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Young Finance Professionals Leadership

Young Finance Professionals event: Virtual Current and Future Leaders 2020

Virtual Current and Future Leaders
Virtual event
Date / Time
15 Oct
6pm – 7.30pm AEST
CDP Score

This event is suitable for Young Finance Professionals from students to age 35

FINSIA and our Young Finance Professional Committees are committed to provide innovative ways of delivering relevant professional development and networking events to suit the under-35s. 

Our signature event series - Current and Future Leaders is unique and has been highly successful as a face to face event over the last nine years, attracting high profile leaders from across financial services.

This year we will be delivering this event in a virtual environment and on a national scale which will give participants access to leaders outside of their region that they may not otherwise get the chance to meet.

Virtual Current and Future Leaders will provide a forum for industry leaders and young business professionals to engage directly with each other in a relaxed environment (From your own home!). The event will help young professionals better understand what it takes to be a leader in today's corporate world and talk about their views and ideas for the future of the industry.

We are please to be supported by CV Check for this event. CV Check is entirely dedicated to the verification and sharing of personal and professional information. CVCheck conduct more than 300,000 verification checks every year for private and government organisations, employers and individuals. 

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FINSIA will be using the Remo platform  to deliver this event with the help of LunchPool. By registering for this event, you agree to providing your name, email and company to LunchPool to allow you access to the platform. Please see LunchPool’s Security for further information.



Grant Cairns F FIN

Grant Cairns F FIN

Executive General Manger, Regional & Agribusiness Banking of Commonwealth Bank of Australia

Grant is the Executive General Manger, Regional & Agribusiness Banking of Commonwealth Bank of Australia. Mr Cairns is an advocate for professionalism in banking and the importance of ongoing education to serve customers in an evolving industry.

He spent five years with KPMG working in audit for large listed companies gaining valuable risk management experience. He joined Equigroup (IT leasing specialists) in 1999 in Business Development where he was involved in structuring operating leases in conjunction with Commonwealth Bank Asset Finance. He joined McCarroll’s Automotive Group in 2002 as General Manager. Mr Cairns joined Commonwealth Bank in 2005. Over the 14 years, he has led product, distribution and operations teams in Institutional, Corporate and Business Banking.

Mr Cairns was appointed Executive General Manager, Regional & Agribusiness Banking in 2016. He has also been a member of the CEO Circle since 2012.

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Kristian Fok

Kristian Fok

CIO, Cbus

Kristian Fok is the Chief Investment Officer of Cbus. Kristian has been instrumental in developing Cbus’ in-house investment capabilities; growing the fund from $18 billion when he started in 2012 to over $55 billion today. His team is responsible for designing, setting and implementing the investment strategy for the Fund. The investment strategy is implemented with a mix of internally managed investments and outsourced asset managers.   

Kristian is a fellow of the Institute of Actuaries and began his career as deputy director of consulting for Frontier Advisors, before starting at Cbus as Chief Investment Office in 2012. 

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Gaelle Gouillou

Gaelle Gouillou

CEO, The Spiers Centre

Gaelle Gouillou is the CEO of the NFP 'The Spiers Centre' which provides financial counselling, as well as a range of other services to support local WA families and communities. The impact of COVID-19 has seen a dramatic increase in the number of people requiring and seeking financial counselling and other support services, in which The Spiers Centre has been pivotal in providing. Gaelle brings along with her a range of experience working in the NFP sector, and has overseen the growth of The Spiers Centre in meeting the increasing demands of the WA community.


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Jessie Graham

Jessie Graham

State Manager, Westpac Consumer Connect Now Queensland

Jessie Graham is the State Manager for Westpac Consumer Connect Now Queensland. Consumer Connect Now is the banks digital lending offering, which enables clients who live in remote areas, and clients who prefer to have a more digital relationship with the bank, to have lending conversations with finance professionals via video conference.  The COVID-19 Pandemic saw the need for all companies and businesses to adapt and adopt digital platforms, Jessie’s leadership helped the bank, to continue to offer financial solutions to their clients during these unprecedented times.   

Jessie has worked with Westpac since 2009, prior to her current role Jessie was a Relationship Manager for Westpac Premium in the London, UK office. Here she assisted the banks UK and Europe based high net worth individuals with their Australian financial needs, including home and investment lending and financial markets solutions. She is currently based in Brisbane leading  a team of young lenders and is passionate about supporting and growing her team to be the best they can be assisting them to set up with strong foundations to ensure their success in any role they may take on in the future.

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Helen Lorigan SF FIN

Helen Lorigan SF FIN

Venture Partner, Sapien Ventures & Board Member FINSIA & CPA

Helen Lorigan was appointed as a Venture Partner of Sapien Ventures, a venture capital company with partners based in Sydney, Silicon Valley, Melbourne and Shanghai, in April 2017. Helen originally commenced as an Executive-in-Residence at Sapien Ventures in February 2016 which led to her subsequent appointment to three fintech company Advisory Boards: HashChing, Investfit and Moroku. Helen has led a number of major investment fund initiatives with two State Governments in addition to a number of key initiatives across superannuation, self-directed advice, funds management and online marketplaces which involve the identification, sourcing and curating of high quality fintech and online marketplace start-ups for potential investment.

Helen was appointed to the position of CEO of Elders Financial Planning, formed as a Joint Venture between ANZ and Elders, an Australian global agricultural corporation, in 2009 and held this position for 5 years. Previously Helen had commenced with Elders as General Manager, Wealth Management in 2006.

Helen held the positions of Head of Wealth Strategy and Head of Channel and Segment Marketing for Personal Banking & Wealth Management for the ANZ Group, from 2002 - 2005.

From 1997 - 2002, Helen was responsible for CBA's retail managed funds business during which time, the bank acquired Colonial for $10.8 billion. Under her leadership, funds under management grew from $8 billion to $37 billion. Prior to CBA, Helen held the position of General Manager, Business & Trustee Superannuation at MLC.

Helen has a depth of experience in strategy, product development, investments, distribution and transformation gained from managing significant superannuation, investment and life insurance businesses for MLC, CBA, ANZ and Elders. This has included engaging IT, investment and funds management teams and expertise from European and US-based companies to build best-of-breed technology platforms, products and member education solutions.

In May 2017, Helen was invited by the UNSW Business School Dean to become an Alumni Leader. Alumni Leaders represent the diversity and skills of the UNSW Alumni and include Alumni based around the globe:

In October 2017, Helen was appointed as one of 9 new Directors to the newly constituted CPA Australia Board and has been re-appointed for another 3 year term commencing 1 October 2020. In December 2018, Helen was invited to join the Financial Services of Australasia’s (FINSIA) Board as a Director and was formally appointed in 2019. She was also invited to be a member of the Finance Committee of the Board of the SP Jain School of Global Management in February 2020.

Helen holds a Bachelor of Commerce from UNSW, is a Graduate of the AICD, a Senior Fellow of FINSIA and has served as a Director, Responsible Manager and Advisory Board member on 11 financial services Boards and Australian Financial Services Licences.

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Stephen Milburn-Pyle

Stephen Milburn-Pyle

General Manager, Australia Post Superannuation Scheme (APSS)

Stephen Milburn-Pyle is the General Manager of the Australia Post Superannuation Scheme (APSS). In this position he is responsible for corporate superannuation, including the strategic and operational management of the Australia Post Superannuation Scheme (APSS), a $7.8 billion defined benefit corporate superannuation fund, reporting jointly to the Trustee Board and Australia Post Chief Finance Officer.

He also holds the position of Chief Executive Officer, PostSuper Pty Ltd (Trustee of the APSS). Stephen has held the position of General Manager, Superannuation since 2011.

Prior to that, he was the Manager, Superannuation Investments for the APSS for six years. Before joining Australia Post, Stephen was Head of Investment Research at UniSuper and a consultant at Towers Perrin.

Stephen holds a BA (Hons) from the University of Melbourne and is a Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries of Australia. He serves on the Investment Committee of the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research. 

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Marie Mortimer

Marie Mortimer

Managing Director,

Marie launched in 2011 and has since grown it into a business with $6 billion worth of home loans under management. Marie has been instrumental in changing the way Australians apply for home loans by moving them online and away from traditional bricks and mortar banks.

Marie is passionate about developing the FinTech industry in Australia, particularly in the consumer space.

When she isn’t at work, Marie loves to spend time with her husband and two young children.

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Zoe Pappas

Zoe Pappas

Principal, Right Lane Consulting

Zoe is a principal at Right Lane Consulting. She has been with the firm for 11 years. In the past three years, Zoe has worked on nearly 130 consulting projects and facilitated over 200 workshops, primarily with executive teams and boards.

Zoe has developed a reputation for clear thinking and communication, including the ability to reframe complex problems making them easier to understand and solve. Her projects consistently achieve high client satisfaction and advocacy ratings, in part because she stays close to clients and their wants and needs. Zoe prides herself on never missing a client signal and always being on top of how directors and executives are thinking about her projects.



Zoe has extensive experience in leading strategy, planning, growth and organisation projects in the financial services, retail, healthcare and government sectors. Her recent projects have involved:

  • Strategy and planning: Facilitating strategic thinking and strategic planning workshops with a multitude of for profit, not for profit and government organisations. Facilitating steering committees (including a diverse range of stakeholders and views) as they oversaw a critical organisation change. Developing a strategy and organisation design for a disruptive specialty retailer with a promising growth trajectory.
  • Vision and purpose: Working with several organisations in the financial services and travel and leisure sectors to help board and executive teams rethink their vision and purpose statements to help guide strategic decision making.
  • Growth strategy: Facilitating staff and board workshops with one of Australia’s largest industry super funds. Working with a large client team to transform a financial services organisation’s approach to growth strategy, from executing priority growth options to supporting a subcommittee of senior directors to advance the merger agenda.
  • Organisation: Leading organisation redesign projects for wealth management, superannuation and telecommunications industry clients. Helping clients to design and operationalise integrated performance management systems, from corporate balanced scorecards to individual KPI frameworks. Working with marketing, business development and operations teams to improve the effectiveness of their structures, processes, resource allocation and performance management.

Before joining Right Lane, Zoe had 15 years experience in operational and management roles. She was previously a business manager, financial controller and management accountant in the publishing, entertainment, communications and IT security industries. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Melbourne and an MBA from Melbourne Business School.

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Ian Pollari F FIN

Ian Pollari F FIN

National Sector Leader, Banking and Global Co-leader, KPMG Fintech practice, KPMG Australia

Ian Pollari is a partner at KPMG and the Global Co-Lead for KPMG’s Fintech practice.  He is also the Head of KPMG’s Banking Sector in Australia and on the Board of Stone & Chalk and Finsia.  

Ian has over 19 years’ experience servicing clients in the financial services industry and brings knowledge and insights into the experiences of local and international banks, payment providers and fintech start-ups in areas such as strategy development, market entry and digital innovation.  He is currently working with a number of financial institutions, in Australia and globally, to enhance their understanding of the fintech landscape and helping them develop their fintech and innovation strategies and operating models.

Ian has consulted to a number of Australia’s leading fintech companies and digital banks, supporting them to raise capital, develop their strategic plans, engage with regulators and establish partnerships.  He has also advised Government and regulatory agencies in relation to fintech and digital developments.  

Prior to joining KPMG, Ian worked at Telstra Corporation in Strategy for Business & Government.

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Julie Rynski

Julie Rynski

Customer Executive Regional and Agr, NAB

Julie Rynski joined NAB in October 2017

Julie is a senior finance industry executive with more than 25 years’ experience in financial services and human resources, Julie has held a variety of senior leadership roles across Retail, Business Banking, Operations, Projects and Acting Group Executive Group Chief People Officer. Her current role is Executive, Regional & Agribusiness Australia.

Julie has an MBA from UNSW, a Graduate Diploma in Business Administration and Graduate Diploma in Australian Rural Leadership and is an accredited Organisational Coach recognised through the Institute of Executive Coaching and Leadership. She is also a member of the CEW (Chief Executive Women).

She is also part of the Alumni of London Business School and IMD Lausanne Switzerland and has worked closely with The Big Issue. She has worked across Australia and the Pacific Islands.

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Susan Thorp

Susan Thorp

Professor of Finance, University of Sydney

Susan Thorp is Professor of Finance at the University of Sydney. She researches consumer finance, focusing on retirement savings. She uses theoretical, empirical and experimental techniques to test consumer responses to advice, disclosures and choice architecture.

Her research has been published in leading international academic journals including Management Science, the Review of Finance and the Economic Journal, and has attracted over four million dollars in public and industry funding.

Susan is a member of the Steering Committee of the Mercer CFA Institute Global Pensions Index, a member of the Research Committee of the OECD/International Network on Financial Education and a Director of Super Consumers Australia.

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Shane Wee

Shane Wee

Founding Director, Alto Capital

Shane Wee is the founding Director of the independent investment firm 'Alto Capital', which provides a range of services from securities trading, to assisting budding organisations reach a global scale. Alto Capital has been instrumental in ensuring WA businesses can expand their growth potential. In addition to founding Alto Capital in 2004, Shane is an active Director and Adviser to several NFP and smaller organisations.

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Chris Whitehead Chartered Banker F Fin

Chris Whitehead Chartered Banker F Fin


Chris was appointed FINSIA CEO in September 2016. He has been associated with the Australasian financial services industry for nearly 30 years. Previously, he was CEO of CUA, Australia's largest customer-owned financial institution, Regional Director, Bank of Scotland and CEO, BankWest Retail Bank. 

He has extensive experience as a non-executive director including in the payments, wealth management and insurance sectors.

Commencing his career in IT, Chris maintains a keen interest in the ongoing impact of technology on financial services. 

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Event commences  


Start 1st rotation 


Start 2nd rotation 


Keynote presentation  


Start 3rd rotation 


Event Close 


What to expect - Here’s your chance to learn from the very best in the industry

Great careers are built on more than just hard work. They are defined by how well you navigate change and shaped by the choices you make along the way. At Current & Future Leaders you’ll talk directly to some of Australia’s most experienced senior leaders about your career, the industry, and how to make the best choices for your future. 


How it works

At each virtual table there will be a small group of young professionals and one experienced leader. You’ll have the opportunity to talk about your career, receive valuable advice about how to make the most of the opportunities ahead of you and listen to what challenges your peers are currently facing.

This evening’s event will consist of three 20 minute rotations, each giving you the opportunity to learn from the personal experiences and insights of some of the industry’s leading professionals, so please seize this unique opportunity to ask your most burning questions. 

Why you should attend

Our Current & Future Leaders event allows young professionals to build their skills in leadership, rapport building, collaboration and networking with the opportunity to exchange ideas.


Smart casual

Virtual networking

BYO coffee, tea or glass of wine  

What should you ask the leaders? Here are some suggestions

  1. What has been the highlight/lowlight of your career thus far?
  2. What has been your greatest achievement or challenge?
  3. Who has influenced you most professionally/ personally?
  4. Who have been your mentors and how have you developed that relationship?
  5. What is the best/ worst piece of advice given to you during your career?
  6. How do you stay up to date with ideas & trends?
  7. Do you have one piece of advice you would give to someone wanting to make it in your industry?
  8. How have you dealt with pressure to succeed in your field and balance all commitments in your life?
  9. Have you completed additional post graduate studies?
  10. What importance do you place on candidates for a job who have undertaken additional studies?
  11. What advice would you give to someone at the beginning of their career?

Share your experience with us

Use #FINSIAvirtualleaders

How can i become a FINSIA Member?

FINSIA membership gives you access to professional qualifications in banking and financial services, industry-leading content, insights and influential networks that will help you build your capabilities and advance your career.

Join today by clicking here.

Interested in joining the YFP committee

Contact our membership team at [email protected]

For more information about the FINSIA YFP committee click here

Who are Lunchpool – What to expect

Click here to find out more

Lunchpool Security policy

Click here to read Lunchpool Security policy.

Can I record the online session

No, due to privacy reasons these session can not be recorded.

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