications 

  • Creating an integrated communications plan that focuses on content that matters from a business perspective 
  • Streamlining your communications and eliminating messages that are not relevant to your core message 
  • Advising C-suite executives on ways to empower, engage and inspire their organisations 

Candice Lester, Head of Corporate Communications ANZ, IBM

9:40 AM

Preparing for the future of the communications function in a rapidly changing world 

  • Examining new trends and requirements of communications specialists and bridging potential skills gaps 
  • Assessing communications strategies and their relevance in a world of constant changes and volatility 
  • Building the business acumen to effectively leverage communications as a part of your organisational strategy 

Jacqui Abbott, Group Director of Content Communications, Foxtel Group 

10:10 AM

Panel Discussion: Adapting to the new role of communications in absorbing and coping with the impact of the pandemic 

  • Understanding what the byproduct of the pandemic will be and how this will impact the communications function 
  • Outlining what will be expected from the communications function and their messaging going forward 
  • Ensuring that messages are timely and relevant to audiences 


Jacqui Abbott, Group Director of Content Communications, Foxtel Group 
Candice Lester, Head of Corporate Communications ANZ, IBM 

Cori Moran, Head of Communications and Public Relations ANZ, Cisco 

Ailish Hanley, Head of Public Affairs, Sustainability and Communications, Bayer 

10:50 AM

Networking Morning Break

Developing internal communications strategies for transformed workplaces 

Improving your branding and reputation through effective comms strategies 

Chair: Katherine LoftusClient Communications Manager, Victorian Managed Insurance Authority, Board Director, IABC APAC 

11:20 AM

The role of internal communications amidst changing employee experience expectations 

  • Utilising internal communications to optimise employee experience in the workplace of 2021 
  • Developing communications strategies that reflect cohesiveness and engagement among employees 
  • Creating a thriving workplace environment through a culture that is productive and rewarding 

Samantha Gallagher, Head of Communications, Siemens 

Enhance your branding through responsive comms strategies that meet the needs of a quickly evolving environment 

  • Understanding how external communications and corporate branding have changed in 2021 
  • Effectively manage the reputational risk caused by the increasing need for organisations to take a stance on political movements 
  • Safeguarding your brand against reputational threats through flexible and responsive communications strategies 

James Rickards, Director of Corporate Communications, McDonald’s 

12:00 PM

Case Study: Connecting a disparate workforce in the new “hybrid” workplace  

  • Utilising multiple methods and platforms to enable seamless communications between remote and office-based workforces  
  • Ensuring that employees in all locations are connected and engaged   
  • Clearly and transparently communicating the new norms for how work gets done 

Joanna Kramer, Head of Communications and Public Affairs ANZ, Johnson and Johnson

Effectively delivering impactful communications on a shoestring budget 

  • Identifying which communications channels deliver the highest ROI for your goals and purposes 
  • How to maximise the impact of your communications through clear, measurable and affordable methods 
  • Identifying smart ways to cut costs whilst not skimping on the quality of your communications 

Jennifer Durante, Head of Communications and Fundraising, Melanoma Institute Australia

12:40 PM

Networking Luncheon

1:40 PM

Case Study: Breathing life into internal communications to increase employee wellbeing and flexibility  

  • Leveraging internal communications to drive employee and team empowerment  
  • Driving authentic engagement, to support productivity and motivation during a time of digital fatigue and uncertainty 
  • Examining how Cisco was recognised as a Best Place to Work in 2020 through comms models that support wellbeing and mental health 

Cori Moran, Head of Communications and Public Relations ANZ, Cisco 

Developing a strong brand identity and character to boost recognition and safeguard against reputational risks 

  • Utilising a well-defined brand character to drive increased audience awareness and loyalty 
  • Effectively communicating your organisational values to build trust in your brand 
  • Leveraging the power of preparedness, agility and consistency to safeguard brand reputation  

Rebekah Cassidy, Head of Communication, Sanofi

2:20 PM

Panel discussion: Meeting the need for diversity, equality and inclusion in internal communications  

  • Establishing standards for inclusiveness at all levels of communications 
  • Embedding diversity and inclusion strategies into recruitment and onboarding communications 
  • Listening to diverse people within your organisation and amplifying their experiences and opinions 


Samantha Gallagher, Head of Communications, Siemens 

Joanna Kramer, Head of Communications and Public Relations ANZ, Johnson & Johnson

Marnie Carroll, Head of Corporate Communications, L’Oreal 

Case Study: How Tourism Australia reintroduced its brand to the public after a prolonged period of crisis 

  • Creating a strategy to rebrand and reintroduce brands to consumer 
  • Developing a solid understanding of your customers to ensure that you do not lose brand recognition and retention 
  • Examples of how to adapt your communications strategy for the disrupted environment 

Bede Fennell, Executive General Manager Corporate Affairs, Government and Industry, Tourism Australia

3:00 PM

Networking Afternoon Tea

3:30 PM

Case Study: Embedding Corporate Social Responsibility into your messaging strategy 

  • Pursuing initiatives that align well with your company’s values, stakeholders and business  
  • Communicating your corporate responsibility strategy in a sensitive and empathetic manner  
  • Striking the right tone and frequency with CSR communications to avoid being too self-congratulatory and being drowned out in the noise  
  • Engaging effectively with consumers to identify issues that are top of mind for your audience  

Margaret Stuart, Head of Corporate Affairs, Nestlé Oceania

4:10 PM

Adapting your crisis communications to the new normal 

  • Preparing and planning for the next phase in your crisis communications strategy 
  • Consolidating your learnings into a long-term and proactive crisis management plan 
  • Bolstering your organisation’s preparedness for the next phase of the crisis 

Lavinia Rajaram, APAC Head of Communications, Expedia Group *virtual presentation 

4:50 PM

Closing remarks from the chair and end of day one

5:00 PM

Networking cocktails

8:00 AM

Registration Opens

9:00 AM

Opening Remarks from the Chair  

Katherine Loftus, Client Communications Manager, Victorian Managed Insurance Authority Board Director, IABC APAC

9:10 AM

Balancing priorities amongst diverse stakeholders 

  • Identifying, managing and developing a message for stakeholders of influence 
  • Developing comprehensive and tailored engagement strategies for a diverse range of stakeholders 
  • Utilising the right communications channels to gain buy-in from your stakeholders 

Warwick Ponder, Head of Corporate Affairs and Communications, Eftpos Payments 

9:40 AM

Adapting to the impact of increasing number of channels and platforms for the communications function 

  • Navigating the rapidly expanding range of communications channels and platforms 
  • Prioritising the channels that you need to have a presence on without overwhelming your audience 
  • Assessing the risks and opportunities associated with new and emerging platforms 

Suzie Brady, Director of Communications, Adobe Asia Pacific

10:10 AM

Panel discussion: Storytelling and humanising the narrative as a critical part of engaging communications  

  • The role of storytelling to create an emotional connection with content and facts 
  • How to find and create a narrative in your messaging to drive audience engagement 
  • Building trust with your audience by crafting a narrative that strengthens your brand 


Rachelle Bryant, Content and Channel Manager, Treasury Wine Estates 

Margaret Stuart, Head of Corporate Affairs, Nestlé Oceania 

Rebekah Cassidy, Head of Communication, Sanofi 
Laura Brusca, Vice President Corporate Communications, Forbes

10:40 AM

Networking Morning Tea

Developing internal communications strategies for transformed workplaces 

Cutting through the noise to drive engagement from your audiences 

Chair: James HoweHead of Corporate Affairs, BupaChair, IABC APAC 

11:10 AM

Developing internal communications that cut through the noise 

  • Choosing the right channels to circumvent the information overload experienced by employees 
  • Organising a communications schedule for a coordinated communications campaign that reduces noise and repetition 
  • Creating effective communications that are impactful and grab attention in a cluttered online space  

Rachelle Bryant, Content and Channel Manager, Treasury Wine Estates

Breaking down the fundamentals of driving audience engagement in an oversaturated market 

  • Understanding your audience in order to create a dialogue that is tailored, specific and relevant 
  • Rethinking the delivery of digital content to provide personalised experiences 
  • Utilising data for effective implementation of engagement strategies 
  • Communicating with authenticity that reiterates your brand values 

Lucille McCart, APAC Communications Director, Bumble

11:50 AM

Case Study: Managing change through an effective internal communications strategy 

  • Creating comms strategies that prevent change fatigue from having a negative impact on productivity and motivation 
  • Communicating with empathy and understanding as a critical component of achieving the right tone  
  • Successfully navigating change fatigue by driving clarity, resilience and a culture of understanding  

Shane Cummings, Director Change and Communication, ACT Government 

Navigating cultural barriers whilst delivering your communications strategy 

  • Outlining the frequent barriers to cross-cultural communications 
  • Adapting your communications strategy to the cultural and language requirements of your audience 
  • Building a reputation for your brand whilst showing humility and demonstrating cultural sensitivity 

Megan Crane, Head of University Marketing and Communications, University of Sydney

12:30 PM

Networking Luncheon

1:30 PM

Supporting senior management to be powerful channels for internal communications 

  • Collaborating with senior management to develop impactful internal communications strategies 
  • Helping leadership make the most of their platform to reinforce organisational vision and missions and drive employee buy-in and engagement 
  • Working with C-level executives to establish a consistent leadership message 

Marnie Carroll, Head of Corporate Communications, L’Oreal 

Panel Discussion: Developing a content plan as a critical component of effective corporate communications 

  • Creating an effective content strategy that clearly and concisely captures your message and targets the right audience 
  • Fostering a deliberate and proactive approach towards content communications 
  • Prioritising content to ensure that it is impactful, timely and relevant 


Megan Crane, Head of University Marketing and Communications, University of Sydney 

Warwick Ponder, Head of Corporate Affairs and Communications, Eftpos Payments 

Jemimah Brennan, Head of Corporate Communications Asia Pacific, CSL 

Cathy Jamieson, Head of Corporate Communications, Paypal 


2:10 PM

Building and managing high performance communications teams 

  • Creating shared goals and targets that drive a sense of teamwork 
  • Giving your team the right feedback needed to improve outcomes 
  • Examining successful methods to get the most out of your team 

Nicole Lyons, Head of Communications, AGL Energy 

Case Study: Creating impactful and compelling content that cuts through COVID-19 dominated news cycles  

  • Understanding the characteristics of impactful content  
  • Crafting content that engages your audience in a deeper way, like co-creation or production of targeted content  
  • Utilising graphic formats and videos to achieve greater impact from your communications   

Jemimah Brennan, Head of Corporate Communications Asia Pacific, CSL 

2:50 PM

Networking Afternoon Tea

3:20 PM

Utilising advances in technology and the rapid pace of digital transformation to improve your communications 

  • How to leverage transformation to evolve your communications strategy 
  • Using technological advances to increase the speed and reliability of your communications 
  • Utilising technology to improve channel coordination and provide audiences with a seamless experience 

Matt Moran, Communications Director ANZ, Ford Motor Company 

4:00 PM

Effectively utilising social media as a critical communications channel 

  • Leveraging the fast, relevant and interactive nature of social media in communications 
  • Increasing visibility and brand awareness through cost effective social media strategies 
  • Understanding the best tools and channels to connect you to your target audience 

Elise Meakin, Manager Digital, Social and Creative Media, Queensland Health 

4:40 PM

Closing remarks from the Chair and end of day two

9:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Workshop A: Measuring the impact of your communications strategies 

Evaluating and measuring the impact of your communications strategies is an essential part of the constant process of ensuring that your communications are achieving the desired outcomes. However, this can be challenging since a number of outcomes that communications aim to achieve can be notoriously hard to quantify. In order to effectively assess the impact of your communications, it’s critical that communications professionals are able to use a wide variety of tangible and intangible metrics to assess the impact of their strategies. 

Attendees to this workshop will learn how to: 

  • Track your organisation’s communications efforts against overall organisational targets 
  • Measure the impact of communications on intangible outcomes like sentiment and motivation 
  • Identify the metrics that effectively identify whether your corporate communications strategy is working 
  • Understand and overcome the common barriers to tracking communications metrics

1:00 – 4:00 PM

Workshop B: Best ways to identify and select the correct channels to reach and engage your audience 

Identifying and selecting the channel with which you engage with your audience is one of the single most important factors in how effective your communications are. With the number of channels now available to communications professionals, and the increasingly saturated online space, choosing the channel that best suits your purpose and audience is essential.  

This interactive workshop will give attendees a practical opportunity to collaborate with industry peers and ensure that audiences are informed in the right way, through the right channels. 

This interactive workshop will provide participants with the opportunity to learn how to: 

  • Evaluate the channel options available to you and select the most appropriate channel mix for your purpose and audience 
  • Expand your presence on a wider range of platforms as they become more relevant to your audience 
  • Adjust your communications content and tone to the channel that you are using 
  • Understanding how your target audience likes to consume information and tailoring your strategy appropriately 

Shannon Bakker, Strategic Communications and Public Affairs Leader, Shannon Bakker Consulting 

"This was my first Corporate Communications Conference and I learnt a lot. It was great to see how other organisations responded to similar situations we are facing in the ever changing communications environment."

Tanya Taouil




Early bird discount

Book now and save $500


Team discount 

Register 3-4 delegates and receive an additional 10% DISCOUNT off the current price
Register 5-7 delegates and receive an additional 15% DISCOUNT off the current price

To The Event


"Communications often plays second fiddle to Marketing. I love that this conference is all about communications, effective messaging, relationships, professional development. Everyone in the room is on the same page. I left the conference with tons of ideas."

Helen Pace

Energy Super

Silver Sponsor

Supporting Partner

Sponsorship Opportunities

Events and experiences improve how audiences feel about brands. They also give you a strong push when it comes to driving sales.

Over 90% of consumers feel positive about brands after participating in an event, while around 85% will likely buy from you.


Get in touch with us
Phone: +612 9247 6000

Contact Us

+61 02 9247 6000

In-Person and Live-Streamed

Hybrid Event

Follow This Event