better together

Conference Speakers

Dr Andrew Young

Dr Andrew Young

Chief Executive Officer, Centre for Social Impact

As the CEO of the Centre for Social Impact, Andrew is dedicated to improving the effectiveness of social impact across the  government and corporate sectors in Australia. He believes the keys to improving social impact includes an outcomes focus, evidence and measurement, collaboration and leadership development.

In his former role of Chief Executive Officer of CanTeen Andrew trebled the organisation’s staff and lifted turnover from $4.5m to over $22m.

He re-defined CanTeen’s mission, introducing a new focus on research, advocacy and collaboration and greatly broadening the reach and impact of CanTeen’s work with young people living with cancer.

Geoff Aigner

Mr Geoff Aigner

Director, Social Leadership Australia

As an author, educator, consultant and Director of Social Leadership Australia at The Benevolent Society, Geoff has a rare combination of hands-on experience in senior leadership roles and a deep understanding of change and leadership theory and practice.

Geoff’s first book, Leadership Beyond Good Intentions: What It Takes to Really Make a Difference, was published by Allen & Unwin in 2011. His second book The Australian Leadership Paradox: What It Takes To Lead In The Lucky Country, co-authored with Liz Skelton, was also published by Allen & Unwin in 2013.

In his current role, Geoff provides strategic direction for the centre in its mission to create strong leadership for a better Australia.


Ruth Night

Ruth Knight

Director, Zark Consultancy

Ruth is a skilled researcher and change facilitator and is recognised for her dedication to the sector and the community.

With a passion for developing people and creating social change, she has worked in the non-profit sector for 20 years, in youth, housing and education.

As the Director of Ruth Knight Consultancy she provides presentations, workshops and coaching to help organisations create high performing teams by changing their workplace culture.

Ruth helps organisations to develop impact measurement strategies, tools and approaches to ensure they are compliant, innovative and developing a continuous improvement culture.

Amelia Salmon

Vice-Chair, QSEC

Amelia is the Vice-Chair of the Queensland Social Enterprise Council and co-founder of SPIRAL Community Hub in Brisbane.

QSEC supports the development of a vibrant, innovative and capable social enterprise sector, sufficiently resourced and supported to achieve high social, cultural and environmental impact.

Amelia worked in India for three years at Gram Vikas which runs a number of large scale community enterprises, as part of Australian Volunteers International.

She has held a number of Board and Committee roles for Eritrean Women’s and Families Support Network, The Global Learning Centre, and University of Southern Queensland’s Student Association.

Ian Dixon

Ian Dixon

Principal, DIXON Partnering Solutions

Ian is an internationally recognised partnering specialist at the leading edge of cross-sector partnering development and practice.

He has contributed to a number of boards, task forces and advisory bodies and is a Foundation member of the Leaders Institute in South  Australia. He was also the Independent Chair of the Native Title Resolution process in South Australia from 2006 to 2009.

Ian has worked on numerous partnering initiatives throughout Australasia, and in recent years has developed programs and services to help build the partnering capacity of individuals and organisations.

He believes innovative ways of working together are needed to tackle tough social problems.

Moira Deslandes

Moira Deslandes

Director, Moira Deslandes Consulting

As the Director of Deslandes Consulting, Moira describes her work as facilitating futures. She is experienced in strategic and operational experience in the not-for-profit sector and all levels of government.

Moira has designed and implemented change management through community development strategies, and enabled and supported community and organisational development activities in a dozen countries.

She contributes to policy advocacy, capacity building and engagement, and is proficient at creating and curating social media content.

Moira co-creates and collaborates to imagine and generate novel approaches to decision-making and problem-solving.

Andrew Wills

Andrew Wills

Primary Health Area Manager, Central Queensland, PHN Central Qld, Wide Bay, Sunshine Coast

Andrew is an experienced program manager and organisational development professional.

He has extensive leadership experience in a range of organisations, including the last eight years in management and advisory roles in the health industry.

Experienced in managing diverse portfolios of programs at state wide and regional levels, Andrew is passionate about facilitating sustainability and innovation in health care.

Andrew has published a number of peer-reviewed articles and conference papers and contributed to books on organisational psychology.

Gregory Phillips

Associate Professor Gregory Phillips

Associate Professor and Research Fellow, Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, and Executive Director, ABSTARR Consulting

Gregory is from the Waanyi and Jaru Aboriginal people and grew up in Cloncurry and Mount Isa. He is Executive Director of ABSTARR Consulting, and an adjunct senior lecturer in Aboriginal health at Monash University.

He has worked in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education, youth work, native title, alcohol and drugs, and addictions recovery.

Gregory founded the Leaders in Indigenous Medical Education (LIME) Network, co-wrote a national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workforce strategy, and established the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Healing Foundation Ltd. He has advised federal ministers on Indigenous health inequality.


Sharon Sweeney

Manager – Population Health Planning, Evaluation and Research Unit, Abt JTA

Sharon has worked in the health and human services industries for over 28 years in roles within public sector, private sector (consulting) and non-government organisations. She has contributed to the development and delivery of the national cancer screening programs – BreastScreen Australia, the National Cervical Screening Program and the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program.

She led the development of the prevention, screening and early intervention components of Queensland’s statewide Chronic Disease and Cancer Control strategies.

Sharon has experience in health service development, delivery, monitoring and evaluation, eHealth, strategic and service planning, policy development and project management.

Julie Roberts

Dr Julie Roberts

Social Innovation Project Manager, CQUniversity Australia

Julie believes that even time-poor people can aspire to get involved in social innovation projects.

In her role as Social Innovation Project Manager at CQUniversity Australia, Julie works on projects to enable students to earn course credit by engaging with social innovation projects.

She has been involved in a number of projects with overseas NGOs and has a strong interested in progressing social innovation projects.

Her work with academics and researchers engaged with projects in Nepal, has led to a deeper-level systemic approach to innovation projects there.

Julie is based at the University’s Melbourne campus.

Mick Shearer Chair, liveWELL CQ

Mick Shearer

Chair, liveWELL CQ

As the Chair of liveWELL CQ, Mick has seen the positive benefits of social enterprise and Collective Impact projects that engage across the community.

In his role as the Regional Executive Director, Central Queensland, he is responsible for the coordination and delivery of a range of client-centred services for which the Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services is accountable.

He has worked in the social services sector for 30 years delivering direct child protection and juvenile justice services, and managing multidisciplinary teams in the juvenile detention system. He has also led the delivery of a range of social housing and disability programs, and programs to assist Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Margaret Allison

Margaret Allison

Conference Facilitator

Margaret retired from the public sector in 2013, and now runs her own consultancy business.

She specialises in organisational strategy and review, and Board membership.

Her diverse career spans over 35 years in the public sector, including as the Director-General of human services departments in Queensland and New South Wales, CEO of the New South Wales Legal Aid Commission and Chief Executive of the Public Service Commission in Queensland.

Margaret has worked extensively with the nongovernment sector as a volunteer, board member and consultant.

She also volunteers at a small NGO in Cambodia.


Panel Members

Christine Crain

Christine Crain

Director, Business Strategy and Improvement Queensland Treasury

Matthew Lupi

Matthew Lupi

Executive Director, Child, Family and Community Services Commissioning, Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services

Mark Henley

Mark Henley

Chief Executive Officer, Queensland Council of Social Service Ltd (QCOSS)

Helen Newell

Helen Newell

Partnership Broker

We acknowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of this country and recognise their connection to land, wind, water and community. We pay our respect to them, their cultures, and to the Elders both past and present.