When: Wednesday, 12 June 2013, 7am – 9am
Where: UQ Business School Executive Venue, 345 Queen Street, Brisbane
Cost: $35 (includes GST)
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Keynote address: Katie Bickford

Katie Bickford

Business strategist, sports administrator, journalist and equestrian, John Holland Group Strategic Business Development Advisor Katie Bickford has built a career on leading teams to improve their success.

Katie was a journalist at the Warwick Daily News before embarking on a career in executive management two decades ago.

She is best known in the sporting world for her position on the board of the Brisbane Broncos Rugby League Club, one of the powerhouses on and off the field in the National Rugby League. Bickford’s appointment made her the first woman to join the Broncos board.

She was a director of the Australian Baseball Federation board for seven years, where she was responsible for strategic planning, marketing, sponsorship, membership and key relationships.

Katie has also been an accredited equestrian coach, judge and competitor at national and international level, and remains involved with the sport.

Away from sport, her career in executive management includes advising on strategy and business development, stakeholder and business engagement, risk and reputation management, strategic positioning, brand marketing and change management. She has also held senior advisory roles with government.

Katie was recently appointed to the Brisbane Transport Board, a Brisbane City Council operation responsible for transporting around 80 million passengers a year.

Before joining the John Holland Group, Katie worked with global property company Lend Lease as Project Executive on the $3b redevelopment of the RNA (Exhibition) grounds in Brisbane.

Responses: Helen Davis and Dr Fred Delabbio

Helen Davis, Suncorp

Helen Davis is the Executive General Manager HR at Suncorp Bank and a member of the HR leadership team of Suncorp Group. She joined Suncorp as a HR business partner in 2008 following a 12 year career as a workplace relations lawyer, where she attained partnership in a leading Queensland firm.

Helen has a long association with Suncorp, providing industrial relations advice over many years and facilitating the development of Suncorp’s enterprise agreements since 1999.

Helen is responsible for shaping and enhancing the people capability and culture in the bank. She leads a team who are responsible for delivering business partnering, learning and development, reward and remuneration advice and services to Suncorp Bank.


Fred Delabbio, Rio Tinto

Dr Fred Delabbio joined Rio Tinto in 2006, and is responsible for the underground innovation across the Rio Tinto Group. This portfolio is accountable for adding significant value through the identification, development and implementation of step-change technologies.

Prior to Rio Tinto, he was manager of the Mining Technology unit at Hatch where he led multidiscipline engineering teams solving mining challenges for global clients through the application of leading edge technologies and process improvements.

His experience over the last 18 years in the mining industry includes the development of prototype mining equipment, tele-operation, automation, rock excavation and drilling technologies, technology implementation, and industrial engineering applied to mining processes.

Fred has a mechanical engineering degree from Queen’s University in Canada and a PhD from The University of Queensland. A registered professional engineer in Ontario and a member of mining associations in Canada, South Africa and USA, Fred is also a board member of the Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation in Sudbury, Canada.

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