25 years of ODA

ODA 25th Anniversary Conference

Our 25th Anniversary Conference will be a day to gather with colleagues from across Australia and beyond. We’re excited to be joined by great OD thinkers and practitioners including:

Kirk Docker, Interviewer, TV producer & co-creator of You Can’t Ask That

Dr Graham Curtis, Director of Learning and Research, Roffey Park Institute

Megumi Miki, Author and founder of Quietly Powerful

Shawn Callahan, Strategic storyteller and founder of Anecdote International

Kerryn Ellis, Chief Executive Officer, South Gippsland Shire Council

Michelle Jorgenson, Manager People & Culture, South Gippsland Shire Council

Sally Mussared, Chief Executive Officer of NIODA (National Institute of Organisation Dynamics Australia)

Details of the Conference


Friday, 26th July 2024


9 am – 5.15 pm

  • 9 am check-in
  • 9.30 am – 5.15 pm conference

5.30 pm post-conference drinks and canapes (at a nearby venue to be announced shortly)


Getting there

Tram: Route 48 and Route 11 (stop D18). This stop is within the ‘Free tram zone’ connecting Southern Cross Station and the city.

Train: Southern Cross station is ~500 meters walk to the Hub.

Car: There are a limited number of metered parking spaces in the area, primarily along Bourke and Collins streets.

There is limited parking at The Dock, so public transport is recommended

Program  Click here to view the program details

Ticket Price

Early bird prices extended to 15th May

ODA full member – $295 early bird ($350 full price)
ODA online member/IODA Member – $385 early bird ($440 full price)
Non-members – $440 early bird ($485 full price)

Our Presenters

Kirk Docker

Interviewer, TV producer & co-creator of You Can’t Ask That

Kirk Docker is one of Australia’s finest interviewers and storytellers. He is the co-creator and director of the ABC program You Can’t Ask That, now in its 7th season. The show has been awarded Rose d’Or, AACTA and Walkley awards and is the most successful format in ABC history, selling to 17 territories, and broadcast in 9 different languages worldwide.

When it comes to the content he creates, no subject is off-topic. Kirk’s interviewees range from ex-politicians to ice users to sexual assault survivors. He has a deep curiosity, compassion and playfulness that elicits honesty from his participants, many of whom have never sat in front of a camera before. Through thousands of hours of open dialogue, what’s become absolutely clear to Kirk is that every human, no matter what they believe or how high their stature, share a core value: the desire to be understood.

Through his show You Can’t Ask That, Kirk offers a window into the unheard stories of misunderstood and marginalised Australians. Each episode takes a group that lives with a label (Transgender, Suicide Attempt Survivors, Schizophrenia, etc.). Participants are courageous, as Kirk guides them through the often crudely honest questions submitted by the public. The show’s purpose is to help the audience move past the myths and fears associated with those labels and understand who these people truly are.

 “It sounds high-risk, and in the wrong hands it could be.” 
~David Anderson, Managing Director ABC

In 2009, Kirk landed a spot on the program Hungry Beast (ABC), under the wing of respected producer Andrew Denton. He then went on to create and produce shows Demolitan Man (A&E) and Hello Stranger (ABC). Through his work, Kirk has interviewed thousands of people. His portrayal of these people is geared to reveal the universality of humanity, without apology or sensationalism. Through this experience, he’s honed a range of techniques that allow him to communicate effectively and empathetically with any subject.


Dr Graham Curtis

Director of Operations – Roffey Park Institute 

Graham has over 25 years of experience, working in the UK and internationally. He has designed and led the delivery of global leadership and management development programmes in the UK, Nigeria, Kenya and Columbia aimed at supporting and challenging participants to reflect on their practice and their relationships with their teams. He has also led global transformation programmes, supporting organisations to deliver more distributed and diverse governance and leadership.

Graham’s approach to understanding the development needs of leaders and organisations was forged in his early career in operational leadership and management. Having completed his MSc in People and Organisational Development at Roffey Park in 2009 he went on to hold numerous senior roles, leading Organisational Development and Human Resource functions. More recently he completed the Doctor of Management Programme at the University of Hertfordshire, During his doctoral research he took up theories of complex responsive processes of relating to understand the role of the OD practitioner in organisational culture and change. Graham is a master practitioner of NLP and holds certification in several psychometric tools such as MBTI, FIRO-b and Wave.

Graham believes that great leadership is founded on developing our flexibility in response to dynamic and emergent situations through growing our curiosity, and our capability to reflect upon the contexts we find ourselves in and our relationships with those around us.


MegumiMegumi Miki

Megumi Miki is an international speaker, author, and consultant in leadership, culture and diversity and inclusion, with an earlier career experience in strategy, economics and finance.

She is best known for her book “Quietly Powerful: How Your Quiet Nature is Your Hidden Leadership Strength,” which challenges conventional assumptions about what it takes to be a successful leader. The book received the Australian Career Book Award for 2020 from RSA Oceania and Best Leadership Book of 2020 from the Australian Business Book Awards.

With clients ranging from multinationals, government agencies to smaller firms and not-for-profits, she supports clients to unleash their hidden talent and collective potential by examining their thinking and beliefs as well as providing practical strategies.


Shawn Callahan

Author and Founder of Anecdote 

Shawn Callahan is the author of the award-winning book ‘Putting Stories to Work’ and the Founder of Anecdote, the world’s largest business storytelling enterprise.

He started his career in tech with companies such as Oracle and IBM but realised, at the end of the day, it was the human factors that determined the success of any company.

In 2004 Shawn founded Anecdote, a firm that helps leaders and sellers find and tell compelling business stories.

He works with Global 1,000 companies such as Shell, Danone, Microsoft, TESCO, Allianz and Bayer all around the world.


Kerryn Ellis

Chief Executive Officer of South Gippsland Shire Council

Kerryn Ellis is a passionate public sector leader with over twenty-five years of experience, who is energised by working with communities in a context of rapid change.

Kerryn’s main professional love is building high performing, ethical and agile organisations with values-based leadership working in partnership to deliver great outcomes with the community.

Kerryn’s current role is Chief Executive Officer of South Gippsland Shire Council. Prior to this position, Kerryn held the positions of Director Corporate Services at Victoria’s Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission and Director Corporate Performance with the City of Greater Bendigo. Kerryn holds a Bachelor of Arts, a Master of Commerce and a Graduate Diploma of Public Policy and Management. Kerryn is an active board member of several for purpose organisations, and was recognised as one of the IPAA Top 50 Public Sector Women in 2021.


Michelle Jorgenson

Manager People & Culture, South Gippsland Shire Council

With over a decade of experience managing People and Culture functions and embedding a coaching and development culture within organisations, Michelle is known for her strengths in organisational development, team dynamics and her love of developing connected, high-performing teams and organisations. Starting her career in retail and operations, specialising in learning and development, Michelle then took a bold jump across to local government where she has spent close to 15 years developing relationships and expanding her knowledge in coaching, mentoring and leadership.

Michelle has spearheaded numerous initiatives aimed at improving employee engagement, fostering continuous growth & learning and embedding equity, inclusion and belonging within an organisation. Her strategic acumen and humanistic management style has earnt her a reputation as an adaptable, sought-after leader in the sector and beyond.



Sally Mussared

Chief Executive Officer of NIODA (National Institute of Organisation Dynamics Australia)

Sally Mussared is a systems psychodynamic practitioner with her professional raison d’etre to think differently, create possibilities, and change the world of work.

Sally has 30 years of diverse leadership experience including CEO of NIODA, founding a design business, environmental project management, academic and environmental board membership, design and construction management, retail management and youth support. Formal studies include a Master of Leadership and Management (Organisation Dynamics), Ecological Agriculture and a Bachelor of Arts (Fashion).

Sally is a proficient communicator with people from all walks of life; building effective working relationships. She thrives when collaborating and supporting staff, and believes an eagerness and curiosity to learn and grow can enable daily incremental improvements.



Kirk Docker – Deconstructing the barriers for effective dialogue

Kirk’s sessions reflect the deep experience he has developed through his work, interviewing thousands of people and having open, meaningful dialogue.  Kirk unpacks the processes and techniques of the interview to help his audience communicate more productively in the workplace and everyday life. His session will make us consider the purpose of our dialogue and instill the ability to ask high-level questions that lead to revelations and new understandings. At the heart of Kirk’s sessions is the ability to walk away with a repeatable tool and process – a system for deconstructing the barriers for effective dialogue.

Dr Graham Curtis – OD and Change Agenda 2024 survey

We’re partnering with Roffey Park Institute to bring you the results of their OD and Change Agenda 2024 survey.

This survey marks a significant milestone in Roffey Park’s research-led pursuit of understanding the intricacies of organisational resilience, healthy work practices and effective evaluation strategies. It aims to help us understand current trends, challenges and opportunities in the field, ultimately enabling us to develop more targeted and effective strategies and solutions.

Dr Graham Curtis will share the findings of the survey, both Australia and globally, and lead us in an exploration of about what they mean for Australian OD practitioners.

Concurrent sessions

Megumi Miki – Rethink leadership talent

Why you may be losing your best and diverse leadership talent and what it’s costing your organisation

Have you noticed the repeated patterns of the following organisational challenges?

  • Media news of organisations in crisis due to leaders who were blind to them or didn’t listen.
  • Difficulties addressing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion with lukewarm commitment, backlash and angry responses.
  • Continued staff shortages and stagnating or declining staff engagement in some sectors.
  • Issues of burnout and mental health issues spoken about but not addressed.
  • Other organisational issues where symptoms are addressed quickly but the root causes remain unaddressed.

We’ll explore the reasons why organisations are losing their best leadership talent and what it’s costing them – some of which may surprise you – and what organisations can do about it.If you’re ready to transform your or your client’s organisational approach to leadership, unlock hidden potential, and drive meaningful change, join Megumi Miki, founder of Quietly Powerful, speaker, author and consultant in leadership, culture and DEI, to explore how you unleash your hidden leadership talent.

Sally Mussared – How to work with the world’s most severe risk: Misinformation and disinformation

The World Economic Forum Global Risk Report (2024) no longer has extreme weather events as the most severe global risk anticipated over the next two years, it is now ‘misinformation and disinformation’. Just look at the last two U.S elections or the ‘No Campaign’ in the Australian Voice referendum.

For OD practitioners, the question becomes: how does misinformation and disinformation enter and operate within organisations? What about rumour and hearsay as old-fashioned organisational equivalents? Can we as OD practitioners enable people in our organisation to be more reflective, to listen deeply to and generate more informed responses instead of impulsive reactions?

In this session we invite you to experience different ways of reflecting together to counter the effects of mis/dis/information overload by actively listening and thinking with one another to navigate complexity.

Shawn Callaghan – A fresh approach to working with story

Most people teach storytelling by sharing templates, tips, dos and don’ts, as if this can actually change our behaviour.

Shawn has created a new way to acquire storytelling skills based on how natural storytellers do it.

Natural storytellers are rarely taught; they’re immersed. Stories are fundamental to being human. We’re doing it all the time. Done well, it can have profound benefits for us and the people we work with. Together, we’ll grow our talent for noticing, telling and changing stories.

Kerryn Ellis & Michelle Jorgensen – Emerging from turmoil: a case study on organisational rebuilding

Emerging from a period of political turmoil, which had a detrimental effect on the organisation and its culture, South Gippsland Shire engaged Kerryn Ellis as its new CEO in March 2020. In this concurrent session Kerryn and Michelle Jorgensen – Manager People and Culture – will outline their journey of rebuilding. As they present their story, they will also engage you in a workshop which invites you to tap into your professional experiences and expertise to contribute your ideas around how you’d have approached their situation.

Their story has it all. Governance risks, traumatised staff, a culture steeped in blame and a workforce without much confidence with which to execute their roles. All amid a pandemic. Kerryn and Michelle will share their experiences, the issues they faced, the approaches they took, the successes they had and the lessons they learned. And you’ll be engaged through the process, pondering what you’d have done in their shoes