29 - 31 October, 2019

Save the date!

Sydney, NSW

Novotel, Brighton Beach


With the best and brightest practitioners

Keynote Speakers

Julia Suh | CEO and Founder, Paper Plain | Director and Founder, Small Shift

Julia is a leading voice in citizen-led urbanism, and specialises in applying human-centred design as a tool for social change and advocacy. Julia’s purpose is to support people to build a sense of belonging to their local places and community. Small Shift brings people of different backgrounds together with the common goal of improving their neighbourhood, and hires long term unemployed people as the workforce. Paper Plain is a digital platform that enables and inspires neighbours to have the courage to meet, collaborate and belong.

Julia has taught and practiced architecture, placemaking and urban design in New York, Auckland, Hanoi and Sydney, building an extensive knowledge of various communities; and urban spaces that support or neglect them. Her work in community engagement, planning policy and urban research has been locally recognised by the Planning Institute of Australia, as well as internationally by The Guardian UK. Julia was one of 10 Australians awarded Westpac Social Change Fellowship in 2017.

Julia received her M.Arch. from Yale University and B.Arch. with First Class Honours from the University of Auckland; and training in Qualitative Research Methods from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and Social Return on Investment from Social Ventures.


Aimee Brock

Aimee has worked for the NZ Transport Agency or four years, managing engagement and communications programmes for major new transport projects in Auckland. She oversaw the award winning engagement and consultation strategy for the NZ$700 million Northern Corridor Improvements project through it’s business case, planning and consenting approval phases, before establishing the alliance engagement team when NCI moved into construction in 2018. She is currently working as one of NZTA’s lead advisors on the Supporting Growth Programme.

Alicia Pickering

Alicia Pickering leads Melbourne Water’s Strategic Engagement team ensuring leading and best practice engagement across Melbourne Water’s strategy, planning and delivery divisions. Alicia also oversees the implementation of Melbourne Water’s industry leading transformation program designed to move engagement at Melbourne Water to a position of innovation and leadership. She is a leader in her field and draws on her extensive experience from across corporate and government in shaping strategy and positively steering change through innovative leading edge communications and engagement. A skilled presenter and engaging facilitator Alicia brings passion and energy to her workshops and helps participants explore blue sky thinking and innovative techniques to unlock and uncover new ideas.

Allison Hendricks

Allison Hendricks has over two decades’ experience in stakeholder relationship management and engagement; she is considered one of Australia’s leading experts in the space. Her career started as a stakeholder management and community engagement consultant, serving government and corporate clients, across Australia. In 2004, Allison founded Darzin Software, as a response to an increasing number of her clients asking for better ways to manage the vast volume of data generated from managing stakeholders. Today, Darzin and Simply Stakeholders are the world’s most powerful suite of stakeholder engagement management tools and are recognised globally as industry-leading products for stakeholder data analysis.

Alison Chisholm 

Alison is a Senior Engagement Officer at Central Coast Council. She has over 20 years experience helping people to have a voice on matters that affect them and influence decisions. Alison has worked for local and state governments as well as not for profit organisations. She is passionate about making participation local, relevant and inclusive.

Ashlie Carlyle

Ashlie is an Environmental Planner with 13 years’ experience in RMA statutory planning, communications and community engagement. She has worked across the public and private sectors on a range of development and major infrastructure projects. Ashlie is passionate about building partnerships And fostering relationships with stakeholders. She has specialist skills in developing strategic Engagement Plans, organising engagement events, preparing consultation material and facilitating consultation with key stakeholders, affected parties and communities. She is currently the Engagement and Communications Team Leader within the Supporting Growth Alliance.

Carolyn Wallace

Carolyn Wallace is a social researcher and PhD candidate at Swinburne University of Technology. She has extensive experience in health and community services as an executive and non-executive director. She is currently a research advisor for the Royal Flying Doctor Service Victoria and a member of the Victorian Government Research Institute on Social Inclusion. She has worked in rural and regional development in Victoria and Ireland with a focus on social inclusion, and a skill base in community development and community engagement. Carolyn provides leadership and expertise for grassroots community engagement approaches with health and community services.

Devon Cuimara

Devon Cuimara is a Nyoongar man, he is the CEO of the Aboriginal Males Healing Centre organisation that has as its focus to establish a Healing Centre in Newman WA for perpetrators of Family Violence. The Healing is programmed initially over a 12 month time frame integrating Cultural revitalisation and western clinical healing in a culturally appropriate location and setting.

Catherine Atoms

Catherine Atoms, Associate at element, has led civic engagement to cultivate connection with more activated places across Australia. Over two decades she has explored public space identity and place attachment. She has supported participants on adventures through streets, neighbourhoods, do-it-yourself festivals and in pop-up events. Catherine’s practical experience and studies in health science and social sustainability underpin her engagement practice.

Jody Gleeson

Jody Gleeson has 18 years’ experience in marketing, events and community development in both the private and public sector.

Commencing her career in the marketing and events space her clients have included Bacardi, GlaxoSmithKline, Porsche, Lexus, Pfizer and Lion Nathan. She has designed and delivered many successful events, engagement activities and brand/product launches.

Jody is currently the Director of Community Development and Engagement at the Suburban Land Agency where she demonstrates a new way of thinking in community development in new suburbs in the ACT. She has practical experience in collaborating with diverse groups and a focus on creating strong stakeholder relationships. She designed, and now oversees the Agency’s Community Development Program, Mingle, which has been nominated for many awards.

Jody is passionate about creating new communities, new destinations and new ideas. Jody holds a Bachelor of Tourism Degree from the University of Canberra and a Diploma in Social Media.

Joel Levin

Joel Levin, IAP2 Board member, ambassador, trainer and practitioner is a long-standing advocate for quality engagement and an experienced presenter, trainer and facilitator. Joel has worked with groups of 35 years and been using different types of facilitated focused conversations to unpack difficult conversation and find new ways forward.

Julie Boucher

Julie is a Community Engagement and Social Impact Assessment consultant with over 20 years experience working in the infrastructure sector. Julie has also led the community consultation processes for a range of projects, working with communities in both rural, remote regional and urban environments in New Zealand and Australia. She is currently working as one of Auckland Transport’ lead advisors for
the Supporting Growth Programme.

Julie Spencer

Julie is a strategy and engagement professional with 20 years of experience working with the private and public sectors, assessing complex situations, identifying risks and opportunities, and engaging key stakeholders to drive successful project outcomes. With a passion for building business strategy and futurist thinking she brings a new way of planning infrastructure projects within a community. Julie’s passion for embracing and working with the changes in today’s business environment provides an insight into how we communicate and the changes we may continue to see in this field.

Dr Kirsty Jones

Dr Kirsty Jones is the senior researcher charged with leading Phase 1 of our Flagship Research Project – the development of the case study template. She brings more than a decade of experience coordinating industry and government engagement with research institutions. Most recently, her work as the Senior Engagement Fellow for the University of Melbourne’s Public Health Insights Initiative saw her develop, coordinate, deliver and evaluate programs to share knowledge between university researchers, government and health professionals to achieve better public health outcomes.

Lauren Harding

Lauren is a social sustainability and stakeholder engagement professional. She specialises in social research and engagement to understand community needs and issues, and works collaboratively with project teams to ensure these needs are understood and addressed throughout the project. Lauren has experience working with Indigenous groups across Australia on projects such as culturally significant sites, mine sites, and community facility design. Lauren has spent the last six years working closely with the Dharug Strategic Management Group, Landcom and Blacktown City Council to help prepare a Plan of Management for the Blacktown Native Institution site. Walking beside the DSMG on this journey is one of the proudest moments of her career.

Leesa Merrett

Leesa is an accredited IAP2 advanced engagement certificate holder and has worked in the communications and engagement field for over 15 years. Leesa has developed and facilitated many workshops including the 6 large scale mural and mosaic project workshops undertaken by Lower Murray Water. Leesa’s approach for workshops is fun, interactive and engaging. Your are sure to learn some new
skills and have fun!

Mark Haynes

Mark has worked in the design and engagement sector for over 20 years and has extensive experience in large scale projects including community art. Mark has a commitment to creating distinctive designs that engage the community and share knowledge and stories. Mark works closely with educational institutes including Latrobe University, Sunraysia Institute of TAFE and RMIT University in Melbourne to deliver community projects and engage students and the wider community.

Melissa Cordy

Melissa Cordy is an emerging digital engagement specialist and trailblazer. She currently leads digital engagement for Melbourne Water and is at the forefront of digital engagement design incorporating new immersive technologies and emerging techniques like Gamification as part of MW’s industry leading engagement approach. She’s trained in creative problem solving with over 8 years in digital, communications, strategic engagement. Her passion for connecting communities inspires her to continually push the engagement boundaries, explore and integrate new tools to increase participation and reach new audiences.

Melissa Yee

Melissa has rich experience across statutory and strategic planning in the Victorian planning system, policy development, placemaking and community engagement. Working for local and state government and the not-for-profit sector, Melissa has facilitated and presented workshops for a series of government agencies on a range of projects including; community engagement, neighbourhood renewal, collaborative placemaking, residential development and natural hazards. With a passion for projects which represent the whole of community, celebrate diversity and give a voice to those who might otherwise not have a platform, Melissa believes in genuine engagement as the best means for lasting change through shared ownership of places and decisions.

Nicole Walton

Nicole is currently Director, Communications and Stakeholder Engagement at Aurecon in Perth. Her previous roles have included Executive Director, Strategy and Communications at Main Roads, Western Australia; Director, Strategy at Marketforce Advertising Agency in Western Australia; and Global Brand Manager for Highland Park Single Malt Whisky in Scotland. Nicole is also a Sessional Academic teaching Post Graduate Strategic Brand Management at Curtin University.

Michael Bermingham

Michael Bermingham leads Melbourne Water’s Major Projects Community Engagement team, working across an annual $320M capital program. As Victoria’s population rapidly increases, the Government has announced a number of significant projects to ease congestion on road and rail. These works largely set in metropolitan Melbourne coincide with Melbourne Water’s significant renewal program for water, sewer and drainage, all in excess of 100yrs old. Michael’s team plays a critical role in advocating on behalf of our community, alleviating against construction fatigue and ensuring residents are informed on the decisions which impact them.

Phoebe Shumacher

Phoebe is a Graduate Communications and Engagement consultants at RPS. She has a background in planning and are currently studying City Planning at UNSW. Phoebe has a passion for community engagement, building strong relationships with key stakeholders and shaping successful projects at a grassroots level – and she does all of this with an enthusiastic and friendly approach. With community engagement experience in complex planning and construction projects across all sectors, Phoebe brings not only skill, but a youthful perspective and innovative attitude to the community engagement practice.

Rebecca Spencer

Rebecca is a strategic communication and engagement specialist with 20 years’ experience. She specialises in developing and implementing communication and engagement strategies for the infrastructure, asset and transport industries. Rebecca is often called on to provide innovative solutions, strategic counsel and facilitation for complex, contentious and high-profile projects and issues. She is the ‘go-to’ practitioner for developing strategies for her clients that respond to specific challenges. Rebecca has multi-disciplinary skills across internal and external communication, community and stakeholder engagement, public and corporate affairs,
media and marketing. She has successfully led large and high-performing teams on major projects across Australia.

Richard Davies and team

I am a facilitator and engagement practitioner with 20 years experience, much of that in Government and NGOs. I am still excited about the multiple benefits from community engagement. Things always go much better when we take the time to sense-check the direction we are heading, find common ground, identify new opportunities, build positive relationships and commit to change.

Community Engagement Team in Office of Environment and Heritage. We provide in-house expertise for the environment and heritage programs of our Agency. Our goal is to design and implement engagement processes that get better results for the environment and community. Sometimes we lead the engagement; other times we coach project teams to undertake their
engagement better. We are also focused on building capacity. We lead a Community of Practice for existing and aspiring engagement practitioners in the Agency; a forum for sharing skills, resources and ideas.

Sam Champion

Sam joined YACVic in May 2017 after working at a number of community organisations, including as a learning & development coordinator, volunteer coordinator and a vocational support worker, running workshops for long-term unemployed young people and adults with mental health needs. Sam’s role at YACVic is to support the engagement of young people in the work that we do and the voice we have as well as supporting the youth sector through training on youth participation and the Code of Ethical Practice. Sam also runs the Youth Participation Practice Network (YPPN) a community of practice for workers across Victoria supporting young people in youth participation, engagement and empowerment roles.

Sara Bice

Sara Bice is Associate Professor at the Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University. She is Vice Chancellor’s Futures Scheme Senior Fellow for her work on The Next Generation Engagement program, Australia’s largest study into community engagement in infrastructure, to date. She is President (2018-2019) of the International Association for Impact Assessment, the world’s leading organisation for impact assessment practitioners, researchers and clients, representing almost 7,000 members in 120 different countries. Sara is Associate Professor (Special International Guest) at the School of Public Policy and Management, Tsinghua University, Beijing.

Sarah-Jane Dabarea

Sarah-Jane Dabarera is Cannings Purple’s account services co-ordinator, and co-author of their whitepaper on Notifiable Data breach preparedness. Sarah-Jane started her corporate communications career in the legal and property sectors, before moving into the world of innovation and technology. Sarah-Jane completed the IAP2 International Certificate in Public Participation in 2018, and now applies her knowledge designing and implementing consultation programs for clients. She most enjoys working on projects where she can use her skills in engagement along with understanding of social and digital communications. An unconventional millennial, in her spare time she loves baking desserts, playing the clarinet, and sewing.

Sarah Fabian

Sarah is a Graduate Communications and Engagement consultants at RPS. She has a background in planning and are currently studying City Planning at UNSW. Phoebe has a passion for community engagement, building strong relationships with key stakeholders and shaping successful projects at a grassroots level – and she does all of this with an enthusiastic and friendly approach. With community engagement experience in complex planning and construction projects across all sectors, Sarah brings not only skill, but a youthful perspective and innovative attitude to the community engagement practice.

Shaye Chalmers

Shaye has an outstanding range of skills and operational experience. She joined YACVic from the aged care sector, where she was overseeing Home Care Packages, as well as disability, mental health and Aboriginal community programs across Victoria. Prior to this, Shaye held several senior roles in the Department of Health and Human Services, which included housing, disability client services, disability partnerships and service planning. Shaye’s career is also solidly grounded in youth work – she has managed multidisciplinary youth services, council youth services, and regional programs. Originally from New Zealand, Shaye has managed alternative education, peer support programs and student advocacy.

IAP2 Australasia 2019 Conference

The Countdown is on!