Current roles: Chairman Western Abalone Divers Association, Vice Chair Abalone Council of Australia, and Chair Abalone Council of Victoria.
At age 16, Craig Fox started commercial fishing in Port Fairy as a crayfish and giant crab deckhand. This first job was pivotal to his professional fishing career as his skipper was a great mentor, who dedicated many years to his development as a fisherman. Then at 21, he took over the boat which provided a new experience and challenge. A couple of years later Craig had the opportunity to work for a Western Zone abalone diver. He knew then abalone diving was the ultimate fishing sector for him. Craig leased his first licence in 2000, but his career was put on hold when the AVG virus struck a few years after that and decimated the abalone population. As the recovery began, he bought a Western Zone licence and quota and has been committed to returning the fishery back to how he remembers it as a young deckhand. In 2015 Craig graduated from the National Seafood Industry Leadership Program. In May 2021, the AVG virus was discovered in Portland. Since then, Craig, as Chair of WADA, has been deeply involved in the collaboration with Victorian Fisheries Authority and Agriculture Victoria Biosecurity to control the virus. This has included setting up the control order, dive protocol biosecurity for monitoring and surveillance, and has led the dive operation to date.
Greg joined the Port of Portland team as the Chief Executive Officer on 16 January 2023, following 10 years as Chief Executive Officer of the Glenelg Shire Council. Prior to this he served as Chief Financial Officer at the Australian Taxation Office, after spending 18 years in senior management and board positions with Shell Australia.
Greg has exceptional relevant experience and brings with him a wealth of industry knowledge. As a local, he is very familiar with the operations at Port of Portland and has existing relationships with many of the Port’s customers.
Greg holds three Master’s Degrees, in accounting, in business (corporate law) and in professional ethics, as well as a Graduate Diploma in taxation. He is also a Fellow of the Australian Society of Certified Practising Accountants.
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.
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.
Jenny Holliday AM, GAICD
Jenny is a Director of Non Profit Training with over thirty years’ experience working in senior leadership roles and on Boards in the not-for-profit sector. Her NFP board appointments have been in the disability, sporting, education and environmental sectors and has a wealth of experience in mentoring Boards and CEO’s as well as delivering training and organisational solutions through her roles with charities and non-profits. Her experience includes roles on advisory committees at international, state and local council levels.
Outside of work, Jenny was a member of the Australian Softball team including as a member of three world championship teams and the inaugural Bronze medal-winning Olympic team in Atlanta in 1996. Since retiring as an athlete, Jenny has contributed to both Softball and sport in Australia through a range of roles, most particularly in Softball having been both the Softball Australia and Softball Victoria Chair. She has been appointed to a range of commissions for the International Softball Federation including: the Athletes Commission (1999 & 2001), Administration Commission (2005 – 2008), Chair of the Women’s Commission (2009 – 2001) and the ISF Strategic Planning Commission (2015).
For her contribution to the game as a player, Jenny was inducted into the International and Australian Softball Halls of Fame in 2001 and 2002 respectively and in 2016 was made a Member of the Order of Australia in recognition of her contribution to sport.
Kate is currently one of the Human Research Ethics Advisers at Deakin University (Deakin Research), advising and training staff, students, and external stakeholders on ethical conduct in human research. She holds degrees in Psychology (BA-Hons) and Public Health (MA) and has over a decade of professional experience in psychological and public health research, teaching, ethics, research support and professional administrative services. Her passions for teaching, ethics, emerging technology, and climate change communication which, in 2019, lead her to designing and creating a Virtual Reality experience looking at the impacts of flooding in Melbourne CBD in the year 2100. She has been working in human research ethics in universities and government across Victoria for many years and has enjoyed volunteer work in science education and advocacy. After having lived in China and Papua New Guinea, Kate is a keen explorer and loves hiking and kayaking in nature.
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.
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.
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) is the Indigenous Game Development Officer with AFL Victoria, as well as the former Vice President and player at the Heywood Football Netball Club and has other various community involvements.
Joel has been a resident of the Southwest for all of his life. He has completed a Cert 3 and Diploma in Community Services, and is currently studying a Diploma in Alcohol & Other Drugs and a Diploma in Counselling.
After joining Western Region Alcohol & Drug Service Inc. (WRAD) as an Alcohol and Other Drugs Clinician via an internship program, Joel quickly joined the WRAD Rainbow Tick Committee, a group dedicated to ensuring that the organisation is a safe, informed, and equitable place for the LGBTIQA+ community to seek support.
Lyn lives locally in Warrnambool, is passionate and active in the creative arts space. She has been the choir director of the Red Tent Singers for over 21 years, and more recently has had the pleasure of supporting the Find Your Voice Collective (all abilities choir).
Has worked at Brophy Family and Youth Services for almost 14 years and is currently the Manager of the School and Community Programs Team.
Lyn has a strong sense of social justice and has worked in the areas of; multicultural communities, youth programs and events and LGBTIQA+ advocacy and supports.
Working towards a community where young people have their rights upheld, are safe, empowered and celebrated.
Maree commenced as the Executive Manager – Realise Enterprises, a Brophy leadership role, in August 2021 and oversees the provision of NDIS Registered services to participants with disability through Tasty Plate – a social enterprise catering business.
With a background in Clinical Occupational Therapy, Access Auditing and Community Development, Maree has a strong grounding in disability access and equity, social justice and universal design. Maree has worked in the Warrnambool Region for 30 years with organisations including South West Healthcare, St John of God Hospital, Southwest TAFE and Warrnambool City Council. She is an active community member with the Find Your Voice Collective, Merri River School Community Committee and Disabled Surfers Association – Great South Coast Vic.
Maree strives for excellent in service provision, towards creating better lives for people with disability, their families and the wider community.
Jennifer was born and raised in West Africa in the coastal town, Freetown in Sierra Leone. She moved to Australia about five years ago to pursue higher education in Melbourne. Upon completion of her studies, she relocated with family to Southwest Victoria (Eastern Maar country) on a skilled migration program.
She is a trained and certified development economist and has worked in a range of sectors in Australia and Africa developing and implementing strategies and initiatives that supports business retention, economic diversification, and promoting regional development.
In her current role as the Strategic Liaison with the Eastern Maar Aboriginal Cooperation, she manage all partnerships, engagements and project management principally with the Department of Energy Environment and Climate Action (DEECA) and other agencies across the full extent of the traditional land of the Eastern Maar people.
Jennifer is an LGSC 2022 Alumni and is currently volunteering with two community organisations.
Teresa Lombardo (she/her) is a proud mum of an amazing young man and believes that inclusive leadership starts in the home with young people who will have the greatest impact on our future. She lives with her partner and son on Bunurong Land.
Just 4 years ago, that Teresa finally worked out what she wanted to be when she grew up finding the intersection between what she was good at (driving positive change), what she was passionate about (making a difference in the world) and what she could get paid for (creating greater inclusion in workplaces).
Teresa is passionate about all things DEI but is particularly passionate about her allyship in the Reconciliation and LGBTQIA+ space as well as lifting the stigma around mental health and neurodivergent thinkers. Her work focuses on developing practical strategies and plans that create inclusive workplaces and helping people to understand their power and privilege and how to use those tools for the greater good.
Originally from Melbourne, Claire moved to the Barwon South West region over ten years ago. Claire worked as a clinical and community Dietitian in Colac and Geelong for eight years, before joining Western Victoria Primary Health Network (WVPHN) as Regional Senior Manager Great South Coast in 2020. Claire’s current role at WVPHN as Senior Manager Regional Partnerships and Public Health Barwon South West allows her to work closely with a wide range of healthcare providers and stakeholders across the region, which aligns with her passion for supporting improvements in the health and wellbeing of our community.
Claire is currently a Board Director of Terang and Mortlake Health Service and has previously been a Committee of Management Member for Anam Cara House Colac and Board Director of Active Geelong. Claire is a Leadership Great South Coast Alumni 2022.
Simon Kuestenmacher is a Director and Co-founder of The Demographics Group and he presents on demographic and global trends that are shaping Australia today and into the future.
Simon is a columnist for The New Daily newspaper, a monthly columnist for The Australian newspaper; and he is a media commentator on demographic and data matters.
In his spare time Simon has authored three books on maps and runs what is by now the world’s largest Twitter account dedicated to maps and data. His social media posts reach over 25 million people every month. Simon ranks as one of the world’s top 10 influencers in data.
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.
A Senior Executive with over 27 years’ experience in public policy, government, project management, urban and regional planning, property, engagement, development management and facilitation. Brett was appointed CEO of Moyne Shire in June 2022 having previously served as a Director at the Shire. Prior to this, Brett was Executive Director for Regional Victoria with the Victorian Planning Authority. He is passionate about rural and regional areas, and this has been his primary focus for the past 15 years. Brett was elevated to Fellow with the Planning Institute of Australia in 2017.
Brett has been a Senior Member at Planning Panels Victoria, and has served on the Building Appeals Board. He has held a number of senior leadership roles in the public and private sectors as well as extensive experience in Local Government and private industry as a senior consultant. Brett sits on several boards, namely Food and Fibre Great South Coast, Great Ocean Road Tourism, the South West Victorian Alliance Board and Rural Cities Victoria. Brett is also a member of the Regional Partnership.
A social innovator and an out of the box thinker, Ashish is a social policy and community development professional, with over 24 years of progressive experiences across the Asia-Pacific. Born in Nepal, Ashish has lived and worked in Nepal, India, Afghanistan, Thailand, Indonesia and now Australia. Ashish has also contributed to and advised programs in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Vietnam and the Philippines. Day to day, Ashish explores common sense solutions to complex social problems through overarching policies, strategies, and hands-on projects management. Portfolios of expertise include design and management of community development, advocacy, behaviour change communications and social marketing strategies and campaigns in public health, community service delivery, developing social and affordable housing models to address homelessness, programs fostering diversity and inclusion, anti-poverty strategies, and, developing grass-roots renewable energy solutions to address climate change.
Multilingual with diverse experience in multicultural environments, Ashish is skilled in qualitative and quantitative research including formative research, and evaluation design and implementation. Having lived and worked in war-zones, disasters and emergencies, Ashish has significant experience in managing business continuity during disasters and emergencies.
An avid football fan, Ashish loves to read fiction, research Western Foreign Policy and write scripts.
Originally from Port Fairy, Katie has been around the helping professions, community development and local government for over 30 years. Commencing her career as a Registered Nurse, Katie went on to study community welfare and left nursing to coordinate an out of home care program with Brophy Family & Youth Services for seven years.
After Brophy, Katie moved to Darwin for a year and stayed 17 …and led the Vibrant Communities Team and Safer Darwin Team at City of Darwin. Her role included arts and cultural development, community grants, capacity building, community safety, alcohol harm reduction, access and inclusion, community development, events, family and children’s services, youth services, social policy, community engagement and advocacy.
Katie returned to the South West in 2018 and holds the position of Manager Community Services.
Katie has a passion for CPTED (Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design), social policy and community development. She holds an Ass Dip Community Welfare, Ba Social Work and a Masters of Management.
Nigel is the Acting Manager Regional Operations, Regional Development Victoria – Barwon South West.
Nigel relocated from Melbourne to the region in 2010 to start a new role with Regional Development Victoria in Warrnambool. Prior to that, Nigel commenced his career with the State Government in March 1999 in the Department of State Development and since then has had a range of roles focusing on business and community development in areas such policy, sector development, trade fairs and missions, managing the Middle East export program and, more recently, regional development projects across the Great South Coast. Nigel lives in Port Fairy and is active in a range of community sports including basketball, football, cricket, soccer and tennis.
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 the co chair of Beyond the Bell Great South Coast Board, Board Director at Leadership Great South Coast and President of the Warrnambool Theatre Company, Ailiche advocates for volunteerism, education, creative expression and community partnerships.
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) and Dairy Australia. Lisa is currently a non-executive director of Racing Analytical Services Limited, member of the Victorian Agricultural Climate Change Council and Regional Development Advisory Committee, and a graduate of the Australian Rural Leadership Program and the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Ms Dwyer farms in partnership a 760 acre dairy enterprise – Kangertong Farming Pty Ltd.
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.
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!”
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.
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.
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.
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/
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.
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.