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2018 COAT NSW Conference
7 September, 2018 I Pullman Sydney, Hyde Park

Conference Presenters

Opening Address

Minister Mark Speakman
NSW Attorney General

Mark Speakman was born in Sydney and grew up in the Cronulla area in Sydney’s south, where he still lives today.

He attended Caringbah High School before graduating in law and economics from the University of Sydney. Mark then gained his Master of Law from the University of Cambridge.

Mark was a solicitor and subsequently a partner at law firm Blake Dawson Waldron (now Ashurst) between 1983 and 1991.He was admitted to the NSW Bar in 1991 and appointed Senior Counsel in 2004.

Mark was elected as the Member for Cronulla at the March 2011 state election.In 2013 he was appointed Parliamentary Secretary for Tertiary Education and Skills, before becoming Parliamentary Secretary for Treasury in 2014.

After his re-election at the 2015 state election, Mark was appointed Minister for the Environment and Minister for Heritage. In January 2017, Mark was appointed NSW Attorney General.

Keynote Presenter

Chief Justice The Hon. Tom Bathurst AC
Chief Justice of New South Wales

Thomas Frederick Bathurst was appointed Chief Justice of New South Wales on 1 June 2011.

Graduating with degrees in Arts and Law from the University of Sydney in 1971, he went on to practise as a solicitor in 1972. He was admitted as a barrister in 1977, specialising in corporate law and litigation and was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1987. His considerable experience in corporate law saw his appointment as a member of the Australian Government’s Takeovers Panel (2006-2011).

Prior to his appointment to the bench, the Chief Justice served as President of both the Australian Bar Association (2008-2010) and the New South Wales Bar Association (2009-2011) and the Executive Committee of which he was a member from 2002.

The Chief Justice was made a Companion of the Order of Australia in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List in 2014.

Keynote Presenter

Leanne Warner
Langley Group

A former CEO and Board Chair, Leanne Warner has founded and led some of Australia's leading charities, non-profit networks and leadership forums. She enjoys the challenge of working in complex environments and brings great energy, commerciality and a growth-mindset approach to developing teams and coaching people to be the best they can be.

Leanne has held positions as CEO of Sydney Children's Hospital Foundation, CEO of Cure Cancer Australia and Deputy CEO of Camp Quality. She has also worked in corporate sales environments and in quality systems and training manager roles, responsible for developing and accrediting leadership programs in the UK.

Leanne has served on the judging panel for Telstra Business Woman of the Year in the government and non-profit sector category. She has founded a number of leadership forums, research alliances and working committees, and is currently a Hub Chair with the Non-profit Alliance.


Plenary Presenter

Hugh Dillon BA, LL.B, LL.M
Adjunct Professor, University of New South Wales Law School

Hugh Dillon is an Adjunct Professor at the UNSW Law School.  He retired as a Deputy State Coroner and magistrate at the end of 2016. He was appointed a magistrate in 1996 and Deputy State Coroner in 2008 and conducted a number of high profile inquests and fire inquiries. Before his appointment as a magistrate, he practised law with the New South Wales Council of Social Service, the New South Wales Ombudsman’s Office and the Commonwealth DPP. He was a member of the National Judicial College of Australia’s Programmes Advisory Committee 2007-2017.  He was a 2014 Churchill Fellow – his project being to develop ideas for raising coronial performance standards. He is co-author of Waller’s Coronial Law and Practice in New South Wales (4th ed, 2010), The Australasian Coroner’s Manual (2015) and editor of Advocacy and Judging: Selected Papers of Murray Gleeson (2017). He is a community representative on the Australasian College of Emergency Medicine and has now joined Maurice Byers Chambers as a barrister.

Plenary Presenter

Christa Ludlow BA (Hons) LLB MA M.Sc (Coach.Psych.)
Director, Working Knowledge and Senior Member, NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal

As a Senior Member (part-time) with the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal, Christa Ludlow hears and determines matters in the Administrative and Equal Opportunity and Occupational Divisions. She has over 20 years’ experience as a lawyer specialising in employment law and administrative law. She has a Master of Science degree in Coaching Psychology and conducts workplace investigations, mediation and coaching, including coaching lawyers on wellbeing, career and leadership.

Plenary Presenter

Dr Nick O'Connor
Psychiatrist and Clinical Director, North Shore Ryde Mental Health Service

Nick O’Connor graduated in Medicine at Sydney University in 1981 and became a Fellow of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists in 1987. Dr O’Connor also has a Masters in Medicine (Psychotherapy), a Masters in Health Administration, is a, a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Medical Administrators, and a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Dr O’Connor is Clinical Director North Shore Ryde Mental Health Service. His current clinical roles include senior staff specialist psychiatrist in the Emergency Department and Psychiatric Emergency Care Centre (PECC) at Royal North Shore Hospital and Council appointed psychiatrist assessing medical practitioners for the New South Wales Medical Council.

Nick is a Board director of the RANZCP, Chair of the NSW Health Education and Training (HETI) Higher Education Governing Council and Co-Chair of the Mental Health Network of the NSW Agency of Clinical Innovation.

Concurrent Presenter

James Emmett
Barrister, 12th Floor Wentworth Selbourne Chambers

James Emmett is a barrister at 12th Floor Wentworth Selborne Chambers in Sydney, NSW.  James has been practising at the NSW Bar since 2006, primarily in public law and commercial law.  He has lectured in Statutory Interpretation at UNSW since 2007 (including creation of the course), and in Conflict of Laws since 2008.  James is presently a senior adjunct lecturer at UNSW and gives regular seminars to practising professionals on various aspects of statutory interpretation.  Other positions currently held by James include: Chair, National Association for the Visual Arts; Chair, Inner City Legal Centre Foundation; Director, Twenty10 Association incorporating the Gay & Lesbian Counselling Service; and, Advisory Board, La Trobe University Centre for Legislation.

Conference Secretariat


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