Leaders Forum - Leading for Tomorrow - May 3-4 2023

Melbourne 3-4 May 2023

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A Taste of our Speakers


Cherelle Murphy 

EY Oceania Chief Economist

Mother of tween twins. Economist. Peddler of my profession, especially to women and girls.

Cherelle helps clients to understand and interpret the economic backdrop. She uses her commercial acumen, public sector experience and analytical skills to see through the noise and help identify risks and opportunities that the changing phases of the business cycle bring.

Prior to EY, Cherelle was Chief Economist at Austrade, helping guide Australian Government policy in trade, foreign investment and tourism. Cherelle also spent 15 years at ANZ Bank, having started her career as an economic research analyst at the Reserve Bank of Australia. She also worked as a journalist for the Australian Financial Review.

Cherelle holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Hons) from Curtin University and a Master of Population Studies from Australian National University. She is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors

How Cherelle is building a better working world.

“My job is to filter and analyse the economic and markets data, pay attention to new sources of information and overlay it with EY’s observations about where we are in the business cycle, to give our clients timely insights that they otherwise wouldn’t be able to access in their busy working days.”

Simon Curran

Co-founder and CEO, Bastion Shine

Simon is an experienced CEO and entrepreneur, who after a significant life-changing event, dedicated his life to helping others access their limitless potential.

Simon believes creativity is our greatest natural resource. Applied well, creativity has the ability to transform the businesses, brands, companies and the communities that surround us.

With more than 20 years’ experience working in creativity and innovation around the world, Simon joins PPG with extensive experience in corporate strategy, marketing, business transformation, customer experience design, communications, and creative storytelling. Simon shares a specific passion for the contagious culture of high-performing teams. He works extensively with next-generation leaders, youth, business venturing, and the startup community.

Pete Williams

Director, Deloitte Foundation I Adjunct Professor, RMIT

Pete Williams is a recognised thought leader and practitioner in Innovation with a particular focus on digital innovation as well as how societal and technology changes will impact the future of industries.

Pete has been working in innovation and digital since 1993. He started an eBusiness Consulting Group at Deloitte Melbourne in 1996 which evolved into Deloitte Digital in 2007, of which Pete was the founding CEO. Deloitte Digital now operates in more than 30 countries with 15,000 employees.

Pete was also the Chairman of the Deloitte Innovation Council for 14 years which enabled him to pursue his passion for creativity, design, technology and empowering people to explore the art of the possible. Pete’s work saw Deloitte become recognised as one of Australia’s most innovative companies, a legacy that continues to this day. Pete works part-time leading Deloitte Centre for the Edge, a futures think tank that explores the intersection of technology and society.

Pete has a commitment to giving back to the community. He has done extensive work in bushfire recovery in the aftermath of Black Saturday (2009) and Black Summer (2020), working on using digital technology to help advance education in Papua New Guinea, working with budding entrepreneurs in his role as an Adjunct Professor at RMIT and in his roles as a past board member of Circus Oz (Arts), The Reach Foundation (empowering young people) and his current role as a director of the Deloitte Foundation.

Pete has worked across the business spectrum with companies large and small, all layers of government and startups. Pete is also co-founder of Packform, a fast-growing start-up that is receiving local and global recognition as a disruptor.

Pete is an inspirational and dynamic speaker. He has the ability to take what seems complex and make it simple. He is a classic storyteller who shares many behind the scenes insights that help his audiences understand what it takes to tackle their most pressing challenges and provides practical steps that can be actioned immediately.

Katie Rigg-Smith

Chief Strategy Officer, WPP AuNZ

Katie Rigg-Smith is the Chief Strategy Officer for WPP in Australia and New Zealand. WPP is the creative transformation company, using the power of creativity to build better futures for our people, planet, clients and communities. 

Katie is a keen student of human behaviour and a futurist.  Katie delivers strategic expertise across WPP’s network of agencies in service of their clients. This includes an emphasis on how cultural, social, economic, and geographic trends influence behaviour, and in turn, how these behaviours will shape the future of marketing.

Prior to moving to WPP, Katie spent 23 years at Mindshare in Australia, a WPP company. She held positions across strategy, investment, and client leadership. Katie was promoted to Chief Strategy Officer of Mindshare in 2010 before stepping into the role of Chief Executive Officer in Australia and New Zealand in 2013, a role she held for over nine years. 

Katie has been named in B&T’s ‘Women in Media Powerlist’ every year since its inception in 2013. Katie is passionate about giving back to the industry, having served as a Board Member on the MFA for eight years, a Mentor for The Marketing Academy since its launch in Australia, and lecturing at the University of Technology Sydney’s Faculty of Business for three years.

Peter Leonard

Principal, Data Synergies Law Pty Ltd.

Peter Leonard is a Sydney based data and technology business lawyer.

As principal of Data Synergies, many of his clients are data analytics services providers and business developing and implementing data driven projects and AI applications.

He is a part-time Professor of Practice (across the Schools of Management and Governance, and Information Systems & Technology Management) at UNSW Sydney Business School.

Peter serves on the Australian Treasury’s Data Standards Advisory Committee, the NSW Government AI Review Committee, which reviews major applications of automated decision making and AI by NSW government agencies, the NSW statutory Information and Privacy Advisory Committee, which is tasked “to provide the [NSW] government with information, advice, assistance and training to deliver world-leading information and privacy management practices”. He chairs the Association for Data-driven Marketing and Advertising’s Regulation Group.

Richard Watson

Global and Asia Pacific Cybersecurity Leader, EY

Richard is the Global and APAC lead Partner in EY’s Cyber practice. He has spent the majority of his 27-year career in the professional services and IT sectors focused on Cyber Risk and Cyber Security.

Richard specialises in helping clients understand and protect themselves from the risk of cyber incidents. His areas of expertise include cyber risk assessment, technologies for monitoring and protecting against cyber-attack, privacy regulations and managing cyber incident response.

Richard has worked in a number of industries, focusing on those that have significant intellectual property to protect, a significant risk of brand damage from a cyber incident or whose core operations see them dependent on the digital ecosystem.

Richard is a recognized cybersecurity leader, advising senior executives and boards on cyber risk management and is frequently cited in media. Richard also has expertise in digital transformation, analytics, large-scale technology and program delivery. Originally from the UK, Richard is based in Sydney but operates Globally and throughout the Asia Pacific region.

Gus Balbontin

Director Neu21

Born and bred in wild Patagonia, Gus Balbontin never allowed his small town and humble beginnings get in the way of his big dreams. A healthy disrespect for authority and a severe case of fomo (fear of missing out) landed him in Australia at the young age of 17. 

By the age of 22 he had dropped out of uni, hitchhiked South America, set up his first business and landed his dream job at Lonely Planet. Fast forward a few more years and he was leading the company globally, working with companies such as Google X, Nokia and Amazon on the latest technology, creative cultures and high performing teams. 

Seeking a change from corporate life, he hung up his boots as the Executive Director and CTO of Lonely Planet and decided to move back to his entrepreneurial roots, becoming an investor, founder and mentor across the start-up ecosystem in Melbourne. He loves sharing a story, he loves even more, knowing those stories make a difference to people, helping them in their own business and life. 

Over the last 3 years Gus has presented to audiences of 10 across regional Australia and New Zealand, to audiences of 10,000 across North America, Europe, South America and Asia. To him there’s no difference. Small, large, private, public, board room to mail room, his lessons hit a chord, his simplicity disarms you, his energy infects you and his counterintuitive way of looking at the world will motivate you to do things differently. 

Often thought of as a futurist, not because he predicts the future, but instead because he helps you focus on what you can control to deal with any future. Still want to talk trends? Sure! He loves as much as the next person trying to imagine a world run by AI, but he warns that getting too distracted with future guesses will only take time away from you and your company to actually do something about the future. 


The inaugural Tomorrow’s Leaders program is a professional development half-day session dedicated to supporting, recognising and celebrating our industry’s up-and-coming leaders.

Andrew Maher

Founding Partner, CIE Legal

Andrew Maher is a founding Partner of CIE Legal and long-term legal advisor to industry /ADIA (and before that AMSRO). Andrew advises both domestic and global clients on all aspects of Australian workplace relations and advises members on a range of human resources law and privacy law issues.

Andrew was involved in the drafting, and ratification by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner, of the Privacy (Market and Social Research) Code 2014 and 2021, the first (and currently the only) enforceable code registered under the post-reform Commonwealth Privacy Act has been pivotal in the recent UWU – ADIA Enterprise Agreement negotiations.

Andrew has also developed online Equal Opportunity, Harassment and Bullying training (and makes a cameo appearance) and a suite of HR law and privacy instructional videos which make workplace learning readily accessible, simple, and (almost!) fun.

Ines Balint

Associate, CIE Legal

Ines brings business savvy and an international perspective to her work. With nine years previous experience as an HR Business Partner in manufacturing and retail environments in Australia and the UK, she understands the particular nuances and pressures HR departments face, and this is reflected in the advice she gives clients. Ines is an accomplished workplace investigator and has completed both internal and external investigations within a myriad of HR/OH&S areas including bullying and harassment, cultural team reviews and investigations into serious misconduct (including OH&S incidents).

Ines has Industrial Ergonomics and OHS experience and is a Mental Health First Aider, as well as a Certified Return to Work Co-Ordinator. All of this means she brings a practical and human approach to her work on the full range of contentious and non-contentious employment and WHS work.

Tim O’Halloran

Founding Director, The Shape Agency

Tim is a strategy expert with a passion for communications, brand and public affairs. He founded The Shape Agency in 2018 and established a research business known as The Insight Centre in 2021. Both businesses work exclusively for organisations with a social interest purpose.

Prior to this, Tim’s background includes 10 years working as a policy and strategy advisor in state and federal politics, culminating in three years as a Chief of Staff to government ministers in NSW and Canberra.

He has also been a non-Executive Director on the Board of a social and disability services provider and an impact investment vehicle.

Katie Rigg-Smith

Chief Strategy Officer, WPP AuNZ

Katie Rigg-Smith is the Chief Strategy Officer for WPP in Australia and New Zealand. Katie will also be presenting to the Tomorrow’s Leaders delegates on Motivation and Wellness.

With thanks to our sponsors

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