WITWA Tech [+] Conference 2021 Speakers

This year we are bringing to you an exceptionally talented team of inspiring, motivating, and enthusiastic speakers who will take you on a journey and leave you in awe and wanting more. Our conference themes for 2021 are all around ‘Shaping our Tech Future’.


Dr Catherine Ball

Dr Catherine Ball, Keynote Speaker at the WiTWA Tech [+] Conference

Associate Professor at The Australian National University & Co-Creator of World of Drones and Robotics Congress

Associate Professor, Dr Catherine Ball is a scientific futurist, speaker, advisor, author, founder, executive producer, executive director, and company director working across global projects where emerging technologies meet humanitarian, education and environmental needs. Catherine also likes to create businesses and champion movements, collaborate with peers, and advise game-changers.

A sought-after voice across the start-up, futurist and tech world, Catherine works globally across a wide range of projects from creating documentaries and world leading conferences and events, to advising on the use of novel approaches (e.g. drones) across environmental and humanitarian projects. Catherine is a proponent of community engagement with STEM, and likes to demystify emerging tech.

Sonja Bernardt OAM

Grand Dame and Trailblazer for Women in Tech.  Author of memoirs “Girls Do IT Too!” Commentator and contributor on themes blockchain, emerging technologies (AI, VR, AR, MR, IoT) and general technology.

Sonja Bernhardt OAM founded WiT Queensland in 1997 after a life-threatening bout of Meningococcal Meningitis gave her time to reflect on the male dominated ‘bro-world’ of the technology industry and the fascinating women she knew who were involved in technology, yet did not know each other.

She is a household name in the Australian technology industry and is well known for her passion and innovative approach for inspiring, empowering and encouraging more females to pursue careers in technology. 

Shelley Cable

CEO Generation One

Shelley is a Wilman-Nyoongar woman from Perth, and the CEO of Generation One, part of Minderoo Foundation established by Andrew and Nicola Forrest. Generation One has a mission to create employment parity, with and for Indigenous Australians, in one generation. 

Shelley was previously a senior consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Indigenous Consulting. She is passionate about Indigenous economic empowerment through employment, business and financial literacy.

 In 2017, Shelley was invited to attend the United Nations and presented to the UN’s Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, on how financial empowerment can help protect and express human rights.

 Shelley was also a delegate to the Uluru Convention on Constitutional Reform, which resulted in the Uluru Statement of the Heart. She is a Certified Practising Accountant, one of less than 100 qualified Indigenous accountants in Australia.

Dr Katherine Iscoe

Dr Katherine Iscoe, Keynote Speaker at the WiTWA Tech [+] Conference

Mindset Activator, Keynote Speaker, Published Author and full-time dog Mom

I am the Director of the Dr Katherine brand and Co-Founder and Director of Corporate Health and Wellness for Advanced Human Imaging Limited – an ASX-listed company with a multi-million-dollar market capitalisation. As a co-founder (and former CEO) of a fast-growing tech company, I have observed how individual mindsets can act as either an accelerator or a handbrake to true potential.

As a human, I personally understand what it takes to let go of old ways of thinking and change the course of my life and career.

Charles Darwin put it very clearly: “It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.”

When people are ready to change, I’m ready to help.

Sharon Wood-Kenney

Well respected and highly sought after Agent for Systems Change & guest speaker on finding ways for living ones best life with inclusive philosophies.

Sharon is a proud Noongar Yamatji woman who has been, and continues to be, a pioneer and inspirational leader around Western Australia.

She is a strong advocate for the tough conversations on disruption thinking, challenging non-functioning systems and cross-cultural awareness. Sharon brings people together and with a strong leadership style, working through complex cultural lens with a scope beyond many.

Sharon is a Western Australian Aboriginal Leadership Institute (WAALI) graduate, and sought after Community Engagement Co-Design Consultant. With strong ties in both the Indigenous and other communities, Sharon is intent on creating opportunities for all disadvantaged children, families, and individuals.

She is the Lead Researcher for the Noongar Water Knowledge Project at the UWA School of Biological Sciences, https://nespurban.edu.au/noongar-water-knowledge-in-the-djarlgarro-beeliar-catchment/, and has been working on several co-design projects with the Cventre for Social Impact UWA and other departments at UWA on many themes including homelessness, family and domestic violence, and child protection.

In her role as manager of Djinda Bridiya, Sharon works alongside WA Police towards family domestic violence prevention strategies. Sharon Wood-Kenney was inducted to the WA Women’s Hall of Fame in 2020.

Sharon believes we are writing the dream time stories of the future, we must all sit listen deeply to land, to people and come together as one.

Dr Kate Raynes-Goldie

Dr Kate Raynes-Goldie, Keynote Speaker at the WiTWA Tech [+] Conference

Exploring our tech future with SUPERCONNECT LEGO Serious Play

Dr. Kate is solving the world’s problems with curiosity, playfulness and LEGO bricks. Kate is the founder of Lovego, where she helps power women hack dating to find an amazing partner.

Lovego uses her SUPERCONNECT™ method, which rapidly creates authentic human connections — in both the world of dating and world of work — while providing clarity and insight about ourselves, each other and the challenges we face. SUPERCONNECT™ is built on LEGO Serious Play, which was developed by LEGO and used by global megabrands such as Virgin, IKEA and Samsung for team building and strategy.

Kate is also an innovation columnist with the Business News, a TEDx speaker and a 40under40 winner. In her spare time, she loves rock climbing, drinking tea and going on nature adventures


Charlene Clarke

Passionate Visionary and Innovator

Charlene is a Founding Partner and Chief Vision Officer for Exodus Tech, a saas based technology company focused on designing simple yet innovative software solutions that connect people, communities and companies through technology.

With more than 10 years’ experience in human resources, coupled with graduate and post-graduate studies in human resources, small business management and entrepreneurship, Charlene has developed an eco-system of social enterprises focused on creating an empowered community.

JobActivator is the flagship project for Exodus Tech, bringing a fully automated resume builder and management system to market, built around human resource frameworks.

 Charlene is the Managing Director of Catalyst Central, supporting small businesses with HR guidance to build a platform for sustainable growth, believing Everything is Possible with the Right People Focus.

Angela Lam

CIO | Digital Transformation | Strategy Thought Leadership

Angela is an experience IT Executive with over two decades of experience across private and public sector in a variety of industries including mining & resources, oil & gas, utilities – energy, finance & insurance, gaming & entertainment, law enforcement and the judicial sector; in IT leadership roles for organisations including Shell, BHP, Horizon Power, Lotterywest and WA Police.  Angela holds an undergraduate degree in Commerce (IT Major), a postgraduate Masters in Business Administration, industry certifications for TOGAF, Prince 2, MSP and ITIL. 

Angela considers herself a digital transformation leader, strategist, innovator, thought leader and digital capability builder who is passionate about how technology can drive digital business transformation.  She is an accomplished presenter whose recent industry speaking engagements include WA IT Leaders Summit 2020, Digital Utilities Conference 2020, Power & Utilities Week 2019 and WA Cybersecurity Summit 2019 to name a few.  Angela is known for her STEAM advocacy, as a coach/incubator of Technology talent working with graduates/interns and in the innovation start-up space having been one of the organisers behind the Digital Tribes Perth (2017) and Digital Tribes Houston (2018) hackathon events.

Liesel Hughes

Self -confessed Data Nerd

Self-confessed data nerd, educator, activist, neuro-divergent and proudly queer, Liesel (they/them) is a Cloud Solution Architect Data Analytics at Microsoft and lead team member of the Global LGBTQI+ Employees and Allies at Microsoft (GLEAM) network in Australia. Liesel help run Perth based community queer and polyamory groups, and has also served as on the WiTWA D&I sub-committee.

Ella Smith

Year 11 Student, Aspiring App Developer


Growing up in a rural community that lacked access to technology, her exposure during high school has led her to fully appreciate its ability to improve the world around her.

Deploying her first Progressive Web App at the age of 16 for a client, Ella has a genuine passion for technology and all its capabilities. She shares her passion by mentoring within several programs including a recent SheCodes Workshop. She also teaches Aged Care Residents about the broad spectrum of technology, increasing their digital literacy and social connectedness.

Leaving for boarding school at eleven prompted her independence and self-drive to aim high and utilise the unique perspective women have, rather than let anyone use it to create barriers.

Gohar Rind

Indigenous Cyber Security

Founder and Director of Yira Yarkiny Group, Gohar Rind is a Indigenous man working to build Indigenous capability in tech, cyber security and be an indigenous voice in the technology space.

Alexandra Helens

Neurodiversity and disability employment specialist

Alexandra has over a decade of experience with neurodiversity and disability rights advocacy. She is Autistic and has Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, and has worked within her community to investigate and develop employment solutions, and challenge the narrative around what it means to be disabled.

Molly Day

Inquisitive, Dynamic, Energetic

Molly Day is the Security Intelligence Manager at SEEK. Molly has worked in police, anti-corruption, and geopolitical and strategic intelligence. She is passionate about empowering women in technology, particularly in cyber security. Molly hopes to educate women on the different career possibilities within cyber security and inspire others to join and grow in the security field.

Rebekah Taka

Curious & Gutsy Digital Leader

As Executive Director for IBM iX Australia and New Zealand Rebekah is an inspiring and deeply experienced digital and design leader with a proven track record of transforming and growing organisations. She couples deep expertise in digital, IT and user led transformation with broad industry experience covering mining, oil and gas, energy and water, education, financial services and venturing and start-ups.

Deeply purpose led and outcome she is adept at integrating emerging, SaaS and legacy technologies, to drive customer, employee, social and business outcomes at speed and scale.

Curious, gutsy and engaging she excels at understanding unmet needs and foreseeing and equipping systems and people to respond in complex and challenging environments.

Sarah Bassett

Head of WA/SA and ANZ Natural Resources Leader 
Amazon Web Services

Sarah is part of the ANZ executive team at Amazon Web Services (AWS) leading the Western Australia and South Australia region as well as the Resources vertical. Her team works with enterprises across all industries in Perth and Adelaide to help them realize the value of cloud technology from both an economic and business transformation perspective. In order to best serve the market with relevant solutions, Sarah also leads an industry focused go-to-market strategy for key enterprises in Australia. She is passionate about technology innovation and providing education to enable customers to create a culture of change and modernize their organisations. 

Prior to joining AWS in 2017, Sarah was in the oil & gas industry for 15 years holding various roles within software development, mergers and acquisitions, partner and alliances, marketing and business development. She has a breadth of experience in a wide array of environments with a fortunate track record of partnering with customers to deliver results.  Over the years, Sarah has managed teams of varying sizes, both local and geographically dispersed, and with great diversity in education, skills, and experience.

Fiona Bishop

Transformation Program Director

Fiona is a dynamic leader with a career spanning electrical & electronic engineering, economic regulation, customer engagement, technology and management roles. As HBF’s Transformation Program Director, she is no stranger to big delivery ambitions, having more recently played a key role in Western Power’s Business Transformation and as their Executive of Change & Innovation – bringing an innovation mindset to a Government-owned utility. Fiona is a strong advocate for women in STEM and an active mentor. She shares her house with two primary-school aged children who are articulate and rigorous in their debates for household privileges and remind her to have fun, enjoy cake and get outdoors.

Dr Vanessa Rauland

Climate and Sustainability Tech Entrepreneur

As a passionate entrepreneur, researcher, author and public speaker, Vanessa has dedicated her career to addressing climate change and increasing awareness around the vast benefits of sustainability, climate action and low carbon living.

After completing her PhD on the topic of decarbonising cities and working as an academic for over 10 years, she founded ClimateClever, a data-driven, climate-tech startup that helps schools, households and businesses to measure and reduce their carbon footprint and save money on utility bills. The innovative platform aggregates the de-identified data to also help cities and local governments to understand their community-based emissions.

She is passionate about impact-driven businesses and is a Founding Board Director and Co-Chair of WA Social Enterprise Council (WASEC), which aims to grow the sector in WA.

Lucy Cooke

CEO and Founder

Lucy Cooke is a Behavioral Scientist and the Founder/CEO of a technology company called SpaceDraft. SpaceDraft is a simple online planning tool designed to help teachers and students map out any imagination in a fun and secure way. Lucy worked on film sets in Hollywood for ten years before deciding that the world needed more creative ways to communicate virtually. 

SpaceDraft won startup of the year in 2020 and helps anyone (without any technical skill) map and design ideas for any sound and action in any virtual or physical space. With SpaceDraft, building video games for your own reality has never been so engaging.


Kay Hargreaves

Co-Chair of WiTWA, Founder & Managing Director of Colleagues Matrixx

Kay was introduced to technology at the age of twelve by a very forward thinking Head Teacher who insisted that all her students were introduced to computer programming. Since then, technology has always been a part of her working life. Starting as a Marketing Executive for a travel company, she discovered that her passion lay in harnessing the benefits of new technologies and became an evangelist for its use in the publishing sector. As Head of Publishing for the largest holiday company in the world, Kay was responsible for changing the way holiday brochures were produced by using software and Apple computers.

In 2003, Kay moved to Perth where she changed career direction and became an owner of a printing company. It didn’t take long before she was introducing technology to the company and an IT division was created.
Today, she is the owner and Managing Director of Colleagues Matrixx: an IT company specialising in writing software that transforms the way businesses collect and manage data to improve their business processes.

Tina Ambrose

Co-Chair of WiTWA, Founder & CEO of Valrose

Tina is CEO of Valrose, a Technology Recruitment company founded to improve the perception of recruiters globally. With an overall customer satisfaction rate of 5/5 and an employee engagement rate of 10/10, Valrose has quickly become recognised as the go-to recruitment company for technology candidates and companies looking to build high-performing teams across WA. 

With over 15 years of global technology recruitment experience, Tina is considered a successful moderniser in her field. She is called upon regularly to share her insights on attracting top technology talent, successful career advancement, incorporating diverse hiring practices and building high-performing, inclusive cultures. 

Tina is also Co-Chair of WiTWA, leading a team of 40 volunteers to deliver five initiatives for their 5,000+ WA members. These include – WiTWA’s Annual Tech [+] Conference and Awards, WiTWA Hub, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion  Corporate Membership, Community Events and our JTSI funded Techtrails program – inspiring secondary school students into STEM careers and educating them on jobs of the future.

Gry Stene

Awards Lead for WiTWA, Founder & Chief Orchestrator of STEAM Engine Global

Gry firmly believes that diversity must be at the core of everything we do as it makes business sense and creates better solutions. Having worked in the software industry for over 30 years, starting out as a programmer in the 80s, Gry has seen the industry go from 35-40% women in key roles down to a total of 20%.

Acutely aware of her privilege as a white woman growing up in egalitarian Norway, Gry has only recently realised that coming from a CALD background and having lived or worked on most continents has its challenges.

She believes a holistic approach is required and set up STEAM Engine Global to bridge the gap and inspire people who are underrepresented in tech to discover their superpower.

Celebrating Differences is at the essence of everything Gry does.

Jeremy Chetty

Co-Founder & Chief Product Officer

Jeremy Chetty is the Co-Founder of Student Edge – Australia’s largest student membership community. The student turned entrepreneur, conceived the idea with his friends while they were at Murdoch University ten years ago.

Today it has over 1.2 million members and now growing internationally in the USA, UK, India & South East Asia. He currently serves as the Chief Product Officer and is an Executive Director on the board. He is also active in the community serving as the WA Youth Ambassador for the Royal Commonwealth Society, Entrepreneur in Residence at Murdoch University, Facilitator for the National Indigenous Business Summer School, Advisory Committee member at CQ University & Council member at Murdoch Business School.

Kate Kirwin

Founder, Women in Tech Advocate

Kate is a passionate advocate for women in STEM and the innovation ecosystem. Founder of She Codes Australia, she has led the steep growth of the project since 2015. Thanks to her work, more than 4000 women have learnt to code through free programs. She has hustled to source more than $1.3m from government and industry to support women in STEM. 

With a regional upbringing, she strongly believes in empowering women from the world’s remotest regions, bringing programs to small mining hubs Port Hedland and Karratha in Western Australia’s Pilbara region, and across the nation. Kate has also contributed to the growth of coworking space Spacecubed, and since 2014 has played a pivotal role in building community and coordinating other programs. 

Kate was recently awarded a Business News 40under40 award, the West Australian Rising Star award and was a runner up for the 2019 and 2020 Seven News Young Achiever Awards.

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Thank you to all our Tech [+] Sponsors!

This year we are bringing to you an exceptionally talented team of inspiring, motivating, and enthusiastic speakers who will take you on a journey and leave you in awe and wanting more. Our conference themes for 2021 are all around ‘Shaping our Tech Future’.
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