Luminaries: Empowered beyond ‘bad bosses’ - fostering workplace confidence & leadership

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  • Online via Zoom.

Join us for a pivotal discussion at our Luminaries event, from the UOW studio, where we delve into the complexities of workplace leadership under the theme "Empowering Workplaces." Our panel of esteemed experts, including Professor Mario Fernando, Associate Professor Di Kelly, Dr. Nelly Liyanagamage, and alumni Nic Sullivan, will explore the challenges posed by ineffective leadership and the impact on employee well-being and organisational health. 

The discussion will focus on identifying and mitigating the risks associated with toxic workplace cultures and dysfunctional team dynamics. By contrasting these with positive and inclusive leadership styles, our experts will provide insights into how organizations can foster safer, more supportive environments. This balanced approach aims to empower employees to navigate sensitive situations and equip managers with the strategies needed to enhance managerial effectiveness and team cohesion. 

Expect to gain invaluable insights and practical tools to transform challenging workplace environments into sources of empowerment and growth. Join us for an evening of robust discussion that promises to illuminate the path to creating resilient workplaces where both employees and managers can thrive. This event is set to spark meaningful conversation and offer solutions that address the heart of workplace dynamics.

Meet the experts

Associate Professor Diana Kelly
University of Wollongong
Defending and protecting the employment rights of the least powerful people in society has been a lifelong passion for Diana Kelly. 
She has guided international discourse in the industrial relations space as the current Editor-in-Chief of The Economic and Labour Relations Review, a respected international journal, she is a published author and Honorary Life Member of the Association of Industrial Relations Academics of Australia and New Zealand.

Diana has guided UOW through her senior leadership positions as Chair of Academic Senate 2008-2014, as well as with the NSW and national bodies of Chairs of Academic Boards and Senates. Diana continues to share her passion and knowledge of industrial relations and history with a new UOW students, as a distinguished Associate Professor and thesis supervisor.

Professor Mario Fernando
University of Wollongong
Mario is a Professor of Management at the Faculty of Business and Law and the Director of the Centre for Cross-Cultural Management at the University of Wollongong. His research interests focus on exploring how responsible managerial action leads to positive social change. Mario is researching responsible leadership in particular, and leadership, business ethics, and human resource management topics in general. Mario has published three books and numerous journal articles.

Dr Nelly Liyanagamage
University of Wollongong
Nelly Liyanagamage is a lecturer in the Faculty of Business and Law at the University of Wollongong. Nelly’s PhD focused on Machiavellian leadership in business organizations. She has published several journal articles on Machiavellian leadership, including in the Journal of Business Ethics and the Leadership & Organization Development Journal. She has also contributed to more informal publications in The Conversation, including an article on “How to deal with a Machiavellian Boss”.

Nic Sullivan
Chief Executive Officer | Business Grit
Nic Sullivan, a psychologist with 19 years of experience, specialises in addressing the psychological impacts of work-related injuries, particularly among veterans, first responders, and individuals affected by psychologically unsafe workplace cultures. As a consultant psychologist, she has supported high-risk work sites across five countries and diverse industries. In 2020, Nic authored two impactful programs focusing on safety leadership and fostering respectful workplace cultures, earning her a nomination for the 2024 Australian Institute of Health and Safety Award.

Luminaries brings together leading UOW researchers, industry experts and thought leaders for a one-hour conversation every fortnight.

Join us online for this interdisciplinary series and discover how research and collaboration is tackling global social, environmental and economic challenges. The webinar series is free and open to the public.