DCA Debate 2018

Is it really ok to bring your whole self to work?

Diversity Council Australia and NAB are delighted to invite you to the 2018 Annual Diversity Debate, moderated by Tony Jones, one of the ABC’s most respected journalists and host of ABC TV’s Q&A.


WHEN: Tuesday 20 November 2018, 6.00pm – 10.00pm (AEDT)

WHERE:  Doltone House, Jones Bay Wharf, 26-32 Pirrama Road, Pyrmont

DRESSCorporate attire

More on the debate topic:

Work is where we spend a great deal of our time. Research shows that if people are able to be their authentic selves, they will feel more comfortable and will be more productive and engaged. There is also evidence that masking who you really are at work expends valuable time and energy and negatively affects productivity.

But … what if your whole self really is best left at home? Some people’s personal views and traits are best not brought into the workplace, e.g. if they are racist, sexist, homophobic etc. And the reality is that some workplaces are still not inclusive, and if you were to be yourself, you may find yourself discriminated against or harassed.

So which is it? To be or not to be your whole self at work, that is the question at this year’s Debate.


For DCA members: $300 incl. GST per person or $2,900 incl. GST for a table of 10 guests
For non-members: $350 incl. GST per person or $3,400 incl. GST for a table of 10 guests

We sincerely thank NAB as the Major Sponsor along with Optus and Accenture as Support Sponsors and Bloomberg and Hall & Wilcox as Associate Sponsors.

Panelists for the AFFERMATIVE

‘‘It IS a good idea to bring your whole self to work’

Headshot of Lawrence Leung

Lawrence Leung, comedian, screenwriter and speaker

Lawrence Leung is an award-winning comedian, screenwriter and speaker.

He was the first Asian-Australian comedian to create and star in his own TV shows (ABC1’s Choose Your Own Adventure and Lawrence Leung’s Unbelievable). He also co-wrote and starred in Maximum Choppage (ABC2). He has written an episode of The Family Law (SBS2), penned pranks for The Chasers War on Everything(ABC1), presented segments for The Feed (SBS2). He has appeared in Jane Campion’s Top of The Lake – China Girl and Ten’s Offspring as series regular Dr Elvis. Recently he presented ABC Catalyst’s SLEEP MATTERS documentary on the science of sleep.

Lawrence has written and performed solo stage shows that have been favourites at theatres and festivals around the world, including the Edinburgh Fringe, London’s Soho Theatre and the Sydney Opera House. His show Lawrence Leung Learns To Breakdance won an Age Critics Award at the 2007 Melbourne International Comedy Festival and the 2008 Best Australian Act at the Sydney Comedy Festival.

Lawrence’s debut show Sucker (Best Solo Show Award, Melbourne Fringe) was adapted into the AWGIE-nominated feature film Sucker starring veteran British actor Timothy Spall. The screenplay was shortlisted for the 2017 NSW Premier’s Literary Award.

Headshot of Lorraine Murphy

Lorraine Murphy, Chief People Officer, National Australia Bank

Lorraine Murphy has global experience in Human Resources (HR) and brings deep expertise across all HR dimensions including CEO and Executive Team Coaching; Organization Effectiveness, Culture & Engagement; Leadership Development; Talent & Succession Management; Mergers & Acquisitions; Change Management; Global Comp & Benefits Strategies; Diversity & Inclusion and Business Partnering.

Lorraine joined National Australia Bank (NAB) as Group Executive, People in March 2016 and is responsible for end-to-end HR solutions for the 35,000 global workforce across Australia, New Zealand, Asia, US and the UK. NAB is one of the four pillars of Australia’s financial system, the big four, and is one of the world’s safest banks, and one of only 11 banks globally to hold a AA credit rating post the GFC. NAB is an ASX top 100 listed company, with a strong capital position (Group Common Tier Equity Tier 1 is 10.1% versus a target of 8.75%-9.25%) and $3.29bn Cash Earnings for HY2017.

In her previous role, Lorraine was Chief People Officer at Air New Zealand for three years. Prior to this she was Vice President of Human Resources - International for Campbell Soup Company in the USA. Her extensive international career in human resource leadership also includes senior human resources roles with Lion Nathan Australia, the Australian Gas Light Company, and global chemical company ICI.

Lorraine holds a Bachelor of Education degree from LaTrobe University in Melbourne and an MBA from Monash University in Melbourne. Lorraine is passionate about supporting and developing women in business and is member of the International Women’s Foundation.

Headshot of Karen Mundine

Karen Mundine, Chief Executive Officer, Reconciliation Australia

Karen Mundine is from the Bundjalung Nation of northern NSW. As the CEO at Reconciliation Australia, Karen brings to the role more than 20 years’ experience leading community engagement, public advocacy, communications and social marketing campaigns. Over the course of her career she has been instrumental in some of Australia’s watershed national events including the Apology to the Stolen Generations, Centenary of Federation commemorations, Corroboree 2000 and the 1997 Australian Reconciliation Convention.

Ms Mundine holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from the University of Technology Sydney and is a Director of the Gondwana Children’s Choir Board. Previous roles include Mary Mackillop Board Director, Deputy Chief Executive and General Manager Communication and Engagement, Reconciliation Australia; Senior Consultant, CPR Communications; senior public affairs and communications roles with federal government departments including Prime Minister and Cabinet and Foreign Affairs and Trade. She lives in Redfern, Sydney.

Panelists for the NEGATIVE

‘It is NOT a good idea to bring your whole self to work’

Headshot of Jack Heath

Jack Health, Chief Executive Officer, SANE Australia

Jack Heath, the Chief Executive of SANE Australia and Director of The Dax Centre Ltd, has been working to improve the lives of Australians affected by complex mental illness for more than two decades.

The 1997 suicide of his 20-year-old cousin impelled Jack to found The Inspire Foundation, a youth mental health service. The Foundation operated out of ReachOut.com, the first to engage young people at risk, through the use of cutting edge technology, enabling them to access relevant and timely help.

Jack took his modern approach to the USA, where he spent a year developing a dynamic and responsive mental health program for young Americans.

Returning to Australia, Jack joined the office of Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd, reprising his experience as a diplomat, public servant and senior adviser to Prime Minister Paul Keating.

Jack returned to the mental health sector in 2012 when he was appointed CEO of SANE Australia and more recently as Director of The Dax Centre Ltd.

Every day Jack and the team at SANE Australia and The Dax Centre work to reduce stigma, such as insensitivity, stereotyping and negative assumptions, surrounding the 700,000 Australians living with complex mental illness including bipolar, schizophrenia and borderline personality disorders.

Headshot of Mary Coustas

Mary Coustas, writer and performer

Mary Coustas is a writer/performer well known for her performance in Wogs out of Work and for her character Effie developed for the high rating TV sitcom Acropolis Now.

She won a Best Comedy Performer Logie Award for performing the character Effie.

Back on stage, she then went on to appear in the record breaking theatrical shows Wog A Rama and her one woman show Waiting for Effie, which toured nationally throughout Australia. Mary joined the cast of Sylvia for Sydney Theatre Company, gaining high praise for portraying a dog on stage.

Mary’s other TV Credits include Skirts, Wildside, Grass Roots and The Secret Life of Us and recently Rake 2.

She also earned herself an AFI Nomination for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Mull and appeared in Nirvana Street Murder and Hercules Returns.

Mary has written for, and performed in, her TV show Greeks on The Roof , based on her character Effie’s family home TV Studio.

As Effie has so much to say, Mary allowed her to write a book, Effie’s Guide To Being Up Yourself , which has been published and acclaimed for tackling youth self esteem.

Most recently Mary’s book All I Know was published by Allen and Unwin and touched the heart’s of the nation after her appearance on 60 Minutes.

After wowing audiences with her show A Date With Effie, the Greek Goddess launched her show Effie The Virgin Bride in 2016 at The Comedy Theatre in Melbourne and went on to tour to Sydney, Brisbane and Perth.

In 2017 Mary, embarked on an encore season of Effie The Virgin Bride in Melbourne, Perth and Sydney, and premiere seasons in Adelaide and Darwin.

Loving being back on stage, Mary has joined forces with Nick Giannopoulos and Sooshi Mango to perform a new stage show Star Wogs – touring nationally.

Headshot of Alan Kirkland

Alan Kirkland, CEO, CHOICE

Alan Kirkland has been CEO of CHOICE, Australia’s largest consumer organisation, since 2012.

Alan has a background in the justice system, having previously been CEO of Legal Aid New South Wales, Executive Director of the Australian Law Reform Commission and Chair of the National Legal Assistance Advisory Body.

Alan has a long-term commitment to the role of Australian civil society organisations, having served on the boards of the Australian Council of Social Service, Public Interest Advocacy Centre and Welfare Rights Centre.

In 2016-17, Alan was a member of the panel for the Review of the Financial System External Dispute Resolution and Complaints Framework (the Ramsay Review).