Virtual WiTWA [+] Conference & Tech [+] Awards

October 19, 2020 @

We have put together an amazing program for the WiTWA [+] 2020 Festival.

The good news is that because most of it will be online, we can reach a lot more people and we look forward to having participants from all over Western Australia – metro and regional.

Here’s what we have got planned…

  • a series of pre-recorded talks and conversations
  • a series of live panel interviews for you to interact with
  • a final conference event with a live keynote speaker and presentation of our Tech [+] 20 Awards

Conference themes:

Icon - The world is your oyster

The World is Your Oyster – Monday 26 October

Around the world with amazing Tech [+] Australians…

Photo Emma Isaacs
Emma Isaacs, Founder & Global CEO Business Chicks

6.00pm – 6.45pm: In Conversation
We’re winging it with Emma Isaacs, Founder & Global CEO Business Chicks

Entrepreneur, Founder & Global CEO of Business Chicks, Australia’s largest community for women, and mother to six children – Emma Isaacs shares her story of inspiration. From owning her own business at 19 years old to never having a boss (ever!) and building one of Australia’s most successful networking organisations Emma shows us how often the only thing holding us back is ourselves; that you can follow your dreams and that there’s no reason to not to start doing so right now. Join us as we explore the Emma’s journey and her approach to ‘Winging It’ that has contributed so positively to her success.

7.00pm -7.45pm: Panel discussion
In this discussion we sit down with a paralympian, a mining & metals expert, an entrepreneur and a PR professional turned STEM advocate to explore the attributes required to unleash your dreams. Be inspired by this incredibly diverse panel of women, each with their own unique and interesting story to share. It’s the kind of stuff that will put a fire in your belly, a spring in your step and juice in your tank. Allow your thinking to be stirred and dream big when it comes to shaping your own career path of the future.

We are excited to be able to present you with an impressive lineup of speakers and panellists for our conference. Their details will be available on the conference site shortly, but we wanted to share some names with you here.

Meet our panelists:

  • Jess Smith, Paralympian
  • Dr Michelle Dickinson, Entrepreneur
  • Lan Tran, Game Changer awards
  • Estrelia Diaz, Mining & Metals industry engineer

Icon - Diversity and Inclusion

Diversity, Inclusion & Equity – Tuesday 27 October

Change-makers, challenges and strategies for success…

Professor Lisa Harvey-Smith

6:00 – 6:45: In Conversation

Professor Lisa Harvey-Smith is the Australian Government’s Women in STEM Ambassador and a Professor of Practice in Science Communication at The University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia.

In her role as the Women in STEM Ambassador, Lisa is responsible for increasing the participation of women and girls in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) studies and careers in Australia.

She works across academia, education and training and industry to increase visibility and drive cultural and social change for gender equity in STEM. Lisa is an award-winning astronomer with research interests in the birth and death of stars and supermassive black holes and serves on the Australian Space Agency’s Advisory Group. She previously worked on the mega-telescope project the Square Kilometre Array – a continent-spanning next-generation radio telescope that will survey billions of years of cosmic history. Lisa is a TEDx speaker, has appeared on stage with Apollo astronauts including Buzz Aldrin and is author of the popular science book When Galaxies Collide

As we continue to strive for true equality in the workplace, our expert panel will explore action we can all take at a corporate and individual level to achieve change. More information coming soon.

7.00pm -7.45pm: Panel discussion

It’s the reason we’re here, and a mission close to our community’s hearts and everyday lives. How do we create and sustain equality for women in STEM and Tech workplaces? 

As we continue to strive for true equality in the workplace, our expert panel will explore action we can all take at a corporate and individual level to achieve change.  Our panelists will be walking us through the nuances of the challenges Diversity & Inclusion face in 2020 and the progress that has been made over the past decade. You’ll be walking away from this session equipped with the tools to create change for opportunity and impact.

Meet our panelists:

  • Prof Bob Wood 
  • Fadzi Whande, Diversity and Inclusion Strategist
  • Vanessa Vershaw, The Business Psychologist and Founder Reinvention
  • Zara Fisher, Fortescue Metals

Icon - Career for the Future

A Career for the Future – Wednesday 28 October

Tech [+] of the future… we are ready to meet you!

Dom Price, Atlassian’s Work Futurist

6.00pm – 6.45pm: In Conversation
Choose your own adventure with Dom Price, Atlassian’s Work Futurist

The future isn’t waiting for us, so it’s on us to drive and build the future we want. In this discussion, Dom Price, Work Futurist from Atlassian will share some of their secrets that have amplified their culture, team ethos, and impressive business results.

  • discover a simple framework for leading through any kind of transformation
  • a straightforward hack to make you the best leader you can be, today and tomorrow
  • some pragmatic tricks to be a force multiplier and drive your team to high performance

7.00pm -7.45pm: Panel discussion

Welcome to the 4th industrial revolution!  There’s space technologies, AI, drones, deep tech used to solve big problems, new media + more.  And never before have we seen technology change so rapidly and impact our daily life so deeply.  As a consequence, we are required to adapt (quickly!) – the way we work, the way we live and the careers we fulfil. 

Our panel of tech futurists will give insight into the traditional, creative and untapped technologies of the future and what we need to do from a career perspective to upskill and reskill in order to thrive in this ever changing world.  

Meet our panelists:

  • Cicada Innovations
  • Josh Richards, Astronaut Candidate
  • Dr Catherine Ball
  • Jessie Hughes, Creative Technologist

Icon - Mentors, sponsors and allies

Mentors, Sponsors, and Allies – Thursday 29 October

How to provide the right support at the right time, and the different roles we can all play.

Julian Guthrie, Founder Mindset Alpha & Author Alpha Girls

6.00pm – 6.45pm: In Conversation

Mindset Alpha with Julian Guthrie, Founder Mindset Alpha & Author Alpha Girls

Founder of Alpha Girls Global, Julian will share stories from her latest book, Alpha Girls, about a group of women who managed to succeed in the male-dominated industry of tech and helped finance and build some of the foremost companies of our day. Julian provides a unique view inside the minds and lives of women pioneers to explain how women — especially those in male dominated industries — whether tech, building, law, medicine, sports, or the arts, to name a few — can succeed both at work and at home.

Julian shows through unforgettable true stories how ordinary women become extraordinary. When do you know when to take issue with something offensive or off colour, and when to let it go? How can you use humour to diffuse tense situations at work? How can you make great male allies, and how can men be important allies? How can you create equity at home, as you add on to your life with children, spouse, and aging parents? Why do women need to rethink their view of money? Julian’s stories will resonate across industries and leave women at all levels inspired and with new ways to navigate complicated terrain. 

7.00pm -7.45pm: Panel discussion

Get ready to roll up your sleeves and make your dream career a reality! In this session, our expert panel will provide real-world advice on action you can take.  Be prepared – this not a discussion to listen to in the background.  You’ll need your notepad and pen to capture all the practical actions that resonate with you that you can start doing immediately.  Whether you’re looking to grow in your existing role, take a leap up the ladder or use your existing skills to pivot into a brand new sector, it’s all about how to craft your roadmap and who to have in your corner to cheer you on.

Meet our panelits:

  • Ali Burston, Metisphere
  • Meggie Palmer, PepTalkHer
  • Conrad Liveris 
  • Ruth Harrison, Rocketwoman

Icon - Award night

Virtual Awards Night – Friday 30 October

Join us online for a celebration of outstanding Tech [+] community members, with a live international Locknote to wrap up the WiTWA festival.

Dame Stephanie Shirley, Workplace Revolutionary & Philanthropist

6.00pm – 6.45pm: In Conversation

Workplace revolutionary and successful IT entrepreneur turned ardent philanthropist.

Dame Stephanie (Steve) Shirley CH, age 86, is a workplace revolutionary and successful IT entrepreneur turned ardent philanthropist. Her life story begins with her 1939 arrival in Britain as an unaccompanied Kindertransport refugee. In 1962, she started a software house, Freelance Programmers, that pioneered new work practices and changed the position of professional women, especially in hi-tech. She went on to create a global business and a personal fortune shared with her colleagues; she made 70 of her staff millionaires at no cost to anyone, but herself.

Since retiring in 1993, her focus has been increasingly on philanthropy based on her strong belief in giving back to society. In 2009/10 she served as the UK’s first ever national Ambassador for Philanthropy. Her charitable Shirley Foundation has initiated and funded a number of projects that are pioneering by nature and strategic in impact, totally £67m to date. The focus is on IT and her late son’s disorder of autism. Her memoir Let It Go was published in 2012 It has sold 27,000 copies and Penguin re-published in April 2019 with a view to distributing it worldwide – the first translated version is launch in Germany in July 2020.

A big screen film is also in the making by The Artists Partnership, with Producer Damian Jones and Director Haifaa al-Mansour. The shortlist for an actress to play Dame Stephanie includes Claire Foy and Emily Blunt. Filming should start in the next two years. Dame Stephanie has been much honoured. In 2013, she was named by Woman’s Hour as one of the 100 most powerful women in Britain. In 2014, the Science Council listed her as one of the Top 100 practising scientists in the UK. In 2015, Dame Stephanie was given the Women of the Year Special Award. Her TED Talk in 2015 was to a standing ovation from more than a thousand of the world’s most recognised technical entrepreneurs, thinkers, creators and doers. It has received 2.1m views. In 2017, Dame Stephanie received a Companion of Honour, one of only 65 people worldwide to receive such a recognition.

7.00pm -7.45pm: Virtual Tech [+] 20 Award celebration

We aways aim to raise the profile of the incredible individuals making an impact on our state, our community, and the world through the work they do in tech [+].

Tickets for the face-to-face Tech [+] 20 Award Night in Perth are sold separately. Check out the details for the live event here.

Check our conference page for more details.

Banner image - WiTWA-plus conference

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