Program Speakers

Warwick Merry CSP - Master MC, Success Speaker and Exhibiting Expert

Warwick Merry SML

Warwick Merry CSP has again joined us as MC. What will he do this year? Whatever it is, we know our conference is in safe hands.

If you need an MC for your next event, visit and have a conversation with Warwick.

Jane Challinor - Director, Real Business Group

Jane Challinor_Headshot SML Jane Challinor is one of Australia’s leading business advisors and trainers, with more than 30 years’ experience in business strategy, growth and execution across all industries ranging from motivated start-ups to working with businesses in excess of $100M turnover. She has founded, developed and sold over 10 successful businesses to date, using a proven methodology that has transformed hundreds of her clients’ businesses in Australia, USA and UK.

The foundation of Jane’s success lies in practical strategies that get results fast. At a certain stage of growth, many business owners find themselves caught in a classic bind between managing everyday operations and securing long-term, profitable growth. When you’re struggling through a sea of daily firefighting tasks, it’s easy to forget one uncomfortable truth: unless you have a business that can already work without you, it’s essentially worthless. Jane has an outstanding track record of helping company owners avoid this trap and secure a path to sustainable long-term growth and ongoing profitability.

Dr Neryl East - Director, Neryl East Communications

Dr Neryl East_Headshot SMLDr Neryl East is a communication and credibility expert who shows leaders and teams how to stand out, accelerate success and avoid costly reputation mistakes.

Neryl has been a professional communicator for more than three decades, including a career in television and radio and a stint as an Olympic announcer. She has also spent many years managing high-profile issues in the public and private sectors, and training executives and entrepreneurs on leading in the media spotlight.

Neryl has a PhD in Journalism, is a Certified Speaking Professional and is an Amazon best-selling author on media and reputation.

Anne Gill - Principal, AMG Consultancy

Anne Gill_Headshot SMLAnne Gill has over 25 year’s experience within the hospitality industry that is supported by a Bachelor of Business – Hospitality Management from the University of Queensland.

Anne has worked across both regional and global hotel companies in Australia – including IHG, Rydges Hotels and Resorts, CDL Hotels, Crown Melbourne and Conrad Jupiters- and her ability to work with-in a complex matrix organization was a just one component of achieving successful outcomes. Anne has always strived to deliver innovative solutions whilst driving positive change and has shown a proven capability in strategic planning and business model innovation and implementation.

In 2016 Anne set up AMG Consultancy, a business focused on delivering change through Coaching and Consulting to the Hospitality Industry. Anne is a Level 1 Certified Organizational Coach and has worked with young leaders within the industry over the past 18 months to help deliver significant change. Anne is also an approved mentor in the Travel Industry Mentor Program (TIME).

Jack Golding - Web Analyst, Sensis

Jack Golding_Headshot SMLJack Golding is a Web Analyst for Sensis and the chief organiser of Measurecamp Melbourne – the premier digital analytics unconference. He quickly became a Google Analytics expert, with 4 years’ experience working in start-ups to multi-billion dollar eCommerce companies.

Studying maths at the University of Western Australia, Jack’s quantitative background has helped him drive impressive results in marketing and product for digital businesses. When not crunching numbers, Jack is an avid fan of the Melbourne garage punk scene, running his own gig guide.

Jason Holmes - Managing Director, H2 Conference & Exhibition Insurance Solutions

Jason Holmes_Headshot SMLJason Holmes began his insurance career with an international broker back in 1995, and over the last 20 years he has looked after both commercial and corporate clients along all product lines.

As business owner and managing director at H2 Insurance Solutions, Jason specialises in insurance for the entertainment and conference & exhibition industries. He prides himself on understanding the unique needs of his clients, in order to ensure their specifications are met and expectations are exceeded.  Jason is a family man who works hard, plays hard, and is always ready to rock.

Joanne Jacobs - Director, Disruptor's Handbook

Joanne Jacobs_Headshot SMLJoanne Jacobs is an award-winning digital strategist and company director, and she is Co-Director (with Gavin Heaton) of Disruptor’s Handbook, a firm that facilitates incubation of innovation from a marketing perspective.

She is on the Board of Code Club Australia, as well as the NSW Government Digital Advisory Panel, the Startup Catalyst advisory board, and she is an active mentor of startups. She was formerly COO of 1000heads, a word of mouth marketing firm.

In her career, Joanne has worked in London where she ran a social media production house, and she was a consultant in social networking technologies, as well as a professional speaker, business coach, trainer and strategist for digital marketing practices. Joanne also has a long history in academia, lecturing extensively in strategic use of information technology and strategic internet marketing. She was co-editor with Axel Bruns of the book, Uses of Blogs (2006).

Rita Joyan - Founder, Speaking Success System and The Passion Finder

Rita Joyan_Headshot SMLRita Joyan was honoured Canberra’s 2015 Young Business Woman of the Year”, she teaches experts who are making a difference how to get their message out and how to enjoy big results without being pushy or over-the–top.

After 10 years as a qualified Trainer and Learning and Development professional and winning Top Training and Sales Awards, training at companies like Fairfax Media and training in many industries such as government, telecommunications, not-for-profit, education and media, Rita left the corporate world and became an entrepreneur.

Now, Rita is the undisputed expert on how to upgrade and accelerate skills to establish credibility in your industry, leverage your time and effort, captivate clients and generate sales doing what you love!

Mark McInnes

Mark McInnes_Headshot SMLCurrently ranked the # 1 Social seller by LinkedIn Australia with a SSI score of 98, Mark makes at least 75% of his revenue through LinkedIn and can show you and your team how to drive revenue through this social selling tool.

A sales trainer and coach in Australia’s business sector with a strong focus on the top the sales funnel, Mark helps his clients to find more customers and engage with them in a credible and ethical way – be it online or via traditional sales channels.

Current clients Mark is working with include Coca-Cola, TAFE NSW, George Weston Foods and many more.

Mark is a highly regarded sales professional with over 25 years experience in B2B selling environments. Mark draws heavily on his time in the Australian ARMY as an Assault Trooper where, amongst others things, he guarded the Queen Of England. During presentations he draws upon some of the techniques and disciplines he gained whilst traveling the world with the ARMY in the development of his unique approach to his business dealings and sales philosophy.

Ty Miller - Managing Director, Threat Intelligence Pty Ltd

Ty Miller_Headshot SMLTy Miller is the Managing Director of Threat Intelligence ( who are specialists in the area of penetration testing, cyber threat intelligence, and specialist security consulting.

Ty is a member of the Black Hat Asia Review Board and runs his Black Hat USA training courses, The Shellcode Lab and Practical Threat Intelligence, each year. He is a regular presenter at a wide range of conferences, including Black Hat USA, Black Hat DC, Hack In The Box and Ruxcon on topics such as “Reverse DNS Tunnelling Shellcode”, “The Active Directory Botnet”, “BeEF Bind Shellcode”, “Modern Malware Mitigations” and “Can Your Applications Be Breached?”.

Ty is on the CREST Australia and New Zealand Board of Directors, runs the CREST Australia and New Zealand Technical Team and is a CREST Certified Tester and Assessor. He also developed the Core Impact covert DNS Channel for Core Security and co-authored “Hacking Exposed Linux 3rd Edition”.

Karen Phillips - Director, Karen Phillips Corporate Communications

Karen Phillips_Headshot SMLKaren Phillips is an entrepreneur, best-selling author, media commentator and women’s leadership advocate.

She is Executive Director of the Australian Institute of Women, the Women in Business Awards of Australia, Empowering Young Women Program and Women in Business Queensland Summit.

Having launched her bespoke branding agency at just 28, Karen has worked with some of the world’s most prestigious brands, identities and Heads of State and operates the long-running women’s network in Australia – Early Risers.

Benny Sheerin - Technical Director, Appscore

Benny Sheerin_Headshot SMLBenny is originally from Ireland where he studied a Masters in Multimedia Technology before proceeding to work in the fast-paced mobile games industry as a developer. From here, Benny moved onto safety simulation software before migrating to Melbourne Australia, where he is now based.

Passionate about mobile technology and a fast-paced working environment from his time in Ireland, he joined Appscore; a mobile-first, digital solutions company where he is now its Technical Director. Benny’s expertise in architecting mobile solutions and his love of problem solving means that he works closely with major partners such as Apple, Telstra and Samsung to deliver solutions to a wide variety of verticals and entrepreneurs.

In his free time, Benny takes (but forgets to complete) various Udemy courses, develops code and ski’s very badly.

James Sugrue - Founder, AFK Agency

James Sugrue_Headshot SMLAFK Founder, James Sugrue has a firm belief that the successful agencies of the future need to be filled with disruptive thinkers that are proactive in creating a digital realm that is “Away From Keyboard”. He has built a close-knit team of talented, like minded tech creatives, who work alongside clients to create a seamless movement across devices.

A leader in first-to-market campaigns since its inception in 2009, AFK has delivered measurable outcomes for well-known brands such as MINI Australia, CBA, Vodafone and Samsung.

Aaron West - Manager of Creative Tech, UX Design and Front-end Development, Deloitte Digital

Aaron West_Headshot SMLAaron is a Creative Technologist and Experience Designer. He spends most of his time designing and developing interactive products, services and experiences for some of Australia’s biggest companies.
He is a specialist in User Experience Design & Front-end Development with Deloitte Digital, and is building their Emerging Technology practice for Queensland.

Combining his love of technology with his passion for great design, his aim is always to think outside the box to create the best possible experiences, that often go beyond the typical digital screens we’re used to today.

Aaron’s focus lately has been on exponential and emerging technologies such as Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Internet of Things, 3D Printing, Artificial Intelligence and Voice Interaction; How to design the best experiences with these in our toolkit, and how to apply them both practically and strategically.