A number of inspiring speakers from Australia and beyond have signed on to share their insights with our delegates. We are excited to hear about their innovations and transformations in relation to:

  • Belonging and inclusion in achieving outcomes
  • Embracing opportunities to thrive during change
  • Collaborating to enhance policy and practice.

Information about our speakers will be added to this page as the Conference approaches.

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Master of Ceremonies

Ms Karen Tighe

Ms Tighe is an outstanding broadcaster, who is equally at home calling sport as she is on stage hosting or speaking at an event or conference. She is the anchor of the ABC Radio Grandstand sports program.

Ms Tighe has also hosted many of ABC Television’s major sports broadcasts, including four Paralympic Games, ABC Sports Awards nights, golf and the Hopman Cup tennis.

She was the Master of Ceremonies at the 2015 and 2019 WorkCover WA Conference and we are delighted to welcome her back.

Keynote speakers

Matina Jewell

Matina Jewell is a transformative leader providing life-changing perspective from the front-line of leadership, resilience and change.

Matina earned her military accolades in some of the toughest environments on Earth. Her courageous decision-making, dutiful leadership style and purpose driven approach to building resilience in teams to thrive through change continues to be transformative for leading organisations, globally.

Matina has been a Prime Ministerial advisor and remains highly sought-after as a leadership strategist and an in-demand international keynote speaker for over a decade.

Major Matina Jewell (Retired) CSP is leadership in action.

Julian Pace

In 2017, Julian Pace founded Happiness Co with the mission to impact 10 million lives in 10 years. Although happiness is at the core of what he does, Julian faced a hard period before founding Happiness Co. He tragically lost his father and best friend – both taking their own lives.

Turning his pain into purpose, he decided it would be his life mission to help people and support their mental health and happiness journey.

As CEO and Founder of Happiness Co, Julian is becoming the leading voice for happiness and in 2019 was the 40-under-40 winner.

Program speakers

Marion Fulker

Marion Fulker is the CEO of the Committee for Perth and an Adjunct Senior Research Fellow at The University of Western Australia. She has an MBA from Curtin University and an MSc in Cities from London School of Economics and Politics.

In her role at the Committee, Marion has overseen the development of 140+ pieces of research to understand Greater Perth’s opportunities and challenges. Her own research has examined almost 40 cities in the developed world to understand what Perth can learn about governance; reconciliation; mobility; gender inequality; economic diversity; planning and development; infrastructure; and vibrancy.

Samantha Acopian - GIO

Samantha Acopian has 7+ years in Value-Based Care Research and design, Patient Preference in Pharmaceuticals, Health Insurance and Personal Injury Insurance. More recently, Samantha has leveraged her experience and expertise in Evidence-Based Medicine, Patient-Reported Outcome Measures (PROMs) and Value-based Care (VBC) to design and implement innovative medical initiatives to support our customers throughout their claims and return them to work and life as quickly as possible. Samantha is also a non-executive director for a not-for-profit (South West Community Transport) and is currently a PhD student at the University of Sydney. Her PhD investigates the future of Patient-Reported Outcome Measures and Value-Based Care and its impact on the triple P dynamic (Patients, Payers and Providers) in the private healthcare system.

Chris Rymer - QBE

Chris is an Exercise Physiologist with over 15 years of compensation industry experience working across clinical and insurer settings. He has a passion for innovation in healthcare in compensation schemes and how insurers can play an active role in improving recovery outcomes. His vision is to change how healthcare services are delivered in compensation schemes for the better.

Marc McLennan - CGU

Marc McLennan is the national injury management team lead for CGU Workers Compensation. He is a Registered Psychologist who holds a master’s degree in Organisational Psychology. Marc has over 12 years of experience in Workers’ Compensation in national claims and operational roles. He is passionate about the positive influence that insurers can have in assisting injured workers to achieve optimal health and return to work

David Bacon

David Bacon is the GM of People Risk Claims at QBE. David and his team approach this work by focusing on helping people bring their lives back together after an injury. The key to this is being good people supported by science and analytics. Their work is done in collaboration with various progressive healthcare, analytics, technology, and academic partners.

David originally trained as an occupational therapist (now reformed) and worked in community private practice for six years early in his career, followed by some time in academia and research. He has worked in compensation insurers for the last 18 years managing risk, actuarial, research, claims, and healthcare functions. He has a pervasive dissatisfaction with the way things are, and you can expect some friendly provocation during this session.

Amanda England - WorkFocus Australia

Amanda England is a qualified psychologist and CGU’s National Account Manager with extensive experience in the Worker’s compensation schemes across various insurers and legislations.

An experienced Rehabilitation Consultant, Amanda works closely with her clients in Vocational Assessments, capacity to earn assessments, and Psychological Injury Management. Starting with WorkFocus Australia as a fresh graduate, she quickly found her feet, moving into a leadership role in 2010 as Business Manager of the Western Australia team

Following maternity leave, Amanda returned in a National Account Manager role, spending the last ten years building a wealth of knowledge and a continuous partnership with her clients. She has been instrumental in ensuring above industry panel performance.

Dr Peter Connaughton

Dr Peter Connaughton is a past president of the Australasian Faculty of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (AFOEM), and he is the current secretary of the International Occupational Medicine Society Collaborative (IOMSC). He is an occupational physician consulting in the resource sector in WA, and an Adjunct Associate Professor at the School of Medicine, the University of Notre Dame, Fremantle. Peter trained in occupational medicine at the Institute of Occupational Medicine in Edinburgh and has an MBA from the University of WA. His special interests include the implementation of best practices in occupational medicine and building international collaborations for advancing occupational health globally.

Renee Thornton

Renee joined Rehab Management as an experienced Occupational Therapist. She has over 15 years of specific experience in Occupational Rehabilitation, including workplace rehabilitation consulting, National Account and Operational Management. In her role as General Manager, she coaches and mentors the teams to ensure the best outcomes for clients in our return to work and life services.

James Cairns

James has been with Allianz for 13 years and is currently responsible for leading the growth of services and capacity in personal injury and social insurance in Australia. In his 23-year career, he has held several senior positions in personal injury insurance, including business development, client engagement, rehabilitation and claims across both Workers’ Compensation and Life Insurance.

James is passionate about delivering strategic and innovative service delivery solutions to support performance improvement for our customers.

Robb Moffat

National Operations Manager

IPAR Rehabilitation

Robb has over 29 years of experience in the Workers’ Compensation Industry, with exposure and management across all Workers’ Compensation Risk States in Australia. During this time, Robb has held several state and regional roles with large insurers, focusing on claims, underwriting, portfolio and operational management.

More recently, Robb has been focusing on the Workplace Vocational Rehabilitation Industry with National Operational and Management responsibilities. With his extensive experience and exposure across several industries and markets, Robb has a proven understanding and insight into the needs of all Key Stakeholders across the Workers’ Compensation Schemes.

Noel Catchpole

Noel Catchpole is the Western Region Manager for Allianz Australia Limited. He is responsible for managing the Workers’ Compensation portfolio in Western Australia and the Northern Territory with oversight concerning Claims, Underwriting, Sales & Distribution.

With over 40 years of insurance experience, Noel has undertaken various Workers’ Compensation roles, starting out as a Case Manager. He has worked for a prominent local law firm in WA and a quasi-national law firm headquartered in NSW.

Noel was also engaged to undertake advocate services within the WorkCover WA jurisdiction. Presently Noel is the ICA Chair of the joint ICA/WorkCover WA committee.

Julie Mitchell

Julie Mitchell is the Chief General Manager Personal Injury and is responsible for personal injury lines CTP, Life and Workers Compensation for Allianz Australia.

Across a 21-year career at Allianz, Julie has held a number of key leadership roles, including Chief General Manager Workers Compensation, General Manager of Victoria and the NSW
Treasury Managed Fund (TMF) businesses.

Julie has over 24 years of insurance industry experience across workplace injury, claims and operational management. Before joining Allianz, Julie held roles at WorkCover NSW and has also spent a number of years within the occupational rehabilitation industry.

Julie holds a Bachelor of Health Science (Rehabilitation Counselling) degree from the University of Sydney and a Graduate Diploma of Safety Science from the University of New South Wales.

Meet and Greet

Josh Kennedy

Josh Kennedy is a professional Australian football player who currently plays for the West Coast Eagles. He is renowned in the west for his impeccable marking and ability to kick goals from around the ground. Josh played his 250th game in 2020 and is recognised as one of the most dangerous forwards of this era. He achieved two Coleman Medal Awards (2015 and 2016) and was nominated for three All-Australian teams (2015 – 2017). Josh is the all-time leading goal kicker in the club’s history. His incredible career so far was also topped with a premiership in 2018.

David Mundy

David Mundy is a professional AFL footballer who plays for Fremantle Dockers. He is a half-back flanker or midfielder and captained Fremantle during the 2016 AFL season.