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.
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.
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.
Dr Bernadette Northeast
Bernadette has a PhD in desert fish genetics and is the Deputy Chair Victorian Fisheries Authority Board.
Bernadette (GAICD) is involved as a volunteer with a number of organisations in the region. She is an SES volunteer, a Director of South West Healthcare, Chair of Australian Institute of Company Directors Great South Coast Committee and founding steering committee member of Leadership Great South Coast.
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.
The Go-To Guy at The Ideas Place, Co-Founder of ArtEverywhere and LGSC Alumni. Gareth is a passionate advocate for community arts and has 25 years of experience in the field. Highlights of his volunteering work include serving as the President of the F Project and of the South West Film Festival, and representing the local arts community in Malaysia and China with the Kanawinka Global Geopark. He currently continues to serve on the F Project Committee, the Winter Weekends Committee, and is a Director on the Board of the South West Community Foundation.
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.
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.
Regional prosperity and community connection are front of mind for Ailiche, who is the Hycel Communications and Engagement Coordinator at Deakin University. Hycel combines Ailiche’s expertise in communication research and genuine community engagement. Ailiche is an active community member who believes in the power of volunteerism; she is currently the President of the Warrnambool Theatre Company. Contact 03 5563 3075 [email protected]
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
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.
Lynda Smith is the Population Health Coordinator with South West Primary Care Partnership; she has unique partnership, capacity building, and project management skills. She currently supports a variety of local government areas, health services and like minded organisations to research, plan, advocate , implement and evaluate community development initiatives.
With over 15 years’ experience in preventative health Lynda supports and mentors organisations to instigate population health initiatives and projects across the Great South Coast using a collective impact approach.. Priorities areas Lynda has focused on during her career include: physical health, oral health, breastfeeding, sexual health and more receintly social and emotional wellbeing.
Lynda has over five years experience as a board member for Kyeema Inc., a local disability service in Portland and also holds a position on the board of South West Sport.
In 2018 Lynda was one of 15 participants who compleated the Vicsport female leadership program.
Married with four children, and recently becoming a grandmother Lynda’s current position supports the shires of Warrnambool, Moyne and Corangamite. Whilst 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).
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.
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.
Steve Garner is an Executive Director Keppel Prince Engineering, a major employer in the Glenelg Shire with over 400 employees and Chairperson Committee for Portland.
Steve has worked in the engineering industry for over 37 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 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.
Pasi Sahlberg is a Finnish educator and author who has worked as schoolteacher, teacher educator, researcher, and policy advisor in Finland and has studied education systems, analysed education policies, and advised education reforms around the world. He has written and spoken widely about teaching and learning in school, teachers work and education, educational change, international education issues, and the future of schools.
His book “Finnish Lessons 2.0: What Can the World Learn from Educational Change in Finland” won the 2013 Grawemeyer Award for an idea that has potential to change the world. He is also a recipient of the 2012 Education Award in Finland, the 2014 Robert Owen Award in Scotland, the 2016 Lego Prize, and Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Resident Fellowship in 2017.
He is a former 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 of CIMO at the Finland’s Ministry of Education (in Helsinki, Finland), and a visiting Professor of Practice at Harvard University. He has served a member of several international organisations, editorial boards of academic journals, and advised number of governments on education issues. His most recent book (co-authored with William Doyle) is “Let the Children Play: How more play will save our schools and help children thrive” (Oxford University Press, 2019). He is a professor of education policy at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia.
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.
Simon is the Principal at Merrivale Primary School where he has been the Educational Leader
Prior to him taking up the Principal role at Merrivale, he worked as Principal at Woolsthorpe Primary School and in the Department of Education and Training for two years as an 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 learn to be leaders ‘by doing’ and make a difference in our communities.
Simon sits on the South West Maker Fest committee, leading in partnership with South West TAFE the ‘South West Maker Fest 18’, a localised STEAM learning and maker festival for schools, inventors, crafters and tinkerers aimed at challenging thinking around learning design and innovation. He is currently an executive team member of the Great South West Coast Principals Network.
Damien Farley grew up in Warrnambool, attended Emmanuel College and completed a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Teaching at Melbourne University.
Damien’s teaching experience includes two years at Caulfield Park Community School, which gave him an understanding of, and a desire to teach, vulnerable and marginalised young people.
Over a two year period Damien taught at a number of London schools, from private schools where teachers wore full academic robes, to the low socio economic schools. On his return to Melbourne he spent four years at Buckley Park College in Essendon, which include teaching, program and year level coordination.
After resettling locally with his family in 2011 Damien taught at Warrnambool College for two years before taking on the School Coordinator role at the WAVE School in 2012.
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.
Simon Kuestenmacher is a Director and Co-Founder of The Demographics Group which is headed by Bernard Salt. The group provides specialist advice on demographic, consumer and social trends for business.
Simon speaks two languages; has a Bachelor in geography from Humboldt University in Berlin and a Master of Urban Geography from Melbourne University; he writes a monthly column in The Australian and is an emerging media commentator on demographic and data matters.
Simon has presented to numerous corporate and industry audiences across Australia and overseas on demographic trends, consumer insights and cultural change in Australia. His work is appreciated by groups from the financial services, property, government, education, technology, retail and professional services industries, among others.
In his spare time Simon runs what is by now the world’s largest Twitter account dedicated to maps and data. In the space of 3 years he has amassed 150,000 global followers and reaches over 25 million people every month via social media. If you’re not already following Simon on Twitter, he can be found @simongerman600.
Simon ranks as one of the world’s Top 10 influencers in data visualisation.
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, and a previous member of the Warrnambool Cheese and Butter Supplier Advisory Forum.
Charlie McElhone joined Dairy Australia (DA) as Group Manager – Trade & Industry Strategy in June 2012, the division responsible for facilitating profitable international trade of Australian dairy products and providing information, analysis and market intelligence to the Australian dairy industry. 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, carbon and chemicals regulation.
Charlie came to DA from the National Farmers’ Federation (NFF), where he was the General Manager of Policy. Apart from overseeing all policy activities of the NFF, he also took primary carriage of the organisation’s advocacy in the Economics and Trade portfolios and lead NFF’s efforts on carbon mitigation policy in relation to the carbon tax and the Carbon Farming Initiative.
Mark Wootton with his wife, Eve own and manage Jigsaw Farms. Located north of Hamilton, Jigsaw Farms is a mixed operation of beef and wool with various combinations of biodiversity and agroforestry plantings which act as a carbon sink. They are building into their farming practices ways to lessen the impact of climate change. Mark is former Chairperson of the Climate Institute and Glenelg Hopkins Catchment Authority and currently is the chair of the Victorian State Government Independent Advisory Panel for the Agriculture Energy Investment Plan and Director of the Peter Cullen Trust.
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 700 sessions on climate and carbon issues to over 18,000 people in the last 3 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 20 year background in science and policy communication, farm planning, catchment management, forestry and agriculture industry development, land use change and socioeconomic impact programs. He managed the Victorian Plantations for Greenhouse carbon share-farming program in 2003-2006 which tested carbon sequestration ownership arrangements with Victorian farmers, learning much in the process.
He is currently DPI’s Climate Extension Specialist leading an innovative program that has created products such as the ClimateDogs, climate and carbon tools/newsletters (The Break, Milking the Weather), groundbreaking market research, capability development programs, 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.
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 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
Corrinne incites people to play their big game through Fearless Leadership. Empowering leaders to realise the potential in their careers, teams and organisations, Corrinne draws on 15 years’ experience in the corporate world heading large teams and projects. She knows firsthand the practicalities of juggling multiple priorities and perspectives.
Some of Corrinne’s greatest wisdom (and stories) comes from living and working in a jungle refugee camp at the edge of a war zone, where she gained powerful insights and an active passion for Fearless Leadership.
Corrinne helps leaders leverage their team’s collective brilliance to establish a competitive edge. Her Fearless Leadership framework is innovative and trusted, informed by positive psychology and underpinned by Neuroscience.
Corrinne’s latest book ‘Leaders who Ask: Building Fearless Cultures by telling less and asking more’ was released in 2018. She is also co-author of ‘Developing Direct Reports: Taking the Guesswork Out of Leading Leaders’ and two specialist texts in human behaviour used by coaches and consultants worldwide.
CORRINNE FACILITATES OUR OPENING, MID YEAR AND CLOSING RETREATS
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.
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.
“The Victorian Ombudsman, Deborah Glass, promotes good administrative practice and ethical behaviour in the Victorian Public Service. The Ombudsman also investigates concerns relating to poor practices by public departments and agencies, allegations of misconduct by public servants, as well as investigations referred to her by the Victorian Parliament.
Robert Hocking is an Assistant Ombudsman for Deborah Glass and has lead several investigations for her into matters referred to her by the Victorian Parliament, including into allegations of misconduct by MPs. Robert has also investigated protected disclosures of misconduct relating to employees of the Victorian Public Service, which have been tabled by the Ombudsman as public reports.
Prior to joining the Ombudsman Robert practiced law in Australia and the United Kingdom, including living and working in the Goulburn Valley, which has given Robert an appreciation of the opportunities and challenges for professionals working in regional Victoria.”
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/
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.
Dedy is the Executive Officer at Warrnambool and District Foodshare, a community service not-for –profit organisation that provides food hampers for families in the community who are in crisis and need. Dedy was the recipient of the 2016 Local Achiever Awards. He is a former teacher, principal and football umpire.
Over 60 local agencies utilise the Foodshare free food hamper service to provide emergency food relief.
Agencies range from St Vincent De Paul and Anglicare to Brophy Family Services, local hospitals and community agencies, Indigenous Co-ops, Emma House Domestic Violence Service and Mental Health Agencies to name a few.
Wherever hunger and need occur in our community Foodshare volunteers can respond with food hamper support. Our entire service is FREE.
Food is rescued from Supermarkets and supplies come regularly from Foodbank Victoria in Melbourne. Foodshare supports local soup kitchens, scout groups and provide fresh bread and fruit for local school programs- over 20.
As a not-for-profit organisation we enjoy tremendous community support but need to raise over $60,000 per year to operate. We also have no permanent home/warehouse and aim to rally community support to ensure we can sustain our vital work into the future.
Please support Warrnambool and District Foodshare with your donation so that we can continue providing emergency relief to those in need in our community https://www.mycause.com.au/charity/5508/WarrnamboolandDistrictFoodShareInc
Tyson Lovett-Murray is a project officer with the Gunditj-Mirring Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation, he is an experienced guide and has exceptional knowledge of the Budj-Bim landscape and history.
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.
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.
Jodie Outtram has been employed in the Nursing field for over 27 years, specialising as a Drug and Alcohol Nurse (EN, Dip AOD, GradCert Ass & Cse Mgt , CertIV Train the Trainer)for the past 17 years.
During this time she has worked across the Great South Coast. Currently employed at South West Healthcare as a Drug and Alcohol Nurse.
Specializing in Assessment and Withdrawal 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.
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.
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 foot prints) 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.
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.
With a commitment to social justice Emma brings thought and determination to her role as the CEO of Womens Heatlh 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!”
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.