National HR Summit kicks off in Sydney

About 1000 HR professionals registered for the event, including HR Directors, CEOs and business leaders from diverse industries

National HR Summit kicks off in Sydney

The National HR Summit has begun at Sydney’s iconic Luna Park on Tuesday. About 1000 HR professionals registered for the event, including HR Directors, CEOs and business leaders from diverse industries.

Headlining this year’s speaker line-up was Turia Pitt, who became a bestselling author, two-time Ironman and humanitarian after surviving burns to 65% of her body in a grassfire.

Pitt talked about some of her biggest achievements, strategies that helped her rebuild her life and achieve seemingly “impossible” goals, and how she created a thriving business.

On day one of the two-day Summit, Pitt was speaking on the topic of Be a leader of your life where she told the audience that people of all strengths and personalities can become great leaders.

She added that a great leader is someone not afraid to be vulnerable, someone who sets big goals for their team, and also trusts and empowers their team to rise up to that goal.

“In my business, I try to operate by the idea that if you’re the smartest person at the table, you’re doing something wrong,” said Pitt in the lead up to the event.

“I know that, realistically, I can’t be the expert at everything in my business, so I bring on people who help me achieve my business goals. A great leader knows that nothing great can be achieved alone.”

She added that when you have the right mindset anything is possible.

“Getting through challenges at work or in your personal life, reaching for big goals, your confidence and approach to life - it’s all impacted by your mindset.”

The next speaker at the main conference was Nicolette Barnard, Head of Human Resources, Australia & New Zealand, Siemens.

Barnard was speaking on the topic This is the future of HR where she spoke about how technological advances and demographic shifts are changing the way that people work and how HR operates.

According to Barnard, cultivating a diverse, empowered, accountable and engaged workforce is key to achieving sustainable growth.

A rewards and recognition program that reflects these key elements is important to maintaining the engagement and motivation of employees. Ultimately, this will help drive sustainable growth at Siemens, said Barnard.

“As technology creates increasingly personalised and engaging experiences around us, it is imperative our reward and recognition platforms reflect our workforce diversity,” Barnard told HRD.

“This is why the topic of rewards and recognition is important to HR professionals.”

The HR Summit continues on Wednesday. Some of tomorrow’s speakers include Michael Schneider, Managing Director, Bunnings Group Limited, Lisa Apthorpe, Director of People and Culture, McDonald’s Australia and Michael Kim, Head of Human Resources APAC, Spotify.

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