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Our Speaker Lineup

We are very excited that we have been able to engage the services of some great international and local speakers to inform, engage and motivate for our Plenary Sessions and optional Workshops. Our speaker's include:

Keynote Speakers

Gareth Ward MP

The Hon. Gareth Ward, MP

Member for Kiama (NSW Liberal Party)
Minister for Families, Communities and Disability Services

As Minister for Families, Communities and Disability Services, Gareth is responsible for a broad range of the state’s social policy and human services including children in care, homelessness, juvenile justice, disability services and volunteering. Whilst these are some of the most challenging areas of Government, Gareth sees these as the most important. See Parliament of NSW and Gareth Ward MP (Member for Kiama).


Tony Armstrong

Chief Executive Officer (Locality - London, United Kingdom)

Tony has led Locality since 2014 and oversees all aspects of the organisation. He has a background in supporting communities to have more say over their local areas in the third sector and the public sector. He led the national charity Living Streets between 2008-14. Before joining the sector, Tony was a civil servant for nine years and held a number of senior policy adviser roles in Government, including work on neighbourhood regeneration and renewal and health improvement.


Nola Turner-Jensen

Nola Turner-Jensen

Director (CultuRecode™ Model)

Nola Turner-Jensen is an Aboriginal Australian woman from the Wiradjuri language group on her Mother’s side & Irish on Dad’s side. A former Social Worker running youth shelters, Nola has led a team of people in a world first study who searched over a six-year period for the tangible elements of what makes a culture unique or different to another? What is a person’s Instinctive Belief System that they live by and drives their unconscious thoughts and bias? This research project is called the CultuRecode™ Project.


Gary Groves

Gary Groves

Executive Director (Their Futures Matter - NSW Department of Family and Community Services)

Gary Groves is Executive Director of Their Futures Matter. Appointed in January 2018, Gary is leading the implementation of a multi-agency, coordinated service system to deliver evidence-based, wraparound supports via a whole-of-government investment approach. Over his illustrious twenty-five year career in the public service, Gary has held a number of senior executive roles within the Department of Family and Community Services (FACS) and NSW Police.


Lindon Coombes

Lindon Coombes

Industry Professor - Indigenous Policy (Jumbunna Institute for Indigenous Education and Research)

Lindon is a descendant of the Yuallaraay people of north west NSW and has over 20 years of experience working across a range of sectors in Aboriginal affairs. He has held senior executive positions in the NSW Government and has been CEO of Aboriginal owned and controlled organisations. Lindon is currently undertaking a range of projects looking at Treaty, Indigenous self-determination and provision of policy advice and strategy. He is also Co-Chair of Reconciliation NSW.

Master of Ceremonies

Dom Knight

Dom Knight

Writer and Broadcaster

Dominic Knight was one of the founders of The Chaser satirical newspaper in 1999, and also one of its destroyers in 2004 after the group finally acknowledged that it would never turn a profit. Since then he’s been involved in most of the team’s projects in print, stage, radio, television, online and in court. Most notably he has worked on ABC-TV’s The Hamster Wheel, Yes We Canberra! and various election specials. Most notoriously, he worked on The Chaser’s War On Everything.

Welcome and Opening Address

Margaret Tipper

Margaret Tipper

 Executive Officer (WESTIR), Chairperson (LCSA)

Margaret Tipper has worked in the community sector for 30 years, after initially working in the corporate sector. Her experience in the sector has been with a large charity in the Western Sydney area as its Executive Officer, and as a Manager of a Sub Regional Peak community organisation, again in Western Sydney. Margaret is the Executive Officer of WESTIR Ltd (a community sector development organisation), and, on this basis, was elected to the LCSA Board, firstly as Treasurer and currently as Chairperson.

Presentations

Can Yasmut

Can Yasmut

Executive Officer (Local Community Services Association)

Can is the Executive Officer of LCSA, the peak body for Neighbourhood Centres in NSW. In previous roles Can has worked for the Upper Mountains Youth Services, the St. George Migrant Resource Centre, the Blackheath Area Neighbourhood Centre, the Mountains Community Resource Network and for ANTaR NSW (Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation). Having gained experience in the community sector as a community development worker and project coordinator, Can is committed to promoting the importance of small, community based not-for-profit organisations and the value of cross-cultural understanding and community engagement.


Andrew Ellery

Andrew Ellery

Head of Community Engagement (icare)

Andrew has a background in the social sector focused on disadvantaged communities, supporting people with a disability and the promotion of wellbeing. Andrew is experienced in community engagement and strategic planning and was instrumental in establishing The Collective NSW. Andrew was involved in the development of the NSW Mental Health Commission’s approach to promoting wellbeing and is a member of the NSW Mental Health Network.


Sam Ferguson

Samantha Ferguson

Samantha is the Senior Research Fellow for RISE.

Samantha has a background in social and developmental psychology and its application to areas such as injury prevention, rehabilitation and wellness. Samantha's expertise spans both quantitative and qualitative research designs and she has a strong background in large scale project management and evaluation.

Panelists

Nicky Sloan

Nicky Sloan

CEO (Community Industry Group)

Nicky leads a regional peak body which supports and advocates for the community services industry across South East NSW. Community Industry Group is committed to promoting social justice and reducing disadvantage by lobbying and advocating for the needs of the community services industry, and of vulnerable communities and individuals. Nicky has extensive experience in governance and strategy, research and policy development, partnerships, advocacy and collaboration.


Lachlan Hunter

Lachlan Hunter

Executive Director (United Nations Association of Australia)

As well as having worked for the Federal Government, Ministerial Offices, the not-for-profit sector and most recently as an Executive for Chief Executive Women, Lachlan brings contemporary relevance to the UNAA. Lachlan’s experience is crucial in forming key strategic government and private sector partnerships, driving National programs on the Sustainable Development Goals and Human Rights, and in overseeing implementation of the new Strategic Plan 2018-2023.


Anthony Shannon

Anthony Shannon

Acting Executive Director, Inclusion and Early Intervention (NSW Department of Communities and Justice)

Anthony leads a range of commissioning, early intervention and inclusion strategies, including Ageing, Carers, Volunteering and Disability Inclusion. Anthony has held a number of positions across FACS, over 15 years, at Head Office leading state-wide targeted earlier intervention, child protection and homelessness reforms, and at District level, managing NGO disability and community services funding, and community development and sector partnerships.


Julie Hourigan Ruse

Julie Hourigan Ruse

Chief Executive Officer (Fams)

As the peak body, Fams knows that children are kept safe by quality services which help kids and families where they need it. Fams makes this possible by advocating for better public policy, advising how to achieve sustainable and measurable outcomes and acting to help vulnerable children, young people, families and communities. The evidence highlights that every community and every circumstance is different and this is why Fams advocate that governments must respond based on need and not a “one size fits all” approach, to ensure the most cost effective, long term outcomes for those kids experiencing vulnerability in our communities.

Ted Talk Style Presentations

Nicole Stack

Nicole Stack

Legal Aid NSW

Nicole is part of the Work and Development Order (WDO) Legal Aid Team based in Wollongong. The Legal Aid WDO Team covers 6 Regions in NSW working with community organisations, government departments and health practitioners to engage vulnerable clients to resolve their fine debt through WDOS. An integral part of this is connecting with our community organisations to utilise the great work they already do, to assist mutual clients remove this significant financial barrier.


Helen Ford

Helen Ford

Deputy Ombudsman (Energy & Water Ombudsman NSW)

Helen is the Deputy Ombudsman at EWON and oversees the Governance, Awareness and Policy group. Before joining EWON three and half years ago, Helen worked for over a decade at the NSW Ombudsman’s office dealing with complaints about NSW government agencies and investigating systemic issues. She gained practical policy development experience working in the NSW Maritime Division of Roads and Maritime Services to improve operational procedures for Boating Safety Officers.


Lynette Phuong

Lynette Phuong

Digital Literacy Program Lead (Infoxchange)

Lynette joined Infoxchange in 2017 where she has led the organisation’s digital literacy programs, including Go Digi and Digi House. She is currently the project manager of Digital Springboard, a national program by Infoxchange and Google to help people learn the digital skills they need to thrive in work and life. She has a Bachelor of Commerce/Arts and a Master of Public Health, and has worked in public health and advocacy across Australia and Mongolia.