Speakers and Performers
SPEAKERS AND PERFORMERS
As a founding member and the President of the North Solomons’ Provincial Women’s Council in 1978, Titus is a mother of the Bougainville Women’s Movement. She has held many roles in local level government and with organisations promoting women leadership and peace building, including as UNWomen coordinator for Bougainville. She is currently program coordinator at the Nazareth Centre for Rehabilitation, that through its gender justice program has been connecting with women leaders all over Bougainville, building their capacity in knowing and exercising their rights as well as raising awareness of the laws that has been put in place to protect them in times of violence.
Angela Bogdan, is a career diplomat and Canada’s current Consul General in Sydney, Australia. Prior to taking up her current position, Ms. Bogdan was Chief of Protocol for Canada and before that served as Inspector General. She has also been Champion for women at Global Affairs Canada (GAC) for the past 6 years.
Ms. Bogdan has held several off shore assignments. She was High Commissioner to Sri Lanka and the Maldives and prior to that held the position of Ambassador to the Former Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Ms. Bogdan has also served as Political Counsellor in Warsaw, Deputy Political Advisor at Canada's Mission to NATO and as Vice Consul in Melbourne.
In Ottawa, Ms. Bogdan was formerly Director of the Global Partnership Programme, Canada's $1 billion cooperative threat reduction programme and has held several HQ Assignments including as Head of Nuclear Policy in the Defence Relations Division and in the Asia Pacific Relations and the United Nations Divisions.
Ms. Bogdan holds a BA in International Relations, a BEd and a Master Degree in Strategic Studies from York University in Toronto.
Annie Zaidi is the author of Gulab, Love Stories # 1 to 14, and Known Turf: Bantering with Bandits and Other True Tales, which was short-listed for the prestigious Vodafone Crossword Book Awards (non-fiction, 2010). She also co-authored 'The Good Indian Girl', a series of inter-linked narratives that traces young women's lives and liberties. She has published a book of illustrated poems, Crush.
She is the editor 'Unbound: 2000 Years of Indian Women's Writing', a multi-genre anthology of select extracts from some of the most significant texts written by Indian women, and of 'Equal Halves'.
She also writes scripts for screen and stage. 'Jaal' and 'So Many Socks' were produced and the latter script was nominated for the prestigious META awards. Her script 'Name, Place, Animal, Thing' was short-listed for The Hindu Metroplus Playwright Award, and the script for a radio play, 'Jam', was the regional (South Asia) winner for the BBC’s International Playwriting Competition 2011.
Zaidi works as a filmmaker too. Her documentary film, 'In her Words: The Journey of Indian Women', traces the lives and struggles of women as reflected in their literature.
Ashleigh Smith grew up in small town New Zealand. At age 13 her community lost three young people to suicide in eight months. This experience highlighted to her the impact words and actions can have on our young people. At age 15, alongside 30 other young people in Central Otago, she founded Stick ‘n Stones- A bullying prevention organisation that recognises young people as the expects in bullying prevention for their pairs.
Today at age 20, Ashleigh is Chairperson of the Sticks ‘n Stone board, and the organisation has over 400 young people, striving for a New Zealand where every young person is accepted for who they are. These young people co-design workshops, programs and advocate for the importance of youth voice in decisions making.
Ashleigh’s work has been recognized with both national and International awards, most recently a Queens Young Leaders Award, which she received from Her Majesty the Queen in Buckingham Palace, June 2017. This year Ashleigh is in her final year of her Bachelor of Nursing degree. In March she is traveling to New York as part of the New Zealand delegation for the United Nations Commission on the Status of Woman.
Balveen Ajimal is the Founder of Grace Street Consulting, offering advice on strategic projects, stakeholder engagement and income generation to Boards and executive teams in the not for profit sector. Balveen is a Board Director of the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital Foundation, a member of the Queensland Government Strategy Group for Women on Boards and holds senior advisory positions with a range of health and social justice organisations. She has held senior legal, strategy and management positions in large lawfirms and private equity firms around the world. Balveen is an Ambassador for Endometriosis Australia and a passionate advocate for women and children.
Belinda Drew is the Chief Executive Officer of the Community Services Industry Alliance and has over 20 years’ experience in the community services industry. CSIA was formed with the support of twenty-eight foundation members - the story of its formation is one of collaboration, co-design and commitment and points to the power of “working together”.
In her role as CEO Belinda is focused on representing the value of the community services industry to government and the business sectors on issues of organisational sustainability, government contracting, outcomes measurement, productivity and much more.
Belinda has worked across the fields of disability, homelessness, child protection and housing and is passionate about contributing to the task of building a strong, sustainable and contemporary industry across Australia.
Belinda also holds a range of advisory and Board roles across community services and social enterprise and is a member of the Australian Advisory Board on Impact Investing, a Board member of Social Enterprise Finance Australia (SEFA) and an advisor to the Credit Committee of SEFA.
Billie Moore is New Zealand’s Consul General for New South Wales and Queensland, based in Sydney. She took up the role in February 2015.
The Consul General plays a key role promoting and protecting New Zealand’s political and economic interests in New South Wales and Queensland, as well as providing consular assistance to New Zealanders living in or travelling through those states.
Before taking up the role Billie served for six years as a foreign affairs private secretary and advisor to successive governments in New Zealand, most recently as chief of staff and foreign policy advisor to the Minister of Foreign Affairs with particular responsibility for New Zealand’s successful UN Security Council campaign.
A killer Musical Director, DJ, sound designer, creator and advocate, Busty Beatz has been working across the Arts for over 25 years. Defying genres, her forms, politics and message of consciousness and fierce feminism are ever present. A decade of recording and touring has been immortalized via her contribution to Sophie Howath’s Big Day Out book Peace, Love and Brown Rice and her place in Women Who Rock, photographic exhibition of the Victorian Arts Centre. Busty has worked with the likes of Bone Thugs’ n’ Harmony, Screamfeeder, Ancestress, Def Poetry Jam, Qween G, Powderfinger and Sista She to name a few. Her music is featured in cult Australian films Fresh Air, Eleven, Love and Other Catastrophes and The Well. Musical Direction credits include East London West Sydney for Sydney Festival, Polytoxic’s The Rat Trap and the award winning BRIEFS. This beat-making Mama is the Queen Bee of the international smash hit Hot Brown Honey directed by Lisa Fa’alafi, winning the UK’s Total Theatre Award for Innovation, Green Room Awards for Best Production/Best Design and the Helpmann Award for Best Cabaret. Co Artistic Director of Black Honey Company, Busty Beatz is a sound visionary, activating museums, galleries, theatres and public spaces while leading audiences onto dance floors across the globe.
Caitlyn Nevins was raised in the small town of Echuca on the Victoria/New South Wales border. Like most country kids, Nevins played a variety of sports growing up, but excelled at basketball and netball. Coming through the netball ranks at the Echuca and District Netball Association and later the Echuca United Football/Netball Club, Nevins was “tall for her age” and played shooter.
Having ruptured an anterior cruciate as a 21-year-old she persevered, and eventually prospered with an invite to joins the Vixens. The former attacker bagged her maiden championship with Melbourne Vixens in 2014 before heading north to play a key role in Queensland Firebirds 2015 and 2016 premiership wins.
Being quick on her feet has worked a treat for the fully qualified podiatrist who has settled into life in the Sunshine State with husband Sam. They’ve bought a house in Brisbane, and a new border collie.
A force of nature in the wing attack role, Nevins has a work rate to rival any player in world netball – driving hard to create space for teammates and contributing a bevy of feeds and assists. Her leadership was rewarded last year when she was voted in by her peers as vice-captain.
The Firebirds-flyer made her national debut with the Australian Fast5 side in October 2016 and followed by her first Diamonds cap against the Silver Ferns during the Quad Series tour in England, early 2017.
Cathie Schnitzerling is the ABC’s Regional Editor for Queensland, managing the Corporations 10 bureaux outside Brisbane and a staff of around 110, almost 60% of whom are women.
She was the first woman Director of News for the Ten Network in Brisbane and Sydney and hasworked as a television and radio reporter, presenter and producer on state based and national news and public affairs programs for Ten, Nine and the ABC in three capital cities. Cathie has won awards for her documentary writing and television production. In 2014 she was recognized for her mentoring and leadership skills with a Queensland Clarion award for her Contribution to Journalism. She has also produced independent documentaries and a short drama. She’s the proud single mother of a 24 year old daughter and a 17 year old son.
Cathy is a journalist with over 25 years experience in reporting, presenting and documentary making. She is a former Canberra Press Gallery journalist and presenter of ABC Canberra Breakfast.
Cathy was awarded a Walkley Commendation for her ABC coverage of the September 11 terrorist attack.
She regularly hosts panel discussions and conversations at Griffith University’s Integrity 20 conference and the Brisbane Writer’s Festival.
Cathy is a senior reporter for ABC RN Breakfast and is currently filling in as presenter of RN’s Big Ideas.
Dr Chelsea Bond is a Munanjali and South Sea Islander woman and Senior Research Fellow at UQ’s Poche Centre for Indigenous Health. Chelsea has over 20 years experience as an Aboriginal Health Worker and researcher working with communities across South East Qld. An Australian Learning and Teaching Fellow and recipient of an Australian Research Council Early Career Research Award, she is a founding board member of Inala Wangarra, an Indigenous community development organisation in her own community, board member of Screen Qld, a mother of 5 children and co-host of 98.9FM’s Wild Black Women.
After her release from prison in 1992, Debbie Kilroy OAM established Sisters Inside to fight for the human rights of incarcerated women and girls and to address gaps in services available to them and their children. Since then, Debbie has completed five tertiary degrees – in social work, forensic mental health and law. She was the first and only former prisoner to be admitted as a legal practitioner in Queensland opening her own legal practice in 2013 focusing on advocacy for the human and legal rights for people charged with criminal offences.
As CEO of Sisters Inside, Debbie works at the coalface of human rights activism and her eloquent advocacy to highlight the over-representation of women and girls, particularly Aboriginal women and girls, in Australia’s prisons has earned her many accolades. She has spearheaded a long list of ground-breaking programs which have broken the cycle of imprisonment. Overcoming her own personal obstacles to rebuild a life that is lived in service to others Debbie works long and hard to improve the circumstances of the powerless, the voiceless and the disadvantaged.
Debbie was awarded the Order of Australia in 2003 for her tireless work with criminalised and imprisoned women and girls and the Australian Human Rights Award in 2004. In 2013 Debbie was awarded as the Churchill Fellow for the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust of Australia and in 2016 celebrated as the Australian of the Year Finalist (Qld) and was appointed to the Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council.
Domino Pateman is Head of Programmes for the WOW - Women of the World Festival. There have been over 40 WOW festivals in 17 cities across 5 continents everywhere from Kathmandu to Karachi, Baltimore to Bradford and Finland to the USA, developed by local curating and producing teams and the WOW programming team in London. The WOW festival celebrates women and girls and everything they have achieved, and harnesses all our creativity to find the courage to move beyond our own circles, and to learn how other women face challenges different from our own.
Domino is half Polish and was the youngest pilot in the UK at the time she got her license when she was 16 years old. She studied Linguistics and Artificial Intelligence, followed by an art foundation course in Leeds. Domino is on the board of Bryony Kimmings Ltd.
Dominic McGann is the Chairman of Partners of McCullough Robertson, a leading Australian law firm with offices in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Newcastle. Dominic is a mining and resources expert with over 30 years’ experience and is highly regarded for his expertise in native title and cultural heritage issues. His extensive experience in communicating and negotiating with indigenous communities, positions him as one of Australia’s leading experts in this field.
Dominic is also the Chair of the McCullough Robertson Foundation, Chair of the Queensland Music Festival and Chair of UPLIT (formerly Brisbane Writers Festival).
His other directorships include Flagship Investments Limited, the Australian National Development Index Limited, the Frazer Family Foundation, and the TRI Foundation. He is also a Queensland Governor for the American Chamber of Commerce, a Trustee of the Committee for Economic Development of Australian and a Councillor of the Queensland Futures Institute.
Additionally he is a Queensland Male Champion of Change, personally and professionally committed to using his influence and position of leadership to achieve change on gender equality issues in organisations and communities.
Dr Esther Achieng Onyango has a background in biological and environmental sciences. She nurtures a keen interest in both laboratory experimental research; and large scale ecological and social research with a specialization in systems thinking, climate change risk assessments, climate change adaptation strategies, multi-sectoral collaboration and translational science. She is currently a Research Fellow with Climate Change Response Program at Griffith University, Brisbane.
Dr Onyango recently completed an innovative and highly commended doctoral thesis; an integrated assessment of climate change and malaria risk in East Africa using systems thinking, mixed methods and stakeholder engagement. For her thesis, Dr Onyango developed an integrated assessment framework and used this with Bayesian Belief network modelling to synthesis transdisciplinary biophysical and socioeconomic data as well as qualitative stakeholder opinions to identify suitable climate change adaptation strategies and pathways.
A key output of Dr Onyango’s work was the need to understand gender differentiated vulnerability, i.e. the barriers, constraints and reduced capacity to cope that women face with regard to climate change impacts, particularly in communities whereby women are primarily responsible for the health of the household yet have less decision-making power. Dr Onyango suggested that having an understanding of such gender dynamics would contribute to the development of climate change adaptation strategies, programmes and policies that promote gender equity.
Eriko Fufurefa is director of Kafe Urban Settlers Women’s Association (KUSWA) a community based organisation (CBO) in Goroka, Eastern Highlands province. She started with the organisation with eight other women from Banana Block settlement in 2001. KUSWA today is a leading CBO advocating for women and family rights throughout the Highlands region.
Alanna Bastin-Byrne and Jade Collins are the founders of Femeconomy. Women make 85% of purchase decisions. In Australia it is estimated that women spent $818 billion in the 2016-17 financial year. Femeconomy uses consumer activism to progress gender equality by unlocking the power of the purse. If women buy from B2C and B2B brands that have women in leadership, women will impact bottom lines. This leads to more women in leadership to advance gender equality. It’s The Femeconomy Effect.
Companies with female leaders are more profitable, which means more opportunity for everyone. They are also less likely to have a gender pay gap, which equals more money for the whole family. Female lead companies are more likely to have workplace flexibility, which helps women and men.
Femeconomy approved companies have at least 30% female board directors or 50% female ownership. Approximately 2000 brands are listed on Femeconomy and over 800 receive Femeconomy’s approval. This approach directly supports top down strategies to improve gender equality on leadership teams. Any business who meets Femeconomy’s approval criteria can choose to submit their brand.
Gulalai Ismail a courageous Pashtun human rights activist from Swabi, Pakistan was educated from a young age about gender discrimination and women's rights and encouraged to engage in non-violent activism. In 2002 she founded 'Aware Girls' with her sister Saba Ismail, aiming to challenge the culture of violence and the oppression of women in the rural Khyber Pakhtunkhwa area in the north west of Pakistan. They began running workshops providing girls and young women with leadership skills to challenge oppression and fight for their rights to an education and equal opportunities. Malala Yousafzai was a program attendee 2011.
Gulalai established the Youth Peace Network in 2010, working to strengthen the capacity of young people as peace activists in their communities. Joining the United Network of Young Peacebuilders’ Youth Advocacy Team in 2013, this work led to the adoption of the UN Security Council Resolution 2250 “Youth, Peace and Security.” The Marastyal Helpline, also set up at this time, provides advice and assistance to women at risk from and victims of, gender based violence. In 2016 “Pak-Afghan Women Peace Network” was established with partners, a network of Afghani and Pakistani women peacebuilders working towards countering radicalization and towards lasting peace in the region.
Despite repeated threats and danger faced by her and her family as a result of her activities, Gulalai continues her work in Pakistan through “Aware Girls” and the Youth Peace network and in 2017 Gulalai was awarded the Anna Politkovskaya Award by RAW in WAR for her courage to speak out and to defy extremism in the context of violence and armed conflict in her country.
Holly Ferling is a current member of the Brisbane Heat WBBL side and the Queensland Fire. She began playing cricket against the boys in her hometown of Kingaroy before progressing to the mens competition where she took a hat trick off the first 3 balls she bowled. At the age of 17 she made her debut for the Australian Women’s Cricket team at the 2013 World Cup in India, where she was named in the Team of the Tournament for her performances. Since then she has played in 3 Ashes series and has toured New Zealand, England, Sri Lanka, India, Bangladesh and Dubai for cricket.
When she’s not playing cricket, she’s promoting grassroots cricket through her role as an ambassador for MILO. Holly is at university, studying a Bachelor off Mass Communications majoring in Journalism and Public Relations and she also works in the newsroom at the 4BC radio station.
Hon Jackie Trad MP is the Member for South Brisbane and Deputy Premier, Treasurer and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships.
Ms Trad was elected to the Queensland Parliament in April 2012.
With a Bachelor of Arts from Griffith University and a Masters of Public Policy from the University of Sydney, Jackie has always been interested in how public policy shapes and forms our cities, our communities and ultimately our lives.
The influences of economics and politics on public decision-making and policy development, together with a genuine love of her community, drew her to a career in politics.
A second generation Lebanese migrant who grew up in a small business family on the inner-Southside of Brisbane, Ms Trad and her husband live in West End where they are raising their two young sons.
Dr Jackie Huggins AM, FAHA is Bidjara and Birri Gubba Juru from Queensland. Jackie is the Co-Chair of the National Congress of Australia's First Peoples. She was the National Co-ordinator for the Aboriginal Women's Unit in DAA in 1984 and on the Steering Committee for the Aboriginal Women's Task Force which produced the Women's Business report.
She was the Co-Commissioner for the Inquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children from Their Families. She was the first Indigenous woman to Chair the Qld Ministerial Council for Domestic Violence and on the Indigenous Reference Group for 14 years, Centre for Domestic and Family Violence Research, Central Qld Uni, Mackay. In honour of this work she was granted an Honorary doctorate from CQU in December 2017. She has written widely on women's issues, feminism and history.
Jane Caro is an author, novelist, broadcaster, columnist, advertising writer, documentary maker and social commentator.
She has published nine books, including two novels “Just a Girl” and “Just a Queen” about Elizabeth Tudor and a memoir “Plain Speaking Jane”. ‘Just Flesh & Blood’ the third and final book in the Tudor trilogy will be published in 2018. She is currently working on a book about women over 50 for MUP.
She appears in the media often including on Agony, Q&A, The Drum, Sunrise & Weekend Sunrise. In 2013 she co-created and presented a 6 part radio series for ABC Life Matters - ‘For Better, For Worse’, now a 5 part TV series for ABC Compass. In 2016, her second series with Compass “Mum’s Boy, Dad’s Girl” went to air. In 2017, Compass broadcast her third series “The Staffroom”. She writes regular columns for ‘Sunday Life’ and ‘Leadership Matters’.
Jane Camens is a writer, editor and literary events organiser. She founded Asia Pacific Writers & Translators and was co-editor of ‘New Asia Now’, Griffith Review 49 as well as 'Commonwealth Now’, Griffith Review 59.
Dr Thomason started her own company in 1999 which merged with Abt Associates in 2013. Since then, Dr Thomason has led the growth and diversification of the company to achieve a tripling of revenue and diversification into governance and women's empowerment, with $200m revenue and 650 staff across Asia and the Pacific. She has been a leader of a wide range of international development programs globally, regionally and in Australia, Asia and the Pacific. Team Leader for Asian Development Bank, WHO, World Bank, USAID and AusAID.
Jane is a thought leader in the applications of blockchain technology to solve non-fintech problems. She is a frequent commentator and blogger on blockchain and social impact and in 2017 has spoken at blockchain and disruptive technology conferences on social impact in London, Washington, Silicon Valley, Port Moresby, Jakarta, Singapore, Ottawa, Sydney and Brisbane. She has published two peer revised articles in 2017, one on blockchain and climate finance and the poor and the other on blockchain as an accelerator for women’s and children’s health.
She is an adviser to several blockchain startups with applications that solve global problems, and is currently working on several blockchain POCs in emerging markets. She was a judge and mentor at London Blockchain Week, London Fintech Week and the Consensys Blockchain for Social Impact Coalition Hackathon. She is an advocate for the education and empowerment of women generally and #WomeninBlockchain.
Born and brought up in Derby, England Jasvinder, a survivor of a forced marriage, founded Karma Nirvana, a British award-winning charity that supports both men and women affected by honour based abuse and forced marriages.
A highly acclaimed international speaker and an expert advisor to the courts in matters of child, civil and criminal proceedings, chair of domestic homicide reviews Jasvinder was instrumental in ensuring that all UK police forces are required to improve their understanding of honour-based abuse and forced marriage by inspections conducted by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary.
Her memoir ‘Shame’ was a Times Top 10 Bestseller. Jasvinder is recognised as bringing the issue of forced marriage into the public domain with her work recognised as being pivotal to the creation of a specific UK forced marriage criminal offence in 2014. She has received numerous awards including the prestigious Woman of the Year 2007, an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Derby in 2008, the Pride of Britain Award in 2009 and was named Cosmopolitan Ultimate Woman of the Year in 2010. In 2011 she was listed in the Guardian's top 100 Most Inspirational Women in the World, received the Global Punjabi Award in 2012 and was awarded Commander of the British Empire in 2013 in recognition of her outstanding contribution for the victims of forced marriage and honour-based abuse. In 2014 Jasvinder was awarded UK Legal Campaigner of the Year and in 2016 she received the International Woman Award for human rights from the Italian media.
On 21 May 2016, Jayanthi Kuru-Utumpala became the first Sri Lankan (male or female), to reach the summit of Mount Everest.
In recognition of this accomplishment, and her professional career as a feminist, women’s rights activist over the past 14 years, Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Women’s Affairs appointed her the first-ever Goodwill Ambassador for Women’s Rights. She is also Goodwill Ambassador for ‘Think Equal’ – a global campaign which seeks to teach three to five year olds emotional intelligence, including values of equality, empathy and respect for diversity.
Jayanthi holds a master’s degree in Gender Studies from the University of Sussex. As her journey to Everest has combined two of the things she’s most passionate about - gender equality and mountaineering – she continues to use the public platform that she has now received to challenge gender stereotypes and promote the rights of women and girls at every opportunity.
Jocelyn Klug is a clinical sexologist and relationship therapist and past chair of the Society of Australian Sexologists. Jocelyn has been in private practice for the past 15 years and has worked with many women and their partners experiencing sexual difficulties. Jocelyn is passionate about women understanding their sexuality with an emphasis on pleasure.
John Nicholas Saunders B.CI, B.Ed, M.Ed (Research) is a former secondary school teacher and the current Education Manager at Sydney Theatre Company. John has extensive experience in Arts Education and has held positions as a senior curriculum writer with the Queensland Studies Authority, Head of Department: The Arts at Southern Cross Catholic College; Board member of Playlab Press, Associate Academic at Australian Catholic University, President of Drama NSW and Drama QLD, Education Consultant to the Brisbane Festival and guest lecturer at the University of Sydney.
He currently holds positions as: President, Drama Australia; Chair, Australian Major Performing Arts Group (AMPAG) Education Network; Drama representative, National Advocates for Arts Education and Drama Mentor to ACARA.
Jude Kelly has been the Artistic Director of the Southbank Centre in London for over 10 years. Southbank Centre is Europe’s largest Arts Institution and London’s 3rd biggest tourist attraction, and includes the Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Purcell Room and Hayward Gallery over 21 acres.
Jude is the recipient of an Olivier Award for her production of ‘Singin’ in the Rain’ at The National Theatre, a BASCA Gold Badge Award winner for contribution to music, a Southbank Award for her opera work, Red Magazine’s 2014 Creative Woman of the Year, CBIs 2016 First Woman Award winner for Tourism and Leisure and in 2017 won the inaugural Veuve Clicquot Woman of the Year Social Purpose Award.
She created the WOW - Women of the World Festival in 2011 which celebrates the achievements of Women and Girls. WOW is now entering its 7th year at Southbank Centre as well as taking place in other parts of the UK and 20 countries in 5 continents across the world.
She founded Battersea Arts Centre, Solent People's Theatre and was the founding director of the West Yorkshire Playhouse. She has directed over 100 theatrical and operatic productions from the Royal Shakespeare Company to the Châtalet in Paris. In 1997, she was awarded an OBE for her services to theatre and in 2015 she was made a CBE for services to the Arts.
She is a regular broadcaster and commentator on a range of issues relating to society, art and education.
Professor Julianne Schultz AM FAHA, the founding editor of Griffith REVIEW, the award-winning literary and current affairs quarterly established by Griffith University in 2003 to provide a public intellectual leadership and a platform for long-form essays addressing topical issues beyond the daily news agenda.
A professor at Griffith’s Griffith Centre for Creative Arts Research, Julianne is a member of ‘The Conversation’ editorial board, advisory boards of Centre for Creativity Research, Engaging the Arts and Transforming Education at the University of Sydney, the Queensland College of Arts, Policy Hub at Griffith University and the Centre for Advancing Journalism at the University of Melbourne.
She is recognised as a national leader and advocate and is frequently called on to deliver major speeches and participate in media discussions and has held numerous senior board and advisory positions across a range of Australian arts and cultural organisations.
Julianne Schultz received her doctorate from the University of Sydney and is the author books including Reviving the Fourth Estate (Cambridge Uni Press); Steel City Blues (Penguin); Not Just Another Business (Pluto), co-author of The Phone Book (Penguin), the editor of more than 50 other books and collections, the author of numerous chapters on journalism and media practice.
She was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 2009 for services to the community as a journalist, writer, editor and academic, for fostering debate on issues affecting society and for professional ethics and accountability.
Julie Inman Granthas extensive experience in the non-profit and government sectors, and spent two decades working in senior public policy and safety roles in the tech industry at Microsoft, Twitter, and most recently Adobe.
Julie’s career began in Washington DC, working in the US Congress and the non-profit sector before taking on a role at Microsoft. Julie’s experience at Microsoft spanned 17 years, serving as one of the company’s first and longest-standing government relations professionals, ultimately in the role of Global Safety Director for safety policy and outreach.
At Twitter, Julie headed up Public Policy for Australia and South East Asia, managing a range of public policy issues, including online safety and countering violent extremism. Julie also built Twitter’s ‘Rules and Tools’ for safety, and conceptualised and piloted #PositionofStrength, which now serves as Twitter’s global female safety and empowerment program.
Most recently, Julie served as Director of Government Relations Asia Pacific at Adobe, where she worked with governments across the region on issues such as innovation and digital transformation, creativity and STEM skills development and cybersecurity.
June Oscar AO is a proud Bunuba woman from the remote town of Fitzroy Crossing in Western Australia’s Kimberly region. She is a strong advocate for Indigenous Australian languages, social justice, women’s issues, and has worked tirelessly to reduce Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD).
June has held a raft of influential positions including Deputy Director of the Kimberley Land Council, chair of the Kimberley Language Resource Centre and the Kimberley Interpreting Service and Chief Investigator with WA’s Lililwan Project addressing FASD .
She was appointed to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (1990) and was a winner of the 100 Women of Influence 2013 in the Social Enterprise and Not For Profit category. In 2015 June received the Menzies School of Health Research Medallion for her work with FASD.
June has a Bachelor's Degree in Business from the University of Notre Dame, Broome, Western Australia, and is currently writing her PhD. June is a co-founder of the Yiramalay Wesley Studio School and is a Community member of the Fitzroy Valley Futures Governing Committee.
In February 2017, she was awarded an honorary doctorate from Edith Cowan University. June began her five-year term as Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner on April 3, 2017.
Kate Jenkins became Australia’s Sex Discrimination Commissioner in 2016. Kate is leading a number of projects at the Australian Human Rights Commission, including the recently released report on the results of the national survey on sexual harassment and sexual assault at university, the Commission’s fourth sexual harassment prevalence survey and continuing the Commission’s collaborative project on cultural reform with the Australian Defence Force.
Kate is the convener of the National Male Champions of Change group (established 2015), and the Co-Chair of Play by the Rules, a joint project between human rights agencies and sports commissions to make grass roots sports safe, fair and inclusive.
Prior to joining the Commission, Kate spent three years as the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commissioner. In that role she held an Independent Review into Sex Discrimination and Sexual Harassment, including Predatory Behaviour, in Victoria Police. She was also the Co-Chair of the Victorian Commission’s Disability Reference Group and a member of the Aboriginal Justice Forum.
Kate spent 20 years as lead partner with Herbert Smith Freehills’ and 15 years on the board of Berry Street Victoria. An Arts/Law honours graduate, Kate is on the boards of the Heide Museum of Modern Art and the Carlton Football Club. Kate was recognised in the 2015 AFR/Westpac 100 Women of Influence Awards for her work in public policy. Kate grew up on a family orchard in outer Melbourne. She lives Melbourne with her family, which includes her husband Ken, their 2 children and her 3 stepchildren.
Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm is an Anishinaabe writer, poet, editor and the founder and managing editor of Kegedonce Press, an Indigenous publisher based in the territory of her people, the Chippewas of Nawash First Nation, Saugeen Ojibway Nation.
Kateri’s recent book, the collection of short stories The Stone Collection, received a starred review from Publishers Weekly and was a finalist for a Sarton Literary Award. In May, 2017 she received a ReVEAL Indigenous Arts Award. Kateri is a juror for the inaugural Indigenous Voices Awards and a judge for the 2018 Commonwealth Short Story Prize. She was a co-editor of the award-winning anthology skins: contemporary Indigenous writing, published jointly by Kegedonce Press and Jukurrpa Books.
Kateri’s work has been published internationally in journals and anthologies, and she has performed and spoken around the world.
Katrina Torenbeek is a Senior Creative Producer and Arts Manager who has worked across the Performing Arts sector for almost 20 years. She has produced and managed programs for a number of Queensland’s signature arts festivals and events, including QPAC’s Out of the Box Festival, Queensland Music Festival, Brisbane Festival, and Brisbane Cabaret Festival, as well as many independent productions, some of which have toured nationally. She co-managed the Australia Council Initiative MAPS for Artists for Metro Arts for 5 years, and was the Executive Producer at Southern Cross Soloists, producing their concert series along with Bangalow Music Festival.
Katrina has worked closely with the Arts Education sector for many years, both as a Teacher/Facilitator and Manager of Drama Queensland, Drama Australia and IDEA – the International Association for Drama in Education concurrently. She still produces State and National Conference events for these organisations annually.
Kim Hughes is a dynamic executive with over 25 years’ financial services experience in the superannuation, insurance, banking and funds management sectors.
After nine years in the Funds Management sector with QIC and QTC, Kim returned to her passion of superannuation as Head of Product at QSuper. Since joining QSuper, Kim has also fulfilled the roles of Acting Chief of Member Experience, responsible for the Group’s Product, Marketing, Digital and Employer functions. She is currently the Acting Chief of Member Support & Advice at QSuper, responsible for the Group’s Advice business, Contact Centre, Operations division and Life Insurance business.
QSuper is Queensland’s largest superannuation fund and one of the largest in Australia, with more than 565,000 members with over $72 billion in funds under management.
Kim Pate was appointed to the Senate of Canada on November 10, 2016. First and foremost, she is the mother of Michael and Madison, is also a nationally renowned advocate spending the last 36 years working in and around the Canadian legal and penal systems, with and on behalf of some of the most marginalized, victimized, criminalized and institutionalized, particularly imprisoned youth, men and women.
A 1984 Graduate from Dalhousie Law School in 1984 Senator Pate was the Executive Director of the Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies January 1992 - November 2016. She has developed and taught Prison Law, Human Rights and Social Justice and Defending Battered Women on Trial courses at the Universities of Ottawa, Saskatchewan and Dalhousie University and, in 2014 and 2015 occupied the Sallows Chair in Human Rights at the University of Saskatchewan College of Law.
Widely credited as the driving force behind the Inquiry into Certain Events at the Prison for Women in Kingston, headed by Justice Louise Arbour Senator Pate supported women as they aired their experiences during the inquiry, acting as a critical resource and witness in the Inquiry itself.
Senator Pate is a member of the Order of Canada, a recipient of the Governor General’s Award in Commemoration of the Persons Case, the Canadian Bar Association’s Bertha Wilson Touchstone Award, and five honorary doctorates (Law Society of Upper Canada, University of Ottawa, Carleton University, St. Thomas University and Wilfred Laurier University).
Leanne de Souza is a highly-respected veteran of the Australian music industry. With 25 years’ experience working in artist management and events she has represented various high profile, award winning, commercially successful and critically acclaimed contemporary musicians.
A long-standing champion and advocate for contemporary music Leanne was a foundation board member of the Queensland Music Network (Q Music) and currently holds the Executive Director role for the Association of Artist Managers (AAM) and is a Trustee for the Queensland Performing Arts Centre.
As an entrepreneur, Leanne is the founder and director of the Rock and Roll Writers Festival. As a sought-after consultant and facilitator, she has worked extensively across art forms.
Leanne Kemp is the Founder & CEO of Everledger, a global enterprise that tracks the provenance of high-value assets on a digital global ledger in an authenticated immutable manner.
Using her extensive background in emerging technology, business, jewellery and insurance, Leanne is pushing boundaries with Everledger in building a global verification system that asserts transparency along the entire supply chain process. This enables the tracking and protection of high-value assets, consequently mitigating risk and fraud in global marketplaces.
With a rich history in innovation, Leanne previously founded three Australian startups including Absoft Queensland, Fastcards Pty Ltd. and the Great Australian Survey Company. Through these companies Leanne introduced and patented transformational technology ideas including Fastcards (a smart card with managed identification services) and commercialised Multicard (credential verification for consumer, governments and corporations) alongside various solutions to streamline inventory and supply chain operations.
Leanne is an appointed member of the World Economic Forum’s Blockchain Council and a Co-Chair for the World Trade Board's Sustainable Trade Action Group. Leading the market in a real-world application of blockchain technology, Everledger has widely received industry recognition since inception, winning awards including Best Blockchain Company in the European Financial Technology Awards 2016, Best Newcomer in the Asia Insurance Technology Awards 2016 as well as Best B2B Startup in the 2016 Digital Top 50 Awards presented by Google, Rocket Internet and McKinsey.
Lee-Ann is a Narungga, Wirangu, Wotjobaluk woman and is well known throughout the Australian Indigenous, and international arts communities. Having worked across many major festivals, she has won numerous prizes for her contribution to the arts, including the Gladys Elphick Award, the prestigious Sidney Myer Facilitator Prize, and the South Australian Ruby Awards twice, Best Community Work and the Geoff Crowhurst Memorial Award in 2016.
She is the first Aboriginal woman to be appointed as Chair of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts Board in 40 years and is the first Aboriginal person to hold the Deputy Chair on the board of the Australia Council for the Arts. She is the Co-Chair of Tarnanthi, the Festival of Contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Visual Art, a member of the National Museum of Australia Indigenous Advisory Committee and a member of the Barangaroo Development Arts Advisory Committee.
In 2016, Lee-Ann was appointed by Warner Brothers and HBO as Indigenous Cultural consultant for the third and final season of The Leftovers filmed in Australia. She is a member of the Country Arts South Australia Aboriginal Reference Group and the National Museum of Australia. Lee-Ann’s current position is Executive, Aboriginal Screen Strategy, with the South Australian Film Corporation.
Dr Louise Martin CBE is the President of the Commonwealth Games Federation. Formerly Honorary Secretary, she was the first woman elected to the Federation’s Executive Board in 1999 and has served as President since 2015.
Passionate about all aspects of sport, she also chairs, on behalf of the Commonwealth Secretary-General, the Commonwealth Advisory Body on Sport. Previously, she was Chair of sportscotland, Scotland’s national agency for sport and Chair of Commonwealth Games Scotland, leading Glasgow’s successful Bid for the 2014 Commonwealth Games, where she subsequently served as Vice Chair of the Glasgow 2014 Organising Committee.
Her passion for Commonwealth Sport started in Australia in 1962, competing in the Perth 1962 Commonwealth Games in Scotland’s swimming team.
Luke Daniels is a social activist, counsellor and consultant on domestic violence, who was born in Guyana and settled with his family in the UK in the 1970s. His pioneering work with perpetrators of domestic violence at the Everyman Centre in London received national recognition in a 1992 television documentary, and over the years he has trained men internationally in working with domestic violence perpetrators. His book Pulling the Punches: Defeating Domestic Violence (2014) was the first self-help guide for perpetrators, grounded in theory as well as practice.
He believes that violence towards women is rooted in patriarchy, and so interprets domestic violence as a political act that requires political solutions. His new book Defeating Domestic Violence in the Americas – Men’s Work (Hansib, 2018) challenges men to take more responsibility for ending the violence and puts forward solutions for governments to bring an end to socialization for violence. In addition the book charts the region’s history of violence before and after the arrival of Columbus, looking at the effects of native genocide and slavery, and how that history impacts on the violence in our societies today.
Luke Daniels is also the President of Caribbean Labour Solidarity, founded in London in 1974 as an international campaigning organisation in support of democratic movements within the Caribbean.
Growing up as a young carer to a brother and mother with a myriad of health issues, Madeleine Buchner saw a gap in the support system. Who cared for the young carers? By the time she reached high school, Madeleine had already raised over $200,000 to develop support services for special siblings and young carers. With a mission to support the 490,000 young carers in Australia, Madeleine founded Little Dreamers Australia, an organisation that aims to recognise, celebrate and amplify young carers across the country.
As a face for political reform, Madeleine is working towards the creation of a peak body for young carers. She travels the world to share her innovative ideas with others, and in 2017 was recognised as a Queens Young Leader by Queen Elizabeth II. In 2016, Madeleine published her first book, My Brother is Sick Again, which explores the obstacles that young carers must overcome. A social innovator, Madeleine has mobilised communities to stand behind marginalised and often forgotten young people in the community.
Manuri Gunawardena is the co-founder and chief executive officer of HealthMatch, a patient facing platform that uses machine learning and natural language processing to match patients in real time to clinical trials. Manuri has a background in clinical medicine and oncology research, having completed a neurosurgery sub-internship at Johns Hopkins Hospital.
Manuri has 7 peer reviewed publications in prestigious American journals including ; The Journal of Neurosurgery and The Journal of Neuro-Oncology. Her involvement in the Cooperative Trials Group for Neuro-Oncology (COGNO) and a broad range of clinical trials has set her focus on streamlining and building a more effective platform for patient recruitment. She is set to complete her final year of her Doctor of Medicine (MD) program at the University of New South Wales.
Maree Morton was born in Augathella and at the age of 19, married and moved to outback Queensland, where between raising two children she took on all of the challenges that came with managing isolated cattle properties, from mustering and drafting cattle, to starting pumps and generators, to cooking for large crowds. Maree describes her greatest achievement as contributing to the sense of community within the local area and workplaces where she has resided, spending twenty two years managing Innamincka Station, on the border of SA and Qld.
In her time in the Channel Country Maree has proved a tireless community volunteer, advocating for river protection with the Lake Eyre Basin Committee, keeping country race meets ticking over for the Innamincka races, and supporting the work of the flying doctor. Maree is a role model and inspiration to many women, proving that geographical and social isolation are not barrier to making a contribution to the community.
Margaret Busby OBE, Hon. FRSL (Nana Akua Ackon) is a writer, editor and broadcaster who was born in Ghana and educated in Britain. After graduating from London University, she co-founded the publishing company Allison & Busby, of which she was Editorial Director for 20 years, and she was subsequently Editorial Director of Earthscan Publications. She has served as a judge for many literary awards, including Africa39, the Caine Prize, Orange Prize, Commonwealth Book Prize, Independent Foreign Fiction Prize, SI Leeds Prize and the Bocas Prize, and serves on the board of Wasafiri magazine, among other organisations. For more than three decades she has worked for diversity within the publishing industry and in the 1980s was a founding member of the organization Greater Access to Publishing (GAP).
Publications she has written for include The Guardian, Observer, Independent, Sunday Times and New Statesman, and she edited the pioneering anthology Daughters of Africa (1992). Her radio abridgements and dramatisations encompass work by C. L. R. James, Jean Rhys, Wole Soyinka, Timothy Mo, Sam Selvon, Walter Mosley, Henry Louis Gates, Lawrence Scott and Simi Bedford. Her BBC Radio 4 play Minty Alley won a 1999 Race In the Media Award (RIMA). Her writing for the stage includes Sankofa (1999), Yaa Asantewaa – Warrior Queen (UK/Ghana, 2001-2002), and An African Cargo (2007). She has received an honorary doctorate from the Open University (2004), an honorary fellowship from Queen Mary, University of London (2011), the Henry Swanzy Award (2015) and the Benson Medal (2017).
Margi Brown Ash works extensively as an independent Writer, Producer, Performer, Director in Queensland and Western Australia, as well as acting with Queensland Theatre (The Wider Earth, Sydney Festival 2018), La Boite (Prize Fighter, Sydney Festival 2017) and The Good Room (Holy Guacamole, 2010 and I Want to Know What Love Is, 2016). Throughout 2018 Margi is working with NIDA corporate, Sydney as well as teaching at QUT Acting Academy, Curtin University and Queensland Creative Industries Academy. Margi is co-artistic director of The Nest Ensemble and Force of Circumstance.
She is an experienced psychotherapist for artists, and has an established coaching/counselling studio called 4change, based in Brisbane and soon to be in Sydney. This year Margi is Artist in Residence at Curtin University. Margi has been a member of the National Artistic Team at Queensland Theatre, 2016-2017. She has been a member of Actors Equity for over forty years.
Mariana Katzarova is a leading human rights advocate, journalist and international expert on combating human trafficking and violence against women. Mariana has made the fight for justice, equality and women’s rights her life's work by speaking on behalf of those trapped in war and conflict zones. Originally from Bulgaria, Mariana graduated from Sofia National University and Columbia University in New York and trained in international human rights and humanitarian law at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), and recently in women’s leadership at the University of Oxford Said Business School.
Mariana founded RAW in WAR (Reach All Women in WAR) in 2006 in the UK, after working as a journalist and human rights advocate in the war zones of Bosnia, Kosovo and Chechnya, including 10 years as the Russia Researcher for Amnesty International. RAW in WAR presents the annual Anna Politkovskaya Award for women human rights defenders from war and conflict zones, who stand up for the victims, often at great personal risk.
From 2014 – 2016 Mariana led the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in the armed conflict in Eastern Ukraine, and in 2014 was awarded the Order of St Barbara by the Ukrainian Orthodox Church – the highest Church honor given to women, for her service to human rights on behalf of the civilians during conflict. Most recently Mariana broke the silence and led the public discussion in Bulgaria, about the #MeToo campaign and gender equality in a series of debates on national television.
Songwoman Maroochy Barambah is the Songwoman & Law-woman of the Turrbal People – the original inhabitants of Brisbane. She is a direct descendant of Daki Yakka – Chief of the Old Brisbane tribe – a man nicknamed “the Duke of York” by the European settlers in the Moreton Bay area in the 1830s when Brisbane was a penal settlement.
In 1989 Maroochy became the first Aborigine to perform on the Australian operatic stage when she made her debut in Black River. She also became the first Australian to perform at the United Nations in New York, in honour of the International Year for the World’s Indigenous Peoples in 1993. Over the years Maroochy has also appeared in numerous television programs including The Flying Doctors, Winner Take All and Women of the Sun, as well as films including Bran Nue Dae.
The Traditional Blessing performed by Songwoman Maroochy is Monda Barita – a song of prayer asking the Almighty and our ancestors to be with us all at the gathering. Maroochy has received many awards (both in Australia and overseas), including an Honorary Senior Fellowship of the University of the Sunshine Coast in 2000 for her outstanding and sustained contributions to the community.
Mary Kini is Co-Founder of Kup Women for Peace (KWP), an organisation that has developed innovative strategies to addressing tribal fighting and violence in PNG highlands communities. Over the past 20 years, the organisation has mediated between warring tribes, undertaken awareness and supported survivors of violence in order to create safer communities. In 2007, Mary Kini and KWP were awarded the UN Pacific Human Rights Award for outstanding work in building peace and preventing conflict in the Simbu province of PNG. In 2009, Mary was nominated for the initiative ‘1000 Women for the Nobel Peace Prize’, a collective initiative honoring women working in and advocating for peace at national and international levels.
Mary’s tireless efforts to create peaceful communities have made her a key advocate and advisor to government and non-government agencies when it comes to understanding human rights and peace building in PNG communities. Mary Kini is currently Team Leader for the Women Human Rights Defenders Movement in the PNG Highlands, where she regularly deals with cases of gender-based and sorcery accusation related violence, while continuing to be a spokesperson for human rights organisations at national and regional levels.
Maryann Talia Pau is a Samoan-Australian artist and practising weaver based in Queensland on Quandamooka Country. Co-founder of the Pacific Women's Weaving Circle and founder of the One Million Stars to End Violence project, Maryann's other interests include business, leadership, mental health, architecture and the environment.
Matilda Alexander is a human rights lawyer who been fighting for the rights of trans people throughout her lengthy legal career. Matilda is the president and principal solicitor of the LGBTI Legal Service and the Human Rights and Anti Discrimination lawyer at Legal Aid Queensland. She also teaches Prison law at Griffith University.
Matilda has provided free legal representation to trans people seeking safe housing, fair treatment by police and in prison and trans kids in schools and care.
Matilda has also been involved in productive discussions with many government departments to develop appropriate policies and practices with long term impact on the human rights of trans people.
She has conceptualised and coordinated collaborations with community, statutory and government bodies to work together to improve the lives of trans people in Australia, such as the current Trans at School project.
Matilda admires the strength and resilience of trans people and is constantly inspired by her trans friends, family and clients.
Melissa Lucashenko is a Bundjalung novelist and essayist. Mullumbimby was awarded the 2013 Deloitte Queensland Literary Award for Fiction, won the 2014 Victorian Premiers Prize for Indigenous Writing, and was longlisted for the Miles Franklin, Stella, and Dublin IMPAC Literary Prize 2015.
Melissa is also a Walkley Award winner for her non-fiction, as well as a founding member of the women’s rights organisation, Sisters Inside. In 2016 she was awarded the $80 000 Copyright Agency Limited Fellowship to write her forthcoming novel, Too Much Lip (UQP).
British High Commissioner to Australia Her Excellency Menna Rawlings CMG.
Menna Rawlings has been British High Commissioner to Australia since April 2015.
Menna joined the FCO in 1989 and has served in a wide range of Diplomatic Service roles. She was most recently a member of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Management Board as HR Director. This followed postings to Washington DC, Ghana, Israel, Kenya and Brussels. In London, she has served as Private Secretary to the Permanent Under Secretary as well as in Press Office and the Africa and EU Directorates.
Meriel is a passionate textile technologist (nerd for fabric manufacture), crafter and mother of two. She lives with her family trying to tread lightly on this world in their sustainably renovated house in Brisbane, Australia.
Meriel’s love of textiles has led her to studying at UMIST in Manchester in their School of Textiles (now Materials Science) where she gained her BSc (Hons) in Textile Science and Technology, and progressed to a career working with large and small companies with fabric and garment manufacturers and supply chains in Europe, Asia and Australia.
Meriel has 20 years international experience in the Textile and Apparel Industries. In Australia Meriel was Offshore Production Manager for Drizabone Pty. Ltd managing their range that complimented their iconic Australian made oilskin garments.
Today, as a partner at ATI Group. Meriel works with organisations, industry and government to develop high quality products with innovative, efficient and sustainable supply chains. Meriel’s professional recognition as a Chartered Colourist and Associate of the Society of Dyers and Colourists, recognises not only her specialist academic background in this field but also her operational experience in the field of dye and colour management in the textile and garment industry.
Michelle Law is a writer working across film, TV, theatre and print. She is the co-author of the comedy book Sh*t Asian Mothers Say and has had her writing anthologised in books like Best Australian Comedy Writing and Women of Letters. Some of the publications she has written for include the Sydney Morning Herald, Frankie magazine, and the Griffith Review. As a screenwriter, she has won an Australian Writers’ Guild AWGIE award for her interactive media work, and her films have screened on the ABC as well as at festivals locally and abroad (St Kilda Film Festival, Flickerfest, LA Shorts Fest, BAPFF). She has been a recipient of the Queensland Premier’s Young Publishers and Writers Award and was a runner up in the Qantas SOYA Written Word category. Michelle graduated with a Bachelor of Creative Industries (majoring in Creative Writing) from the Queensland University of Technology, and has also studied at The Second City in Chicago and the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in New York. She is a prolific speaker and has presented at events such as TEDxSouthBank, Sydney Writers Festival and Vivid Festival. Her debut stage play Single Asian Female was performed at La Boite Theatre Company in 2017 to sold out audiences. It will have a second run at Belvoir St Theatre in 2018. Homecoming Queens, a web series that she co-created, co-wrote and stars in will air on SBS in 2018.
Michelle Redfern is the Founder of Advancing Women and co-founder of social enterprise CDW (Culturally Diverse Women). Michelle’s activities and work are anchored in her mission which is to achieve gender equality and to advance women in business and the sporting sector. Michelle is an in-demand speaker, moderator and MC at conferences, leadership forums and diversity events. Prior to establishing her advisory practice, Michelle held executive leadership roles in the Banking, Telco, BPO and 3PL industries for blue chip companies such as NAB, Telstra, Serco and Aegis. Michelle is well known for her passionate focus on inclusion in business and sport, a collaborative and engaging leadership style, as well as being an operating model performance turnaround specialist.
Michelle is an experienced non-Exec director who holds board roles with Williamstown VFL Football Club, and Good Shepherd Microfinance. She has previously held board positions with the Gippsland League, the AFL’s largest Victorian regional league, Swinburne University’s Business Without Borders social enterprise & the Highvale Netball Association Inc. She is a panel judge for the Telstra Business Women’s Awards and for the Telstra Business Awards. Michelle is a Graduate of the AICD, holds an Executive MBA (Distinction) from RMIT and is an IECL qualified organisational coach. She is also a lover of cats, writing, footy and travel. Michelle is a regular contributor on social media about equality, inclusion, leadership and her quest to find the perfect glass of rosé!
A graduate of the BA Hons. Design programme at Goldsmiths College, University of London (2013) Millicent owns Millicent Designs, a company established in the Solomon Islands (2015) specializing in multi-¬‐disciplinary design (specifically Communications/Humanitarian Design). Growing up in the impoverished masses of Jakarta (Indonesia) and the United Kingdom with a Solomon Islands (SI) heritage, her passion has always been creating transcendental designs where she can amalgamate the cultures in which she has been brought up.
As part of Millicent’s ‘design for social good’ initiative at University, she spent one year exploring ‘Kastom Stori Taem’ (Custom Story Time - KST) the traditional SI oral culture, as an initiative intended to revive and preserve the diminishing traditional oral culture; by finding a way in which Kastom Storis can transcend and infiltrate into modernity and expose the rich SI heritage to the world.
As part of Millicent Designs, Millicent specializes in communications using the structures and ethos of KST in infographics as a way to effectively communicate and translate complex information to people in the rural areas. KST was used with great success in the SI 2014 General Elections. Currently KS structures are being used as part of communications for United Nations Development Projects and campaigns for women and youth empowerment as well as a strategy contributing towards resolving landowner issues for the Tina Hydro Dam Project. In August 2017 Millicent partnered up with Bridge (Australian-based company) trading as SOLBRIDGE Ltd to offer solid waste solutions for the Solomon Islands.
Naomi is a Clinical Sexologist working in Paddington, Brisbane. Naomi has been working in the area of Sexuality & Relationships Education, Training and Counselling for over 12 years. Naomi holds a Masters of Health Science in Sexual Health from the University of Sydney. Naomi works with couples, families and single clients of all ages, cultural backgrounds, genders and sexualities whilst also doing various media commentary and guest blogging as a "sexpert".
Naomi Stead is Professor and Head of Department in Architecture at Monash University; Adjunct Professor in Architecture at the University of Queensland; President-Elect of the Society of Architectural Historians of Australia and New Zealand; and Research Leader in the Australian architecture practice Hayball. Stead holds a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of South Australia and a PhD from the University of Queensland.
Stead was the leader of the ARC Linkage project ‘Equity and Diversity in the Australian Architecture Profession: Women, Work and Leadership,’ and as part of that was co-founder with Justine Clark and others of Parlour, an activist group advocating for greater gender equity in architecture. She was a co-author of the award-winning Parlour Guides to Equitable Practice, co-curator of the exhibition Portraits of Practice: At Work in Architecture, and she is an associate editor of the Parlour website.
Naomi is widely published as an art and architectural critic in Australia, having written more than fifty commissioned feature and review articles in professional magazines over the last decade. These include Architecture Australia (of which she was a contributing editor between 2003-2012), Architectural Review Asia Pacific, Monument, Artichoke, Pol:Oxygen, and [Inside]: Australian Design Review. In 2008 She is a recipient of the Adrian Ashton Prize for architectural writing, from the NSW chapter of the Australian Institute of Architects. Naomi is presently an architecture columnist for the San Francisco-based online Places Journal, where she writes essays on concepts and mythologies within and without architecture.
Natalie Lewis is a descendant of the Gamilaraay (Kamilaroi) Nation and is the current Chief Executive Officer of the Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Protection Peak (QATSICPP). Her professional experience has been acquired in Queensland and in the United States in the areas of youth justice and child protection, providing direct service, program and policy development and organisational leadership over the past twenty years.
Natalie currently serves on the National Executive of SNAICC, the Secretariat of National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care, and is co-chair of the National Family Matters Campaign. She also holds appointments on the Qld Domestic and Family Violence Implementation Council, Youth Sexual Violence and Abuse Steering Committee and the Queensland Policy Leaders Forum. Natalie was an active member of the Expert Advisory Group to the Queensland Child Protection Commission of Inquiry and remains strongly involved in the implementation of the reform agenda.
Dr Natasha Alexander is a black, bisexual clinical psychologist from the UK, who is now settled in Brisbane. She is passionate about her work with people with intellectual disabilities, cognitive disabilities and severe mental health issues. With a strong sense of justice, she works collaboratively with individuals, and is passionate about advocating for, and supporting their rights to express their sexuality in an informed and empowered way.
Natasha Stott Despoja AM is the founding Chair of Our Watch (the Foundation to Prevent Violence Against Women and their Children). She was Australia’s Ambassador for Women and Girls (2013 – 2016) responsible for the promotion of women’s economic empowerment, women’s leadership and the reduction of violence against women and girls. Natasha is a member of the World Bank Gender Advisory Council, is on the UN High Level Working Group on the Health and Human Rights of Women, Children and Adolescents.
The youngest woman ever, at 26, to enter the Australian Federal Parliament, Natasha is a former Senator for South Australia (1995-2008) and former Leader of the Australian Democrats - the longest-serving Democrat Senator in the party’s history. In 2001, she was made a Global Leader for Tomorrow by the World Economic Forum and in 2011, Natasha was made a Member of the Order of Australia for her service to the Australian Parliament, education and as a role model for women.
She has served on numerous Boards including beyondblue (Deputy Chair), is a member of the Australian Privacy Foundation Advisory Board, a Director on Carrie Bickmore’s Beanies for Brain Cancer Board and is a member of the Global Women's Institute Leadership Council. She has also been Patron or Ambassador for several not-for-profit groups, including The Orangutan Project, secondbite, Ovarian Cancer Australia, and ENUF the HIV/AIDS anti-stigma campaign.
The Rt Hon Patricia Scotland QC, who took office as Secretary-General of the Commonwealth in April 2016, serves the 52 governments and 2.4 billion people of the Commonwealth.
Born in Dominica, she moved to the UK at an early age and was brought up in a large close-knit Caribbean family where she was taught the importance of hard work, education, pride in her heritage and the obligation to give back to the region of her birth and to the society in which she was raised. This ethic has guided her throughout her dynamic career in law, public service and politics.
A lawyer by profession, she became the first black and youngest woman ever to be appointed Queen's Counsel. She is the only woman since the post was created in 1315 to be Attorney General for England and Wales.
Appointed to the House of Lords as Baroness Scotland of Asthal in 1997, she has been Alderman for Bishopsgate Ward since 2015, and Chancellor of the University of Greenwich since 2014.
Peter Fullagar was appointed as the 25th Principal of St Joseph’s Nudgee College in January 2015. His tertiary studies were undertaken at Kelvin Grove College of Advanced Education, Brisbane College of Advanced Education (now Queensland University of Technology) and the Australian Catholic University. Peter has forged a significant career in boys’ education and has brought this wealth of knowledge and leadership to Nudgee College. From 2009 to 2014, Peter was Principal of fellow Edmund Rice Education Australia school St Edmund’s College, Canberra, and has held prior Deputy Principal roles at St Joseph’s College Gregory Terrace and Iona College, Brisbane.
Peter’s vision for Nudgee College is for it be a school that fosters the holistic development of each student within a culture of continuous improvement and sustained excellence. At the heart of this vision is the shaping of young men of courage and authenticity to be the best they can be and in so doing, becoming truly Signum Fidei - a sign of faith. Peter is married to a high achieving wife and is parent to six young adult children including, one daughter and three step daughters. He was fortunate to grow up with four sisters and a strong mother, who collectively taught him a great deal.
UK born Sabrina Frederick-Traub is a strong overhead mark, hard hitting, high leaping in the ruck or up forward.
‘Sabs’ dominated the first AFLW season as one of Brisbane's marquee players.
In attack, she led the Lions as the top-ranked key forward to play at least three games. She rated elite for Champion Data ranking points, disposals, contested marks and score involvements.
The 21-year-old has leadership qualities beyond her years, elected within the Lions' leadership group for both seasons to date. Sabs is known amongst teammates for her long and accurate kick and versatility, spending most her time in the key forward position or amongst the ruck contests.
Off the field, Sabrina is an AFL Multicultural Ambassador and is employed by AFL Queensland as Participation Programs Coordinator.
Dr Sandra Phillips is an academic, researcher, and a leader in engagement. Professionally located in the Academy as a lecturer in QUT Creative Industries, Sandra also has her heart, soul, and mind in the world around her and the First Nations communities she is a part of. Sandra is Wakka Wakka and Gooreng Gooreng, First Nations of Queensland, Australia.
Across three decades she has worked in policy research and evaluation, vocational and higher education, and book editing and publishing – the latter with Magabala Books, University of Queensland Press (UQP), and Aboriginal Studies Press (ASP). As a sole parent Sandra has raised three sons.
Sandra is the elected Chairperson of the peak organisation First Nations Australia Writers Network (FNAWN), member of the Library Board of Queensland, Member of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS), and Peer Assessor for the Australia Council for the Arts.
Sandra has worked as a consultant to Of One Mind on the development of WOW Festivals in Australia, specifically for WOW Brisbane in 2015 and WOW at Festival 2018 (supported though the Queensland University of Technology QUT). To this role and to all others, Sandra not only brings her in-depth knowledge but also her belief that people can personally change and that they also should make cultural and social change.
Sarah Kelly is an Associate Professor in Marketing and Law at the University of Queensland. Sarah has multidisciplinary training in law, marketing and psychology and has practiced previously as a commercial lawyer. She recently completed four years in the role of MBA Director at the UQ Business School, in which she has led the program to a ranking of number 1 in Australia and 10th globally and developed an award winning international immersion program to six countries. Sarah is now the academic lead of a global sports technology accelerator at UQ and recently attended the NBA all-stars HYPE sports technology accelerator as a jury member and mentor, along with CEOs from the NBA, Adidas, Spalding, Puma and Silicon Valley Bank.
Sarah is Deputy Chairman of the Brisbane Lions AFL club and holds several Non-Executive Directorships including the Wandering Warriors and Sports Analytics, and is currently on the National Education Advisory board for the Australian Institute of Company Directors. She has won awards for her undergraduate and postgraduate teaching and is currently teaching sports law. She has conducted research and consultancy in sport, governance and marketing with industry, government and the not-for-profit sector nationally and internationally. Sarah has published in leading academic peer reviewed journals and her expertise extends to sports law, marketing and management, consumer behaviour and branding. Recent projects include examining the impact of alcohol sponsorship in sport upon young consumers, consulting with the Japanese government on the legacy planning for the Tokyo Rugby World Cup and Olympics, and identifying governance and integrity issues relating to Esports.
Scott Stephens is Editor of the ABC's Religion and Ethics website, and specialist commentator on religion and ethics for ABC radio and television. He is also co-host (with Waleed Aly) of The Minefield on RN.
Sharon Bhagwan Rolls is the Executive Producer-Director femLINKpacific, Chair of the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC), and Co-Chair of Directors of the Global Fund for Women. She is a founding board member for the Asia Pacific region of the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC) and a Global Ambassador of the Global Media Monitoring Project, and has been a UN civil society advisor on Women, Peace and Security between 2010 - 2015 advising on progress on UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (Women, Peace and Security).
Sharon is passionate about sustaining a regional women-led media network which has been at the heart of her work, particularly to progress commitments to women's peace and human security including UNSCR1325 and the support femLINK provided for the development and adoption of the Pacific Regional Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security (2012-2015). Since femLINK launched Fiji and the Pacific's first women-led community radio station in 2004 Sharon has supported a core group of diverse young women and rural producers, as well as women with disabilities, to produce media content for a range of media platforms. Sharon is therefore also passionate about the need to support women-led innovation with Media and ICTs including tackling the ICT policy environment if needed to make this more enabling and accessible, to amplify gender inclusive conflict prevention and Human Security such as femLINK’s Women's Weather Watch information-communication system.
Sharon Orapeleng is a mother, wife, community leader/ advocate, mental health professional and Principal Consultant at Psyched Solutions. She was honoured in 2013 as one of the 125 Leading Women in Queensland by YWCA and recognized as one of the 100 most influential African Australians by Celebration of African Australians Inc. Sharon is a recognized public speaker and event host as well as a philanthropist. She is a disruptive change maker, a tireless community advocate for social inclusion and social justice with passion for raising community awareness on issues of mental health, domestic violence, diversity and equality. She sits in a number of boards and advisory committees including White Ribbon – Qld Executive Committee, AFL Queensland Diversity Board amongst others.
Shoshona Kish is part of the husband and wife duo and Juno Award winning Digging Roots, one of Canada’s most recognisable contemporary acts. Shoshona Kish and Raven Kanatakta have built their sound on a unique musical marriage of unvarnished truth and unconditional love. The music is modern, but connected to indigenous traditions. An elder (Kish's great-great aunt) told the pair about an old way of creating music, using the contour line of the horizon for the melodies. "It was a simple, magical kind of thing," says Kish, who now snaps wide-angle photos, which are used as "song maps".
The daughter of a draftdodging journalist and his artistic wife, both active in the halcyon days of Toronto's Yorkville scene. "Our parents were part of all the exciting social and artistic things that were happening back in the late 1960s and early 1970s," says Kish. "We were kind of born into that.” ShoShona has stayed true to this activist heritage with her regularly being invited to speak on Indigenous art and decolonization, activism and community industry building, leadership, empowerment and Indigenous creative process and women’s issues, both in Canada and internationally.
Starlady is a passionate social justice advocate currently working within the LGBTIQ+ youth sector in Victoria. Across her life she has engaged in many different movements; animal welfare, environmental, and LGBTIQ+ rights as well as working in collaboration with refugee and asylum seeker and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. For many years she lived in central Australia delivering youth focused hairdressing and fashion workshops in remote Aboriginal communities. With her own unique style and flair Starlady loves working with people to create social change and equity.
Tracey McIntosh (Ngai Tūhoe) is a Professor of Indigenous Studies and Co-Head of Te Wānanga o Waipapa (School of Māori Studies and Pacific Studies) at the University of Auckland. She is the former Co-Director of Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga New Zealand’s Māori Centre of Research Excellence. Her recent research focused on incarceration (particularly of Māori and Indigenous peoples) and issues pertaining to poverty, inequality and social justice. She is currently a Co-Investigator on a MBIE funded Health and Society grant that is developing an evidence based platform for family violence prevention.
She was a Fulbright Visiting Lecturer in New Zealand Studies at Georgetown University in Washington, DC and has won teaching awards including a national tertiary teaching excellence award. Her contribution to social and economic policy seeks to inform and influence new Indigenous knowledge production and policies that work for Māori and the nation. She was the co-chair of the Children’s Commissioner’s Expert Advisory Group on Solutions to Child Poverty and sits on a number of boards particularly in the area of social harm reduction including JustSpeak and Te Ira. She is the Co-Editor of AlterNative: An International Journal of Indigenous Peoples.
Trudie Leigo is a regionally based curator who works in the arts, media and events. Having grown up in far western NSW, Trudie's career has taken her from the bush to the city, where she worked in art galleries and museums for several years. However for the past seven years Trudie has chosen to live and work in the regional town of Bundaberg and is passionate about developing projects with regional communities. Trudie is passionate about storytelling and is also a Features Reporter for ABC Wide Bay.
Trudie has been working on a project that came out of the regional consultation for WOW at Festival 2018 Mumma's Kitchen asking what life is really like for women and girls in regional Australia? In this eight - episode radio series Trudie Leigo pops into the homes of some pretty special women, to find out about their lives and the issues they face. Is the gap between city and country growing wider? Podcast episodes coming soon.
Virginia Haussegger AM, is Director of the 50/50 by 2030 Foundation, at the University of Canberra’s Institute for Governance and Policy Analysis (IGPA), where she is an Adjunct Professor.
She is a passionate women's advocate and an award-winning television journalist and communication specialist, whose extensive media career spans more than 25 years. Virginia has reported from around the globe for leading current affair programs on Channel 7, the 9 Network, and ABC TV.
For 15 years Virginia anchored the ABC’s flagship TV News in Canberra, and is widely published across print media. She is a former columnist with the Canberra Times and a regular contributor to the Sydney Morning Herald and the Age. Virginia has served on a number of boards and committees including, UN Women National Committee Australia; currently the ACT Government’s Cultural Facilities Corporation; Our Watch, Media Advisory Committee; Women in Media, Canberra; and she is Patron of the Canberra Rape Crisis Centre.
In 2014, Virginia was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM), for "significant service to the community, particularly as an advocate for women's rights and gender equity, and to the media”.
Umba Peter plays a key role as a male advocate with KUSWA, working closely with men and women in communities to understand the value of women. He also leads a youth sports program that involves young men and women from his community and nearby communities using sports to teach values to young men and women.
Vonda Malone created history in March 2016 being elected the first indigenous female Mayor of the Torres Shire Council, a mainstream council encompassing the Kaiwalagal area of the Torres Strait. Vonda is a change maker, an accomplished role model, a strong advocate and role model for indigeneous women a strong and a very community focussed leader. Over her career she has achieved unique milestones being the first Torres Strait Island woman to work internationally through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and with the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland.
Vonda has gained extensive experience at both state and federal level in Indigenous affairs and health service delivery in remote communities across Cape York and the Torres Strait with expertise in health, community engagement and capacity building, community development and economic development. She has a genuine interest in tackling Close the Gap targets for indigenous peoples and has dedicated her focus to improving health outcomes for indigenous communities.
Vonda possesses a Graduate Certificate in Australian Rural Leadership (ARLP) and a Graduate Certificate in Public Sector Management. Vonda is an Alumni of the ARLP and Oxfam Australia’s Straight Talk Steering Committee and a Fellow of the United Nations Human Rights Commission Indigenous Fellowship Program. Vonda is also a recipient of the 2001 Centenary Medal for her contribution to the Torres Strait.
A student of Central University, an alumina of Cambridge University Leading for Change Executive Education and Fellow of the Royal Commonwealth Society, Winnifred is a multi-talented young social entrepreneur who has been dedicating her life to the economic empowerment of young people in her community.
Identified in 2014 by Forbes as one of the social entrepreneurs in Africa to watch, Winnifred co-founded the award-winning Ghana Bamboo Bikes Initiative and is President of the EPF Educational Empowerment Initiative, her charitable project dedicated to promote education in Ghana. Creating a team of dedicated young social entrepreneurs and supporters working to overcome daily challenges and creating new commodities and markets for young people, Winnifred consistently demonstrates her personal value of making a difference by using her talents to help others and her passion for empowering young people to be successful.
She is an Anzisha Prize Fellow, World Economic Forum Global shaper, winner of the World of Children Award, the 2015 Dubai International Award and the 2016 New African Woman in Science, Technology and Innovation Award. A recipient of the 2017 Queen’s Young Leader Award which recognises and celebrates exceptional young people aged 18-29 from across the Commonwealth Winnifred received her award from Her Majesty the Queen at the Buckingham Palace. She sits on the boards of the Dawadawa Impact Investment Fund and the SHE Scholarships Fund of the EPF Educational Empowerment Initiative.
Yasmin Kahn has been a tireless campaigner within her community, breaking down barriers, standing up for women who don't have a voice, standing up for those fighting the system, talking about Islam and diversity to many thousands of people in public forums, radio and presentations. She is a sought after speaker to talk on many issues, to schools, universities, corporates and government agencies. She received the Qld Multicultural Ambassador Award in 2015, the Australian Muslim Achievement Awards Lifetime Award in 2017 and was the 2017 Australian of the Year (QLD) Local Hero Award winner. She is the Chair of the Ethnic Communities Council of Qld, on the Board of the AFL(Q) Diversity Board, President of Qld Pakistan Assoc, Volunteer CEO of Eidfest Community Services, Director of the Red Rose Foundation and sits on many other committees and reference groups.
The Eidfest festival she ran for 11 years is the biggest Muslim gathering in Qld, and won the Lord Mayors Australia Day Award in 2007 for Best Community Event. Her work in the Domestic Violence sector has seen her shortlisted for the Migrant Council of Australia Awards in 2015, and Qld Eidfest Association won the Award for Muslim and Non-Muslim Understanding in 2014 from the University of South Australia. She is also Secretary of the Qld Muslim Historical Society and is a Multicultural Ambassador for the AFL. She is a Bachar Houli Community Award winner for her work in the AFL and was presented with a Qld Police Service Commissioner’s Award in 2017. She is also a 2017 Churchill Fellow, making her trip overseas to study domestic violence in Indian Sub-Continent Communities.
Yassmin Abdel-Magied is a mechanical engineer, award-winning social advocate, author, and broadcaster. A Sudanese-born Muslim woman, she was named the 2015 Queensland Young Australian of the Year and released her memoir, Yassmin’s Story, a year later at the age of 24. Yassmin advocates for the empowerment of youth, women and those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. She founded the non-for-profit Youth Without Borders at age 16. Outside advocacy, she works as an engineer on offshore gas rigs and is an internationally accredited F1 journalist.
Zainah Anwar is Co-Founded of two ground-breaking women’s rights groups – Sisters in Islam (SIS) in Malaysia and Musawah, a global movement for equality and justice in the Muslim family. She also became the founding Executive Director of SIS, which works on the rights of Muslim women within the framework of Islam. She is currently the founding Executive Director of Musawah, the SIS-initiated global movement, which was launched in Kuala Lumpur, 2009.
Musawah today spearheads ground breaking activities at the global level, bringing together scholars and activists to produce new feminist scholarship in Islam. Musawah conducts training on women’s rights in Islam, and engages with CEDAW processes to examine the ways governments use Islam to justify reservations and perpetuate discrimination against women, offering possibilities of reform towards equality and justice for women living in Muslim contexts.
Sisters in Islam has successfully created a public voice and a culture of debate in Malaysia, empowering citizens to speak out on Islam and the impact of Islamic laws and practices on women’s rights and fundamental liberties. Zainah also writes a monthly column, Sharing the Nation, in Malaysia’s largest English language daily, the Star. She was named by Newsweek and The Daily Beast as one of the 150 women “who shake the world”, by Women Deliver as one of 100 most inspiring people in championing the rights of women and girls, and in 2013, was cited by Huffington Post as one of the 10 leading Muslim women from around the globe.
After graduating from Bond University in 2008 with a Bachelor of Business degree Zillah Douglas returned to the Solomon Islands to build a café with her family. Unlike other café’s in the country’s capital, the Breakwater functions not only as a café but as a virtual community center and meeting house, where Solomon Islanders and expatriates alike gather for coffee, meals or functions and to exchange information, share knowledge, showcase art and engage in community development projects.
In 2015 Zillah received a Queen’s Young Leaders Award in recognition of her significant and ongoing contribution to improving the lives of young Solomon Islanders through her work at the Breakwater Café. Zillah is passionate and committed to promoting a healthy lifestyle and in 2017 graduated from Hippocrates Health Institute’s ‘Health Educator’ Program in Florida, USA.
In 2017 Zillah volunteered with the Loloma Foundation in Fiji and the Solomon Islands and initiated Loloma’s first ever Solomon driven women’s health team. Zillah created a campaign on chuffed.org, which raised AUD 5,000 to purchase ‘Kaleko SteiFree’ women’s re-usable menstruation pads, made in the Solomon Islands by a group of young local women. The kits were distributed to girls and women in remote communities in Central Solomon Islands. Women’s health circles were also created during the mission for girls and women to come together with the women’s health team to learn and discuss menstrual health and women’s health related issues. Zillah is preparing for three women’s health missions in 2018 with the Loloma Foundation to the Solomon Islands and Fiji.