Business Sydney


NSW Minister for Employee Relations and Minister for Finance

Friday, 18 November 2022

12:00 PM to 2:45 PM



Doltone House Hyde Park, Sydney



Business Sydney members and guests

At this luncheon, along with the Minister’s address there was two expert panel discussions addressing important topical issues and developments for employee relations and the workplace in a post-COVID restrictions environment.

Panel topics:

* How to encourage the workforce back into the office; and the impact on business due to employment labour shortages

* Mental health challenges for the workplace in a post COVID lockdown world

Event Partner:






NSW Minister for Employee Relations and Minister for Finance

Damien resides in the Hills District and grew up in the Moss Vale area before attending the University of Sydney, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Laws in 1978.

Prior to being elected to the NSW Parliament, Damien was a partner in his own law firm, O’Hara and Company Solicitors, for thirty years. Damien has also been a small business owner, primarily in the childcare sector and was the Chief of Staff to the former Attorney-General Greg Smith.

Damien was elected to the seat of Epping in 2015 with the second highest primary vote in the history of the electorate.

In March 2019, Damien was elected to the Legislative Council and was appointed as the Minister of Finance and Small Business.

In April 2020, Damien was appointed as Vice-President of the Executive Council and Leader of the Government in the Legislative Council.

In July 2020, Damien was appointed as Leader of the House in the Legislative Council.

In December 2021, Damien was appointed as Minister for Finance and Employee Relations, Vice-President of the Executive Council and Leader of the Government in the Legislative Council.


CEO, EML Solutions

Geniere Aplin is the CEO of EML Solutions and is an experienced Non-Executive Director. Her executive experience spans a range of industries including Personal and Commercial Insurance, Banking, Law and Regulation in private, mutual, and public sectors.

She has over 20 years of executive experience leading high performing organisations with vision and purpose.

Her proven success in financial services includes profit and loss experience in building, growing, merging, acquiring, regulating, and divesting businesses.

Geniere has a proven track record of growing and building organisational capabilities to increase sustainable competitive advantage, customer satisfaction and employee engagement.

Geniere graduated with an MBA (Executive) from the Australian Graduate School of Management for which she was awarded the Chairman’s Prize. She also holds a Bachelor of Laws from the Queensland University of Technology and is a Graduate of the AICD (GAICD).


Executive Director, EML Group

Mark sits in operational role at the EML Group in his role of Executive Director.

Mark has over 30 years’ experience in the financial services and personal injury insurance industry. He was the Chief Executive of EML between 2012-mid-2021, overseeing a period of significant growth for the organisation including the establishment of our Victorian operations.

Prior to EML, Mark was the Chief Executive/Managing Director of Coal Services Pty Ltd and held a number of senior roles with the GIO workers compensation operations from 2003, leaving as their Executive General Manager of workers compensation claims.

Mark is also a current Director of the Sporting Chance Cancer Foundation.

Mark was previously a Director of the NSW Police and Citizens Youth Club, a Director of the NRMA Road Service and prior to his career in insurance, Mark achieved success as a professional rugby league player with St George, Queensland and Australia.


CEO, Australian Retailers Association

Paul is a leading figure of Australian retail having worked in the industry for 40 years including in senior executive and non-executive roles and as a company advisor.  He has previously held senior leadership positions at Target, Officeworks and at David Jones where he was the CEO and Managing Director.

Paul leads the team at the Australian Retailers Association – Australia’s oldest, largest and most diverse retail body, representing a $400 billion sector that employs one in ten Australians. 


CEO, Restaurant & Catering Industry Association

Belinda has won the hearts and minds of Australia’s 55,000 restaurants and cafes in her former role as the Association’s Chief Operating Officer, during the toughest period the country’s hospitality industry has ever had to endure. Belinda joined the association following senior executive appointments with leading international restaurant, hospitality and travel retail groups, bringing a unique combination of leadership, operations, marketing, business development and hospitality training skills. 


Head of Place Futures, Lendlease

Alice is Head of Place Futures, an independent work-and-place strategic advisory business of Lendlease. She works with organisations across corporate, government, university, and health sectors, to co-create workplace and property solutions that align people with the organisational vision, purpose and values.  

Today more than ever, Alice is working with businesses preparing their people and places for two major changes: working successfully in a post-pandemic world; and participating in the innovation economy through local innovation precincts.

Alice is a member of the Property Council Australia (PCA) Education and Precincts Committee, a member of the Women’s Leadership Initiative Committee (WLI, within the Urban Land Institute), and a non-executive director of not-for-profits in the arts industry.


Femi Ogunsiji

Manager, Mental Health & Psychology Programs, Work Options

Femi is a mental health expert and currently Manager of Mental Health and Psychology Programs at Work Options. Having worked with companies at all stages and sizes he brings a wealth of experience within corporate wellbeing. Femi is an experienced Mental Health nurse that has worked in the public and private sectors for several years.

In his role at Work Options Femi works with employers to help them create a mentally healthy workplace resulting in better support for their workforce, reduction in absenteeism and decreased staff turnover. He specialises in developing a holistic approach to managing wellbeing within the workplace.

Along with knowledge and experience; Femi is a clear and concise communicator. He has a warm and approachable manner that allows him to work closely with organisations to ensure success. 

david burroughs

Chief Mental Health Officer, Westpac

Dave Burroughs is Westpac Group’s Chief Mental Health Officer and has been in the role since 2018. Dave has had a 20+ year international career as a psychologist and strategist, specialising in workplace mental health, psychosocial risk management and culture change. Outside of Westpac he is a specialist advisor to numerous Government, national and multinational organisations, Mentally Healthy Workplaces Ambassador for SafeWork NSW, Champion for the National Communications Charter for Mental Health and Suicide, and co-founder of Mantle Health, the specialist men’s mental health service. Dave’s work with Westpac is focused on the development, implementation and oversight of the Group’s mental health strategy and supporting the Group’s approach to understanding and managing vulnerable customers.






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