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.
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
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.
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.
Appointed as CEO of Screen Queensland in February 2014, Tracey’s latest role in a stellar career promoting the Australian screen industry in Queensland and the United States. A champion for the Arts and its influence on our well-being and identity, Tracey has worked in a range of Directorships in music, precinct development, visual arts and creative place making.
After graduating from QUT in 1993, Tracey initially worked in events management, including several roles in the Queensland Events Corporation, before securing a position with the Brisbane-based Pacific Film and Television Commission as Executive Manager - Locations and International Production.
Tracey moved to Los Angeles in 2004 where for the next ten years she took on senior roles at Ausfilm, the industry-government partnership that connects the international screen industry with Australia's screen incentives, talent and facilities.
Since returning Tracey has launched new industry initiatives including the first feature film with SVOD company Stan, a creative partnership initiative with YouTube, a business-building program, Australia's first VR series with a broadcaster and led significant cultural change within the organisation. Tracey also introduced the organisation’s first Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Strategic Plan and a Gender Equity Policy to drive change both behind and in front of the screen.
Tracey is a Non-Executive Director of RSPCA QLD, The Arts Centre Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast Arts Advisory Board and MediaRing; an external Advisor to US based Australians in Film and The Queensland College of Art and a previous Director with QMusic.
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
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”.
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.
Winnifred Kyei Selby
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.