Helen has always been involved in and passionate about the arts and its importance in the community.
She was an arts teacher for 30 years in Melbourne and South West Victoria.
Currently she is a volunteer and Vice President of The F Project, an artist run initiative in Warrnambool and amongst other roles, manages the gallery and gift shop alongside other wonderful volunteers. She is also President of The F Project Cinema a small film society screening arthouse films.
As an artist she works with recycled material assemblage and sculpture using metal, wood and found objects and has taken part in many group exhibitions.
She also creates small wearable artworks with a hint of steam punk, using watch parts and other discarded objects.
She is co-director of a small gallery Customs House Gallery previously in Warrnambool, now Hawkesdale which features works on paper, prints and paintings and Australian Children’s Book Illustrations.
Dr Bernadette Northeast
Bernadette has a PhD in desert fish genetics and is the Deputy Chair Victorian Fisheries Authority, Deputy Chair South West Healthcare, Director PrimeSafe and Chair Wimmera South West Family Violence Partnership.
Bernadette (GAICD) is involved as a volunteer with a number of organisations in the region. She is Deputy Controller of Warrnambool SES, Victorian Surf Life Saving Official, Junior basketball coach, Warrnambool Motorcycle Club membership officer, Member of Australian Institute of Company Directors Great South Coast Committee and founding steering committee member of Leadership Great South Coast
Dan Tehan MP
Dan Tehan was elected as the Federal Member for Wannon at the 2010 federal election and is the current Shadow Minister for Immigration and Citizenship.
Dan grew up on a family farm in rural Victoria, with his three brothers and two sisters.
Dan’s career has always been involved in achieving outcomes for rural and regional communities. As a diplomat, Senior Adviser to the Deputy Prime Minister and Chief of Staff to the Minister for Small Business and Tourism he worked on real issues that have a direct impact on our communities: like reducing the level of regulation on small business, assisting farmers to sell their goods overseas and improving the standard of mobile phone and internet services in country areas.
Dan was sworn in as Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment on 22 December 2020.
Mr Tehan served as Minister for Education from 28 August 2018. Prior to this, he was the Minister for Social Services, and preceding this, the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Minister for Defence Personnel, Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Cyber Security and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of Anzac.
Mr Tehan was elected to Federal Parliament in 2010 and has held positions including as the Chair of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security; Co-Chair of the Parliamentary Friends of Youth Mental Health, and; Chair of the Coalition Friends of Tourism.
Co-founder of One Day Studios and The F Project, owner of Art Everywhere, and LGSC Alumni. Gareth is a passionate advocate for community arts and has 30 years of experience in the field. Highlights of his volunteering work include serving with The F Project, the South West Film Festival, Port Fairy Winter Weekends, the South West Community Foundation, and representing the local arts community in Malaysia and China with the Kanawinka Global Geopark. He currently continues to serve as President of The F Project Committee and One Day Studios.
Carlos Lopez is currently Assistant Principal at Brauer College in Warrnambool.
As a non-English speaker Carlos and his family migrated to Australia at age 16 and trained as an engineer through Monash University. He re-trained as a maths and physics teacher and worked in the Northern Territory for a number of years before living overseas in third world countries. He is a passionate leader who has worked as an educational leader in regional Victoria since 2010.
As a passionate educator Carlos has worked in leading teaching and learning in some of Melbourne’s most disadvantaged schools, he took on Assistant and Acting Principal Jobs in international schools in the middle east and returned to Australia to work in remote Victorian communities such as Murrayville in the Mallee. Carlos’ family relocated to Horsham College where Carlos led the teaching and learning initiatives which placed Horsham College as the most successful large public regional school in Victoria. Carlos took on the Principalship of Stawell Secondary College from 2018 to 2022 and has since relocated to Warrnambool where he has taken on the Assistant Principal and temporary Acting Principal roles at Brauer College.
Mark is currently the Chief Executive Officer of South West TAFE, a position he has held since 2015 after initially joining the Institute as Finance Manager in 2003. He was appointed to the role of Executive Manager, Corporate Services in 2005, incorporating the role of Chief Finance Officer and appointed as the Institute Board Secretary in 2013.
Prior to joining South West TAFE, Mark gained experience as a Finance Manager in the television and radio industry in both Australia and the United Kingdom.
He has previously been Chair of the South West Local Learning and Employment Network (LLEN) and is a Board member of Foodshare.
Mark has a Bachelor of Business (Accounting), Certified Practising Accountant (CPA), and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD)
Alistair has been involved in the training and education sectors for over 25 years, working firstly in secondary education before spending time in a number of managerial roles within the TAFE sector.
Alistair moved to the university sector at the beginning of 2009 undertaking a major project for Deakin University that would assist in addressing rural and regional access to higher education. He then spent four years as the Director of Education Strategy before taking up his current role as Director of Warrnambool Campus at the beginning of 2017.
In this role he is responsible for the provision of leadership and oversight of the operations on campus with a particularly focus on designing, implementing and evaluating future initiatives and strategies that will benefit the Universities students, research impact and the broader communities of south west Victoria in which it operates.
Damian Farley is the Coordinator of Warrnambool College’s WAVE Campus. WAVE is a Senior Re-engagement Program offering VCAL to students aged 15-19 who have not been able to succeed in mainstream settings. Many WAVE students are at-risk, disengaged and can present with complex needs and challenging behaviours. WAVE offers a more flexible and individualised learning environment, with staff that are experienced in supporting vulnerable learners.
Damian grew up in Warrnambool, left at 18 for study at Melbourne University where he completed a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Secondary Teaching, and returned in 2011.
Damian is in his 19th year of teaching. He began his career at Caulfield Park Community School which him an understanding of, and a desire to teach, vulnerable and marginalised young people. Damian then spent 2 years in the UK teaching across a range of settings including primary and secondary schools, elite private schools where teachers wore full academic robes, as well as struggling schools in deprived areas which were often very unsafe. Damian then taught for 4 years at Buckley Park College in Essendon, holding leadership roles in teaching and year level coordination.
Damian returned to Warrnambool with his wife Olivia (also a Warrnambool local, working in health care) in 2011, and taught for 2 years at the Warrnambool College main campus, before taking on the WAVE Coordination role in late 2012. Damian is in his 9th year of WAVE coordination and remains committed to the learning needs of at-risk young people, and is proud to be an advocate for them.
Outside of school and work Damian is a proud father of 2 happy children, a partner of an amazing health care professional, and is also an avid reader, gardener, martial-artist and home-brewer.
Andrew is the Jobs, Skills and Pathways Manager is currently overseeing the Senior Secondary reforms for the Wimmera South West education department. His focus is supporting schools with new careers reforms, applied learning pathways and VET in schools programs. This includes data analysis and looking to develop systems for improved delivery. Prior to this Andrew ran his own national Registered Training Organisation across six states and territories. This focussed on supporting people to gain qualifications for work and some workforce development planning. He has previously worked in employment services, apprenticeship services and early in his career as a Primary teacher.
Simon is firstly and most importantly, a Dad of two amazing young girls doing life their way, a Husband to the an amazing friend and passionate local business leader, a son, a brother, friend, coach, leader and workmate.
Simon is the Principal at Merrivale Primary School where he has been the Educational Leader since 2020.
Prior to him taking up the Principal role at Merrivale, he was Principal at Woolsthorpe Primary School for 10 years where he transformed the Learning Leadership Culture and lead the design and building of their new school.
He worked as a consultant in Department of Education and Training for 4 years as a Leadership and e-learning coach. He is an Apple Distinguished Educator connected locally and globally through professional networks and the Apple Institute program.
Simon has been involved in and led numerous system leadership projects and professional learning initiatives in our region. In 2014, in collaboration with Deakin University, Daniel Watson (Principal at Woodford) and Vicki Jellie (Peters Project) he started the Student Leaders Congress project, a localised leadership project designed to challenge and rethink how students and young people learn to be leaders ‘by doing’ and make a difference in our communities.
Simon was on the South West Maker Fest committee, leading in partnership with South West TAFE the ‘South West Maker Fest in 2018-2020, a localised STEAM learning and maker festival for schools, inventors, crafters and tinkerers aimed at challenging thinking around learning design and innovation.
Simon is passionate about Leadership and the difference Connected, Caring and Community minded Leaders can make in people lives. He continues to adapt and learn new and creative ways to lead High Performance Cultures within Teams and people he works with.
Pasi Sahlberg is a Finnish educator, thought-leader and author who has worked as schoolteacher, teacher educator, researcher, and policy advisor in Finland and has, advised education system leaders around the world. He has worked as senior education specialist at the World Bank (in Washington, DC), a lead education expert at the European Training Foundation (in Torino, Italy), a director general at the Finland’s Ministry of Education (in Helsinki, Finland), and a visiting Professor at Harvard University. His most recent books are “Let the Children Play: How more play will save our schools and help children thrive” (2019), and ”In Teachers We Trust: The Finnish way to world-class schools” (2021). He is a professor of education at Southern Cross University in Lismore.
Fiona Patten MP
Fiona Patten is a Member of the Legislative Council for the Northern Metropolitan Region. She was first elected to the Legislative Council in 2014 and is Leader of Fiona Patten’s Reason Party.
Fiona is Chair of the Legislative Council Legal and Social Issues Committee and a member of the Legislative Council Procedure Committee and the Scrutiny of Acts and Regulations Committee.
Fiona’s decision to run for political office came after 20 years of advocating for the rights of small
business owners, sexual health organisations, sexual freedoms and censorship reforms.
Roma Britnell MP
Roma Britnell is the Member for South-West Coast in the Victorian State Parliament. She was first elected to the Legislative Assembly in 2015 and is the Shadow Minister for Ports and Freight, Shadow Minister for Consumer Affairs, and Secretary to Shadow Cabinet.
Before entering Parliament, Roma was a registered nurse for more than 30 years. For 15 of those, she worked in community health as the manager of Kirrae Health Service in the Framlingham Aboriginal Community. She also ran a successful dairy farm business and was heavily involved in different
agriculture sector boards.
Geraldine Atkinson is a proud Bangerang/Wiradjuri woman and Co-Chair of the First Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria. She was elected to the Assembly in November 2019 as a candidate from the North East Region.
For over 40 years, Geraldine has been instrumental in driving government and policy reform in Aboriginal education. From starting in the field as an Aboriginal teacher’s aide in 1976, Geraldine moved forward to become the President of the Victorian Aboriginal Education Association Inc. (VAEAI), a role she has held since 1999.
Geraldine obtained a Bachelor of Education from Deakin University in 2013 and went on to obtain her Masters of Education in 2019. In early 2020, her leadership in Aboriginal education was further recognised with the awarding of a Deakin University Honorary Doctorate Award. Beyond the field of education, Geraldine has been a strong voice in areas such as justice, reconciliation and family violence.
Morgana is an internationally experienced business leader and non-executive director, skilled in strategy, IT and organisational transformation in complex corporate and for purpose organisations. A twice published author on strategy and technology for International organisations, Morgana has a comprehensive understanding of the issues and opportunities faced by boards and senior leadership. She enjoys working at the leadership and boards levels of multinational organisations to achieve improved strategic, technology and social outcomes. Morgana is the Board Chair of, the technology for social justice organisation, Infoxchange, a Non-Executive Director at Wodonga Institute of TAFE and CARE Australia. She is a Fellow of the Australian Institute off Company Directors.
As a director Damon wrote, directed and performed vocals for the 2011 winning Tropfest short film, Animal Beatbox. That Sugar Film was Damon’s first feature length film as a director and won Best Documentary at the Australian AACTA awards and became the highest grossing Australian documentary of all time at the cinema. That Sugar book is his first published book and was published in 9 languages.
Damon’s next film, 2040, is an innovative feature documentary that explores what the future would look like by the year 2040 if we embraced the best solutions already available to us to improve our planet. It was released in April 2019 and now sits in the top 4 highest grossing documentaries of all time in Australia at the cinema. Regenerating Australia is his most recent project which launched in March 2022, with a national tour of Australia. The film is accompanied with an impact campaign that includes a significant financial fund to develop and scale community solutions
Damon is a sought-after speaker and spoke at the 2019 UN Climate Action Summit in New York. Damon has also addressed numerous Governments around the world and spoken at organisations such as Google, BP, PWC, ANZ, Zurich, CBA, HESTA and many more. He was a nomination for NSW for Australian of the Year in 2020.
Jason (2015 Alumni) previously worked with the Southern Grampians Shire Council as the Manager of Recreation. He is passionate about climate adaptation and how all of us as individuals can minimise the impact (our footprints) on this world. Through the use of permaculture principles and embracing advancements and innovations in technology Jason is actively working toward living in a self-sustaining system and maintaining a self-sufficient lifestyle.
“Graeme is an experienced science communicator and extension leader within Victoria’s Primary Industries sector. He leads a cross-industry team who work with farm and service provider audiences and have delivered over 1000 sessions on climate and carbon issues over the last 10 years. These sessions are via request, demonstrating an approach that is meeting the needs of the farming community and packaging key climate information and research to meet the needs of rural audiences. Graeme can offer practical observations on approaches for better communicating climate and carbon issues in rural Australia.
He has a 30 year background in science and policy communication, farm planning, catchment management, forestry and agriculture industry development, land use change and socioeconomic impact programs. He is currently Agriculture Victoria’s Climate Specialist leading an innovative program that has created products such as the Climate Dogs, climate and carbon tools/newsletters (The Break, Milking the Weather), capability development, webinar series and local “upscaling” sessions which assist farmers in making sense of emerging climate and carbon information and applying this to fit within their local farm systems and decision making.
He is passionate about assisting agriculture leaders and rural communities in making sense of the climate and carbon story, so they can make well informed decisions and get on with growing food and fibre while creating a vibrant future for agricultural communities.”
Mark Wootton AO is a geographer by training and a farmer by practice. With his wife, Eve Kantor AO, he produces carbon neutral beef, lamb, wool and timber at Jigsaw Farms in Hamilton in SW Victoria. Jigsaw Farms is a 3,500 hectare high input, high output livestock operation spanning 6 properties. The operation runs 25,000 Merino ewes, 620 head of cattle and the family have planted out 624 hectares to tree plantations. Mark is also currently the Deputy Chairperson of the Victorian Agriculture Climate Change Council and Chair of the Independent Advisory Panel for the Victorian Government’s Agriculture Energy Investment Plan. www.jigsawfarms.com.au
Currently working as Senior Clinical Manager of Mental & Alcohol and Other Drugs at Western Victoria Primary Health Network, Michael has significant experience in clinical, managerial, workforce development, policy, education & training and quality. Michael brings an amalgam of learnings from public and private settings, national youth and primary mental health sectors. With a particular assiduity for early recognition, timely and evidence-based interventions and recovery Michael offers an interesting perspective on mental health as it relates to optimal functioning, seeking the right level of help and navigating services along the mental health to illness journey.
Rebecca is a structural feminist social worker. She has worked with youth refugees, in women’s homelessness outreach services, as the training coordinator at WIRE (Women’s Information Referral Exchange), a state-wide generalist support service for women for four years, and in teaching roles at RMIT, Southern Cross University & Gold Coast TAFE. In more recent times she has been in coordination roles at Neighbourhood Houses.
She took on the role of the Barwon South West Homelessness Networker four years ago on returning to live in the Otway’s from Melbourne. Any chance she gets she is at the beach or walking in the Otway’s.
Dr Jodie Fleming is a clinical & health psychologist, author and retreat leader with special interests in wellbeing, chronic illness management and psychoneuroimmunology – our mind, body connections.
Jodie’s genuine desire to connect to others, human to human, flows throughout her work, whether it’s with her individual clients, group work, on retreat or through her writing. She’s the author of breast cancer memoir, A Hole in My Genes, and is currently writing her second book, a Wellbeing Non-Fiction titled, Be.
Jodie will share the latest wellbeing research and take us into nature so that you’ll leave with a readiness to change and some goals with soul.
An experienced practitioner delivering innovative and effective planning, partnership
and engagement processes. With a positive and energetic approach, Lisa offers
capacity building and mentoring for her clients and leadership for projects.
Lisa believes in the value of genuine engagement, building sustainable partnerships
and strong stakeholder relationships. She is committed professionally and personally
to delivering outcomes which make a difference for her clients and the community.
With a commitment to social justice Emma brings thought and determination to her role as the CEO of Women’s Health and Wellbeing Barwon South West, with a view to creating a more fair and equal world.
As a 2015 Alumni Emma plans to seize this opportunity to challenge the program participants to ‘dig deeper’, finding new solutions to complex, difficult and entrenched problem.
“Don’t ask what the world needs.
Ask what makes you come alive and go do it!
Because what the world needs is people who have come alive!”
Mark is the Financial controller Portland Aluminium (CPA)
This is his second time living and working in Portland at the smelter, previous role was as Senior accountant.
He has had various jobs in the mining and manufacturing sector for various companies including Alcoa of Australia, BHP and Newcrest Mining, as well as special advisor to a start-up company in the UK lucky to live in various communities such as Mandurah in WA, Orange in NSW and of course Portland Vic.
Mark is passionate about living in a sustainable regional community and ensure a bright future for the Glenelg shire. In my spare time, I am an executive member for the committee for Portland, Committee for little athletics as well as coach and participate in the standing tall programme at Heywood.
Greg commenced at Port of Portland in March 2013 in the position of Chief Financial Officer and resigned from this position in February 2018 only to be appointed to the position of Chief Executive Officer in June 2018.
Greg has previously held CEO and Finance Director positions in ASX listed companies. He has also been a business owner for five years. Greg holds a Bachelor of Business (Accounting) from Swinburne University.
Jodie Outtram has been employed in the Nursing field for over 32 years, specialising as an Alcohol and Other Drugs Nurse (EEN, Dip AOD, GradCert Ass & Cse Mgt , CertIV Train the Trainer) for the past 22 years.
During this time she has worked across the Great South Coast. Currently employed at South West Healthcare as an Alcohol and Other Drugs Nurse in the Emergency Department
Specialising in assessment, withdrawal and referrals as well as supporting and educating staff in Drug and Alcohol.
Jodie is passionate about her work and gets to meet and work with some interesting and amazing people everyday.
Chris is Sexual Crime and Family Violence Manager, Western Region Division 2
During his career Chris has held numerous roles including; Sergeant, Detective and Unit Commander in various investigation units both in Melbourne and Warrnambool.
Chris is married with four children, having moved to Warrnambool in 2011, for a “sea change”, since arriving from Melbourne as a genuine “City Slicker,” he has found the life in regional Victoria rewarding.
Chris has developed a passion for community policing and promoting the best possible policing service delivery to our community.
Simon Kuestenmacher is a Director and Co-founder of The Demographics Group.
He presents on demographic and global trends that are shaping Australia today and into the future, and his observations are enjoyed by corporate, government and industry audiences alike.
Simon is also a columnist for The Australian newspaper and The New Daily; and he is a media commentator on demographic and data matters.
Simon has amassed 300,000 global followers on social media, reaches over 25 million people every month and ranks as one of the world’s Top 10 influencers in data visualisation. If you can’t get enough of data that explains how the world works, make sure to follow him on Twitter or any of his other social channels.
Charlie leads the Trade & Industry Strategy team at Dairy Australia, which is responsible for facilitating profitable international trade of Australian dairy products and providing information, analysis and data to inform industry and government on matters relating to dairy markets and industry policy. This includes ensuring the industry’s interests are upheld in the vital area of international trade policy reform, as well as providing factual advice on potential impacts of domestic policies in areas such as water, human health and nutrition, animal welfare and labour. The team also works to address sustainability challenges in the dairy manufacturing sector.
Charlie has a long history of working within the agriculture and food sector in areas related to policy, advocacy and informing decisions related to the market dynamics. Charlie came to Dairy Australia from the National Farmers’ Federation (NFF), where he was the General Manager of Policy. Apart from overseeing all policy activities of the NFF, he was also responsible for the organisation’s advocacy in the economics and trade portfolios.
Natalie is the Executive Officer for Food and Fibre Great South Coast, founder of Quartz Group executive coaching and a seasoned board director. Natalie is a highly-regarded advocate for regional Australia, agriculture, renewable energy, innovation and women’s leadership. Natalie’s extraordinary cross-sectoral adventure ranges from defence and arms control, foreign affairs, telecommunications, energy, transport and – her great love – agriculture. She’s addressed the United National and her awards include: 2021 10 most successful CEOs by Industry Era magazine, 2018 International Woman in Renewables of the Year, 2013 Telstra Business Woman of the Year – Victoria and 2013 National Finalist Women’s Agenda Leadership Awards.
Brendan Rea (LGSC Alumni) has been managing his progressive, large scale award winning family dairy farming business since 1995. Brendan takes an active interest in his industry and community through various board and committee roles, seeking to make a contribution to both whilst furthering his career. Brendan is currently a Director of Tasherd Pty Ltd, an agricultural services company in Tasmania, is the Deputy Chair of WestVic Dairy Board.
Troy Lovett is a Gunditjmara and Yorta-Yorta Man who grew up in Heywood and has lived there for a majority of his life. Currently living in Heywood with his partner Jenna and son Tyrell, he is passionate about local culture, sport and community.
Currently working as a Community Development Officer with the Victorian Aboriginal Community Services Association Limited, working with local Aboriginal community members to encourage participation in sport, culture and health & wellbeing. Troy is a LGSC Alumni (2020) as well as a current Vice President and player at the Heywood Football Netball Club and Indigenous Game Development Officer with AFL Victoria as well as other various community involvements.
Braydon Saunders is a Gunditjmara Man, born and raised on Gunditjmara Country and still resides in Heywood. He is a passionate community member, who is always willing to help out either at the local footy club or the Indigenous dance group, Koondoom Yarkeen.
Currently working as the Budj Bim Tour Guide Coordinator with Budj Bim Cultural Landscape Tourism and Gunditj Mirring Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation. He has been working over the last 2 years to create a tourism product that shows tourist of the area the oldest aquaculture system in the world and accurately tells the story of a defiant Gunditjmara Clan who fought to maintain the history of their land.
Braydon has been working as a ranger since he left school but has always known his calling has been to show people his culture through his eyes and the eyes of elders before him.
Ailiche Goddard-Clegg specialises in best practice communication and engagement that builds social licence for sustainable futures. At Deakin University, Ailiche leads Hycel’s hydrogen social licence pillar, communication, events and engagement, bringing research, industry, and community together to develop outcomes for broad benefit. As a Beyond the Bell Great South Coast Board Member and President of the Warrnambool Theatre Company, Ailiche advocates for volunteerism, education, creative expression and community partnerships.
Dr Bree Gorman is a leading Diversity and Inclusion consultant specialising in workplace inclusion. Bree is skilled at converting their wealth of knowledge and understanding of what makes workplaces inclusive into practical concepts and tangible actions that people can make their own. Bree has a PhD in chemistry, a background in Business Development and a very successful career as a Diversity and Inclusion manager. Bree brings their unique skills and experience to this work in a nonconfrontational, relatable manner.
Self Advocacy Resource Unit SARU- Project Coordinator / All Abilities Advocacy South West Victoria – Facilitator / Find Your Voice Choir and Find Your Voice Collective Inc Co-Founder
Motivated by empowering others through creative activism and advocacy Kylie is passionate about engaging in honest conversations.
Kylie advocates for the universal inclusion of people with disabilities.
Facillitation of All Abilities Advocacy South West, and projects such as Bungee Jumping, Lawyers and Love,the Speak Up Space, Lights / Rights / Music, the Staying Connected Project and her passion for the Find Your Voice Choir have provided Kylie with an opportunity to evolve a dialogue with regional communities that seeks to illuminate the lived experience of disability. Kylie acknowledges that inequitable access to community can and does undermine the capacity of people with a disability to achieve more than just social inclusion.
Project Worker, SAFE in the South West, Brophy Youth and Family Services.
Sparklez has worked at Brophy Youth and Family Services for the last 5 years. Sparklez facilitates LGBTIQA+ inclusive spaces, delivering LGBTIQA+ training and workshops, and advocates for LGBTIQA+ recognition and celebration across the Great South Coast. Sparklez is proud to work for Brophy an organisation with a Rainbow Tick showing they are safe, inclusive and an affirming service for the LGBTIQA+ community. Sparklez continues to work to increase the visibility of the LGBTIQA+ community in the South West, creating an environment where everyone is comfortable and confident in expressing themselves.
Ethan Bloom is a 19 year old transgender gay man. He works as a waiter at the Lady Bay Resort. He has been a member of the local LGBTQIA+ Yumcha group for the past 5 years and has been involved in a variety of community activities in this time.
Kevin brings comprehensive knowledge and experience gained from developing and implementing numerous business improvement and capability development programs across a diverse range of industries and community sectors.
Specialising in lean thinking, project management, strategy deployment, leadership and management development, along with building effective teams.
Kevin has a Masters (MSc) in Quality and Environmental Management, Graduate Certificate in Competitive Enterprise / Operational Excellence, a Net Promoter Score (NPS) Facilitator and ISO9001 Lead Auditor, BSI Accredited.
As well as providing business coaching and mentoring, Kevin is also the Queensland Regional Director for the Best Practice Network. This network connects organisations to ‘Share and Find Better Ways’ through a number of visits and activities in member organisations.
During his time in Australia, Kevin has worked with organisations such as Bulla Dairy Foods, GSK (GlaxoSmithKline), Cabrini Health, MYSALE (Australia and UK), South West TAFE, Dematic, Intelog Business and Healthcare Performance Group, Sunraysia and Boxhill TAFE, Southern Grampians Shire Council, VET Development Centre (VDC), Glenelg Shire Council and Westvic Dairy. Delivered management courses at Diploma and Advanced Diploma at TAFE, Graduate Certificate and Graduate Diploma as an adjunct lecturer at Charles Sturt University. Kevin has also supported small businesses as a Small Business Mentor for the SBMS in Victoria
Seona is the Manager of Regional Operations for Regional Development Victoria (RDV), Barwon South West, Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions. She has worked for RDV since December 2012 when she came on secondment from the Warrnambool City Council, where she worked in the Economic Development team looking after small business and grant management for the whole Council.
While at RDV, she managed relationships with the Great South Coast LGA’s, local traditional owner groups and community organisations for many years and more recently managed the Economic Development Team for the whole Barwon South West Region before recently taking on a new role managing a merged team consisting of what was previously Economic Development and Investment and Trade, also across the whole BSW region.
Cris heads The Ethics Alliance, a community of organisations across sectors that works to collaboratively shape the future of business ethics. Cris is a member of the FPA Professional Designations Committee. She is also a director of The Banking & Finance Oath, a pledge of integrity and commitment that aims to increase consideration of stakeholders and decision-making accountability by financial service professionals. It is a program she helped execute, and still oversees.
She holds a degree in psychology, and in another life, founded a Manhattan theatre company, casting agency, and production studio.
Lisa is the Chair of the Regional Partnerships Great South Coast. Lisa’s career spans 25 years including roles in finance, sales, marketing and business development and she is currently responsible for the operation of a dairy/beef enterprise. She is an experienced non-executive director serving with Murray Goulburn Cooperative Co Ltd (from October 2016) where she had roles with the Finance, Risk and Audit Committee, the Supplier Relations Committee and was Chair of the Human Resources Committee. She was also a non-executive director of the Australian Livestock Export Corporation (LiveCorp), is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, a member of the Victorian Agricultural Climate Change Council and a graduate of the Australian Rural Leadership Program. Ms Dwyer farms in partnership a 760 acre dairy enterprise – Kangertong Farming Pty Ltd.
Dr. Jonathan Spear
Dr. Jonathan Spear is Infrastructure Victoria’s Acting Chief Executive Officer. Previously the organisation’s Deputy Chief Executive, Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel, Jonathan has led Infrastructure Victoria’s work on Victoria’s 30-year infrastructure strategy, research program and provision of independent advice to the Victorian Government.
Before joining Infrastructure Victoria during its establishment in 2015, Jonathan held senior leadership, policy, strategy and legal roles with the Victorian Government Department of Premier and Cabinet, Department of Justice, Victoria Police and Slater and Gordon Lawyers.
As Melbourne’s gangland war gathered momentum during the late 1990s, another battle was being fought within the police force by one brave cop. Young detective sergeant Simon Illingworth had joined the force to serve the public and make a difference. His world was forever shattered when he confronted police corruption head-on. Watching Melbourne’s toughest killers working alongside his own colleagues made him sick to the guts. Simon soon discovered the price for standing up against them was death threats and isolation. http://ethicalstrength.wordpress.com/simon-illingworth/
Adam is a Military Compensation Advocate with RSL Victoria and LGSC Alumni – thanks to Adam for being our 2021 Graduation MC
Marcus is a Nira illim bulluk man of the Taungurung Nation and elected Co-Chair of the First Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria.
Marcus has experience working in the child protection system in out of home care and family therapy. Prior to being elected to the Assembly, Marcus was the Chief Executive Officer of the Federation of Victorian Traditional Owner Corporations – An advocacy peak body for Traditional Owners in Victoria.
In pursuing a greater knowledge of business and management, Marcus successfully graduated from the Melbourne Business School’s MURRA Indigenous Business Program in 2017.
In addition to having studied Developmental Psychiatry at Melbourne University (2004-2006), Marcus undertook post graduate studies in Family Therapy at La Trobe University.
Renowned for his leadership skills, Marcus is proud to continue the journey towards Treaty in Victoria.
The Hon Colin Brooks is the Speaker of the Victorian Parliament. He was elected to this role in March 2017 and then was re-elected in December 2018 following the Victorian state election.
He was first elected to the parliament in 2006 and represents the electorate of Bundoora in Melbourne’s north-eastern suburbs. Prior to being elected Speaker, Colin worked with Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews as his Parliamentary Secretary.
Colin has a strong interest in education policy, particularly in how education systems respond to the needs of students with special needs and disabilities.
He holds a Masters Degree in Communication from RMIT University and has previously served 8 years in local government, receiving the Centenary Medal for his contribution. He lives in Greensborough with his wife and three children.
Steph Ryan is the Member for Euroa and the Shadow Minister for Regional Public Transport, Water and Liquor and Gaming.
She is also the Deputy Leader of The Nationals, a position she has held since her election to Parliament seven years ago. Her elevation to deputy leader made history, when Victoria became the first division of The Nationals in Australia to elect a woman to its leadership team.
In 2018, Steph was re-elected to the seat of Euroa with an increased majority.
Passionate about improving the lives of rural and regional Victorians, Steph’s focus is on initiatives that will make country communities more prosperous, like improving public transport and addressing the inequities country people face in education, health, public housing and childcare.
Steph lives on a small farm in the Strathbogie Ranges with her husband and an energetic one year old. In her spare time she dabbles in the vineyard, her vegetable garden and has been trying to vanquish the CWA ladies in the baking section at her local show – an obsession her family reminds her is likely to be a flawed re-election strategy!
Helga is the host of the Take on Board podcast, and a connector who revels in assisting individuals, organisations and communities to engage effectively and gain clarity on their role in making the world a better place.
Helga specialises in strategy and planning, governance and stakeholder engagement. Building on her extensive leadership roles in government, not-for-profit and membership organisations, Helga is a dynamic facilitator, a supportive and challenging coach and an engaging speaker.
She is a Board member of the Royal Women’s Hospital and the Accident Compensation Conciliation Service. She is the former Co-Chair at the Centre for Sustainability Leadership and former Board member of YWCA Victoria, Social Housing Victoria and the Community Services and Health Industry Training Advisory Board. Initially trained and practising as a lawyer, her previous roles include Chief Executive Officer of Hotham Mission Asylum Seeker Project, Assistant Secretary of the Australian Services Union and Facilitator at Sustainability Victoria.
She has also founded two group coaching programs for women – Board KickStarter and Board Accelerator to encourge women into, and on, Boards.
Andrew is a senior Australian public servant and author. Currently Director of Economic Development at the City of Melbourne, he also has extensive experience working for national and state governments. Andrew has degrees in politics, law, economics and public policy and is a graduate of the Senior Executive Fellows program at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. A Victorian Fellow of the Institute of Public Administration Australia, he is also a director of Ardoch Ltd, a children’s education charity. Andrew is a former Barwon Southwest Regional Director with Regional Development Victoria and was a key contributor to the first Great South Coast Regional Strategic Plan. In 2020, his first book, Solved! How other countries have cracked the world’s biggest problems and we can too was published in Australia, the USA, the UK, Korea and Portugal. His latest book is Recovery. How we can create a better, brighter future after a crisis.
Bruce Anderson (B.Ed, MBA, FAICD) is a highly experienced business leader who has successfully combined his 20+ years in senior executive roles at ASX listed and global companies with a broad contribution within the community sector. He is a community builder having held a variety of roles in organisations including chairman, director, committee member, trustee, office bearer and volunteer.
Bruce is passionate about supporting secondary school students successfully transition to university then work whilst developing their leadership capabilities.
Bruce is the Director of The Anderson Partnership in which he partners with business owners and individuals to build and implement growth plans.
Bruce is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, an alumnus of the Williamson Community Leadership Program and is currently the Chairman of Youthrive, Congregational Chairman Wesley UCA, and a Trustee of the Anglesea SLSC Foundation.
LGSC 2019 Alumni has vast experience working in education and most recently is working in the not-for-profit sector with Beyond the Bell Great South Coast as Executive Officer. The work connects Kate, and the collective, across six local government areas of Southwest Victoria and has the vision of ‘all young people are connected to education and engaged in their learning’. Ensuring children and young people, no matter their postcode, have access to and are engaged in quality education is what drives her.
Kate has extensive leadership and secondary teaching experience in a variety of mainstream and alterative settings throughout Australia. Her experience ranges from Deputy Principal, teaching and learning leadership at system level, project management and working with clusters of schools on a shared vision for action.
Kate grew up in south west Victoria and has strong connections with various groups and organisations.
Working as a Careers Practitioner at South West Skills and Job Centre is the culmination of a career spanning 35 years and over 37 jobs! Starting off at 15 years of age as an Apprentice Boiler maker (welder) Michael has worked in the retail, hospitality, agriculture, disability, employment services, education, mental health sectors. Michael would like to change the perception of what actually is a career. Michael believes a career is a moving feast of what you doing at the time. As humans we are constantly learning and growing, so choosing what you are going to do as a career at the age of 16 just does not make sense.
Lynda Smith is the Population Health Coordinator with South West Primary Care Partnership whilst based in Warrnambool, Lynda’s current position supports the shires of Warrnambool, Moyne and Corangamite. She currently supports a variety of local government areas, health services and likeminded organisations.
As an accredited partnership broker, she has a unique approach to capacity building, and rural and regional liveability. With over 17 years’ experience in preventative health Lynda supports and mentors organisations to instigate population health initiatives and projects across the Great South Coast, using both a systems change and a collective impact approach. Priorities areas Lynda has focused on during her career include: physical health, oral health, breastfeeding, sexual health and social and emotional wellbeing.
Lynda has over nine years’ experience as a board member for Kyeema Inc., a local disability service in Portland, is the vice chair of South West Sport.
In 2018 Lynda was one of 15 participants who completed the second intake of the Vicsport female leadership program.
Married with four children, and now a grandmother, residing in Portland. Lynda is committed to prevention, and community development across the Great South Coast.
Lynda is a LGSC 2013 alumni (recipient of a Committee for Portland scholarship).
Scott is an author, researcher and policy advisor. He is a highly experienced senior executive with experience in climate change, energy, water, waste and natural resource management.
In his role as Executive Director Renewable Energy for the Victorian Government, he led renewable energy policy and programs across Victoria.
Scott is a current member of the Australia-German Energy Transition Hub – Strategic Advisory Panel and works as a consultant to governments, businesses and community organisations, including the NSW Government.
He is currently senior advisor to the Smart Energy Council’s Zero Carbon Certification Scheme for renewable hydrogen, renewable ammonia and renewable metals.
Book (31 Aug 2021): #SoldDownTheRiver https://www.textpublishing.com.au/books/sold-down-the-river
TV program: #TickerCLIMATE https://tickernews.co/ticker-climate/
Adam is an environmental engineer with a background in water management and renewable energy projects. A passionate advocate for innovation and sustainable development, Adam is excited about the potential of hydrogen for south-west Victoria. As the Hycel Program Manager at Deakin University, Adam engages meaningfully with researchers, industry, governments and communities to help in delivering renewable energy solutions. Contact 03 5563 3075
Steve Garner is an Executive Director Keppel Prince Engineering, a major employer in the Glenelg Shire and Chairperson Committee for Portland.
Steve has worked in the engineering industry for over 40 years taking on the General Manger role at Keppel Group in 1990. Since his appointment Steve has expanded the company’s operations to include sustainable energies (wind and solar). Keppel Prince Engineering is now considered a leader in the wind energy industry having completed numerous major projects. Steve has taken a proactive leadership role in promoting the wind energy industry and actively pursuing opportunities for Keppel Prince to lead in this field. Steve actively lobbies government to ensure growth of the industry to the benefit of the in the Great South Coast and Victoria.
Chris Williams has been employed as a Registered General, Mental Health and Drug & Alcohol Nurse for over 40 years (RN1, RPN3, Dip AOD), specialising in Drug & Alcohol Withdrawal Nursing for 22 of those years.
Chris is currently employed at South West Healthcare as the Associate Nurse Unit Manager to the Withdrawal Support Services and provides a Community Based Non Residential Withdrawal program for people wanting to reduce or cease their substance use.
She moved to Warrnambool from Melbourne 34 years ago, having worked in the Alcohol & Drug Sector at a number of Hospitals, Acute Mental Health Facilities, Alcohol & Drug Services, Community Based Services, Youth Services and in Private Practice.
Chris feels strongly that working with people who are experiencing difficulties and sharing our time, ideas and energy connects us, creating stronger and healthier communities. Throughout her working life she has met and continues to work with many remarkable people.
Chris is a registered nurse with 33 years’ experience in mental health, in a variety of clinical, managerial and project roles including 10 years as a clinical nurse consultant and 9 years as the manager of South West Healthcare’s Mental Health Inpatient Services.
Chris commenced full with the Deakin Rural Health (formerly the Greater Green Triangle university department of rural health) in August, 2013 as a research fellow/clinical simulation educator. Chris delivers training across the western district including the Deakin and Flinders medical school students and regional health providers to develop a better understanding of mental health. He is also an Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Trainer (ASIST) and has delivered multiple courses across the region in conjunction with LifeLine to better equip the community to recognise and respond to a person with thoughts of suicide.
Qualifications: Registered Nurse division 1. Post graduate certificate in mental health. Advanced diploma of business management. Current position – Senior Research Fellow/Clinical Simulation Educator.
Mental health, mental health education and training, public health.
Annabel has broad professional experience working in both government and not-for-profit sectors, with a foundational background in grants, funding and philanthropy, and experience in economic development, community engagement and education.
A natural networker and communicator, Annabel has strong regional networks in the south-west region and strives for collaborative work and outcomes with genuine social impact.
Currently she is Executive Officer for the Warrnambool-based Fletcher Jones Family Foundations, and the south-west region’s South West Community Foundation. She is also working as a Development Officer for the Warrnambool Art Gallery, and has Board positions with the Leadership Great South Coast program and WDEA Works.
Josh Hose, OAM is a wheelchair rugby player. He has won gold medals at the 2012 London and 2016 Rio Paralympics.
Wheelchair rugby superstar Josh Hose became a quadriplegic in a car accident on Australia Day in 2005, when the driver of the car he was in lost control of the wheel, leaving him with serious spinal cord damage, swelling on the brain and two collapsed lungs.
Following two weeks in an induced coma and a six-hour operation to realign his spine, Josh began his rehabilitation, during which time he was introduced to wheelchair rugby through watching the Victorian state team train.
Using the sport to aid his recovery process, it wasn’t long before Josh carved out a name for himself on the court, just missing selection for the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games.
Determined to compete four years later in London, Josh represented Australia at the 2010 IWRF World Championship in Vancouver, Canada, and the Canada Cup in Montreal later that year.
Making his Paralympic debut at London 2012, Josh helped the Steelers to defeat rivals Canada 51-66 in the gold medal match to win Australia’s first ever wheelchair rugby gold medal at a Paralympic Games.
Off the back of their success in London, the Steelers became the first team in wheelchair rugby history to win consecutive Paralympic gold medals and a World Championship title in a four-year period, defeating the USA 59-58 in a double-overtime thriller at Rio 2016.
Read More at Josh Hose | Paralympics Australia
Alma Besserdin FCPHR, MAICD is a Career & Leadership Coach, Mentor, Facilitator, Speaker and Influencer.
With an extensive experience in leadership development, HR, business transformation, organizational and culture change, Alma assisted many companies to increase their productivity through cultural change and business transformation from inside out. Being a woman immigrant who had to deal with the challenges of immigration herself, inspired her to establish Wimmigrants Pty Ltd. Her vision is to help other professional women immigrants (Wimmigrants) achieve their professional careers, integrate in Australian society and become leaders in their workplace and community. She also helps organisations to create a culture of inclusion, diversity & gender equality.
Her industry experience includes Telecommunications, IT, Financial Services, Retail, Utilities, Manufacturing, Transport and Logistics, State and Federal Government, Real Estate, Regulatory, Automotive, and Not-for-Profit. Alma holds a Postgraduate Diploma in HRM & IR, a Bachelor of Law Degree, and is an NLP Coach. She is a graduate from Leadership Victoria, an AHRI Victorian Councilor and Fellow member, Former Board Director at the African-Australian Multicultural Employment and Youth Services (AAMEYS); Former Board Director at Crohn’s & Colitis Australia and a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (MAICD). Alma is an industry Mentor at the RMIT Applied Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program and is actively included as a Mentor and Career Coach with other Universities.
She was also the host of “The Global Workplace” Radio Show on VoiceAmerica, where Alma interviewed leaders worldwide on topics discussing the best practices in equality and diversity across the globe. Alma has been a nominee for the Telstra Women’s Business Awards in 2019 & 2016, was Awarded a Scholarship for the Board Leadership Program for Women at Leadership Victoria, Nominee for Women of the Year at the Kingston Council and is proud to be a Victorian Australia Day Ambassador.
Jennifer is a Development Economist with vast experiences across sectors from Government to Private Sector and Not for Profits both in Australia and Africa.
She is the Economic Development Officer of Moyne Shire Council supporting the implementation of priority actions of the Economic Development Strategy that will make Moyne an exceptional place for people to live, work, visit and invest.
Coming from a difficult background, she believes that the key to success is persistence and she has never given up on her dreams. Her vast life experiences bring a unique and diverse perspective to the Great South Coast (GSC) region.
She is passionate about driving change for her community and inspiring the next generation of leaders through education. She is an alumnus of the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African leaders, a prestigious flagship leadership program of President Obama.
Jennifer holds a double Masters degree in Economics and Environment and Sustainability and is keen to work with businesses in the GSC that offer economic and social value for the community as well as encourage them to improve their environmental sustainability.
Jason Smith is a fifth-generation Victorian farmer has been a strong advocate for LGBTI rights, having travelled to Canberra to address politicians and has engaged with media. He is a Graduate Loddon Murray Community Leadership Program, Marcus Oldham Dairy Leaders, Woolworths Leadership and was in 2017 awarded the Young Farmer of the Year at the Australian Farmer of the Year Awards. He has a long association with his local United Dairy Farmers of Victoria, having previously held a President position and now holds a Treasurer position.
Cathy came to national attention when she won the seat of Indi as an independent in 2013, becoming the first female independent to sit on the crossbench. Winning the seat of Indi, after the Coalition had held the seat for 34 years, was a watershed moment. Indi became ‘Exhibit A’ for future political campaigns – from Kerryn Phelps as the Member for Wentworth to Zali Steggall in Warringah. The community backed McGowan again in 2016 for a second term, including during the minority government of Scott Morrison where, together with the cross bench, she held the balance of power. In 2019 she was thrilled to be part of the campaign that saw Dr Helen Haines elected as Indi’s second female independent, a win that made Australian political history.
During her time as a politician Cathy actively worked in Parliament to develop policy around regional development, a national integrity commission, a code of conduct for politicians, as well as drought policy. In 2019 she was awarded The Accountability Round Table award for political integrity. She is an Officer of the Order of Australia, a Churchill fellow and lives very happily on her farm in the Indigo Valley in north-eastern Victoria.
Dr Greg Wood
Dr Greg Wood is a former Fellow of the Australian Marketing Institute (FAMI), Certified Practising Marketer (CPM), Associate Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management (AFAIM) and a Member of the Australian and New Zealand Academy of Management.
He is a visiting Professor in the Business School of Oxford Brookes University in Oxford, United Kingdom and is also currently an honorary Professor of the Oslo School of Management in Norway.
As well as twenty years of academic experience, he spent from 1981-1990 working for a multinational energy and resources company and/or its affiliates. In his career, he has had a distinctive blend of commercial and academic experience.
Dr Wood has been extensively involved with the Warrnambool community having served or currently serving on a number of committees. He has also acted as an adviser to the Warrnambool Tourism Association, Premier Speedway, Warrnambool May Race Carnival; Warrnambool Entertainment Centre, and the Fun for Kids Festival.
Denis is a Gunditjmara person and lives in Portland. He has had a long involvement in Aboriginal land and cultural heritage management.
He is currently employed as a Project Manager for the Budj Bim Sustainable Development Partnership, which has as one of its main objectives the development of a World Heritage nomination for the Budj Bim lava flow. The Budj Bim lava flow has outstanding Aboriginal cultural heritage values including the world’s most ancient aquaculture sites.
Denis was the Chief Executive Officer with Winda Mara Aboriginal Corporation in Heywood from 2002 until 2010.
From 1995 until 2002 Denis was involved in the development of the Indigenous Protected Areas Program which assisted Aboriginal people throughout Australia to achieve greater control and management of their traditional lands.
Contact Denis at Gunditj Mirring Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation
[email protected] W (03) 5527-1427 M 0409 502645
Damein Bell is a Gundtijmara man and CEO of Gunditj Mirring Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation where, under instruction from the community, he implements Gunditj Mirring’s strategic plan, and advocates for Gunditjmara in native title and cultural heritage. Damein has been a board member of the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission, and is currently a board member of Native Title Services Victoria. He has studied at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
Kirsten is a communications specialist, content-creator and farmer, based in south-west Victoria. She is the Marketing Manager for a global agtech startup, AgThentic and agrifood venture capital firm, Tenacious Ventures. She has worked as a TV and radio journalist for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) in Sydney, Melbourne and regional Victoria for programs such as ABC News, 730 and News Breakfast.
Kirsten has also taught journalism at Deakin University and continues to mentor cadet journalists across rural Australia as part of the Country Press Association/Deakin University program. Her further research has included how agriculture stories are framed in the media.
She is currently a board “observer” at South West TAFE, through the Observership Program.
Kirsten holds a Bachelor of Media and Communications from the University of Sydney and an Honours degree (First Class) in journalism from Deakin University.
State Manager – Victoria Australian Institute of Company Directors
Michael Whitty MAICD joined the Australian Institute of Company Directors in 2006. He led AICD Victoria’s Member Relations team for 8 years. This team was responsible for providing member support and service to around 11,000 members.
In 2014 he was appointed Operations Manager for the Victoria Division before taking on the national role as Manager Member and Client Support.
From August – December 2017 he was Acting State Manager AICD Tasmania and was Acting State Manager AICD Victoria in 2019 being appointed as State Manager -Victoria in late 2019.
He has presented at numerous AICD events such as Finding Board Positions and Boards Seeking Directors and has worked with Director Nexus* groups. He has assisted members in dealing with difficult issues on their boards and guided members in mapping out a professional development pathway and how to optimise their board careers.
Michael’s previous career experience has supported his current member and client centric role having held roles as CEO of a time critical courier company and numerous senior management roles within the retail, manufacturing and wholesale sectors in Australia and the UK.
*Director Nexus is an AICD initiative where groups of members meet monthly with an experienced Chair to discuss governance/board issues in a confidential setting.
Sally Obst , Risk & Emergency Management Officer, Wannon Water (2013 Alumni) – Originally making the move from Melbourne to Warrnambool in 1997 to undertake aquatic science studies at Deakin University Sally Obst has studied and worked in the region for the past 15 years. Sally has experience in both the scientific and dairy industries and is currently employed by Wannon Water. Sally has also been a volunteer with the Warrnambool SES for the past 10 years.
Carly Jordan is the Project Lead of the Great South Coast Economic Migration Project that she initiated as a Leadership Great South Coast Alumni. The Project aims to assist migrants, originally from Africa, to relocate from metropolitan areas to south west Victoria to create a new life for their families. This innovative project is growing the local economy, increasing cultural diversity and creating intercultural communities in the Great South Coast.
Carly’s vast life experiences bring a global perspective to her local region, have affirmed her innate respect for people of all cultures, and shaped a leader who is passionate and driven to assist refugees living in Australia.
With a background in international aid and development, Carly has extensive and diverse work and volunteer experiences. This includes working for a grassroots organisation in a remote village in Cambodia as part of the Australian Government’s aid program, assisting senior writers at the United Nations Volunteers in Germany, volunteering with Habitat for Humanity while living in South Africa as a Rotary Exchange Student and learning four different languages. She has also worked for World Vision Australia in Adelaide and WaterAid Australia in Melbourne.
Since moving to regional Victoria, Carly has worked in local government in tourism and events at Glenelg Shire Council and Northern Grampians Shire Council. Carly moved to the south west in 2015 and lives on an organic dairy farm in Wallacedale.
Carly holds a Masters Degree in International and Community Development, Bachelor of International Studies and a Diploma of Languages.
Ellen Jackson is a workplace psychologist, experienced executive coach, internationally published writer, speaker and consultant to organisations Australia-wide. Her passion is helping leaders and workplace teams to understand the ins and out of human behaviour and to use this knowledge to achieve organisational and professional goals. Everything Ellen teaches is supported by scientific research so we know it works. She overlays this with a nuanced understanding of individuals and how they function to help individuals, teams and workplaces to thrive and flourish
Ellen is the driving force behind the Potential Psychology Self Care Club, an online program stepping members through the science and practice of living well, and she is the host of the Potential Psychology Podcast which was a finalist in the 2019 Australian Podcast Awards in the Best New Podcast category. Ellen is Mum to two boys, three chooks and a kelpie puppy, and has recently been appointed as the Program Lead of Leadership Ballarat and Western Region.
Mark is the Executive Officer of the South West Primary Care Partnership a cross-sector alliance in which individuals, groups and organisations agree to work collaboratively to achieve a common goal or purpose.
Bringing together a broad range of knowledge, skills and resources enhances the capacity of the alliance and increases the potential for greater outcomes for the community.
Chief Executive, Regional Development Victoria and Deputy Secretary, Rural and Regional Victoria (DJPR). Based in Ballarat where she lives, Beth is the first female CEO of Regional Development Victoria (RDV). Beth brings a wealth of leadership experience to the role, most recently as Executive Director Biosecurity and Agriculture Services at Agriculture Victoria where she led the delivery of key initiatives to grow and protect Victoria’s agricultural sector.
With 21 years’ experience in the public sector, Beth has expertise in program delivery, regulatory reform, industry and community engagement, policy development and emergency management. In addition to her role as CEO, Beth has been appointed Deputy Secretary for the Rural and Regional Victoria (RRV) group within the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions (DJPR). Beth was recognised in the Top 50 Public Sector Women in 2018 and holds an Honours degree in Applied Science and a Masters of Business Administration. She is a graduate of the Australian Rural Leadership Program and the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Shannon is the Port of Portland Commercial Manager. Shannon has progressed rapidly through the ranks of the Operations team at the Port of Portland, originally commencing as a fitter and turner in 2003, and then as Operations Supervisor in 2008, where he was responsible for coordinating POPL’s maintenance, mooring and stevedoring activities. Moving to Operations Manger in 2014.
His strengths are in a deep understanding of the Port’s operations and ensuring that these are harnessed to ensure our customers supply chain needs are met. In particular Shannon works on developing facilities for Port of Portland’s new trades.
Lyn has been the Executive Officer of Northern Futures since July 2017. She enjoys the passion and commitment of the team as they address entrenched disadvantage in the northern suburbs of Geelong. Prior to this appointment, Lyn worked with Centrelink then more recently at the TAC where she managed the Business Administration Traineeship program which involved engaging 12 disadvantaged young people each year. It was the personal growth and employment opportunities offered to trainees that inspired Lyn to move into her current role with Northern Futures.
Tané is a cancer researcher and science communicator. He is a founder of Future Crunch, a group of scientists, artists, researchers and entrepreneurs that believes science and technology are creating a world that is more peaceful, connected and abundant. Their mission is to foster intelligent, optimistic thinking about the future, and to empower people to contribute to a 21st century that works for everyone.
Dr Angus Hervey
Angus is a political economist specialising in the impact of disruptive technologies on society. He is a founder of Future Crunch, a group of scientists, artists, researchers and entrepreneurs that believes science and technology are creating a world that is more peaceful, connected and abundant. Their mission is to foster intelligent, optimistic thinking about the future, and to empower people to contribute to a 21st century that works for everyone.
Lynne Cazaly helps individuals, teams and organisations transition to new ways of thinking and working.
Lynne is an international keynote speaker, author and a master facilitator. She is the author of 6 books including:
‘ish: The Problem with our Pursuit for Perfection and the Life-Changing Practice of Good Enough’,’ Leader as Facilitator’, ‘Making Sense’, ‘Create Change’ and ‘Visual Mojo’.
She works senior leaders and project teams on change and transformation capability. Lynne is an experienced radio broadcaster, presenter and producer having presented more than 10000 hours on-air. Her background is as a communication specialist, having lectured in under-graduate and post-graduate programs in several of Australia’s Universities and consulting to different industries, sectors and fields on engagement, communication and change. Lynne can help you think better, make sense of information and handle the realities of information overload with her clever hacks and ingenious processes, tools and methods. She is a cognitive load coping expert. Lynne is an experienced board director and chair and an #avgeek, loving everything aviation and air traffic control.
For more information go to http://www.lynnecazaly.com.au/
Lauren and her family run Gratton Gate a Family Dairy Farm in South West Victoria. Lauren is also a Supervisor for Regional Victoria Emergency 000 and an LGSC Alumni. Lauren is passionate about the Dairy Industry and has supported leadership development in the Industry through her role as a lead for the 2019 UDV New Zealand Study Tour.
Uncle Johnny Lovett is a respected Gunditjmara / Boandik Elder. Johnny is a well-known singer-songwriter and country and western star. Johnny has been actively involved in the community and has advocated for native title rights as well as recognition and compensation for his father and uncles as Aboriginal soldiers who served in World War I and World War II.
Johnny was born in 1947 in Hamilton, Victoria. He is a proud father, grandfather and great grandfather. Johnny attended Heywood Primary and Heywood Secondary College and grew up in the Hamilton and Heywood area. He was the only Aboriginal student at both schools. Growing up Johnny was a talented sportsman, gifted boxer and musician.
Linda Bibby is the Director of Policy and Legislation in the Resources Branch of the Victorian Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions. She leads a team that develops reform proposals for earth resources laws, so that industry and communities across Victoria can have confidence in how various resources projects are regulated. In 2018 her team delivered State of Discovery, Victoria’s first Mineral Resources Strategy. A geologist in a former life, her career spans regional mapping, business analysis, information management, regulation and natural resources policy. Outside of work she loves trekking in the mountains and avoiding housework.
Dion Gallagher has a history with both Portland Aluminium and Alcoa. He started his career with Portland Aluminium in 2001 as a Manufacturing Engineer before taking on a Senior Reliability Engineer role at the Wagerup Refinery in Western Australia, where he also spent time as a Maintenance Superintendent. He returned to Portland in 2008 to take up the role of Alcoa Business System Senior Consultant, after two years in the role Dion spent the nest year as a Area Supervisor of Smelting Services before being promoted to Area Manager of the department with a further promotion to Electrode Manager in 2012. Dion was recently awarded the role of Metals Manager for the Plant. Dion Holds a Bachelor of Engineering and a Masters in Business Administration.
Grant is the Community Engagement Manager for the Geological Survey of Victoria (GSV), the State Government’s geoscience agency.
He is heading up GSV’s first regional office, which is located at Deakin University, Warrnambool. The office is undertaking geoscientific studies as part of the Victorian Gas Program, which is assessing the potential for further discoveries of natural gas in the Gippsland and Otway geological basins (both onshore and offshore).
Grant has over 20 years of experience with government communications, stakeholder engagement, media, strategy, policy development and consultative decision-making.
He is passionate about community engagement and making government work for everyone.
Kara has a background in accounting, finance, and customer relationship management. Kara joined Port of Portland in 2011, initially as the Company Accountant and more recently in the role as Business Development Manager. Kara was appointed to her current role, Chief Financial Officer, in July 2018. Prior to working at the port, Kara held various roles within government and commercial organisations. These positions included Executive Recruitment Consultant for the Hudson Highland Group, Business Analyst at Air services Australia and European Tour Manager for The Travel Corporation.
Kara is CPA qualified and holds a Bachelor of Commerce and Masters of Professional Accounting.
Jon is a Psychologist and Speech Pathologist working in private practice. Previously, Jon worked as Network Coordinator for the Warrnambool Student Support Service, Department of Education and as Senior Speech Pathologist for the Barwon Southwest Region. Over a 40 year period Jon worked with a range of families from diverse backgrounds and developed an interest in the influence that economic diversity has on thinking, attitudes and behaviour.
Belinda is the Manager of Government Relations and Engagement with the Barwon South West Waste and Resource Recovery Group and an Alumni of LGSC (2013). Having previously managed a regional landfill, Belinda has seen firsthand the impacts of our throwaway society. She is passionate about inspiring and educating others to reduce, reuse and recycle their waste and believes that we need rethink our approach towards waste to value as a resource.
Belinda has over 14 years’ experience in the environment and waste sectors working in government and not-for-profit roles. In her current role, she works with government, councils, industry and the community to support and deliver regional resource recovery projects and partnerships. Outside of work, Belinda practices what she preaches and is an avid composter, veggie gardener, recycler, and conscious consumer.
John is the Senior Industry Analyst at Dairy Australia. He has worked at Dairy Australia since April 2012 as part of the Trade and Strategy group undertaking a range of research, analysis and communication activities on behalf of industry stakeholders.
With a focus on global dairy supply and commodity market dynamics, John provides analysis and insight for both DA and external industry publications, and is lead author of DA’s Situation and Outlook reports. His role involves contact with all levels of the dairy supply chain; from suppliers of farm inputs to farmers, milk processors, traders, retailers, consumers, media and government.
John has an extensive dairy background, having previously worked for Rabobank, Warrakirri Dairies and CowBank Group, and was raised on a dairy farm in Gippsland, Victoria
Mike de Souza
Mike has held senior management roles with both Virgin and United Customer Management Solutions. Living overseas he was CEO of a French private equity group that successfully disrupted the hospitality, tourism, retail and logistics sectors in Europe.
He has until recently been CEO of the Australian 3D Manufacturing Association and advises Government and business with regard to the impacts of this latest industrial revolution. Mike has sat on and advised many panels including the PMs Australian Competitiveness Agenda. He is also a member of the Apprenticeships Reform Advisory Group initially convened by the Honourable Simon Birmingham.
Mike has gained a significant insight into the design and construction industry both through consultancy and directorships of entities in Australia and overseas.
Managing Director, B. Eng (Civil), M. Eng (Env), MBA, GAICD
Prior to his appointment as Managing Director of Wannon Water in July 2015, Andrew worked for 16 years with Wannon Water and 23 years within the Victorian water industry in various engineering and corporate roles, which has resulted in a deep understanding of the water industry and the business of a water corporation.
Andrew understands Wannon Water exists for its customers and understands the importance and community value of providing high quality water, sewerage and trade waste services. He has a special interest in ensuring that Wannon Water helps communities in the south-west flourish.
Andrew is a member of the Victorian Intelligent Water Network Executive Committee, an independent member of the Corangamite Shire Audit Committee, a Director of the Great South Coast Group and a Director of Beyond the Bell.
Megan has been the Victorian Deputy Ombudsman for the past two and a half years. She is responsible for managing complaint handling and investigations in the office. Megan has extensive public sector legal experience, and working in oversight agencies.
DR Eric Fairbank AM
After 18 years in country General Practice Dr Fairbank decided to pursue an interest in Palliative Care, and gained qualifications through Flinders University. In 1986 he was instrumental in establishing the Warrnambool Base Hospital’s Palliative Care Unit of which he was the Director for the next 27 years until his retirement in 2013.
In 2012 Dr Fairbank, and his wife Margaret, received a Victorian Rural Doctor Award for over 35 years of service to the local community. In 2013 Dr Fairbank was honoured to receive an Order of Australia Award, and a Victorian Public Health Award for assisting hundreds of people prepare for their end of life care.
Since its inception in 2010 Dr Fairbank has been a member of the Warrnambool & District Community Hospice Inc committee, and continues to be actively involved in their Hospice in the Home program.
Dean Hampel is a proud and passionate Melbourne local. He is also the Co-Founder of Australia’s leading luxury travel, leisure and tour company – Localing Private Experiences. Localing was formed in 2013 with a lifelong friend Dan Platt. The focus from the beginning has been to distinguish themselves through outstanding service and a uniquely personal approach to private touring. They are passionate about creating experiences they would love; which are flexible, creative and deeply immersive. They believe feeling like a local on the other side of the world is a pretty special feeling, created through insight and genuine connection.
Dean has brought years of local leadership experience following senior Executive roles at major Australian arts, community, political & other public Institutions including The Melbourne Theatre Company, The Melbourne International Jazz Festival, Dancehouse Contemporary Dance, The Jewish Holocaust Centre and TEDx Melbourne.
Vanessa Gerrans has been the Director at the Warrnambool Art Gallery since 2015. Previously at RMIT Gallery, RMIT University over 10 years she has curated and collaborated on diverse exhibition programs across a broad range of media; including the major retrospective of distinguished Melbourne architect, set and costume designer Peter Corrigan, Peter Corrigan: Cities of Hope.
Brenda brings over 40 years of extensive business development, senior management and strategic executive sales experience across a number of sectors including manufacturing, food and agribusiness, recruitment and engineering.
Over this time, she has developed a significant network of key contacts and advisory services in SE South Australia and SW Victoria, and introductions into relevant supply chain networks.
Brenda takes a very practical approach with SMEs to support them to increase capabilities and identify and realise growth opportunities as a Business Advisor through the Federal Governments Entrepreneurs’ Programme.
John Krbaleski is the Executive Director, Earth Resources Policy & Programs with the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources.
John has 20 years’ experience in developing and implementing energy and resources policy in Australia and overseas.
In recent years John led the development of Victoria’s first Extractive Resources Strategy and a range of energy initiatives that have supported the deployment of over $500 million of low emission projects in Victoria.
Previous to that, John led the Climate Change Authority’s review of the Renewable Energy Target and also worked on assignment for the International Energy Agency.
John holds an honours degree in Economics, is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and has completed the Senior Executive Fellows Program at the Harvard Kennedy School.
Lynda Ford is a Director of iGen Foundation a charitable organisation focusing on youth entrepreneurship and intercultural practice
She is the co-lead for the Australian chapter of Techfugees , an international movement by the technology community to assist refugees to settle in new countries. Techfugees has resulted in several startups for the settlement sector in Australia.
Lynda is an intercultural practice expert appointed by the Council of Europe’s Intercultural Cities Programme and has created an intercultural regional settlement ecosystem plan for refugee settlement. She is the editor of the Intercultural Cities Australasia magazine and co-author of the Australian Intercultural Standards and Index and producer of the ‘How to work interculturally in your local government’ training video.
Sadhana Smiles is an engaging, entertaining speaker who takes you on a journey and tells you as it is – what you see is what you get. As the only female CEO in her sector she has created a brand that has placed her amongst her peers as a thought leader and industry commentator.
Her renowned wit, inspiring personality and acute ability to capitalise on a commercial opportunity along with her innate sense for quickly identifying issues affecting business performance, have earned Sadhana the respect of some of the most admired leaders of the Real Estate world in Australia.
In 2013 Sadhana was named the Victorian Telstra Business Women of the Year, as well as the Victorian Telstra Private Corporate Sector award.
In 2013 Sadhana published her first book – People Power – did you have them @ hello, a step by step guide to developing and managing performance driven teams.
Sadhana is the founder of Links Fiji, a not for profit, with a focus on conducting pap smears for women in rural areas of Fiji. She is passionate about the issue of gender equality and violence against women.
A single mum of two kids, Sadhana’s drive comes from her desire to leave the world she influences a better place.
Sadhana has earned a reputation as a popular speaker and presenter, regularly asked to present at some of the industry’s most prestigious events, Women’s Conference and many franchise conferences.
Sadhana is a regular contributor to a number of National Real Estate journals and publications, has been published on Women’s agenda, Business Chick’s magazine and has been touted by the media as a leading female voice in the industry – real estate, as well as topics relating specifically to women in business.
Andrew has had over 20 years’ experience in the human services field ranging from Child protection and family support to housing support and homelessness.
Andrew currently works as the Regional Homelessness Network Coordinator for Barwon and the Southern Western regions. The role resources front-line homelessness and family violence services across the region. Alongside the BSWHN role, Andrew has developed and teaches a Cert IV level Youth Homelessness elective delivered each year at Gordon TAFE as part of the Youth Work Certificate.
He currently sits on the board of Wombats Wish and Minerva Community services.
In 2012 as a result of witnessing the effects of family violence across the community, Andrew became a White Ribbon ambassador in order to promote ending violence towards women and to engage men in the community to become involved and be part of the solution.
Andrew holds a Bachelor of Social Work form Monash University, A Graduate Diploma in Community Services and a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment. In 2014 Andrew received the Colac Mental Health week award for commitment to the community.
Director of Corporate Services, Sustainability Victoria
Car Muller has spent the majority of the last five years leading the reform and improvement of government organisations. Currently the Director of Corporate Services at Sustainability Victoria (SV), was previously the Transformation Program Manager for the Environmental Protection Authority, Victoria (EPA).
A qualified Oceanographic Engineer, Carl spent 10 years at the UK Meteorological Office and the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, working in various project and strategic based roles including the establishment of Australia’s Tsunami Warning System, Australia’s response to the 2004 Indonesian tsunami.
In 1977, Jason Clarke achieved the lowest Year 12 score in the history of his school. Today he is one of the most sought after creative minds in the country, consulting on issues of leadership and innovation to some of Australia’s biggest companies and institutions. He’s developed and taught courses in Innovation, Logic and Problem Solving for two of Australia’s most prestigious Business Schools, the Australian Graduate School of Entrepreneurship and the Stern Business School of New York. He doesn’t know what he’ll be doing in 2020 but he’s open to suggestions. www.mindsatwork.com.au
Rob is currently engaged as a Principal Advisor with the Security Emergency Management Division with DEDJTR Victoria. Robert studied fine drawing at Glasgow University of Art, after which he joined the Scots Guards, British Army. He offers 30 years’ experience in security risk and emergency management with his expertise laying in the British and Australian Armed Forces in operational leadership roles. He taught leadership at the world renowned ‘Royal Military Academy Sandhurst’, both instructing HRH Prince Harry and HRH Prince William. His role with the DEDJTR is to provide advice to government and operators of Declared Essential Services organisations and support them to ensure development and implementation of plans, procedures and strategies. This is undertaken against a backdrop of rapidly changing national and international security and resilience challenges, perceptions and priorities for security risk management, business continuity management, emergency management, significant incident management and recovery.