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The Circle Back Initiative

Steve, Jacinta, Cathy & Rebecca,


Panel Session: Doing “good” work, not just performing well

We can be so busy meeting the needs of the business that it’s easy to overlook our opportunity for “doing good”, not just performing well. The Circle Back initiative is an industry-wide movement founded on the simple but monumental belief that people should be treated with respect. In this session, Leaders from Small TA, Enterprise TA and RPO share how they are walking their talk on their Candidate Experience and Brand Promises and are showing top talent and the marketplace they are people and brands of worth. Learn:

  • Virtue signalling on CX is not enough;
  • The three challenges you’ll need to overcome if you want join the movement; and
  • Why is makes sense in a candidate scarce market.

Facilitator: Steve Gard, Founder, Circle Back Initiative


  • Rebecca Powell, Head of People & Culture (Acting), Payright
  • Cathy Riach, Resourcing Lead (National), BAE Systems Australia
  • Jacinta Newman, Director of Implementations and Client Success, Korn Ferry

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About Steve

Steve Gard was an In-house Head of Talent Acquisition for over 12+ years prior to starting his own Talent Acquisition Strategy & Process Improvement Consulting business, Talentrich in 2019.  He then launched The Circle Back Initiative in the middle of the COVID pandemic in July 2020 after seeing the stress and anxiety job seekers were experiencing. He has over 20 years recruitment experience and extensive experience and success in leading major transformations of in-house recruitment strategy, process and capability for organisations in Australia, Europe, Middle East, Africa and India. He has lead recruitment teams of 30 recruiters hiring up to 6,000 people per year.

About Rebecca

For over 14 years, Rebecca Powell has been an advocate for improving the candidate experience. An active contributor to the Talent Table Tribe and former member of the RL100, Rebecca helped shape the TA process at Sportsbet and BetEasy before tackling her biggest role to date as Head of P&C for the rapidly scaling start up, Payright Ltd. Rebecca leads from the front to make the hiring process inclusive, equitable and accessible and is an early signatory to the Circle Back Initiative.

About Cathy

Cathy Riach joined BAE Systems Australia in June 2001 in a business unit based human resources role. Following a secondment to build a shared services talent acquisition model, she then assumed responsibility for the leadership of the national talent acquisition function. Her role evolved over time to include responsibility for redeployment, workforce planning support and outplacement. In early 2019 Cathy transitioned into a newly created role of Employment Brand & Partnerships Manager where she was responsible for the development, enhancement and management of the company’s employment brand in order to optimise talent acquisition outcomes across the Australian enterprise. Currently Cathy holds the role of National Resourcing Lead and is supporting the development of an operational resource management strategy and framework.

About Jacinta

Jacinta Newman has spent the past 20 years working across large TA transformations, utilising state-of-the-art technology, policy and strategy to design internal operating models.  With a focus on delivering brand engagement strategies, she has also focused on building superior and lucrative businesses via innovative diversity and inclusion strategies. With a background spanning agency recruitment, RPO and internal models, Jacinta gained experience across such organisations as KPMG, American Express, Uniting, Johnson & Johnson and Vodafone.  These top organisations have provided her with a variety of industry knowledge only further enhancing diversity of thought. In Jacinta’s personal life, she and her husband are raising three boisterous and amazing boys.  In her spare time, Jacinta has a passion for travel, sport, yoga and giving back to the community through various charities and community groups.