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Keynote Speakers


Thursday, 15 June

Thriving in a competitive environment - Rod McGeoch

Rod McGeoch may have risen to prominence as the leader of Sydney's successful Olympics 2000 bid, but he has long had a remarkable career at the forefront of business, sports administration and the legal profession. In fact, he has been described as one of Australasia's most influential directors.

His appointments include Chairman of BGP Holdings Plc in both Malta and Luxembourg, Chairman of Vantage Private Equity Growth Limited, Director of Ramsay Health Care Limited and Group Board of Corporation America. He is a member of the Board of Destination NSW, Deputy Chairman of Sydney Cricket Ground Trust and past chairman of Corrs Chambers Westgarth, one of Australia's largest law firms. Rod's keynote session is sponsored by BCB.

Friday, 16 June

National Property Report - Michael Matusik

Michael Matusik is a leader in residential market analysis and urban investigations in Australia. He is one of Australia’s foremost property experts and is considered a thought leader in the Australian housing industry. A 30 year industry veteran, Michael provides a voice of reason within the ever-changing property industry. Michael helps bridge the gap between property spruik and reality. His property advisory firm is based in Brisbane, and provides market analysis, project advice and support services for select residential property. Michael's keynote session is sponsored by Strata Community Insurance.


Conference Speakers: Highlights

Leading on the edge - Rachael Robertson

Rachael Robertson (CSP, MBA) is a former Antarctic expedition leader, Chief Ranger and leader with 20 years of ‘extreme’ leadership experience. She is a best-selling author and leadership guru whose talents are in great demand from leading organisations around the globe.

As only the second female to lead a team to Davis Station in Antarctica she managed a diverse group of up to 120 people, through total isolation, months of darkness, with no way in and no way out. It was a leadership laboratory in the most extreme and hostile environment on Earth, where most of the theory doesn’t apply.

It was a ‘leadership laboratory’ in the most extreme workplace on Earth. In Antarctica she built a resilient and highly successful team based on the foundation that ‘respect trumps harmony’. Prior to leading the expedition Rachael had 16 years experience in a variety of senior operational roles in complex and challenging environments.

Since returning to Australia, Rachael has completed her MBA, written a best-selling book on her experience, Leading on the Edge, and has presented at over 700 conferences and events around the world. Rachael presents with great humour, humility and passion. Rachael will leave you feeling inspired, challenged and equipped to take the next step in their leadership journey. Rachael's conference session is sponsored by StrataMax.

Conference host - James Mathison

James Mathison is best known for his mix of pop culture knowledge, razor wit and laid back style. He's a popular TV presenter, producer, radio host and occasional political agitator. James has worked in media for over 16 years and you may have seen him on TV on shows such as Channel V, Australian Idol, The Project, ARIA awards and The Celebrity Apprentice.

Politically minded, Mathison ran in the 2016 federal election against Tony Abbott and helped give a voice to a generation he feels is being left out of the process.He is an ardent environmental campaigner and as a Barnardos ambassador is passionate about helping disadvantaged youth. We are looking forward to having James as our conference host, who will keep things entertaining and full of humour.

Does discrimination apply to strata schemes? - Dr Cathy Sherry, Dr Cathy Sherry, Associate Professor, UNSW Law

At the moment, Australian law is extremely unclear about the application of discrimination legislation to strata schemes. Prima facie, discrimination law does not apply to strata by-laws, as they are private property (eg it is not illegal to refuse to allow someone’s guide dog into your home – it’s not nice, but it is not illegal, because discrimination law does not apply to private homes).  Strata schemes are private property and so are technically no different to private homes. However, there are some Queensland cases that say that bodies corporate provide ‘goods and services’. It is illegal to discriminate in the provision of ‘goods and services’ in all states in Australia. The biggest difficulty strata schemes will face in the future is age discrimination; that is, the question of whether they need to do minor or major retrofits of common property to make it more accessible to older residents.

New South Wales also has a new provision that by-laws cannot be ‘harsh, unconscionable or oppressive’. This is a judgement call, and will capture by-laws that would not be illegal discrimination. Other states have prohibitions on by-laws that are ‘unreasonable’. This is also a difficult judgement call.

Improving the environmental and cost efficiency of Australian apartment buildings - Kimberly Crawford, City of Sydney and Claire Berecry, NABERS

Strata buildings are one of the largest and fastest growing parts of the property sector and over the life of an apartment building, it will consume large amounts of energy and water providing the services residents need, like electricity and hot water. But finding reliable information on exactly how much energy and water a building uses, and what options there are for improvement is a real challenge for the apartment buildings sector.

There is currently no way to reliably measure the efficiency of an apartment building to know how resourceful it is, whether the consumption is high, low or in the middle and how it compares to others in the state, or even in Australia. But this will change with a new rating for apartment buildings which is currently being developed. The National Australian Built Environment Rating System, or NABERS, is a government program that provides operational performance ratings for buildings.


Please note: Saroo Brierley has unfortunately cancelled his session at our event due to unforeseen circumstances.