Business Professionals Convention 2023

Welcome, delegates of the 2023 Business Professionals Convention Website! We are excited to extend our warmest greetings and eagerly anticipate delivering a unique and great experience for you and your fellow denominational employees. Prepare for insightful workshops, enlightening seminars, and captivating presentations designed for your needs as business professionals in the South Pacific Division.

Held at the Shoal Bay Country Club in picturesque Port Stephens, this gathering promises to be an eventful, practical, and uplifting occasion. You’ll also have ample opportunities to connect, network, and collaborate with like-minded individuals. Get ready for a transformative journey to make Mission Possible!

Program Schedule

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Points

For delegates that attend, this event includes a number of hours calculated over the convention that can be used towards CPD points . To apply for a CPD Points Certificate for attending the Business Professionals Convention workshops and plenary sessions please click the button below to be taken to the survey.

Dolphin Cruise

On Tuesday the 6th of June, in the afternoon, we will provide you with a packed lunch to take on a Dolphin Cruise we have arranged with Moonshadow Cruises leaving on MV Hinchinbrook Explorer on Dock C, D’Albora Marina, Teramby Road, Nelson Bay. A minibus will be available to transport delegates to and from the cruise. If you have your own transport, you are welcome to go directly to the d’Albora/Nelson Bay Marina for 1:30pm departure. This will be an opportunity for you to relax and enjoy your fellow employees’ company while sightseeing on the beautiful calm Port Stephens harbour by boat. Please make sure to take warm clothes and a rain/spray jacket with you.

Delegate Canape Dinner

Wednesday 7th 6:30pm – Whitesands Function Room

This evening will be an informal event providing you opportunities to network and build friendships while enjoying a light meal at the Whitesands (function room next to our workshop rooms). You are also welcome to wear semi-formal attire for the Canape dinner on Wednesday evening.

Local Cafes & Restaurants

Mermaids Cafe

The Cafe

The Kitchen and Patio

Mod Thai Thai Fusion

Zenith Cafe

Aussie Bobs Fish & Chips

Gianni’s Pizza & Italian

The Shoal Bay Diner

Mediterranean Kings Kebab

The Game O Bistro

Bites On The Bay

Little Beach Boathouse

Other shops & Medical

IGA Express Mart Shoal Bay

Shoal Bay Chemist

Tomaree Community Hospital – 2 Trevally St, Nelson Bay NSW 2315

Local Attractions & Things to do around Shoal Bay

Tomaree Head Summit Bushwalk

Wreck Beach walk

Gan Gan Lookout

Nelson Head Lighthouse Reserve Museum

Toboggan Hill Park

Port Stephens Kangaroo Encounters

Location Details

The 2023 Business Professionals Convention will be held at the Shoal Bay Country Club, 35-45 Shoal Bay Rd, Shoal Bay NSW 2315 located in the idyllic Port Stephens harbour on the Central Coast, 2.5hrs drive from Sydney.  If you are driving to the venue there is plenty of street parking around the site.

Plenary Presenters

Michael McQueen

Michael McQueen is a multi-award winning speaker, trend forecaster and bestselling author of nine books.

With clients including KPMG, Pepsi and Cisco, he has helped some of the world’s most successful brands navigate disruption and maintain momentum.

Michael is a regular commentator on TV and radio and his work has featured in publications ranging from the UK Daily Mail to and the Huffington Post. In addition, Michael is a familiar face on the international conference circuit having shared the stage with the likes of Bill Gates, Dr. John Maxwell and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak.

Michael has spoken to over 500,000 people across 5 continents since 2004, and is known for his engaging, entertaining and practical conference presentations. Having been formerly named Australia’s Keynote Speaker of the Year, Michael has been inducted into the Professional Speakers Hall of Fame.

James Winegardner

James Winegardner was born and raised in Texas, where he graduated from Southwestern Adventist University (then Southwestern Adventist College) and received a degree in Religion. After serving as a pastor in the Texas Conference, he studied law at Southern Methodist University, where he received a Juris Doctor degree in 1987. 

During the next 25 years of law practice, James served Adventist Health System/US, Adventist Risk Management, and Farmers Insurance. He also operated a private litigation practice and was board certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

He returned to full-time pastoral ministry in the Texas Conference in 2011, ultimately serving the Keene church at his alma mater. In August of 2021, he was elected to serve as president/CEO at Adventist risk management.

Ginger Nocom

Ginger is an executive consultant and practice leader with experience in corporate strategy, program delivery and organisational change management. With over 20 years experience implementing change and culture initiatives for complex transformation projects, she has led the design, development and delivery of fit-for-purpose, cross-functional solutions for organisations, both locally and internationally.

Central to her practice is a curious mindset and duty of care with a focus on people as the critical success factor for successful and sustainable change. 

For fun, she runs marathons around the world and loves exploring new places, new cuisines and new cultures!  

Workshop Presenters

Brian Parker

Chief Economist at Australian Retirement Trust

Public speaker with over 20 years experience in asset allocation, fixed income, and economics.

His specialties: Asset allocation strategy, macroeconomics, presentations to clients, financial advisers, superfund trustees, and a wide range of business audiences on the state of the world and the art of investing!

Murray Nicholls

Director – Remuneration Services and Business Advisory at Saward Dawson

Bachelor of Business
Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants
Registered Taxation Agent

Murray is one of the four Business Advisory managers at Saward Dawson. Murray looks after a portfolio of small to medium sized enterprises across a wide range of industries providing services such as: individual & corporate taxation advice, GST advice, business and tax structuring advice, accounting and cash flow analysis and general business guidance. Murray’s particular areas of expertise are Fringe Benefits Tax and salary packaging.

Peni Bolatui

More than 20 years of professional experience in risk advisory and insurance broking works across the South Pacific. Peni worked for major insurers including QBE, TOWER Group and recently held the role as Associate Director for AON and Senior Manager for Marsh Limited Fiji. His role has seen him deal with companies in the area of energy, communication, aviation, construction, tourism, FMCG, manufacturing and many other industries. 

Peni is a Senior Associate of the Australia & New Zealand Institute of Finance and Insurance, a post graduate in Business Management and a Certified Insurance Professional with ANZIIF. He was a member of the TPUM Executive Committee for 2 terms until 2020 before being appointed as a Company Director of the South Pacific Division services Ltd in 2021.

Warrick Long

Prior to joining the Avondale Business School (ABS) in 2013 spent 27 years in the SDA Church system in a variety of treasury, Chief Financial Officer and General Secretary roles, serving on committees and boards at all levels of the organisation. This included living in four different countries and working at various times in leadership roles in Conferences, Unions, Education, Aged care and ADRA. Along the way Warrick also collected a Master of Arts degree in Leadership & Management, a Post Graduate Diploma in Applied Corporate Governance, and graduated from the prestigious Australian Institute of Company Directors Course. Since joining ABS Warrick has also completed his Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), graduating in 2018. He is a Fellow of CPA Australia, the Governance Institute of Australia, and the Institute of Managers and Leaders ANZ, and a Graduate Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. In his current role in the Avondale Business School, Warrick oversees the MBA program and other postgraduate programs in Leadership, and keeps current on workplace and industry issues through providing professional development opportunities, consulting services, undertaking applied research, and sitting on a number of boards of directors and committees.

Robyn Kajiura

Robyn Kajiura serves as the Chief Audit Executive of the Seventh-day Adventist Church with over 35 years of professional experience in the global field of auditing. With a diverse personal background, Robyn understands the importance of cross-cultural leadership and promoting a philosophy of accountability and credibility to the Church organization in over 208 countries. She joined General Conference Auditing Service (GCAS) as an Auditor, and has served as Trust Auditor, Regional Manager and then Associate Director in North America. In August 2021, she was elected to serve as GCAS Executive Director.  

Born in Australia, Robyn grew up in India, Australia, and the U.S.A.  She graduated with a B.B.A. in Accounting from Andrews University, and is a Certified Public Accountant licensed in Virginia. She and her husband, Rick, have two daughters and live in Maryland.  Robyn enjoys work, travel, backpacking, cooking, and running.  She has completed numerous marathons and half-marathons.

John Montgomery

John has over 30 years’ experience in the FMCG industry covering fifteen categories. 

He has worked for local and global multi-national businesses in general management, strategy and marketing director roles spanning UK, Europe, Oceania,  

He has led executive teams to successfully deliver products that change established categories, build revenue, market share and margin whilst delivering financial returns for brand owners,  

His professional development has benefitted from senior executive programs at London Business School, INSEAD and IMD. He has a master’s degree in business coaching from Sydney Business School, University of Wollongong.  John has worked for the Sanitarium Health & Wellbeing Group for 10 years on the Group Executive Team focused on strategy and functional nutrition innovation. He has recently shifted focus to support senior enterprise leadership development.

There will also be speakers from…

This Convention has been specifically designed for employees working in finance and commercial areas of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the South Pacific.

This Convention will provide you with an opportunity to…

Important Registration Information

Registration is free for South Pacific Division Seventh-day Adventist Church denominational employees or $594 (Includes GST) for all other attendees and late registrations. Registration includes attendance at all plenary and workshop sessions, all lunches, morning and afternoon teas, plus a special afternoon activity on Tuesday and dinner on Wednesday evening. Airfares, accommodation, transport, breakfasts and evening meals (except Wednesdays dinner) are not included.

Please note we have a strict cancellation policy as this event is very popular. If you fail to attend or cancel within 30 days of the event and there is no replacement person then a fee of $594 (Incl. GST) will be charged to your employing organisation.

Event Flyer

Accommodation Options

Rooms are limited at the Ramada which is attached to the event location however there are many accommodation options in the area. Other surrounding accommodation include:

Shoal Bay Holiday Park

Admiral Nelson Motor Inn

Port Stephens Accommodation