Affinity Education Announces Inspirational Speaker Line-up for 2024 Conference

More than 300 Centre Managers and team members working for Affinity Education Group are looking forward to the reward of a two-day professional development and networking conference to explore and engage with the theme of Potential, Realised. 

“Planned with the input of our Conference Committee, including our Chief Financial Officer Cathy Montesin, I’m very impressed with the feature speakers for the conference this year. We wanted to ensure an exciting and dynamic line up guaranteed to inspire our Centre Managers,” said CEO Tim Hickey. 

“This conference is one way Affinity Education Group can recognise and reward them for the important role they play in the careers of thousands of early childhood educators and teachers, and in our ability to deliver our vision as Australia’s leading provider of early education and childcare,” he said. 

Lucy Bloom – M.C. 

Returning to our Affinity Centre Manager’s Conference as MC after an epic spot as a Keynote Speaker back in 2022, Lucy is an accomplished leader with 28 years business building experience under a well-known pink mohawk. She ran an advertising agency for 20 years before she became the CEO of two international aid charities: one in Ethiopia and another in Cambodia. Lucy is the founder of an education start up and she’s the author of two books including her memoir, Get the Girls Out! A browse through Lucy’s blog finds topics like “Procrastination and how I punched it in the face,” and “The neuroscience of generosity”. You’ll find Lucy challenging, hilarious and inspiring in equal measure. Buckle up for a courageous ride! 

Lucy Bloom presenting at the 2022 Affinity Centre Managers Conference 

Toni Powell – Potential, Realised in our Team 

Renowned for her hilarious story-based talks, Toni is one of the most recognised and enjoyed positive culture and wellbeing speakers in Australia. She’s won two international business awards for thought leadership, is the author of two books, and her Goalcast talk on looking for the positives in relationships has over 15 million views.  

In a former life, Toni was the founder and director of the uplifting Heart of Gold International Film Festival – an event that had a huge impact on the town of Gympie in Queensland, toured Australia through Hoyts and was so successful that Toni was the subject of a heartwarming episode of ABC’s Australian Story called ‘Let there be light’. 

Stop the churn, reduce the stress, bond and empower your team! I can’t wait to join you all at the 2024 Affinity Centre Managers Conference this year.” Toni Powell. 

Toni Powell 

Julie Cross – Potential, Realised in Ourselves 

Returning by popular demand to Affinity’s Centre Manager Conference after her appearance at the 2019 event, inspiring changemaker Julie Cross is one of the most inspiring keynote speakers in Australia, combining powerful insights into human behaviour with practical strategies and powerful tools for living their best life. Julie’s speeches help her audience reconnect to their resilience, lift energetic frequencies and set a higher standard for their existence. A self-proclaimed student of the ‘University of Real Life’, Julie inspires self-leadership, mood management and emotional and mental wellbeing with her signature sparkle creating an impact that is not forgotten. 

What does it mean to be an authentic leader? It takes humour, resilience and courage – all traits that we all hold within us. Join me to discover your potential at Affinity’s 2024 Centre Managers Conference.” Julie Cross 

Julie Cross 

Naomi Simson – Potential, Realised in Affinity Education Group 

For 25 years, Naomi has been bringing people together, whether it’s with her experience in businesses, her speaking or writing. She is a strong advocate of business owners, with a corporate career that spanned global brands including Apple, KPMG, IBM and Ansett Australia before discovering her purpose as an entrepreneur. Following the growth of Red Balloon, which she founded in 2001, Naomi co-founded the Big Red Group (BRG) in 2017. Since then, she has become a prolific blogger, podcaster and business commentator, and appeared as the #RedShark in four seasons of Shark Tank. A true business leader and influencer, with more than 2.7 million LinkedIn followers, Naomi is Australia’s most followed person on the business networking platform. 

Living the life you love includes finding the ‘Why’ behind what you do in your business career. I’m looking forward to connecting the careers of Affinity’s Centre Managers – amazing individuals who play a wide variety of roles including operating their childcare centres – with the broader vision the company has to deliver the best early education and childcare in Australia.” Naomi Simson. 

Naomi Simson 

Dr Kaylene Henderson – Potential, Realised in our Children and Communities 

Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist and member of the Australian Association for Infant Mental Health, Dr Kaylene Henderson is one of Australia’s leading parenting experts and a sought-after contributor to TV, radio and print media around the world. 

In recent years Dr Henderson has become a highly regarded professional development provider for the early childhood education and care sector, and her online training has also become an acclaimed professional learning resource within the sector. 

As a mother of three herself, she is passionate about sharing research based, practical information and advice with those living and working with children aged from birth to 12 years and does so with her signature warmth and humour. 

“As Centre Leaders, it’s important to pause and reflect on the role you can play in realising potential for your enrolled children, their own families, your local communities, and even in your own journey as a parent. I look forward to connecting with Affinity’s Centre Managers at the 2024 Conference this year!” Dr Kaylene Henderson. 

Dr Kaylene Henderson 

The 2024 Affinity Education Group Centre Manager’s Conference will take place from 3-4 August at RACV Resort on the Gold Coast.