Our first 2023 speaker are: 


Shelly Davies

Writer, Trainer and Joyful Badass

Meet Shelly Davies, the popping candy of the corporate training world: sweet, exhilarating and effervescent!

Shelly is authentic, vulnerable and commands the room with her lifetime worth of stories and lessons. Degrees, dead husbands, divorces, diets, depression – all the Ds. She started university at 16, taught and studied around the world, buried her first husband on her 24th birthday, drank coffee and red wine for the first time at 38, and Te Reo is her second language. 

With 20 years of experience in education, Shelly has been a high school teacher, university teacher, indigenous educator, researcher and writer. In 2012, she jumped into the communications landscape where she is currently the Managing Director of Hamilton-based, Shelly Davies Writing & Training.

Since then, Shelly’s brand has exploded across a surprising mix of sectors and industries, rivalling players who’ve cornered New Zealand’s writing training market for decades. Because, as it turns out, business writing is more about being courageously transparent than it is about having an impressive vocab or where to put a semi-colon. Also true for life. When we choose to operate with authenticity, integrity, and courage, both our writing and our lives achieve the outcomes we’re craving. Because it’s never been worth your time to pursue bland, boring, or already been done.


Dr Catriona Wallace

Founder of Responsible Metaverse Alliance

Catriona is an expert in the field of Artificial Intelligence and the Metaverse and is an Adjunct Professor, keynote speaker and Founder of the Responsible Metaverse Alliance. Catriona is also the co-author of the book Checkmate Humanity: the how and why of Responsible AI.

As the founder of one of the first Artificial Intelligence companies to list on the Australian Securities Exchange, Catriona has truly lived the life of an entrepreneur and CEO in the emerging technologies field. Indeed, Flamingo AI was the second only woman-led (CEO & Chair) business ever to list on the Australian Stock Exchange.


Alison Tilling

Chief Strategy Officer

With 20 years’ experience in advertising and marketing, Ali is a firm believer in building Connected Brands to create growth. Ali encourages finding human truths from beyond the laptop screen, and combining that with quantitative insight for stronger, fresher strategic thinking. Connected Brands are born of strategies that link Brand, Customer, Employee and Citizen Experience, especially for events and occasions that have global and societal importance.

Ali leads the 24-strong strategy team across Australia and NZ, including data, brand, experience and business-focused strategists, all of whom are united by a curious, generous and rigorous approach to their work. She has previous experience in brand, comms and CX strategy on retail, government, tourism, sports  and beyond. 

Ali is one of Australia’s most Effie award-winning strategists. She contributes to the industry through the APG Committee, mentoring, a regular Mumbrella column, and is an occasional panellist on ABC’s Gruen TV show.