We are working extremely hard to create en engaging conference program and are delighted to show you the sessions we have planned for you. Have a look at the session descriptions underneath the agendas to plan your experience. 


September 6


Thursday September 7: Day 1

Hosts: Greg Collier & Georgia Ellis
8.30Conference venue and Registrations openWURDI YOUANG (Level 5)
9.00Traditional Welcome to Country and Smoking CeremonyJohnstone Park (beside venue entrance)
9.30IODA Welcome & IntroductionsWURDI YOUANG
10.30Morning BreakBalcony (L5)
10.50David Greig & Kate Barlow (Australia): A case study of an organization needing to evolve in the face of intense competition and how a CEO & OD leader worked together to design and execute a plan that delivered exceptional results.WURDI YOUANG
12.00Joan Lurie: Organisations as an ecology and the need to develop ourselves as organisational ecologistsWURDI YOUANG
13.00LunchBalcony (L5)
13.45Parallel Sessions:
- Michelle De Bruyn (South Africa): People, Place, and Pivots - lessons & questions from South Africa’s City Economic Development Managers' Forum
- Jen Wilson (USA): Investigating your immunity to change: self-work for OD use of self
- Pete Canny (Australia): A framework for leadership activity which promotes a culture of performance, engagement, and accountability
- Tiffany Gray (Australia): What could be lost and what could be gained in the AI era

Nyall Meeting Room (L2)
15.45Afternoon BreakBalcony (L5)
16.00Christopher “CJ” Gross (USA): Navigating the intersection of class-bias and racial disparity to drive positive change in organisationsWURDI YOUANG
17.00ODA Chat & ChewLevel 5 Balcony
19.00Gala Conference dinnerWestend Geelong
98 Little Malop St, Geelong

Friday September 8: Day 2

Hosts: Rho Sandberg & Dan Jacobson
8.30Conference venue opensWURDI YOUANG (L5)
9.00Opening Session: Dadirri - Wayapa WorkshopWURDI YOUANG
9.45Panel: Australia at the Crossroads - What Does Genuine Partnership & Self- Determination Mean?WURDI YOUANG
10.45Morning BreakBalcony (L5)
11.15Parallel Sessions:
- Kathryn Sullivan (Australia) & Angela Rodaughan : Acknowledgment of Country
- Kiri Tawhai, Joel McGuinness & Gerard Black (Australia): Embedding cultural ways of knowing & doing into re-imagined project design
- Pheonix Alexander (Australia): Winanga-li: Lateral thinking – balancing cultural contexts and bureaucracy
- Brian Stevens & Rho Sandberg (Australia): What does effective allyship look like?

Nyaal meeting room (L2)
13.30Parallel Sessions:
- Kathryn Sullivan & Angela Rodaughan (Australia): Acknowledgment of Country
- Kiri Tawhai, Joel McGuinness & Gerard Black (Australia): Embedding cultural ways of knowing & doing into re-imagined project design
- Pheonix Alexander (Australia): Winanga-li: Lateral thinking – balancing cultural contexts and bureaucracy
- Brian Stevens & Rho Sandberg (Australia): What does effective allyship look like?

Nyaal meeting Room (L2)
14.45Afternoon BreakWURDI YOUANG
15.20Arts-based experience connecting to sense of place: Wayapa Wuurrk as a way of being, offers a fresh lens through exploration of
natures’ elements and appreciation of ancestral wisdom and their ways of
living in harmony with nature
16.00Yarning CirclesWURDI YOUANG
17.00IODA Members Meeting
- New initiatives
- 2024 Budget Adjourn
19.00Casual drinks & dinnerTBC

Saturday September 9: Day 3

Hosts: Kaliopi Tsousis & Rod Barnett
8.30Conference venue opensWURDI YOUANG (L5)
9.00Parallel sessions
9.15Parallel Sessions:
- Marrisa Fernando & Kitikorn Dowpiset (Thailand): Generative Conversations on the Future of OD Education
- Radhika Subramanian & Soumya (India): OD & Me
- Brent Oberholzer & Heidi Feickert (USA / Spain): Will your organizational development skills be relevant in 2030?
- Monica Leon, Peter Aughton & Alidad Hominid (New Zealand): Empowering Work Environments: Contextual Designs that Leverage New Technology & Minimise Worker Displacement

Nyaal meeting room (L2)
11.00Morning BreakBalcony (L5)
11.30Casey Kaminskyj (Australia): Leading a growing community organisation, progressing a corporate career & becoming a parentWURDI YOUANG
12.30Gold Sponsor PresentationWURDI YOUANG
12.35Conference 2024 – An invitation to Mexico 2024WURDI YOUANG
13.50Parallel Sessions:
- Lucille Greeff (South Africa): Regulating heat in support of leader & systems maturation
- Jim Maddox (USA): Embracing resistance to change - exploring cross cultural differences around the construct of resistance
- Tariqul Kabir (Bangladesh): Integrating OD at a community level to facilitate the innovation of household silos to prevent post-disaster crisis

Nyaal meeting room (L2)
15.50Awards: The Saul A. Silverman & Richard Beckhard Awards WURDI YOUANG
16.15Closing connections & reflectionsWURDI YOUANG
17.00Conference ends
Post-conference drinksTBC



TOPIC: A case study of an organization Needing to evolve in the face of intense competition and how a CEO & OD Leader worked together to design and execute a plan THAT delivered exceptional results

GMHBA is an Australian health insurance and healthcare company providing services to 330,000 Australians since 1934 from its base in Geelong. It’s a not-for-profit, 100% member-based organization and is an active contributor in building the health and wellbeing of communities.

GMHBA is strongly values-based: “Bring your best and strive for better; we’re present and bring our best every day; we help others to be remarkable; we’re curious about and open to change; we’re passionate about always improving; we celebrate success and embrace learnings“.

During their presentation, David and Kate will share the story of the challenges their business was facing, and how they worked closely together in response. They will share what they did, how it worked and give insight into the metrics they use to understand how their actions are working

Christopher “CJ” Gross | TEDx Speaker, DEI OD Consultant & Author

TOPIC: Navigating the intersection of class-bias and racial disparity to drive positive change in organizations

CJ’ is the author of “What’s Your Zip Code Story” and will share his research findings to help clarify the intersection of class bias and racial disparity in the workplace.

CJ positions organizations with the knowledge to not only have productive discussions, but also adopt effective solutions. He instructs class-migrants —whether college students, recent graduates, or overlooked employees— on how to climb the career lattice and transform themselves from undervalued employees to respected leaders. His research tackles challenges that class-migrants encounter when navigating the workplace and provides operative practices that can be utilized to hone new professional skills and drive positive change in workplace culture. 

His presentation will inform OD practitioners on ways to support and inspire marginalized employees who are hungry for personal and professional growth, as well as give insight to business leaders seeking a new way to engage beyond their demography.

Casey Kaminskyj



Casey is an engaging and inspiring leader who brings energy and purpose to the many roles she holds in her life, and all from a regional base. We will hear about Casey’s journey so that we can consider the implications for OD and how our profession builds the scaffolding to support people like Casey to do what they do.

Casey is a transformational leader at Energy Australia, one of Australia’s largest energy companies. Among her many roles there, she headed up the substantial Geelong business which she built from the ground up to become an award-winning organisation.

Casey is also the Chairperson of Wombat’s Wish – a community focussed not-for-profit organization whose mission is to support children and young people after the death of their parent/carer. Under Casey’s strategic Board leadership, this regionally-based organization has grown substantially to provide critical services across the entire State.

Joan Lurie | Founder & CEO, strategy & leadership development consultant

Topic: Organisations as an ecology and the need to develop ourselves as organisational ecologists

Joan Lurie is the Founder and CEO of Orgonomics, an organisation strategy and leadership development consultancy she established in 2008 to help leaders and organisations develop, perform and transform. 

She is a Fulbright Scholar with a Master’s Degree in Adult Education and a Master’s Degree in Developmental Psychology.

Joan works with boards, executives and leadership teams to help them to develop systemic intelligence and to design and lead complex adaptive change in their organisations with turnaround results. Working together new cultures, operating models and organisational forms emerge. 


MIchelle De Bruyn | south africa

TOPIC: People, place and pivots - Lessons & questions from South Africa’s City Economic Development Managers' Forum

Case Study: The session will have an interactive format of sharing the case study of the South African City Economic Development Managers’ Forum and its co-design and facilitation through storytelling and images, as well as participants discussing questions of how this could inform their work and the role of OD in helping cities and their people to pivot.  

This session will provide an opportunity to explore what role OD can play in supporting cities and their people to pivot.

Jen Wilson

jen wilson | USA

TOPIC: Investigating Your Immunity to Change: Self-work for OD Use of Self

Experiential Workshop: Have you ever signed up for a training but were too busy to go? Paid good money for a gym membership that you used three times? Even when we deeply desire a change that will make our life and work significantly better, we often don’t follow through. We may conclude that we lack willpower or discipline, but what if something else is happening?

Developed by Robert Keegan and Lisa Lahey of Harvard University, Immunity to Change mapmaking is a powerful diagnostic tool that reveals what’s really going on in our hearts and minds in the face of change. This “x-ray view” of our inner world empowers us to move beyond our current limitations to an expanded way of being. Join me for this highly interactive session to create your Immunity to Change map and see what’s possible.

dr. Tariqul kabir | bangladesh

TOPIC: Integrating OD at a Community Level to facilitate the Innovation of Household Silos to prevent post-disaster crisis

Workshop & Case Study: During one of the last Cyclones and Floods in Blangladesh, people ran to shelter leaving behind all their belongings. When they returned, in most cases, there was nothing left and their only solution was to wait for the rescue people to bring food, clothing, as well as seeds for cultivation. 

We will present an innovative project that was implemented in Bangladesh which distributed Household Silos to more than 26.000 flood-affected people. After one year of distribution, a yearly evaluation was conducted which found that 100% of respondents found the Household silos very useful as all of them were able to store seeds and foods during a disaster. In 2014, the World Bank and Government of Bangladesh designed another project called Modern Food Storage Facilities Project (MFSP) and included the distribution of household silos among 500.000 beneficiaries.

PROf. dr. brent oberholzer | spain
Heidi Feickert | USA

TOPIC: Will your organizational development skills be relevant in 2030?

Case Study: You’ve probably heard the research that 85% of the jobs needed in 2030 don’t exist yet. If that statistic doesn’t make you revise and revisit your organization development practice and your recommendations to clients, it should. The challenge everyone faces: how am I relevant in 2030?

  1. Where are the changes
  2. Where is the consistency
  3. What tools help you advise clients

Based on our work, we will offer you our case studies and current best practices.

Jim Maddox-modified


Topic: Embracing Resistance to Change - Exploring cross cultural differences around the construct of resistance

Workshop: Utilizing a World Café format, Participants will explore the construct of resistance cross culturally, using the Change Resistance Paradox Model.  The model is designed to leverage positive resistance. Participants will collaborate to explore how the model might aid in their own OD and change facilitation efforts.

Participants will be encouraged to explore how the information and ideas generated from this interactive workshop could result in collaboratively coauthoring a publication(s) in a relevant OD related journal.


Topic: Regulating heat in support of leader & systems maturation

Workshop: This interactive and experiential session invites practitioners to explore and experiment with the use of “heat experiences” to support development and transformation. The session will explore this through the questions:

What is leader and systems maturation and why is it important? What are heat experiences and how do they support maturation? How do we work contextually with heat experiences? How do we design for heat in an ethical and trauma-informed way? What works and what doesn’t work? 

The session will include mini heat experiences to participate in as well as a design exercise to ensure application of learning.

Radhika Subramanian | INDIA
Soumya | INDIA


Workshop: What makes us, us? What or who has shaped us into the people we are today? Deep down, what do we truly care about? These questions come up often but get only a brief nod of acknowledgement from us, if at all.

As OD practitioners and change leaders in our organizations and communities of influence, we recognize how vital it is to have time to reflect deeply. We also appreciate how difficult this time is, to come by. Through “OD & Me” you can engage with yourself and others on the questions that matter, without the familiar networking labels of titles, designations or roles: as individuals who care about who they are and what they do.

“OD & Me” is an experience designed to find ways to connect with and honor what makes us, us.

Brian Rho-modified

Brian Stevens | Australia
Rho Sandberg | Australia

TOPIC: Becoming an Effective ally

Workshop: What does it mean to be an effective ally for First Nations peoples, people of color and members of diverse and often marginalised communities? 

There is significant work to be done in achieving justice, equity, diversity and inclusion in our workplaces and society more broadly. Too often this work is seen as the task of those who suffer most from the legacy of historical events and present-day inequities. It’s up to all of us to step up, if we are to achieve sustainable change in workplaces and societies. Yet, while many of us are willing, we are unsure of how to effectively partner for change. 

This session, led by Brian, an expert in shaping government policy with a focus on health, arts and culture including Native Title, Aboriginal leadership and economic development, as well as Rho, a coach on the Barring Djinang Aboriginal Leadership development program and co-founder of the Global Coaching Institute, is designed to build awareness and some of the skills needed to become effective allies to First Nations’ leaders and colleagues and members of diverse and marginalised communities. It offers a safe place in which to learn, to put your questions on the table and begin to trust your own capacity to partner for change. We will explore unconscious relationship patterns, issues of power and rank and white fragility, as well as practical strategies for being an effective though imperfect ally. We will highlight the importance of humility and a willingness to learn and persevere despite our uncertainty and fears.

Pheonix Alexander | Australia

TOPIC: Winanga-li: Lateral thinking – balancing cultural contexts and bureaucracy

Workshop: This will be a conversational session inviting participants to engage an open thought experiment. 

We will analize the common barriers organisations and governments experience engaging with marginalised communities. We’ll lean on cultural experience and lateral thinking to address barriers within the context of an organisation, and we’ll look at the art of balancing meaningful engagement and the authority of an organisation’s role in the community.

Kathryn Sullivan | Australia

TOPICS: 1. Acknowledgment of Country 2. Reconciliation Action Plans: Tokenism or Meaningful?

1. Workshop: Acknowledgement of Country is an ancient protocol adapted for contemporary Australian settings – with mixed success. In this practical and creative workshop, participants are invited to explore their own relationship to land and develop their own rich and meaningful Acknowledgement to Country. This sessions aims to be a space of learning and empowerment for all participants.  

2. Reconciliation Actions Plans (RAP) are one of Australia’s foremost methods of creating cultural change within organisations. In this session, we question what it means to take your organisation on the reconciliation journey.  We explore the strengths and limitations of RAPs and different processes of engendering deep organisational change. Attendees will reflect on ways in which we can disrupt colonial patterns of engagement, project design and evaluation.  
Tiffany Gray-modified



Workshop: The world has always evolved, and continues to do so, but what sets AI apart from other changes we’ve experienced? Could AI serve as a facilitator, taking over routine tasks and allowing organizational development leaders the freedom to focus on elevating and leading? Could it provide the opportunity to hone in on coaching and nurturing the human elements of our professional and personal lives? The introduction of AI into our systems could very well be the catalyst we need to spur growth and foster the human touch in our work environment. Let’s explore what could be lost, what could be gained and how we can use AI to shape the future of organisational development.

This session underscores a vital paradigm shift: the essence of AI lies not in the sophistication of the technology itself, but in the impactful outcomes it can be used to facilitate.

AI, as a tool, is impressive. However, its real significance emerges when its capabilities are leveraged to catalyse transformation, drive performance, and enhance strategic decision-making within organisations. The ultimate worth of AI is encapsulated in its ability to enable organizations to achieve their goals more effectively and efficiently. Whether it’s automating mundane tasks to free up human talent, analysing vast amounts of data for actionable insights, or predicting market trends to inform business strategies, AI can serve as a powerful ally.

Angela Rodaughan | Australia

TOPIC: How Are We Creating Cultural & Psychological Safety


TOPIC: Embedding cultural ways of knowing & doing into re-imagined project design


More to come

More to come


Panel 1: Australia At the Cross-Roads: Truth, Treaty & Voice

Australia is at a pivotal point in history, and leaders, organisations and individuals are grappling with what it means to recognise our past, improve workplace practices and develop integrity as a nation.  As Australia engages in a process of truth-telling and reconciliation, organisations are being asked to review the legacy of past harms and examine the impact of current organisational policies, assumptions and practices on Indigenous Australians. In this forum we hear diverse Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal perspectives on the process of change – and the opportunity, challenges and cultural burden experienced – by individuals, leaders and organisations. This dialogue highlights the nuance of truth-telling, and the deep self-reflection and courage required to achieve system change.

Presenter Profiles  

Phoenix Alexander
Phoenix is Kamilaroi/Gabbi-Gabbi man living on Wadawurrung Country. He works in WorkSafe Victoria’s Worker Interventions program within the Strategy Preventions division. His work involves designing tailored approaches to OHS education and harm prevention that focuses on the intersectional factors of a worker that heighten their risk to OHS harm.

Kiri Tawhai
Kiri is a proud Noongar, Ngapuhi and NgatiTuwharetoa woman who grew up on Ngaaluma Country – northwest Australia. She has lived and worked on Wadawurrung Country since 2016 and has worked for many years in partnerships, program development and caring for Country, with a passion for sharing her Cultural Knowledge.

Kathryn Sullivan 
Kathryn is a Gundungurra decendent, born and raised on Wurundjeri Country. She has a Masters of Social Work and is currently Project Lead at Monash Health in the Aboriginal Health and Engagement team where she works to improve health and employment inequalities. 

Angela Rodaughan
Angela is a Jadawa woman living on Wadawurrung Country.   She works at Worksafe Victoria in the WorkWell Program developing an online mental health toolkit to create mentally healthy workplaces for businesses in Victoria.  She brings a keen interest to the correlation between cultural safety and psychological safety.  Angela is a graduate of the Barring Djinang Leadership Program.


Parallel 2: Embedding Cultural Ways of Knowing & Doing into Re-imagining Project Design

Join us for a captivating panel session as we delve into the transformative journey of the Geelong Arts Centre Little Malop Street Redevelopment.
This session will focus on the collaborative process of co-design and explore the integration of specially commissioned artworks within the building’s spaces. Joel McGuinness, CEO and Creative Director of the Arts Centre, alongside Gerard Black, a Worimi man from the mid north coast of NSW,who grew up on Wadawarrung Country in Torquay Victoria, and Kiri Tawhai, an artist mentor of Noongar, NgaPuhi and NgatiTuwharetoa heritage and currently resides on Wadawurrung country. 
During this discussion, we will dive into the dynamic and enriching co-design process, unveiling the profound impact it has on fostering cultural expression, community engagement, and artistic innovation. Discover how the convergence of diverse perspectives and creative expertise creates an environment that celebrates First Nations art and culture, enhancing the vibrant tapestry of the Geelong Arts Centre. Don’t miss this insightful session as we explore the intersection of art, community, and co-design, igniting inspiration and envisioning a future where collaboration yields extraordinary results.