Progress 2019 will welcome more than 100 national and international speakers and is shaped by eminent co-chairs representing a cross-section of Australian civil society organisations.
Secretary General, Amnesty International
Kumi Naidoo has been Secretary General of Amnesty International, the world's largest human rights organisation, since August 2018. Born in Durban, South Africa in 1965, Kumi’s first taste of activism came at age 15 when he organised and took part in an anti-apartheid protest that saw him expelled from his school. As a result of his continued anti-apartheid activism, he was forced to live in exile in the UK in 1986.
He returned to South Africa in 1990 to work with the African National Congress. He went on to hold multiple leadership roles in civil society and global organisations, including as the CEO of Civicus and Executive Director of Greenpeace. Naidoo holds a BA in Law and Political Science (University of KwaZulu-Natal) and a DPhil in Politics (University of Oxford).
Columnist, The Guardian
Owen Jones is a columnist for The Guardian and one of Britain's most well known political commentators, broadcasters and authors. He was born in Sheffield, grew up in Stockport and studied history at Oxford. After working in a trade union and as a parliamentary researcher, his first book, the international bestseller Chavs, was chosen as one of the New York Times top 10 non-fiction books of 2011. In 2013 he won Young Writer of the Year at the Political Book Awards. His second book is the bestselling The Establishment: and How They Get Away With It, an exposé of Britain's powerful elites.
He is a columnist for The Guardian, and has appeared regularly as a panelist on BBC's Question Time, and news programmes for the BBC, Sky, and Channel 4.
Writer and social advocate
Yassmin Abdel-Magied is a Sudanese-born Australian mechanical engineer, writer and social advocate. Yassmin worked on oil and gas rigs around Australia for almost half a decade. She is the author of “Yassmin's Story” and the upcoming novel "You Must be Layla". She is currently based in London.
Yassmin's presented Australia Wide, a weekly current-affairs show on the ABC and Motor Mouth, a podcast on becoming an F1 driver. Her TED talk, "What does my headscarf mean to you?", has been viewed 2 million times. She has written for Teen Vogue, The New York Times and The Guardian, and delivered keynotes in over 20 countries. Yassmin was awarded the 2018 Young Voltaire Award for Free Speech and Queensland Young Australian of the Year in 2015.
Iranian-Kurdish journalist and refugee, detained on Manus Island
Behrouz Boochani is a Kurdish-Iranian journalist, human rights activist and refugee currently detained on Manus Island after fleeing Iran in 2013. Behrouz holds a masters degree in political geography and geopolitics, and has also worked as a freelance journalist for several Iranian newspapers. Behrouz has written for The Guardian, The Saturday Paper and the Huffington Post. In August, he published his memoir, No Friend But The Mountains, a groundbreaking book of prison literature which poetically uncovers Australia’s offshore detention regime and the systematic torture of people seeking asylum.
Communications expert and founder, ASO Communications
Anat Shenker-Osorio examines why certain messages falter where others deliver. She's led research for new messaging on issues ranging from freedom to join together in union to clean energy and from immigrant rights to reforming criminal justice. Anat's original approach through priming experiments, task-based testing and online dial surveys has led to progressive electoral and policy victories across the globe. Her writing and research is profiled in The Atlantic, Boston Globe, Salon, The Guardian and Grist among others.
Editor-in-chief, The Guardian Australia
Lenore Taylor has been the editor-in-chief of Guardian Australia for two years and is the chair of the Walkley Judging Board. Lenore has been with Guardian Australia since its launch in May 2013, when she joined as political editor. Lenore has been honoured with two Walkley Awards and has twice won the Paul Lyneham Award for excellence in press gallery journalism. She is a formidable commentator on the Australian political landscape and has long been a regular guest on radio and television current affairs programs, including the ABC's Insiders.
Co-Founding Partner, Renewal Funds
Joel Solomon is a Founding Partner of Renewal Funds, Canada's largest mission venture capital firm, and Co-Author of The Clean Money Revolution, a call to action to move trillions of dollars from damaging industries to regenerate and deliver justice within economies. He is a Founding Member of Social Venture Network (SVN), Business for Social Responsibility, and the Tides Canada Foundation, Board Chair of Hollyhock, and a member of the University of British Columbia Board of Governors. Joel was also active in the launch of the municipal political party Vision Vancouver, led by close friend, Mayor Gregor Robertson, the longest serving Mayor in Vancouver.
Nayuka is a Gunai/Kurnai, Gunditjmara, Wiradjuri and Yorta Yorta person. They are passionate about climate justice, the rights of women and the self-determination of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Nayuka works across the youth sector as a program manager, facilitator and consultant.
Author & Organiser (US)
asha is the founding director of Just Media, a new media platform that seek to serve the broader criminal justice reform movement in the US. asha is an award-winning journalist and New York Times best-selling author of six works including The Prisoner’s Wife and When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir. asha engaged with media platforms and celebrities, co- producing a video on the drug war, that remains of the most viewed in the New York Times’ history.
Communications Director, National Domestic Workers Alliance (US)
Jennifer Dillon is the Communications Director for the National Domestic Workers Alliance, positioning domestic workers as the leading voice at the intersection of immigration, labor, and gender and racial justice. She coordinates the communications team to create effective campaigns for improved working conditions, whilst building a powerful movement rooted in the human rights and dignity of domestic workers. Jennifer also serves as the Board Chair for the Center of Story-Based Strategy (CSS).
Community Organiser, Movement Voter Project (US)
Reema Ahmad is a community organiser, with Movement Voter Project. Reema is passionate about creating the authentic relationships, connecting donors with incredible organisations from diverse communities, that will be essential in the next 30 years as the US becomes a minority-majority country. Reema wholeheartedly believes that community organising is a way for future generations to keep the baton moving forward.
Senior Advisor, United We Dream (US)
Adam is Senior Advisor at United We Dream, the largest immigrant youth-led network in North America. Adam coaches young leaders of colour to prepare them to transform social justice movements, and guides the organization’s messaging, content development, and audience engagement teams. His engagement strategies, frameworks, and leadership coaching, have mobilised and lifted up the power of millions of immigrant youth in the United States.
Co-Chair, National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples
Rod Little is from the Yamatji and Nyoongar nations of Geraldton and Perth. He is co-chair of the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples and was previously the Director of Congress from 2011-2015. He is an active member of the multicultural alliance opposing changes to the Racial Discrimination Act; as well as a champion for the ACT Human Rights Office ‘Diversity in the Territory’ campaign.
National Secretary, Community & Public Sector Union (CPSU)
Nadine is National Secretary of the CPSU. After studying economics at Macquarie University and being a union delegate in universities and local government, Nadine began as an organiser with the CPSU in 1995. She has also worked with the ACTU, and international unions such as the SIEU in America. In more recent times, Nadine has represented CPSU members in agencies such as DEEWR, ABS and the APSC as well as directing the CPSU’s involvement in the Your Rights at Work campaign.
CEO, Australian Council of Social Services (ACOSS)
Dr Cassandra Goldie has been CEO of ACOSS since July 2010. With extensive public policy expertise in economic and social issues, civil society, social justice and human rights, she has represented the interests of disadvantaged people, and civil society, in major national and international processes as well as in grassroots communities. Prior to joining ACOSS, Cassandra held senior roles in both the NFP and public sectors.
Lyn Morgain is the Chief Executive of cohealth, Victoria’s largest community health organisation. Lyn has been an executive leader in public policy, not for profit organisations and government over the past twenty five years. She is a sought after facilitator, chair and speaker and has published numerous journal articles on primary care and the social determinants of health. Lyn is a member of the Victorian Justice Health Ministerial Advisory Committee and the Community Health Taskforce. She is the interim Chair of the national Social Determinants of Health Alliance.
CEO, Australian Conservation Foundation
Kelly O’Shanassy is the Chief Executive Officer at the Australian Conservation Foundation. Kelly has worked in the government, business and community sectors to established world-first environment protection policies, save water, boost recycling, safeguard fragile rivers from overuse and pollution, stop coal mines and kick-start renewable energy, as well as advising business CEOs on their journey towards sustainability.
Executive Director, Essential
Peter is one of Australia’s leading public campaigners and commentators. One of Essential’s principals, he has been behind some of Australia’s most successful and innovative campaigns including Every Australian Counts for the NDIS and Never Alone of the Luke Batty Foundation. Peter oversees the fortnightly Essential Report and is a regular columnist for the Guardian Australia. He is the author of ‘Webtopia – the worldwide wreck of tech and how to make the net work’ (out June 2019).
Strategic Projects Officer, Farmers for Climate Action
Anna Rose is Strategic Projects Officer at Farmers for Climate Action. Previously, Anna ran Earth Hour with WWF-Australia, and founded the Australian Youth Climate Coalition. She co-starred in the ABC documentary ‘I Can Change Your Mind on Climate Change’ and is author of Madlands (MUP). She is a recipient of the Churchill Fellowship, the Myer Foundation Innovation Fellowship, Australian Geographic Society’s Conservationist of the Year 2015 and the Sierra Club’s Earthcare award.
Campaigns Director, Purpose
As a Campaign Director at Purpose, Marguerite brings together strategy, communications, digital and creative campaigning with a particular focus on climate and the environment. She works in close collaboration with the Purpose Creative Team and external partners to create engaging campaigns. She has worked for Nike, the UN Environment Program, Yo-Yo Ma, The IKEA Foundation, Vice Media, and many other leading organizations dedicated to social change. Marguerite is passionate about finding ways to speak to new audiences and find common ground around shared values.
First Nations Justice Lead, GetUp
Larissa Baldwin is a widjabul woman from the Bundjalung Nations and currently First Nations Justice Lead at GetUp. She dedicates her life to fighting for First Nations justice and Self-Determination. From staunch grassroots resistance, to building the Seed Indigenous Youth Climate Network, to starting First Nations Justice campaigning at GetUp. Larissa has a passion for mentoring young people, and crafting brilliant campaign strategies.
National Director, Amnesty International Australia
Claire is the National Director of Amnesty International Australia and has over 30 years of experience in rights-based work and the not-for-profit sector. Claire is a member of Amnesty’s Global Management Team, which oversees the implementation of Amnesty's strategic plan around the world. Over the last decade Claire has achieved significant growth and impact, more than doubling both supporters and turnover.
Director, Australian Studies Project for the Commonwealth Schools Commission
Bruce Pascoe is a Bunurong, Yuin and Tasmanian man born in Richmond, Victoria. He is a member of the Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-operative of Southern Victoria and is the director of the Australian Studies Project for the Commonwealth Schools Commission. Bruce has had a varied career as a teacher, farmer, fisherman, barman, fencing contractor, lecturer, Aboriginal language researcher, archaeological site worker and editor. His book, Fog a Dox, won the Young Adult category of the 2013 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards and his most recent book, Dark Emu: Black Seeds: agriculture or accident, won the 2016 NSW Premier’s Book of the Year Award.
Author and appearance activist
Carly Findlay is an award-winning writer, speaker and appearance activist. She writes for outlets including the ABC, The Age and SBS. She appeared on 'You Can’t Ask That' and 'Cyberhate' with Tara Moss. Her book and memoir is Say Hello. She organised the history-making Access to Fashion – a Melbourne Fashion Week event featuring disabled models. She has a Masters of Communication and BA of eCommerce. Carly identifies as a proud disabled woman, and was one of the 2014 Women of Influence.
Inspire Program Director, The Solutions Project (US)
Dannie is the Inspire Program Director at the Solutions Project, leading storytelling and media strategy for their climate justice grantee partners. She has over 15 years of experience as a program executive, specialising as a diversity and inclusion expert. Dannie has led communications strategies to advance social justice issues including poverty, racial, gender, LGBTQ and education equity.
Director of Communications, Transgender Law Center (US)
Jill Marcellus is Director of Communications at Transgender Law Center, the largest trans-led organisation in the US advocating for a world in which all people are free to define themselves and their futures. Jill works to challenge and expand public narratives around gender, educate reporters, and support transgender and gender nonconforming people in sharing stories authentically and effectively.
Press Officer, New Economy Organisers Network (NEON) (UK)
Kevin runs the New Economy Spokesperson Network at NEON. Formerly the communications manager at Global Justice Now, he has led countless front-page efforts for trade, climate and oil campaigns. He also organises and leads media trainings, from local to international levels, on effective messaging. Kevin’s most recently work has involved coordinating media for the Trump Baby balloon, and for the Stansted 15.
Primary Thinker in Residence (Social Capital), The Don Dunstan Foundation
As an educator, mentor and advocate, Allyson has assisted hundreds of social ventures to become economically sustainable and increase their social impact. She has developed and helps lead the social innovation programs at MaRS including Social Innovation Generation (SiG), the MaRS Solutions Labs and Studio Y. Allyson has helped grow the social innovation ecosystem and through her work, has had a significant impact on public policy. She is also the Social Entrepreneur in Residence in the Master in Business, Entrepreneurship & Technology (MBET) Program at the University of Waterloo.
CEO, Equality Campaign
Anna Brown is a human rights lawyer and founding Chief Executive Officer of Equality Australia, a leading voice and force for positive legal and social change for LGBTIQ+ people. Her fingerprints are on nearly every major reform for LGBTIQ+ people in recent years including playing a crucial role in achieving marriage equality through her work at the Human Rights Law Centre and as Co-Chair of the YES campaign.
Author, presenter and political commentator
Jamila Rizvi is an author, presenter and political commentator. She is Editor-at-Large for the Nine Network's Future Women platform. Jamila is a regular commentator on The Project, Today, 3AW, The Drum and ABC News Breakfast and an occasional host on ABC Melbourne Afternoons. Jamila's best-selling book Not Just Lucky, a career manifesto for millennial women, was published by Penguin in June 2017. She lives in Melbourne with her husband Jeremy and very excitable three-year-old son, Rafi.
Community Organiser, Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance
Tarneen is a Yigar Gunditjmara, Bindal, Yorta Yorta person who has worked in Aboriginal community control most of their career. Tarneen is currently working in the prison abolition as an outreach support worker for women on remand and bail, supporting them in prison and the community. Tarneen is a community organiser for Warriors of Aboriginal Resistance, working on Invasion Day, Black Deaths in Custody, Justice for Elijah and stopping for forced closure of Aboriginal communities in WA.
National Director, GetUp
Paul is the National Director of GetUp and passionate about creating a more fair, flourishing and just Australia by driving campaigns on human rights, economic fairness, environmental justice and democracy. He ranked in the top 10 of the Australian Financial Rreview's Power Index of most covertly powerful people in 2017. Before joining GetUp, Paul led the successful campaign to protect over 160,000 hectares of Tasmania's ancient forests from the proposed Gunns' pulp mill.
Executive Director, ActionAid Australia
Michelle Higelin is the Executive Director of ActionAid Australia and has led the organisation's international programs and policy work for the past three and half years. A committed feminist, Michelle has over 20 years of experience working to advance women's rights in Australia and internationally, including as the Deputy General Secretary of the World YWCA, one of the world's largest women's movements.
Executive Director for Policy, Strategy and Impact, RMIT University
Tom Bentley is Executive Director for Policy, Strategy and Impact at RMIT University. He worked for the Hon Julia Gillard MP as senior adviser, policy director and Deputy Chief of Staff. Previously, he was Director of Demos, an independent think tank in London, and a special adviser to David Blunkett MP in the UK. He is a member of the Victorian Education Minister’s Expert Panel on school reform, and works with institutions on educational renewal together with inclusive economic and community development.
Executive Officer, National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Legal Services (NATSILS)
Karly Warner is a proud Tasmanian Aboriginal woman with connections to the Cowen and the Lockley families. She is Executive Officer of the National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Legal Services and an advisor on the Aboriginal Advisory Council at Lander & Rogers. Previously, Karly was a practicing lawyer at the Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service, with experience working across criminal, civil, children, youth and family law.
CEO, Health Justice Australia
Tessa has worked in health, criminal justice and human rights organisations in Australia and internationally. She was previously Deputy CEO of the Australian Council of Social Service. Tessa was inaugural Fulbright Professional Scholar in Nonprofit Leadership. She is a graduate of the AICD Company Directors course and is on the Board of Gondwana Choirs. Her PhD, Protecting the Public: Detention and Release of Mentally Disordered Offenders, was published in book form by Routledge.
Alan Kirkland is CEO of CHOICE, Australia’s largest consumer organisation. Alan’s work in social movements stretches back to his school days, where he organised protests against cuts to public education. His working life has spanned roles in homelessness, social security, disability services and law reform, with the common thread being an interest in redressing disadvantage.
Human Rights Director, Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility
Dhakshayini is the Human Rights Director at the Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility. She began her career as a civil engineer in the water industry. After realising that she wanted to apply her technical and problem-solving skills to big societal challenges, she worked for the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction, Net Balance, Small Giants, and Foundation for Young Australians. Dhakshayini is also co-founder of a new start-up called Decolonised Design.
National Secretary, National Union of Workers
Tim is National Secretary of the National Union of Workers. Over Tim’s twenty years at the union, he has worked in roles from organiser to national president. His time at the union has seen increased worker-led activism and increasing links with community activists. He has a BA (Hons) and MA in International Relations from Monash University, and a Bachelor of Law (Hons) from La Trobe University. Tim is a Director of Per Capita and Deputy Chair of LUCRF Super, the NUW industry fund.
CEO, The Climate Council
Amanda McKenzie is an environmental leader and CEO of the Climate Council, which was launched following Australia's largest ever crowd-funding campaign. She is on the Board of Plan International Australia. In 2014, Amanda was recognised as one of Westpac’s 100 Women of Influence. Previously, Amanda co-founded the Australian Youth Climate Coalition.
Executive Director, Centre for Australian Progress
Nick is the Executive Director of Australian Progress and brings 15 years’ experience driving social change. Previously, Nick co-founded one of the world’s first social networks, TakingITGlobal.org, played a leading role in the growth of GetUp, worked in global strategy at Amnesty’s International Secretariat and managed public engagement for Greenpeace. He has served on numerous boards including the Australian Youth Climate Coalition and the Centre for Policy Development.
Director of Engagement, Equality Australia
Aram Hosie is an LGBTIQ+ advocate and out trans man with over ten years experience in the health and social service sector across a range of service delivery, public policy and senior leadership roles. Aram's advocacy work currently focuses on advancing the health and rights of trans and gender diverse people. Recently, he played a role in winning a High Court challenge to WA's gender recognition laws. Aram was named a 2015 Australian Human Rights Award (Community) Finalist, and is a member of the Victorian Government's LGBTI Ministerial Taskforce.
First Nations justice advocate
Latoya Aroha Hohepa-Rule is an Aboriginal and Māori person residing on stolen land on Kaurna country, south australia. They are an academic, a tutor, a writer and a social justice campaigner. Sadly Latoya’s own brother Wayne Fella Morrison died on remand in Yatala prison merely two years ago from causes including spithood and restraint asphyxia. Their words have been published responding to a range of justice issues, including state-sanctioned brutality and Aboriginal deaths in custody, in Novara Media, IndigenousX, The Guardian and Lifted Brow’s ‘Blak Brow’ edition.
Secretary, Victorian Trades Hall Council (VTHC)
Luke is Secretary of Victorian Trades Hall Council, the peak body for unions in Victoria, representing over 40 unions and 500,000 members. Under his leadership, Victorian workers are taking grassroots action in unprecedented numbers to improve our working lives. Luke's experience organising some of Victoria's lowest paid workers drives him to fight for wage justice in Victoria. Under the banner of We Are Union, Victorian workers are leading the fight for progressive social change.
Director of Fundraising, Democracy in Colour
Aliya is a Pakistani-Australian activist. She is the Fundraising Director for Democracy in Colour, a national racial justice campaigning organisation led by people of colour. Aliya currently works at Essential as a Campaigns Consultant and helps design campaigns for different progressive organisations. She is particularly passionate about campaigns on issues that affect people of colour and the Muslim community and in the context of colonialism and decolonisation.
Executive Director, Human Rights Law Centre
Hugh was appointed the Executive Director of the Human Rights Law Centre in 2013, after serving on its board since founding. Hugh currently serves as a Director of the Victorian Sentencing Advisory Council and a member of the Advisory Board of the University of Melbourne Law School. He has previously served as Commissioner of the Victorian Law Reform Commission, a board member of the National Association of Community Legal Centres and a governance committee member for knowmore.
Executive Director, change.org
Sally Rugg is the Executive Director of Change.org, Australia's largest social change platform. She was at the forefront of Australia's campaign for marriage equality and continues to work in grassroots LGTBIQ activism. Sally spent five years at GetUp, as Campaign Director and Creative Director. Her first novel, How Powerful We Are, is a story of dirty politics, sophisticated campaigning, raw personal story and the historic social movement that achieved marriage equality, and is available to pre-order now.
CEO, Sisters Inside
Debbie established Sisters Inside to fight for the human rights of women and children in prison and to address gaps in services available through ground-breaking programs to break the cycle of imprisonment. Debbie is the first and only former prisoner to be admitted as a legal practitioner in Queensland. She was awarded the Order of Australia in 2003, the Australian Human Rights Award in 2004, the Churchill Fellowship in 2013 and was also an Australian of the Year Finalist for Queensland in 2016.
National Campaign Coordinator, Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU)
Kara Keys is a descendant of the Yiman and Gangulu peoples of central Queensland. She commenced at the ACTU in February 2013 as the ACTU Indigenous Officer and now leads campaigns as an ACTU National Campaign Coordinator. Kara believes that a positive, self-determining future for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities is fundamentally entwined with a strong, progressive trade union movement.
National Secretary, United Voice
Jo Schofield is the National Secretary of United Voice. Previously, she was elected National President in 2014. Jo has been a member of United Voice for nearly 30 years and over that time has worked in a variety of roles, including Assistant National Secretary. Jo has focused on many areas including strengthening women’s place in our union and in the economy. She has also spent over a decade working with civil society and women’s organisations, and with trade unions to advance the cause of social justice and address inequality.
Farmer, firefighter, advocate and author
Vivien is an award winning firefighter and author of several books about the journey that firefighters go through after a major bushfire event. She lives and works on a farm with her partner Robert at Muttama on the South West Slopes in NSW were they run 4 commodities. She has recently returned to full time work to offset the farm income in this devastating drought and she has watched the overall health of the land and farm and native animals buckle under the lack of decent climate policy.
Executive Director, Fair Agenda
Renee Carr is the Executive Director at Fair Agenda. She was named one of 2015's '100 Women of Influence'. Previously, Renee co-directed the 2011 Live Below the Line campaign, helping engage 6,000 Australians to raise more than $1.4 million for projects tackling extreme poverty and was part of the team that led The End of Polio campaign to secure $118 million additional funding for global polio eradication efforts.
National Co-Director, Democracy in Colour
Neha Madhok is driven by the power of grassroots organising to win tangible outcomes for social justice. Currently, Neha is a National Co-Director at Democracy in Colour - the first Australia-wide organisation led by and for people of colour campaigning for racial and economic justice. Previously she was a Senior Campaigner at 350.org Australia. Neha also worked on the Yes campaign at Australian Marriage Equality, and has been a Digital Campaigner in the Australian union movement.
Yoga Teacher & Founder, Liminal Life
Alicia is an activist, social change maker, yoga teacher and mother who is passionate about working towards social, economic and environmental justice. Alicia is the founder of Liminal Life. She holds over 15 years experience in designing and facilitating personal and leadership development programs and a background in community development and youth engagement. As an advocate and practitioner, Alicia is committed to helping those working within the social change and community sectors.
Grant Program Manager, William Buckland Foundation
Ferdi Hepworth currently manages the William Buckland Foundation. She has held leadership roles at Social Ventures Australia and Children's Ground, responsible for implementing ambitious social investment, communications and partnerships strategies. A self-described social justice warrior and philanthropy geek, she has worked across the corporate, non-profit and granting sides of the for purpose sector and takes great delight in supporting quality ideas, people and organisations to amplify their impact.
Writer, Academic & Author - University of Melbourne
Tim Dunlop is a writer, speaker and commentator whose work is concerned with a central question: how do we make our democracies work for the many and not just the few? He has written extensively on media, politics and the future of work. His latest book, The Future of Everything: Big, Audacious Ideas for a Better World, is comprehensive attempt to redesign key institutions on the basis of a progressive, bottom-up notion of democracy and a life in common.
Manager of Strategy and Planning, Bank Australia
Victoria McKenzie-McHarg is the Manager of Strategy and Planning at Bank Australia, one of Australia’s leading customer owned responsible banks. Victoria also chairs the Climate Action Network of Australia, and is an Advisory Board Member of the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute. Over the past 10 years, Victoria has led community campaigns for government action on climate change, including to close Hazelwood power station, and for carbon pricing and the Renewable Energy Target.
Lee Strike is the founder of YOUNG, an organisation dedicated to building the power of young people in national campaigns for representation and economic justice. Lee was most recently Product Lead and Digital Campaigner for The Equality Campaign running two successful YES campaign platforms. They have eight years experience as a Digital Campaigner and Producer working for and alongside organisations including Agency Strategic Creative, Leo Burnett, and Oaktree.
CEO, Oxfam Australia
Dr Helen Szoke is Chief Executive of Oxfam Australia and a strong advocate for foreign aid, international development, human rights, gender and race equity. Her distinguished career accomplishments includes leadership of the Victorian Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission as Commissioner, and the Race Discrimination Commissioner for the Australian Human Rights Commission.
Head of Policy & Campaigns, ActionAid Australia
Lucy Manne is the Head of Policy and Campaigns at ActionAid Australia. ActionAid Australia is a women’s right organisation, part of the global ActionAid Federation working in over 45 countries to achieve social justice, gender equality and poverty eradication. Lucy has been a climate justice campaigner for 10 years. She is the former National Co-Director of the Australian Youth Climate Coalition, and has worked with the Wilderness Society and the Climate Action Network Australia.
Organiser, School Strike 4 Climate Action
Nosrat is a 16-year-old organiser and leader of the Sydney School Strike4Climate Movement. As a voice that represents the concerns of thousands of young people, Nosrat is aware of the dangers of climate inaction and how the repercussions will affect her generation the most, which is why she continues to advocate for a better and sustainable climate for all Australians to enjoy. Although she is a high school student, Nosrat strongly believes that the future of young people should not be gambled upon for short term economic stability.
Director, Plan to Win
Holly Hammond assists individuals, groups and campaigns to develop the skills and clarity required to win change in the world. Through Plan to Win Holly offers facilitation, training and mentoring, covering topics including campaign strategy and community organising. Through Plan to Thrive she promotes activist health and wellbeing. In the Commons social change library she has gathered hundreds of educational resources to support community action. She is also convenor of the 2019 International Gathering of Activist Educators in Catalonia.
Major Gifts Manager, Oxfam Australia
Under Micah's stewardship, Oxfam received national recognition from the Fundraising Institute in Australia in 2016 for excellence in Major Gifts, and in 2017 Micah was named a 'Mover & Shaker' by Fundraising & Philanthropy Magazine, after having increased revenue by 150% in just 4 years. Micah holds 11 years as a major gift fundraiser, working with organisations like ACF, Climate Council and AYCC as well as big campaigns including 'Say YES! Australia', 'Just Add Water', and 'What She Makes'.
Legal Director, Human Rights Law Centre
Ruth is a Legal Director at the Human Rights Law Centre where she leads a team of lawyers advocating for the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, economic justice, the rights of people in prison and a fair and equal criminal legal system. She’s particularly passionate about coupling well thought out advocacy with strategic litigation. Recently her work focuses on police accountability, inhumane prison conditions, unfair youth detention laws and racial discrimination laws and death in custody coronial inquests.
Gadrian Hoosan is a Garrwa and Yanyuwa man, born and raised in Gulf country. As a community leader and musician he works in Borroloola to protect homelands and revitalise language and culture for the future generations. Recently, Gadrian campaigned on fracking and the impacts of water contamination and the threat of land to remote communities in the Northern Territory.
Budget Policy and Institutional Reform Program Director Grattan Institute
Danielle has more than 15 years experience as an economist in government, consulting and the nonprofit sector. At the Grattan Institute, her research and advocacy focuses on tax and budget policy, inequality, competition policy and integrity reforms. She previously worked as Principal Economist and Mergers Director at the ACCC, Senior Consultant at NERA Economic Consulting, and as a Senior Research Economist at the Productivity Commission. Danielle is also the National Chair of the Women in Economics Network.
Founding Director, Democracy in Colour
Tim is the Founder and National Co-Director of Democracy in Colour - Australia's first racial and economic justice organisation led by people of colour. Previously, he was a Senior Organiser at United Voice where he helped young, low-paid workers start Hospo Voice - a new union in hospitality. He has led campaigns at Oaktree, been an adviser to two Senators, was the Campaigns Director at Jhatkaa, led national communications at UN Youth Australia, and co-founded Open Sky - one of India’s most well-known performance art communities. Tim is also on the Boards of Plan International Australia, the Southern Migrant & Refugee Centre, Stop the Traffik, Climate for Change, and The Wilderness Society (VIC).
Founder & Executive Director, Plastic Free Foundation
Rebecca is passionate about helping communities address the growing plastic waste issue. Rebecca founded and is the Executive Director of the Plastic Free Foundation, bringing public and businesses together with the vision of a world without plastic waste. She has 25 years of experience in environmental and waste management, community engagement and sustainability behaviour change. Previously, Rebeccas has attended plastic pollution research expeditions in Queensland, the Cocos Islands, and the North Atlantic Ocean.
CEO, Consumer Action Law Centre
Gerard is CEO of the Consumer Action Law Centre, an independent, not-for-profit consumer organisation, providing financial counselling, legal advice and representation to support vulnerable and disadvantaged Victorians by using its direct knowledge of the consumer experience in modern markets to pursue consumer interest campaigns and policy reform. Gerard is also the Chair of Consumers’ Federation of Australia, the peak body for consumer organisations in Australia, representing a diverse range of consumer groups, including most national consumer organisations.
Senior Human Rights & Racial Justice Campaigner, GetUp! & Colour Code
Roj is the senior human rights and racial justice campaigner at Colour Code and GetUp, and was recently appointed to the board of the Human Rights Arts and Film Festival. She is a Kurdish woman from Iraq who sought refuge in Australia in the 1990s, an experience that has influenced her community organising and advocacy in LGBTQIA+, refugee and racial justice. Roj was the previous editor for Acclaim Magazine and Neue Luxury, and has written for the Saturday Paper, Sydney Morning Herald, Meanjin, SBS and Right Now.
Director, Original Power
Karrina is descendant of the Yorta Yorta people in Victoria.She holds 25 years of experience as an organiser, strategist, campaigner, facilitator and lobbyist. She has led programs and campaigns on women’s rights, globalisation and environmental justice with a focus on First Nations peoples. She works with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to build up capacity for self-determination in the context of land justice, economic, development and climate change, accounting long-term community needs as well as country and culture.
Director of Legal Advocacy, Equality Australia
Lee is passionate about protecting the human rights of LGBTIQ+ people and fighting for equality. Lee has worked on strategic litigation, campaigns and advocacy for a range of equality law reforms across Australia, including the High Court challenge to the marriage equality postal plebiscite, federal anti-discrimination protections and adoption equality. Lee previously worked in the LGBTI Rights Unit of the Human Rights Law Centre, which was nominated for the Australian Human Rights Commission Law Award in 2018, and received the VAC President’s Award in 2017.
Communications Manager, Greenpeace Australia Pacific
With a decade of experience in all aspects of digital communications, Nelli has managed portfolios of social media platforms with over 1.5 million followers, and has spearheaded digital projects that have reached over 75 million people. She has worked on a range of environmental and conservation issues including whaling, reef conservation, illegal fishing, and offshore drilling. Prior to her current role, she was Digital Media Specialist at Sea Shepherd Global and Digital Communications Manager at the Climate Council.
Legal Secretariat Officer, National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services (NATSILS)
Roxanne is a Noongar woman and human rights lawyer from Margaret River in Western Australia. Previously, Roxanne was an Indigenous Rights Campaigner with Amnesty International Australia and also worked for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner at the Australian Human Rights Commission. She has worked as Principal Associate to the Hon Chief Justice Wayne Martin AC QC; as a commercial litigator; and has international experience with UNHCR Jordan and New York University’s Global Justice Clinic.
CEO, Hazara Women of Australia
Najeeba is the CEO of Hazara Women of Australia, advocating for the rights of women, refugees and the release of children from detention centers nationally and internationally. At 10 years old, Najeeba Wazefadost fled Afghanistan with her parents. She sought asylum from Australia by sea in and spent several months in mandatory immigration detention before being recognised as a refugee. Najeeba is actively involved in the development of refugee-led networks, bringing together organisations and refugee change-makers from around the world to gather to discuss their lived experiences and propose solutions for more effective and sustainable refugee policy.
Communications & Campaigns Director, United Voice
Tim Petterson is the Communications and Campaigns Director at United Voice. Tim's work focuses on developing and implementing the digital and media strategies on key campaigns. He also leads Australia's first digital union, Hospo Voice, which is being piloted in Victoria and combines custom-built online tools to empower hospo workers, along with worker-led campaigns and protests. Since launch, Hospo Voice has helped ignite a powerful movement against wage theft, and seen over 700 young hospo workers embrace unionism.
Acting Director of the Superannuation Consumers' Centre, CHOICE
Xavier works primarily advocating on behalf of low and middle income people on consumer finance issues, including superannuation, and group life insurance. Previously, he worked at the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) as a Policy Officer working on telecommunications consumer protection and competition policy. He has also led the team responding to the Financial Services Royal Commission.
Student Executive Council Representative, VicSRC
Wren is a year 11 student from the Yarra Ranges with the passion to shape positive change. Wren enjoys leadership, public speaking, writing and the study of philosophy. She likes to challenge her own world view and those of the people around her, because she believes learning enables us to move forward. She wants our education system to reflect progress, and hopes that her role on the VicSRC Executive will be part of helping shape progressive change. Wren believes that education is the key to growth with young people.
CEO, Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare
Deb Tsorbaris is CEO of the Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare, Victoria’s peak body for child and family services. Previously, Deb was the CEO of the Victorian Council to Homeless Persons and has also held executive positions at Victoria’s Department of Human Services. Deb has provided policy advice to government on a range of issues and has worked across disability, drugs and alcohol, youth services and employment programs. Deb is passionate about improving the lives of children, young people and families in the areas of child safety, education and health.
Strategic Business Development Manager, Kimberley Land Council
Ariadne has been a part of the Kimberley Land Council team for the past 20 years, with extensive experience in cultural and natural resource management, land rights and Indigenous governance. Ariadne has worked with 14 Native Title groups to register the West Kimberley on the National Heritage List for its outstanding cultural and natural values. She is passionate about collaborating with diverse stakeholders to deliver innovative Indigenous owned enterprises that nurture people, country and culture.
Sex worker, educator, and freelance writer
Georgie has performed Australia-wide for the infamous Sydney Hellfire Club. For the past seven years, she has worked as an independent escort based in Melbourne. Georgie is passionate about sex worker rights and accessible, sex-positive sex education. She recently ran a sold-out series of ethical dating workshops for Laneway Learning. Her project ‘The Art of the Hook Up’ promotes the idea that treating sexual partners with consent and respect leads to a better sex life.
CEO, Children’s Ground
Jane is the founding CEO of Children’s Ground, a systems change organisation designed to address the injustice and inequity that lead to extreme disadvantage and trauma across whole communities, while celebrating the oldest living cultures in the world. She has worked with First Nations communities, establishing strength and justice based approaches to achieve long term change. Jane was one of the Westpac Australian Financial Review’s 100 Women of Influence in 2014.
Head of Mobilisation and Social Change, Australian Red Cross
Ebony is a social designer at the intersection of networks, technology and social change. Currently, she is the Head of Mobilisation and Social Change at the Australian Red Cross, leading thinking and testing of decentralized mobilisation models, social connection and large-scale social change in areas like loneliness, nuclear weapons and homelessness. Ebony has previously worked in family violence, justice, therapeutic/self-help communities and government.
Organiser, Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance
Ruby Wharton is a Gamilaraay Kooma yinnar (woman) from Cunnamulla, QLD. She is based in Meanjin (Brisbane) and is a member of Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance as well as the Brisbane Aboriginal Tent Embassy and has been an active organiser since the age of 15. Her grassroots upbringing and political family have heavily influenced her in continuing on the family tradition of resisting and fighting against injustice. Through her experience with activism, Ruby believes that it is about rallying the warriors to switch the game, get smarter, fight harder.
Greens Senator for Western Australia
Jordon is Australia’s youngest senator who journeys with a disability. Prior to taking up the post of Senator for Western Australia in November 2017 Jordon dedicated his time to youth and disability advocacy and was also a student of politics at Macquarie University. Jordon has portfolio responsibility for Disability Rights & Services, Youth, Digital Rights and Sustainable Cities. Deeply involved with the Greens Party from a young age, Jordon is passionate about using his time in parliament to act on climate change, reduce youth unemployment and implement a full NDIS. In 2018, he was named as McKinnon Emerging Political Leader of the Year for his outstanding leadership on disability advocacy.
Refugee Campaign Coordinator, Amnesty International in Australia
Shankar Kasynathan came to Australia with his family seeking refuge from the early years of the civil war in Sri Lanka. He has worked with asylum seekers & refugee communities across metropolitan and regional Victoria, the Northern Territory and the ACT. He has worked on campaigns with Oxfam Australia and the National Heart Foundation. He has been an adviser to both State & Territory Ministers. He has degrees in Economics and Public Policy. Since December 2017, he has served as the Refugee Campaign Coordinator for Amnesty International in Australia.
Co-Executive Director, Tripple
Bec Milgrom is co-executive director of Tripple, a family office/private investment company that seeks to use capital as a force for good. Through a combined effort of ethical investments and grant making, Tripple seeks to create real change in response to our greatest environmental and social challenges. Bec also has extensive experience in product development and marketing, primarily in the start-up and not for profit sectors. She earned a double degree in Marketing and Economics from Monash University and completed Seth Godins Alt. MBA in 2016. Bec is a new board member of Australian Progress.
Writer & Editor
Bri Lee is a writer and editor whose work has been published through major publications including The Monthly, Harper’s Bazaar Australia, The Saturday Paper, Crikey, The Guardian and Griffith Review. Bri has also appeared on The Drum on ABC TV, various ABC Radio National programs, and often gives talks on writing, law, feminism, fashion, pop culture, and art. In 2018, Bri received a Commonwealth Government of Australia scholarship and recently received the Premier’s Young Publishers and Writers Award at the Queensland Literary Awards.
Australian film director
Maya has made award-winning shorts. She directed Growing Up Gayby (2013) and her first award-winning feature doc, Gayby Baby (2015), has been screened at international festivals and has broken cinema-on-demand records. The film sparked a national debate after it was banned from being screened in Australian schools by the NSW State Premier. The film was significant in the movement for marriage and adoption equality in Australia and the accompanying education resources are the first in Australia to represent LGBTI families. Her new doc feature, In My Blood It Runs will premiere in 2019.
Victorian Representative, Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome Support Group Australia (AISSGA)
Elise is an intersex human rights activist based in Melbourne, they are the state representative for AISSGA - an Australian based intersex peer support group. Elise is passionate about connecting intersex people to community and de-medicalising Intersex stories and bodies. Besides being a queer fairly awkward human, Elise is also a self professed video game and literature nerd.
Indigenous Officer, Australian Council of Trade Unions
Lara Watson is a Birri Gubba woman from Central West Queensland & the Indigenous officer with the ACTU. She has been involved with the Trade Union movement for 15 years, starting as a workplace delegate and moving into community campaigning as a Yr@w co-ordinator. She ran the anti-privatisation campaign ‘Not4Sale’ in Queensland, and worked on numerous Indigenous campaigns, including the fight for Muckaty, Queensland Stolen Wages, the NT Intervention & currently running the ‘Wage Justice’ campaign for Community Development Workers in remote communities through the First Nations Workers Alliance.
Media Spokesperson, School Strike 4 Climate Action
Aisheeya is a 16-year-old student striving to unite the political divide on climate action within Sydney (her city by birth). She’s an avid advocate for women, people of colour, Muslims and youth empowerment. As a media spokesperson for the ‘School Strike 4 Climate Action’ movement, she’s eager to see societal and legislative change occur within Australian communities.
CEO, Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria (DVRCV)
Emily Maguire is the CEO of the Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria (DVRCV), a statewide resource centre supporting workers and families to help stop family violence. Previously, Emily worked at Our Watch, working on a range of violence prevention initiatives including the National Framework to Prevent Violence against Women and their Children and the Respectful Relationships Education in Schools project. In 2014, Emily also led the development of the Australian Human Rights Commission’s national workplace sexual harassment campaign, Know Where the Line Is.
Founder & Executive Director, Unharm
Will founded Unharm in 2014 to work with communities of activists to promote policy innovation, wellbeing and practices of care in drug policy. Will's professional experience is in drug and alcohol program evaluation, social policy research and communications, and he has worked as a consultant to Australian government agencies. Will’s personal and professional experience made him aware of scale, patterns and demographics of prohibited substance use, the barriers to good policy, and the need for new approaches.
Chief Executive, Homelessness NSW
Katherine has been the Chief Executive of Homelessness NSW since 2015 and has been a member of the Homelessness Australia Board since 2016. Katherine has overseen a number of research and policy projects including the Inner City Sydney Registry Week, A Plan for Change: Older Women and the NSW Homelessness Industry and Workforce Development Strategy. Previously, she worked on the NSW Homelessness Action Plan and the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness NSW Implementation Plan as well as overseeing service delivery models such as Staying Home Leaving Violence and Way2Home.
Advocacy Advisor & Campaign Coach
Anita is passionate about building people power to secure public policies that benefit the community and wants governments and institutions to make decisions that enable everyone to have a decent life. Anita has made a difference throughout her career through direct service, policy development, consumer protection bodies, and Parliamentary Committees, and non-government policy advocacy. Anita's current focus is on increasing the impact of the advocacy work of NGO's by helping them unlock the potential of their grassroots supporters.
Executive Director, Per Capita
Emma Dawson is the Executive Director of Per Capita. Formerly, she was a senior advisor on Digital Inclusion at Telstra, Executive Director of the Institute for a Broadband Enabled Society at the University of Melbourne, and a senior policy advisor in the Rudd and Gillard governments. Emma has published reports, articles and opinion pieces on a wide range of public policy issues, which have appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, the Guardian, The Australian, and a number of online publications. She is a regular panellist on The Drum on ABC TV.
National Director, Australian Youth Climate Coalition
Gemma is the National Director at the Australian Youth Climate Coalition, building a generation-wide movement to solve the climate crisis. Over the last 10 years Gemma has led AYCC's Campaigns and core programs from the campaign to see Australia's big four banks rule out investment in the Adani coal mine, to supporting a new generation to get involved in climate action through the Schools Strike 4 Climate.
Director of Campaigns & Communications, CHOICE
Erin leads CHOICE's Campaigns and Communications Department which fights to keep industry and government accountable and achieve real change for Australian consumers. Erin previously worked in government relations, policy and campaigns roles for non-government organisations, including CBAA, the peak body for community radio stations, and the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN). She is also a board member of the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) and a member of the Financial Rights Legal Centre Management Committee.
Organiser, National Union of Workers
Prior to becoming an organiser Putri was an activist and delegate for the union. Putri fought to build union structures in her workplace to ensure everyone was paid at least the minimum wage and workers had a platform to fix issues on site. She has worked in farms in both NSW and Victoria in orchards, harvesting and packing shed work. Putri is actively working to fight for an amnesty for undocumented workers, the right to a living wage, the right to speak out through the union and to kick dodgy contractors and subcontractors out of the horticulture industry.
Nicola established CounterAct in 2012 and has trained thousands of people in civil resistance and grassroots campaign skills. She has nearly 20 years experience working across the progressive spectrum, from blockades to boardrooms, from Federal Parliament, to tiny NGO’s, to frontline action in Antarctica. Nicola has helped defend the Kimberley from industrialisation, supported direct action to protect the Beeliar Wetlands near Perth and helped coordinate Break Free, involving 2000 people blockading the coal port of Newcastle. She has also worked with religious leaders, anti-gambling advocates and childcare educators to prepare and support them for direct action and worked on a range of social justice, legal and human rights issues.
National Campaign & Organising Manager, Seed Indigenous Youth Climate Network
Philip is a Ngarabul & Wirrayaraay Murri from so-called New England, and is passionate about Indigenous land, water defence, language, cultural revitalisation, sovereignty and decolonisation. They have been involved with the Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance since 2014, helping organise major protests like Genocidal20 (G20 2014) and Stolenwealth (Commonwealth Games 2018). At Seed Indigenous Youth Climate Network, Philip leads corporate campaigns targeting companies involved in fracking in the Northern Territory.
Community Organiser, Original Power
Dwayne Coulthard is a proud Adnyamathanha and Kokatha man studying Bachelor of Laws at the University of Adelaide. Dwayne previously worked as the Executive Officer for the Aboriginal Community Leadership Reference Group, advising State Government on the child protection reforms, and more recently, as an Aboriginal Youth Consultant leading the consultations for the Aboriginal Youth Engagement Project.
Co-Director, Common Cause Australia
Eleanor is the Co-Director of Common Cause Australia. In earlier roles in government environmental policy, she came to realise that people’s views and action on climate change had very little to do with science and a lot to do with values, identity and agency, which led to a PhD in climate change engagement. Eleanor has since supported many organisations and the Australia reMADE collaboration to put progressive values and frames at the heart of their work by aligning their values and vision. She is also passionate about helping people work through the detail of implementing their bold ideas for transformational systems change.
Senior Producer, Digital Storytellers
Julia Lörsch is a Senior Producer at Digital Storytellers using her skills in narrative, image and producing to bring compelling stories to life. With a special interest in climate change, sustainability and the ethical economy, Julia is dedicated to integrity in message and production to create the most engaging pieces possible. Born in Germany and with a background in broadcast fiction, Julia brings her three languages, full passports and insatiable curiosity for understanding the world and its people, into each production she creates.
Director of Policy and Advocacy, Australian Council of Social Services (ACOSS)
Jacqueline Phillips is the Director of Policy and Advocacy. She has policy expertise across a range of areas including social security, housing and homelessness, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander policy issues, community development, human rights and justice. Previously, Jacqueline was the National Director of Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation (ANTaR). Jacqueline has a long history of involvement with the COSSes, having previously worked as a Policy Officer at ACOSS and the ACT Council of Social Service (ACTCOSS).
Senior Campaigner, Purpose
Chris brings over a decade of experience working to design and implement issue-driven programs and campaigns. Building on his early career in photography, video production, and digital design, Chris also studied international development and politics. Chris has a strong commitment to participatory development, having fought for better rights and policy outcomes on issues including migration, health, climate change, and poverty alleviation. Chris is driven by work that enables vulnerable and marginalised communities to self-advocate and design their own progress.
Co-Founder & Managing Director, KeepCup
Abigail Forsyth is a leader in the global movement to inspire reduce and reuse. Alarmed by the amount of disposable packaging being wasted, Abigail started her search for less impactful ways to serve food and reducing the use of single-use items, which has led to the concept of KeepCup becoming a reality in June 2009. KeepCup is the world’s first barista-standard reusable cup, known worldwide for its bright, bold and instantly recognisable reusable cups. 12 million KeepCups have been sold and users have diverted billions of disposable cups from landfill.
Co-founder, Brothers 4 Recovery
Jeff Amatto is a proud Wiradjuri man from Wellington (NSW). At age 13, Jeff began to experiment with alcohol and fell into a lifestyle of misery and pain through addiction and incarceration. Through an Indigenous cultural rehab, Jeff is now nine years clean and sober. He co-founded Brothers 4 Recovery, a campaign delivering drug and alcohol awareness and suicide prevention to remote Aboriginal communities. Jeff has travelled just under 45,000kms in two years to inspire people and others stuck in the struggle of addiction, incarceration and how important culture was for him to heal.
Marine Parks & Ocean Plastic Pollution Campaigner, Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS)
Jimmy Cordwell is the Ocean Plastic Pollution Campaigner with the Australian Marine Conservation Society to turn the tide on ocean plastic pollution and to save our precious oceans. Jimmy has studied environmental conservation and has worked in environmental education and advocacy roles around Australia. He also works within the Save Our Marine Life Alliance campaigning to rightfully reinstate our national marine sanctuaries after the Federal Government robbed Australia of our sanctuary protection.
Digital & Data Organiser, Victorian Trades Hall Council
Moira is a lifelong activist, unionist and environmentalist. She currently works as a data and digital organiser at Trades Hall, supporting worker-led campaigns to help Victorians win at work. She helps unions to navigate digital technology and amplify the voice of working people online. Previously she has been an organiser at UnionsACT and a volunteer organiser with the Australian Youth Climate Coalition.
Founder, Better Renting
Joel Dignam is the founder of Better Renting, an organisation advocating for stable, affordable and liveable homes. He is one of Australia’s leading community organisers with experience in non-profits, unions, and electoral politics in Australia and the UK. Most recently, he has worked for organisations including Climate Action Network Australia, United Voice, the Australian Greens and the Australian Youth Climate Coalition. Joel holds an Advanced Diploma of Management and previously studied through Harvard's Kennedy School of Executive Education.
Co-Director, Common Cause Australia
Mark is the Co-Director of Common Cause Australia. He is a communications expert, researcher and trainer who works with progressive organisations and political parties to incorporate an evidence-based approach to values in their work. His background includes working in advertising and journalism and heading up ActionAid Australia’s community engagement program. Since establishing Common Cause Australia in 2014, the organisation has trained over 5,000 campaigners, communicators and fundraisers from Australia and New Zealand in values-based community engagement.
Digital Producer, Digital Storytellers
Natasha Akib is a digital producer who believes in individuals and communities telling their own stories. She specialises in using the skills of film production, media and marketing for purpose-driven organisations and is responsible for developing, producing and facilitating Stories for Impact - Digital Storytellers’ educational workshops, tools and resources. Stories for Impact has supported thousands of storytellers from around the world to find, make, edit and share their own video stories.
Pacific Campaigner, 350.org
Joseph is the Pacific Campaigner for global climate change advocacy group 350.org. He is a Tongan man and a Pacific Climate Warrior working with Pacific people in 15 Island Nations and with the Pacific Diaspora in Australia, New Zealand and the USA. He works to ensure that in the face of Climate Change the story being told of the Pacific reflects the leadership and resilience displayed by its people. People who are on the frontlines of Climate Change but who are also leading they way and on the forefront of Climate action.
Director of Legal Advocacy, Human Rights Law Centre
Emily has worked at HRLC since 2009 protecting human rights in Australian foreign policy, defending democratic freedoms including the right to vote as well as anti-racism and minority rights issues. She also works on accountability for Australia’s actions overseas such as border protection measures and military cooperation. Previously, Emily worked as a Senior Associate with Allens Arthur Robinson, a legal adviser to the House of Representatives Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee, and in the Trial Chambers of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia.
Hannah engages with a broad range of stakeholders on accountability reform, including barristers, retired judges, academics, journalists, legal organisations, and policy makers. Recently, she led the campaign for a National Integrity Commission, an independent public sector anti-corruption commission. Hannah has authored a number of research reports on accountability issues, including on anti-corruption commissions, political donations and the undue influence of the mining industry.
Director, Social Change Projects
Daniel is a communications and social change consultant. He holds 12 years working in the housing and homelessness sector. Recently, Daniel designed and managed the Make Renting Fair Campaign, working with Tenants Victoria and a diverse community coalition to win significant reforms to Victoria’s rental laws in over two decades. Daniel has also worked with government, unions, peak bodies and a wide range of community service providers to create change that makes our community more equal, more just and more sustainable.
Councillor, Moreland City Council
Dale was first elected as Councillor of Moreland City Council in 2016. He is the former Chair of the Urban Planning Committee, former board member of the Moreland Energy Foundation and current Councillor responsible for Infrastructure and Youth. Dale has led the Plastic Bag Free Victoria campaign and is a strong community advocate for the circular economy. Dale is certified Lead Auditor in Environmental Management Systems and holds degrees in economics, finance and energy systems.
National Coordinator, Australia reMADE
Millie has a qualitative research background with particular expertise in local community and social norms and community building. She has spoken in-depth with hundreds of Australian's about their lives, communities and dreams. Millie has worked in and around universities for over a decade working to build student capacity and enthusiasm for tackling wicked problems. Millie is also a carer for her family and community and is passionate about acknowledging this work as a valid, valuable and legitimate use of her time.
Vice President, Gun Control Australia
Roland Browne has practised as a lawyer in Hobart for over thirty years, working across the general civil and criminal fields. Roland has been a gun control advocate since he joined the Tasmanian Coalition for Gun Control in 1987, after the mass shooting in Hoddle Street Melbourne. He became Vice-Chair of the National Coalition for Gun Control in 1998 and is now Vice-Chair of Gun Control Australia. In 2013, Roland presented a paper on firearm law reform in Australia at the International Society for the Reform of Criminal Law 26th International Conference.
Senior Cultural Educator, Children’s Ground
Lorrayne is an Arrernte grandmother and mother from the Mpweringke Anapipe region. A qualified interpreter, Lorrayne’s dedication and commitment to driving Children’s Ground’s Early Years work takes form in the development of resources including children’s books, supporting the growth and documentation of Children’s Ground’s Arrernte Early Years framework and teaching. Lorrayne’s passion for language and culture transmission has made her an integral part of the Children’s Ground team and Governing Committee in Central Australia.
Traditional Owner, Mparntwe (Alice Springs) and Senior Cultural Educator, Children’s Ground
Felicity is an Arrernte Elder, educator and a recognised traditional owner of Mparntwe/Alice Springs in central Australia. Felicity has campaigned for decades for social justice for her people, the right to live on her country and the right for Arrernte families to teach their children. Over the years Felicity has been instrumental working within the formal education system, sharing and teaching Arrernte language and culture. Felicity is one of the Grandmothers who form the backbone of Children's Ground, providing leadership and direction on the learning, wellbeing and development of children at her home, Irrkerlantye (Whitegate Town Camp).
Founder & CEO, Gather My Crew
Susan is a registered psychologist and health consultant. She has worked in public health and the not-for-profit sector for the past 20 years and has significant experience working with those suffering trauma. Susan has experience developing clinical psychology services, conducting psychosocial research projects in hospital and health services, a research PhD investigating the impact of trauma on young people, and has worked as a health consultant advising on health design and service delivery.
Founder & Managing Director, For Purpose
Caterina is the Founder and Managing Director of For Purpose, an organisation working with not-for-profit and purpose-driven organisations to create change. Caterina delivers policy, advocacy, social change, strategic planning, governance and government relations training across Australia. Caterina was a finalist of the 2015 ACT Young Woman of the Year Awards, is a fellow of the Centre for Australian Progress and a graduate of the Harvard Kennedy School program Leadership, Organising and Change and Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Head of Campaigns & Policy, CHOICE
Sarah is a consumer and competition law and policy expert, having worked in the field of consumer rights for nine years in roles at key regulators, consumer advocacy bodies and within the justice system. Currently, Sarah campaigns for changes to consumer law to better protect Australians from bad business conduct including: safer products, improvements to the private health insurance market, a fairer financial system, and transparent and honest food labelling. Previously, Sarah worked with the Samoan government to implement a new legal framework for consumer protection and prevention of anti-competitive conduct.
Project Manager, Paul Ramsay Foundation
Charlotte joined the Foundation in 2015 and supported the research, development and implementation of the initial strategy. She has also been responsible for managing a variety of projects, building new partnerships, grants administration, and also the induction and recruitment of the Foundation’s growing team. Charlotte is committed to ensuring that the Foundation continues to fulfil the legacy of its founder Paul Ramsay and develops a strong organisational culture underpinned by his values.
Grants Manager, The Balnaves Foundation
Katy has extensive experience working across philanthropy and the arts. She currently works for The Balnaves Foundation, a private family foundation supporting charitable organisations aimed at creating a better Australia through education, medicine and the arts with a focus on young people, the disadvantaged and Indigenous Australia. Previously, Katy worked for Philanthropy Australia, Arts Support Australia, Milk Crate Theatre, the National Art School, Critical Path, Darlinghurst Theatre and Sculpture by the Sea. Katy is a Board Member of the Business Education Network (The BEN) and the Sydney Improvised Music Association (SIMA).
Director of Campaigns, Animals Australia
Lisa was a journalist turned political adviser when a story about live animal export on 60 Minutes in 2007 planted a seed that led to a career in animal advocacy, first with RSPCA Australia and over the past eight years, as Campaign Director for Animals Australia. Known for their investigations and strategic public awareness campaigns, at Animals Australia Lisa works alongside a team of dynamic and passionate advocates to expose and address animal cruelty, inspire compassion and respect for all living beings, and empower individuals to create needed change.
Faisal is an Iraq-born researcher based in Aotearoa New Zealand. His research and writing focus on migration, settler colonialism, and Muslim and Arab identities. His areas of interest are social theory, settler colonialism, and the politics of Indigenous-migrant relations.
Founder, Navilluso Medical Ltd
Dr Lance O’Sullivan is a leading medical innovator pursuing the goal of increasing access to quality health care using emerging digital technologies. Lance was named Māori of the Year 2013 and New Zealander of the Year in 2014. He’s recognised for being a disruptor and champion for ensuring that health care is delivered to the most important in our society: children, particularly those with high health and social needs. Lance created NZ’s first digital health program, iMOKO, delivering health services to communities of children in minutes and hours rather than hours and days.
Human Rights Campaign Director, GetUp
Shen Narayanasamy founded the No Business in Abuse project, targeting corporate involvement in offshore detention of asylum seekers, and led #LetThemStay, which prevented the deportation of hundreds of asylum seekers to Nauru. Recently, she led GetUp's response to the Federal Government's attempts to change the Racial Discrimination Act, and ongoing attempts to change citizenship requirements. Shen's background is as a human rights lawyer and advocate, working in Australia and across the Asia Pacific on issues of economic justice and land rights.
Lawyer, Human Rights Law Centre
Alice is a lawyer working on democratic freedoms at the Human Rights Law Centre. Her focus areas include money in politics, government accountability, freedom of speech and protest, protection of whistleblowers and transparency in national security laws. Previously, Alice was the Legal Director of campaign organisation GetUp, and worked in law at Clayton Utz and the State Solicitor’s Office of Western Australia.
Shrav helps notprofits create exceptional customer experiences using the art and science of personalisation, prediction and platform. Shrav is focused on helping business leaders drive efficiencies and shape new revenue streams through digital transformation. He constantly helps package market-ready automated shared services solutions with reusable processes, assets and tools. With a career spanning over two decades in the technology consulting industry, Shrav is passionate about how to best build flourishing organisations based on values and trust where technology enables but does not overshadow the human connection.
Founder & Director, The Human Sound Project
Simon Jankelson is a social entrepreneur who uses the power of music to drive social change. As founder of The Human Sound Project, Simon travels the world connecting communities by collaboratively writing, recording and sharing original songs with them that tell their important stories. Simon has co-created and shared 200+ community songs and was named on 40 Under 40’s list of future leaders of the Asia’s design industry. Simon is continually inspired by the power music to build a more harmonious, inclusive and sustainable world.
National Coordinator, Lock the Gate Alliance
Naomi works to coordinate community action in the face of growing climate instability and expanding coal and gas projects across Australia. Over the past decade, Naomi has worked with regional communities, farming groups and Traditional Owners across Australia on the frontline of proposed new gas fields and open cut coal mines. At Lock the Gate Alliance, Naomi mobilises communities and experts in water and climate research to challenge teh increasing threat of large-scale fracking and new gas fields across the NT and the Kimberley.
Emeritus Professor, Faculty of Arts, Monash University
Jennifer is an award-winning biographer, the inaugural Distinguished Whitlam Fellow with the Whitlam Institute at Western Sydney University and Emeritus Professor at Monash University. She is the author of the two-volume biography of former Australian Prime Minister, Gough Whitlam -- Gough Whitlam: His Time and Gough Whitlam: A Moment in History -- winner of the Fellowship of Australian Writers Barbara Ramsden Award and shortlisted for several major literary awards including the National Biography Award and the Prime Minister’s Awards for Literature.
Student and activist
Theo is an exuberant Year 8 student with a passion for social activism and theatre making. He is proud to attend a school that practices religion while respecting gender diversity. Theo volunteers at Australian Youth Climate Coalition, School Strike for Climate and Melbourne Youth with Refugees. He produces and appears in Tea Time with Tenna and Theo: a collaborative YouTube conversation series covering social issues. In 2018 Theo joined the cast of We All Know What’s Happening, a play about children in detention on Nauru.
CEO, The Next Economy
Amanda has spent over two decades working with communities across Australia, Asia and the Pacific on community and economic development projects. Over the last five years she has been working with communities across Australia to strengthen regional economies by embracing the transition from fossil fuels to a zero emissions economy. Amanda is an Associate of the University of Queensland and the Sydney Policy Lab.
Founder, Sydney Alliance
Amanda Tattersall co-founded GetUp and founded the Sydney Alliance that began modern interest community organising in Australia. She hosts the ChangeMakers Podcast which is the “This American Life” of social change. It is in its third season of sharing amazing tales of extraordinary people changing the world. She is a postdoctoral fellow in research citizen-led organising in global cities at Sydney Uni and a Research and Education Lead at the Sydney Policy Lab. She is planning her next project to be on the Green New Deal.
Founding Director, Community Power Agency
Nicky Ison is a Founding Director of the Community Power Agency, a Research Associate at the Institute for Sustainable Futures at the University of Technology, Sydney and a Strategist at Climate Action Network Australia. Nicky has spent over fifteen years working and volunteering in the climate and clean energy sectors. In 2014, she was recognised on Westpac and the Australian Financial Review’s 100 Women of Influence List. Nicky is committed to ensuring a faster and fairer transition to clean energy.
Deputy Executive Officer, Koorie Youth Council
Banok is a proud Yamatji Badimaya woman from Western Australia and is a registered nurse. Banok has a background in Aboriginal health and wellbeing, and advocacy within the Aboriginal mentoring, leadership and health space. She has worked extensively in cultural safety within the university and health sector as well as an associate lecturer for Indigenous Health at RMIT University. Her work focuses on the ongoing institutional racism prevalent within health services across the country, reducing health disparities between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people.
Government Relations Manager, Australian Conservation Foundation
Saffron is a campaigner, political strategist and advocate based in Melbourne, currently the Government Relations Manager at the Australian Conservation Foundation. Previously she worked at the Federation of Ethnic Communities Councils, the Public Interest Research Group (US), and practiced at a Melbourne law firm. As part of her current role Saffron has worked closely with some of Australia’s key change-making alliances, including the Hands Off Our Charities Alliance.
Assistant Secretary, Victorian Trades Hall Council (VTHC)
Dr Carina Garland is Assistant Secretary of Victorian Trades Hall Council, the peak body for unions in Victoria, representing over 400,000 members across all industries and sectors in Victoria. She oversees the Young Workers Centre and Migrant Workers Centre, both based at Trades Hall. Prior to this, she was the National Communications Officer for National Union of Workers and completed her PhD in Gender and Cultural Studies at University of Sydney.
Lead Organiser, Queensland Community Alliance
Devett has 20 years experience in developing ordinary citizens as transformative leaders in their own lives, their communities and the broader society through values-based social action. Devett has been the organiser behind much of the Alliance’s most successful organising including funding better public transport in Logan, Establishment of community maternity hubs, and Concession fares for people seeking asylum. He passionately believes that building habits of relational power, deep listening, public action, and strong organisation are our best hope of creating lasting democratic change.
Emma is the co-founder of 5up5down, an initiative that brings people together in person in their local communities with a shared sense of purpose to improve connectedness, decrease loneliness and create a sense of belonging. The initiative is about inviting five neighbours from up the street and five neighbours from down the street of your house.
Senior Pastor, East Doncaster Baptist Church
Grant has been involved in pastoral ministry with the Baptist Church for over 35 years. A keen rugby player, runner and triathlete in his early years, he has combined his passion for Sport and Pastoral work by being the inaugural Sports Chaplain ('Rev') with the Melbourne Storm Rugby League team these past twenty seasons. Grant has been involved in advocacy and mediation work is a qualified Spiritual Director and is trained in Church Consultancy, having spent four years serving as a Regional Minister for the Baptist Union of Churches here in Victoria.
Executive Director & Founder, Grata Fund
Isabelle founded Grata Fund to help Australians harness the power of litigation for change. She is an experienced solicitor, having worked at law firm Clayton Utz, as Director of Legal and Governance and Company Secretary at GetUp, with Kimberley Community Legal Service supporting First Nations clients in East Kimberley to secure compensation for stolen wages, and on the board of the Immigration Advice and Rights Centre. She was nominated for a Walkley Award for Coverage of Indigenous Affairs and was a finalist in the United Nations of Australia Media Peace Awards for the Promotion of Indigenous Recognition Award in 2015 for her work with Miriuwung Marda-Marda Steve Kinnane and lawyer Judy Harrison. Isabelle is a 2017 Churchill Fellow and is a recipient of the Dean's Certificate Prize in Law at ANU.
Organiser, Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (Tasmania)
Jen is a Registered Nurse with a Master of Public Health. Currently, Jen is working for the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation in Tasmania. Jen is also the Public Officer of the Tasmanian Environmental Defenders Office Committee and Vice President for Medics for Gun Control. Medics for Gun Control is a group of health professionals committed to reducing gun related injury and death in Australia. Recently, Jen recently accepted a PhD candidacy scholarship with the University of Tasmania, where she will examine the competing values impacting on the protecting public health and the environment from bushfires.
Campaign Director, SumOfUs
Kat is a Campaign Director at SumOfUs - a global digital organisation campaigning to curb growing corporate power, with a focus on Australian campaigns and fundraising. Kat has also worked at a fundraising agency for non-profits, as an election organiser, and as a climate grassroots organiser. She is particularly passionate about equity, racial justice, and intersectional feminism. Kat holds a combined Bachelor of Arts and Law from the University of Sydney.
Managing Director, Future Super
Kirstin is passionate about democratising Australia’s clean energy revolution by empowering Australians to use their savings to create a fairer, brighter, renewable energy powered future. A highly experienced management consultant, Kirstin has advised some of the largest companies and charities in Australia and Canada. Her expertise includes technology-driven transformation, organisational design, due diligence and productivity improvement in financial services, telecommunications and private equity. Previously she worked in legal project finance and litigation as a lawyer at Freehills
Research Assistant, The Centre for Mental Health, The University of Melbourne
Natalie belongs to the Dharug Nation and has been living and working on Wurundjeri Country since 2013. Natalie is an educator at The University of Melbourne and teaches into Australian Indigenous Studies, Social and Political Sciences and the Doctor of Medicine. Natalie is a prison abolitionist, and is interested in how decolonial and abolitionist movements can work together to imagine a world without prisons, which centres Indigenous self-determination and sovereignty.
CFO/COO, Diabetes Victoria
Lalith is a fellow member of the Institute of Chartered Management Accountants of UK and Member of the Management Information Systems of UK. He has been has been employed in the capacity of CFO/COO in the manufacturing, wholesale/retail sector for over 20 years. Lalith is currently responsible for strategy, governance, commercial operations and finance at Diabetes Victoria. He has overseen the organisation's digital transformation program to scale and grow it into a high impact notprofit.
Director of Media and Communications, Anglicare Australia
Maiy Azize is an experienced campaigner and communicator. She has run national and local political campaigns, served as a political advisor, and worked at a senior executive level in the community sector. Maiy is currently the Director of Media and Communications at Anglicare Australia.
Meena is a Yorta Yorta and Indian woman, born on Wurundjeri country where she has lived most her life. With a background in legal practice and policy, consulting and training, she combines her lived experience with professional expertise to create inclusive learning environments. She has worked with organisations such as the Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service and Victoria Legal Aid as well as the private and vocational and education sector. Meena is passionate about understanding community experiences to design inclusive, accessible services for social justice.
Deputy Program Director, Greenpeace Australia Pacific
Nic Seton is a very concerned dad, with ten years' experience in innovative public campaigns. Nic has been behind the scenes in the Pacific to stop oil rigs, the North Pole to promote ocean sanctuaries, and the UN climate talks to disrupt the status quo. He's worked with Greenpeace International, Greenpeace UK, WWF UK, 10:10 UK, UKYCC and AYCC. Now the Deputy Program Director responsible for driving engagement in campaigns for Greenpeace Australia Pacific. He likes sharing parental advice and campaign hacks.
Founder, Marhaba Inc.
Nur is an Imam based in Melbourne and an advocate for the rights of LGBTIQA+ Muslims. Originally from Somalia, he obtained his religious qualifications in Egypt, memorised the Quran in South Africa, and has been active as an Imam in Australia since 2000. Nur is the founder of Marhaba, an organisation that focuses on the welfare of LGBTIQA+ Muslims. He also conducts workshops and talks to LGBTIQA+ groups nationally and internationally. Nur is in talks with philanthropists to secure a building in Melbourne and open Australia’s first LGBT-friendly mosque.
Associate Producer & Impact Producer, In My Blood It Runs
Alex is a settler Australian filmmaker and artist. Alex has worked in organising, film, theatre, communications strategy and troublemaking in many forms. This includes taking part in blockades from Jabiluka, Kakadu to la zad, France and working on creative projects such as Ngapartji Ngapartji & Something Somewhere Film Festival as well as the documentary films; The Island, Island of the Hungry Ghosts & Queen of the Desert. Alex was the Global Impact & Distribution Producer on Avi Lewis and Naomi Klein’s This Changes Everything project. She also worked on Maya Newell’s forthcoming film In My Blood It Runs as Associate Producer and Impact Producer.
National Network Organiser, Australian Conservation Foundation
Beth Koch is the National Network Organiser at the Australian Conservation Foundation, where she builds teams of skilled volunteers to support ACF community groups across the country. Beth has organised rural communities, faith groups and inner-city lefties around global poverty, river protection, climate change and electoral politics. Beth is a 2014 Fellow of the Centre for Australian Progress.
Cat Nadel is a co-founder of a new youth campaigning organisation called YOUNG. YOUNG campaigns for economic justice by organising and mobilising young people to call out systemic inequality and win campaigns for a fairer future. Cat first cut her teeth in campaigning at uni where she led the student powered campaign for Monash University to divest from coal. Cat now works as a climate campaigner at Environment Victoria, growing the movement for a safe climate and a just transition in Victoria.
Senior Advisor (Social Security), ACOSS
Charmaine joined ACOSS in 2016 and leads ACOSS’s social security work, including the Raise the Rate campaign. Charmaine gained her expertise in social security policy and advocacy as Policy Coordinator for Combined Pensioners and Superannuants Association (CPSA) and has also worked as a legislative advisor in the NSW Parliament.
CEO, Impact Investing Group
Daniel is a strategic thinker, leader and finance professional. He spent 12 years at JB Were across different roles including Investment Advisor, Head of NSW, Chief Operating Officer and Acting CEO. Since joining Impact Investing Australia, he has combined his experience in financial markets with a passion for social change. Daniel is particularly interested in issues affecting young people, including his work mentoring young social entrepreneurs which has provided him with a strong understanding of how capital can translate community energy into positive social outcomes. He sits on the board of YGAP, ShareGift Australia and Sanfilippo Children’s Foundation.
Senior Lawyer, Human Rights Law Centre
David is a Senior Lawyer and Pro Bono Coordinator at the Human Rights Law Centre, working primarily to protect the rights of refugees and people seeking asylum. His work focuses on offshore detention and includes applications under the new Medevac laws and urgent Federal Court cases for men, women and children in Nauru and Manus to allow them to access medical treatment.
President, Voices for Indi
Denis Ginnivan is the Founding President of Voices for Indi, a community group based in northeast Victoria, seeking to encourage citizens to engage and participate in politics and democracy. He is the co-chair of Totally Renewable Yackandandah, which maximises opportunities for renewable energy uptake in his rural community; the director of Events That Matter, a business focussing on landing important rural events and strategies; and also a Churchill Fellow, former rural financial counsellor, and national director of the farm-focussed Rural Counselling Resource Centre.
Director, Climate Media Centre
Dinah Arndt is a reformed journalist with 13 years’ experience in the Australian media industry. Since joining the not-for-profit sector she has leant on that experience in managing the day-to-day media, communications and advocacy affairs of both large and small enterprises. In 2015, she joined the Climate Council to set up an entirely new project called the Climate Media Centre. The Centre localises and personalises climate change impacts and solutions for Australians by connecting journalists to powerful stories about people and places effected now, as well as inspiring tales of those taking action.
Unite the Union
Ellie is a freelance journalist. She has written for The Guardian, the Times, the New Statesman, Red Pepper, False Economy, New Left Project and Union News. She currently works with the Centre for Labour and Social Studies, a thinktank for left debate and discussion originating in the trade union movement. She works for the NGO Justice for Colombia in a voluntary capacity.
Award-winning Indigenous singer and songwriter
Emily Wurramara is an award-winning Indigenous singer, songwriter and performer who grew up on Groote Eylandt. She is a proud new and empowered mum. Emily is heralded as a teacher and encourager, not just of her people but her whole audience, young and old, of all cultural backgrounds. She has a humble, genuine style as she tells important stories of her people and her family through her music.
CEO, Council of Single Mothers and their Children
Jenny Davidson is Victorian Co-Chair of Anti-Poverty Week and CEO of Council of Single Mothers and their Children, a non-profit organisation founded in 1969 by single mothers to champion the voices and needs of single mother families and provide specialist support services.
Policy and Research Director, Indigenous Business Australia
Jonathan is currently Senior Manager of Policy, Advocacy and Strategic Projects, Strategy and Innovation at Indigenous Business Australia. Jonathan spent a decade working for indigenous organisations including the Northern Land Council and Native Title Services Victoria as Managing Lawyer before shifting to the commercially-focused Indigenous Business Australia. There he saw the potential for impact investing to fund Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ventures, to grow the potential for social entrepreneurship to create solutions, and to shift reliance from government and grant sources of funding.
Community Organiser, Migrant Workers Centre
Lavanya is a Melbourne based refugee activist and unionist. She is currently an Organiser at Migrant Workers Centre where she works with migrant workers regardless of their visa status to help them overcome workplace exploitation. As a organiser at MWC she actively works in the empowerment of women to advocate for themselves through understanding of their rights.
Manager, Amplify Social Impact
Lena's work focuses on the development of appropriate technological solutions for the collection and dissemination of scientific information to catalyse social change. In addition, Lena’s research interests include community development, program evaluation, poverty, inequality, race and ethnicity, and community-based participatory research. Lena joined the Centre in September 2016 and serves as the project manager for CSI’s Amplify Social Impact initiative. Prior to joining the Centre for Social Impact, Lena worked for 10 years as an applied Social Demographer at Oregon State University (USA).
Campaigns Director, GetUp
Mark has more than a decade of political campaigning experience in Australia and the United States. Mark led prominent campaigns, including GetUp’s fightback against the Abbott Government’s 2014 austerity Budget. In the US, Mark was Director of Online Campaigns for MoveOn.org, Strategy Director at Purpose, leading campaigns on behalf of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and held a national position coordinating lawyers in the 2004 Kerry-Edwards U.S. presidential campaign. Mark practiced corporate law for 5 years before turning to politics.
Director, Amplify Social Impact
As Director of the Social Impact Industry at the Centre for Social Impact, Dr Lyndsey McKee is responsible for developing and strengthening CSI’s external relationships with for-purpose organisations to catalyse social change. Lyndsey has over ten years of industry experience advising for-purpose organisations to better leverage skills and resources to support social impact initiatives. She has helped to develop CSR benchmarks, tools and guides for business as well as playing a leading role on several social and place-based cross-sector collaborations, to support individuals and communities facing disadvantage.
Vice-Chancellor and President, RMIT University
Martin previously held the positions of Vice-Chancellor of The Open University, global leader in the provision of flexible learning, General Manager of Microsoft’s Worldwide Education Products Group and various executive leadership roles at Novell and other companies integrating technology and learning systems. In 2012 Martin launched FutureLearn, the UK’s first at-scale provider of Massive Open Online Courses, and in 2014 he was named one of the UK Prime Minister’s Business Ambassadors. He was awarded a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2015 United Kingdom New Year’s Honours list, for services to higher education.
Research Associate, Amplify Social Impact
Megan Weier draws on her multidisciplinary and multi-method background to approach complex problems, and to gain a better understanding of how to increase public good. Megan completed Bachelor of Psychological Science degree with her honours thesis focusing on Emerging Adulthood, and her project explored how young peoples' ambitions for the future were different to generations before them. Her PhD followed this same line of work, and became more critical of how developmental theories can be used to control expectations of what a 'good' young adult is.
Founding Member, Voices for Indi
Phil Haines is a founding member of Voices for Indi which was the result of a series of Saturday morning meetings involving a small group of local people in a side room at the Wangaratta library in 2012. Although he had no previous political or campaigning experience, Phil managed both independent Cathy McGowan’s successful grassroots community campaigns for the seat of Indi at the 2013 and 2016 elections. Phil recently led the campaign team for Helen Haines’s successful election as the first independent to follow a retiring independent in the Australian parliament, galvanising the capabilities and energies of over 1700 supporters.
Social Media Officer, Trades Union Congress
Riz currently is the Social Media Officer at the Trades Union Congress and leads on digital content. He also is the founder and director of Jawaab; a grassroots charity building the power of young Muslims by challenging racial and social inequalities. Riz is also a Trustee of the Soul of Europe, a peace-building organisation which has been working in the Balkans for the past 12 years.
CEO & Executive Director, Impact Investing Australia
Sally has extensive experience in finance, funds management and strategy, and has spent many years working in and understanding Asia Pacific markets. Sally manages the strategic development and implementation of a new financial institution to scale impact investing in Australia, Impact Capital Australia. Sally has held senior roles with Accenture, Legg Mason Asset Management and SBC Warburg [now UBS]. Sally is a non-executive director of Indigenous Business Australia Asset Management, Oxfam Australia and two National Australia Bank securitisation companies.
Campaigns Advisor, Office of Senator Richard di Natalie
Sam Blake recently managed Julian Burnside’s campaign for the federal seat of Kooyong and is currently an advisor to Greens Senator Richard Di Natale. Sam is passionate about movement building that empowers people to participate fully in civil society. She has previously worked for Change.org providing strategic advice to nonprofits on their campaigning strategies and in strategy and policy roles for nonprofit and government organisations focusing on access to social services and consumer rights.
Senior Lawyer, Human Rights Law Centre
Shahleena Musk joined the HRLC team in February 2017. Shahleena is a proud Larrakia woman from Darwin. She was the first Aboriginal person to graduate from the then Northern Territory University and to be admitted to the Supreme Court of the NT. For over a decade Shahleena worked with the Aboriginal Legal Services in WA and the Top End of the NT. Over that time she worked as a criminal solicitor, youth lawyer, Practice Manager and Deputy Manager.
Executive Manager, AFL SportsReady
Sheena is the Executive Manager of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Policy and Programs at AFL SportsReady. She was previously the Policy and Advocacy Coordinator for the Federation of Ethnic Community Councils Australia and was recently Political Adviser for the national Aboriginal health organisation, NACCHO, based in Canberra. She has also worked at the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples, and at the ACTU where she was the Indigenous Officer. Sheena is graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Director’s course and the Centre for Sustainability Leadership’s fellowship program. She is committed to building strong community voices and tackling inequality.
Co-Founder and Director, Learning Innovation at Our Dream School
The Our Dream School Project is progressively developing templates for learning communities for 3-18 year olds to thrive as learners. Stephen was previously the Principal of Northern Beaches Christian School (NBCS). Under his leadership the school gained international recognition as an organisation that was noted for leading pedagogic change in schooling. His design briefs for buildings have seen the creation of some of the most forward-focused learning environments, enjoyed by the students and staff, and appreciated by thousands across the world.
Indigenous Rights Manager, Amnesty International Australia
Tammy is a Nigena woman from Derby in the Kimberley of Western Australia and mother of two children. She is currently Indigenous Rights Manager at Amnesty International Australia, and a member of the WA Aboriginal Lawyers Committee. Between 2011 and 2014 she was a Director of the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples. Tammy was awarded Young Female Lawyer and Lawyer of the Year for WA in 2012. Throughout her career, Tammy has been involved in advocating for Indigenous peoples on local, state, national and international levels, including at the United Nations.
As a top influential speaker and executive coach, Tim has worked with Fortune 500 companies like Microsoft, IBM, IKEA and Johnson & Johnson, to transform their organisations by challenging leaders and employees to try things that have never been done before. His captivating and innovative presentations have influenced thousands around the world, and have seen him awarded the title of Certified Speaking Professional (CSP), the highest designation by the National Speakers Association. Prior to speaking and advising, Tim held the title of Director of Strategy at the world’s largest digital consultancy, Razorfish, and social change organisation, GetUp.
Tosca is a GetUp campaigner and worked as an organiser in the 2019 federal election. As the Executive Officer of the Rationalist Society of Australia she worked on the successful campaign to pass voluntary assisted dying legislation in Victoria and campaigned against broad religious exemptions to discrimination laws. Tosca has a MA in human rights from University College London and has previously worked in human rights and transitional justice, both in Indonesia and the UK. She had pieces published in The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald.
Member, Voices for Indi
Trudi Ryan is passionate about the science of communication. She applies a values-based approach to messaging that draws on evidence from evolution, cognition, psychology, sociology and marketing. Trudi holds degrees in marketing communication and science and has completed a PhD and post-doc in ecology. She works on social and environmental change projects across the private, public and non-profit sectors and recently convened the Beechworth Festival of Change, a 4-day event focused on building skills and networks attended by over 300 change-makers
Director of Coalition Communications & Research, The Leadership Conference Education Fund
Tyler Lewis is director of coalition communications and research at The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and The Leadership Conference Education Fund. He is responsible for developing and implementing strategies to maximize the communications capacity of the coalition and managing the organizations’ message development projects. He also manages the organizations’ brand identity in communications and is a speechwriter.
Deputy Director, Australian Progress
Prior to joining Australian Progress, Kirsty served for 5 years as National Director of the Australian Youth Climate Coalition, running high-impact campaigns to protect the reef, grow renewable energy and keep fossil fuels in the ground. She grew the organisation three-fold to the largest team focused on climate campaigning in the country. Kirsty has trained more than 10,000 young people in campaigning, communication, organising, and supported the growth of the Seed Indigenous Youth Climate Network. Kirsty is the recipient of numerous awards including Young Tasmanian of the Year 2010 and the Prime Minister’s Young Environmentalist of the Year.
Founder & Principal Consultant, Westwood Spice
Roger is founding director and principal consultant at Westwood Spice, a specialist consulting group for the community and public sectors. Roger served as the first Commissioner for Community Services in NSW, and the President of the NSW Guardianship Tribunal. He has also worked as senior executive coach with McKinsey & Co, and as former CEO and/or board member of the Public Interest Advocacy Centre, Welfare Rights Centre, and Redfern Legal Centre. He was was also founding Chair of Midnight Basketball Australia.