Digital Summit 2020 wrap-up

The Digital Summit 2020 saw over 950 attendees come together to learn, collaborate, and network. Thought leaders and digital experts got us thinking about the Digital Summit’s theme of Adapt. Engage. Deliver.


We moved the Digital Summit to a completely virtual format in response to the COVID-19 pandemic this year. This provided new opportunities such as international speakers and access for a global audience.

Well known Australian corporate speaker and media personality James O’Loghlin, brought his wit and passion for innovation as Master of Ceremonies, and Ngambri-Ngunnawal custodian Paul House welcomed us to Country on each day of the Digital Summit.

First week highlights

Disruption and Change and Human-centred Services

The first week explored the themes of Disruption and Change and Human-centred Services. These themes are especially significant as organisations respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and other crises in Australia and internationally. These pressures have forced organisations to change the way they work and rethink how they deliver services.

Highlights included:

  • Government keynotes from the Hon Stuart Robert MP (Minister for Government Services and the National Disability Insurance Scheme) and Rebecca Skinner (CEO, Services Australia).
  • Keynote presentations by Jim Grubb (Chief Technology Evangelist, Cisco), Tom Burton (Government Editor, Australian Financial Review), Professor Beth Simone Noveck (Director, The Governance Lab) and Ernez Dhondy (General Manager, Paper Giant).

What our attendees said

Attendees said the Minister’s keynote was a ‘great start’ to the summit, and Rebecca Skinner’s keynote provided ‘great insights’ and was ‘relevant to our current environment.’

Our first plenaries were very well received.

About Jim Grubb:

'Interesting use cases – love seeing the potential crossover from other industries.'

About Tom Burton:

'Really interesting [in] how it brought services, government as a platform and identity and privacy together with industry.'

Our second day plenaries received great feedback with attendees finding them ‘fantastic, engaging, and useful.’

Second week highlights

Leadership and People and Technology and Data

The second week explored themes of Leadership and People and Technology and Data. These themes recognise that strong and clear digital leadership can transform how organisations provide services to users. Making sense of technology and data helps deliver better outcomes and services for the digital age.

Highlights included:

  • Government keynotes from Peter Woolcott AO (APSC Commissioner), Randall Brugeaud (CEO, Digital Transformation Agency) and Michael Pezzullo AO (Secretary, Department of Home Affairs).
  • Keynote presentations from Stephen Scheeler (Digital CEO), Fiona Hathaway (Managing Director, Slalom), and Dr Catherine Ball (Futurist, World of Robotics and Drones/ANU). Jonathon Thorpe (DTA) hosted an international panel on digital identity.

What our attendees said

About Peter Woolcott AO:

'[A] great visionary speech, tackling some of the hardest challenges that everyone thinks are simple. This vision is needed to ensure equality of access to the new digital assets being created.'

Attendees also liked Stephen Scheeler's presentation:

'[Gave a] great talk on leadership and re-thinking transformation.'

Over 80% of attendees said they would watch Fiona Hathaway’s presentation again:

'Great ideas to enhance social the social aspects in teams in the working from home environment.'

The session from Dr Catherine Ball and our international panel on Digital Identity were very well attended, and attendees were keen to engage with the speakers.
More information on our speakers and their presentations is available from our event website.  

The Australian Government Digital Awards

The Australian Government Digital Awards was part of the Digital Summit this year. The Awards were given for Outstanding Digital Service, Excellence in Partnerships, Emerging Digital Talent and Digital Professional categories. Find out more about our Awards winners.

A landmark event for the DTA

Our event platform allowed attendees, presenters, and exhibitors to get the benefits of an in-person event in a virtual environment. Our Virtual Exhibition allowed attendees to engage with sponsors and exhibitors, and the Meeting Hub was an opportunity to network with colleagues and presenters.

Summit content availability

Content for all sessions, except for workshops and case study discussions, is available on-demand to attendees until 19 November 2021.
If you did not attend the Digital Summit, you can still purchase on-demand tickets.