Day one: Wednesday 10 February 

Please refer to the Conference platform agenda for detailed session times.


Welcome to Conference


Super – the next horizon

The Hon. Paul Keating
Former Prime Minister of Australia
The Hon. Greg Combet AM
Chair of IFM Investors and Industry Super Australia
Dr Deborah Ralston
Professorial Fellow, Monash University
Leigh Sales AM (Chair)
Journalist and Author

Superannuation has undergone a decade of analysis, critique and disruption and a seemingly endless cycle of review. So, where do we go from here? It’s time to regroup and think strategically about what members and funds need to achieve sustainable outcomes. This session will start with an address by the Hon. Paul Keating, the architect of compulsory superannuation, sharing his big-picture thinking as the industry looks to its next horizon and explores its role in nation building. Then, an expert panel will examine the need for fundamental change and dive into super’s relevance and purpose for a new generation of members, canvassing issues including tax treatment, the SG rate, competition, innovation, solutions for low-income members and implications for super from the gig economy.

Presented by



Driving towards recovery: Can Australia steer its own path?

Dr Martin Parkinson AC
Chancellor, Macquarie University
Grace Ng
Senior Greater China Economist, J.P. Morgan
Leigh Sales AM (Chair)
Journalist and Author

Australia’s road to prosperity has been, for the most part, long and straight, but 26 consecutive years of economic growth has come to an end. What needs to go right now to ensure the economy doesn’t languish in the breakdown lane? Is Australia able to steer its own course or will China and other international influences mean there are curves ahead? This session will look at the implications of how household debt, balance of payments issues and shoring up export markets will pave Australia’s recovery.

12.30pm – 1.15pm


Lunch with the Leaders

Ian Silk
Chief Executive, AustralianSuper
Kelly Power
General Manager Product, Marketing and Remediation, Colonial First State
Debby Blakey
Chief Executive Officer, HESTA
David Elia
David Elia
Chief Executive Officer, Hostplus
Mark Puli
Chief Executive Officer, ESSSuper
Ben Palmer
Chief Executive Officer, GESB
Dascia Bennett
Chief Executive, Super SA
Phil Stockwell
Chief Executive Officer, Local Government Super
Michael Clancy
Chief Executive Officer, Qantas Superannuation
Andrew Fraser
Chair, Sunsuper



Pensions, policy, pandemic – how did the world fare?

Josephine Cumbo (UK)
Global Pensions Correspondent, Financial Times
Catherine Harvey (USA)
Senior Policy Advisor, AARP Public Policy Institute
David Knox
Senior Partner and Actuary, Mercer
Jeremy Cooper (Chair)
Chairman, Retirement Income, Challenger, member, ASFA Super System Design and 2020 Conference Committee

While COVID-19 continues to rage around the world, some jurisdictions are emerging while others are still working through their emergency response measures. Globally, how are pensions systems faring? Our Global Pensions Summit session this year will explore the lessons learned so far from a wide cross-section of viewpoints and what needs to be done to repair, reset and refocus long term. Has the pensions model broken during the crisis or is it even stronger than before? Did emergency public policy measures operate fairly and deliver social equity?


Managing risk in uncertain times

Paul Schroder
Chief Risk Officer, AustralianSuper
Jan Dekker
Trustee Director Togethr Super, Managing Director, The Rockpool Group
Bronwyn Clere
Operations Executive, InfraCo, Telstra and Chair, TelstraSuper Risk Committee
Maree Pallisco (Chair)
Partner – National Superannuation Leader, EY and member, 2020 Conference Committee

There’s nothing like a global crisis as an impetus to reassess how we manage risk. While risk management is a key element of running a superannuation fund, this session will focus on the risk takers within funds, what factors influence them and how to establish a successful risk culture that permeates through the fund. In the COVID-19 era what is the appetite for risk and what frameworks can help risk takers better understand the strategic objective? How can a fund appropriately evaluate the strength and resilience of their risk appetite framework and level of risk reporting, noting that these factors will be closely scrutinised by regulators in a fast-moving policy landscape?


Illiquid assets in superannuation – a bridge too far?

Greg Clerk
Greg Clerk
Deputy Chief Investment Officer, Hostplus
Debbie Alliston
Chief Investment Officer, Multi-Asset Group, AMP Capital
David Bell
Executive Director, The Conexus Institute
Nick Callil (Chair)
Head of Retirement Solutions Australia, Willis Towers Watson and member, 2020 Conference Committee

The early release of super program saw over $30bn in unexpected redemptions flow from funds in 2020. Has this changed the game for superannuation fund investment, specifically, their allocations to illiquid assets? A panel of leading thinkers from the industry will explore the case for illiquid assets in this new environment, addressing the perfect storm of early access withdrawals during volatile markets and the ongoing appetite for funds to participate in long term illiquid opportunities. The session will pose some key questions: Have we gone too far in effectively offering members daily liquidity on their accounts? What are the practical challenges of including unlisted assets in portfolios? Will the Your Super Your Future under performance test curtail ongoing investment by funds in critical infrastructure?



Energy: the future is renewable

Tim Buckley
Director of Energy and Finance Studies, Institute for Energy Economics & Financial Analysis (IEEFA)
Tom Kompas
Professor of Environmental Economics and Biosecurity in the School of Biosciences and the School of Ecosystem and Forest Sciences, University of Melbourne
Professor Ross Garnaut AC
Professor Ross Garnaut AC
Vice-chancellor’s fellow and professorial fellow of Economics, University of Melbourne
Zoe Whitton (Chair)
Executive Director, Pollination

The transition globally from fossil fuel energy to renewables is in full swing but what does that mean for superannuation from both an investment and a business perspective? Where is Australia on the journey? What is the cost to the economy and the impact on jobs? Can renewables provide the levels of reliability we require and what infrastructure investment is required? This exceptional panel will take a fresh look at the energy marketplace now, including advances in battery storage, solar and wind technologies, the role of gas and the introduction of hydrogen.


Community threads: connecting all Australians to a better future

Michelle Bain
Customer Advocate, Suncorp
Cindy Carpenter
Co-Founder and Managing Director, Cast Professional Services
Andrew Howard
Chief Commercial Officer, TAL
Rory Smeaton
Senior Indigenous Affairs & D&I Advisor, Cbus

Industry regulation requires super funds to recognise the unique needs of all members. While we are all aware of different factors that can affect members’ needs, there seems to be a gap for people who have overcome hardships or have unique situations. Now more than ever, our purpose needs to centre around protecting the people that form the diverse fabric of our communities. We need to adapt our policies, procedures, products and member support to be more accessible and inclusive. It’s time to listen to our members’ voices so we can better understand their needs – so every Australian can live a life filled with choices options and freedoms. Because we can’t do better, until we know better.

Presented by



To merge or not to merge?

Leeanne Turner
Chief Executive Officer, MTAA Super
Deanne Stewart
Chief Executive Officer, Aware Super
Tony Brain
Chairman and Non-Executive Director, AMP Superannuation Trustees
Andrew Boal (Chair)
Chief Executive Officer, Rice Warner and Chair, 2020 Conference Committee (Fellow of ASFA)

With shrinking numbers of member accounts, dramatic falls in valuations, the early release of super program and intense regulatory scrutiny, it’s no wonder funds are considering whether they can sustain their current financial models. Faced with choices to increase member fees, use reserves, defer capital investment designed to enhance member engagement, many are contemplating if it’s time to look at a merger to reap benefits from greater scale. But is there systemic risk from more concentrated memberships and a lack of diversity? This panel will look at the industry’s possible responses to issues identified by APRA Heatmaps and pose the question: is bigger really better?



Building a better, braver new world? The role of debt, stimulus and pensions


Lord Adair Turner (UK)
Senior Fellow, Institute for New Economic Thinking; Former Chairman, Financial Services Authority
Dr Martin Fahy (Chair)
Chief Executive Officer, ASFA

With governments around the world saddled with burgeoning COVID-19 debt and unprecedented levels of stimulus from central banks, what will be the role of patient responsible pension capital in the coming decade? Lord Adair Turner will address the outlook for investment in renewables and emerging energy infrastructure and technology, and what role pension and superannuation funds can play in decarbonising surface transport, building sustainable supply chains and transforming the built environment. He will identify how pension funds can work with other stakeholders to provide the capital needed to meet our aspirations for net zero 2050, against a backdrop of clamouring demand for a low carbon future.


Daily wrap-up

Program and timings are subject to change.

Day two: Thursday 11 February 

Please refer to the Conference platform agenda for detailed session times.



The opportunities for Australian superannuation funds under the new Biden regime

The Hon. Arthur Sinodinos AO
Australia’s Ambassador to the United States of America

A special appearance by The Hon. Arthur Sinodinos AO (streaming from Washington).


Capital markets: the challenges and the end game

Olivia Engel (USA)
Senior Managing Director, State Street Global Advisors and CIO, Active Quantitative Equity
Shane Oliver
Head of Investment Strategy and Chief Economist, AMP Capital
Sonya Sawtell-Rickson
Chief Investment Officer, HESTA
Jim Barry
Chief Investment Officer, BlackRock Alternatives Investors
Dr Martin Fahy (Chair)
Chief Executive Officer, ASFA

The challenges wrought on investment markets by COVID-19 seem endless; after a year of turmoil and volatility, what can we realistically look forward to? What factors will shape the market? How long until different asset classes and/or sectors recover? Do we need to rethink strategic asset allocation? This session will examine the outlook for institutional investors with a focus on the future of Australian equities, infrastructure sub-sectors as alternative sources of return and managing cash-flow including hedging and foreign exchange strategies.

Presented by



Reinventing, reinvigorating – the future of cities

Lucy Hughes-Turnbull AO
Former Lord Mayor of Sydney and Former Chief Commissioner, Greater Sydney Commission
David Neal
Chief Executive, IFM Investors
Nicolette Rubinsztein (Chair)
Non-Executive Director UniSuper and member, ASFA Super System Design Council

Cities around the world became ghost towns in 2020 when lockdowns became the instrument of choice to suppress the spread of COVID-19. While the withdrawal from cities may not be permanent, has the pandemic opened our eyes to other possibilities and human needs that cities now need to evolve to meet? Will cities regain their standing as employment and entertainment hubs? Is the rise of digitisation an opportunity or an impediment to delivering people’s desired lifestyles? Can cities thrive in the face of closed borders and mobility restrictions? As the way we work changes, there will be implications for superannuation. Will we see fewer jobs and more contractors/gig workers? What will be the impacts on investment in property, infrastructure and other assets? Futurist Steve Sammartino will look at the macro issues and offer some blue-sky thinking to reinvent the city, while former Sydney Lord Mayor and strategic urban planner Lucy Turnbull will talk to the ways cities can evolve and meet the challenges.

Presented by

Link Group

12.10pm – 12.40pm


Lunch with the Leaders

Melinda Howes
General Manager of Superannuation, BT Financial Group
Deanne Stewart
Chief Executive Officer, Aware Super
Vicki Doyle
Vicki Doyle
Chief Executive Officer, Rest
Justin Arter
Chief Executive Officer, Cbus
Damian Hill
Chief Executive Officer, Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation (CSC)
Frank Lombardo
Chief Operating Officer, IOOF Holdings Ltd
Chris Davies
Chief Executive Officer, TelstraSuper
Scott Cameron
Chief Executive Officer, Togethr Trustees
Scott Durbin
Chief Executive Officer, Commonwealth Bank Group Super
Jo-Anne Bloch
Partner, Head of Industry and Public Sector, Mercer



Is resilience an art, a science or just good management?

Shane Fitzsimmons AFSM
Commissioner of Resilience NSW and 2021 NSW Australian of the year
Russell Mason (Chair)
Lead Superannuation Partner, Deloitte and member, 2020 Conference Committee (Fellow of ASFA)

Having led NSW through an extraordinary bushfire crisis, Shane Fitzsimmons is now tasked with developing strategies that build community resilience to future major adverse incidents as head of Resilience NSW. Shane will talk about the pressures of leadership where people’s lives, livelihoods and property are on the line. He’ll also speak to the unique challenges COVID-19 has brought to his new role, including what needs to change to secure the safety and wellbeing of communities, his thoughts on decision-making and having the right teams and processes in place that apply to any crisis scenario. Shane will discuss the key lessons for the superannuation industry, looking at how to plan, mitigate and manage risks, identify appropriate resources and communicate effectively.


Cold hard cash – hedging currency and foreign exchange

Jamie Bonic
Head of Investor FX Sales APAC, National Australia Bank
Wade Matterson
Wade Matterson
Investment Committee member
Michael McQueen
Michael McQueen (Chair)
Chief Investment Officer, Media Super

Given the extraordinary market volatility at the outset of the pandemic, what can funds look at in terms of currency hedging and foreign exchange strategies? With funds needing to report to satisfy APRA’s heatmaps, what are the issues associated with measuring performance in this sector? In this session partnered by NAB, what are the options available to funds to create value? Is it time to consider the adoption of digital currencies? What is the role of gold and other synthetics?

Presented by



The connected world and its risks

David Leach
Head of Cybersecurity & Technology Controls, Asia Pacific, J.P. Morgan
Dave Cowan
Chief Information Security Officer, Link Group
Michelle Bower
Executive Officer, Gateway Network Governance Body (GNGB)
Teifi Whatley (Chair)
Chief Strategy and Impact Officer, Sunsuper

Since the pandemic began, the world has depended on virtual connections in an era where the risks of cyber-attacks, malicious actors and data breaches are on the rise. This session will explore opportunities for the superannuation industry to make technology work better for them and deliver value for their members through customer-centric models, as well as the relative strengths of onshore versus offshore models and COVID-19 impacts.



Ask the CIO

Kristian Fok
Kristian Fok
Chief Investment Officer, Cbus and member, 2020 Conference Committee
Sonya Sawtell-Rickson
Chief Investment Officer, HESTA
Damian Graham
Chief Investment Officer, Aware Super
Graeme Mather (Chair)
Head of Distribution, Schroders and member, 2020 Conference Committee

Low growth environments, ESG considerations, internalising asset management and dealing with the COVID-normal world are just some of the insomnia-inducing issues keeping superannuation fund CIOs awake at night. More than full-time investment experts they’re becoming philosophers, fortune tellers, historians and all-round troubleshooters in equal parts. Three of the industry’s most experienced CIOs will share personal insights around a host of today’s issues including building portfolios, determining pandemic impacts, integrating ESG and remaining ahead of peers while managing investment objectives. An interactive session, the panel will be looking for the hard questions from delegates.


Advice in Super: time for a re-think?

Sarah Forman
Group Executive Advice, Aware Super
Matt Fogarty
Chief Executive Officer, Fitzpatricks Private Wealth
Duncan McPherson
Duncan McPherson
General Manager, Link Advice, Link Group
Sarah Brennan (Chair)
Non-Executive Director, AMP Super

With around 20 per cent of advisers predicted to leave the industry before 2024, funds have well-founded concerns around what ASIC has termed a growing ‘unmet advice gap’. An ageing population and the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis indicate an increasing need for Australians to seek advice to support them in growing their super to fund a dignified and comfortable retirement. This panel will look at how funds might re-think the advice conundrum and meet the challenges of delivering compliant and affordable quality advice to their members.


Group insurance: where to from here?

Katie Le Cras
Head of Service Delivery – Member Experience, AustralianSuper
Wendy Tse
Chief of Staff and External Affairs, MetLife
Alan Merten (Chair)
Partner, Financial Services, Deloitte Consulting

The future of group insurance is under significant pressure – affordability is top of mind for funds while insurers are looking hard at sustainability and what innovations may be needed. This session will look at the different challenges funds are addressing and the approaches they have taken or are likely to take to move group insurance into a new era. The panel will consider such possibilities as self-insurance, captives, co-insuring or layered insurance from a panel of insurers, as well as look at the ongoing role of reinsurance.



Inventive thinking: the power of ideas

Dr Jordan Nguyen
Innovative engineer and Founder & CEO of Psykinetic
Georgina Lee
Georgina Lee (Chair)
Product and Operations Leader – Care & Living with Mercer, Mercer and member, 2020 Conference Committee

Technology is going to play an ever-increasing role as the superannuation industry seeks to provide members with a dignified retirement. How can the industry harness technology and explore its human-centric qualities to act collaboratively and empathetically and deliver the very best outcomes? Dr Jordan Nguyen, a noted biomedical engineer and inventor, works to improve independence and quality of life for people, particularly the elderly and disabled. His “out of the box” thinking has led to a host of innovations and achievements, including a mind-controlled wheelchair. He’ll share the light bulb moments along his journey that made a huge difference to a wide range of communities and cohorts.

Daily wrap-up

Program and timings are subject to change.

Day three: Friday 12 February 

Please refer to the Conference platform agenda for detailed session times.




Holding a mirror to super 

Bernard Salt AM
Demographer and Managing Director, The Demographics Group
Jeremy Cooper
Chairman, Retirement Income, Challenger, member, ASFA Super System Design and 2020 Conference Committee

COVID-19 shifted the tectonic plates underpinning society, exposing the haves and the have nots and, for many, revealed a bleak future. Where your members live, their gender, occupation, whether they own their home, their debt levels, if they accessed the early release of super program all impact their socio-economic status and, ultimately, their prospects of a well-funded retirement. Noted demographer Bernard Salt will look at how superannuation is a microcosm of society and what it can learn from the pandemic that will better inform member engagement strategies and retirement product offerings.

Presented by




Rethinking retirement – a bonus session with Bernard Salt 

Bernard Salt AM
Demographer and Managing Director, The Demographics Group
Sally Evans
Trustee Director, Rest
Brnic Van Wyk
Head of Asset Liability Management, QSuper
Chris Drew
Investment Manager, Catholic Super
Jeremy Cooper (Chair)
Chairman, Retirement Income, Challenger, member, ASFA Super System Design and 2020 Conference Committee

This session will unpack Bernard Salt’s keynote and whitepaper and continue to explore themes touched on during Keynote 5 Reinventing, reinvigorating – the future of cities. Bernard, together with Jeremy Cooper and an expert panel will look at:

  • The factors that will shape the retirement experience in Australia.
  • The megatrends or big shifts that have come into play by the COVID-19 experience.
  • The role these megatrends will play in altering the retirement narrative over the coming decade.


First and foremost – for the member 

Katrina Ellis
General Manager Superannuation, APRA
Cathy Nance
Partner, PwC
Georgina Williams
Director, Sunsuper
Craig Cummins (Chair)
Partner, PwC Australia and member, 2020 Conference Committee

SPS515 and its related reforms will have a profound impact on funds and members and there has been considerable debate on the associated policy and compliance considerations. This panel, presented by PwC, will examine key strategic and practical factors of value to trustees and senior fund executives as they chart what success would look like. Will the reforms change the way funds are governed and operated? What should trustees focus on? What are the likely pitfalls and consequences of not ultimately delivering better member outcomes?

Presented by



The evolution of AI and data

Dr Catriona Wallace
Founder & CEO, Ethical AI Advisory
Dr Mark Staples
Dr Mark Staples
Senior Principal Researcher, CSIRO’s Data61
Ujwal Kayande
Ujwal Kayande
Founding Director, The Centre for Business Analytics, Melbourne Business School (MBS)
Dee McGrath
Dee McGrath (Chair)
Chief Executive Officer, Retirement & Superannuation Solutions, Link Group

The rise in use of AI is bringing some exceptional benefits, not the least of which is improved analytical capabilities, increased productivity, reduced cost and when it works properly, increased customer experience. The challenge however is to use AI in a way so as it does not cause harm.

In this session, Dr Catriona Wallace, an expert in the future of customer experience and AI will share her vast experience in meeting the challenge of designing and deploying AI in an ethical way.

This topic takes on greater significance as we re-emerge from the pandemic with a bigger focus on working from home, information management and automation.

What this means for the superannuation industry will then be discussed.

Presented by

Link Group

12.15pm – 1.00pm




The political perspective

Senator the Hon. Jane Hume
Minister for Superannuation, Financial Services and the Digital Economy
Dr Jim Chalmers MP
Shadow Treasurer
Glen McCrea (Chair)
Chief Policy Officer and Deputy CEO, ASFA

This session will feature the very latest thinking on superannuation and how it can deliver its objectives from the federal government and opposition.



The regulator perspective

Helen Rowell
Deputy Chairman, APRA
Danielle Press
Commissioner, ASIC
Glen McCrea (Chair)
Chief Policy Officer and Deputy CEO, ASFA

APRA and ASIC will share their perspectives on a range of regulatory issues and desired outcomes.



Tennis legend, indigenous icon – a chat with Evonne Cawley 

Evonne Goolagong-Cawley AC
Chairperson, Evonne Goolagong Foundation, and former world number one tennis champion
Wayne Sullivan (Host)
Director of Marketing and Business Development, Frontier and member, 2020 Conference Committee (Fellow of ASFA)

Evonne Goolagong Cawley’s extraordinary tennis talents took her to the pinnacle of sporting achievement. A seven-time grand slam singles title winner, former world no.1 player and a member of the ITF Hall of Fame, Evonne inspired a generation of Australians. In this exclusive and rare interview, Evonne will touch on her rise from the tiny NSW town of Barellan to victory on Wimbledon’s Centre Court and what qualities and attributes are required to excel. She will also reflect on the rise of inclusion and diversity within the Australian community and the indigenous causes she has championed, including the Goolagong National Development Camp and the Evonne Goolagong Sports Trust.

Presented by



Daily wrap up and Conference close

Program and timings are subject to change.