Past events

Business & Human Rights | Responsible Recruitment Breakfast Briefing

14 Mar

7:00 am - 9:00 am

Event Details

The Global Compact Network Australia, in collaboration with Woolworths, is hosting a breakfast briefing to discuss and explore practices in responsible recruitment.

It is well documented that use of third-party labour providers in global supply chains heightens the risk of vulnerable workers to exploitation. Australian supply chains, particularly in horticulture, are no exception.

The Fair Work Ombudsman latest report into the Harvest Trail Inquiry found there is significant reliance of Australian horticultural growers on overseas workers. Some two-thirds of growers rely on labour hire contractors to some extent and, where those arrangements were used illegally, it had a negative impact on workers.

The breakfast will start with a keynote address from Marie Apostol, Founder and CEO of the Fair Hiring Initiative, and global expert in responsible recruitment. Marie’s address will be followed by a panel discussing responsible recruitment trends in Australia which will be facilitated by Vanessa Zimmerman, GCNA Director and Chair, Human Rights. We are delighted to have Pär Liljert, Chief of Mission IOM Australia, Alex Holt General Manager of Quality, Sustainability & Health at Woolworths and Gavin Scur, Managing Director of Pinata Farms on the panel.


This event is for business members of the GCNA only. We ask that you limit attendance to one person per organisation. Registrations will be on a “first in, best dressed” basis.

This event is kindly hosted by EY.


Marie Apostol

Marie Apostol is Founder and CEO of The FAIR Hiring Initiative. The initiative is a social enterprise that develops, tests and promotes ethical recruitment models and addresses issues of forced labor, debt bondage and human trafficking in labor migration. In 2004, Marie founded Verité Southeast Asia and served as its Executive Director until February 2012 where she led the development of the Verité Systems Approach For Social Responsibility, the Verité Fair Hiring Toolkit, and prepared the original draft of the Manpower-Verité Ethical Framework for Cross-Border Recruitment.

She has trained and consulted for companies such as Starbucks, Apple, The Home Depot, Wal-Mart, Gap, Levi Strauss, Hewlett-Packard, New Balance, Hershey’s and Motorola, in the improvement of internal and supply-chain-level programs, systems and organisational competencies for managing Corporate Social Responsibility.

Alex Holt 

Alex Holt is General Manager of Quality, Sustainability & Health within FoodCo, a division of Woolworths Supermarkets Food Group. She brings a strong commercial background to the portfolio having held numerous senior roles since joining Woolworths in 2011. Previously having worked for Tesco UK.

As customers are becoming increasingly more focused on sustainable choices, Alex is passionate about the role Woolworths can play in creating a better tomorrow across a number areas – this includes bringing healthier products to shelves, diverting food waste, sustainable packaging and ensuring socially and environmentally responsible supply chains. Alex is an advocate of working in partnership with industry and suppliers to embed positive change for customers and communities.

Pär Liljert

In May 2018, Par assumed his duties as Chief of Mission IOM Australia; Coordinator and Adviser for New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and the Pacific. For seven years (2011 – 2018), Par served as the Special Envoy and Chief of Mission in China, representing IOM in P.R. China, Mongolia and DPRK.

Prior service as an international civil servant for IOM includes posting as the Chief of Mission in Tanzania (2007 – 2011) and Chief of Mission in Zambia (2002 – 2004). In his capacity as Regional Project Officer for IOM’s Mission with Regional Functions in Pretoria, South Africa (1999 – 2002), Par developed a regional consultative process for migration covering southern Africa. The Migration Dialogue for Southern Africa is today an integral part of the migration framework within the Southern African Development Community.

Par was born in Falkenberg, Sweden, He holds a Masters’ Degree in Political Science and Social Science from Lund University, Sweden and Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma, USA.

Gavin Scurr

Gavin Scurr is the Managing Director of Piñata Farms, driving an expanding business with more than 1,010 hectares under cultivation and a seasonally fluctuating workforce spread over multiple locations. Gavin identifies growth opportunities and makes sure that the company’s strategic direction is in line with quality – the cornerstone of Piñata Farms’ philosophy – as well as family values. Gavin’s proudest achievements include expanding pineapple production to Mareeba in 1996 and identifying the Honey Gold mango as a suitable variety for commercialisation.

A hands-on visionary, Gavin heads a management team and board of directors. He is the former chair of the Australian Mango Industry Association (AMIA), served two terms as a director and represents the Northern Territory on the board., He is also on the NT Farmers’ Association board.

A sought-after commentator, Gavin is a member of the pineapple industry marketing advisory committee and the Australian Institute of Company Directors. He is also Managing Director of joint venture company, BerryWorld Australia.

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