International Women’s Day Great Debate 2018 – Sydney



date & time

08/03/2018 - 12:00 pm to 2:30 pm

Institute of Managers and Leaders is delighted to announce the International Women’s Day Great Debate is back in 2018!

After this year’s unforgettable event, join us on Thursday 8 March 2018, to celebrate the achievements of women nationally and internationally.

This old school, long-lunch style debate sees six hand-picked, interesting and opinionated Australian leaders debating ‘The future is female’. Equality. Diversity. Progress, in two teams (the negative and the affirmative), our equally interesting and witty MC, Gretel Killeen, who will be on hand to keep things clean, on-topic and, of course, to stop too much fur flying.

In short, it’s a whole load of debating fun over a longish lunch to celebrate an internationally significant, diversity-focused day.

View photos of the International Women’s Day Great Debate 2017 here.

Event flyer available here.

Book your tickets today!

Silver Partner

Venue Partner

Charity Partner

MC – Gretel Killeen

Gretel Killeen’s career started as an accidental stand-up comic when she was attempting to present a profound poem. Since then she has written and performed comedy on radio, TV and live on stage across Australia. Gretel has hosted Logie Award winning TV, won a Mo Award for her writing and spent 17 years as one of Australia’s top voice artists.

She has written best-selling novels, written and directed a documentary on AIDS orphans in Zambia and entertained troops across the globe. She is a journalist, a humanitarian and a former school champ debater so she’s a great fit to once again MC this year’s AIM International Women’s Day Great Debate.

Katrina North FIML

Katrina leads Diversity and Inclusion for EY across Asia Pacific, making life better for the 40,000 “EYers” across 22 countries.

Katrina is an experienced executive with demonstrated skills in leadership, strategy, governance, change management, board and C-suite stakeholder management, marketing, corporate administration, strategic and financial analysis, risk and operations. Broad industry experience including banking and finance, professional services (legal, accounting and real estate), membership organisations and not for profit.

An experienced non-executive director, prior board positions include Chair of Advisory Board, Deputy Chair and Company Secretary, Museum and Gallery Services Queensland; Queensland State Councillor, Governance Institute of Australia and President Brisbane Boys College Parent’s and Friend’s Association.

Dr David Cooke

David is a member of the Male Champions of Change program and is a Pay Equity Ambassador at Konica Minolta in Australia, where he is also Managing Director. He has earned the global firm an Employer of Choice Gender Equality citation through the Workplace Gender Equality Agency. He is also a non-executive director of UN Global Compact and Cambodian based anti-human trafficking organisation Together 1 Heart.

In 2008, David completed a doctorate with a dissertation titled “Building Social Capital though Corporate Social Investment” which dealt with the role of profit–making corporations in furthering the work of the Not-for-profit sector. His work was awarded the Globally Responsible Leadership award for Social Impact in 2011 and in 2014 he was awarded the Top Alumnus of the last 20 years by the Southern Cross University Business School.  


Amelia Hodge

Amelia has enjoyed a senior executive career spanning some 25 years, with her depth of experience driving successful outcomes across a range of sectors, projects and industries. Her most recent executive role was as the CEO of Queensland Law Society and she has held senior management and project roles with Origin Energy, Powerlink Queensland, the Cross River Rail Delivery Authority and Coffey Commercial Advisory, following her legal career in the property sector.

She has held non executive directorships with Transmax, the Gladstone Water Board, 3rd Space and Artisan Queensland, has chaired board audit and risk committees and sits on the advisory board of two tech startups, LawAdvisor and Obzervr. On behalf of the Queensland Office for Women, Amelia also sat on the Great Artesian Basin Advisory Council.


 Anne Rayner 

Researcher, thought leader and advocate Anne Rayner leads the Kantar TNS Communication Research practice, and drives innovation through integrating digital and social data into brand and communications insights.

A ‘Global Women in Research Top Ten MRX Diversity Champion’, she is executive sponsor of Kantar TNS’s Australian Inclusion & Diversity steering committee and founding member of its global I&D committee.


Brent Smart

Brent Smart is Chief Marketing Officer of IAG, Australia’s largest insurance company, leading group-wide marketing efforts, from brand strategy to creative execution.

With 20 years in the advertising business, Brent was CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi New York working on iconic brands like Cheerios, Tide and Walmart. He spent 7 years with BBDO, leading their San Francisco office and before that Colenso BBDO which was recognised as Agency of the Decade in New Zealand. Brent has led a body of highly awarded creative work, recognised with over 25 Cannes Lions and over 40 Effies.

Brent is passionate about how brands can shape culture, recognising the growing imperative for marketing to celebrate diversity and promote inclusion. Whether it is P&G’s ‘Like a Girl’ ad, or the Fearless Girl on Wall Street, today’s brands need to inspire to positively change opinions and behaviour.


Jen Dalitz

Jen is the CEO of Women in Banking and Finance (WiBF), a national association aimed at improving gender diversity and inclusion in the banking and finance sector. An internationally-recognised thought leader on gender diversity, Jen is a published author and notable commentator on issues relating to women in leadership.

Her career spans 25 years, international borders and a host of blue-chip companies. With a strong background in finance, consulting and diversity, she has been leading the gender agenda for over a decade – as a frontline manager, executive and now CEO. She has ten years’ experience on Boards in the financial services, agricultural and education sectors; and has founded three start-up businesses.


*Imogen Bailey is no longer able to attend IWD Sydney due to work commitments.

Watch this space as more of our distinguished debaters are announced!

Event flyer available here.



Venue Phone: (02) 9228 9188

Venue Website:

61-101 Phillip Street, Sydney, New South Wales, 2000, Australia