The CEO Fishbowl – Friday 25th November 9-10:30am

Held on the 3rd and final day of the Story Conference, the CEO Fishbowl will provide participants the opportunity to join an interactive discussion with experienced executives and their stories of influencing cultural change. Drawing from the Corporate, Not-for-Profit, Public sector and Healthcare environments, the CEO Forum will help to open up and explore the realities of what influencing cultural change really entails. We’re excited to welcome the following executives to the fishbowl:


Mary Barry – CEO of Our Watch


Mary Barry was appointed as the Chief Executive Officer of Our Watch, the national organisation to prevent violence against women and their children in January 2016.  Our Watch was established by government in 2013 to drive nation-wide change in the culture, behaviours and attitudes that underpin and create violence against women and children. Its mandate is to stop violence before it happens.    Prior to this Mary was the CEO of the National Heart Foundation of Australia for two years, CEO of the Victoria State Emergency Service for eight years and; CEO of the Victorian Association of Health and Extended Care for six years. 



Adam Fennessy – Secretary of Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP)

Adam Fennessy is Secretary of the Victorian Government’s Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP). Adam leads DELWP in creating liveable, inclusive and sustainable communities across Victoria while maintaining our world class liveability and protecting heritage for future generations. Adam is passionate about leading a high-performing, positive culture based on DELWP’s values that delivers for Victorians and makes DELWP a great place to work. Adam is leading and building a culture of service excellence at DELWP with the community at the centre of everything we do. Living in Bendigo with his partner and young family, gives Adam a unique perspective of the work DELWP does across regional and metropolitan areas of Victoria.  



Herman Verhofstadt – CEO Sabco

Born in the Flemish part of Belgium, Herman worked for almost 20 years in FMCG marketing and sales functions in Europe before coming to Australia to breathe new life into the South Australian Brushware Company, better known as Sabco. More than 100 years old, the  iconic Australian Cleaning Brand was in urgent need of new energy. Herman brings a story of how enthusiasm and business instinct, changed the company for good. A big part of the success came from the leverage of culture differences between a continental European mentality of “grounded, do normal” and a “no worries” mentality Australian team. Herman brings to the fishbowl some enlivening perspectives on how a culture clash led to the development of a multi-cultural winning team, almost doubling Sabco’s business since his arrival.



Peter Ruzyla – CEO EACH

Peter has a background in education and psychology before joining the community health sector which has become his passion. Peter’s view is that this sector has an essential role to play within a broader population health approach, but has been underestimated in terms of its potential to deliver significant health and well-being benefits to the broader community – particularly for those with significant disadvantages. Peter has worked at organisational levels to gear agencies to maximise their potential, at system levels to develop partnerships for better service integration and at policy levels to influence change at a sector level. As the CEO of EACH , Peter has been able to steer the business through several mergers to achieve a high level of organisational credibility and sustainability.



Dr Anthony Bell– Director of Emergency Medicine, Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital

Fifteen years as an Emergency Physician has given Anthony a unique perspective or people, processes and healthcare systems. Working as a clinician and researcher he has a keen interest in quality improvement, clinical redesign and policy development at a State-wide level. With leadership experience of emergency departments, project teams,  hospitals and clinical networks he has unique cross sectional healthcare experience in delivering, influencing and improving healthcare delivery.



Michelle Loader – Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Chandler Macleod Group

Raised on a rural farming property Michelle built her work ethic from a young age.  She recently led the Chandler Macleod business through integration with global Japanese staffing company, Recruit Holdings Co., Ltd. With over 20 years experience in the service sector she leads a team of 40,000 people across 5 countries.  The 7 companies that make up Chandler Macleod Group are responsible for delivering HR services and products including connecting 7% of Australia’s working population to work.  Michelle is a visionary leader whose passionate and authentic style has been adapted to many operational staffing companies across multiple sectors, she is a strong believer in collective intelligence and unleashing potential.  She recently graduated from Harvard Business Schools global CEO program, is a mum of 2 little girls and a founding director on the Australian board for The International Women’s Forum.

| September 7th, 2016 | Posted in Uncategorized |

One Response to “The CEO Fishbowl – Friday 25th November 9-10:30am”

  1. Reflections on The Story Conference 2016 | The Story Conference Says:

    […] element which was new to the conference was the CEO Fishbowl which ran on the final day of the […]

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