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Julia
Banks

Author, Business Leader, former Federal Member of Parliament | Lawyer

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Successful leaders trust their instincts, always listen, and use their voice.
Profile

Julia Banks is an author, keynote speaker, runs her own consultancy business and holds several non-executive director and advisory positions.

Julia has extensive experience in the corporate and legal sector and served as a Federal Member of the Parliament of Australia.

Current Work:

Julia's bestselling book Power Play: Breaking through bias, barriers and boys clubs contains practical advice and anecdotes revealing the unvarnished realities of any workplace across all sectors where power disparities and gender politics collide; From the unequal opportunities, casual sexism and systemic misogyny, to pressures around looks, age and family responsibilities and the consequences of speaking out.

Julia's extensive experience is across the private and public sectors, having worked as senior corporate counsel and executive director roles for global companies for over 20 years prior to being elected as a Federal Member of Parliament in 2016. Julia's key areas of expertise and leadership experience are in the areas of governance, workplace culture risk, issues and crisis management.

Julia is currently Special Advisor to Gender Equity Victoria and a member of the national committee of the Australian Republic Movement.

Previous Experience:

Julia has held leadership positions such as General Counsel, Executive Director, Company Secretary and Head of Risk and Compliance for some of the world's most recognisable blue-chip companies, including Kraft Foods, GlaxoSmithKline and GWF (Associated British Foods). She is also formerly a Director of the "Australian Made" company and a Member of the Advisory Council on Intellectual Property ("ACIP").

During her Parliamentary term, Julia launched and was Chair of the inaugural committee for Womens' Health, Chair of the Social Policy and Legal Affairs Committee, UNICEF, and overseas country groups and a member of the Economics Committee during the Banking Inquiry.

Julia Banks graduated in Arts & Law from Monash University in Melbourne Australia, is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a Fellow of the Australian Governance Institute.

Expertise
Talking Points

Risk, Crisis and Issues Management

Winston Churchill said “Never waste a good crisis”

There’s never been a more apt and timely statement about the intrinsic link between outstanding leadership and good crisis, risk and issues management. The coronavirus pandemic has been an unprecedented crisis on its own and in its consequences, namely that governments and businesses are managing micro versions of this crisis as it pertains to individual countries, industries and businesses.

Leading and managing a crisis well harnesses trust with internal and external stakeholders and maintains the high reputation of brands and companies

Julia Banks is a risk, crisis and issues leadership management expert, with extensive and cross-functional experience in this area - Julia’s clear analysis and advice on what needs to be done before during and after a crisis and special situations is exemplary and invaluable.

Julia’s speech will be tailored to the business and level of audience required. It typically pertains to middle management through to Board level.

After many years of leading crisis and issues management in large corporates and dealing with internal stakeholders (employees and matrix organisations) and external stakeholders including consumers, customers, regulatory authorities, the media and governments both across Australia and internationally - Julia Banks developed the PACCSSA approach as outlined below - which she will explain this model in detail whilst focussing on real examples and elements tailored to your business.
- Preparedness
- Authenticity
- Communication
- Courage
- Speed
- Stakeholder Engagement
- Aftermath review

Key Takeouts:
- A detailed outline of the PACCSA model to implement or harness best practice crisis management tailored to your business.
- How to build this into your strategic business plan to ensure business continuity and reputational maintenance.
- Confidence that with authentic courageous, collaborative and communicative leadership your business will survive a crisis and thrive.

Trust, Governance and Ethics

Good governance, ethics and trust have to be lived and breathed by every individual in the organisation. Good Governance is imperative in the context of crisis, risk and issues management. A company’s brand and reputation for employees, consumers, and all stakeholders are contingent upon good governance.

The hallmark characteristics of best practice crisis risk and issues management are immediate and constructive action, authenticity, courage and resilience. Listening to experts and feedback from all stakeholders and regular and clear communication Why? Because it's only when these things happen that the ongoing success of induvial leaders and organisations can be assured.

Key Takeouts:
- Be Strong. Be Accountable. Take Responsibility
Courage and resilience are required in good governance particularly in crisis risk or reputation management situations. These situations are disruptive and intense but they always acutely define leadership skills

- Be yourself
Authentic leadership and trusting your instincts will rarely let you down. Speaking your truth even if it is your truth to power and staying aligned to your moral compass. Staying silent or being induced into silence is the single biggest killer of ethical behaviour.

- Listen and Communicate
Listening to experts and all stakeholders is key in harnessing good governance with regard to crisis risk and issues management where authentic courageous leadership should always prevail.
Every individual can make a difference and harness the reputation of any organization or brand by playing their own individual part in this.

Work Love and Life, All Work Together

For most of us, work is not separate from living our lives. Being with those with love and doing things outside of work we love are integral parts of our lives. An agile approach to flexible work practices is essential to the future of work for men and women of all ages.

Flexible work practices, dividing the load equally at home and fostering open thinking amongst leaders will make for a better world.

Key Takeaways:
- Open thinking about work and life outside of work
Normalising working from home and fostering open thinking about sharing of home and family responsibilities for men and women.

- It’s not about work versus family.
The dignity of work is life-affirming and it has been for centuries. The most potent barrier to the joy of work for women is the belief that somehow work must always be pitched against those things and people we love. The default position becomes arguing the benefits of traditional/stereotypical roles for men and women.

- Balance is a myth.
To engage in the dignity of work, and to love family, friends and other things in life outside of your work, you need to create a mix. They don’t have to operate in parallel. Sometimes it’s a chaotic mix and sometimes it’s harmonious but it’s not about balance.

Women in Leadership

In business, the case has been made in several successful businesses that gender equality with women in senior leadership positions will deliver success. Women make up 52% of our population, yet at the highest levels of leadership in business and politics, we still don’t have gender parity. There’s more work to do on this as its been proven time and again that diversity delivers success.

Key Takeaways
- The business case for gender equality has been made when targets and other mechanisms have been put in place
- Constant vigilance and utilising innovative ways to address unconscious bias and discrimination such as unconscious bias training
- Normalising flexible work practices, and childcare and aged care responsibilities as an equal consideration for both male and female employees.
Media
Feedback
Julia Banks is an outstanding parliamentarian with a life’s experience in the Business world. Her book Power Play is “Real raw human and forensic." The Hon Malcolm Turnbull, 29th Prime Minister of Australia

Julia Banks is a competent, smart woman who has moved the conversation forward about the treatment of women in politics and other workplaces. Her book Is brutal and astounding. I couldn’t stop reading.

Rachel Griffiths

The eloquent, audacious, courageous statement of disruption of Julia Banks…She will go down in history for calling out truth to power.

Nikki Gemmell, Author & Journalist

It’s definitely a great day in the office when you have guest speaker Julia Banks come in to discuss ethics. Much respect can be paid to people that stand up for what is right, especially in times of resistance.

L’Oreal

I feel incredibly inspired...to just go and grab the world by both hands.

Avila College Senior Student
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