The AFIA Conference Program



Registration & Coffee

9.00 AM 

Welcome & Acknowledgement
to Country
Diane Tate, CEO, AFIA

9.05 AM 

Opening Address
Peter Jones, Chair & DianeTate, CEO, AFIA

9.20 AM

Be Prepared for a New Approach
Joanna Bird, Executive Director, Financial Services & Wealth, ASIC

Our environment is clearly changing rapidly. How financial services businesses operate, what customers expect of the industry, the fast pace of technology advancement, and the more sophisticated use of data and data-driven decision-making has led to financial regulators adapting and changing priorities to meet the challenges the industry now faces. ASIC is committed to using its full suite of powers and regulatory tools to enhance trust in the financial system and protect consumers and investors from harm.

In this session, Joanna Bird, ASIC Executive Director, Financial Services & Wealth, will explore ASIC’s regulatory and enforcement priorities, and a range of timely financial services-related topics including updates on Design and Distribution Obligations, reportable situations (formerly breach reporting), cybersecurity and scams, and the use of behavioural economics in today’s regulatory work.

9.50 AM

The Sustainability Agenda
Facilitator: Katherine McConnell,
Founder & CEO, Brighte
David Jenkins, Global Head of Sustainable Finance, NAB
Sharanjit Paddam, Principal, Climate
& ESG Risk, Finity
Matthew Beattie, CEO, Sixt

One of the most significant developments across Australian financial services over the past year has been the rapid adoption of green and sustainable financing products. This uptake is driven by a broader focus on the industry’s environmental and social considerations, and how businesses are incorporating these principles into their mainstream decision-making to support the transition to a low-carbon economy

This session will bring together some of the industry’s leading sustainability experts to examine the latest financial services-related developments in tackling Australia’s climate agenda. The panel will explore recent trends and observations around sustainable finance, from investment opportunities and operational challenges, to supply chain risks, taxonomy, climate-related disclosures and reporting, regulatory updates, and current industry initiatives and roadmaps.

10.30 AM

Morning Tea & Exhibitor showcase

Networking break and exhibitor showcase:

11.05 AM

Leading in the Age of Digitisation
Michele Bullock, Deputy Governor, RBA

The pace of innovation in the Australian financial services industry is gaining momentum, with recent advances in technology such as mobile wallets, crypto-assets, stablecoins and decentralised finance providing the potential for financial services and products to be delivered in a very different way. Supporting the evolution of these payments is one of the six strategic focus areas in the Reserve Banks of Australia’s (RBA) strategic plan, with the Bank recognising the need for regulatory frameworks to be sufficiently flexible and forward-looking to deal with innovations in financial services.

In her keynote address, Michele Bullock, RBA Deputy Governor will discuss current RBA priorities, initiatives, and forecasts arising from the transformation of financial markets through the digitisation of money, assets and payment platforms, as well as the regulatory considerations associated with these developments.

11.35 AM

New Measures for a New Economy
Hon Stephen Jones MP, Assistant Treasurer & Minister for Financial Services

Hon Stephen Jones MP began his political career in 2010 and has held positions in regional development and infrastructure, health, regional communications and services before becoming Shadow Assistant Treasurer and Shadow Minister for Financial Services and Financial Services and Superannuation.

In his address, Minister Jones will discuss the priorities for the Albanese Government, including completing the recommendations of the Financial Services Royal Commission, implementing changes to regulation of credit and payments, and giving attention to vulnerable customers as cost of living pressures intensify for many Australians.

12.05 PM

Leading in a Different Way
Lisa Sthalekar, Australian cricket
commentator & former captain of Australia's international women's cricket team

Lisa Sthalekar’s journey from an orphanage in Pune to captaining the Australian women's cricket team is nothing short of remarkable. As one of Australia's most influential and inspirational cricketers – Lisa is the highest all-time wicket-taker in the Women's National Cricket League, along with being the most capped player in the competition.

Lisa became the first woman to be appointed to the Australian Cricketers' Association Executive in 2011 and in 2015, became one of the four female commentators in the Indian Premier League. She was inducted into the ICC’s Hall of Fame in 2020 and in 2022 was appointed President of the Federation of International Cricketers Association, becoming the first woman in history to hold the position. 

In her keynote session, Lisa will discuss mastering leadership on and off the field, how leadership in sports translates to the wider world, her influence on the women's game and her ability to rise up from adversity.

12.45 PM

Brought to you by our Networking Partner, CreditorWatch

1.50 PM

The AI Playbook
Facilitator: Anna Fitzgerald, Executive
Director, Communications & Strategy, AFIA
Therese McCarthy Hockey, Executive Director Banking, APRA
Dr Shai Haim, Chief Technology Officer, Prospa
Soumith Rao, FSI CTO, Microsoft

Artificial intelligence (AI) AI has revolutionised the finance industry. It transforms the way people interact with money, streamlines and optimises processes ranging from credit decisions to fraud and financial risk management, and creates new ways to meet the customer demands for smarter, safer and more convenient ways to access, spend, save and invest.

Despite the potential value unlocked by AI-powered technologies, factors like data silos, compliance, ethics and security concerns can create roadblocks to AI initiatives.

In this session, our expert panel will explore the opportunities and challenges of AI, new operating models, new market structures and regulatory challenges and new societal challenges; how financial organisations can ensure the responsible use of AI.

2.45 PM

Reimagining Money
Facilitator: Roza Lozusic, Executive Director Policy & Strategy, AFIA
Dr Scott Farrell, Chair of The Treasury Review into the Australian
Payments System
Christian Westerlind Wigstrom,
Co-Founder & CEO, Monoova

Money is evolving – both what it is and how we use it. Cash is giving way to crypto, direct entry to a disintermediated payments ecosystem. Will central banks and governments resist new financial technologies, passively accept private sector innovation, or embrace new technologies themselves?

Hear our experts discuss existing and emerging forms of money, the challenges with the rise of new payment technologies, and how this may affect the very nature of money.

3.10 PM

The Times Ahead
The Hon Stuart Robert MP, Shadow Minister for Financial Services &
Shadow Assistant Treasurer

With a political career spanning 15 years, Hon Stuart Robert MP has been the minister for a diverse range of portfolios, including defence, human services, employment and the National Disability Insurance Scheme. He returns to the finance team, having been the Assistant Treasurer in the Morrison Government.

In his session, The Times Ahead, Shadow Minister Robert will share insights and perspectives on the policy changes ahead to grapple with the impacts of rising interest rates, higher inflation, disruption to supply chains and staffing shortages as well as to leverage the opportunities for Australia to rebuild our economy.

3.40 PM

Afternoon Tea & Exhibitor showcase

Networking break and exhibitor showcase:

4.05 PM

Redefining Relationships in a Digital World
Facilitator: Cameron Poolman, CEO,
OnDeck Australia
Suanne Russell, Lead Ombudsman
Small Business & Transactions, AFCA
Lisa Frazier, COO, Judo Bank

The SME sector is fast-growing, dynamic and critical to the growth of the Australian financial services industry - presenting many opportunities for the economy and society. However, the environment remains challenging and uncertain with many SMEs continuing to face the devastating impacts of the COVID-19 global pandemic, disruptions to supply chains, staff shortages, and a raft of obstacles to accessing funds.

In this session, our panel will explore the ever-evolving challenges facing small businesses, the latest small business trends and opportunities for growth across the SME sector.

4.40 PM

Thinking Differently
Gus Balbontin, Former Executive at Lonely Planet & alternative futurist

Born and bred in wild Patagonia, Gus never allowed his small town and humble beginnings get in the way of his big dreams. By the age of 22, he had dropped out of uni, hitchhiked South America, set up his first business and landed his dream job at Lonely Planet. Fast forward a few years and he was leading the company globally working with companies such as Google X, Nokia and Amazon on the latest technology, creative cultures and high performing teams. 

In his keynote session, Gus will take you behind the scenes to understand what companies did right and wrong during the decades of unparalleled change, he will explore lessons for business  facing the digital revolution and his counterintuitive way of looking at the world to motivate attendees to do things differently.

5.20 PM

The Late Tate Show
Facilitator: Diane Tate, CEO

AFIA Member hot seat

5.40 PM

What's Next & Close
Diane Tate, CEO, AFIA

5.45 PM

Canapes & drinks on the Deck
Brought to you by our Networking Partner, CreditorWatch

6.30 PM

The Affie Awards
See here for further details.