The Westin, Sydney

13 & 14 July


10 Speakers

Featuring the best line-up of speakers for Assistants

Limited Tickets Available

Book now to avoid disappointment

Train Like The CEO You Support

Learn, Network & Thrive in your Administrative Career!

The world's leading international event for senior and aspiring Administrative Professionals and Executive Assistants comes to Sydney for the first time in July 2018.

Our other global conferences are taking place in:

Johannesburg: 7 & 8 September 2018
Silicon Valley: 16 & 17 November 2018


Featuring ten of the most inspiring industry leaders from across the Administrative Profession.

Speaker 1

Vickie Sokol Evans

Microsoft Certified Trainer to Bill Gates’ Assistants

Read Vickie's Biog
Speaker 2

Reggie Love

Former Personal Aide & Body Man to Barack Obama

Read Reggie's Biog
Speaker 3

Melba Duncan

Founder and President of The Duncan Group Inc.

Read Melba's Biog
Speaker 4

Ann Hiatt

Chief of Staff at Google and Executive Assistant to Google's Executive Chairman, Eric Schmidt

Read Ann's Biog
Speaker 5

Sarah Richson

HR Global Leader

Read Sarah's Biog
Speaker 6

Peggy Vasquez

EA & Author of ‘Not Just an Admin’

Read Peggy's Biog
Speaker 7

Laura Belgrado

World-Class Trainer and EA

Read Laura's Biog
Speaker 8

Rhonda Scharf

Trainer, Author and International Speaker

Read Rhonda's Biog
Speaker 9

Bonnie Low-Kramen

Former Celebrity Assistant, Author & International Trainer

Read Bonnie's Biog
Speaker 10

Lucy Brazier

Your host, CEO & Publisher of Global Training Resource, Executive Secretary Magazine

Read Lucy's Biog


  • Registration, Refreshments & Exhibition Area Opens

  • Boost your career through Emotional Intelligence – half day Masterclass - Sarah Richson (10.30 – 11.00 Refreshments & Exhibition Break)

    Scholars may have coined the term “emotional intelligence” in the early 1990s, but business leaders quickly took the concept and made it their own.

    Workers with high EQ are better able to work in teams, adjust to change and be flexible. No matter how many degrees or other on-paper qualifications a person has, if he or she doesn’t have certain emotional intelligence, he or she is unlikely to succeed. As the workplace continues to evolve, making room for new technologies and innovations, these qualities are becoming become increasingly important.

    Much has been written about the threat of Artificial Intelligence to the role of the Assistant, but as the role continues to evolve, EQ is fast becoming the skill needed to set the modern assistant apart from the task orientated Assistant of the past. Success is strongly influenced by personal qualities such as perseverance, self-control and skill in getting along with others as well as how to read situations and other people.

    We see employers working hard to better connect with both employees and job seekers. Why? Because they know that in order to keep their culture intact and to effectively recruit the right kind of candidates, they need to engage and be open and transparent.

    In this session, the visionary Sarah Richson explores how to use EQ to enhance your career and better support your executive.
  • Networking lunch & Exhibition

  • 17:00 Simplify your life using Office Themes - half day Masterclass - Vickie Sokol Evans (15.00 – 15.30 Refreshments & Exhibition Break)

    She’s back - this time with Timesaving Secrets to Transforming Your Documents, Spreadsheets and Presentations Into Professional-Looking Masterpieces. 97% of last year’s audience wanted to see her speak again so we have invited her to host a half-day workshop in her own inimitable style! Whether you’re a graphic designer or you are like me – seriously lack any design skill – the last thing you want to do is spend unnecessary time getting your documents to look GREAT! Introduced in Microsoft Office 2007, Ofice Themes are available across all Microsoft Office applications and allow you to create professional looking and branded documents with ease. In this session, understand what makes up a Theme and best practices for automating your work so that you can work less.

    • Leverage existing themes across all applications
    • Customize an existing theme
    • Create a new theme to match your company’s brand
    • Save your custom themes and share them with others
    • Discover the #1 mistake people make when changing fonts in their document that cost them valuable time

    “From the girl that guffawed at the idea of going to a Microsoft workshop. I thought I knew all there was to know about Word and Excel. People at my office come to me when they have questions about formatting. “What could I possibly take away from this?” I questioned. I hemmed and hawed and went to the seminar anyway. I am embarrassed to admit, out of everything Vickie went over – I knew none of it. Zero. Zilch. Nada. I look at Microsoft in a whole new light. One might even say, I just fell in love. And the best part? The people at the office think I am really cool now.”
    Holly Eardley, Director of Development, Lucky Duck Productions

    "Thank you so much for those great tips! I just wish you could have seen the ‘jaw-dropping’ and heard the gasps of amazement when I shared your tips with the PA team here at Roche. Thank you. Your tips and links to RedCape are cascading through the organisation at great speed. A member of our Leadership came to thank me for having injected newfound IT enthusiasm into his PA as a result – but it’s all thanks to you!”
    Pauline Delahunt, PA to Managing Director at Roche Diagnostics, UK

    “Awesome!!! OFF THE CHARTS!!! I texted 3 other employees - encouraging them to come because this was soooo helpful. Sooo informative. Thank you.” Elaine McWhinney, Financial Manager, The New York Times “Your class has changed my life - not just my day, but my life. I’m so at rest right now. I am walking away full of life and knowledge. Finally going to be able to leave work on time to spend with my family because I’m working more efficiently. Thank you!”
    Victoria Lecoq, Executive Assistant
  • Exhibitor’s Soapbox Challenge

  • Choir rehearsal

  • Drinks Reception

  • Informal Networking Dinner

  • Refreshments & Exhibition Area Opens

  • Executive Assistant, the new Power Job - Laura Belgrado

    In this thought-provoking and practical session, world-class EA and trainer Laura Belgrado will explore how to work with high-level executives. The session will cover communication, organisational skills, forward and innovative thinking and a pro-active approach. Confidence and assertiveness is also key in assisting these high-level managers. Discover why now is the golden age of the Executive Assistant. Learn about how a skilled Assistant generates ROI for their business Explore the 10 key skills needed to be an exceptional Executive Assistant.
  • Tips from the Top - Ann Hiatt

    As EA to three of the world’s most successful giants of technology, Ann Hiatt’s 10-year career has been quite a journey. She is at the top of her game. Currently Chief of Staff at Google and Executive Assistant to its Executive Chairman, Eric Schmidt, she is also the former EA to Marissa Mayer (CEO of Yahoo!) and before that she was EA to Jeff Bezos (CEO of

    So how did she get to work for some of the most powerful people on the planet and more to the point, how does she maintain her position as one of the most influential Assistants in the world? Each leader has taught her valuable lessons in business and in this 50-minute session, Ann will share her story and tips on being a top-level Assistant, leadership and personal effectiveness.
  • Morning Networking Break & Exhibition

  • “Sometimes You’re the Windshield – Sometimes You’re the Bug” How to take control of your own life. - Rhonda Scharf

    Sometimes life gets the better of us, and we ask “Whose life is it anyway”? When you stop living for yourself and live only for everyone else, something is missing! In this humorous keynote, Rhonda shares that not only do we all experience this feeling – it’s OK to feel frustrated.

    Learn how to stay away from contagious negativity, look at life through a positive focus and stop blaming (whether it is the economy, government, organisation or just bad luck!)

    For those people that do this naturally, they will learn additional skills to keep on top!

    Take control of your own life is the message – and through realistic, easy and fun approaches to change, Rhonda leaves everyone laughing about life, instead of crying – but most importantly, the knowledge on how to get back the life we want to have!
  • Finding Your Voice to Handle Challenging Situations - Bonnie Low-Kramen

    What would you do if you weren’t afraid? Whether it is negotiating for more money, discussing your annual review, handling a misunderstanding with a colleague, pitching an idea to your executive, or confronting a workplace bully, do you struggle with the actual words to say to handle it with minimal angst? Speaking up is the #1 challenge in our workplace. Why? Fears – imagined and real - sidetrack and stop us from fulfilling what we know instinctively could change our world. But how? Bonnie walked this road as the Personal Assistant to Oscar-winning actress Olympia Dukakis for 25 years and is the Founder of You won’t want to miss a word of this interactive and highly informative session. You will learn
    • 10 Steps to tackle any sticky situation
    • How to build highly productive and respectful relationships between you and your Executive
    • Importance of mentoring as a key to success
    • Ways to conquer the fears once and for all
    • Resources to tap for the answers you need now executive and the entire team
  • First Impressions and Lasting Connections - Peggy Vasquez

    The purpose of networking is all about connecting. Authentic relationships are built on trust and respect, giving and receiving, and mutual added value. Creating a true connection and developing a lasting connection takes time and skill. Discover new tools for overcoming your fears and starting conversations to become a “Master Connector.” If you are in the business world, this session is a must!

    Participants will learn:
    • How to increase your confidence
    • Conversation starters
    • Tips for dealing with 10 of the most awkward networkers
    • The unspoken rules of networking
    • How research can help you build rapport
    • Become the most interesting person you know
    • How to connect with others
    • The art of follow up and what really makes a positive impression
  • Networking Lunch & Exhibition

  • PowerPoint Slide Masters: Time saving secrets to managing and merging your presentations in PowerPoint - Vickie Sokol Evans

    Frustrated with the amount of time it takes to create your presentation and make changes to it?
    Are you responsible for combining multiple presentations into one presentation?
    Do you cringe when someone else makes a change, which requires you to spend extra time making things consistent with the format and brand?

    Great news! Vickie designed this session to take the pain and angst out of creating and editing your presentations by using slide masters.

    Vickie avoided slide masters at all costs because she thought it was more work with little benefit…until she discovered how valuable they were for structuring her presentations and fixing common problems. In fact, any time one of her customers has a formatting issue in PowerPoint or comes to her with very limited time to create a presentation, Slide Masters are the answer.

    This session is for you if you:
    • Are responsible for creating or editing any type of PowerPoint presentation
    • Feel like you’re constantly having to rearrange things on various slides
    • Spend too much time trying to make things look good on the slides
    • Need to combine several presentations into one
    • Have problem slides that give you trouble
    • Have a fear of working with Slide Masters
    • Need to leverage your time wisely and be more productive

    Discover the amazing tools that you have at your fingertips – make your life easier and more productive when managing presentations for yourself and others!
  • Afternoon networking break & Exhibition

  • Lucy Brazier interviews Reggie Love

    In this must-hear session, Reggie Love shares his unique perspective on what it was like working for the leader of the free world. Beginning with his first interview for a job in the mailroom, Reggie tells Lucy Brazier how he became Obama’s ‘surrogate son’ and explains what life with Obama was really like. How did it feel to keep the President company at every major turning point of his historic first campaign and administration? How do you own up to (temporarily) losing the President’s briefcase? And what were the career highlights? This is a coming of age story. His time with Barack Obama taught Love, who was only 23 when he began working for the then Senator, how persistence and passion can lead not only to success but to a broader concept of adulthood.
  • KEYNOTE: Management, Leadership and Innovation: The Indispensable Role of Executive Support - Melba J. Duncan

    When Melba Duncan spoke at Executive Secretary LIVE in London, you could have heard a pin drop. Why? Because she is the only leader in the Administrative sector to have the ear of America’s CEOs and she uses her voice to explain to them how best to use their Assistants.

    Simply put, she understands and is eloquently vocal about why the best Executive Assistants are indispensable. The tech world will never develop software that can calm a hysterical sales manager, avert a crisis by redrafting a poorly worded email, smooth a customer’s ruffled feathers, and solve a looming HR issue—all within a single hour, and all without interrupting the manager to whom such problems might otherwise have proven a distraction.

    Executive Assistants give companies and managers a human face. In Melba’s only Australian appearance this year, join her as she explains how after years of cutting back, companies can boost productivity by arming more managers with this kind of help—and executives who are fortunate enough to have a skilled Assistant can benefit by finding ways to delegate higher-level work to him or her.

    Executive–Assistant relationships are business partnerships: Strong ones are win-wins between smart people. In fact, they’re win-win- wins because ultimately the companies reap the benefits. We guarantee that you will leave this session understanding how vital your role is to business and why the role of the EA is truly one of indispensability.
  • Gala Dinner

    We understand your role:

    • We know your role is to make the person you look after as effective as they can possibly be.
    • We know your workload is huge and you want to know how to be more efficient and productive.
    • We know that since the recession, you have taken on many of the middle management tasks but have never had training in how to do them properly.
    • We know that you are in a unique position in your company as the "go to" person who solves all problems.
    • We know that you are becoming more of a "strategic business partner" than the stereotypical Assistant and that your businesses need you to increase your business knowledge.

    That is why we have put this unique programme together for you. No other programme combines real business solutions that you will take back to the office and implement immediately to improve your systems and productivity, the best tips & tricks that you will ever receive on how to use Microsoft Office products most effectively and a huge dose of inspiration that will reconnect you with your role and what can be achieved for you and your business as a world class Assistant.


Get connected and join an elite network of senior Assistants from all over the globe. You will have plenty of chances to speak directly with the program leaders because Executive Secretary LIVE limits the number of conference attendees to promote interaction. You can ask all the questions you have ever had and get real answers!


City Tours & Networking


City Tours & Networking


Drinks reception & Informal networking dinner


Gala Dinner


Networking Brunch

More detailed information will be announced shortly.



    The Association of Administrative Professionals New Zealand Incorporated (AAPNZ Inc) is a voluntary national association administered by its members, for its members. Our membership includes executive assistants, personal assistants, administration managers, receptionists, call centre operators, accounts staff, school secretaries, industry trainers, etc - anyone involved either full or part time in administrative professional roles, in any industry. Many people are making a career in administrative roles and the breadth of demands and skills required of these people is increasingly acknowledged by the public and employers.

    With our rapidly changing office environment, it is even more important these days to upskill and stay in touch with your profession through its professional organisation. Whether working in a corporate environment, small or medium size business or an established home based office, many office professionals feel isolated from others in similar roles. Our membership includes recent newcomers to the profession through to experienced administrative professionals; mainly female but there is a growing trend for male administrators.

    As an employer, providing membership of AAPNZ Inc to your staff is a commitment to a professional organisation and a perfect means of giving recognition. This is a supportive local and national network which will give administrative professionals opportunities for personal growth and career development.
  • Travo

    TRAVO is a free trip planning tool designed specifically for administrative professionals. Our tool saves you time, money, and your sanity! Traveler profiles put you in the driver's seat and save preferences, loyalty points, and payment information for instant trip creation.

    Exclusive corporate rates provide discounts of up to 30% off publicly available rates. Communication tools remove the need for inefficient email chains. Best of all, TRAVO is completely free! For more information and priority access to this revolutionary tool visit

  • AIOP

    The Australian Institute of Office Professionals is the only national professional body for office professionals in Australia.

    Office Professionals are people employed to carry out an administrative role in a professional capacity and can include a broad range of roles in all aspects of a business such as Managers, Team Leaders, Project Officers, Executive/Personal Assistants, Administrative Support Officers etc.

    The Australian Institute of Office Professionals is affiliated with similar professional associations for office professionals in the USA, UK, Asia, South Africa and New Zealand.

    The Institute participates in the International Summit for Office Professionals held every two years. Australia hosted this important summit in 2006. A World Strategic Plan was developed for Associations throughout the world to undertake collaborative activities and assist with shaping the future of the Office Professional.

Interested in becoming a partner? Contact Matthew Wignall for more information.

FAQ's & Benefits of Attending

If you only attend one event this year, then this is the event you should attend.

Learn, network and train with ten of the Administrative industry's leading speakers from across the world.

This is your opportunity to spend two days focusing on your career progression and development. You will learn to lead with your boss and with your teams, you will come away with practical skills, and you will leave inspired to challenge your role, and excel your career as an Assistant.

Included with your ticket are two days of:
• Intensive, practical workshops
• Best practice skills & advice from trainers who support world leaders
• Leadership & development training
• Opportunities to build your network with business contacts and top-suppliers
• Training acknowledged by a certificate upon completion
• Networking Reception
• Gala Dinner

We will introduce you to ten of the most inspiring and internationally renowned trainers and speakers for Assistants in the world. Not only will you learn from their training sessions, but you will spend time with each of our speakers over the event, at dinner, over coffee, on group tours of the city.

Each speaker has been carefully selected to deliver training, experience and motivation based on current challenges and trends which Australian and global Assistants are facing this year.

  • Request PDF Brochure

    Just email and we will send a PDF brochure that you can put in front of your Executive or HR department to help make the case for you, and your fellow Assistants to attend.

    Please note that if you buy three tickets, you get the fourth for free.

    We also offer special group rates for more than 12 Assistants. For more details please email

  • What will I learn?

    Executive Secretary LIVE will give you a unique opportunity to learn from the best. You will discover proven timesaving techniques that will free up your time to make you more productive. You will implement effective strategies to align your role and the business's needs in ways that will reduce costs and improve performance.

    The content of this event directly supports making smarter use of your resources (people, process & technology) to deliver higher quality service. It is extremely good value for the level of intensive education.

    Practical presentations that will highlight best practice, current research findings and advanced approaches from the world's top industry experts and thought leaders for Administrative Professionals.

    Discover the latest products, meet new suppliers and encounter some great services in the exhibition area - including the bookstore and book signing sessions with the authors who are presenting.

    A Delegate Pack to take away, packed with workbooks, presentations and useful information to support the topics covered over the two days which can be brought back to the office and shared with your peers. 98% of last year's attendees in Auckland said the delegate pack was exceptional or excellent.

  • Travel

    Please note that for those that want to take part, and spend quality time in Sydney, we will organise tours and networking events from Wednesday evening, so you may want to take that into account when booking flights.

    Travel is self-arranged, but as we bring partners on board, we will keep you updated of travel information where possible.

    Visas and country requirements for travel please let us know if you need assistance with obtaining visa and governmental approval to attend, email Matthew Want:

  • Refreshments & Excursions

    Included in your ticket are refreshments, lunch and the gala dinner reception on Saturday night. Tours and excursions, along with the informal dinner are chargeable at local rates.

    Please refer to the networking section for a breakdown of additional excursions or email Matthew Want for more information:

The Westin Sydney

Hotel Information

Executive Secretary LIVE Sydney will be held at the Westin Sydney

The award-winning Westin Sydney delivers a true 5 star experience through its sophisticated rooms, amenities and services.

Indulge at the signature restaurant and bar, relax with the in-room massages, or enjoy the exclusive designer shopping, restaurants, theatres and nightlife surrounding the hotel. For a truly unforgettable experience, venture to nearby attractions such as Darling Harbour, Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge.

The hotel offer two 5 star accommodation options at The Westin Sydney. The historic General Post Office building houses the elegant Heritage Rooms and the Tower offers a contemporary experience. No matter which room you choose, enjoy their signature Westin Heavenly® Beds to enhance your relaxation.

Feel well cared for with in-room spa treatments, well nourished by Mosaic Restaurant and relax with afternoon tea in The Bar. Or choose to energise at the Goodlife Health Club or follow a RunWESTIN™ map around this stunning city. The Heritage Ballroom, where the conference will take place features the elegance of the historic General Post Office. We have a special rate for delegates attending Executive Secretary LIVE.

For more details please contact

To book your accommodation please visit

Click here for Hotel website

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Executive Secretary in the Press

We’ve picked up media interest from our campaigns to bring the role of the Assistant to the forefront of businesses across the globe. Here is a selection of some of our global media coverage which is actively assisting in shattering the stereotypes which surround the role.


Full conference ticket includes two half day Masterclasses, a full day conference and our Gala Dinner Celebration for just A$1,600

Limited Tickets Available. What are you waiting for? Change your life today!


Book a place by clicking the link to Eventbrite above
or for any further information or assistance please contact us

Email or Phone +44 (0)1932 560974


For help towards facilitating your attendance for you or your team,
Email or Phone +44 (0)1932 560974

We also offer onsite training; so if you like, you can invite any of your trainers to come to our office and customise training for your entire department! You can email Christian Russell at for more information.

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