Progressive Australia Speakers

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Buffy Wicks
Buffy Wicks
Political Strategist (US)

Buffy Wicks

Buffy Wicks is a strategist and expert in political campaigns and issue advocacy. She is currently a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress focusing on public policies affecting women and families. She served as the national director of Operation Vote for the Obama for America campaign—a senior leadership role in the executive management team of President Barack Obama’s re-election effort. As the head of Operation Vote, Wicks spearheaded the campaign’s strategy to communicate with and mobilize core demographic voters, including African Americans, Latinos, young people, and women, producing record turnout among targeted voter segments. She worked collaboratively with her team and fellow senior staff to devise innovative strategies across departments—including field, digital, earned media, paid media, messaging, political, and analytics—to engage the campaign’s base. Wicks has a long history in grassroots mobilization, political organizing, and civic engagement. She served as the deputy director of the White House Office of Public Engagement for President Obama. In this capacity, she served as the White House liaison for key stakeholders throughout the country in an effort to pass the president’s legislative priorities such as health care reform and financial regulation. In 2009, Wicks was tapped by then-President-elect Obama to lead the Renew America Together effort, a national call to service during the Presidential Inauguration. She was one of the first people hired by the president’s 2008 campaign and served in a variety of roles, including California field director and Missouri state director. She also helped to develop the national grassroots field strategy for the campaign, which was considered a model of effective organizing. Wicks previously worked in the labor movement, fighting for better health care and wages for disenfranchised workers, and on Capitol Hill. She is originally from California and graduated with a double major in political science and history from the University of Washington. She publishes opinion editorials in various news outlets, including Politico and the Daily Beast, focusing on public policy impacting women and families.
Patrick Diamond (UK)
Patrick Diamond
Vice-Chair, Policy Network

Patrick Diamond

Patrick was formally Research Fellow in the Department of Politics at the University of Manchester, and Gwilym Gibbon Fellow at Nuffield College, Oxford. He is currently a Visiting Fellow at Kellogg College, University of Oxford and an Associate Member of Nuffield College. He is a local councillor in the London Borough of Southwark, Vice-Chair of the think-tank Policy Network, a member of the Advisory Board of the Social Market Foundation, and sits on the Scientific Council of the Foundation for European Progressive Studies. Patrick held a number of senior posts in British central government between 2000 and 2010, and was formally Head of Policy Planning in 10 Downing Street. He has been a trustee of the Bromley by Bow Centre, a pioneering voluntary organisation led by the local community in East London. Patrick has contributed op-ed articles to the Financial Times, the Guardian, the Independent, the Wall Street Journal, the Times Educational Supplement, the New Statesman, Progress, Renewal, and Tribune. He comments regularly on numerous national media outlets, and has given interviews on the BBC Radio Today programme, the Westminster Hour, Start the Week, Newsnight, Sky News with Adam Boulton, and CNBC news. He contributes to other European newspapers and journals including Die Zeit, Italianieuropei, Berliner Republik, and Berlin Network.
Tanya Plibersek MP
Tanya Plibersek MP
Deputy Leader of the Labor Party

Tanya Plibersek MP

Tanya grew up in the Sutherland Shire of Sydney, the daughter of migrants from Slovenia. Like many newly arrived migrants, Tanya’s parents helped build the country in which they made their new home. Her father worked on the Snowy River hydroelectric scheme in the 1950s. Tanya studied communications at university and was elected the Women’s Officer at the Student’s Association of the University of Technology, Sydney. After graduating she worked in the Domestic Violence Unit of the NSW Ministry for the Status and Advancement of Women and earned a Master of Politics and Public Policy at Macquarie University. Tanya was elected to the Australian Parliament as the Federal Member for Sydney at the 1998 federal election. In her first speech to House of Representatives, Tanya spoke of her conviction that ordinary people working together can achieve positive change. During the Howard Government Tanya called for a return to social justice in government, campaigning on issues such as better relationship rights for same-sex couples, paid parental leave and stronger rights at work. In 2003, when President George Bush visited Australia, Tanya presented national security adviser Condoleezza Rice with a letter explaining why Labor parliamentarians opposed Australia invading Iraq without United Nations approval. Tanya became a Shadow Minister after the 2004 federal election and for the next three years was responsible for a range of portfolios including childcare, work and family, women, youth, human services and housing. Following the election of the Labor Government in 2007, Tanya has held the portfolios of Housing, the Status of Women, Human Services and Social Inclusion. On 14 December 2011, Tanya was appointed Minister for Health. On 14th October 2013, following the election of the Abbott Government, Tanya was elected to serve as the Deputy Leader of the Opposition. Tanya lives in Sydney with her husband Michael and children Anna, Joseph and Louis, and is fond of bushwalking and 18th Century novels.
Maxine McKew
Maxine McKew
Author & Journalist

Maxine McKew

Maxine McKew is a Vice Chancellor’s Fellow with the University of Melbourne and a Distinguished Fellow of the Australia India Institute. She is an advisor on education for the not-for-profit group Social Ventures Australia, and is a director of three not-for-profit boards, Playgroup Australia, Per Capita and the John Cain Foundation. In November 2012 Maxine published her memoir, Tales from the Political Trenches. Maxine’s career spans both politics and journalism. At the 2007 federal election Maxine McKew won a spectacular victory against John Howard and wrote herself into Australian political history as only the second candidate to have ever defeated a Prime Minister in his constituency seat. She entered the Federal Parliament as the MP for Bennelong, and was immediately elevated to the executive and served as Parliamentary Secretary for Early Childhood, and later as Parliamentary Secretary for Infrastructure, Regional Development and Local Government. Before making the switch to politics, Maxine had a thirty year career as a broadcast and print journalist. Her hosting of Lateline in the mid 1990’s, and later, as the part-time anchor of The 7.30 Report, earned her a reputation as one of the country’s most authoritative interviewers. Her television reporting has been recognized by her peers, with both Logie and Walkely awards for broadcast excellence, while her work for the Bulletin Magazine saw her secure the Magazine Publisher’s award for Columnist of the Year. Maxine is involved in a range of voluntary activities including acting as an ambassador for Alzheimer’s Australia.
Nareen Young
Nareen Young
CEO, Diversity Council Australia

Nareen Young

Nareen Young has specialised in women's and diversity employment since the early 1990s. As a trade union official she represented women's employment interests on the Executives of both Unions NSW and the ACTU, was the Director of the NSW Working Women's Centre from 1998 until 2005 and has been the CEO of DCA since 2007. She has made appearances in all of the major relevant tribunals and the Productivity Commission, and published, presented and commentated widely. In 2012 she was awarded the top honour for diversity in the Inaugural Westpac/Australian Financial Review Women of Influence Awards and was named as one of Australia's Top 20 Influential Women of 2012 by Daily Life magazine.
Jenny McAllister
Jenny McAllister
ALP National President

Jenny McAllister

Jenny joined the Labor Party in Queensland in 1992 and has been an active participant in the Party ever since. She is passionate about creating opportunities for community participation in politics. In 2003 Jenny founded the Labor Environment Activist Network, and served as one of its inaugural convenors until 2007. In 2002 she worked to connect Labor members to the Walk Against the War Coalition in NSW. Jenny's interests include economics, indigenous culture and welfare, the environment and Australia’s relationship with the Pacific. She currently works in the private sector as an environmental and policy consultant. Jenny has previously held senior roles in the NSW public sector, developing climate change and environmental policy. She also served as an environment advisor in the NSW state government. Jenny has two small children, and lives in Redfern with her husband, John. She has served as Labor’s National President since 2011.
Martin O'Neill (UK)
Martin O'Neill
Academic in Moral & Political Philosophy

Martin O'Neill

Dr Martin O'Neill is Senior Lecturer in Moral & Political Philosophy in the Department of Politics at the University of York. He was educated at Oxford and Harvard, and previously taught at the universities of Cambridge and Manchester. He works on freedom, equality and social justice, and various issues at the intersection of political philosophy and public policy. He is a long-standing member of the British Labour Party, and is a Commissioning Editor of Renewal: a Journal of Social Democracy, one of the leading journals on the British left. His book Property-Owning Democracy: Rawls and Beyond, co-edited with Thad Willimson, was published in 2012, and a book on Taxation and Political Philosophy, co-edited with Shepley Orr, is forthcoming in 2014. He is currently writing a short book on Predistribution and Social Democracy, and is working on a larger project on The Significance of Inequality, funded by the Institute for New Economic Thinking.
Joe Hildebrand
Joe Hildebrand
Journalist & Multimedia Superstar

Joe Hildebrand

Joe Hildebrand is a Daily Telegraph journalist and multimedia superstar. He has appeared on every TV station in the country but he likes ABC2 and Channel Ten best because they pay him the most. He currently runs the opinion pages of the Telegraph and, if conspiracy theorists are to be believed, the entire country. He denies he works for ASIO, which is exactly what someone who works for ASIO would say.
Anne-marie Boxall
Anne-marie Boxall
Director, Deeble Institute for Health Policy Research

Anne-marie Boxall

Dr Anne-marie Boxall is the founding Director of the Deeble Institute for Health Policy Research, a collaboration between the Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association and seven universities across Australia. She is an Adjunct Senior Lecturer at the University of Wollongong, an Adjunct Lecturer at the University of Sydney and the Managing Editor of the Australian Health Review. Previously, Anne-marie worked on the recent round of national health reforms initiated in 2007 at both the Commonwealth Treasury and at the National Health Reform Commission. She has also worked as a researcher at the Commonwealth Parliamentary Library. Anne-marie began her career as a physiotherapist, working in the public and private sectors. Anne-marie has a PhD in health policy and has published on a wide range of topics in health policy and health services. Her first book, Making Medicare: the politics of universal health care, was published by NewSouth Publishing in September 2013.
Matt Cowgill
Matt Cowgill
Economic Policy Officer, ACTU

Matt Cowgill

Matt Cowgill is a senior economic researcher and advocate at the Australian Council of Trade Unions, a position he has held since January 2010. Matt is responsible for writing research papers and submissions on a wide range of economic policy issues, including minimum wages, tax and transfer policy, and inequality. He is also a member of the Australian Statistics Advisory Council. His commentary on economic policy issues has been published by Guardian Australia and ABC’s The Drum
Terri Butler
Terri Butler
Principal, Maurice Blackburn Lawyers

Terri Butler

Terri’s peers recognise her as a leading employment and workplace relations lawyer. She established Maurice Blackburn's employment and industrial law practice in Queensland, joining an longstanding national team of industry-leading practitioners. Terri has been a member of the ALP since 1998. She served two terms on the national policy committee and is a member of the national policy forum. She is also a member of Labor's administrative committee in Queensland. Her roles within the ALP have included national conference delegate, state conference (branch) delegate, member and then chair of the Queensland rules committee, and campaign worker, among others. She is working to establish a Queensland chapter of Labor for an Australian Republic. She is a member of the Queensland Law Society, Women Lawyers’ Association Queensland, Industrial Relations Society, Queensland, Australian Labor Lawyers, Maurice Blackburn Women’s Law Section (including service as Queensland co-convener), UN Women, and Children by Choice Association Inc. She is a former management committee of Children by Choice, and has long campaigned for abortion law reform in her home state of Queensland. She is currently on the Board of the YWCA Queensland. Terri lives on Brisbane's south side, in the federal electorate of Griffith, with her husband and two small children.
Nick Martin
Nick Martin
Chair of the Chifley Research Centre

Nick Martin

Nick is the Assistant National Secretary of the Australian Labor Party, and Chair of the Chifley Research Centre. He has worked at the National Secretariat in Canberra since 2005, helping to rebuild the Labor Party at the national level in the lead-up to the 2007 election campaign. He has a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) and a Bachelor of Laws, both from Canberra's Australian National University.
Senthorun Raj
Senthorun Raj
Researcher

Senthorun Raj

Senthorun Raj is an advocate and researcher with a passion for social justice, law, and cultural studies. He is a Churchill Fellow and is completing his PhD at the Sydney Law School. Sen is also an opinion columnist for The Vine and The Guardian and has written numerous articles on topics ranging from popular culture to politics. He is also an Advisory Board Member of the sexuality, gender and diversity studies journal Writing from Below. In a governance capacity, Sen serves as the NSW President of Amnesty International Australia and as a Director of ACON Health. He has previously worked as the Senior Policy Advisor for the NSW Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby.
Darcy Byrne
Darcy Byrne
Mayor

Darcy Byrne

Since being elected Mayor of Leichhardt 12 months ago Darcy Byrne has been fighting hard to bring Sydney's live music scene back to life. The Labor Loves Live Music campaign has mobilised young people and music lovers across Sydney to demand that local Councils promote rather than prosecute live music venues. Under Labor's leadership, Leichhardt Council has proposed that parts of Parramatta Road be rezoned as Sydney's first live music and cultural precinct.
Peter Bentley
Peter Bentley
Executive Director, McKell Institute

Peter Bentley

Peter Bentley is the Executive Director of the McKell Institute, an independent public policy institute dedicated to developing practical policy ideas and contributing to public debate. Peter oversees the Institute’s research programs, policy events and public lectures, as well as regularly appearing on Sky News and ABC 24 as a policy commentator. Peter has worked as a Federal Government policy adviser specialising in infrastructure, housing and government services delivery. He has worked as a Research Director at leading market research firm UMR Research, where he specialised in qualitative research methods and has served as an official for the Australian Labor Party, leading the development of television and radio advertising campaigns. Peter is a Director of Ecclesia Housing, a unique provider of housing and management services with a particular focus on improving the living standards for those under housing stress, and those with high support needs. He is currently completing a Masters of Policy Studies at UNSW, is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, and lives in the Sydney suburb of Maroubra with his wife Katie.
Simon Banks
Simon Banks
Director, Hawker Britton

Simon Banks

Simon Banks is one of Australia's most highly respected government relations, campaigning and strategic communications professionals. Following the 2010 Federal election, Simon served as one of the four “wise elders” that helped the Government, Opposition and country Independent MPs agree on the historic parliamentary reforms which were central to the return of the Gillard Government. Prior to joining Hawker Britton, Simon served as Chief of Staff or Deputy Chief of Staff to three Federal Labor leaders, including then-Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, and has been Federal Labor’s director of policy and a senior policy and media adviser to a number of Labor ministers and shadow ministers. He managed the high-profile online Kevin07 campaign during the 2007 Federal election and ran the uniquely successful ACT campaigns for the Constitutional Convention election and the Republic Referendum. A published commentator on public policy, Simon regularly comments on policy and political developments on both the ABC and Sky News. Simon is a former Director of the Chifley Research Centre.
Dennis Glover
Dennis Glover
Speechwriter and Fellow of Per Capita

Dennis Glover

Dr Dennis Glover is a professional speechwriter, a Fellow of the Per Capita think tank, and a political columnist for the Australian Financial Review. He has previously worked on the staff of Labor Party leader’s and Prime Ministers, Kim Beazley, Simon Crean, Mark Latham, Julia Gillard and Wayne Swan, and as a senior executive member of the Australian Treasury Department. He currently writes speeches for government, business and community leaders. He has a B.A. Hons from Monash University and a PhD from the University of Cambridge, where he was a Cambridge Australia Scholar member of King’s College.
Daniel Hyslop
Daniel Hyslop
Research Manager, Institute of Economics and Peace

Daniel Hyslop

Daniel Hyslop commissions, directs and manages research for the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) as well as authors and oversees production of IEP publications. Daniel coordinates research for the Institute, manages IEP’s research team and directs external research partnerships with organisations such as United Nations, the Commonwealth Secretariat and the Center for Strategic and International Studies. He has worked in various multidisciplinary research and policy roles in political, university, and government environments. The Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) is an independent, non-profit research organization dedicated to shifting the world’s focus to peace as a positive, achievable, and tangible measure of human well-being and progress.
Lindy Edwards
Lindy Edwards
UNSW Academic

Lindy Edwards

Dr Lindy Edwards has worked as an economic adviser in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, a press gallery journalist for the Sydney Morning Herald and was a senior policy adviser to Natasha Stott Despoja as leader of the Australian Democrats. After extensive experience in the Australia political system she returned to academia to complete her PhD at the Australian National University. Dr Edwards is a Fellow of the Australian Prime Ministers Centre and the Centre for Policy Development. She has been on the Executive of the Australian Political Science Association, and been a board member of the think-tank Catalyst and on the Economic Advisory Board of the Australian Conservation Foundation. She is a regular columnist in The Age newspaper and she is a regular media commentator who has appeared in The Times, The Australian, The Sydney Morning Herald, Radio National, SBS radio, the Malaysia Straits Times, The Monthly, The New Matilda as well Sky News, Compass and most commercial television stations.
Marcus Westbury
Marcus Westbury
Founder, Renew Australia

Marcus Westbusy

Marcus Westbury is the founder of ‘Renew Newcastle’ and ‘Renew Australia’. His background is as a writer broadcaster, media maker and festival director who has been responsible for some of Australia’s more innovative, unconventional and successful cultural projects and events. In 2008, with his own funds and energy, Marcus founded ‘Renew Newcastle’, a low-budget, not-for-profit, DIY urban renewal scheme that has brokered access to more than 50 empty buildings for more than 120 creative enterprises, artists and cultural projects in his hometown. As a festival director Marcus was a founder of Newcastle’s This Is Not Art festival, the Artistic Director of Melbourne’s Next Wave Festival and a co-founder of Free Play, Australia’s largest independent computer games developers’ conference. He has written a regular column for The Age and was the writer and presenter of ‘Not Quite Art’ on ABC1.
Dee Madigan
Dee Madigan
Creative Director/Political Commentator

Dee Madigan

An English teacher by trade, Dee sold out and joined the advertising world in 1995. She has been winner or finalist at almost all major awards, including Cannes. Dee has worked on some of the world's largest brands, including Coca-Cola, J&J, Streets and Nestle. Dee specialises in social marketing, has worked on numerous Federal and State Government campaigns and has been the Creative Director on state and federal election campaigns and loves fighting the good fight.
David Barbagallo
David Barbagallo
CEO, Endeavour Foundation

David Barbagallo

David is CEO of Endeavour Foundation. He joined Endeavour in 2009. Endeavour has annual revenues of $AUD170M and 3500 employees including 1800 with a disability. For over 60 years Endeavour has provided a diverse range of services within the disability sector. In 2002 David was appointed Executive Vice President Solutions Development for Mincom Ltd. For 8 years prior David was the CEO of the Distributed Systems Technology Centre. DSTC was one of Australia's most successful co-operative research centres. David was Principal Private Secretary to the Hon Wayne Goss MLA, Premier of Queensland 1991-93. David has a degree in Surveying (UQ) and a Masters of Technology Management (Griffith) He has also completed Management courses including Growing Small Companies at Stanford Business School. He has completed AIM courses in Financial Management, Company Directors, and the Chairman's Workshop. He is an Adjunct Professor of Information Technology at QUT. David has lectured at several Universities in Australia and New Zealand on Research Management issues, Project Management, Managing Creative People and Entrepreneurial Systems
Damian Ogden
Damian Ogden
Executive Director, Campaign Action

Damian Ogden

Damian Ogden is the founder and Executive Director of Campaign Action, Australia’s leading progressive training institute for organisers, candidates, and campaigners, with over 3,500 graduates. Damian is a seasoned campaigner with extensive campaign and community organising experience working throughout Australia and internationally in the United States, United Kingdom and New Zealand. The highlight for Damian was working in 10 battleground states on Barack Obama’s historic Presidential campaign in 2008. He returned in 2012 for the Presidential reelection campaign working in Minnesota. Damian holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Sydney, is a graduate of the Harvard Kennedy School leadership program and is a fellow with the School for Social Entrepreneurs. Damian lives in Sydney’s South-West.
Karen Atherton
Karen Atherton
National Political Coordinator, CPSU

Karen Atherton

Karen took up the role of CPSU National Political Coordinator in 2010 after eight years as the union’s SA Regional Secretary. She started working with the CPSU in 1997 as an organiser after being involved with the union as a member, workplace delegate and honorary official during an 18 year career with the Australian Public Service. Karen’s work in the APS was mainly in employment services and industry development programs. She left to take up a position with the CPSU because of the Howard government’s decision to privatise the CES. Karen has Bachelor of Arts and a Graduate Diploma in Labor Studies from the University of Adelaide. In 2009 she was awarded a Governor’s Leadership Foundation Fellowship. She grew up in Port Pire, South Australia.
Nathan Lambert
Nathan Lambert
Assistant National Secretary, ALP

Nathan Lambert

Nathan Lambert is an Assistant National Secretary of the ALP. He was previously the 2010 Federal Campaign Director in Victoria and the Assistant State Secretary of the Victorian Branch. He grew up in the Mallee and Geelong, and has a Bachelor of Computer Science from the University of Melbourne.
John Utting
John Utting
Managing Director, UMR

John Utting

John, a dedicated research professional with over 30 years experience in the the industry, is managing director of the the full service research company UMR. UMR specializing in; social, political, reputation, brand, investor relations and issues management research, is the ALP's pollster. John has been involved in nearly every Federal and State campaign in the last 20 years. He has also worked extensively in New Zealand and Southeast Asia.
David Ritter
David Ritter
CEO of Greenpeace Australia Pacific

David Ritter

David Ritter is the Chief Executive Officer of Greenpeace Australia Pacific. David returned to Australia to take up this role in August 2012 after five years working in a senior campaigns position with Greenpeace in London. There he worked on the global issues of destructive fishing, deforestation and climate change. Prior to joining Greenpeace, David worked as an academic and a lawyer in both commercial and native title practices. David is a widely published commentator on politics, law, history and current affairs. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Faculty of Law of the University of Western Australia.
Nadine Flood
Nadine Flood
National Secretary, Community and Public Sector Union

Nadine Flood

Nadine Flood is the National Secretary of the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU). Nadine is a strong advocate for public sector jobs and services and a regular public commentator. Under her leadership the CPSU has organised and worked with government and employers to deliver strong outcomes. Commonwealth Government in 2011 recognised pay inequities in public service agencies employing mostly women and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees for the first time. This breakthrough won improvements for employees in 58 of the lowest paid Commonwealth agencies. CPSU has also delivered precedents such as the first agreement in Australia for employers to pay superannuation on unpaid parental leave, to start to bridge the gap in women’s retirement incomes. This precedent has now been picked up in various employers and industries. These achievements lead to Nadine being recognised in the 100 Women of Influence awards in 2012. Nadine is currently leading change in the CPSU to meet new challenges. Over 500 delegates at the CPSU National Leaders Conference supported the Shaping Our Future plan to be a modern, powerful and growing union capable of helping working people achieve their goals and through doing do, build a fairer Australia. Nadine grew up in a public service household in Canberra and holds a Bachelor of Economics. She started work with the CPSU in 1995 and has worked in various roles including coordinating the CPSU's involvement in the Your Rights At Work campaign. She has also worked with the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU). Nadine is a Director on the Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation Board and the Centre for Policy Development Board. She has been a representative at various Government forums including the Prime Minister's Economic Forum and the Tax Forum.
Cath Bowtell
Cath Bowtell
Victorian Labor President

Cath Bowtell

Cath is the President of the Labor Party in Victoria. Cath worked at the ACTU from 1995 -2010, as a researcher, advocate and industrial officer. Cath held senior positions and was responsible for policy formulation and implementation across a range of social policy areas, including gender equality. Before joining the ACTU, Cath spent 8 years as an organiser, industrial officer and Assistant State Secretary of the NTEU. From 2010 -July 2013 Cath was CEO of AGEST Super, with 140,000 members and $5bn in retirement savings. Before taking up the CEO role, Cath served on the Boards of AustralianSuper and AGEST Super. Cath was Labor's candidate in the federal seat of Melbourne in 2007 and 2010.
Garry Muratore
Garry Muratore
Spokesperson No McDonalds in the Dandenong Ranges

Garry Muratore

Garry has a background in corporate marketing essentially within the Printing and Graphic Arts industries. Twelve months ago after his local council and community lost a court battle with McDonald's to stop them building in Tecoma he offered his PR and marketing skills to his community's grassroots campaign. Having never been involved in such a campaign before, Garry applied corporate strategies and utilised a vast network of community campaigners to mount one of the highest profile anti-corporate campaigns Australia has seen. Utilising a Change.org petition and crowd funding via Indiegogo, the grassroots campaign was able to take their "beef" with McDonald's to their Chicago headquarters. This action saw Tecoma appear as lead stories on US nightly TV news as well covered by online, radio and print based news services. Back home in Australia the Chicago initiative saw Tecoma feature on The 7:30 Report, Today, Sunrise and The Project as well as TV news and commercial talkback radio. Garry is an ALP member who is married with two adult daughters working in the union movement
Senator Lisa Singh
Lisa Singh
Labor Senator for Tasmania

Senator Lisa Singh

Lisa Singh was elected as a Tasmanian Labor Senator in August 2010 and began her term on July 1, 2011. Prior to being elected to Parliament, Lisa served the community through working in the union movement, the non-government sector and the public service. She has also been actively involved in various community organisations, including the United Nations Association, Australian Republican Movement and as the former Director of the Tasmanian Working Women's Centre. She held a seat in the Tasmanian Parliament as a Labor Member for Denison from 2006 until March 2010. She became a Minister in 2008, and introduced significant reforms in her portfolio areas of workplace relations and corrections and consumer protection, as well as assisting the Premier on climate change. Lisa reformed workers compensation laws in Tasmania, established a whole of government asbestos policy, introduced reforms in the private rental market, introduced energy efficiency standards for residential properties and commenced a 10-year reform plan for the Tasmanian corrections system. Lisa was the founding CEO of Asbestos Free Tasmania Foundation, a support organisation for asbestos disease sufferers in Tasmania. Her interest in minimising the impact of asbestos-related disease continues as a Tasmanian Senator, and she co-founded the Parliamentary Group on Asbestos Related Disease (PGARD) in 2011. In 2013, she was appointed Acting Chair for the UNICEF Parliamentary Group. She serves on a number of Parliamentary Committees, including Environment and Communications and Treaties committees. Lisa holds a Bachelor of Arts with Honours (Social Geography) and Master of International Relations. Lisa is the mother of two teenage boys and lives in Hobart.
Tim Dixon
Tim Dixon
Managing Director, Purpose London

Tim Dixon

Tim Dixon is the political director at Purpose.com in New York, where he leads the political and communications strategies across Purpose's US and international projects, building new social movements, and the managing director of Purpose London. Purpose's work includes incubating new initiatives and working with partner organisations to achieve lasting change on issues of global concern. Tim's role is focused on identifying how to achieve that goal, through a mix of approaches ranging across large-scale public engagement, influencing key decision makers, changing organisational design, reforming institutions, shifting cultural attitudes and harnessing opportunities in traditional political cycles. From 2004 to 2010 Tim worked in Canberra for successive Labor leaders from opposition and into government, as Prime Minister’s chief speechwriter and senior economic adviser for Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard. Tim previously founded an educational publishing business, Leading Edge Education, which was acquired by Pearson in 2004. He is the author of Australia’s two best-selling economics textbooks and worked as a technology lawyer for international law firm Baker & McKenzie from 1999 to 2004. Tim is a board member of the Chifley Research Centre.
Sally McManus
Sally McManus
Secretary, ASU NSW & ACT

Sally McManus

Sally is the Secretary of the Australian Services Union in NSW and the ACT. She is also the Vice-President of UnionsNSW. The ASU represents workers in the community sector, public and private sectors. Sally has been an official of the ASU for 19 years and the Secretary for nine years. The ASU is a growing organising and campaigning union that has a track record of running successful large scale, long term campaigns such as the Equal Pay campaign for non-government community workers which resulted in very significant pay increases. Sally also has extensive experience campaigning online, she founded the Destroy the Joint Facebook page and directed the ACTU Digital campaign for the 2013 election.
John Faulkner
John Faulkner
Labor Senator for NSW

Senator John Faulkner

John Faulkner was born in Leeton, south-western New South Wales, and has lived most of his life in Sydney. Before entering politics, John worked as a specialist teacher of children with severe disabilities. He joined the ALP as a teenager and has held various positions within the party, including Assistant General Secretary NSW Branch, 1980/89, and National President in 2007/08. John entered the Australian Senate in 1989, and served as Leader of the Opposition in the Senate from 1996 – 2004. He has held several Ministerial and Shadow Ministerial portfolios during his parliamentary career, and served as Minister for Defence prior to the 2010 federal election, when he was re-elected for another term in the Senate, where he currently serves.
Tim Gartrell
Tim Gartrell
Campaign Director RECOGNISE

Tim Gartrell

Tim Gartrell is the Campaign Director for Recognise, the Reconciliation Australia project promoting recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the Australian Constitution. Prior joining Recognise, Tim was the CEO of Indigenous employment advocacy group GenerationOne and CEO of social research company Auspoll. From 2003 to 2008 Tim was the National Campaign Director and National Secretary of the Australian Labor Party. A highlight of this period was his role as Campaign Director in the successful election of the Rudd Labor Government in 2007. In his early career, Tim held various positions in the Labor movement as a union researcher, political adviser and campaign organiser. Tim has a Master of Arts (Communications Studies) (UniSA) and a Bachelor of Arts (UNSW).
Robert Hoge
Robert Hoge
Author

Robert Hoge

Robert Hoge has worked as a journalist, a speechwriter, a science communicator for the CSIRO and a political advisor to the former Queensland Premier and Deputy Premier. He has had numerous short stories, articles, interviews and other works published in Australia and overseas. He also enjoys photography, and is interested in disability advocacy and social engagement. While he never went far with his professional lawn bowls career, Robert did carry the Olympic torch in 2000. His memoir, Ugly, is about growing up ugly and disabled, and bad haircuts. He is married and lives in Brisbane. He has an eleven-year-old daughter who thinks his Olympic torch would make a really great cricket bat.
Shaun Wilson
Shaun Wilson
Lecturer, Macquarie University

Dr Shaun Wilson

Shaun Wilson is Senior Lecturer in the Department from July 2013. His major research projects sit at the intersection of political sociology, fiscal sociology, and political economy. With Joc Pixley, he is researching how banking elites construct the idea of central bank "independence" at a time when central banks are ongoing what many argue is "mission creep" well beyond their low inflation remits. Shaun is also collaborating with Joc Pixley on a research paper defending the idea of full employment against alternative progressive conceptions of redistribution and welfare. Given that the current economic crisis is also a severe jobs crisis, the importance of sustainable and meaningful job creation has never been greater. Yet employment has curiously receded to the margins of contemporary sociological debates. In the area of fiscal sociology, Shaun has been trying to understand the limits of Australian Labor's experiment with a "low tax social democracy" and is examining public attitudes to taxation that might provide clues to how Australian welfare state might be more sustainably financed without raising needless "tax resistance" among voters. Shaun is also interested in how unions influence politics and in the political sociology of the Australian electorate more generally. To this end, he is writing a new book which will provide new empirical insights into the political and social behaviour of Australia's "Battlers" -- that diverse group of working class, insecure and aspirational voters who decide Australian elections. Shaun also maintains active interests in comparative social policy and comparative politics and in quantitative methods in the social sciences.
Anna Yeatman
Anna Yeatman
Professor, Whitlam Institute, University of Western Sydney

Anna Yeatman

Anna Yeatman is a Professorial Research Fellow in the Whitlam Institute at the University of Western Sydney where she is responsible for the program 'human rights and public life'. Previous positions have included: Canada Research Chair, Department of Political Science, University of Alberta; and Chair of Sociology, Macquarie University. Her academic research interests are: Hannah Arendt's political thought; civil philosophy; public institutions and social life; and, the renewal of social democratic politics. She is also a guild certified Feldenkrais practitioner, and a member of the Emanuel synagogue.
Ryan Batchelor
Ryan Batchelor
Director, Chifley Research Centre

Ryan Batchelor

Ryan is a member of the Board of Directors of the Chifley Research Centre. He served the previous Labor Government as Policy Director to Prime Minister Julia Gillard and as Chief of Staff and Senior Adviser to Minister Jenny Macklin. He also worked as Labor’s Campaign Policy Director during the 2010 and 2013 Federal Elections. He is currently implementing a range of early childhood policies as a full time dad and tackling new policy questions, such as ‘is it nap time yet?’
Jim Chalmers
Jim Chalmers
Member for Rankin

Jim Chalmers

Jim Chalmers MP is the new federal Labor Member for Rankin, to the south of Brisbane. Prior to his election he was the Executive Director of the Chifley Research Centre and, before that, Chief of Staff to the Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer. He has a PhD in political science and international relations and a first class honours degree in public policy. His book Glory Daze was published in July 2013 and he tweets as @JEChalmers.
Penny Wong
Penny Wong
Senator for South Australia

Penny Wong

Penny was born in Sabah, Malaysia and moved to Australia when she was eight years old, to Coromandel Valley in the Adelaide hills. Penny was a student at Coromandel Valley Primary School, then attended Scotch College on a scholarship. She graduated from the University of Adelaide in 1992 with a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Law (Hons). Penny began working for the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union while at University, and worked with the union until 1994 during which time she was an elected organiser and industrial officer. Penny was a ministerial advisor to the Carr Government in New South Wales between 1995 and 1996, concentrating on forest policy, before returning to Adelaide to practise law with local firm Duncan Basheer Hannon. Penny was elected to the Senate in 2002. In 2007, she was appointed Minister for Climate Change and Water, a portfolio that was later expanded to include Energy Efficiency. Penny was the Minister for Finance and Deregulation from September 2010 until September 2013. Penny is the duty Senator for the electorates of Mayo and Hindmarsh.
David McKnight
David McKnight
Research Fellow, UNSW

David McKnight

Dr David McKnight is a research fellow at the University of New South Wales, specializing in politics, media and history. He recently co-authored Big Coal: Australia’s Dirtiest Habit which discusses Australia's addiction to coal. His also wrote Rupert Murdoch: an investigation of political power and with Robert Manne he co-edited Good Bye To All That? a study of free market economics after the global finance crisis. He discussed the renewal of the progressive vision in Beyond Right and Left. He formerly worked on the Sydney Morning Herald and on ABC TV’s Four Corners.
Marcus Strom
Marcus Strom
NSW Secretary, MEAA

Marcus Strom

Marcus Strom is the NSW Secretary of the Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance. He also has national responsibility for MEAA’s future of journalism campaign. A journalist for nearly 20 years, Marcus was most recently deputy foreign editor of The Sydney Morning Herald. He has a science degree and started his journalism career in trade publications and freelancing in London and Sydney.
Erinn Swan
Erinn Swan
Musician and Online Communications Strategy

Erinn Swan

Erinn is an Artist and social media and marketing professional from Brisbane, Australia. Over the last ten years Erinn has worked as an international songwriter, performer, A&R Representative for Sony Music, actor, online blogger, presenter and social media consultant and correspondent. In more recent years she has used these skills to to pursue her passion for politics and the Australian Labor Party, taking a leading role in digital communications strategy for the National Federal election campaign in 2013.
Phil Ireland
Phil Ireland
NSW LEAN Convener and Director of Operations at United Voice NSW

Phil Ireland

Phil Ireland is the NSW Convenor of the Labor Environmental Action Network. He has been involved in progressive advocacy and campaigning for over 10 years, having worked with several aid organisations and unions. He has recently worked for Oxfam at a range of United Nations climate change negotiations both providing policy support to Pacific Island governments and lobbying the Australian and New Zealand governments. Phil is currently the Director of Operations at United Voice NSW, where he oversees politics, communications, membership and finance for the Union. United Voice is one of the largest progressive unions in Australia. Phil also holds a Ph.D. in development and climate change adaptation. He has published widely in both the media and academic literature.
Louise Tarrant
Louise Tarrant
National Secretary, United Voice

Louise Tarrant

Louise Tarrant is a lifelong unionist who is now leading United Voice, one of Australia’s largest unions. Louise is passionate about the issues that affect her members, such as low pay, insecurity and lack of respect at work. Under her leadership, United Voice has emerged as one of the country’s most progressive and innovative commentators on social, economic and industrial issues.
Lyndon Schneiders
Lyndon Schneiders
National Director, Wilderness Society

Lyndon Schneiders

Lyndon has been an outspoken advocate for the conservation of nature and wilderness since 1993. He has led campaigns across Australia from areas as diverse as the tall forests of Tasmania, to the vast tropical landscapes of the Kimberley, Gulf Country and Cape York and the into the heart of Australia through the vast inland river systems of the Channel Country. Lyndon has been the National Director of the Wilderness Society since 2011 after many years as the Campaign Manager for the Wilderness Society in Queensland. Since becoming Director, Lyndon has worked in a unique and effective collaborative management team to overhaul the operations of the organisation and to finalise a new and ambitious campaign agenda for the next decade based upon the development of a continental scale blueprint for the conservation of nature and the need to move rapidly from fossil fuel exploitation. The Wilderness Society is one of Australia's largest environment groups with 40 000 members and over 250 000 supporters across the country.
Jo-anne Schofield
Jo-anne Schofield
Executive Director, Catalyst Australia

Jo-anne Schofield

Jo-anne Schofield is the Executive Director of Catalyst Australia Inc. Prior to taking up this role, Jo-anne spent two years working in the NSW public sector. She was formerly Assistant National Secretary of the Liquor Hospitality and Miscellaneous Workers Union (now United Voice), having worked for that union for 14 years in a variety of research, legal and policy roles. Jo-anne has previously served on the Board of industry superannuation, cultural and vocational education and training bodies. She has a BA (Hons) first class from the University of NSW.
David Barrow
David Barrow
Acting Coalition Director, Sydney Alliance

David Barrow

David is an experienced organiser working for social change and organisational renewal. David plays a leadership role within the Uniting Church, was the chair of the National Christian Youth Convention and is a delegate of the NSW Synod. Formerly David was a board member of the Australian Youth Affairs Coalition, Australian Youth Forum Steering Committee and a student representative of the UNESCO World Conference on Higher Education. He was the President of the UTS Union Board, then the National Union of Students. As National President he campaigned in Australia and India to secure the 2009 reforms of International student rights and won increases to youth allowance for rural and poor students. David is the Acting Coalition Director of the Sydney Alliance. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Communications and International Studies. He is a nostalgic Coastie.
Kurt Iveson
Kurt Iveson
Senior Lecturer in Urban Geography, Uni of Sydney

Kurt Iveson

Dr Kurt Iveson is a Senior Lecturer in Urban Geography at the University of Sydney, and Co-Chair of the Sydney Alliance Transport Research Action Team. He's also on the Sydney Uni Branch Committee of the National Tertiary Education Union. Kurt is primarily interested in the question of how social justice can be achieved in cities. His research is informed by the idea that an inclusive urban public realm is vital for citizenship and democracy. In looking at how the urban public realm is changing with the widespread diffusion of digital communications technologies, he has also become very interested in the question of privacy and its transformation. He's currently exploring these issues in a research project called 'The Politics of Location' funded by the Australian Research Council. Kurt is author of the book Publics and the City, co-author of the book Planning and Diversity in the City, and has written numerous articles on the politics of publicity and privacy in cities. He writes a blog called Cities and Citizenship, and co-authors a blog called The Politics of Location.
David Morris
David Morris
National Director, Australian Republican Movement

David Morris

David Morris is the National Director of the Australian Republican Movement. He is a former diplomat, senior political adviser, and consultant on community engagement and international trade and investment. David has designed and led dialogue and deliberative processes at regional, national and international levels. He has represented Australia on diplomatic postings and on high-level missions to China, Hungary, India, Ireland, Japan, Malaysia, the United States and the United Nations. David has published on UN peacekeeping, Australia-China engagement, city branding and an Australian republic. He was the inaugural Executive Director of the China Studies Centre, which he established at the University of Sydney, and is a graduate of Henley Business School and an Honorary Associate, Graduate School of Government, University of Sydney.
Michelle Grady
Michelle Grady
Director, Oceans and Western Australia, Pew Environment Group

Michelle Grady

Michelle Grady is the Director of the Pew Environment Groups' Oceans program in Australia, and it's Western Australian programs on land and sea. Michelle is an environmental advocate, lobbyist and director, having worked for a number of Australian and international NGOs over the past 20 years. Michelle has also worked as an adviser to Government and to a number of Senators. Most recently Michelle led the Save Our Marine Life alliance campaign for the National Network of Marine Parks.
Emma Maiden
Emma Maiden
Deputy Assistant Secretary, Unions NSW

Emma Maiden

Emma is a law and economics graduate. She has been Deputy Assistant Secretary at Unions NSW since August 2011. Prior to that, she held various legal and industrial roles at Unions NSW, Slater & Gordon, the Community and Public Sector Union, the Australian Services Union, WorkCover NSW and the Australian Manufacturing Workers' Union. Since coming to Unions NSW, Emma's proudest moment has been her involvement in the fight against the cuts to workers compensation in NSW. Emma is also a Director of legalsuper and serves on the Correctional Industries Consultative Council and the Contract Cleaning Industry Long Service Leave Committee.
Jackie Trad MP
Jackie Trad MP
Member for South Brisbane

Jackie Trad

Jackie was elected to the Queensland Parliament on 28 April 2012 as the Member for South Brisbane. Jackie is the Shadow Minister for Transport, Environment and Heritage Protection, Small Business, Consumer Affairs and The Arts. Since her election, Jackie has worked to hold the massive LNP majority in Queensland to account, campaigning actively in her community against LNP job cuts and the loss of health, education and public transport services. Jackie believes that progressive politics needs a strong voice in Queensland and has worked hard with local communities to campaign against an unprecedented wind back of environmental protections and sustainable development practices, a rescinding of civil union rights for same sex couples in Queensland and the axing of funding for Arts programs, including the Premier’s Literary Awards. Jackie has 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 dual influences of economics and politics on public decision-making and policy development drew her to a career in politics and government where she has performed a number of key roles including senior advisor, senior policy officer and Assistant State Secretary of the Australian Labor Party (Queensland Branch). Jackie is a second generation Lebanese migrant who grew up in a small business family on the inner-Southside of Brisbane. Jackie now lives in West End with her husband, Damien where they are raising their two children.
Brad Chilcott
Brad Chilcott
National Director, Welcome to Australia

Brad Chilcott

In April 2011, Brad founded a movement called ‘Welcome to Australia’ designed engage everyday Australians in the task of cultivating a culture of welcome in their local communities and nation. Welcome to Australia is now a national organisation with branches in 6 cities and a large network of volunteers, partners and more than 70 celebrity and high-profile ambassadors. Welcome to Australia is also responsible for the annual "Walk Together" event which in 2013 took place in 16 cities on the same day in June, involving more than 10 000 people celebrating diversity and calling for a more compassionate and inclusive public discourse. In 2012, Prime Minister Julia Gillard appointed Brad as a People of Australia Ambassador, he was a state finalist in the Australian of the Year (Local Hero) and was recognised with a Governor’s Multicultural Award in the Individual category. Brad has also worked as an Adviser to then-Immigration Minister, Tony Burke, in the lead-up to the 2013 Federal election. Brad is married to Rachel and the father of three beautiful children. He is the Lead Pastor of the Activate Community, a progressive pentecostal church in Bowden, Adelaide and likes art house film, indie music and nursing his addiction to specialty coffee.
Rose Jackson
Rose Jackson
Manager, Politics and Communications, United Voice National Office

Rose Jackson

Rose Jackson is the Manager - Politics and Communications at the United Voice National Office. Rose was formerly a Councillor on Waverley Council, President of the National Union of Students and the University of Sydney SRC. She is a proud product of the public education system, proud beneficiary of the activism of second wave feminists and proud member of a union and the ALP. She spends her time campaigning to support and improve all these of these movements and many more, reading, drinking tea and swimming.
Eric Sidoti
Eric Sidoti
Director, the Whitlam Institute

Eric Sidoti

Eric Sidoti has been actively engaged in public policy development, strategic planning and communications throughout his career. For over a decade, prior to his appointment at the Whitlam Institute, Eric managed Strategic Options, his own small consultancy. He has been engaged in projects across a broad range of policy fields (education, training and employment; human rights; development; Indigenous land rights and education; humanitarian law and conflict; and welfare issues). Eric was the Executive Director of the Human Rights Council of Australia (HRCA) 1992 - 1995, Communications Director of Amnesty International Australia 1987 – 1992 and National Secretary of the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace 1985-1987. Eric commenced with the Whitlam Institute in mid 2007.
Saffron Zomer
Saffron Zomer
Australian Conservation Foundation

Saffron Zomer

Saffron Zomer is the National Liaison Officer with the Australian Conservation Foundation, based in Canberra. With a professional background in law and broad experience in the NGO sector, Saffron provides parliamentary liaison and political strategy advice to the ACF campaign team. Prior to joining the ACF Saffron was with the Federation for Ethnic Communities Councils of Australia, and worked for several years in the US as a State Program Director with the US Public Interest Research Group, where she successfully campaigned to make Massachusetts the second state in the US to pass a state-wide carbon cap, helped introduce reforms to enable more low income students to access tertiary education in California, and ran a community organising program which trained over 300 young progressive activists each year. Saffron is a graduate of Monash University and the Victorian College of the Arts, and was formerly a professional freelance musician.
Penny Sharpe
Penny Sharpe
Member of the NSW Legislative Council

Penny Sharpe

Penny has been a member of the NSW Legislative Council since October 2005. She is currently the NSW Labor Opposition's spokesperson on Transport. Penny was the first lesbian who was prepared to be identified as such elected to the NSW Parliament. Penny has been a voice for GLBTI law reform in NSW and has worked with people of all political persuasions on issues such as recognition of same sex parents, same sex adoption, HIV/AIDS, homophobic bullying in schools and transgender and intersex law reform. This week Penny was the member of the NSW Cross Party Working Group on Marriage Equality who introduced the NSW Same Sex Marriage Bill into the NSW Parliament. Penny has been a member of Rainbow Labor since her first attendance at ALP National Conference where she was in a room with 4 people. She now is happy that there are more than enough people for RL to exist in every state and territory, that there are national co - convernors and that her role is confined to being boss, mostly in the background.
Jane Hayden
Jane Hayden
CEO lifeline Australia

Jane Hayden

Jane Hayden was appointed as Lifeline National Office CEO in 2012 after 3 years leading their Service Support team. Jane’s previous background was as a Prtner with a national business and IT national consulting firm. She is a Certified Practising Accountant, holds a Master of Business Administration and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Jane also serves as a director on the Boards of Volunteering Australia, Volunteering ACT and the Communities Council of Australia.
Kaila Murnain
Kaila Murnain
NSW Labor Assistant General Secretary

Kaila Murnain

Kaila Murnain is the Assistant General Secretary of the Australian Labor Party (NSW Branch), Kaila joined the Labor Party in 2001 after campaigning for Australia to become a republic as part of the referendum in 1999. Kaila was previously a campaign Organiser for NSW Labor and has served as the Adviser for Aging and Disability Services in the NSW Labor Government. Kaila completed a B Social Science at UNSW and is currently completing an MBA at AGSM.
Paul Nicolarakis
Paul Nicolarakis
Physician informaticist

Paul Nicolarakis

Dr Paul Nicolarakis graduated from Sydney University with degrees in neuroscience and medicine, shortly thereafter leaving clinical practice to explore the interface between health, data, commerce and policy, most recently as a senior adviser to the former Federal Health Minister, Tanya Plibersek M.P., and before then as a clinical lead at Microsoft, supporting their international efforts to address health challenges like the rise of type two diabetes through the application of innovative technologies.
Hannah Quadrio
Hannah Quadrio
President, NSW Society of Labor Lawyers

Hannah Quadrio

Hannah is the President of the NSW Society of Labor Lawyers, one of the fastest growing Labor-supportive organisations in the country. NSW Labor Lawyers brings together progressive lawyers, law students and legal academics to advocate for law and policy reform that will benefit the wider community. Hannah works as a solicitor at Gilbert + Tobin law firm. Her main practice is commercial, but she is also an active contributor to the firm’s pro bono practice. Hannah was part of the team who defended David Hicks when the Commonwealth tried to claim proceeds from his book, “Guantanamo”. Hannah is also a volunteer solicitor with the Homeless Persons Legal Service (HPLS) and the Refugee Advice and Casework Service (RACS). During her university years, Hannah served as the NSW Director of the Oaktree Foundation and later, the President of the Sydney University Law Society (SULS). In those leadership roles she was involved in lobbying for increased foreign aid, and better funding for mental health services. Hannah is a committed Christian and an active member of York St Anglican Church (near Wynyard Station). Hannah has a long-held interest in how faith and politics intersect. In 2008 she completed an honours thesis examining how the “faith factor” manifests in the work of faith-related service providers that receive government funding. Hannah lives in Coogee and is married to Tim. Together, they love ocean swimming, coffee and newspapers (in that order!)
Kirsten Andrews
Kirsten Andrews
University of Sydney

Kirsten Andrews

Kirsten Andrews is the Head of Media and PR at the University of Sydney. Prior to that, she worked as National Media Communications Manager for the National Heart Foundation and for Federal and State Labor MPs, including as Chief of Staff to Federal Minister Tony Burke and Deputy Director of Communications to NSW Premier, Morris Iemma. Her views on liberty and democracy have been formed by working at the Heart Foundation where she campaigned for preventative health measures and in a wide range of government portfolios including child protection, local government, agriculture and emergency services. Kirsten sits on the Board of St George Community Transport and edits a blog at www.workingmumsaustralia.com.au, where she has built a community where mums discuss everything from the Family Tax Rebate to what to do with your kids' art from day care. She has also been active in the campaign for an Australian Republic and was elected as an ARM delegate to the Constitutional Convention in 1998. Kirsten holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies (Hons) from the University of South Australia.
Jason Li
Jason Li
CEO, Yatsen Group

Jason Li

Jason has an Arts/Law degree from the University of Sydney and a Masters of Law from New York University Law School, where he was Australia’s Hauser Global Fellow for 2000. From 1996 – 1998, Jason worked for the United Nations in the Netherlands and in 1998, returned to Australia to lead a number of political campaigns including the campaign for Australia to become a Republic during the 1999 Republic Referendum. Jason is currently a Director of the George Institute for Global Health and a Governing Member of the Smith Family. Jason was immediate past Vice Chair of the Australia-China Chamber of Commerce in Beijing and formerly Youth Chair of the NSW Ethnic Communities Council, as well as cultural spokesperson for NSW Tourism during the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. He was also a Director of the Sydney Institute, the National Centre for Volunteering and the New South Wales Government’s Sydney Metropolitan Strategy Group. Jason was awarded the 2002 Eisenhower Fellowship with which he travelled to the USA to study the intersection of corporate, political and community interests. In 2008, he was part of the Australian Prime Minister’s 2020 Summit on the future of Australia and in 2009, he was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Jason speaks fluent Mandarin, Cantonese, German and Dutch. He started his career as an M&A lawyer in Australia. After founding and selling a start-up focused on professional services in 2002, he joined Insurance Australia Group to lead the company’s activities in sustainability and climate change resulting in IAG being awarded the Sustainable Company of the Year Award by Ethical Investor Magazine in 2004. In 2004, he was appointed IAG’s Head of China Strategy and moved to China as Head of Sales & Marketing for IAG’s China operations in 2005. His work on road safety in China won the China PR Association Silver Medal for Best Campaign and the Economic Observer Award for Most Creative Campaign in 2005. Jason is a partner and founder of the Yatsen Group, a commercial group headquartered in Beijing with interests in mining & resources, technology and financial services businesses in Asia.
Cameron Murphy
Cameron Murphy
Civil Libertarian

Cameron Murphy

Cameron lives in Kings Cross, and works in Castlereagh Street as a manager for Coverforce - an insurance company which provides group income protection insurance for workers and broking services for small businesses and community groups. Cameron is the Secretary of the Australian Council for Civil Liberties from 2009. He was the President of the NSW Council for Civil Liberties from 1998 to 2013. He has run many campaigns on a variety of rights issues surrounding misuse of power by authorities against individuals, fought to end recent attempts to reintroduce the death penalty in Australian states and to stem the excesses of anti terrorism legislation. Cameron was a Board Member of the Anti-Discrimination Board of NSW from 2003 - 2009 and a full time Member of the Consumer, Trader and Tenancy Tribunal of NSW from 2003 - 2008. He has worked for State and Federal MP's in the past and for the Legal Aid Commission of NSW. In his Anti-Discrimination Board role Cameron fought against discrimination in the areas of HIV/AIDS and fought for trans-gender equality, for gender equality in employment, for same sex marriage rights and against discrimination based on race, religion and ethnicity. He has a proven record of activism in the community on matters of principle and rights by standing up for ordinary people against powerful interests.
Laura Smyth
Laura Smyth
Lawyer

Laura Smyth

Laura served as Member for La Trobe in the Commonwealth Parliament during the last term. Prior to entering Parliament, she had worked as a commercial lawyer for over 8 years for Maddocks, Deacons (now Norton Rose Fulbright) and Holding Redlich. She holds a Bachelor of Science, a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) from Monash University and a Master of Laws from Melbourne University, and has a keen interest in international law and development. Laura has been a member of the ALP since 1993. She was deputy chair of Labor's national platform committee in 2011 and will continue to make a contribution to policy development and campaigns across Melbourne.
Sam McLean
Sam McLean
National Director, GetUp

Sam McLean

Sam McLean is National Director of GetUp, Australia’s leading community campaigning organisation, with more than 700,000 online members. Sam has worked with GetUp for seven years, spearheading key campaigns on issues such as mental health, renewable energy, human rights, pokies reform and international aid. He has also worked as an international climate change campaigner at Avaaz.org. Sam is a Director of Australian Progress, and of ControlShift Labs, which provides platforms for local activists to start and run campaigns through unions and NGOs across the world.
Lilian Spencer
Lilian Spencer
Co-founder of Make Believe

Lilian Spencer

One of the foremost experts in digital campaigning, email writing, messaging and narrative development, she consults to progressive advocacy and government clients in Australia and overseas. She was a co-founder of campaigning agency, Make Believe, a campaign director at GetUp and an online campaigner on the Labor Party’s 2013 campaign.
Bernard Zuel
Bernard Zuel
Music Journalist

Bernard Zuel

Bernard Zuel is an Australian music journalist. Zuel has written for Fairfax Media newspapers, The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald since 1992. As of August 2013 he is the senior music writer and reviewer for Fairfax Media.

With new speakers being announced daily.