ACSA WA State Conference Speakers
Keynote Speaker - Gihan Perera
Has COVID-19 shaken up your world? Are your people looking for leadership in this time of
massive change? Do you want to be more confident and decisive in chaos and uncertainty?
Gihan Perera is a futurist, conference speaker, online presenter, and author who shows you how
to be fit for the future in a fast-changing world.
For 25 years, he has worked with organisations and leaders throughout Australia, as well as in New
Zealand, South Africa, the United Kingdom, Europe, Asia, and North America – helping them to
thrive in a fast-changing world. Since the pandemic, he has helped people lead in uncertainty, and
act with clarity and confidence through crisis, recovery, and growth.
He is the author of “The Future of Leadership”, “Disruption By Design”, “Disrupted”, and 10 other
As a speaker, he shares future trends and thought-provoking insights – delivered with interaction,
engagement, and humour – that leave people feeling positive, empowered, and optimistic about
As an AFL coach and mother, Michelle Cowan has an incredible story to tell. With a tenacious attitude and determination like no other, Michelle holds over 20 years of coaching experience in the WAFL, AFL, and AFLW.
At the age of 21, Michelle became the nation’s first female WAFL Assistant Coach. Michelle then spent three years at South Fremantle Football Club as Midfield Coach.
Continuing her coaching career, Michelle took on a dual role at Melbourne Football Club as both the Senior Coach of their Women’s Team and Development Coach for the Men’s team.
In 2013, Michelle was awarded the AFL Football Woman of the Year and in February 2021 was promoted to the Head of Operations and Player Wellbeing for the West Coast Eagles Women’s Football Club.
Michelle’s achievements have seen an impact on women in football, demonstrating that gender is no barrier.
As a speaker and facilitator, Michelle is passionate about team dynamics, leadership, empowering women and girls, perseverance, and passion.
MC - Di Darmody
With over 17 years of experience as a journalist and presenter with ABC Radio, Di Darmody is a well known – and popular – voice for listeners in Perth and throughout Western Australia.
Di has presented ABC Perth Breakfast, Mornings, Afternoons, Drive, Saturday Breakfast, The Country Hour as well as National Nightlife. She has also worked on National Grandstand, AFL and WAFL coverage and has hosted a variety of regional and state-wide programs across WA.
As a MC her versatility and range of experience enables her to connect with people from all walks of life and areas of business. And its this experience, coupled with her passion for bringing corporate, community and sporting events to life, that has seen Di become an MC people rave about.
Her warm and friendly nature gives her the ability to engage any crowd, from business executives to guests at a gala ball or families at a community event.
Her poise, professionalism and bubbly presentation style makes her a favourite with event organisers.
Cam is a Chartered Accountant and Managing Director of Ansell
With over 25 years of experience in the aged care and retirement living
industries, Cam is a recognised thought leader in the sector.
He has undertaken comprehensive financial and operational reviews of
retirement and aged care services in Australia, US, Asia and New Zealand
and has led major studies across Australia and New Zealand advising
Government and industry on policy, financial viability and sustainability.
Cam has hands-on experience with the management of large residential aged care portfolios in
Australia and has provided performance benchmarking analysis for most aged care providers in
He expertly versed on international aged care systems and is a recognised national and international
speaker on the changing trends in seniors’ accommodation and care services.