Tasneem Chopra OAM | Cross-Cultural Consultant
A Cross-cultural Consultant, Tasneem addresses leadership, cultural competence and intersectionality across private and public spheres. For her efforts she was recently appointed the inaugural Ambassador for Women of Colour, Australia – and in 2020, awarded an OAM.
Tasneem has been named an ‘Anti-Racism Champion’ by the Australian Human Rights Commission and holds a Distinguished Alumni Award from La Trobe University in recognition of her impact in the diversity sector.
She is a Board Director for The Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI), the Crescent Institute as well as a Strategic advisor for Fire Rescue Victoria and the Collingwood Football Expert Panel on Anti-Racism
A TEDxMelbourne presenter and writer, Tasneem has featured in SBS Life, The Guardian, The SMH and appeared on BBC’s IQ2 Debates, Q&A is a regular panellist on The Drum and host of the podcast series, ‘Strengths Untold’.
Zoe Daniel | Former ABC US Bureau Chief, Journalist and Communications Specialist
Zoe Daniel has spent almost 3 decades on the front line of news and current events, in Australia and internationally, living and working in some of the most challenging environments in the world. She translated the election of Donald Trump for Australians and has brought insights from Southeast Asia, Africa and the Americas home, illuminating key global events.
Zoe is a 3-time foreign correspondent and former ABC News United States Bureau chief. She was based in Washington DC from late 2015 until the end of 2019 and was one of the few journalists who saw the rise of Donald Trump coming. While in the United States, she travelled to 44 states and territories from Alaska to Puerto Rico.
Zoe has reported on politics, conflict, famine, natural disasters, plane crashes, terror attacks, mass shootings, repression, economic collapse and poverty across the world in countries as diverse as the USA, Mexico, Venezuela, Sudan, Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe, Burma, Vietnam and Vanuatu.
She is the author of Storyteller, which provides a personal insight into her life as a foreign correspondent while juggling a family, and Angel, a novel for young teens about Typhoon Haiyan in the. Philippines. Zoe’s new book, Greetings from Trumpland, with colleague Roscoe Whalan was released in March 2021.
Candy Chang | World-renowned Artist & Urban Designer
Candy Chang engages communities to share everything from their greatest hopes to their deepest anxieties in public. The Atlantic calls her artwork Before I Die “one of the most creative community projects ever.” In her captivating and intimate talks, she demystifies the creative process, inspires personal reflection, and provokes new ideas for community and well-being.
Through the activation of public spaces around the world, Candy Chang provokes both playful and profound visions for how we can connect, reflect, and nurture the health of our communities. Chang is best known for the Before I Die project, which began when she stenciled the words “Before I die I want to _______” on a chalkboard wall on an abandoned house in New Orleans after losing someone she loved. The participatory project has since grown into a global phenomenon and today there are over 5,000 Before I Die walls in over 70 countries, including Iraq, China, Brazil, Kazakhstan, and South Africa. The Before I Die project and subsequent book, which features walls around the world and insights into our aspirations, have been featured on CNN, NBC, TED, AP News, and Wired.
A TED Senior Fellow, Urban Innovation Fellow, and World Economic Forum Young Global Leader, Chang has also created installations for people to share their hopes for vacant storefronts, a confessional sanctuary in a Las Vegas casino, designated sites for crying in Hong Kong, and a civic tool called Neighborland.com for people to collaborate on the future of their communities.
Dr Rebecca Huntley | Australia’s foremost Researcher on Social Trends and Author
Dr Rebecca Huntley is one of Australians foremost researchers on social trends. She holds degrees in law and film studies and a PhD in Gender Studies.
For nearly 9 years Rebecca was the Director of The Mind & Mood Report, Australia’s longest running social trends report. She has lead research at Essential Media and Vox Populi, part of the CIRCA research group, before starting her own research and consultancy business. She works closely with The Sunrise Movement on the Climate Compass Project as well as with many other climate and environment NGOs.
She is the author of numerous books including How to Talk About Climate Change in a Way that Makes a Difference (Murdoch books, 2020), Still Lucky: why you should feel optimistic about Australia and its people (Penguin 2017) and Australia Fair: Listen to the Nation, the first Quarterly Essay for 2019.
She has delivered The John Button Oration (2012) at the Melbourne Writers’ Festival and the MSSI Oration at the University of Melbourne (2019). Rebecca writes occasionally for The Guardian and co-presented the Guardian’s podcast Common Ground with Lenore Taylor in 2017. Rebecca was also a broadcaster with the ABC’s RN and presented The History Listen and Drive on a Friday.
In addition to books, Rebecca has written extensively for essay collections, magazines, newspapers and online publications. She was a feature writer for Australian Vogue and a columnist for BRW and ABC Life.
Rebecca co-hosts with Sarah Macdonald a comedy storytelling night and podcast called The Full Catastrophe. The Full Catastrophe is also a book (Hardie Grant, May 2019).
Rebecca has researched the social and political dimensions of food and cooking throughout her career and has published on these topics in books and articles. She has written and presented two episodes of RN’s Future Tense, on climate change and food and ageing and food. She presented at MAD Syd in 2017 with Rene Redzepi and David Chang. She is on the Advisory Group of MAD Sydney. She wrote a children’s book, Nonna’s Gnocchi celebrating the job of grandparents cooking with their children.
She is on the board of The Bell Shakespeare Company and on the Executive Board of the NSW branch of the ALP. She is the Chair of the Advisory Board of Australian Parents for Climate Action. She has held board positions on The Whitlam Institute and The Dusseldorp Forum.
She is the mother of three girls and lives in Sydney.
Belle Arnold | Trainer and Consultant, Zion Engagement and Training
Belle is a Wakka Wakka woman living and working off country in Bundjalung Country. She is a multi disciplined cultural practioner working across cultural arts forms including Visual Arts, Cultural Arts and Dance. Belle has over 25 years of experience working with Aboriginal community organisations on governance, cultural heritage protection, community development, arts and community events. Belle has worked extensively across community and government sectors to deliver projects that empower the voices of Aboriginal people, Country, communities and cultural expresssion. She is currently employed with Zion Engagement and Planning working with professionals in planning and built environment industry.
Natalie Arnold | Principal Community and Stakeholder Engagement Officer, Victoria Park Transformation Project, Brisbane City Council
Natalie Arnold is a communication and engagement specialist with more then 25 years experience in public and private sector organisations. Currently with Brisbane City Council, Natalie has delivered communication and engagement projects across environment and sustainability, parks, flood risk management and resilience, sport, recreation and community facilities. Natalie is currently the Principal Community and Stakeholder Engagement Officer for the Victoria Park Transformation Project.
Paula Blackett | Environmental Social Scientist, NIWA
Paula is an environmental social scientist with the National Institute of Water and Atmosphere (NIWA). She has extensive research experience (20 years+) in the social impacts and implications of climate change, climate change adaptation strategies and engagement practices, and system approaches to framing complexity and decision-making. She has worked across several environmental domains including coasts freshwater and rural systems and is an adept integrator of ideas and practice. She currently leads NIWA’s climate change impacts and implications research programme.
Katherine Buchanan | A/Project Management Analyst, Business Transformation, Logan City Council
A highly skilled Analyst with Logan City Council, Katherine plays a pivotal role in the innovative Business Transformation team. Katherine specialises in corporate governance, excellence and innovation, working with Logan City Council in a variety of roles over the past 15 years.
Mel Butcher | Director, Research and Engagement, The Social Deck
Mel Butcher is the Director of Engagement and Impact at The Social Deck, a B-corporation certified engagement and communication consultancy based on the Sunshine Coast. She oversees The Social Deck’s engagement, research, data analysis, evaluation and community development work and has an MBA from the Australian Graduate School of Management at UNSW, specialising in Social Impact.
Mel is experienced at facilitating research and engagement activity, understanding and analysing themes and recommending strategies that achieve results. She specialises in applying inclusive and accessible facilitation and engagement practice, human centred design, and collaborative approaches.
Mel has recently been a lead designer and facilitator for consultations on a broad range of issues, including the National Disability Strategy, National Declaration for Educational Goals of Young Australians, and the National Obesity Prevention Strategy. She has also been involved in co-developing and evaluating innovative behaviour change projects.
Rory Butler | Associate Director – Policy and Research, Infrastructure Australia
Rory Butler is an Associate Director at Infrastructure Australia, the nation’s independent infrastructure advisor. He leads the sustainability and resilience unit of the Policy and Research team. Rory is a former lawyer who grew up in Zimbabwe.
Rory is passionate about how infrastructure contributes to resilient communities, and how to engage communities effectively. He is an experienced policy expert, who has helped deliver policies that have driven growth and productivity across the water, energy, telecommunications and transport sectors.
Rory recently authored the sustainability and resilience chapter of the 2021 Australian Infrastructure Plan, which is a practical and actionable roadmap for infrastructure reform. The Plan is focused on reforms and policy recommendations that will deliver better infrastructure outcomes for Australian communities.
Jacqueline Cormack | Senior Advisor Communications and Engagement, Major Transport Infrastructure Authority
Jacqueline Cormack Senior Advisor Communications and Engagement at the Major Transport Infrastructure Authority (MTIA), a government agency delivering Victoria’s Big Build, a once-in-a-generation program of transport infrastructure.
MTIA oversees 165 major road and rail infrastructure projects in Victoria including Metro Tunnel, North East Link, West Gate Tunnel, Melbourne Airport Rail, the removal of 85 level crossings and major road upgrades around Victoria.
Jacqueline is transport enthusiast who has worked for Victoria’s leading transport owners and operators. She passionate about building personnel capability and continually improving engagement practices to deliver good outcomes for communities. Working across a large number of professionals, Jacqueline drives projects and team members to collaborate in developing coordinated communications and delivering consistent engagement that matters to communities.
Jacinta Cubis | Engagement Expert
Jacinta Cubis creates engaging experiences that deliver.
She loves helping people to explore with a little more wonder and uncover innovative solutions to problems. She helps her clients:
✔ Understand the aspirations, needs and wants of communities and stakeholders.
✔ Create experiences that connect, engage and energise, groups of 5 to 500.
✔ Get constructive information from communities and stakeholders to make better decisions.
✔ Put themselves in another’s shoes and appreciate different perspectives.
At work and in life, Jacinta learned a long time ago to give things a go. To try everything – at least once, and not care what people think.
Fiona Darling | Community Engagement Partner, City of Melbourne
Fiona’s passion for community development and community engagement practice has been developed from a wealth of experience working across local governments, as well as the education, health and community sectors. In her current role as Community Engagement Partner at the City of Melbourne she enjoys acting as a connector between communities, Council and community partners to deliver more locally responsive and collaborative outcomes.
Elle Davidson | Director, Zion Engagement and Planning
Elle Davidson is a Balanggarra woman from the East Kimberley and descendant of Captain William Bligh. She describes herself as being caught in the cross-winds of Australia’s history. With a passion to empower the voices of First Nations People, Elle combines her Town Planning and Indigenous Engagement qualifications to shape our places and spaces ensuring they are informed about cultural considerations. Through her approach, she creates a strong platform for Aboriginal voices in the planning process and builds allies to advocate for community. She is the Director of Zion Engagement and Planning, an Aboriginal training and consulting business, and an Aboriginal Planning Lecturer at the University of Sydney.
Mandi Davidson | National Lead – Communications and Engagement, RPS
Mandi Davidson is the National Lead for Communications and Engagement at RPS. Mandi is a recognised leader in the industry with more than 20 years’ experience helping organisations and projects to achieve their objectives through strategic communication and stakeholder engagement. She has supported the planning and delivery of major infrastructure projects in rail, water, energy and urban renewal. Her expertise is in communications and engagement in highly complex legal, regulatory and approvals environments. Mandi is a former Director of the International Association of Public Participation (IAP2) in Australasia and IAP2 International.
Lisa Edgerton | Principal Engagement Officer, Community Experience Team, Brisbane City Council
Lisa Edgerton cut her teeth in the Human Services sector over 20 years ago in the not-for -profit sector and gravitated towards community development and community engagement in local Government 14 years ago. Lisa is currently the Principal Community Engagement Officer, Community Experience Team (Brisbane City Council), providing advice and support for the planning and delivery of community and stakeholder engagement approaches/initiatives for projects across the organisation including neighbourhood planning, parks, sport and recreation precinct planning, transport, environment and sustainability.
Donna Groves | Managing Director and Principal Consultant, Comacon
Donna is a stakeholder/community engagement and communications professional with over 25 years’ experience in infrastructure, natural resources, energy and governance projects. Donna has worked on over 200 infrastructure/natural resources projects and is passionate about delivering infrastructure that meets the needs of the community and stakeholders. She is a strong advocate for transparency and rigorous planning, as well as involving the community and stakeholders in the development of projects, preferably as early in the process as possible.
Donna has held senior stakeholder/community relations and communications roles with the NSW, Victorian and Australian Governments, CPB Contractors and Abigroup (now Lendlease), as well as heading up communications for Infrastructure Australia.
Mel Hagedorn | Territory Manager, Bang the Table
As the Director of Client Success at Granicus, formally Bang the Table, Mel works to advocate for best practice engagement for their 1000+ clients where digital and face-to-face are blended to ensure everyone’s voices are heard.
Some of Mel’s achievements include engaging with those that are easy to forget by developing guidelines and relationships with Multicultural communities, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, implementing braille ballot papers to allow visually impaired people to vote in secret for the first time in Queensland, and more.
When not online, Mel likes to disconnect and spend time with Charlotte (puppy) or renovating.
Jill Hannaford | General Manager Technical Services, APAC, GHD
In the early 1990s Jill was working in the infrastructure sector and saw a much-needed opportunity for the ultimate end users of infrastructure, people, to have better understanding of how infrastructure was conceived and built. So, she investigated community consultation practices and found IAP2 – in the USA and Canada. She went to an IPA2 Conference in Toronto, Canada in 1997 and decided to bring IAP2 to Australia. Jill has worked in engagement in one way or another for over 30 years. Jill was the inaugural Consult Australia female champion of change and a finalist in the National Women’s Agenda award. She is on the board of Bridge Housing (community housing sector) and RedR (humanitarian sector) and the advisory board for the Henry Halloran Trust into urban research a the university of Sydney. Jill has four children aged 14 to 22 and has been a sole parent for the last 14 years, which has helped her focus on what matters. She is a passionate advocate for inclusion and diversity, focusses on listening and collaboration and now has a global role at GHD that is looking at the future of communities and infrastructure.
Max Hardy | Principal, Max Hardy Consulting
Max Hardy specialises in deliberative community engagement and authentic codesign.
Max has won numerous community engagement awards, and our involvement as a thought and practice leader spans 20 years. Max has been an IAP2 Ambassador, a collaborator with the Tamarack Institute, and an associate of Collaboration for Impact. He helped to establish IAP2 in Australasia, has won numerous Awards, and co-facilitated IAP2 training academies in the UK and Canada.
Max is well known for his innovation in process design, has pioneered co-design processes for community engagement, and is regarded as an important leader in deliberative engagement practices. He believes community engagement goes beyond processes to inform better decisions; he believes it is key to strengthening democracy and collective well-being.
Allison Hendricks | CEO & Founder, Darzin Software
Allison Hendricks (CEO and Founder) is one of the pioneers in the Stakeholder Engagement industry in Australia. She was one of the key authors of the United Nations Brisbane Declaration on Community Engagement and has developed a number of resources to promote the practice of stakeholder engagement globally. Prior to Simply Stakeholders, Allison founded a consultancy business and software business Darzin Software. She has successfully managed projects with multi-million dollar budgets including some of Australia’s iconic and sometimes highly controversial infrastructure projects.
Judith Heywood | Senior Advisor Communications and Engagement, Major Transport Infrastructure Authority
Judith Heywood, Senior Advisor Communications and Engagement at the Major Transport Infrastructure Authority (MTIA), a government agency delivering Victoria’s Big Build, a once-in-a-generation program of transport infrastructure.
MTIA oversees 165 major road and rail infrastructure projects in Victoria including Metro Tunnel, North East Link, West Gate Tunnel, Melbourne Airport Rail, the removal of 85 level crossings and major road upgrades around Victoria.
Judith is a former newspaper journalist in the UK and Australia, with a background in health promotion and corporate communications, she’s passionate about giving community members a voice in projects designed to improve their lives
Cindy Lenferna de la Motte | Head of Customer and Community, Harvest Digital Planning
Cindy Lenferna de la Motte is Head of Customer and Community at Harvest Digital Planning. Cindy’s passion lies at the intersection of people, technology and innovation. She offers deep experience in the technology industry, working at the forefront of Digital Transformation and Engagement, and is driven by her dedication to creating engaging and meaningful human experiences.
Donna Marshall | Head of Community Engagement, Customer Experience and Strategy, Airservices Australia
Donna is a community engagement professional of more than 25 years experience. Starting her career in the environmental sector, she moved into hard infrastructure projects where she consulted across projects including road, rail, transport, water, wastewater, oil and gas, mining, town planning and property development for around 20 years before moving “client side” into government roles in 2018. She has most recently held senior roles on Inland Rail, Cross River Rail and now with Airservices Australia where she oversees the delivery of the network of “invisible infrastructure” across Australia’s airspace. She is the immediate past Chair of IAP2 Australasia, and has been the recipient of 39 individual industry awards including the IAP2 Australasia Project of the Year in 2012.
Tamsyn McGrouther | School Strike 4 Climate
Tamsyn McGrouther is a 16 year old activist from Dhurag and Gundungurra land in the Blue Mountains. They have participated in a documentary to feature at the upcoming COP-26 UN climate conference highlighting how climate change is already altering people’s lives and communities all around the world. They have used illustration skills in political comics to bring information to the public in an accessible way. Their aim is to bring awareness to critical and unspoken issues around climate change in an engaging format. Tamsyn seeks to continue to push for climate justice and meaningful Intersectional action through creative engaging mediums.
Georgie Meyer | Team Leader Community Engagement and Partnerships, City of Melbourne
Georgie Meyer is currently Team Leader Community Engagement and Partnerships at the City of Melbourne. Previously she worked in community engagement and education at Melbourne Museum and the Immigration Museum. She has held board positions with Punctum Inc and Multicultural Arts Victoria and has a BMus / BA (Hons) from the University of Melbourne.
Peter Murphy | Community Engagement Program Leader, Logan City Council
Most recently acting as the Community Engagement Program Leader for Logan City Council, Peter worked at Council for the past 13 years and with the Community Engagement Team for the last 3. After over 20 years working in community facing customer experience roles, Peter decided to take his highly developed people skills to be beginning of the decision-making process to help ensure the community voice is heard. Being regularly stopped when walking his two Great Danes, Rock and Tiny has helped refine his people skills.
Anne Pattillo | Pattillo
Anne is the founder and director of Pattillo. With over 30 years’ experience in facilitation and consulting, she’s a strategic thinker, an international leader in stakeholder engagement and a generous sponsor of artists.
Anne’s restless desire to solve problems sees her work with leaders in government, corporate and NGOs sectors across Australia and New Zealand.
Anne is also recognised for her work as a leader in community engagement and the International Association of Public Participation (IAP2), including taking a central role in the design of the current IAP2 engagement frameworks and training.
Melanie Rippon | Acting Community Engagement Manager, Ipswich City Council
Melanie Rippon is an environmental scientist, community and stakeholder engagement specialist and applied social researcher with sixteen years’ experience spanning federal government, local government, multi-sector consulting and the not-for-profit sector. Melanie has delivered a broad mix of community engagement projects, Social Impact Assessments and community development programs across Australia, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Timor-Leste, Myanmar, Malaysia, Vanuatu and Fiji. Her passions lie in community-led change, navigating cross-cultural and post-conflict environments, and embedding social sustainability into business practice. She is currently the Acting Community Engagement Manager at Ipswich City Council. Her toughest challenge remains raising her ever curious five year old twins.
Emanuela Savini | PhD Candidate, University of Technology, Sydney
Emanuela is a researcher and a participatory democracy professional. She has worked across many sectors including 10 years in local government. She is committed to supporting citizen-led action and exploring how we might do democracy better. She is currently undertaking a PhD in the Institute for Public Policy and Governance at UTS which explores how authorising environments and organisational capacity influence participatory practices. Her focus has been the recent changes to the Victorian Local Government Act which legislate ‘deliberative engagement practices’. Emanuela is also currently the Chair of the IAP2A Research Working Group and Director of The Public Value Studio, an organisation committed to supporting and building civic participation for which, amongst other things, she facilitates the Moreland Democracy Lab.
Erin Seale | Project Manager, Logan City Council
Erin has worked in community and stakeholder engagement for almost a decade. She has a passion for designing innovative and collaborative engagement experiences that empower people to create positive impact in their communities. Erin has been involved with hundreds of unique projects over the years and has spoken to the broad and beautiful spectrum of stakeholders, but the group who resonate most strongly with her are our youngest citizens. Erin is a strong advocate for ‘children’s voice’ and how it can be considered a foundation of any strong community. After rewarding and successful career in local government and private enterprise, Erin has ventured out to create her own start up business WhaiFlow (pronounced ‘Fai-Flow’)
Clarence Slockee | Mindjingbal Indigenous Musician & Dancer
Clarence Slockee is from the Mindjingbal clan from north coast NSW and currently leads the Aboriginal Cultural Tours team at Barangaroo in Sydney.
Clarence is an accomplished musician and dancer with a passion for all forms of traditional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander music and dance. He has had extensive involvement in many contemporary Indigenous dance productions, including Sydney Dreaming (2001 – 2003) and the Rugby World Cup Opening Ceremony (2003).
He is a lovely man, available for Acknowledgements to Country either speak in plain clothes or dress traditionally and perform on didgeridoo as well.
Chloe Sullivan | Senior Social Sustainability and Engagement Consultant, GHD
Chloe is a Senior Social Sustainability and Engagement Consultant, who has been working with GHD for the past five years. She is passionate about working with Aboriginal communities, and is proud to have worked on a number of successful Aboriginal engagement projects across the NSW region. She has recently moved to Darwin to pursue opportunities working with remote Aboriginal communities.
Alice Sherring | Project Manager, Articulous
With more than a decade of experience developing innovative stakeholder engagement strategies for complex projects, Alice is a highly sought-after facilitator, trainer and strategist. Alice has worked in Australia, NZ and the USA.
A dynamic facilitator, with a background in strategic planning, Alice is passionate about organizational development. Her facilitation strategies employ an outcome-focused approach that builds rapport, capacity and trust with community and stakeholders. Whether she is among a few participants or hundreds of stakeholders, Alice navigates tension with ease expertly facilitating complex issues and highly nuanced stakeholder negotiations.
Internationally recognised for her commitment to equity and social inclusion, Alice is passionate about bringing diverse audiences together to achieve results. Alice brings a cross-cultural competency to her projects, striving for equitable engagement and inclusion.
An experienced IAP2 trainer, Alice is known for her ability to clearly articulate and explore complex concepts and problems with diverse groups.
Tiffany Tang | Senior Consultant, Capire
Tiffany Tang is a Senior Consultant from Melbourne-based engagement consultancy – Capire Consulting Group. She has extensive experience in placemaking, community development and cultural mapping. Prior to working in the engagement industry, Tiffany developed a digital travel mobile app for Asian neighbourhoods that covers untold stories from local communities in Hong Kong, Macau, Myanmar, Thailand, Indonesia. Tiffany is passionate about digital engagement and storytelling. In this session, Tiffany and her team at Capire will bring you a unique digital walking experience around your neighbourhood.
Nivek Thompson | Institute for Sustainable Futures, University of Technology, Sydney
Nivek is a doctoral candidate with the Institute for Sustainable Futures at UTS. Her research focuses on how deliberative mini-publics can improve the quality of democracy. With ISF she has developed and delivered two online courses: Leading Deliberative Democracy and Doing Deliberative Democracy. Nivek is also the producer of the Facilitating Public Deliberations podcast and the host and producer of Real Democracy Now! a podcast. She has been a public servant at both state and federal levels as well as working for the newDemocracy Foundation and now her own consultancy Deliberately Engaging supporting decision-makers to engage citizens in decision-making. Srhood.
Kate Walshe | Director, Communications and Stakeholder Engagement, CYP Design & Construction Joint Venture
Kate Walshe is the Director of Communications and Stakeholder Engagement for CYP Design & Construction Joint Venture. The Joint Venture is the contractor delivering the design and construction for the Tunnels and Stations of the Metro Tunnel Project – Victoria’s largest ever public transport infrastructure project.
Kate has held this executive leadership role on the Project since contract award in 2017, and has more than 20 years experience as communications professional. Kate has a track record of success developing and delivering nation-shaping communications and stakeholder engagement strategies that create opportunities, delight key stakeholders and achieve outstanding results for the organisation.