EOA 2016 Awards and Conference: Sharing the Employee Ownership Future, Friday 27 May 2016, Sydney

Conference Highlights 

Angela Perry, LLB, MAICD

The Sharing the Employee-Ownership Future Conference, Awards and Luncheon for 2016 has concluded for another year.

Here is just some the outstanding feedback we have received from attendees:

“A great range of perspectives and I found the links to innovation and governance
very thought provoking”
“Enjoyed the networking and learning from other organisations that presented.
Great guest speakers”
“Focus on innovation was brilliant, much more interesting and
engaging than similar conferences”

Keynote David Thodey, Chair of CSIRO was particularly well received. Elucidating his passion for employee ownership and innovation brought the two key themes of the conference together.

Keynote speaker David Thodey

Hearing the company stories of Kama Ghosn from Eclipx Group and Joanna Mak from Brambles inspired attendees on how employee share ownership can work through explaining a sometimes complicated and legalistic system in ways that highlight the real benefits to employees. As Kama mentioned – employees who understand the benefits of employee ownership watch the share price for the first time, and begin to engage as co-owners in their place of work.

Screenshot from Brambles MyShare platform – innovation in action

Joanna certainly deserved her EOA Award for Most Effective and Innovative Communication Program (see awards section of this newsletter). Using Ikea catalogues as her inspiration she presented the innovative MyShare platform that impressed everyone in attendance.

The innovation roundtables were a surprise hit at the conference:

“I was skeptical of the roundtables, but they were really useful.
They pushed us remuneration / share plan folk to think much more broadly about the interplay between what we do and tomorrow’s workforce.”

Some great ideas came out of this session such as: building communication platforms for employee ownership and better integrating employee share ownership with the superannuation system.

EOA Board member Matthew Lever launched the Employee Ownership Australia Index making a strong case for the link between employee productivity and ownership.

EOA Board Member Matthew Lever and a conference attendee enjoy a light hearted moment

Future trends and examples of innovation in employee ownership were presented by Chris Galway from Ernst & Young (our conference hosts).

EOA Chair Angela Perry listening to Chris Galway (Ernst and Young) presenting

The EY session, was a fascinating workshop on future trends in innovation and employee ownership.  Interestingly the future trends and ways forward for employee ownership echoed the areas that EOA has been calling for change for, like removal of cessation of employment as a taxing point and lifting the $1,000 tax exempt cap to reflect wage and inflation increases since then.

ATO industry expert Haydn Daw

ATO industry expert Haydn Daw

Haydn Daw provided a rundown of how things are changing at the ATO – for the better. He explained the benefits their guide for employee share schemes and templates for startups.

Hon Ed Husic MP, Shadow Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Opposition Assisting with Digital Innovation and Startups

“ … wasn’t it great that he felt he needed to come to EOA to say ‘we’ve learned from 2009’”

We wrapped the conference up with the Hon Ed Husic MP, who talked us through a range of topics from focusing on automation and the future of work to how greater employee ownership could hold the keys to a better future for all of us. Ed made sure he communicated to attendees that his Party had learned from their policy mistakes in 2009, which was both well received by the audience and also highlighted the growing understanding across all parties in Government around employee ownership.

You can find more about our winners and why they won the awards on our 2016 Awards page (go here – to be updated soon).

Well that’s the highlights of the Award ceremony, thank you to everyone who attended, thank you to Ernst & Young for sponsoring the event and thank you to Antony and the Board members for all their help and support.

– Angela Perry

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Our Sponsor:

Ernst & Young
680 George Street
Sydney, NSW 2000
Australia

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