Plenary Speakers


Martin Mulcare is an FIAA who is currently enjoying a portfolio of activities where the common theme is that he loves sharing ideas. In Martin’s prior corporate career path, he had more than 25 years’ experience in actuarial and executive roles in the financial services industry. Martin was a member of the Leadership & Career Development Committee until the end of 2015 and has been actively involved in the Mentoring Program since its inception in 2013. Martin also facilitates the Professionalism Course for the Actuaries Institute.


  Julia Lessing 

is currently the Director of Guardian Actuarial, an actuarial consulting firm that provides specialist analysis to support and inform planning and delivery of human services. Julia is a qualified actuary (FIAA) with more than a decade of consulting experience. After starting her actuarial career consulting to life insurance and wealth management clients, she has extended her actuarial consulting skills to focus on human and social services clients, such as state government agencies responsible for helping our community’s most vulnerable people.

 Julia is skilled in managing large projects with multiple stakeholders and tight deadlines. Her passion for human services stems from her desire to support and contribute to her local community. Julia’s long history of volunteer work ranges from being a Lifeline Telephone Crisis Supporter to promoting the actuarial profession to high school students.

 Julia is a Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries Australia and holds a Bachelor of Commerce from Macquarie University. In her spare time, she is completing a Masters in Policy and Applied Social Research.

Kirsten Armstrong is the Director of Knowledge & Innovation at The Fred Hollows Foundation, one of Australia's largest and most innovative international development organisations. This follows a career spanning 2 decades and 20 countries, advising governments on major health and pension system reforms. She is currently a Board Director of Northcott, one of Australia’s leading providers of disability; a former Partner of PwC, and spent 3 years as a founding Director of health and actuarial consultancy, Three Rivers.

Trang Duncanson has more than 20 years’ experience working with life insurance companies. She has implementation experience across the breadth of actuarial services, in particular regulatory capital, ICAAP, Financial Condition Reporting, actuarial modelling efficiency projects across capital and insurance valuation, and mergers & acquisitions. She regularly volunteers to the Institute of Actuaries – she is currently the Chief Editor of Actuaries.Digital, a member of IFRS 17 taskforce, and she is on the organising committee for the Young Actuaries Conference 2017 and the Congress of Actuaries Conference 2022. Trang is passionate about what actuaries can achieve and add to organisations, and believes that to make a real difference, actuaries need to be passionate about the things that they choose to do, always be restless for improvement and seek to make themselves heard.

Anthony Lowe is Chief Executive Officer at Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia, a broad-based community organisation and the peak national body for prostate cancer in Australia dedicated to reducing the impact of prostate cancer on Australian men, their partners and families, recognising the diversity of the Australian community.  He is also Adjunct Associate Professor at Menzies Health Institute Queensland, Griffith University; Non-Executive Director at Ensemble Offspring; and a member of Actuaries Institute’s Leadership & Career Development and Public Policy Council Committees.

Prior to joining PCFA, Anthony was Chief Operating Officer at the National Breast Cancer Foundation, the leading community-funded organisation in Australia raising money for research into the prevention, detection and treatment of breast cancer.

 Anthony has held senior executive positions in the financial services industry in Australia, the US and UK, ultimately becoming an Executive Director and Asia-Pacific business group leader at Mercer Wealth Solutions.

 Anthony is a Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries of Australia and Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries (London).  He holds a PhD. in mathematical physics from the University of Southampton and a Bachelor of Arts, Master of Arts and Master of Mathematics from the University of Cambridge.

Catherine McNair is the National Diversity and Inclusion Manager for Deloitte Australia, having joined the firm in 2012.

An experienced human resources professional, Catherine has more than 20 years’ experience designing and delivering Diversity & Inclusion, Change Management and Talent frameworks, to deliver an inclusive culture optimising diverse workforces and high performing teams.

Catherine has extensive expertise within the professional services industry, with prior roles in both legal and accounting professions.

Lesley Traverso has had an extensive career in international recruitment and human resources in the specialist markets of actuarial and data analytics.  Her actuarial recruitment career began in 1993 in London, a role that she went into following roles in technical sales and marketing within Life Insurance companies in the UK. 

In 2000 she came to Australia and re-established her client and knowledge base, in 2003 Lesley established the International Division of DW Simpson in Australia and as a joint venture business where she was responsible for growing the DWS business in Asia, Europe the Middle East and Australia.

In 2012, Lesley joined The Quantium Group as Head of Human Resources. With her team, she was responsible for the recruitment of a large number of talented individuals into actuarial, analytical and client-facing roles. During her time there the company grew from just over 100 to nearly 400 people.  After three years of expanding her own skill base into broader HR responsibilities, Lesley chose to return to external recruitment and with former colleagues helped to establish the Talent Insights Group as a leader in the actuarial, analytics and risk recruitment market. Lesley enjoys being immersed in the actuarial profession, she is currently on the editorial team of Actuaries Digital, and is also on the organising committee for the Actuaries Summit for at least the sixth time!

Lesley holds a degree in Business Studies from London Guildhall University, post-graduate qualifications in Human Resources and a Master's degree in Asian Studies from UNSW, where her specialisation was the insurance markets of India and China. In 2016 she commenced a Masters of Culture degree at the University of Sydney.

Not one for always relaxing quietly, Lesley enjoys the freedom of flying airplanes via her Private Pilot’s license, often upside down!

Blair Nicholls is currently working on a new venture that will able to be disclosed soon.

In his previous role, Blair was responsible for Berkshire Hathaway Reinsurance in Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia. Blair had also started Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance in Australia selling both specialty lines and personal lines. The personal lines operation was sold to IAG in June 2015.

Prior to his current position at Berkshire, Blair was the Chief Actuarial Officer and Head of Reinsurance for the QBE Insurance Group. He was ran the global reinsurance programs purchasing, business planning process, capital modelling and was involved in many of the acquisitions completed by QBE. Blair joined QBE in 1994 and held various senior management positions.