Our inspiring keynote speakers

Steve Vamos

Chief Executive Officer, Xero

Steve Vamos, Chief Executive Officer of Xero leads the global growth and performance of the business. With more than 30 years’ experience in global technology and digital media, Steve has worked in leading international businesses, including Apple, IBM and Microsoft. Steve also led the growth of ninemsn, an online media business, from start-up to industry leader as the company’s Chief Executive Officer. Steve holds a degree in Civil Engineering (with Honors) from the University of New South Wales, Australia.

Steve's keynote is at 9:05 AM on Day 1, and again at 3:50 PM on Day 2

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Steve Vamos

Nigel Latta

Clinical Psychologist and Author

Nigel trained as a Clinical Psychologist and worked for over two decades in the areas of forensic psychology and family therapy. In 2010, as a result of his passion for science and science education, Nigel was invited to become an associate of the world leading Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study at the University of Otago. In 2012 he was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) for services to psychology.

He’s written eight books which have now been published in 19 countries and 10 languages. Nigel's television career has spanned almost a decade and he’s presented a number of series including Beyond the Darklands, The Politically Incorrect Parenting Show, On Thin Ice: Nigel Latta in Antarctica, and The Hard Stuff. In 2016, along with Arwen O’Connor and Mitchell Hawks he co-founded a production company, Ruckus, and the team has since made numerous primetime television series including Mind Over Money, What Next, and The Curious Mind. In 2018 Ruckus was named New Zealand’s Hottest Production Company in the StopPress awards. In late 2018 he decided it was time for a new adventure and founded a tech startup to develop a revolutionary parenting app.

Nigel's keynote is at 11:15 AM on Day 1

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Nigel Latta

Leigh Sales

Journalist & author

Leigh Sales AM is an award-winning journalist and author who hosts the ABC TV flagship current affairs program 7.30.She's held a range of senior reporting roles at the network, including National Security Correspondent and Washington Correspondent. She has two Walkley awards, Australia's highest journalism honour. Leigh has interviewed numerous world leaders and celebrities and also anchors the ABC’s federal election and budget night coverage.

Leigh is the author of three critically-acclaimed books, Detainee 002, On Doubt and Any Ordinary Day which was an instant bestseller on release in October 2018. Itwas highly commended in the 2019 Australian Book Industry Awards and deals with what happens when ordinary people are blindsided by the kinds of events that land on the news. Alongside Annabel Crabb, Leigh is also the co-host of the popular podcast Chat 10, Looks 3, which receives hundreds of thousands of downloads per episode.

Leigh's keynote is at 9:15 AM on Day 2

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Leigh Sales

Ros Harvey

Founder and MD, The Yield

Ros Harvey is an experienced entrepreneur and executive in technology, particularly the Internet of Things (IoT) and user-centric design. Ros is committed to creating public good through the innovative use of technology. Since founding Australian agtech company The Yield in 2014, it has become one of the industry’s fastest growing technology success stories, backed by several leading global businesses including Bosch, KPMG and Microsoft. Ros is passionate about technology playing a role in the sustainable governance of the planet, and is an accomplished speaker on agtech, IoT, converting data to knowledge and the future of food.

Ros also co-founded the Food Agility Cooperative Research Centre and the Knowledge Economy Institute with Dr Michael Briers, for which she remains an active non-executive director and strategy advisor, respectively.
In 2018, Ros was named one of the Australian Financial Review’s 100 most influential women and awarded the emerging leader in technology at the Women’s Agenda Leadership Awards.

Ros' keynote is at 10:30 AM on Day 2

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Ros S Harvey

Jaya Baloo

Chief Information Security Officer, KPN Telecom

Jaya Baloo the CISO of KPN Telecom in the Netherlands. She was recognised in 2017 as one of the top 100 CISO's globally. Jaya works with an amazing information security team of highly driven specialists. Working in the information security arena for the past 18 years, she has worked mostly for global telecommunications companies such as Verizon and France Telecom. Jaya is also a frequent speaker at security conferences on subjects around lawful interception, mass surveillance, and cryptography.

Jaya's keynote is at 2:30 PM on Day 2

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Jaya Baloo

Peter Baines

Company Director, Peter Baines Consulting

Peter Baines OAM, developed his unique leadership style by leading international identification teams into Indonesia and Thailand following acts of terrorism and the 2004 South East Asian Tsunami. He would go on to work in the counter terrorism area of Interpol, spent time with the United Nations Office of Drug and Crime and also workedin Saudi Arabia and Japan after natural disasters hit those countries. But, it was his work in Thailand that brought the biggest change.

After meeting the children left orphaned by the Tsunami, Peter felt compelled to act and founded an Australian charity called Hands Across the Water which has gone on to create opportunities for hundreds of children across Thailand. Today, Peter has a successful consulting business building engagement through corporate social responsibility and presents across the globe to major corporations and governments on Leadership.

He is the author of two books, Hands Across the Water, and Doing Good by Doing Good which provides a blueprint forbuilding experience-led engagement programs with a focus on shared value. In January 2014, Peter Baines was recognised in the Australia Day honours with the awarding of the Order of Australia Medal for his International Humanitarian work. In 2016 he received the Most Admirable Order of Direkgunabhorn awarded by the King of Thailand for his devotional services to the Kingdom of Thailand.

Peter's keynote is at 3:15 PM on Day 2

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Peter Baines

Nick Houldsworth

Executive General Manager, Ecosystem

Nick Houldsworth is Executive General Manager, Ecosystem & Xero Learn. A self-described “app-a-holic” and co-host of the Xero Developer Podcast, Nick leads the team responsible for Xero’s Developer API and app marketplace. Before joining Xero, Nick was the first employee and CMO at Vend, a Xero partner, where he helped scale the business, and also led partnerships with companies including Apple, PayPal and Shopify. He holds a bachelor of Science from Auckland University of Technology, has owned several small businesses, and briefly played guitar in Scotland’s 2nd most popular folk band.

Nick's keynote is at 12:40 PM on Day 1

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Nick Houldsworth

Inspirational speakers for Xerocon Brisbane 2019

About Trent

Trent Innes is the Managing Director of Xero Australia, the global small business platform. Guided by a strong people-focus, he has developed and grown Xero’s teams to better help small businesses thrive. He also oversees Asia as the regional lead.
Named Managing Director of the Year in 2017, by CEO Magazine, Trent’s focus on delivering next-level service across all aspects of Xero’s business has seen the company win Canstar Blue’s award for ‘Most Satisfied Customers Award for Small Business Accounting Software’ three years in a row. Additionally, the significant revenue and subscriber growth under Trent’s careful watch, has ensured Xero’s position in the ranks of Australia’s Top 100 listed companies.
Passionate about the power of using data to help policymakers make informed decisions, Trent launched Xero Small Business Insights last year, the first true snapshot of the sector’s health. Since launch, the insights have begun shaping thinking on the Australian small business economy.

Trent's keynote is at 9:45 AM on Day 1

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About Craig

As Country Manager for New Zealand, Craig is a key member of the global sales leadership team, responsible for driving relationships with government, financial institutions, enterprise, and promoting the small business economy. Craig has been with Xero for several years, and returns to New Zealand from the United Kingdom, where he led Xero's entrance into Europe, the Middle East and South Africa markets.
Craig is a father of four and a successful former rugby player who spent more than eight years playing professionally in New Zealand, France, England, and Wales.

Craig's keynote is at 10:05 AM on Day 1

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About Anna

Anna leads Xero’s product teams, spearheading product management, development, design, and product marketing to bring more exciting Xero features to partners and small businesses. Anna has a wealth of experience in online financial services and operations. Before joining Xero as managing director for New Zealand in 2016, Anna led internet banking at ASB and the digital first strategy at Spark. Anna has a bachelor’s degree and a postgraduate diploma in commerce from the University of Auckland.

Anna's keynote is at 11:55 AM on Day 1

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About Kevin

Kevin Fitzgerald is the Managing Director, Asia at Xero, where he leads the growth and
performance of the Asian business, spending his time between Singapore and Hong Kong offices. Kevin and his team help small businesses and their advisors across Asia embrace cloud technology to run productive, more profitable businesses. Originally from Ireland, Kevin moved to Australia in 2011 and led the Financial Services Recruitment Business for Robert Walters in Melbourne. Previously Kevin has worked with KPMG, Royal Bank of Canada and State Street Bank in Audit, Financial Reporting and Hedge Funds. His career in Xero began in 2015 where he led the Australian sales team as Territory Manager, and developed a deep well of experience in working with SMEs, working tirelessly with his team at Xero and Xero Partners to help SMEs grow.

Kevin's keynote is at 10:00 AM on Day 2

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About Rachael

Rachael Powell is the Chief Customer, People and Marketing Officer at Xero. She is responsible for customer success, brand and the people experience globally. Rachael believes a world class customer experience is delivered from the inside out - by supporting and investing in people so they can do the best work of their lives and subsequently delight and deliver to our customers and partners. Throughout her career, Rachael has held senior leadership roles in strategy, business development, talent management, marketing and is a strong advocate for positive engagement programs to effectively mobilise the business strategy. She has a Masters in Business Administration (MBA), a Bachelor in Business (Accounting and Marketing) and a Masters in Applied Positive Psychology.

Rachael's keynote is at 10:15 AM on Day 2

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About Sharon

Sharon McClafferty is the co-founder of Slipstream Coaching, a business on a mission to help accountants and financial planners accelerate their success so that they don’t waste their days on the planet. Combining experience from project management at Deloitte in London, Scandinavian Investment Banking and now almost a decade analysing the performance of Australian Accounting and Financial Planning firms, Sharon is excited about the future for financial services and the positive impact they can have on society.

Sharon's breakout is at 3:30 PM on Day 1

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About Dr. Richard Denniss

Dr Richard Denniss is Chief economist, and former Executive Director of the Australia Institute, a Canberra based policy think tank. Renowned for his ability to translate economic jargon into plain English, Richard has regular columns in the Australian Financial Review and The Guardian, writes regularly for The Monthly and has written 6 books. In 2018 he was named by the AFR’s list of the top 10 people with covert power in Australia.
Prior to working at The Australia Institute Richard was the Strategy Adviser to the Leader of the Australian Greens, Senator Bob Brown, was Chief of Staff to the then Leader of the Australian Democrats, Senator Natasha Stott Despoja, and held teaching and research jobs at Australian universities.

Dr. Richard Denniss' breakout is at 4:30 PM on Day 1

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About Emma

Emma Murray is a qualified psychotherapist, mindfulness coach, NLP master practitioner and clinical hypnotherapist, who brings 20 years’ experience working with elite athletes, students and corporate executives.
Emma’s life recently took an unexpected turn when her 14 year old, athletically gifted son, Will, broke his neck jumping off a pier. Will is now a quadriplegic and his dream of playing AFL football has been switched to a dream of one day using his hands or standing on his own.
Will’s story, through Emma’s writing on social media and public speaking engagements has gained viral attention that now spans to various corners of the world. After years of teaching high performing individuals the importance of staying in the moment, Emma is getting a new perspective and appreciation for the very importance of staying still and present. The devastating effects of quadriplegia on Will, his 3 siblings and the extended family unit has become a teaching forum which has united the community in both grief and hope.
Emma and Will’s dad, Nick, have taken a unique approach to spinal cord injury rehabilitation and are creating a program which fuses eastern and western medicine and surrounds Will with a team of people whose sole objective is for Will to regain function below the injury site.
2 years after being told he would never feel or move anything from the chest down, Will is living proof of the power of Emma’s work - with him using the power of his 'A Game' to now stand unassisted… with his eyes still firmly planted on walking again in the future.

Emma's breakout is at 2:30 PM on Day 1

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About Matthew

As Head of Industry at Xero, Matthew helps connect government agencies, policymakers, accountants, bookkeepers, business owners and software developers to the digital economy. Matthew regularly represents the software, accounting and small business industries in Australia and New Zealand, connecting them with parliament, tax authorities and other key government agencies. Matthew is an elected director of the Australian Business Software Industry Association and Xero's representative on a number of government and industry working groups. Prior to joining Xero six years ago, Matthew spent eight years as an accountant in public practice in Western Australia.

Matthew's breakout is at 4:30 PM on Day 1

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About Mark

Mark is part of Xero’s Business Platform Team overseeing relationships with financial service providers and lenders in Australia. With over 22 years banking experience Mark is passionate about helping small businesses and their accountants and bookkeepers leverage the full power of the Xero platform and partner app ecosystem in their day to day business.

Mark's breakout is at 12:30 PM on Day 2

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About Sue

Sue Pak is a Chartered Accountants ANZ Fellow and also a Councillor. She is a Fellow of CPA Australia, and holds a Diploma in Teaching. Sue's career stretches across Public Practice, Corporates, Multinationals, Software implementation,Teaching and prior to joining Xero, Sue ran her own business. A senior leader at Xero for 11 years, she thrives in a fast paced, innovative environment. In her role as Head of Accounting at Xero, Sue’s professional mission is to shine light on the future of the accounting industry, highlighting implications arising from technology, globalisation, changing client and staff expectations and the consequent transformation of business models. Sue is motivated to inspire change by facilitating discussion, providing meaningful data and practical guidance for success.

Sue's breakout is at 11:35 AM on Day 2

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About Alisha

As a Product Marketing Manager, Alisha champions our Practice tools for Xero around the globe. She uses her product knowledge from having worked at Xero for the past six years, in a number of cities around the world. She’s a huge advocate for utilising the full Xero platform and all the great tools that have been built by our Xero teams.

Alisha's breakout is at 2:30 PM on Day 1

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About Naomi

Naomi is a Xero Partner Consultant who spent more than 8 years in a Practice Manager role in a Xero partner firm, driving efficiency through technological change. Naomi has personally walked the Xero journey, transforming a traditional, paper-based and server-based accounting practice into a progressive, cloud-based, Xero-focussed firm. Naomi joined Xero in June 2017, bringing her vast knowledge of Xero partner tools, in particular Xero Practice Manager, to the partner consulting team. Naomi assists our Partners implementing Xero practice products, and consults professionally to Xero partner firms wanting to streamline their processes and systems and improve business KPIs.

Naomi's breakout is at 3:30 PM on Day 1

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About Anesh

As a Product Manager at Xero, Anesh leads the product development team focussed on saving time, driving profitability and operational success through Xero Practice Manager. Anesh brings over 15 years of Product Management experience across New Zealand start up businesses including Sonar6, Cornerstone on Demand and Symphony Talent. He has a passion for working with customers to solve their complicated problems through simple and delightful solutions. Outside of the office, he is a dad to six children, balances working as a startup mentor and reliving his sporting endeavours when his body allows.

Anesh's breakout is at 3:30 PM on Day 1

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About Melanie

Melanie joined Xero as NZ Head of Bookkeeping in 2016. Prior to that Melanie founded Bookkeeping and Beyond and Training and Beyond - both multi- awarding winning businesses.
Melanie founded the New Zealand Bookkeepers Association (NZBAI) in 2010 and was its President from 2011 until December 2016. The NZBAI is consulted upon by strategic government agencies and is the sole professional bookkeeping body in New Zealand.
Melanie enjoys sharing her knowledge of bookkeeping with small businesses and individuals. A small business owner herself, Melanie works with many businesses and understands the pain points of small business, such as cash flow and having more time.
Small business succession planning and developing exit strategies is of particular interest to Melanie. She sold her previous business, Bookkeeping and Beyond, in October 2016 so understands succession planning first hand.

Melanie's breakout is at 12:30 PM on Day 2

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About Kaye

Kaye Harding is responsible for attracting and growing Xero integrated app partners in her role as GM Partner Experience. Before joining Xero she held a number of strategic and commercial roles in telecommunications, utilities and IT companies in NZ and the UK but has since learned to love a casual corporate dress code. Kaye’s passionate about delivery excellence and building high performing teams, with a strong focus on coaching others. She holds an MBA from the University of Auckland.

Kaye's breakout is at 2:30 PM on Day 1

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About Keddie

Keddie Waller is CPA Australia’s Financial Planning policy adviser. With more than 10 years’ experience, she is responsible for developing policy positions and resources on financial planning and credit issues.

Keddie's breakout is at 12:30 PM on Day 2

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About Sarah

Sarah was previously an accountant in practice in the UK, completing financial reports and tax returns, along with auditing experience. After travelling various countries she has now settled in New Zealand where she works on the Xero Partner Consultant Manager training Accountants and Bookkeepers on using Xero. Sarah also support partners on their Xero journey and advising on efficiencies within the practice.

Sarah's breakout is at 3:30 PM on Day 1

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About Rob

Rob Goodwin is Commercial Director at Xero Australia and is responsible for managing strategy for the Australian business, which involves mobilising cross-functional teams to bring this to life. A management professional with extensive experience across a range of industries including technology, health and financial services, Rob is passionate about building high-performing teams that exceed customer expectations and helping companies, big and small, to achieve their goals.

Rob's breakout is at 11:35 AM on Day 2

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About Craig

Craig Walker is co-founder and Executive General Manager for Payment Solutions at Xero. Craig has a history of operating as a virtual CTO for entrepreneurs & start-ups, offering strategic technology advice and expertise. Craig has spent his career building mission critical Internet applications, including co-founding software-as-a-service provider Viatx and working for leading Microsoft consulting firm Glazier Systems. He now leads a team at Xero that focuses on billing and payment solutions, with a focus on driving new revenue opportunities. Craig earned the New Zealand Hi-Tech Young Achiever of the Year award in 2007.

Craig's breakout is at 3:30 PM on Day 1

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About Daniel

Dan joined Xero in 2018. Before Xero, Dan led product management at Hubdoc, from its early days as a small Toronto startup through its growth across three continents and acquisition by Xero. Dan spends all of his time thinking about how to suck time out of accounting and bookkeeping workflows and give it back to advisors and the small businesses they serve.

Daniel's breakout is at 3:30 PM on Day 1

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About Nicole

Nicole Buisson has more than 17 years of experience in growth strategy, ventures, start-up acceleration, international expansion, business development and product development, working across the software, telecommunications, finance and private equity industries. Nicole is passionate about small business, innovation and technology as growth drivers. Having worked across eight countries in four continents, she subscribes to the value of diversity, the merit of alternative angles and global best practices. Nicole holds an MBA from London Business School and Columbia University, and degrees in marketing and psychology from the University of Otago. She has studied at the University of California at Berkeley and the China European International Business School in Shanghai.

Nicole's breakout is at 4:30 PM on Day 1

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About Patrick

Patrick is the Practice Apps Specialist in the Ecosystem Team at Xero. His mission is to grow the apps that connect to the Xero partner tools, so accountants and bookkeepers can become true modern digital businesses. A passionate Chartered Accountant, Patrick worked for Grant Thornton in their Private Advisory team in Melbourne for 7 years before joining Xero 5 years ago. Since then, he has worked with hundreds of Xero Partners of all shapes and sizes, helping them implement cloud solutions that improve profits by reducing non-valuable admin and the barriers to offering deeper client services.

Patrick's breakout is at 11:35 AM on Day 2

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About Nate

Nate leads Global Small Business Product at Visa including managing the strategic vision and execution for core business card products, key growth initiatives and technology partnerships as well as the associated marketing, communications and segment advocacy initiatives.

Nate's breakout is at 11:35 AM on Day 2

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About Hayley

Hayley is Organisational Development, HR, and Positive Psychology qualified people leader with 12+ years experience in Learning & Development and leading teams across Australia, the UK and NZ. Her passion is to empower people through building on their strengths to deliver meaningful commercial value and thrive, and she lucky enough to do that every day leading Education at Xero.

Hayley's breakout is at 11:35 AM on Day 2

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About Jeremy

Jeremy Hirschhorn was appointed to act in the role of Second Commissioner in December 2018. He has overall responsibility for the ATO’s Client Engagement Group, which fosters willing participation in Australia’s tax and super systems through well-designed client experiences. Jeremy has more than 20 years' experience in roles managing complex tax matters. As Deputy Commissioner of Public Groups & International from April 2015, Jeremy was responsible for ensuring that the largest Australian and multinational companies were meeting their corporate tax obligations, and providing the Australian community with confidence that these large companies were being held to account. Jeremy also worked as Chief Tax Counsel, with responsibility for the provision of the ATO’s legal advice in relation to interpretation of the tax and super laws, when he joined the ATO in August 2014. Prior to joining the ATO, Jeremy was a senior partner in KPMG’s tax practice. Jeremy holds a Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Laws from the University of NSW. He is a Chartered Tax Adviser and Chartered Accountant.

Jeremy's breakout is at 12:30 PM on Day 2

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About Vladka

A digital native, Vladka Kazda has more than 17 years of customer-focused, marketing experience. Vladka is well regarded in the industry, having spent more than 15 years at carsales.com Ltd, playing a key role in building and maintaining its number one brand and market position in one of the most dynamic and hard-fought segments online today. Vladka’s experience spans building and commercialising online audiences, and developing teams that thrive on delivering powerful outcomes through the creative use of data. Joining the Xero team as Marketing Director in 2019, Vladka is responsible for Xero’s brand and go-to-market strategy in Australia, including leading the marketing function’s operations, channel mix, analytics, automation and customer loyalty programs.

Vladka's breakout is at 4:30 PM on Day 1

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About Amanda

Amanda is passionate about community, purposeful innovation and strategic growth. As Head of Community at Xero Australia, Amanda leverages her uniquely diverse skills and experience to develop, nurture and grow meaningful connections with and between Xero's Bookkeeping and Accounting partners across Australia. Combining a Masters of Accounting with undergraduate studies in Marketing and Communications, Amanda's career currently spans two decades and has included leadership roles in small business, politics, large enterprise and non-profit sectors.

Amanda's breakout is at 12:30 PM on Day 2

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About Renee

With over 10 years experience as a technical marketer, Renee has a passion for meaningful customer experiences and the positive impact technology has on people's lives. Now Head of Product Marketing for Practice & Compliance, Renee works closely with the product development teams, focusing on using technology to help innovate solutions for accountants and bookkeepers, and their clients.

Renee's breakout is at 2:30 PM on Day 1

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About Matthew

Founding Director of ICB Australia, Fellow Chartered Accountants Australia & NZ, Longterm software consultant, Previously Accountant in Practice having run his own Business Tax advisory firm for 15 years, now spends his time advocating on behalf of Bookkeeper community with the ICB and assisting Bookkeepers to Help Bookkeepers to Help Business.

Renee's breakout is at 2:30 PM on Day 1

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About Simon

As Head of Proposition and Performance at Xero Australia, Simon is charged with helping the business better understand the small business landscape to be able to deliver more compelling propositions to customers and partners. A go-to-market business strategist with almost 15 years’ experience, Simon is passionate about using data to unlock growth opportunities.

Simon's breakout is at 4:30 PM on Day 1

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About Eve

Eve looks after Change Management as a capability at Xero. Her focus is delivering Change Management through key projects and initiatives as well as setting up capability initiatives to support leaders to lead change well, managers of change to manage change effectively and those who receive change to be ready and resilient in the face of change. 

Eve's breakout is at 1:15 PM on Day 2

About Sunny

Sunny has over 18 years of extensive marketing and commercial experience, having worked across a wide range of organisations from start-ups to multinationals, with a strong background in exploring, analysing and testing concepts and then translating them into meaningful go-to-market business strategies. As General Manager of Innovation at CA ANZ, Sunny launched CA Catalyst, a programme focused on helping members enhance and grow their services and capabilities by embracing technology and keeping pace with change. Through a specially designed programme of education initiatives, webinars, networking events and immersion programs with innovation communities, the focus for CA Catalyst is empower accountants to adopt practical solutions that will build value for their clients and communities. 

Eve's breakout is at 2:30 PM on Day 1

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Thanks to our Xerocon Brisbane 2019 gold sponsors