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December 2021

Neurodiversity and the Future of Work.

We finished our year strong with our event on Neurodiversity and the Future of Work.

We heard from 4 great speakers, Dr Harriet Smith, Callum McKirdy, Belinda Sheehan, Tom Quine.

December Event speakers

Belinda provided a great slide during her presentation with a list of challenges and success enablers for neurodiverse employees


  • Thinking is concrete
  • Literal and absolute
  • Longer to adjust to change
  • Changes in work environment
  • The unknown can cause anxiety
  • Sensory sensitivities
  • Social interactions
  • Differences in communication

Success Enablers

  • Clear concise information
  • Be direct and literal
  • Written visual and verbal
  • instructions
  • Be flexible in working styles
  • Don’t take things personally
  • Be honest and open
  • Provide clear feedback
  • Give guidance on workplace etiquette

Finally committee member Matthew Parker wrapped up the session with a reflection which we would like to share with you now.

October 2021

Anti-Racism for Racial Equity, From Conversation to Action

Every time I deeply engage in racial equity or anti-racism work, I feel like I rebooted myself, like a computer. One time after a race forum, I lost a tooth from the stress. On reflection, this personally means that the learning has been effective; that I have allowed myself to sustain discomfort, raise my racial consciousness, uncover any racial blindness and bias in my diversity, equity and inclusion practice, understand my place in the conversation and understand that race impacts my life 100% of the time. It’s an intense experience. I don’t know any different. And the longer I have unlearned over the years, the more I feel I need to learn and do.

Today’s Equal Employment Opportunity Network (EEON) and Australian Intercultural Society forum on antiracism for racial equity was one such intense moment, where we heard from Justin Mohamed Sami Shah, Hala Abdelnour Jane Lewis, and Ahmet KeskinDawn Teo and Dr. Teresa De Fazio OAM (MAICD), as well as from our participants in a very lively chat box. One of our participant Gloria’s message was like a bolt of lightning during the session, a critical message on racism, power and privilege. The conversation is definitely maturing, the action needs to catch up.

We all have a racial auto-biography, that is continually shaped by our own experiences and these moments. We are all at different stages of our racial equity journey. And moving from forum to action is where I’ll invest my time.

Thanks everyone who came today, for an engaging forum, where there was a deep care about the work and urgency to usher action to achieve racial equity and anti-racism. We hope to continue this intensity of effort in our workplaces and in our public life.

I thank our teachers who guide us with kindness, patience and generosity, led by our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. I hope, for those who were there, that you found this forum thought provoking, uncomfortable, insightful and motivational. These are some reflections for now and there will be more as I allow the learning to be absorbed and continue to engage with humility and respect. thanks, Roman

Roman Ruzbacky

Diversity, Inclusion and Equity Practitioner

EEON President



August 2021

Radically Rethinking Diversity & Inclusion in the Workplace

Some Event Participants


Our last forum on Radically Rethinking Diversity & Inclusion in the Workplace included deep listening, human connection and a time for reflection on our practice (something we have to continually make make time for). We explored five different approaches to diversity, inclusion and equity work and how they intersect and how to find a balance between them. 

  1. BUILDING COMPETENCE – This approach focuses on increasing the competence of individuals to interact more effectively.
  2. BEING IN COMPLIANCE – This approach focuses on rules, codes, legislation, or regulatory requirements.
  3. HONOURING DIGNITY – This approach focuses on secular, religious and spiritual recognition of the value and interdependence of every human being and our interdependence.
  4. DEVELOPING THE ORGANIZATION – This approach focuses systemically on improving organizational performance.
  5. ADVOCATING FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE – This approach focuses on achieving fairness, and equity, locally and globally. 

The conversation in D&I&E has matured and through our unity and shared practice we continue to accelerate action. We hope this inspired and stretched your thinking. Sustaining our work in a virtual world is so important.

June 2021

Conversations from the Heart - Part 2 - Keeping the Momentum.

Not yet captioned, coming soon

June 16th’s Conversation from the Heart forum was the one of the best forum I have seen in my time at EEON. It was a powerful, intense and moving truth telling narrative and helped me further and deeply understand more about Aboriginal culture, connections and identity, biodiversity, healing, self-determination, racial equity, impact of colonisation, etc.

Your messages were filled with clarity, purpose and kindness. Sometimes when you think you’ve pushed your thinking to it’s limit, you find people who can take you even deeper. Our sincere thanks to Karen milward, Kerry Arabena Kayla Cartledge Stephen Walsh and Joanne A Atkinson; and to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities for your continued knowledge and guidance.

This forum has reinvigorated my optimism, accountability, allyship and advocacy with some clear take away actions. I feel part of something special. 


Conversations from the Heart Part 2 image of video call
Some of our speakers and guests form the June 2021 Event
April 2021

We Are Speaking: Youth Voices in the Employment Space


Our April event saw 4 articulate and inspiring young people share their perspectives with confidence & candor.

Listening to Khayshie Tilak RameshBarry Berih, 15 YO Isabella Fumiaro, and proud Wiradjuri youth Milla Morgan made me hopeful for a stronger and bolder world.


EEON Events
Some of our speakers and guests form the April 2021 event

My 5 key-takeaways were:

  1. Young people know that communication is key to community building, nation-building and relevant workplaces. Listen to them. Give them helpful feedback.
  2. Need for strategic partnerships between schools & workplaces is an imperative. What is being taught and learnt in schools need to lead into relevant pathways to employment (or entrepreneurship).
  3. Connecting employers with young people will enable employers to practice D&I – by accessing a diverse group of young people with diverse skills and expertise.
  4. Issues such as identity, race, inter generational trauma has to be seen and psychosocial and cultural safety mechanisms need to be in place for workplaces to enable their employees to thrive.
  5. The private sector has to move from a ‘corporate social responsibility’ mode to corporate social and economic justice- because young people are activists for whom justice is a non-negotiable.

Roman Ruzbacky – EEON president

25 February


Women in STEM: Inspiring the next generation event banner
Women in STEM headshots

Introducing our speakers
Ruth Harrison – Chair
Bronwyn Evans – Keynote
Taylah Griffin
Angela Bee Chan

DPA, NEEOPA and EEON have joined forces for our premiere event of 2021
12.30pm - 2.00pm (SYD & MEL)
12.30pm - 1.00pm (QLD)

We are proud to partner together to bring you a forum discussing women in STEM and how to tackle the prevailing barriers in creating more gender-equal industries.

In this virtual event, we are excited to present some of Australia’s thought leaders and doers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM). Our expert panel will explore the following themes and provide practical strategies you can use immediately in your workplace, or in your entrepreneurial endeavours: 

  • attraction and how to inspire the next generation and end under-representation
  • how we reshape the stories we share about STEM to address enduring myths
  • rethinking attraction to grow our pipeline, rather than ‘rob’ one another for great talent
  • why women leave STEM: the challenges of underrepresentation and covert discriminatory practices
  • practical strategies to make schools, universities and workplaces ready and more inclusive

This event will be FREE to attend.

We encourage everyone to attend of any gender and any age.

We would especially encourage secondary school aged kids to join us as this event is sure to spark their imagination of how wide and woderful the STEM world can be.


Dr Bronwyn Evans

Dr Bronwyn Evans is the CEO Engineers Australia, the Chair of Building4.0 CRC, a Director of the Australia-Japan Foundation and was recently the CEO of Standards Australia and Vice President (Finance) of the International Standards Organisation (ISO). Dr Evans has previously held executive roles with Cochlear and GE Healthcare and was a member of the Industry 4.0 Advanced Manufacturing Forum Leadership group. Dr Evans has over 35 years’ experience in various engineering roles. She is an Honorary Fellow of University of Wollongong and Engineers Australia and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering. She has been recognised as one of Australia’s 100 most influential engineers and recognised as a 100 Women of Influence.

Ruth Harrison Image

Ruth Harrison

Ruth will be chairing the event. Ruth is Rocket Woman, an Aerospace Engineer, recruitment professional, passionate Women in STEM advocate, aviation enthusiast and a connector of people. Ruth started Rocket Woman to help address the lack of diversity within engineering careers by helping women return to and pivot into careers in aviation/space, defence, engineering, and STEM. Ruth is a member of the Women in Aviation/Aerospace Australia QLD and Diversity Practitioners Association committees and wants to bring gender equity to STEM sooner rather than later by taking direct action. Through Rocket Woman, Ruth advises companies on diversity programs, employment branding, recruitment, and retention programs. She also provides career coaching advice for mid-career professionals and those looking to return to work force after time away. Ruth is a champion of mature age internships and return to work programs supporting women into non-tradition roles. Ruth has also recently completed a Graduate Certificate in Space Operations to understand how we can ensure diversity within growing Australian and global space industry.

Angela Bee Chan

Angela B Chan

is the Co-Founder and CEO of Hackathons International where its purpose is to educate and create the changemakers of tomorrow. Angela has used her participation in Hackathons as her ‘second university degree’ and has mentored, organized and supported almost 500 Hackathons over the past decade. Angela is also a 2x TEDx Speaker and in her spare time, she is #isobaking and enjoys hiking.

Taylah Griffin

In 2018, Gangalu woman Taylah Griffin became the first Indigenous Australian to graduate with an Honours degree in Electrical and Aerospace Engineering, and the first Indigenous female to graduate from QUT with any Engineering degree at all. Taylah now works at Boeing Defence Australia (BDA) as a Flight Test Engineer, and is active in the BDA community as a founding member of the BDA Indigenous Advisory Council. Taylah is passionate about promoting STEM career pathways to young Indigenous Australians, and shares her story with young mob as evidence that being First Nations provides no barrier that cannot be overcome.

EEON Events

Professor Madhu Bhaskaran

Professor Madhu Bhaskaran is an electronics engineer and co-leads the Functional Materials and Microsystems Research Group at RMIT University. Madhu has won numerous awards and fellowships for her research including two competitive Australian Research Council fellowships. She has been named as one of Top 10 Innovators under 35 for Asia (MIT Technology Review 2016), and has won medals from Australian Academy of Science and Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering. The discoveries made at micro/nano-scales by the research group are transformed into prototypes often in partnership with industry. Her work seeks to transform conventional hard electronics into soft and unbreakable products, thin enough to create electronic skin. Besides research, Madhu has a keen interest in gender equity and research training and has held leadership positions to advocate for the next generation.