Shellharbour City Council is proud to be the host city for the 2021 NSW Branch Annual Conference. ALGWA supports and promotes women in local government through advocacy, advice and action. The Annual Conference is an opportunity to come together and engage in learning and networking that will assist in personal and professional development.
We have put together an inspiring program featuring well known and respected speakers who will share their insights to encourage women in local government to empower themselves and each other.
Early Bird Rates Available Now. For more information please contact Joanne Frasca via email or on 02 4221 6122.



Tracey Spicer AM is a multiple Walkley Award-winning author, journalist and broadcaster.

Tracey has been the recipient of many accolades including the 2019 NSW Premier’s Woman of the Year and an Order of Australia for her 30 years of media and charity work. Highlights of her outstanding career include writing, producing and presenting documentaries on women and girls in Bangladesh, Kenya, Uganda, Papua New Guinea and India.

She is currently working on a documentary about the #metoo movement, which she spearheaded in Australia through tireless investigative journalism.




Kemi is an ICF credentialed executive and personal coach, speaker/facilitator, who has worked in the wellness industry for more than 25 years. Having studied leadership and purpose at The Gross National Happiness Centre in Bhutan, trained as a yoga teacher in India with a 23-year yoga and meditation practice, Kemi understands there is a process for meaningful, connection to ourselves, our work, our families and communities.

Kemi is a facilitator for The Hunger Project Australia, leading immersive Leadership Programs to Africa. She is the author of two books and is currently writing her third.




Closeup of Neryl EastDR NERYL EAST

Dr Neryl East is a communication and credibility expert who shows current and future leaders how to be heard, stand out and command influence.

Neryl has been a professional communicator for more than three decades, including a career in television and radio. Her long track record in local government includes senior communication roles at Wollongong and Shellharbour City Councils and training and consultancy work with councils around Australia.

Neryl is a Certified Speaking Professional and has a PhD in Journalism. She is the author of five books including an Amazon best-selling author on media and reputation.




Closeup of Nicole SullivanNICHOLE SULLIVAN

Nic has a diverse and unique skill set, with formal education in Psychology, Science, Coaching and Business. Nic is the company director of Business Grit, a neurobusiness consultancy which applies psychology and neuroscience to performance, influencing how individuals, teams, and organisations think, feel and work.

Nic has extensive experience in workshop facilitation, change management, coaching and large scale wellbeing, safety and leadership programs and has facilitated to Rio Tinto, Bluescope Steel, Ramsay Health, Tyro, across Australia, New Zealand and the United States and currently works with 5 NSW Local Government Councils. Nic applies methods from psychology, health and business coaching and organisational change to help businesses achieve their strategic objectives.

In 2017, Nic won the International BlueScope SteelSafe and Healthy People Award for a bespoke mindfulness program designed and delivered across NSW and VIC.




Nicky Sloan is an experienced leader who uses her skills and energy to promote better outcomes for vulnerable individuals, families and communities. As the CEO of Community Industry Group, Nicky leads a team to act as a voice, influence and leader in the community services sector in southern NSW. She is committed to working with the government and business sectors to build a fair and inclusive community where are all people are valued and enabled to live rewarding lives.

Her diverse work history also includes a stint in local government, the tertiary sector, banking and finance, and owning and running small businesses.




Karen Murphy

Karen Murphy is one of the most decorated and recognisable bowlers having competed at sport’s highest level with a career spanning 22 years. She has competed at five World Bowl’s
Championships and five Commonwealth Games campaigns earning her multiple medals and

Murphy was inducted into Bowls Australia’s Hall of Fame in 2011 and was awarded membership to Women’s Bowls NSW Hall of Fame in 2016. Murphy retired from international representation
in late 2019. She was awarded an AM in the 2021 Australia Day Awards for her services to Lawn Bowls.

Trish Bergin 

Trish is an experienced leader who is committed to advancing gender equality, through effective public policy and programs and courageous leadership. She has experience of both the public and private sector including at senior executive and general manager levels and works with the NFP sector in a range of Chair, Director, and volunteer capacities. Trish has qualifications in economics, management and leadership, together with certifications in a range of coaching, change management, and organisational diagnostic approaches. 
Trish is currently Co-Director at the 50|50 Foundation at the University of Canberra, whose vision is to achieve equal representation of women in public leadership.  She is also currently serving as Chair of the Board of the Women’s Legal Centre ACT and Regions, elected in late 2020.

Trish and her husband care for their 3 grandchildren one day per week, because they want to and because it helps relieve the significant cost burden for their families!


Ruth McGowan  

Ruth McGowan OAM has three decades experience managing projects, communications and engagement in both the State and Local government sectors. She is a former Victorian Mayor and Councillor, and an advocate for more women in local government.

In 2018 Ruth authored ‘The Best Practice Guide for Gender Equity in Local Government’ for the Victorian government, and in 2019 she wrote Australia’s first national campaign guide ‘Get Elected’, aimed at encouraging more women to stand for politics at local, state and federal levels.

As a longstanding volunteer and courageous leader, Ruth was honoured with a National Emergency Medal (2013) and an Order of Australia Medal (2014) for community service.

Nell McGill  

Nell is a Special Counsel in Sparke Helmore’s Commercial Litigation/Dispute Resolution team, with over 15 years’ experience in dispute resolution.

Nell’s work spans a wide range of commercial disputes, including insolvency, debt recovery, contract disputes, and defamation. She regularly appears in New South Wales courts at all levels, and in the Federal Court. She is a strong proponent of utilising alternative dispute resolution methods, such as mediation, to achieve efficient and effective results for her clients.




Sandie Morthen 

Sandie is an Organiser with the United Services Union. In her 10 years in this role she has led campaigns which have delivered positive change for members and communities. Sandie convenes
the USU Women’s Committee and is passionate about achieving a fair go for allworkers.



Please note the program below is subject to change. The final program will be confirmed in early 2021. You can register online now.


Thursday  18 March 2021
6.00-8.00pmNetworking Cocktail Function


Day 1 - Friday 19 March, 2021
8.00 - 8.45am Registrations 

Tracey Spicer - Welcome

 Cr Cassandra Coleman - ALGWA NSW President
 Cr Linda Scott - LGNSW President 
 Cr Marianne Saliba - Shellharbour City Mayor/ ALGWA National President
 Carey McIntyre - Chief Executive Officer, Shellharbour City Council 
9.35amKemi Nekvapil, 'The Gift of Asking'
10.35amMorning Tea 
11.05amNell McGill, 'Defamation Law'
11.35amTracey Spicer
12.25pmRuth McGowan, 'How to boost your political savvy as an influential networker'

Concurrent workshops

  • Nichole Sullivan, 'The psychology of critical conversations'
  • Neryl East, 'Communicating boldly in a noisy world'
3.00pmAfternoon tea
3.25pmDiscussion panel

Sandie Morthen, 'USU helping women grow'




Day 2 - Saturday 20 March, 2021
9.00amTracey Spicer 
9.00am - 11.30am Voting 
9.10amKaren Murphy
9.55amTrish Bergin 'Overcoming the barriers to women in public leadership'
11.00amMorning tea

Nicky Sloan, 'Big Ponds & Small Fish - Leadership & Opportunity in Human Services' 

12.10pm Voting results 
12.20pm ALGWA Hotspots & Wrap Up
2.00pmAGLWA NSW General Meeting
3.00pmClose / Executive Meeting
7.00pm Gala Dinner (The Tavern Shell Cove) 


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Transport Information


Just over one hour from Sydney via the M1 Princes Highway, or enjoy the amazing scenery on the Grand Pacific Drive. From Canberra, take the 2.5 hour drive via the M31 Hume Highway to Moss Value, then the Illawarra Highway. 


Trains to the South Coast depart Sydney Central Station approximately every hour (30 minutes during peak hour) and takes two hours. The best station to disembark for the Shellharbour Civic Centre is Oak Flats, with buses and taxis available from Oak Flats to the Civic Centre.

For further information and timetables please contact the Transport Information Line on 131 500 or visit


Coaches travel through the area connecting with Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra on a daily basis.


- Murrays on 13 22 59 or visit

Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne

- Premier Motor Services on 13 34 10 or visit

- Greyhound/Pioneer visit

- Southern Highlands - Regional Trains and Coaches 13 22 32 or visit


Sydney Domestic/International Airport is just over an hour's drive from the City of Shellharbour. Door to door airport connections are available.

Shellharbour Airport is located in Albion Park Rail in the City of Shellharbour and offers commercial passenger flights by Fly Corporeate to Brisbane and Melbourne (Essendon) return.  Book your flight at


Information about places to stay in and around Shellharbour can be found on our Visit Shellharbour website.


$110 - 1080
76 Cygnet Avenue
Shellharbour City Centre NSW 2529
Last updated : Tue 30 Mar 2021