John Eatwell

Introducing NZ Speaker – John Eatwell

Image of a man (John Eatwell). He is smiling.
Image: John Eatwell, M.A. Post Graduate Diploma in Industrial and Organisational Psychology; Chartered Organisational Psychologist; Fellow of the New Zealand Psychological Society, Member of the Institute of Directors.

John has over 30 years experience, leading teams of professionals in the delivery of generalist HR as well as specialist services. In the course of his career he has delivered projects in Australia, Dubai, Hong Kong, India, Mexico, Oman, Papua New Guinea, Saudi Arabia, Vanuatu, Venezuela, United States and the United Kingdom. John is currently Director of Strategic People Group, Health and Safety Association of New Zealand, Keep New Zealand Beautiful, Chair of the Institute of Organisational Psychology, on the Advisory Board for Telpower Canterbury Ltd and Treasurer for the Queen Charlotte Track Landowners Cooperative.

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Thursday 29th July

8:00 amRegistrations open
9:00 amRegistrations continued (arrival tea and coffee available)
9:30 amWelcome/Pōwhiri
10:10 am Keynote Speaker – Getting This Right Counts
Paula Tesoriero MNZM – Disability Rights Commissioner
10:40 amMorning Tea
11:00 amDisabled Persons: Panel 1
Finding a Job – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
Angela Desmaris, Maria Stevens, Natasya Jones, Rachel Noble and Vaughan Dodd
11:55 amPutting candidates and employers at the centre of disability empowerment
Phil O’Reilly ONZM – Iron Duke
12:40 pmLunch
1:30 pmTrue Inclusive Recruitment – Reflecting the needs of both stakeholders
Interactive session led by Phil Turner, Accessibility Tick
2:10 pmTop Tips for Disability Inclusion Success
Suzanne Colbert AM – previous CE of Australian Network on Disability, interviewed by Phil O’Reilly ONZM
2:50 pmHidden Disabilities Sunflower Scheme
Selwyn Cook – Facilitator: Disability Employment
3:00 pmAfternoon tea
3:20 pmThe Value of NZSL
Victoria Lessing – Merge NZ
Jared Hutcheson – Westpac NZ
4:00 pmWelcome to Rotorua
Mayor of Rotorua – Steve Chadwick
4:15 pmHow Google Gets Disability Inclusion Programs Right
Christopher Patnoe – Google
5:00 pm‘The Name Game’/Networking Over Drinks (cash bar)
Julie Woods – “That Blind Woman”
From 6:00 pmDinner from 6:00 pm

Friday 30th July

8:30 amConference room opens –
Tea and coffee available
9:00 am NZDEN General Meeting –
Planning the Future for the NZDEN

Phil Turner – Managing Director, Accessibility Tick
9:45 am Making Your Disabled Employee Group Work Well
Brendan Roach – Director of Strategy and
Networkology, PurpleSpace
10:30 amMorning Tea
10:50 am Disabled Persons: Panel 2
Career Barriers – How Can We Knock Them Down?
Maria Stevens, Natasya Jones, Stew Sexton and Victoria Lessing
11:40 am Managing Fatigue in the Workplace
John Eatwell – Strategic People Group
12:10 pmLunch
12:50 pm Harnessing the Power of Neurodiversity in our Workplaces
Callum McKirdy – Speaker, author, mentor and facilitator
1:30 pm The Accessibility Game
Julie Woods – “That Blind Woman”
2:10 pm Closing remarks
Phil Turner – Managing Director, Accessibility Tick
2:30 pm Finish
Join us for afternoon tea and some further networking

If you have any questions about the accessibility of the conference, please email or call 09-242-0522.

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Julie Woods

Introducing New Zealand Speaker – Julie Woods

Blonde haired woman (Julie Woods) smiling. She has a black lace top on and a pearl necklace.
Image: Julie Woods

When Julie Woods went blind in 1997 as a 31 year old mother, she thought her life had ended; little did she realise it had only just begun.

After turning down the chance to go cross-country skiing, Julie realised she wasn’t going to make a very good blind person unless she learned to say WHY NOT to opportunities that came her way. Learning to read with her fingers, embracing how to touch type and getting speech software on her computer were her first steps in gaining greater access to the world around her.

But she couldn’t stop saying WHY NOT!

Not only that, she went on to say WHY NOT to walking 10 half marathons, visiting the Seven Wonders of the World and refereeing not one, not two, but three games of nude touch rugby…

Find out what Julie did last year in response to reading a newspaper article on disability awareness that horrified her, and how it inspired her to create the Accessibility Game.

Pink flower logo for That Blind Woman. There is braille underneath that represents the same words.

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Phil O’Reilly

Introducing NZ Speaker – Phil O’Reilly

Man (Phil O'Reilly) in a blue suit, business shirt and tie.
Image: Phil O’Reilly

Phil O’Reilly ONZM is Managing Director of Iron Duke Partners, a Wellington based Public Policy Advisory Firm.  He is a global business leader and advocate. 

He was until recently the Chair of the Board of Business at OECD, based in Paris, which is the representative of businesses in OECD member states and was a member of the Governing Body of the International Labour Organisation based in Geneva.

He has worked closely with the B20, advising G20 leaders and was also a member of the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC).

He has acted in a governance or advisory capacity to a number of New Zealand and overseas organisations in areas as diverse as trade, sustainability, diversity, pay equity, manufacturing, tertiary education, child poverty, social welfare and the future of work. 

He was previously Chief Executive of BusinessNZ, New Zealand’s leading business advocacy group, representing thousands of businesses of all sizes.

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Suzanne Colbert

Introducing International Speaker – Suzanne Colbert

Woman (Suzanne Colbert) in an office. She is wearing a red blazer and she is smiling.
Image: Suzanne Colbert

After stepping down as CEO of the Australian Network on Disability (AND) in December 2020, Suzanne is consulting to organisations and assisting them to recruit suitably skilled and talented people with disability. She brings clarity and simplification to understanding the complexity of employment services, providers, and programs so that organisations can create efficient and effective recruitment strategies tailored to their needs.  

Suzanne continues to support AND’s Disability Champions by equipping and encouraging newly appointed Disability Champions and facilitating meetings.

Under her leadership AND grew from 2 members with 40 employees to 310 members collectively employing 1.75 million Australians and became the ‘go to’ for employers committed to building disability confidence. AND built a suite of best practice publications, policies, facilitated and eLearning sessions and developed the Access and Inclusion Index and the Disability Confident Recruiter recognition program.

Suzanne pioneered the internationally acclaimed Stepping into Internship Program, mentoring programs, and the highly effective and successful Intellectual Disability Business Administration Traineeship program.

Prior to the Australian Network on Disability, Suzanne was the founding General Manager of a successful disability employment service for 7 years and the inaugural Chair of Ace National Network (now Disability Employment Australia).

She is a member of Disability Employment Australia’s ‘Hall of Fame’.

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Callum McKirdy

Introducing NZ Speaker – Callum McKirdy

Image: Callum McKirdy sitting on some steps in a causal pose

Callum McKirdy is a speaker, author, mentor and facilitator specialising in workplace dynamics and behaviour. With a successful 20-year career assisting leaders and teams to develop radically authentic workplaces by leveraging their uniqueness across Australasia.

Proudly dyslexic and ADHD-positive, Callum champions organisations to think differently about different thinking, and views neurodivergent people as the innovative super-workforce of the future.

Callum speaks at industry conferences, facilitates high-impact workshops, trains teams, and mentors professionals who are looking to reconnect people with purpose in their workplaces.

The author of The HR Catalyst: A Guide to the New Practice of Leading HR, published in 2019 and a contributing author to the 2020 Amazon Bestseller What The Hell Do We Do Now? – An Enterprise Guide to COVID-19 and Beyond, Callum is due to publish his second book TILT: Thinking Differently About Different Thinking in late-2021.

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Selwyn Cook

Introducing our MC – Selwyn Cook

Selwyn Cook head shot
Image: Selwyn Cook, Disability Employment Faciliator and our Conference MC

Selwyn Cook enjoyed a career as a Shell and then Z retailer in the Waikato owning and operating a multiple service station business for 27 years. His discovery of the talent pool that identified with disability had a significant impact on the positive performance of his business.

He has worked with organisations such as Workbridge, Enrich+, Idea Services and Blind & Low Vision New Zealand to recruit people with physical, mental and intellectual disabilities, In the last three years in business he employed over seventy job seekers through Workbridge alone.

Selwyn has won a number of awards for his work including the Attitude ACC Employer Award 2014, Diversity Works Diversability award in 2015, a City of Hamilton Civic award for Community, People and Wellbeing and was the Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year Local Hero winner for 2016. 

This led to Selwyn to take up a new challenge as the Workbridge Employer Ambassador. He has always been committed to reflecting diversity in the workplace and ensuring businesses become more inclusive of those living with a disability or illness. 

Now as an independent facilitator of Disability Employment this allows him to continue to promote the benefits to employers so to consider the disability talent pool. He is now also very much involved in supporting young disabled job seekers on their employment journey. 

His work with providers, the wider disability community and with employers not just supports the building of more inclusive workplaces but also a more inclusive New Zealand. 

Selwyn Cook in front of Z petrol station in orange high visibility vest and cap

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Brendan Roach

Introducing International Speaker – Brendan Roach

Photo of Brendan Roach smiling
Image: Brendan Roach, Director of Strategy and Networkology, PurpleSpace

Brendan is a globally respected leader in the field of disability inclusion in business.

On a mission to create impact at scale, Brendan ensures that we help disability ERGs/Networks to drive cultural change by developing our Networkology life-cycle approach to resource group development and cascading that know-how to every corner of the globe. He leads PurpleSpace’s strategy to remain and grow the world’s only network of disability employee networks and resource groups through the delivery of high-quality Learning & Development.

With 15 years’ experience supporting organisations and government in the UK and internationally to improve disability confidence, Brendan is passionate about disability inclusion in business and on a mission to create impact at scale. Prior to joining PurpleSpace, Brendan developed and led Business Disability Forum’s global strategy where he supported governments, global businesses and national business and disability networks around the globe to build a better working world for people with disabilities.

Naturally curious and a born collaborator, Brendan loves connecting people and ideas. This means you’re most likely to find him listening and working with our members and partners. A Dyslexic thinker with a gift for connecting people and ideas, Brendan is a born collaborator who loves working with others to make things happen.

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Christopher Patnoe

Introducing International Speaker – Christopher Patnoe

Man (Christopher Patnoe) dressed in a blue polo shirt, smiling.
Image: Christopher Patnoe, Head of Accessibility Programs and Disability Inclusion for Google.

Christopher Patnoe is the Head of Accessibility Programs and Disability Inclusion for Google. He leads Google’s efforts around the accessibility of product, people (both Googler and end users) and partnerships.

He has more than 20 years experience in tech working at companies like Apple, Sony Ericsson and Disney where he’s built hardware, software, and services.

His current passion is Accessibility at the intersection of immersive technologies (AR/VR) and consumer hardware. He is the chair for the Immersive Captions Community Group with the W3C, is a co-Chair of the XR Association Accessibility Working Group, and sits on the Board of Trustees for the American Foundation for the Blind and the GAAD Foundation.

Christopher has a degree in Music from UC Berkeley.

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Paula Tesoriero

Introducing our Keynote Speaker – NZ Disability Rights Commissioner, Paula Tesoriero MNZM

Paula Tesoriero dressed in a black suit jacket, with her MNZM award ribbon on her lapel.
Image: Paula Tesoriero MNZM, New Zealand’s Disability Rights Commissioner

Paula Tesoriero is New Zealand’s Disability Rights Commissioner. It is her role to protect and promote the rights of disabled New Zealanders.

Paula is Chef de Mission for the NZ Paralympic team heading to Toyko. She is also a Paralympian cycling gold medalist, a former lawyer,  was a general manager at Stats NZ and at the Ministry of Justice. She is a life trustee with the Halberg Foundation, and has held a range of governance roles on various Boards, and she is a mum.

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