Date: Wednesday 5 August

Time: 1.45pm – 3.30pm

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  • Meet the speakers

    Maria Falas

    Head of Mental Health & Wellness, Zurich Financial Services

    Maria has more than 20 years’ experience in the financial services industry and has tertiary qualification in marketing, law and econometrics. Having previously held roles in law, Maria started her career fifteen years ago in risk and compliance at OnePath.

    Maria’s was also the Client Solutions Manager for OnePath’s group insurance business. In this role, Maria thrived on improving the member and customer experience with a particular interest and passion in mental health. 

    With mental health having a growing impact on our communities, in October 2017 Maria was appointed Head of Mental Health & Wellness for the life insurance business. In this role, Maria works with leaders across the life insurance value chain to ensure that our mental health customer value proposition is aligned throughout our business. 

    Maria is also responsible for addressing the changing needs of customers and market expectations including preventative tools and education.

    In her spare time, Maria chases the sun and indulges in serious beach therapy with her family.

    Peita Diamantidis


    An Actuarial Studies survivor at university, Peita's first adventure in finance was set in the shark infested waters of Investment Banking. While proving a human can actually work over 100hrs a week, she also learnt the importance of translating the complex for her clients – smarts simply weren’t enough, storytelling was what made sure they were effective. When she moved into Financial Advice over 15 years ago this continued to ring true, & culminated in the release of her ‘Finance Action Hero’ book series in 2014 & 2016.

    Over time she came to the conclusion that she also needed to develop an entrepreneurial mindset – with a focus on being nimble & constantly questioning the norm. Thus began her fascination with applied innovation – the adoption of innovative business models, the development of innovative products & technologies and the engagement of the public in more innovative ways.

    As we all get smarter at the WAY we do things in the professional services world, Peita can’t wait to see what creativity & innovation does to the WHAT we do, and ultimately the breadth of WHO we can help

    Danni Visser

    Risk Strategy Specialist, Zurich Financial Services

    With over 10 years’ experience in the financial services industry, Danielle Visser’s expertise encompasses insurance, financial planning and wealth management.

    Danielle Visser is a Risk Strategy Specialist with Zurich, Life & Investments. She provides the dedicated focus, and delivers relevant insights and training to ensure Zurich’s advice partners remain leaders of best practice and engagement strategy.

    Danielle joined Zurich in October 2016, with more than 10 years’ experience in the insurance industry. She was most recently a Business Development Manager with Macquarie Life, serving as the key contact for a number of Wealth Management businesses.

    Danielle has also held underwriting roles with AIA and OnePath. This unique background ensures Danielle’s strategy is underpinned by a strong understanding that product nuances are critical for positive client outcomes.

    Matthew Drennan

    Head of Savings and Investments, Zurich Financial Services

    Matthew Drennan is the Head of Savings and Investments for Zurich Australia. In this role he is responsible for overseeing the Group’s unit linked investments business comprising 10 funds. Matthew is also a member of the Australian Executive Committee, the compliance committee and several investment committees within the group. Matt has worked in the finance industry for over 25 years holding senior positions at ANZ Bank, NSW Treasury, Deutsche Asset Management, Shadforth Financial Group and IOOF. He holds a B.Com in Economics, a Masters degree in Funds Management and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Matthew is also well known as an industry commentator.

    Damon Gameau

    Award winning Australian actor and director

    Damon Gameau is an Australian actor and director. He has starred in several feature films, including Rolf De Heer’s critically acclaimed The Tracker, Darren Ashton’s Thunderstruck and Razzle Dazzle, Robert Connolly’s Balibo opposite Anthony LaPaglia, Patrick with Rachel Griffiths and Charles Dance and Save Your Legs! with Stephen Curry and Brendan Cowell. Damon’s performance in Balibo earned him and AFI Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. His television credits include Underbelly, Howzat, Love My Way, Puberty Blues, Secrets and Lies, Gallipoli and The Kettering Incident.

    As a director he wrote, directed and performed vocals for the 2011 winning Tropfest short film, Animal Beatbox, which has now played at over 25 festivals worldwide. He was also a finalist in 2010 with his film, One, which he co-directed with Gareth Davies. That Sugar Film was Damon’s first feature length film as a director and won Best Documentary at the Australian AACTA awards and was a hit at the Australian box office. That Sugar Book is his first published book.

  • Program content

    Maria Falas

    Head of Mental Health Wellness, Zurich Financial Services

    The Holistic Adviser

    Advisers wear many different hats - dealing with their own circumstances, needing to support their clients, needing to support their teams and colleagues, and also supporting family.

    Maria will provide you with the right tools to help you support the mental health and wellness of your clients and teams, plus give you tips along the way that you can also apply to yourself and your loved ones.

    Peita Diamentids, Entrepreneur

    & Danni Visser, Risk Strategy Specialist, Zurich Financial Services

    Evolving with Change 3: Harnessing our Entrepreneurial Weaknesses, pivoting pains to gains.

    In the final episode we extract insights from Peita Diamantidis, an entrepreneur who has skippered several waves of change throughout her business journey. Join us as Peita generously shares her evolution survival kit packed full of practical change management tips on how to lead your clients and staff through an ever evolving future.

    Matthew Drennan

    Head of Savings and Investments, Zurich Financial Services

    The world Post COVID

    We are all wondering what our Post COVID world will look like. It will be several years before we can regain the level of economic activity we enjoyed before the pandemic hit. Matt will share his insights into the impact it is having across unemployment, supply chains, financial markets, government support and more. You will gain knowledge into the reasons why financial markets often disconnect from the short term economic outlook and you will reframe your thinking when factoring in risks whilst positioning client portfolios.

    Damon Gameau

    Award winning Australian actor and director

    The forgotten half of the climate story

    The often neglected half of climate story is carbon sequestration. Even if we stopped all of our emissions tomorrow, the truth is we have still locked ourselves into decades of increased warming;  unless we can also remove the emissions we have already put into the atmosphere.  From regenerative agriculture and seaweed farms to carbon capture products, what are the emerging innovations and technologies that can benefit society and investors.