2011 Events

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Has globalisation negatively impacted Australia's future IT capability?

The Women are IT network is thrilled to present its first debate with a topic that is sure to challenge the audience.

The Affirmative Team: Globalisation has negatively impacted Australia’s future IT capability
  • Professor Ron Weber – Dean, Faculty of Information Technology – Monash University
  • Conrad Harvey – Group General Manager – IT – Coles
The Negative Team: Globalisation has not negatively impacted Australia’s future IT capability
  • Jane Wilson – Director – Information Technology, Asia Pacific – Dun & Bradstreet
  • Ashley Peck – General Manager – ICT – SP AusNet
The Moderator:
  • Morris Lieberman – CIO – Treasury Wine Estates

We will not strictly adhere to a debate format however we will be presented affirmative and negative arguments moderated by Morris Lieberman, concluded with audience participation.

Guest Presenters


Professor Ron Weber – Dean, Faculty of Information Technology – Monash University

Ron Weber was appointed Dean of the Faculty of Information Technology at Monash University in February 2004. Previously, he was Professor of Information Systems and Research Director in the Faculty of Business, Economics and Law at The University of Queensland.

He has held visiting appointments at the University of Alberta, University of British Columbia, City University of Hong Kong, University of Minnesota, Nanyang Technological University Singapore, New York University, and University of Otago.

Ron is a Fellow of the Australian Computer Society, the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia, CPA Australia, the Association for Information Systems, and the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia.

In 2000, Ron received the Accounting and Finance Association of Australia and New Zealand’s inaugural Outstanding Educator Award and the Notable Contributions to the Accounting Literature Award.  In 2000, he also won the Australian Prime Minister's Award for University Teacher of the Year. From 2002–2004, he was Editor-in-Chief of the MIS Quarterly.

Conrad Harvey – Group General Manager – IT – Coles

Conrad was appointed to the role of Group General Manager IT in May 2011. He leads the Coles IT team supporting 2000 stores across the supermarkets, liquor, and convenience businesses and three eCommerce channels. He is accountable for the technology vision, strategy, and leadership.

Previously the General Manager IT from March 2008 to May 2011, and prior to that he was the General Manager of IT Strategy, Architecture and Programme Delivery, where his role was to focus on the IT components of the food liquor and fuel (FL&F) business transformation. The programme successfully delivered new merchandise, pricing, forecasting, B2B, data warehousing, and logistics systems.

Prior to joining Coles, Conrad was based in the United Kingdom where he was employed by Accenture. During this time he worked for a number of large retail and product clients throughout the UK and Europe, including Tesco and Littlewoods.

Conrad joined Accenture's London office following a period with the company's Cape Town operations. One of his key roles in South Africa was to lead the implementation of an automated store replenishment system for Woolworths South Africa.

Jane Wilson – Director – Information Technology, Asia Pacific – Dun & Bradstreet

Jane is the Director of IT, Asia-Pacific with Dun and Bradstreet. In this role Jane is responsible for aligning the technology strategy to the business growth for the region. Jane has a strong record of achievement in strategic and operational functions within banking, finance, credit, and information technology.

Spanning a career in excess of 25 years, Jane has acquired expert knowledge of data and technology, and how it is used in credit management and business information lifecycle. The combination of technical aptitude and business acumen provides the ability to drive process and technology improvements, and to capture full benefits for the business.

Ash Peck – General Manager – ICT – SP AusNet

Before joining SP AusNet, Ash was IT Director (Australia, NZ, Japan, andSingapore) for Cadbury from 2008 to 2010, where he was responsible for all IT strategy and sponsoring the IT separation of Schweppes Australia from Cadbury.

Prior to that, Ash held a number of senior IT management roles at Cadbury and Cadbury Schweppes. From 1996–2006, Ash held a number of commercial, program and IS roles in local and global Kraft Foods business units including ANZ, Asia-Pacific and Kraft international, based in London.

Ash holds a Bachelor of Commerce from Deakin University.

Morris Lieberman – CIO – Treasury Wine Estates



Meeting diversity targets

According to leading research, it has been revealed that companies with the highest representation of women in their senior management teams achieve a 35% higher return on investment and a 34% higher total return to shareholders than companies with the lowest women’s representation. In spite of this, only a small proportion of business leadership positions are actually held by women.

Women start careers with the same level of intelligence, education and commitment as men. Yet few reach the top echelons.

Today we will hear two inspiring stories and learn the leadership tools and techniques required to achieve and develop personal and business leadership success.

Guest Presenters


Anne Weatherston – CIO – ANZ

Anne Weatherston is Chief Information Officer and Management Board Member at ANZ responsible for the development and maintenance of the infrastructure and technology solutions that support ANZ globally.

Prior to joining ANZ in 2010, Anne was Group Chief Information Officer for the Bank of Ireland for four years. In that role she was responsible for the delivery of IT to all Bank of Ireland business units including transformational and operational IT.

Anne joined the Bank of Ireland from Abbey/Santander, where as IT Director she led a major transformation program of the bank’s IT capability both pre and post the acquisition by Santander.

Previously, she held various senior positions including Director of UK Business Integration at Gaz de France, as well as Director of Business Strategy, Development and IT for the Student Loans Company in the UK.

She has an MBA from the Strathclyde Business School.

Amanda Gome – CEO – Private Media



What impact will cloud computing have on the way in which we work?

The term 'cloud' is used as a metaphor for the internet, based on the cloud drawing used in the past to represent the telephone network, and later to depict the internet in computer network diagrams as an abstraction of the underlying infrastructure it represents. However, ‘cloud computing’ is not readily understood.

The fundamental concept of cloud computing is that the computing is 'in the cloud' i.e. that the processing (and the related data) is not in a specified, known, or the same place.

Generally, cloud computing customers do not own the physical infrastructure, instead avoiding capital expenditure by renting usage from a third-party provider.

Guest Presenters


Janet Matton – Vice President, Sales Enablement & Operations, Australia / New Zealand – IBM

Janet has been in the IT industry with IBM for 31 years. Since joining IBM, Janet has held a variety of positions in the areas of sales, marketing, technical management, and services. She has held key roles in Australia, South-East Asia, the United States, Japan, China, and Europe.

Janet spent 7 years working for IBM in the USA and in Europe, returning to Australia in 2002. She relocated to Japan in February 2006 to take on the role of Vice President of Sales Operations for Asia-Pacific. With the transfer of the IBM Asia-Pacific HQ from Japan to Shanghai in 2007, Janet relocated to Shanghai. Janet returned to her birthplace of Melbourne, Australia in March 2009 to assume her current role for IBM. In that role she acts as second-in-command to the CEO of IBM Australia / New Zealand.

Janet brings a wealth of experience with respect to the evolution of the IT industry and IBM’s role within it. She is passionate that organisations of the future need to have access to employees and suppliers who have a diverse portfolio of skills and capabilities so as to be able to identify and execute the changes that are needed for survival and growth.  In recognition of Janet’s tenacity and passion in this regard, she was honoured to be named as the 2010 Victorian Telstra Business Woman of the Year in October 2010.  

Her extensive global experience provides a unique perspective on the challenges of doing business in the global context.

Bhawna Kapoor – Enterprise Architect – AGL Energy

Bhawna is tertiary qualified with a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor Education, and has over 19 years’ experience in the IT industry. She commenced her career as a Java Programmer and moved on to different roles which spanned from being a Senior System Analyst leading a team of 8 people to a Team Lead position where she led a team of 32 people and delivered multimillion dollar development projects.

She entered into the enterprise architecture space about five years ago and since then has held various positions such as Enterprise Integration Architect, Enterprise Application Architect, and Enterprise Architect where she now leads the solution architecture and application architecture competency across AGL.

Bhawna stepped into the energy industry over ten years ago. Since then she has been engaged in various industry working groups for the continuous development and improvement in the technology space. She is a representative of AGL to SAP Light House Council and provides input into SAP product development. She has also represented the Energy Retailers Australian Association in the Energy Market Steering Committee and has worked with other members in the development of IT strategy for Australian gas and electricity markets.

Sonja Bernhardt OAM – CEO – ThoughtWare

She's smart, she's punchy, she's intelligent and manages to deliver presentations with a great sense of humour. Sonja has an acknowledged everlasting supply of enthusiasm and energy that fosters motivation and drive in those around her.

Sonja Bernhardt, CEO of ThoughtWare, a multi-award-winning software development business, is known for her obvious enthusiasm, visionary leadership, intelligent rational thinking and business acumen.

She’s not only cloud-ready but has been operating both her software and her business in the cloud for a few years now.  In fact her aged care software was one of the first cloud-ready applciations made available to the aged care industry via an industry specific cloud platform.

Sonja holds three management and information technology related degrees including an MBA and on top of that on Australian day 2011 she was honoured to receive a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for services to information technology.

Sonja bases her life and all activities on a reality- and reason-based philosophy, and today she plans to bring some of her reality-based experiences to her presentation.

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