The Financial Crimes Symposium and COBA 2021 Convention on Monday 29 & Tuesday 30 November are proud to feature the following speakers.

  • Aaron McEwan

    Behavioural Scientist & Coaching Psychologist, Gartner

  • Ben Murphy

    Director Forensic, Deloitte

  • Bernie Lloyd

    Chair, Bank First

  • Bill Cheney

    President and CEO, SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union

  • Chris Noble

    Partner Risk Advisory, Deloitte

  • Darren Isenberg

    Master of Ceremonies

  • Dave Hughes


  • Dave O’Neil


  • David Pegley

    Managing Director, Australian Financial Crimes Exchange Ltd

  • Dr Louise Mahler

    Director, The Art of Business

  • Emma Walsh

    Founder and CEO, Parents At Work

  • Grace Tam

    Director, Clean Energy Finance Corporation

  • Greg McKenna

    CEO, Police Bank

  • Gus Balbontin

    Former executive director and CTO of Lonely Planet

  • Leanne Vale

    Director Services and Financial Crimes, Customer Owned Banking Association

  • Mark Sievewright

    Founder & CEO, Sievewright & Associates

  • Markus Erikson

    Director, Fintel Alliance Operations

  • Martha Durdin

    President and CEO, Canadian Credit Union Association (CCUA)

  • Matt Craft

    Det Superintendent Commander Cybercrime, NSW Police

  • Paul Lewis

    CEO, Great Southern Bank

  • Rowena Meredith

    Olympic Bronze Medalist

  • Sharanjit Paddam

    Principal, Finity

  • Simon O’Brien

    Simon O’Brien, Manager, Splunk Inc.

  • Sue Williamson

    Human Resource Management, UNSW Canberra

Aaron McEwan

Behavioural Scientist & Coaching Psychologist, Gartner

As VP Research & Advisory, Aaron McEwan helps HR leaders execute critical business objectives through the application of evidence-based HR and talent management practices. A behavioral scientist and coaching psychologist, Mr. McEwan believes that great ideas, backed by rigorous science, have the power to unlock the potential of individuals, organizations and the world. He was recently named a Top 100 Global HR Influencer by Engagedly. With 20 years’ experience in talent management and HR consulting, he appreciates how essential talent is to organizational performance. He works closely with senior executives to innovate their HR strategies and challenge standard practice by harnessing data and insights derived from the world’s leading companies. He is dedicated to optimize the performance of executives and unlock the potential of their greatest assets, their people.

Alongside his current role, Mr. McEwan is a Fellow of the Australian Human Resources Institute, serves on the national committee for the Australian Psychological Society’s Interest Group in Coaching Psychology and is an Associate of Macquarie University’s Centre for Workforce Futures. He has been a Board Advisor for multiple start ups and established ASX listed technology companies. He is an Associate Lecturer at the University of Wollongong, an Honorary Associate at Macquarie University and has guest lectured at the University of Queensland, University of N.S.W., Griffith University and the Australian College of Applied Psychology.

Ben Murphy

Director Forensic, Deloitte

Ben has previously worked in the mutual banking sector and since joining Deloitte has kept this connection through his work advising across the sector in relation to AML/CTF and broader financial crime obligations.
Ben’s prior industry experience includes leading financial crime teams in Australia and the UK with British Gas, American Express and a number of Australian Government agencies.

Ben’s focus areas include helping clients manage, improve and successfully execute effective AML/CTF, Fraud and Compliance Programs and he has worked with Big 4, Mid-Tier and customer owned banking clients in Australia, South East Asia and the Pacific Islands. Other recent areas of experience include performing AML/CTF Program independent reviews, transaction monitoring program reviews, assisting clients with compliance program enhancements and executing regulatory AML/CTF remediation programs.

Bernie Lloyd

Chair, Bank First

Bernie Lloyd represents Bank First. She serves on that board as a non-executive Director after a career in secondary school education. Bernie adapted her school governance expertise to corporate governance as she moved into the financial sector as first, a Director (2011) and, now, the Chair of the Board of Bank First – previously Victoria Teachers Mutual Bank – since May 2015. Bernie is also a Director with Youthrive, a rural foundation which supports, through scholarships and wrap around care, young people who make the move from country to city with a view to build long term capacity in future rural leaders. Bernie has extensive leadership experience, and is a very experienced program facilitator and project manager with an emphasis on empowerment and inclusion. As well she has significant coaching training and competency; she collaborates with whole teams as well as providing one on one support.


Bill Cheney

President and CEO, SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union

Bill Cheney is the president and CEO of SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union, the largest credit union in California and the fifth largest in the nation, with almost 1.2 million Members and $26 billion in assets.

Bill has worked in the credit union movement for more than 34 years. He joined SchoolsFirst FCU in 2014 as CEO after working in credit unions in Texas and California as well as serving as the CEO of credit union trade associations at the state and national level. He is a recognized leader in the cooperative movement and serves on the boards of the Consumer Federation of America, Worldwide Credit Union Foundation, the Filene Research Institute and the Western CUNA Management School Board of Trustees. In addition to his work with cooperatives, Bill serves on the Board of Trustees of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, the Cal State Fullerton Philanthropic Foundation Board of Governors and the UCI Chief Executive Roundtable.

Bill is a graduate of The University of Texas at Austin, completed the CUES Directors’ Leadership Institute at the London Business School and the Advanced Leadership Institute at Harvard Business School.

Bill and his wife, Crissy, live in Orange County, California. They have two adult children and three young grandchildren.

Chris Noble

Partner Risk Advisory, Deloitte

In 2004 Chris joined Deloitte after a number of years of providing professional forensic services to clients in other ‘Big 4’ firms. Chris has managed a range of large and complex financial investigations and projects in Australia and the Asia Pacific and has significant experience working with corporations, government agencies, law firms, and the international Deloitte network.

Matters dealt with include money laundering, sanctions, fraud, corruption, bribery, financial misstatement, leakage of confidential data, financial and contractual dispute between parties, and workplace misconduct.
The Deloitte Forensic Practice in Australia is made up of 20 Partners and 170 staff. The team includes forensic accountants, former law enforcement officials, forensic technology experts, statisticians, mathematicians, and computer scientists.

Darren Isenberg

Master of Ceremonies

Darren Isenberg will be the MC for the day – bringing his wit and skill as one of Australia’s most experienced conference MC’s to the event. Past COBA Convention delegates and exhibitors will remember Darren from his work in the exhibition – ensuring delegates know what is being featured on the various stands.

Dave Hughes


Natural and unmistakably Australian, Hughesy’s laconic style thinly disguises one of this country’s fastest comedic minds. Turning everyday foibles into rich and hilarious routines has made Hughesy the biggest name in Australian comedy.
Dave’s television show Hughesy We Have a Problem, where Australians can have their problems solved by Hughesy and his expert panel of problem solvers,
premiered on Network Ten in early 2018 to rave reviews and big audiences. Its first season was extended by the network not long after its debut due to popular demand and is now in its fourth season.
Dave is one of the judges for Network Ten’s smash hit, The Masked Singer, alongside Urzila Carlson, Dannii Minogue and Jackie O, where this crack unit of musical detectives watch 12 celebrities take the stage beneath bizarre disguises and try to unearth who is behind the mask.


Dave O’Neil


Dave O’Neil has been in the business of comedy for over 20 years and is one of Australia’s most recognisable stand-up comics, having performed at 16 Melbourne International Comedy Festivals and at dozens of comedy clubs nationally.
On screen you will have seen Dave appear as a guest on Hughesy, We Have A Problem, The Yearly with Charlie Pickering, as Team Captain in the ABC TV
comedy quiz show Tractor Monkeys, dishing out life advice in The Agony of the Mind, The Agony of Life, The Agony of Modern Manners, Can of Worms, plus
messing about on Adam Hills In Gordon Street Tonight and Good News Week. He is probably most well-known for the honour of being the guest with the most
appearances (over 50) on ABC TV’s ever-popular Spicks & Specks.
He has written several books, including his The Summer of ’82, and Everything Tastes Better Crumbed… and other BIG Statements. Dave has written and acted in films (including starring alongside Eric Bana in The Nugget) and contributed to numerous sketch comedy shows.
Dave’s observational humour and genuine humility have also made him a much sought-after MC and corporate entertainer.


David Pegley

Managing Director, Australian Financial Crimes Exchange Ltd

David is Managing Director for the Australian Financial Crimes Exchange. In 2016 he was engaged to lead the ground-up development of a secure data and intelligence sharing capability across member banks, the AFCX has delivered a first-to-market technology platform that enables the monitoring of financial and cybercrime. David continues to proactively engage at all levels with law enforcement, cyber-security experts and technology partners to enhance capacity, capability and output, supporting the effort to address financial and cybercrime as a priority threat facing the community.

David has more than 30 years’ management experience in the financial services industry where he has held several key roles at Cash Services Australia, the Commonwealth Bank Group, Citibank and Fuji Bank across corporate finance, retail banking, superannuation, insurance, funds management and intermediary based distribution. His work has encompassed a wide range of management disciplines including distribution, marketing, project management, business management and information technology.

David holds a Bachelor of Science and an MBA. He is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a Justice of the Peace.

Dr Louise Mahler

Director, The Art of Business

Louise is a global thought leader in confident leadership communication. Passionate about staying human in a virtual world, Louise helps leaders and teams bring their best through body-language, voice and divulges the algorithms of engagement in high-stake engagement.

While her tools and techniques are useful, practical and highly relevant, her impersonations of world leaders and in-the-moment audience analyses are hilarious while being tangible and highly informative.

She is the author of Resonate – For those who need to be heard and believes that, today, more than ever we need to be confident to engage, inspire and build trust in those we lead.

We need leaders who simply bring their best to everything they do and move with the times to know what works both themselves and their audience.  This requires critical analysis, practice and personal transformation, which demands better-informed thinking, a bold approach and resilience.

Louise believes everyone has a voice, so let’s get heard.

Professional Speakers Association ‘Speaker of the Year’
Stevie Award Winner for the Lifetime Contribution to Women in Business
Voted top 30 Global Guru in both Body language and Communication

Emma Walsh

Founder and CEO, Parents At Work

Emma Walsh is the Founder and CEO of Parents At Work – an employer membership organisation established in 2007 to champion work and family policy reform. The aim: to support people to thrive at work and at home.

Emma provides work + family education, research and expertise, consulting widely to organisations, leaders and government on how to create family friendly workplace practices.

As a social impact organisation, Emma partners with UNICEF and other human rights agencies to improve gender equality and work life wellbeing outcomes. In May 2021, Emma was instrumental in developing a set of National Work + Family Standards providing employers with a benchmark to foster a family friendly culture. She led the charge in launching the Family Friendly Workplaces Certification program to recognise employers who meet the Standards.

Emma herself is a mum of three – twin boys and a daughter. She lives in Sydney, Australia and is an author, international speaker, advocate and campaigner for improving parental leave rights for families.

Emma has been formally recognised by the Australian Human Rights Commission with a finalist business Award in 2015, has been shortlisted for the Telstra Business Woman of the Year and was a Winner of the Visa Business Awards. Last year Parents At Work were named as a top 200 ‘Businesses of Tomorrow’ by Westpac.

Grace Tam

Director, Clean Energy Finance Corporation

Grace Tam is a Director in the Investment team at the Clean Energy Finance, where she specialises in debt markets, assessing debt investment opportunities across green bonds and structured debt transactions. Grace has over 18 years of experience in the banking and finance industry, having held roles in a broad range of organisations including Moody’s Investors Service and Macquarie Bank.

Greg McKenna

CEO, Police Bank

Greg McKenna started his career in banking back in 1986 and is now CEO of Police Bank after spending 35 years in the industry working mostly in Financial Markets and Treasury.

He was been a Money Market dealer, Trader, Portfolio Manager of STI, Bond, and Foreign Exchange funds, Head of Currency Strategy, Mutual ADI Treasurer, Strategy Advisor, Mutual Bank Director and now Mutual Bank CEO.

This diverse background and his current role give him a unique insight into making decisions in uncertainty, adapting with flexibility and leading through change.

He holds a B.Bus (Banking and Finance) from Monash, a M.App.Fin from Macquarie, and is a graduate and member of the AICD.

Gus Balbontin

Former executive director and CTO of Lonely Planet

Born and bred in wild Patagonia, Gus Balbontin never allowed his small town and humble beginnings get in the way of his big dreams. A healthy disrespect for authority and a severe case of fomo (fear of missing out) landed him in Australia at the young age of 17.

By the age of 22 he had dropped out of uni, hitchhiked South America, set up his first business and landed his dream job at Lonely Planet. Fast forward a few more years and he was leading the company globally, working with companies such as Google X, Nokia and Amazon on the latest technology, creative cultures and high performing teams.

Seeking a change from corporate life, he hung up his boots as the Executive Director and CTO of Lonely Planet and decided to move back to his entrepreneurial roots, becoming an investor, founder and mentor across the start-up ecosystem in Melbourne. He loves sharing a story, he loves even more, knowing those stories make a difference to people,
helping them in their own business and life.

Over the last 3 years Gus has presented to audiences of 10 across regional Australia and New Zealand, to audiences of 10,000 across North America, Europe, South America and Asia. To him there’s no difference. Small, large, private, public, board room to mail room, his lessons hit a chord, his simplicity disarms you, his energy infects you and his counterintuitive way of looking at the world will motivate you to do things different.

Often thought as futurist, not because he predicts the future, but instead because he helps you focus on what you can control to deal with any future. Still want to talk trends? Sure! He loves as much as the next person trying to imagine a world run by AI, but he warns that getting too distracted with future guesses will only take time away from you and your
company to actually do something about the future.

Leanne Vale

Director Services and Financial Crimes, Customer Owned Banking Association

Leanne Vale is Director Services and Financial Crimes for Customer Owned Banking Association (COBA) she joined the industry association in 2003 to spearhead the industry’s first centralised fraud prevention advisory role. COBA’s Financial Crimes strategic focus includes specialist technical sector representation, training services and products, tailored advisory and national coordination of law enforcement and industry stakeholders.

Leanne has lead teams and held senior fraud management roles within Australian major, regional banks and the customer owned banking sector. An experienced practitioner across key areas of regulatory compliance areas she has also held internal audit and compliance management roles and brings a unique cross disciplinary approach to challenges facing the sector. Leanne’s financial crimes experience spans some 30 years and includes developing tailored risk management strategies, authoring training and building partnerships in both public and private sector.

A former sworn Australian Federal Police officer she holds a Diploma of Finance, Master of Business Administration and Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) and Cybersecurity qualifications. Today COBA’s Financial Crimes team is the sector’s trusted brand for financial crimes risk management and education providing coverage across a range of product, payment channels and specialised risk areas.

Mark Sievewright

Founder & CEO, Sievewright & Associates

With more than 30 years of financial services experience, Mark is a highly respected industry thought-leader and industry advisor who has held senior leadership positions at HSBC, MasterCard International, Payment Systems Inc. (where he served as CEO), TowerGroup (where he served as CEO), and Fiserv (where he served as president of the company’s Credit Union Solutions division). While at Fiserv, Mark and his team of 1,500 associates supported the technology needs of more than 2,000 credit unions in North America. In 2010, Mark was merited the Ambassador Award by the World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) for his service to credit unions. Mark launched his new research and consulting venture, Sievewright & Associates, in April 2017 and is focused on providing credit unions with strategic insights and trusted advice about how to achieve their business and technology goals.

Markus Erikson

Director, Fintel Alliance Operations

Markus is a Director in the Intelligence division of Australia’s Financial Intelligence Unit, AUSTRAC. Markus has worked alongside law enforcement and the financial industry for over 10 years to target the financial activity of crimes including sexual servitude, money laundering, corruption and foreign bribery matters. Markus has worked with Australian and international law enforcement agencies to identify criminal behaviour through money flows, embedding financial intelligence into investigations and prosecutions. Markus is currently overseeing Australian’s public private partnership, the Fintel Alliance, bringing together 29 government, law enforcement and financial industry partners to tackle complex financial crime.

Martha Durdin

President and CEO, Canadian Credit Union Association (CCUA)

Martha Durdin is currently the President and CEO at Canadian Credit Union Association (CCUA), a position she has held since 2014.

Martha has been a tireless champion for the vital role that financial cooperatives play in helping Canadians realize their financial future. She is a seasoned executive with extensive experience in management, public affairs and advocacy.
Previously, she was the Managing Principal of a leading national strategic public affairs firm and spent thirteen years as an executive at a large Canadian bank. Early in her career, Martha worked in The Prime Minister’s office on Parliament Hill.

Martha volunteers her time for a number of community organizations. Among them, she was the past Chair of the Royal Ontario Museum Board of Trustees and the Ontario Arts Council. She is currently a Director of The Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation, The Canada Post Foundation, Roots of Empathy and Dane Creek Capital Corp. Martha represents Canada’s credit unions on the board of The World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU).

Martha holds a BA (Hon) from Western University, an MSc from the London School of Economics, and an ICD.D from the Institute of Corporate Directors at the Rotman School of Management. She is a recipient of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal and the Lt Governor’s Distinguished Service Award.

Matt Craft

Det Superintendent Commander Cybercrime, NSW Police

I have been a member of the New South Wales Police since November, 1994 and was originally station at Campbelltown in south western Sydney. I commenced criminal investigation duties at Campbelltown in early 1997. In 2003, I was confirmed to the rank of Detective Sergeant attached to the Professional Standards Command, Covert Investigations Unit.

As a senior investigator attached to PSC, I manage major criminal investigations. With the exception of 2 years general duties policing, my area of expertise is primarily in criminal investigation. Moreover, whilst performing criminal investigation duties, I have been involved in a number of critical incidents / major investigations for the offences of murder, sexual assault, armed robbery and drug offences.

I was promoted to the rank of Detective Inspector in 2008 as the Professional Standards Manager for the Deputy Commissioner Specialist Operations. As the Professional Standards Manager for Specialist Operations, I reported to the Deputy Commissioner and provide advice and performed a monitoring function for all criminal and departmental investigations that involve police officers attached to the Specialist Operations Command.

During 2011 and 2012 I relieved extensively as the Staff Officer to the Deputy Commissioner Specialist Operations and the Deputy Commissioner Field Operations where I gained corporate exposure on how the senior executive team of the NSW Police Force functions and goes about achieving its corporate goals. In 2012 I transferred into the Fraud & Cybercrime Squad and performed the role of investigations co-ordinator focusing on cyber enabled fraud and identity crime offences.

Finally, in 2018 I was promoted into my current role as the Commander, Cybercrime Squad, State Crime Command. As the Commander of the Cybercrime squad, I am responsible for providing high level corporate advice on cyber dependant and cyber enabled crime, in the context of organised and serious crime. As the corporate spokesperson for cybercrime for the NSWPF, I set the organisations strategic direction and develop key stakeholder relationships with partner law enforcement agencies and external bodies.

Paul Lewis

CEO, Great Southern Bank

Paul commenced in the role of CEO on 1 November 2019 and is also a Director on the Board. He first joined Great Southern Bank (formerly CUA) in February 2018 as Chief Sales Officer.

With over 20 years’ experience in leadership positions, Paul has held a variety of banking executive roles in Australia, New Zealand and Malaysia.

Prior to joining Great Southern Bank, Paul was Senior Head of Strategy at Westpac, where he was responsible for the Consumer Bank strategy across Westpac and it’s regional brands. Paul has also held a variety of senior executive roles within ANZ in Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia, including three years as General Manager of the ANZ Australian Retail Branch Network. In this role, Paul was responsible for leading more than 800 branches and 7,000 employees before being seconded to Malaysia for two years as the Managing Director, Retail Banking for AmBank. Paul’s professional qualifications include an MBA and BA from Massey University, New Zealand. He is an alumnus of the London Business School’s Senior Executive Programme.

He is Chairman of Credicorp Finance Pty Ltd, Credicorp Insurance Pty Ltd and CUA Management Pty Ltd. Paul is also a Director of the Business Council of Co-operatives and Mutuals (BCCM).

Rowena Meredith

Olympic Bronze Medalist

Ever wondered what it takes to get on the Olympic podium? Tokyo 2020 Olympic rowing bronze medalist Rowena Meredith and her crew rose from unimaginable odds to acheive their dream goal.

At just 26 years old Rowena has spent the past 12 years training and preparing to get to row at the Olympics. Despite the glory of a medal there were times when it felt impossible. True resilience, grit and perseverance were drawn on to see this crew be a part of “The Hour of Power” in Tokyo and plant themselves a place in Australia’s sporting history.


Sharanjit Paddam

Principal, Finity

Sharanjit is a Principal at Finity based in Sydney.  He is an actuary with over 27 years’ experience in actuarial consulting and as a senior executive at general insurers in London and Sydney. He is a leading adviser to insurers, banks, investors and government on non-financial risk management, strategy and reporting, with a focus on climate risk.

Sharanjit initiated and lead the Climate Measurement Standards Initiative, a collaboration between Australia’s largest banks, insurers and asset owners with regulators and leading climate scientists to develop guidance on climate risk scenario analysis.

He was awarded Risk Manager of the Year in 2020 by the Climate Alliance, and received the Actuaries Institute’s Distinguished Service Award in recognition of his service on the institute’s Climate Change Working Group.


Simon O’Brien

Simon O’Brien, Manager, Splunk Inc.

Simon is the director of the Global Security Strategist team at Splunk, where he has been helping organisations across the world enhance their security visibility and incident detection capabilities since 2014.

Simon has been an information security professional for close to 20 years, with experience across organisations of all sizes and industries. Simon is a passionate infosec leader, focussing on security architecture, risk management, cloud security, fraud detction and visibility strategies, diversity and empowerment. Simon holds a bachelor’s in information systems, as well as several industry certifications. In recent times, Simon has led Splunk’s ‘Boss of the SOC’ CTF program, taking the blue team targeted CTF to 10’s of thousands of competitors across the globe.

Sue Williamson

Human Resource Management, UNSW Canberra

Associate Professor Sue Williamson specialises in workplace gender equality, with a focus on the public sector. Sue recently published an extensive overview of the emerging research on the future of work; she has also researched how employees worked from home during the pandemic. Sue is also expert on how middle managers can progress gender equality. Sue has published widely on these issues and engages extensively with the media.