Speakers

Professor Veena Sahajwalla

A materials scientist, engineer and inventor, Professor Veena Sahajwalla pioneers research into waste – turning it into a new generation of green materials and products. She does this as the Founding Director of the Centre for Sustainable Materials Research and Technology at the University of New South Wales. In 2022 Professor Veena Sahajwalla was named the 2022 NSW State Australian of the Year.

Shanna Whan

At the age of 40, Shanna Whan was, in her own words, a suicidal alcoholic at breaking point. A series of traumas she experienced as a young jillaroo in remote NSW that led to binge-drinking and a party-girl-persona to ''hide behind'' would end, eventually, in (undiagnosed and untreated) alcohol addiction. After making a full recovery despite endless odds - the rural woman and (now) Local Hero winner of Australian of the Year 2022 made it her life’s work to advocate on behalf of other overlooked demographic of rural and remote Australians facing the same battles. In 2019 Shanna founded Sober in the Country Ltd with a mission to help her bush peers understand that the simple, inclusive, life-saving message that it should always be 'okay to say no' to a beer is helping to save lives. SITC now has a national reach and reputation as the 'voice for the bush' and currently the bush charity offers peer support, links to resources, powerful broad scale advocacy, education, and straight talk. 

Daniel Nour

Identifying a gap in the healthcare of vulnerable people in New South Wales, Dr Daniel Nour founded Street Side Medics in August 2020. It’s a not-for-profit, GP-led mobile medical service for people experiencing homelessness.

In 2022 Daniel was awarded Young Australian of the Year.

Moana Hope

A powerhouse of Womens Football since the age of 16 when she first pulled on the jumper for Victoria in a Senior Representative game, which culminated in All Australian selection, there is so much that Moana has achieved in her football career. 

Dylan Alcott

A dual sport athlete who represented Australia on the international stage in both wheelchair basketball and wheelchair tennis since the age of 13. Dylan Alcott made history in 2022 in becoming the first person with a visible disability to be made Australian of the Year in the award's 62-year history.

Geoffrey Robertson QC

Geoffrey Robertson AO QC is a barrister, author and one-time host of “Geoffrey Robertson’s Hypotheticals” on the ABC. He is founder and head of Doughty Street Chambers; now the largest human rights practice in Europe; where he has been mentor to Amal Clooney, Jen Robinson, Keir Starmer and others.

Colleen Callander

An award-winning CEO, Colleen Callander has a wealth of knowledge and proven track record in building brands, establishing winning cultures and creating environments that allow people to be inspired and empowered.

Marcia Langton

Professor Marcia Langton AM is a descendant of the Yiman people of Queensland. She is qualified as an anthropologist and geographer, and since 2000 has held the Foundation Chair of Australian Indigenous Studies at the University of Melbourne.

Peter Van Onselen

Peter van Onselen is Network Ten’s political editor and a contributing editor for The Australian. He is also a professor of public policy and politics at the University of Western Australia. Peter hosts The Sunday Project on 10, appears as a panellist on ABC Insiders and writes a weekly column for Perth’s Sunday Times. He has won Walkley and Logie awards for his broadcast journalism on Sky News where he worked for nearly ten years, and a News Award for his feature and opinion writing in the Australia. Dr van Onselen is the author or editor of six books, including a biography of former Prime Minister John Howard, rated by the Wall Street Journal as the best biography of 2007. He has a PhD in political science and a masters of policy studies and a masters of commerce.

Christian 'Boo' Boucousis

Fighter pilot Christian 'Boo' Boucousis is a human behaviour and deep performance specialist and inspirational keynote speaker who explores a world beyond high performing teams and high-performance leaders.

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