WiTWA [+] Conference

Our unique offering to the WA community. Meet our role models, members, community and supporters in one place at our annual WiTWA [+] Conference.

The WiTWA [+] Conference will be held virtually between 26 and 30 October, allowing us to market this incredible experience internationally.

The final event of the Conference – the headliner keynote – will be delivered on Friday 30 October to connect the Conference to the Awards. You can attend the Award Night in person in Perth. or virtually.

We are delighted to welcome the following sponsors for our 2020 Festival program:

Thank you for your continued support!

Tickets are on sale

20+ hours of online content to watch with us live across 5 days, or at your own leisure post conference (available until 30th November), including:

  • 5 Keynote Speakers 
  • 4 Panel Discussion
  • 10+ Bonus Content Speakers
  • 5 Key Themes
  • Virtual pass to our Tech [+] 20 Awards celebrating the amazing women of WA Making a difference in the world of Tech [+] 

30+ experts from across the globe will be sharing their stories, insights and advice. Head over to our conference page to check all the amazing details.

WiTWA [+] 2020 Virtual Conference

With the uncertaintly around the COVID-19 pandemic, we have worked hard to come up with a plan for the conference that we hope will be engaging and inspiring.

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.

So, here’s what we have got planned for our conference, which is more like a festival…

  • 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 & Speakers

So you know a bit more about what to expect, we have identified the following themes:

  • The World is Your Oyster
  • Diversity, Inclusion & Equity
  • Technology – A Career for the Future
  • Mentors, Sponsors & Allies
  • Keynote speaker and Awards Night

Tickets for the in-person Awards Gala at a physical location will be sold separately **

** If there are restrictions on events, we have alternatives options

The World is Your Oyster – Monday 26 October

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

Photo Emma Isaacs
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

Diversity and Inclusion – Tuesday 27 October

Change-makers, challenges and strategies for success.

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.

Professor Lisa Harvey-Smith

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

Technology – a career for the future – Wednesday 28 October

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

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

Mentors, sponsors & allies – Thursday 29 October

6.00pm – 6.45pm: In Conversation

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

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

Tech [+] Awards Gala and keynote by Dame Stephanie Shirley CH

Workplace revolutionary and successful IT entrepreneur turned ardent philanthropist. www.steveshirley.com

Dame Stephanie Shirley, Workplace Revolutionary & Philanthropist

Dame Stephanie (Steve) Shirley CH, age 86, is a workplace revolutionary and successful IT entrepreneur turned ardent philanthropist. www.steveshirley.com. 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 www.let-it-go.co.uk. 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.


From Monday 19 October…

  • You will be able to watch exceptional pre-recorded keynotes at your leisure.

From Monday 26 to Thursday 29 October…

  • We will host live conversations and panel interviews for you to attend, from 6 to 8pm (AWST).

On Friday 30 October…

  • We will close off the Conference with a live keynote speaker followed by the presentation of our Tech [+] 20 Awards.

And if you miss that…

  • You will be able to catch the replays for one week after the seminar concludes (until Friday 6 November).


We are still working out the finer details, but make sure you sign up to be the first to know when the tickets are released!

Tech [+] Awards

If you can see her, you can be her, so… let’s see ‘her’!

Nominations are now open so get thinking about who you can nominate in addition to yourself. In addition to the twenty winners, we will be awaring the following:

  • First Among Equals 
  • Outstanding Youth Role Model 
  • Outstanding Regional Role Model 
  • People’s Choice Winner 

We are also introducing a brand new category The Outstanding Diversity Ally. With this brand-new Award, we seek to celebrate those who stand alongside women as allies in our mutual quest for equality.

How can you get involved

Sponsor the event and/or a major trophy:

We offer a number of different sponsorship options outlined in our sponsorship package. Please get in touch if you’d like to sign up for 2020 – the sooner your company is on board, the sooner we can start sharing you with our members.

2020 Gold Sponsors

We are lucky to have the support of some amazing people and organisations in the community who advocate for what we believe in…

If you can see her, you can be her!

2020 Silver Sponsors

We are lucky to have the support of some amazing people and organisations in the community who advocate for what we believe in…

If you can see her, you can be her!

2020 Bronze Sponsors

We are lucky to have the support of some amazing people and organisations in the community who advocate for what we believe in…

If you can see her, you can be her!

2020 Future Talent Sponsors

Inspiring future talent.

If you can see her, you can be her!

2020 Media Sponsors

Helping us get the message out there.

If you can see her, you can be her!

2020 Community Supporters

Our amazing community supporters who continue to walk the talk.

If you can see her, you can be her!

2019 WiTWA [+] Conference – Attracting and Retaining Female Talent

2019 WiTWA [+] Conference – Anoushka Gungadin

Join WiTWA

Want to stay up to date with the latest on what’s happening at WiTWA? Become a member to receive invites to our upcoming events, hear about our annual WiTWA Tech [+] awards, and get news about all things tech [+].

It’s free, and you can opt out at any time!