16 - 18 May, 2016 | Shangri La Hotel Sydney,
New South Wales, Australia

Denise Keen

Executive Assistant to CEO/Chair
Arup Australasia
Denise is Executive Assistant to the CEO and Chair of Arup Australasia Region. Arup is an independent firm of designers, planners, engineers, consultants and technical specialists offering a broad range of professional services in 38 countries, across 90 offices and over 11,000 staff. In the Australasia Region, Arup has nine offices across the region with focus on four key areas of influence: cities, connectivity, social infrastructure, resources. Their aim is to shape a better world to ensure their clients receive smart design ideas with a social purpose, which will have a positive influence for current and future generations. Prior to joining Arup in 2004 Denise was Executive Assistant to Sydney Operations Manager | Airservices Australia. Winner of the Executive PA Magazine 2015 Outstanding Contribution to Your Profession Award, Denise is passionate about empowering EA’s and PA’s to achieve their ambitions through education and sharing their knowledge and experience with their peers.  Denise is actively involved in her community and in 2013 was appointed by Premier Mike Baird to the Manly Hospital Community Advisory Panel as his spokesperson to the Manly Precincts and broader community in relation to the closure of the hospital and future uses of the site.




09:20 Organising our Australasia Regional Forum: The Most Challenging but Rewarding Part of My Role

Denise joined Arup as EA to the CEO/Chair of the Australasia Region in 2004, and looking for an additional challenge, put her hand up to organise their Australasia Region Forum every two years. The forum brings together 120 of Arups most talented high level leaders to drive the strategic direction of the company, share knowledge, celebrate success and progress, and to network.

  • Where to begin!
  • Forming OUR Team
  • Logistics and Content | both are KEY components for success
  • The Perfect Venue
  • Reaching for Excellence | allowing others to excel
  • Inside the Forum bubble
  • Celebrating
  • Key Learnings


16:25 Afternoon Tea Roundtable Discussions

The High Tea Roundtables are an opportunity for you to participate in 3 facilitator lead discussions on different topics, exchange your experiences and challenges and develop solutions with your peers over a a selection of sweet treats.

Roundtable themes:

Roundtable A: The Working Relationship/Partnership with Your Boss

  • Understanding your style and the style of your CEO | Chair | Board of Directors
  • Fitting your way of working to your Boss and making it work
  • Understanding their needs (it’s not about you)
  • Relationships based on trust (from the Chairman of the Board to the cleaners and security guards)
  • Doing more – picking up tasks and projects and making them your own

Facilitator: Denise Keen, Executive Assistant to the CEO/Chair, Arup Australasia

Roundtable B: Tame your Technology and Switch Off


In our fast paced workplace and reliance on technology, many people find it hard to switch off and allow themselves to recharge. Explore ways of taking control of your technology and working through your technology not because of it. Reduce your stress levels with some handy tips on managing your workplace technology as well as your mobile devices whilst still keeping on top of your workload.

Facilitator: Mario Halouvas, National training and Development Manager, Priority Management

Roundtable C: Communication Skills

Explore ways to influence and Communicate with others, even in challenging situations.

Facilitator: Wendy Jocum, Director, Wendy Jocum Training and Coaching

Roundtable D: The Challenges Faced by EAs and PAs in their Constantly Changing Roles.


Facilitator: Tania Rizoski, Personal Assistant, Arup Pty Ltd

Roundtable E: Career Progression and Utilising your Current Skills to Adapt to a New Role

From Virgin Australia Cabin Crew to PA to two GM’s within the corporate office, Nic discusses career change and utilising your skills to adapt to a new role.

Nic Russ, Personal Assistant to GM, Brand & Marketing and GM, Distribution & E-Commerce, Virgin Australia





Check out the incredible speaker line-up to see who will be joining Denise.

Download The Latest Agenda