Masterclass A: Mastering the art of attraction and retention

Led by Heidi Cooper, CEO, Business Chamber Queensland
Moderated by Emma Andrews, Diversity Australia

We're in the midst of one of the biggest workforce shortages in history and competition for skills and labour is fierce. COVID-19 has also changed the way that employees wish to engage with work, the drivers of attraction and retention and how 'meaningful work' is defined.

Many employers are now re-thinking their recruitment practices and what it means to be a workplace where employees want to stay. Approaches that have worked previously may not work now and thinking outside of the box is required.

This masterclass explored the ways that employers from a range of industries can be thinking differently in how they attract staff to broaden their talent pools and retain the workforce they already have.

Heidi Cooper

Heidi Cooper

Chief Executive Officer, Business Chamber Queensland

Heidi is the Business Chamber Queensland CEO and joined the organisation in February 2022. Heidi has dedicated her career to the advancement of business and is a passionate advocate for the strategic growth of Queensland.

With more than 20 years' experience in law, corporate affairs and policy making, Heidi is focused on driving business growth, creating jobs, leading industry reform, implementing sustainable business practices and fostering community relationships. She has held senior executive roles at major ASX companies, including Origin Energy and Transurban, and has also held board positions across a range of sectors including infrastructure, energy, education and training, agriculture, and not-for-profit.

Emma Andrews

Emma Andrews

Corporate Communications and Engagement Specialist, Diversity Australia

Emma is a corporate communication, stakeholder engagement specialist and facilitator She has over 20 years of experience working with local and state government and private sector clients managing high profile and complex communications and engagement projects Emma has delivered change and communications programs across government and local councils to co-design solutions for policy, organisational and community change

Masterclass B: Embracing workforce differently

Led by Rebecca Andrews, State Lead, AiGroup
Moderated by Patrick Albina, Diversity Australia

Queensland's diversity is a source of strength

Maximising workforce participation not only enables employers to draw on a larger talent pool but ensures all Queenslanders have access to employment opportunities. There are many Queenslanders who want to work, or want to work more than they currently are, but for a range of reasons are unable to.

Workforce diversity is more than who you employ, it is also ensuring that work practices and business processes make you an employer of choice. Employers need to be flexible and inclusive in their workplace. Many employers report being willing to increase the diversity of their workforces but at times can be unsure about how to go about it.

This masterclass highlighted how businesses are embracing changed and flexible work practices and attracting diverse talent to strengthen their workforces, and explored potential barriers and how to overcome them.

Rebecca Andrews

Rebecca Andrews

Head – Queensland, Australian Industry Group

As the Head – Queensland of AiGroup, Rebecca's role is to raise the profile of Ai Group through relevant events, forums, policy and other engagement and advocacy initiatives and to ensure member value, engagement and growth.

With more than 25 years' of professional experience in both private and public organisations, a background in economic and community development and experience as a business owner, Rebecca has a strong understanding of challenges and opportunities facing business and industry.

Patrick Albina

Patrick Albina

Diversity Australia

With over 25 years of experience, Patrick is an accomplished Executive Coach, Consultant and Corporate Educator, and has worked internationally for some of the world’s leading Industry.

He helps businesses to gain clarity in their purpose and strategic direction by applying coaching methodologies to create resilience, sustainability, and self-determination. He is an Executive Coach and lecturer for the QUT Graduate School of Business, and support their MBA, Executive Leadership and Public Service Management Program, as well as a wide range of corporate clients.

Masterclass C: Ideas into action – supporting your business

Led by Donna Bonney, Chair, Jobs Queensland
Moderated by Rob Davey, Queensland Director, Diversity Australia

For many businesses, the importance of focusing on their workforce has recently been brought into sharp focus.

How do they make their workplace an appealing place for potential and current employees? Is it flexible working hours? Is it encouraging a positive work culture? Is it being more family-friendly? Are they describing their requirements in the right way to attract the right candidates? What should their policy be on working-from-home? How does a baby-boomer boss understand the needs of a Generation Z employee and vice versa?

All these and many other questions are facing employers as expectations from employees have changed. This masterclass examined the challenges and possible ways of addressing them, and identified ways in which employers could best be supported to adapt to this new work environment. These include using a range of tools like workforce planning, to help look into the future and adapt to changes ahead.

Donna Bonney

Donna Bonney

Chair, Jobs Queensland

Donna is currently the Executive Director of Mater Education and Chief People and Learning Officer at Mater Group, responsible for the state-wide delivery of learning and workforce development for the Mater Group across Queensland. This includes over a decade leading Mater's Registered Training Organisation.

Donna is a Healthcare Executive with more than 30 years' experience and expertise as a clinician, educator, manager and leader in both public and private health care environments. She has academic appointments with the University of Queensland and Australian Catholic University, and holds qualifications in nursing, clinical education, simulation, education leadership and management, project management, and training and assessment.

Donna is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and is currently the Deputy Board Chair of True Relationships and Reproductive Health, which is a not-for-profit clinical service provider, delivering services from nine locations across Queensland.

Rob Davey

Rob Davey

Queensland Director, Diversity Australia

Rob is the Queensland Director of Diversity Australia and leads their Coaching and Consulting practice. He is a highly skilled executive coach, facilitator, and consultant. He works with senior executives, leadership teams and Boards to create insights and solutions that accelerate performance and impact and specializes in Indigenous programs in Australia and New Zealand.

With over 20 years of Human Resources leadership experience working across various sectors domestically and abroad, Rob brings deep understanding of the human capital issues challenging leaders today. Robert has spent the last 10 years consulting and coaching, working with clients at an individual, team and group level across the mining, education, health, energy and utilities, infrastructure management, fast moving consumer goods, retail and other sectors.

Last updated 2 June 2023

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia (CC BY 3.0)