Meet 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.

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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.

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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 honor. 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.

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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 Center 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.

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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 recognized 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.

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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 recognized in the Australia Day honors with thea warding 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.

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Peter Baines

These are our inspirational speakers for Xerocon Brisbane 2019

Keep checking back to see new speakers as we add them!

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.

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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.

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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.

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About Kevin

Kevin Fitzgerald is the Regional 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.

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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.

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About Rod

For more than a decade Rod led Xero from humble beginnings with four employees working in a Wellington apartment to a global software business and ASX 100 company. Rod started his career at Ernst & Young and went on to establish and lead a number of innovative technology businesses that were subsequently acquired. Previously Rod was an independent director of the New Zealand Stock Exchange and Trade Me during its acquisition to Fairfax.
Rod was named Visionary Leader of the Year at the Deloitte Top 200 Awards 2017, EY New Zealand 100Entrepreneur of the Year 2013, and is a member of the New Zealand Hi-Tech Hall of Fame.

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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 analyzing 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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About Joanne

As the NZ Product Director, Joanne champions the New Zealand market with Xero’s global product teams. Having worked at Xero since 2014, she uses her product knowledge and background as a Chartered Accountant to brings a strong product and customer lens to the wider business. As a ‘working smarter’ enthusiast, she believes technology can be utilized to work silently and effectively to save time and surface new opportunities.

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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.

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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.

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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 utilizing the full Xero platform and all the great tools that have been built by our Xero teams. 

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Thanks to our Xerocon Brisbane 2019 gold sponsors