Past Speakers

Friday 5 October Luncheon


Guest Speaker:        Richard Umbers

Topic:                          The changing face of retail – what’s in store?

Richard will explore the nature of disruption to retail and give some insight into how the industry is responding, and how we will all shop in the future.

Richard Umbers was until recently CEO of Myer, a position he held for three years, during a period of significant industry disruption and change. Under his leadership, Myer embarked on a significant investment program, to reposition the retail offer, and pivot the business towards online and digital as a source of future growth. Under Richard’s stewardship, online enjoyed spectacular growth and became a major contributor to the business.

Prior to joining Myer, Richard was the CEO of express … Read More

Friday 7 September Luncheon


Guest Speaker:  Grant Anderson, former CEO ANCA Group

Topic:  Future of Manufacturing in Australia

Grant has 40 years’ experience in manufacturing, most recently as CEO of ANCA Group, one of the most remarkable Australian growth stories in manufacturing.  ANCA is a global leader in manufacturing machine tools (computer operated grinding machines that manufacture complex metal products for industry).  ANCA has won multiple awards for its achievements as a home-grown Melbourne company.

Grant joined ANCA as CEO 8 years ago and helped grow the Group from $80m to $300m turnover with manufacturing sites in five continents.

Grant’s talk will cover:

Keys to the ANCA growth success story
What it takes for Australian manufacturing to be globally competitive
The impact of losing … Read More

Friday 3 August Luncheon


Guest Speaker:        Wayne Dyson, Adventurer and Managing Director of Bridgeworks

Topic:                          Kokoda – Leadership with no turning back

Singapore had fallen, and the Japanese were marching towards Australia.

The better equipped, stronger enemy had to be defeated, but how?

With only small arms – no artillery – no air support?

In mountainous jungles rife with diseases?

With impossible supply lines?

With young and poorly trained soldiers?

No way! Impossible!

Wayne Dyson will share videos and stories of his recent Kokoda track experience and explore how Australian-style leadership on the battlefield defeated the Japanese.  What are the lessons for today’s leadership.


Date:                     Friday 3 August 2018

Venue:                  The Kelvin Club 14–30 Melbourne Place

(East-side of Russell Street between Little Collins Read More

6 July 2018 Luncheon


Guest Speaker:  Brad Banducci, CEO Woolworths Group

Topic:  The critical importance of purpose in the context of retail and how it is key to transformation.

Brad was appointed the Chief Executive Officer of the Woolworths Group in February 2016. Before this role he was Managing Director of Woolworths’ Food Group from March 2015 to February 2016 and he retains this responsibility. He was formerly Director of Liquor from 2012 until March 2015.

Brad joined Woolworths in 2011 after the acquisition of the Cellarmasters Group, a direct wine retail and production company. He was Chief Executive Officer of Cellarmasters from 2007 to 2011. Prior to this, he was the Chief Financial Officer and Director, and later a Non-Executive Director at Tyro … Read More

Friday 1 June Luncheon


Simon Mawhinney joined Allan Gray in 2006 as an analyst. He joined Allan Gray from Alliance Bernstein, where he held a role in Finance from 2004 to 2005. From 2001 to 2003, Simon worked in the Equity Markets group at Macquarie Bank. He also worked at Deloitte and Touche in the Financial Institutions Services team from 1998 to 2001.

Simon holds a Bachelor of Business Science (First Class Honours) with majors in Finance and Business Strategy and a Postgraduate Diploma in Accounting (University of Cape Town). Simon qualified as a chartered accountant in 1998 and is a CFA Charter holder.



Date:                Friday 1 June 2018

Venue:             The Kelvin Club 14–30 Melbourne Place

(East-side of Russell Street between Little Read More

Friday 4 May Luncheon


Guest Speaker:        Keith Evans | CEO Driza-Bone & RB Sellars (Propel Group)

Topic:                          The Dryza-Bone Journey; an iconic Aussie brands path to success

A proven business transformer, implementer and leader with extensive experience across buying, merchandising, operations for some of the UK’s largest retailers. Having spent over 20 years with Marks & Spencer PLC, roles included Head of the Ladies Leisurewear Division & Director of the Homeware Group.  At J Sainsbury, he developed & established the “TU” Clothing & Homeware brand. Preceding his CEO role within Propel he was a Change Management Consultant to the Woolworths Group Board (Aus.)

Now  he is taking the iconic Australian brand Driza-Bone into a new generation of outerwear and apparel  with the introduction Driza-Bone’s … Read More

Friday 13 April Luncheon


Guest Speaker:   Ben Darwin | Former Wallaby | Director | GAIN LINE

Topic:                    Team Cohesion Analysis and Recruitment

“If you are trying to win for talent, you never going to build an empire”

Former Wallaby Ben Darwin, injured in 2003, has spent the last decade coaching and analysing the game he loves.

Ben is undoubtedly one of the best public speakers the game has produced. His wit and humour, as well as thoughtful content, have entertained audiences across the rugby and business worlds.

Ben will explain how the lessons from academic research into stockbroking firms totally changed his philosophy about teams of all kinds:

  • a short explanation of the history of sports analysis and a demonstration of the technologies used
Read More

Friday 2 March Luncheon


Guest Speaker:   Professor Justin O’Brien

Topic:                    “Conduct, Misconduct and the Search for Accountability,” Professor O’Brien explores the reasons for the decline in trust and how it can be rebuilt.

Justin O’Brien is Professor of Financial Regulation at Monash Business School and an acknowledged international authority on capital markets governance. He has written extensively on the intersection between regulatory form and ethical considerations and is a published author of a trilogy of books on financial scandal and biography of James Landis, the architect of the New Deal regulatory framework that still informs the securities market. That framework has come under sustained pressure as a consequence of the Global Financial Crisis and its aftermath. Notwithstanding the fact that no major financial institution … Read More

Friday 2 February Luncheon


Guest Speaker:   David Galbally | AM QC

Topic:                    What’s in a Name?

A discussion on the law of defamation and the changing attitudes of the Courts in this area.

One of Melbourne’s most respected legal authorities, David joined Madgwicks as a partner in January 2010. Appointed one of Her Majesty’s Counsel in 1996, David has worked on some of Australia’s most high profile and complex corporate and criminal cases.

Possessing renowned expertise in commercial litigation and dispute resolution, David is regularly called upon to provide comment and expert opinion across a broad range of topics including corporate governance, human rights, privacy and superannuation regulation.

David is involved in sporting, company and charity administration, and Chairman of the board of an … Read More

Friday 1 December Luncheon

Laura Anderson

Guest Speaker:   Laura Anderson | International Company Director, Entrepreneur and Philanthropist

Topic:                    The Fourth Industrial Revolution’s Impact on the Workplace and the Australian Grand Prix

Laura Anderson is an international company director, entrepreneur and philanthropist.  She has worked extensively across governments and industries locally and globally in trade, investment and infrastructure development.

Laura is Chairman of SVI Global.  Laura is a long-standing Australia Day Ambassador and a Board Member of the Fulbright Commission, the Foundation for the Advancement of Science and Technology in Schools, Epworth HealthCare, The Defence Science Institute, the Australian Grand Prix Corporation, the National Basketball League and supports the development of the entrepreneurial ecosystem as Chairman of LaunchVic.

Laura was honoured as an Ambassador of International Women’s … Read More