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SPEAKERS

Social impact leaders committed to meaningful change

We’re co-designing a diverse and impactful program for Social Impact Summit 2024. Each speaker comes ready to share their insights and expertise across our program of keynotes, panels, case studies and workshops. 

Explore the emerging lineup below. 

Key Speakers

Pat Grant
Graphic Storyteller, University of Technology

Pat Grant is a comics maker, writer and designer from the Illawara in NSW. He is the Author of two graphic novels, Blue (2012) and The Grot (2020). Pat works as a lecturer in the Faculty of Arts at the University of Technology on Gaddigal Country. He is also co-founder of Comic Art Workshop, a project development retreat for graphic storytellers which has helped to incubate Australian graphic novels since 2015.

Dr Cressida Gaukroger
Lead: Wellbeing Government Initiative, Centre for Policy Development

Dr Cressida Gaukroger is a writer, philosopher, and Lead of the Wellbeing Government Initiative at the Centre for Policy Development (CPD). The initiative is focused on working with Australian governments at all levels to put wellbeing at the heart of government decision-making.

She regularly writes op-ed pieces for Australian media, appears on national radio, and writes children’s books.

Kira Day
Policy & Advocacy Manager, B Lab

Kira Day has extensive experience in the not-for-profit sector, working with organisations and individuals to understand the power of business to drive positive impact in our economy and society.

As Policy and Advocacy Manager, Kira leads the development of B Lab Australia & Aotearoa New Zealand’s policy platform and advocacy strategy.

Jane O’Brien
Member-Owner, Percolab Co-Op

Jane O’Brien is a practitioner and co-creator of the future of healthy and meaningful work and community.

She brings great authenticity to her work designing and hosting regenerative and transformative spaces, and a deep commitment to practising this in her work and all relationships.

Mel Geltch
Member-Owner, Percolab Co-Op

Mel Geltch is a passionate and skilled collaborative process designer and host, immersed in creating the kind of workplaces, communities and systems we dream of.

She is committed to the socio-ecological transition, working with courageous organisations and people that share her belief that our shared future depends on us working together like never before, for all life.

Dr. Renu Burr
Senior Consultant, Corporate Evolution & Director, Burr Consulting

Dr. Renu is a highly intuitive and skilled executive coach and workshop facilitator who has worked with private, public and for purpose sectors across Australia.

She loves holding space for the inner and outer work of leadership to make the invisible visible and for the unspoken to be spoken for the well-being of all.

Chloë Spackman
CEO, Next25

In her time at Next25, Chloë has managed the programs team and overseen both the ‘think’ and ‘do’ initiatives of the organisation.

She brings over a decade of experience in prorgam design, delivery, communications, and evaluation to this year’s Social Impact Summit.

Dr Georgie McClean
Executive Director of Development & Partnerships, Creative Australia

Dr Georgie McClean oversees sector engagement, research and professional development and digital culture strategies.

She looks for opportunities to extend the public value of the cultural and creative industries with new partners in new ways.   

Craig Foster AM
Author, Broadcaster & Human Rights Activist

Craig Foster AM spans the field of human endeavours from footballer to fair pay advocate to Father of the Year.

Working across a vast range of social programs including indigenous rights, homelessness, climate action and refugee advocacy, Craig joins the speaker line-up as a shining light of collaborative action and change making.  

Dan Bourchier
Australian Journalist & Television Presenter, ABC News

Dan Bourchier is a multi-award-winning journalist, broadcaster and social commentator.

Dan’s career is driven by giving voice to the voiceless, holding to account those in positions of power, and telling really great stories. Dan brings a deep understanding of regional and national issues to his role as MC.  

Jon Blackburn
Chief Financial Officer, Sydney Opera House

Jon Blackburn brings iconic perspective to the program as Executive Director, Corporate Services & Chief Financial Officer at the Sydney Opera House.

Jon has a core understanding of the value that social impact brings across businesses small and large.

Profit & Purpose

Dr. Katherine Trebeck
Political Economist, Writer

Dr. Katherine Trebeck is a political economist, writer, and advocate for economic system change. Her roles include writer-at-large at the University of Edinburgh, Economic Change Lead for The Next Economy, and Strategic Advisor for the Centre of Policy Development.

Katherine co-founded the Wellbeing Economy Alliance (WEA) and instigated the group of Wellbeing Economy Governments (WEGo).

Jen Simpson
Managing Director, All The Best To You

Jen Simpson is Managing Director of All the Best To You (ABTY) Venture and Advisory, focused on creating wealth and societal value impact.

She’s built an award-winning, 20-years career as Board, CEO, CTO/CIO, senior Product, Commercial, Customer & Operations leader in distinguished for-profit and for-purpose organisations

Arti Agrawal
CEO & Founder, Vividhata

Arti is the CEO and Founder of a Vividhata Pty Ltd a diversity and inclusion consulting company. “Vividhata” means diversity in Sanskrit and is a certified Social Trader organisation. The company epitomises her vision to globally advance social and economic justice by embedding the value of diversity and inclusion in business and organisations.  

 In setting up Vividhata, Arti is guided by her lived intersectional experiences of being a female immigrant, person of colour, Physicist and an out lesbian. 

 Arti has won numerous awards for her work on diversity and inclusion. Arti’s work experience history reflects her passions: she was the Director of Inclusion, Diversity and Involvement at Anthony Nolan Trust, a blood cancer charity and before that was Director of Women in Engineering at UTS. 

Tom Dawkins
Co-Founder & CEO, StartSomeGood

Tom Dawkins brings to the Summit a skillset which allows social entrepreneurs to develop the skills they need to successfully launch and run their own impact businesses.

As CEO of StartSomeGood, Tom works to provide fundraising and community infrastructure for social entrepreneurs, as well as designing and delivering impact accelerators and capacity-building programs. 

Hanna Ebeling
CEO, SEFA

Hanna Ebeling works with purpose-driven organisations on capital solutions and capability uplift to suit their needs, helping to build organisational resilience.

As the CEO at SEFA, Hanna brings a global practice lens through her diverse experience that ranges from traditional banking to venture philanthropy. 

Emma Watton
Strategy & Programs, Shared Value Project

Emma Watton is a globally experienced brand and purpose strategist who has committed the rest of her professional life to only working with organisations who are prepared to face their relationship with society.

She believes in creating better business for a better world and is the strategist for Shared Value Project. 

Tara Anderson
CEO, Social Traders

Tara is passionate about seeing more businesses embed purpose and drive more social value in our communities.

As the CEO of Social Traders, she brings a wealth of international experience across social enterprise, social innovation and for-purpose intermediaries – to help create a thriving social enterprise sector that delivers a more inclusive and sustainable economy in Australia.

People & Communities

Kerry Grace
CEO + Founder, Evolve Group Network

Kerry Grace is a skilled communicator who generates impact through brokering solutions between community, business, and government. She founded her business, Evolve Group Network, in 2004.

Kerry is currently working on facilitating conversations focused on regional communities, developing the annual national conference, Social Impact in the Regions and delivering the Ready Community initiative with her co-founder in Kempsey, NSW.

John Craven
Executive Officer, System 2

John is a senior leader with CEO/Director level experience across the charity, education, government and banking sectors. Before joining System 2, he was Director of the Social Mobility Commission, where he led a team of 20 within the U.K. Cabinet Office carrying out research and promoting social mobility.

From 2016-2022, John was CEO of upReach, a social mobility charity that supports students from disadvantaged backgrounds to secure professional jobs. During his tenure as CEO, upReach received a Queens Award for Enterprise for Promoting Opportunity, and twice won national Charity of the Year awards. Previously, after graduating with an MA in Economics from the University of Cambridge, John worked in investment banking for 11 years and as a teacher.

Nick Grinpukel
Social Impact Practitioner, UTS Centre for Social Justice and Inclusion

Nick is an experienced community development practitioner with over ten years’ experience working with diverse communities across Australia in government, tertiary, and non-profit sectors. He is passionate about participatory and asset-based community development practice that moves beyond traditional consultation models.

Bringing experience in in collaborative processes and complex systems change frameworks, Nick is a firm believer in centring lived experience to co-design and implement interventions to complex social and environmental issues. His diverse experience has shaped his view of what it means to work with community in a reciprocal, two-way learning relationship and he has built a strong practice that fosters community-driven solutions.

Molly Kendall
Communications & Business Development Officer, The Co-Op Federation

Molly Kendall collaborates with inspiring co-operatives daily, advocating for democratic governance in her role as Communications & Business Development Officer at The Co-op Federation.

She spent seven years as Coordinator of Resource Work Cooperative in Hobart, fuelling her passion for worker ownership as a means of empowerment of creating secure employment in marginalised communities. 

Dr. Martin Farley
Managing Director, Creating Preferred Futures

Dr. Martin Farley is a micro-economist specialising in the systemic performance and productivity of places, industry, policy/programs, and enterprises.

He has a keen eye for how these fit into society and markets, how they operate, and how they contribute to balanced environmental, social, and economic outcomes.

Gavin Findlay
CEO, New Zealand Food Network

Gavin Findlay is the CEO of the New Zealand Food Network and brings with him a background spanning the travel, aviation, and business sectors.

As a former Officer in the Royal Air Force (based in the UK), Gavin gained firsthand experience engaging with vulnerable communities worldwide. 

Toby Dawson
Principal & Founder, Tomorrow Together

Toby Dawson is a passionate social impact practitioner.

As the Founder of impact advisory firm Tomorrow Together, Toby brings deep knowledge of the suite of frameworks, initiatives and issues that can advance ESG outcomes.

Collective Transformation

Lydia Turda
Innovation & Design Coordinator, Neami National

Lydia Turda is about passionate about contributing to system change and transformation for positive social impact.

She utilises and advocates for approaches grounded in community centred design and solution finding which empower and elevate lived experience voices and wisdom.

Gillian McFee
Program Director - Care Together

Gillian is the author of BCCM’s paper on Action to Empower: Why Australia needs more co-operatives and mutuals in health, community and social services. She brings to the summit a wealth of experience in aged care, disability services, housing and community services.

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