Skills and thinking for braver real estate


March 26 - 28, 2023 | Sydney

A masterclass and guided exploration of modern leadership with real estate’s boldest thinkers.

Invitation only.


Proudly Partnering with

Rise Leadership Awakening Program

Sunday March 266pm for 6.30pm The Rooftop, MCA, The Rocks

Welcome Dinner

Join us on the rooftop of the Museum of Contemporary Art with stunning views of Sydney Harbour for a drink as the sun sets, followed by a three-course dinner by the lights of the Harbour Bridge and Opera House.Thanks to our dinner partner, CoreLogic

Monday March 278:30 AM

Day 1 - Opening and Welcome: MC John Foong - Domain

9:00 AM

Rise With Us - Sarah Bell and James Keenan

Real estate leadership stands at the crossroads. In one direction is the option of treading the traditional performance path driven by GCI, hustle, scripts, dialogues and its ongoing, crippling cost of employee disillusionment, stress, anxiety and burnout. The other is the opportunity to lean into bigger conversations that connect our heads with our hearts to create mentally well workplaces that support both personal and career goals and business-wide achievement. RiSE directors Sarah Bell and James Keenan discuss the ‘woah!’ moments from the 2022 RiSE Leadership Retreat, the insights that created seismic shifts and the challenging revelations that every real estate leader needs to embrace.

9:20 AM

Brave Leadership - The Hon Michael Kirby AC CMG

The essence of brave leadership comes down to an ability to make brave decisions. As Australia’s longest-serving high court judge, Michael Kirby knows what it means to be right, especially when it is not popular. His dissenting judgments are famous for being on the wrong side of the majority, but on the right side of history. As a highly decorated human rights champion, professor and international jurist with appointments across several UN missions, we are honoured to have Michael’s wisdom and experience to inspire our leaders to be decisive, ethical and inclusive.

10:00 AM

Team Performance Superpowers: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion - Rosalind Coffey

Want to significantly improve the performance of your team? Research shows that diverse and inclusive teams are 11 times more effective, 35% more likely to outperform on profitability, 20% better at driving innovation and six times more likely to provide excellent customer service than traditional counterparts. Macquarie Head of People, Culture and Client Experience, Rosalind Coffey, discusses how the highly regulated banking industry has addressed issues of performance, employee retention and engagement and how they can be adapted for real estate.

10:45 AM

Morning tea

11:00 AM

The Job of the Boss - Chris Hanley OAM

“It’s Dad’s job to drive when everyone else is tired.” This beautiful quote from the movie Unfinished Business could also be a neat summary of what we do each day in our organisations. RiSE founding father and First National Byron CEO, Chris Hanley - who has been recognised for his services to real estate - explores the job of the boss and how strong cultures can sustain us as leaders.

12:00 PM

How Safe is Your Workplace? - Chanel Contos with Kylie Davis

You’ve got a team who work hard, play hard, and hang out together. What could go wrong? Consent is not a “yes” or a “no”. Consent is empathetic, and ever-changing and needs to be taught that way. Chanel Contos founded and led the Teach Us Consent campaign - which made consent education mandatory in all Australian schools. She is also the inaugural Director of the Centre for Sex and Gender equality at the Australia Institute. Having worked in both residential and commercial real estate, Chanel will discuss her experiences and how to base relationships on “hell yes!”

12:30 PM

Ownership and Authenticity from the Top - Ewan Morton, Charlotte Pascoe and John Cunningham, with Sherrie Storor

When we turn a blind eye to disruptive behaviour in our teams, we send the signal that we support it. Sherrie Storor leads this panel with industry leaders Ewan Morton (Morton RE), Charlotte Pascoe (Stockdale & Leggo) and John Cunningham (Cunningham RE) who discuss their moments of truth in facing up to toxic behaviour within their teams and how they leaned in to transform it.

1:00 PM


2:00 PM

Talking Circle Workshop - Hosted by Sarah Bell and Michael Sheargold

As a leader, it's a common default mode to think we need to know all the answers - when often true wisdom can be found in the collective. The RiSE Manifesto was created through the collaboration of those in the room at the RiSE 2022 Leadership Retreat. It is a groundbreaking document which identifies a new vision for real estate that is more sustainable, human and connected head-with-heart.This year, we’ll explore how to achieve the ideals outlined in the manifesto.Talking Circles are an ancient framework that allow us to problem solve by leveraging the extensive knowledge and experience in the room and reimagine solutions in ways that are deeply connected and generous.

4:00 PM

Afternoon tea

4:20 PM

How New-Age Businesses Behave - James Bell, Will Gosse and Christine Mikhael, with Antonia Mercorella

REIQ CEO Antonia Mercorella talks to new-generation industry leaders James Bell (Century 21), Will Gosse (BresicWhitney) and Christine Mikhael (LJ Hooker) to find out how they have taken on well-established cultures and brands in real estate. This panel discussion explores how these leaders decided what to keep, what had to go and how they are pressing reset to support innovative and inclusive businesses through leadership by encouragement.

4:50 PM

Day 1 Wrap - John Cunningham

6:30 PM

Dinner - MuMu, 330 George St

After a full day, it’s time to relax. MuMu is a fun, funky, Asian street food restaurant with big sharing plates and bold flavours.
Thanks to our dinner partner: Domain

Tuesday March 288:30 AM

Day 2 - Highlights and Critical Learnings

After a day exploring transformative leadership skills and motivations, it’s time to take a closer look at the brave conversations and vulnerability needed to do the work back in the office. We review the key insights from day one and the outline for today’s sessions.

8:45 AM

Transforming Traditional Cultures - Gillon McLachlan

How do you take a deeply traditional industry that idolises superstars and the scoreboard and transform it to become a modern and connected culture that is empowering for the men and women within all levels of its ranks? As CEO of the AFL, Gillon McLachlan stated: "Australian football is built on community. We are only as strong as the community in which we reside.” During his time in senior leadership, Gill successfully steered the AFL through extraordinary highs including: negotiating the last AFL Media Rights Deal (still the largest in Australian sports rights history); creating two new clubs, raising the funding and building their stadiums and, driving the launch of AFL Women’s. But there were difficult periods too, including the AFL's investigation into the Melbourne Football Club, dealing with the Essendon Football Club as part of its illegal sports supplements scandal and steering the AFL through Covid. In this heart-to-heart session, Gill will discuss the power of vision, diversity, discipline and resilience and the role of leaders in building trust and creating connected communities at every level of the business - not just for game day.

9:30 AM

Successful Succession - Nick West, Charlie Barham and Joel Davoren, with Kylie Walsh

Creating a legacy and building a business strong enough to span and prosper across generations is a powerful goal. But how do you do that when what motivates each generation can be so diverse? Kylie Walsh explores businesses succeeding through diversity in this panel discussion with Nick West and Charlie Barham (Nelson Alexander) and Joel Davoren (RE/MAX).

10:10 AM

Writing the Second Act - Mike Green and Leanne Pilkington

Just when you think your path is set, new opportunities open up that help us understand where our passions really lie. Leanne Pilkington (Laing + Simmons) and Mike Green (Harcourts) discuss the moments they realised they weren’t ready to let go and how they reinvented themselves and their missions.

10:40 AM

Morning tea

11:00 AM

Rebuilding After Burnout - Dr Lucy Hone

The past few years have been their own special version of a hamster wheel. So, how do you prevent burnout in yourself and your team? Leading international authority on wellbeing and resilience, Dr Lucy Hone was voted one of the Top 20 TED speakers in 2020. The best-selling author also has lived experience in personal grief, trauma and resilience, having lost her 12-year-old daughter in a car accident. In this thought-provoking session, Dr Hone explores the difference between stress and burnout. She offers strategies on how to create a culture that manages stress effectively and harnesses stress to boost performance, while protecting yourself and others.

11:40 AM

Superheroes and Other Fiction - Megan Jaffe with Sarah Bell

Megan Jaffe with Sarah Bell: Superheroes and Other Fiction. When we see someone performing at an extremely high level, we often believe they have superpowers and assume they are fine. In this heart-to-heart, Megan Jaffe (Ray White) and Sarah Bell (CoreLogic) explore the myths of superheroism - and how we need more helpful role models.

12:00 PM

The Heart of Every Real Estate Business - Cassandra Lantry & Cathie Crampton with Fiona Blayney

To date, the focus on PM has been on how difficult it is - to find staff, to manage customer expectations, to cope with stress and burnout. But by 2030, property management will be the heart and engine of high-performing real estate businesses being a source of leads, community connection and reputation for incredible service. Cathie Crampton (Place) and Cassandra Lantry (Leah Jay) discuss the processes, performance expectations and culture they have established across their businesses to turn PM from problems into powerhouses with Fiona Blayney (Real+)

12:30 PM

Sustaining a High-Performance Culture - Michael Sheargold

One of Australia’s most respected performance and business coaches, Michael Sheargold looks at the strategies, skills and motivations that support high-performance cultures for the long haul in this highly practical and thought-provoking session.

1:00 PM


2:00 PM

Managing through Market Changes -Jason Pellegrino with Domonic Thompson

The dramatic turnaround in the Australian property market is having a direct impact on a generation of sales agents only used to a booming market. It's also testing the resilience of an exhausted property management sector dealing with stressed tenants and a housing crisis. In this collaborative conversation Jason Pellegrino (Domain) and Dominic Thompson (Macquarie) discuss how the downturn is playing out, how property market stress is showing up in our organisations and strategies for managing it.

2:30 PM

Creating Clarity & Cohesion in a Growing Leadership Team - Nick Dowling and Rebecca Darley with David Bowie

How do you create clarity and cohesion in a leadership team that is rapidly growing? Nick Dowling (Jellis Craig, CEO) and Bec Darley (Domain CMO) open up to David Bowie (MRI Software - Senior VP & MD) about how to scale the essentials of your culture, when to stand firm and when it’s appropriate to let go.

2:50 PM

Care-Full Leadership - Mitch Wallis

Is your company culture care-full, or care-less? Do you really know? Mental wellness expert and Heart on My Sleeve founder Mitch Wallis looks at the Top 5 mistakes organisations make that prevent their teams from thriving. He will share the number one step that all leaders can take to ensure that the value of mental wellness is translated into action and belief. Mitch will explore how to: create psychologically safe workplaces, protect staff from becoming emotionally injured at work and, most challengingly, how to role model healthy behaviours.

3:50 PM

Conference Wrap - John Cunningham