4th Financial Inclusion Conference – Roads to Resilience

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Speakers & authors

Keynote speakers and authors

Professor Sharon Collard

Research Director at the University of Bristol Personal Finance Research Centre

With a background in social policy, Professor Collard has conducted research over the last twenty years in the UK on financial inclusion, consumer credit use, problem debt and financial capability.

Read more about Professor Collard

The Personal Finance Research Centre is a soft-funded independent centre in the University of Bristol School of Geographical Sciences. The centre’s recent work includes a study to update the poverty premium faced by low-income households and a program of work on how lenders and advisers identify and treat consumers in vulnerable circumstances.

The team is currently evaluating Nationwide Building Society’s Open Banking For Good program, which aims to use fintech and Open Banking to solve some of the big financial challenges experienced by people who are ‘financially squeezed’.

Sharon is a member of the Financial Services Consumer Panel – a statutory panel that represents the interests of consumers in the development of policy for the regulation of financial services, the UK Financial Inclusion Commission and the government’s Financial Inclusion Policy Forum.

Professor Frederick Wherry

Townsend Martin, Class of 1917 Professor of Sociology at Princeton University

Frederick Wherry is a Professor of Sociology at Princeton University and Director of the Dignity and Debt network (www.dignityanddebt.org), a partnership between the Social Science Research Council and Princeton University.

Read more about Professor Wherry

Dignity and Debt is a global network of scholars, advocates, and financial organisations working to understand and empower the linkages between lending and human values. The network operates across a dozen countries, incubating research on how dignity and respect affect consumers’ engagements with and responses to debt. The network also supports the development of dignity-enhancing products and services so that financial inclusion centres the understandings and priorities of the excluded in its designs.

Professor Wherry recently published Credit Where It’s Due: Rethinking Financial Citizenship (with Kristin S. Seefeldt and Anthony S. Alvarez) and edited The Oxford Handbook of Consumption (with Ian Woodward), both in 2019. He served as the editor of the four-volume Sage Encyclopedia of Economics and Society as well as Money Talks: Explaining How Money Really Works (with Nina Bandelj and Viviana A. Zelizer) and wrote four other books.

Professor Wherry led the Social Science History Association (ssha.org) as its president in 2018 and as the chair of the Economic Sociology Section and of the Consumers and of the Consumption Section of the American Sociological Association. He participates in a working group on work and wealth at the Aspen Institute in its Financial Security Program and serves in an advisory capacity to the Boston Federal Reserve (Community Development Research Advisory Council) and the Lloyds Banking Group Centre for Responsible Business at the Birmingham Business School (UK).

Professor Kristy Muir

CEO at Centre for Social Impact

Professor Kristy Muir is the CEO of the Centre for Social Impact (CSI) and a Professor of Social Policy at UNSW Sydney Business School. She is an elected member of UNSW Sydney’s Council and the Chair of Allan & Gill Gray Philanthropy Australasia.

Read more about Professor Muir

Professor Muir is also a Non-Executive Director of the Australian Research Alliance for Children & Youth and a member of the Community Director’s Council, the NSW Premier’s Council on Homelessness, and the Gonski Institute for Education Advisory Board.

Kristy has worked for almost three decades with for-purpose organisations. She is driven to better understand and find solutions to complex social problems and measure whether and where we are making a difference. Kristy has undertaken more than 70 projects with many government, not-for-profit, corporate, academic, and philanthropic organisations. These projects have attracted almost $16 million in funding. Her research spans housing, education, employment, social participation, disability, mental health, and financial resilience and wellbeing. She has published widely in policy, sociology, social work, history, and public health journals and in publicly accessible and popular media, such as TEDx, The Mandarin, The Guardian and The Conversation.

Kristy is an excellent educator and public speaker. She frequently gives invited keynotes, runs workshops on applied systems thinking, facilitates board strategy planning days, and she founded and teaches the highly regarded Governance for Social Impact course for non-executive directors. Kristy founded CSI’s Change Collection series and Amplify Social Impact – one her most innovative and potentially transformational capacity building projects. She is a founding partner and governance member of the Financial Inclusion Action Plan and The Constellation Project.

Kristy was formerly CSI’s Research Director (2013-15), the Associate Dean Research (Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, 2011-13) and the Director of the Disability Studies and Research Centre (2009-2010) at UNSW Sydney. She has a PhD in social history, is a graduate of the AICD and Sydney Leadership and, prior to joining academia, worked in the not-for-profit sector.

Speakers and authors

Dr Ann Kayis-Kumar

Dr Ann Kayis-Kumar

Senior Lecturer at UNSW

Dr Ann Kayis-Kumar is a Senior Lecturer at the UNSW Business School’s School of Taxation & Business Law. 

Read more about Dr Ann Kayis-Kumar

As Co-Founder and Director of UNSW Tax Clinic, her research is motivated by the principle of tax justice for all. Her research explores avenues by which tax policy can be utilised as a mechanism to achieve social justice.

Anna Bacik

Anna Bacik

Director of Policy and Research at NCOSS

Anna Bacik is the Director of Policy and Research at the NSW Council of Social Service (NCOSS). Her career has centred on trying to understand complex social problems and develop approaches that improve outcomes for people.

Read more about Anna Bacik

Anna has worked in both the government and non-government sectors on many contentious social policy issues including; heroin overdose, psychostimulant use, HIV/AIDS, sex work, child protection, young people and social inequality. She has experience working on key reforms such as the NSW Drug Summit, Families First and the NSW Government response to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. Anna’s qualifications include Masters of Policy and Applied Social Research and Masters of Counselling.

Since commencing at NCOSS Anna has focussed on enhancing the policy capacity of the NCOSS team and the completion of key research projects. These include research with disability advocacy, representative and information organisations, Mapping Economic Disadvantage in NSW and the 2019 NCOSS Cost of Living in NSW survey.

Claire Butler

Claire Butler

Program Manager at Brotherhood of St Laurence

Claire Butler holds a Masters degree in Museum Education and is the MoneyMinded Program Manager in the Financial Inclusion section of the Brotherhood of St Laurence. 

Read more about Claire Butler

Claire started working at BSL 5 years ago, after a long career in Environmental Education and Education for Sustainability. A passionate educator and facilitator, Claire currently manages the MoneyMinded program. She uses graphic facilitation skills in her workshops and has taught adults and children on a very wide range of topics.

Dana Beiglari

Dana Beiglari

Senior Solicitor at Legal Aid NSW

Dana Beiglari started her career as a lawyer at the commercial law firm, Allens. Her passion for social justice law and financial inclusion led her to Legal Aid NSW. Dana is a Senior Solicitor in the Consumer Law practice group. 

Read more about Dana Beiglari

Her team of 10 solicitors assists some of the most vulnerable people in NSW to access their consumer protection rights in credit and insurance matters. Dana currently represents Legal Aid NSW on several forums, including the newly formed AFCA Consumer Advisory Panel and the ASIC Consumer Advisory Panel.

Dana has provided a consumer advocate perspective in a number of public inquiries, including the Financial Services Royal Commission and the Senate Inquiry into Resolution of Disputes with Financial Service Providers within the Justice System.

Dana is also a director of Ecstra, not for profit organisation committed to building the financial capability of all Australians within a fair financial system.

Ellen McNaught

Ellen McNaught

National Coordinator Impact Projects at Red Cross

Ellen has a background in social impact, and is currently employed by the Australian Red Cross to lead a shared value partnership with Credit Union Australia and Infoxchange aimed at tackling digital exclusion to support social and financial wellbeing. 

Read more about Ellen McNaught

She has extensive experience in the mental health sector including in service design and innovation and in developing peer led models. She has also led projects integrating technology and mental health assessment tools to improve consumer outcomes.

Gordon Mackenzie

Gordon Mackenzie

Gordon has been assisting with the establishment of the tax clinic since its inception. 

Read more about Gordon Mackenzie

He teaches and researches into the effect of taxation on decision making, both by individual and corporate taxpayers, as well as the regulation of the taxation liability of those taxpayers. He has 30+ years experience, both professionally and academically, in financial services regulation and taxation.

Dr Jack Noone

Dr Jack Noone


Jack’s research cuts across a range of areas including collaboration, financial wellbeing, health, employment and retirement planning. 

Read more about Dr Jack Noone

He has extensive expertise in the measurement of social outcomes and has taken the lead on multiple evaluation projects as well as providing advice to both industry and social policy makers on measurement and evaluation activity.

Lisa Sweeney

Lisa Sweeney

Director of Social Impact at Service NSW

Lisa Sweeney OAM is the Director of Social Impact at Service NSW. Her focus is on achieving outcomes for vulnerable and disadvantaged customers, as well as employment and development of staff from diverse backgrounds. 

Read more about Lisa Sweeney

Programs she has led include the Service NSW Drought Support Awareness Initiative and It’s Me ID for Homeless customers. Lisa joined Service NSW following a long career in media, mostly at the ABC where she led news programs and managed radio stations. She was awarded the Order of Australia Medal earlier this year for services to broadcasting.

Dr Lukas Hofstätter

Dr Lukas Hofstätter

Research and Development Officer at Carers NSW

In addition to his role with Carers NSW, Lukas is an Honorary Postdoctoral Associate at the Department of Sociology at Macquarie University.

Read more about Dr Lukas Hofstätter

Previously he worked as a lecturer and researcher in various contexts in Sydney (Australia), Frankfurt am Main (Germany), and Vienna (Austria).

He holds a PhD in Sociology from Macquarie University Sydney and Goethe-University Frankfurt (Cotutelle), where he graduated with a thesis on finance, inequality and globalisation. He also holds a Master of Arts and a Bachelor of Philosophy in Sociology from the University of Vienna.

His current research interests include the sociology and political economy of caring and empirical methods in research and evaluation.

Professor Michael Walpole

Professor Michael Walpole

Michael has been involved in the establishment of the UNSW Tax Clinic. His research interests include GST, tax administration and tax compliance costs. 

Read more about Professor Michael Walpole

Michael’s PhD was on taxation of goodwill and he has undertaken several research projects on taxation of intangible property. He also teaches tax administration, tax anti-avoidance, and ethics in tax practice.

Rebecca Pinney Meddings

Rebecca Pinney Meddings

Program Manager at Brotherhood of St Laurence

Rebecca Pinney Meddings has run the Stepping Stones Program for the past seven years and ran a small business for 10 years prior to moving into the community sector. 

Read more about Rebecca Pinney Meddings

Rebecca has developed partnerships with a large range of stakeholders, and has contributed to the redevelopment of the Stepping Stones program model and training materials. Rebecca is passionate about women’s economic empowerment, and believes that increased economic and social participation is the critical foundation for successful settlement for people from refugee and migrant backgrounds.

Dr Youngdeok Lim

Dr Youngdeok Lim

Senior Lecturer at UNSW

Youngdeok is a Senior Lecturer at the UNSW Business School’s School of Accounting. His research interests in taxation include tax avoidance in companies and high wealth individuals and capital gains tax.

Polly Porteous

Polly Porteous

Senior Policy Analyst at Australian Investments Securities Commission

Polly has worked as a lawyer, manager, tenants’ advocate and consultant across the NGO, government and corporate sectors. 

Read more about Polly Porteous

She was Executive Director of Community Legal Centres NSW for eight years, and has also worked at Community Legal Centres Australia, NSW Department of Communities and Justice, Matrix on Board, Tenants’ Union of NSW, Redfern Legal Centre, and Darwin Community Legal Service. She is passionate about supporting organisations to understand and report on the outcomes and impact of their work, particularly in relation to vulnerable and disadvantaged communities.

Heather Thomson

Heather Thomson

Chief Operating Officer at Global Sisters

Heather’s career has been dedicated to social and economic justice for women. Her background in microfinance led her to work in Europe and Asia, living in the Philippines, India and France and working extensively in Indonesia and Timor Leste.

Read more about Heather Thomson

After working at the OECD in Paris, Heather spent close to a decade working with one of the largest microfinance organisations globally, Opportunity International.

She had the opportunity to work with start-up NGOs to large scale microfinance banks- all of who aimed to transform the lives of poor women through business.

Heather had the privilege of working on the establishment of one of the first microfinance programs in Australia, now called Many Rivers Microfinance.

Her time at Sydney Community Foundation shaped her understanding of collective impact and place based philanthropy, as well as a gaining a deeper insight into gender based poverty and disadvantage in urban Australia.

Heather joined the Founder of Global Sisters, Mandy Richards, to establish the organisation and launch operations in early 2016. They have gone from a 2 woman operation to leading a team of almost 20 in five urban and regional areas around Australia. After 3.5 years of piloting, Global Sisters is now poised to start scaling impact across Australia.

Heather holds a Masters in Development Administration from ANU and has studied social entrepreneurship at INSEAD Singapore. She is a Trustee of the McLean Foundation, a philanthropic foundation dedicated to conservation, education and gender equality. She is the mum of 3 young kiddos, married to a complete superstar and lives on the Northern Beaches of Sydney.

Jenni Beetson-Mortimer

Jenni Beetson-Mortimer

CEO at Northern Rivers Community Gateway

In addition to working as CEO, Jenni Beetson-Mortimer is Chair of the NSW Financial Inclusion Network and Treasurer of Homelessness NSW. 

Read more about Jenni Beetson-Mortimer

Jenni is also a Board member of Homelessness Australia, a full member of the Planning Institute of Australia and the Institute of Managers and Leaders.

Jenni is a graduate of Social Leadership Australia, holds a Bachelor of Social Science, has completed post graduate studies in public sector management and is currently undertaking a Master of Leadership through Deakin University.

Since 2000 Jenni has worked in leadership roles within the NGO sector as CEO, Manager, Planner and Community Development Worker. As a Ngemba woman originally from Brewarrina in Western NSW now living on the NSW North Coast, Jenni has a strong commitment to social justice, financial inclusion, ending homelessness and grass roots community services that provide true integrated, wrap-around services to disadvantaged people.

Renee Bailey

Renee Bailey

NILS Administrator at Northern Rivers Community Gateway

Renee leads the Northern Rivers NILS team and occasionally steps in as Social and Financial Inclusion Manager. Renee has extensive banking and financial planning experience, holds a Bachelors degree in Business and a Diploma in Financial Planning.

May King

May King

Helping Hands Support Worker at Northern Rivers Community Gateway

Through the Helping Hands service, May provides housing support to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients who are either homeless or at risk of being homeless. 

Read more about May King

May has extensive experience in the housing support sector, holds a Diploma of Community Services and is currently studying Certificate IV in Social Housing. May is a proud descendent of the Widjabul/Wyabul people of the Bundjalung nation and has a passion for helping, advocating and supporting indigenous clients.

Fiona Batterham

Fiona Batterham

Financial Inclusion Project Officer at Northern Rivers Community Gateway

Fiona has 15 years of experience working in employment sector human resources and over 4 years of experience working in the community sector. 

Read more about Fiona Batterham

Fiona holds a Bachelors degree in Social Sciences, a Graduate Certificate in Employment Relations and is currently undertaking a Masters qualification in Social Work.

Leela James

Leela James

Community Relief and Resilience coordinator at WACOSS

Through her role with WACOSS, Leela provides policy and sector support to the emergency relief and charity food sectors in Western Australia. 

Read more about Leela James

Leela’s professional career in the community sector has spanned project management, research, engagement and policy in a variety of contexts, including her work with Consumers of Mental Health WA, the Western Australian mental health consumer peak.

Leela is committed to working in partnership across sectors, including elevating the voice of and partnership opportunities for people with lived experience to ensure a more just, fair and equitable society.

In addition to a Masters degree in Human Rights Practice, Leela holds Certificates in project management, training and education and IAP2 engagement.

Louise Campbell

Louise Campbell

Principal at SVA Consulting

Louise joined SVA in 2017 following a career of 20+ years spanning the commercial, public and not-for-profit sectors.

Read more about Louise Campbell

Louise leads SVA Consulting’s work on financial wellbeing and recently authored “Shifting battlegrounds for financial wellbeing” for the SVA Quarterly (see here).

Prior to joining SVA, Louise worked in consulting, government, technology and banking in Australia, UK and Africa. She also led an international team at a large NGO reporting to the Board on operational risk.

Louise holds Masters degrees from both UNSW and Deakin University in Economics & International Development.

Jonathan Dorse

Jonathan Dorse

Financial Literacy Project Officer at Salvation Army

With a background in teaching and accounting, Jono’s unique skill set and passion for making a difference saw him train to become a financial counsellor in 2015. 

Read more about Jonathan Dorse

He joined the Salvation Army’s Moneycare team, and since 2016 has co-led the Salvos’ You’re the Boss. Married with two young children, Jono’s “spare” time is filled running, riding and forever learning!

Kristen Hartnett

Kristen Hartnett

Moneycare Regional Manager at Salvation Army

As creator of You’re the Boss and as part of Salvation Army’s Moneycare team, Kristen is passionate about helping people manage their day to day money to live less stressful, less anxious and more fulfilled lives. 

Read more about Kristen Hartnett

Kristen has a passion for building peoples’ knowledge of day to day money management issues through running education programs.

Financial literacy is an essential life skill in our commercial world. Kristen aims to help people build their financial resilience and their ability to make informed decisions.

She is passionate about the benefits that financial capability can bring to peoples’ lives.

Andrew Dadswell

Andrew Dadswell

Senior Manager at Australian Securities and Investments Commission

Andrew is currently leading the Next Gen Moneysmart program, a key deliverable from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission to help Australians take control of their financial lives.

Read more about Andrew Dadswell

Andrew has worked in the field of financial education for 15 years in the private and public sectors with a background across communications and finance.

Sandy Milne

Sandy Milne

National Manager Financial Security at GSANZ

Sandy has been in her current role with Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand for 6 years.

Read more about Sandy Milne

Prior to this, Sandy has worked in community sector, govt and peak bodies in Victoria, in child and family services, homelessness, family violence and employment support.

Sandy has a Masters degree in Social Policy and Research and loves being able to highlight the impacts that improved policy and practice can make.

She enjoys working in the financial counselling and capability arena because this work is often life changing for people.

Nicola Goulstone

Nicola Goulstone

NSW Department of Planning, Industry, and Environment

For the past 7 years Nicola has delivered sustainability programs focussed on alleviating energy hardship for households across NSW. 

Read more about Nicola Goulstone

Nicola is continuing this work and is currently leading projects within the Home Energy Action Program to install energy efficiency technologies in partnership with small community and Aboriginal housing providers.

In delivering these projects, Nicola identifies third party funding sources and aims to reduce tenant energy bill stress, increase financial control and to help improve the comfort, health and wellbeing of vulnerable households across NSW.

Prior to her sustainability work, Nicola was a primary school teacher and worked in disadvantaged schools across London.

Josh Vernon

Josh Vernon

CEO at Earnd

Earnd is a HR technology business which is changing the way employees access their pay, save and learn financial skills.

Read more about Josh Vernon

Josh and the team started the business with a social purpose to support millions of Australian’s in achieving greater financial freedom.

Helen Ford

Helen Ford

Deputy Ombudsman at Energy and Water Ombudsman NSW

Helen oversees the Governance, Awareness and Policy group.

Read more about Helen Ford

Before joining EWON three and half years ago, Helen worked for over a decade at the NSW Ombudsman’s office dealing with complaints about NSW government agencies and investigating systemic issues. She gained practical policy development experience working in the NSW Maritime Division of Roads and Maritime Services to improve operational procedures for Boating Safety Officers.

Helen is admitted as a lawyer in England and NSW, and has worked in Australia, the UK and the United States. She has worked in university administration, been a complaints advocate for people with disabilities and worked for the American Civil Liberties Union in the east coast state of New Jersey.

Sarah Judd-Lam

Sarah Judd-Lam

Manager, Policy and Research at Carers NSW

Sarah has been in the Carers NSW Policy Team for six years, where her focus has been the rollout of the NDIS in NSW. Sarah has a background in social policy analysis and social research and completed a Masters by Research at UNSW in 2014.

Caroline Stewart

Caroline Stewart

CEO at Ecstra Foundation

Caroline is a philanthropic leader with over 25 years of corporate, legal, governance and not-for-profit experience. Caroline is the CEO of the Ecstra Foundation, an organisation committed to empowering consumers and building the financial capability of all Australians.

Read more about Caroline Stewart

Caroline is a Board Member of Philanthropy Australia and is on the Audit & Risk Management Committee. Other current board commitments include WAGEC (Women and Girls Emergency Centre, Redfern) and Lenity Australia. She previously led the UBS Australia Foundation. She has worked with multiple stakeholders across the community, corporate, government and charity sectors. Caroline holds a BA (Syd Uni), is admitted as a Solicitor in NSW and the ACT and completed the AICD Company Directors Course in 2015.

Dr Archana Voola

Dr Archana Voola

Research Fellow at UNSW's Business School Centre for Social Impact.

Dr Archana Voola manages the financial suite of research projects, including Financial Resilience and Wellbeing projects and the Financial Inclusion Action Plan (FIAP) program.

Read more about Dr Archana Voola

Archana has completed her PhD and postdoctoral work from the University of Sydney. Archana’s research expertise and interests are focussed on vulnerable groups such as ultra-poor women, financially excluded people, people experiencing food insecurity and poverty.

Her publications are in areas including gender equality strategies, anti-poverty program evaluations, marketing strategies for social impact, comparative social policy and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

As founding member of Academics Stand Against Poverty (ASAP) Oceania Chapter, a coalition of academics from Australia and New Zealand focusing on poverty eradication, Archana has provided thought leadership on conducting Poverty Audits of the major political parties in Australia.

Mahatma Gandhi’s quote best encapsulates her ethos ‘Be the change that you want to see in the world.’

Amanda Young

Amanda Young

Atlantic Fellow

Amanda is a lawyer and social entrepreneur who has worked in the indigenous space for many years from criminal law, indigenous business and financial services.

Read more about Amanda Young

Amanda is passionate about big change which shifts the dial towards indigenous prosperity and she means to do just that.

Michael Joyce

Michael Joyce

FIAP Program Facilitator at Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand

The Financial Inclusion Action Plan (FIAP) Program is a world-first initiative that brings together organisations from across multiple sectors to improve financial wellbeing for people on low incomes. 

Read more about Michael Joyce

The FIAP program was recently awarded the prize for Outstanding Collaboration at the Social Impact Measurement Network Australia Awards, and second prize in MetLife Foundation’s Inclusion Plus Australia competition.

Michael has specialised in financial inclusion since 2008, both in Australia and abroad. He led the risk and operations functions of WING Cambodia, one of the first mobile money providers to reach scale globally, and has consulted for mobile money startups and programs that together reach over 40 million previously unbanked people.

He has worked in collaboration with the Government of Indonesia on national social assistance programs, and for the UN-based “Better Than Cash Alliance” in New York. He has conducted research and written publications for CGAP, the World Bank, and the GSMA Mobile Money for the Poor program.

Jennifer Daley

Jennifer Daley

Financial Counsellor at CatholicCare Wilcannia-Forbes

Jennifer is a proud Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander woman from Broken Hill in far Western NSW region and has worked for CatholicCare (previously known as Centacare) since 2009. 

Read more about Jennifer Daley

Jennifer is based in Broken Hill and travels to Menindee and Wilcannia for outreach for and via phone to Parkes, Forbes, Lake Cargelligo, peak hill, Tullamore, Tottenham, trundle, Condobolin, West Wyalong and Grenfell for Financial Counselling.

Jennifer is passionate about helping community understand their money and debts and runs community workshops and initiatives such as awareness activities around understanding electricity, gas, water rates, budgeting and “What’s on your financial plate” all aiming to educate people.

Over the past two years Jennifer has chaired the FCAN ATSI Connection Network , is a Director of FCAN and is on the local NAIDOC Committee in Broken Hill.

Karnali Bose

Karnali Bose

FIAP Program Consultant at Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand

The Financial Inclusion Action Plan (FIAP) Program is a unique bottom up approach to realise inclusive growth for individuals and communities in Australia. 

Read more about Karnali Bose

Since joining Good Shepherd as a Program Consultant for the FIAP program in March 2017, Karnali has been engaging with and supporting organisations from multiple sectors to take practical actions to enhance financial inclusion, resilience and wellbeing within their own sphere of influence. In addition to this, she is leading Australia’s first place-based FIAP project in Geelong, Victoria which focuses on addressing regional challenges in a specific place of disadvantage by working with local stakeholders and leveraging the learnings from the national program.

Having worked in the microfinance and banking sector in India since 2008, she has a proven ability to undertake a holistic approach to project planning and development strategy in the financial inclusion domain. As part of the Government of India’s Financial Inclusion Initiative, she has been instrumental in designing and successfully delivering affordable financial products such as remittance, credit, low cost insurance, unorganised workforce pension etc. for the unbanked and underbanked population in rural as well as urban areas.

Karnali holds a Master of Social Work from Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), India and is a Certified Expert in Microfinance from the Frankfurt School of Finance & Management, Germany.

Danielle Riley

Danielle Riley

Accredited Financial Counsellor at Mid North Coast Financial Counselling Service

I am a proud Gumbaynggirr woman from Coffs Harbour and have been working in this sector for 10 years, 3 years as a Money Management Worker and Accredited Financial Counsellor based at Kempsey Neighbourhood Centre.

Read more about Danielle Riley

I have a passion to provide financial literacy and consumer rights to my people and community members as a whole. Knowledge is a powerful tool so educating our communities so they can utilise their voices on their rights as consumers and educating our young people at an early age on financial literacy in our homes and I also feel it should be mandatory within our schools structure starting at an early age in primary and through to secondary schooling.

I sit on the ATSI National Financial Counselling Steering Committee for the past 2 years and also sit on YP Space Mid North Coast Committee Board for the past 6 years.

Farhan Ashik

Farhan Ashik

Farhan Ashik is a first-year PhD student in the Discipline of Marketing at the University of Sydney Business School. His research is aimed at understanding the capabilities that are required to drive the adoption of the United Nations Sustainability Development Goals.

Ellis Blaikie

Ellis Blaikie

Manager Service Improvement and Innovation, Bridge Housing

Ellis has worked in social policy and advocacy roles across the community sector for five years, with a focus on housing, homelessness and older people. She is passionate about improving housing outcomes for people on low incomes, particularly those with complex needs.

Read more about Ellis Blaikie

Ellis joined Bridge Housing in 2019 and leads service improvement initiatives to support the organisation’s tenant-centred approach to delivering housing. She is a strategic thinker with a commitment to evidence-based policy and program development.

With an honours degree from the University of Sydney, Ellis has previously worked for the Community Housing Industry Association NSW and Combined Pensioners and Superannuants Association NSW.

Tom Dawkins

Tom Dawkins

CEO at StartSomeGood.com

Tom Dawkins is an entrepreneur, speaker, trainer and the Co-Founder and CEO of StartSomeGood.com, a crowdfunding platform and capacity-builder for social enterprises, non-profits and community initiatives globally. 

Read more about Tom Dawkins

Tom was previously the founder of Australian youth non-profit Vibewire, the first Digital Communications Director at Ashoka, a global NGO fostering social entrepreneurship based in Washington DC, and the founding Director of the Australian Changemakers Festival.

Tom has supported numerous non-profits, governments and businesses to better engage their community using technology and been recognised with awards and Fellowships from the World Summit Youth Awards, International Youth Foundation, Nexus Summit, The Future Summit and the Australian and New Zealand Internet Awards.

Rodney Holmes

Rodney Holmes

Senior Policy Officer at Queensland Council of Social Service

Rodney has worked on social policy work encompassing housing and renting, social security, transport and justice, working with key lived experience advocacy groups like the Anti-Poverty Network. 

Read more about Rodney Holmes

Rodney has a Master of Politics and Policy, and has had previous careers in engineering and management consulting, prior to 13 years in the community sector. Rodney’s passion is addressing the neoliberal structural causes of poverty.

Joanna Quilty

Joanna Quilty


Joanna is a strong advocate for building strong, inclusive and diverse communities where individuals and families can thrive in all facets of life. 

Read more about Joanna Quilty

Joanna’s experience spans across both the public and not-for-profit sectors public service experience spans across human rights, social policy, economic analysis and transport and infrastructure initiatives.

Having joined the NGO sector in 2013, Joanna has held various leadership and change management roles including Deputy CEO of NCOSS, leading the roll-out of the NDIS for mental health organisation Flourish Australia and, as Director of Operations at Relationships Australia NSW, driving rigour and results in service delivery for survivors of institutional abuse and families impacted by domestic violence.

Joanna is passionate and enthusiastic in her desire to work in collaboration with communities to bring an end to poverty and disadvantage across NSW.

Jodie Wainwright

Jodie Wainwright

CEO at Milk Crate Theatre

Jodie has 20 years of experience working in the not for profit sector for organisations such as Cancer Council, Sydney Opera House and the Red Cross.

Read more about Jodie Wainwright

Prior to joining Milk Crate Theatre, Jodie worked in a development role with Holdsworth Community on innovative programs such as the HomeShare program which is currently being piloted in Sydney and it’s Eastern Suburbs.

Jodie also worked through the change to consumer-directed funding, with the introduction of both the NDIS and Home Care Packages and understands the challenges and possibilities these reforms provide.

Milk Crate Theatre is an arts organisation that uses performing arts practice to change the story of homelessness. It provides creative opportunities for participants to build confidence, skills and social connections to help make positive life changes.

Programs are run for, with and by members of the community that have a lived experience of homelessness or any of the complex issues associated with homelessness. These commonly include mental health issues, financial instability, emotional and physical support needs, trauma, domestic violence and people that have recently arrived.

Dr Christina Pollard

Dr Christina Pollard

Principal Policy Consultant at East Metropolitan Health Service

Dr Pollard is an experienced prac-ademic, a career public servant, public health nutritionist and researcher.

Read more about Dr Pollard

She has developed, implemented and evaluated numerous public health nutrition interventions for Government in Australia at all levels (national, state and locally) and is best known for the Go for 2&5 Fruit and Vegetable campaign.

She believes that strong policy measures are essential to protect and promote the public health of those who are the most vulnerable in our society. She has a strong commitment to policy and advocacy, and is currently the Principal Policy Consultant at East Metropolitan Health Service in Western Australia and is the Public Health Association of Australia’s Vice-President (Policy).

Ankit Gulati

Ankit Gulati

Financial Difficulty Team Manager at Australian Financial Complaints Authority

Ankit Gulati joined the Australian Financial Complaint Authority as Financial Difficulty Team Manager in June 2019.

Read more about Ankit Gulati

Ankit is a highly experienced banking and dispute resolution professional, having spent over 12 years’ in the financial services sector, specialising in commercial and consumer credit management. Prior to joining AFCA, Ankit worked at Toyota Financial Services where he led dispute resolution and financial difficulty teams.

Ankit also spent seven years at Commonwealth Bank of Australia across a variety of positions. In his last role as External Dispute Resolution Manager he was responsible for responding to ASIC and the Financial Ombudsman Service.

Ankit holds a Bachelor of Business from the La Trobe University and is currently completing a MBA in strategic management and leadership.

Brianna Perrens

Brianna Perrens

Monitoring and Evaluation Policy Lead at Australian Securities and Investments Commission

Brianna has worked in research and evaluation roles across the government, not-for-profit and corporate sectors for the past 14 years. 

Read more about Brianna Perrens

Prior to joining ASIC’s Financial Capability Team as Monitoring and Evaluation Policy Lead, Brianna was Research & Evaluation Manager at Mission Australia.

Brianna has a background in commerce and social science and holds a Master of Policy and Applied Social Research degree. She is passionate about assisting organisations to embed a culture of evaluation and to utilise findings to enhance program/service design.

Carmen Daniels

Carmen Daniels

Research & Communications at Indigenous Consumer Assistance Network

Carmen is Cree Métis from Edmonton, Alberta, living in Cairns, Queensland for eighteen years. She is a researcher and co-founder of the Indigenous Consumer Assistance Network (ICAN) located in Cairns, Queensland. 

Read more about Carmen Daniels

Carmen has over twenty-five years’ experience of working with First Nations peoples in Australia and Canada in consumer affairs and youth policy development. Carmen is a PhD candidate under the Centre for Indigenous Health Equity Research (CIHER) at Central Queensland University, with a research focus of Indigenous financial counselling in Australia.

Conrad Dwyer

Conrad Dwyer

Financial Counsellor at Indigenous Consumer Assistance Network

Conrad has an extensive background in psychology, counselling, housing and homelessness. 

Read more about Conrad Dwyer

Through these various roles, Conrad has seen the impact of financial inclusion and has grown a passion, particularly in the context of rural and remote indigenous Australians, in challenging the financial barriers people face on a daily basis.

Recently, Conrad has been the program co-ordinator for the Palm Island Class Action Settlement Committee which focused on bringing industry, government and non-for-profit services to the people of Palm Island to assist in the rollout of payments, empower financial literacy, advocate for community-identified needs and prevent claimants becoming victims to scams, dodgy-traders and fringe-financial abuse.

Teresa Woods

Teresa Woods

Policy Consultant at Australian Banking Association

Teresa works with ABA member banks and community organisations to resolve banking issues relating to low income and vulnerable customers, banking accessibility, and consumer financial capability.

Read more about Teresa Woods

Focussing on protecting the interests of consumers, Teresa develops industry guidelines, policy and advocacy positions in response to issues identified through engagement with community stakeholders.

Teresa initially joined the ABA to focus on improving banking outcomes for customers experiencing Family Domestic Violence and has recently moved to this role. Before joining the ABA Teresa held various global financial services risk and compliance roles over 26 years at the Macquarie Group, and prior to that, 5 years at KPMG.

Teresa holds a Bachelor of Economics from the University of Sydney, a Graduate Diploma in Applied Finance and Investment from (FINSIA- the Australian professional body for the financial services industry) and is a Chartered Accountant.

Margot Politis

Margot Politis

Artistic Director at Milk Crate Theatre

With over 17 years of practice, Margot is a recognised leader in NSW inclusive arts practice as a director, performer, choreographer, and devisor of new dance theatre.

Read more about Margot Politis

Currently Artistic Director of Milk Crate Theatre, Margot has also worked and studied with a great number of inclusive arts organisations in Australia and abroad. Her focus as a practitioner is in making interdisciplinary and immersive performance work that explores social and psychological constructs – integrating theatre, film, movement, sound, setting and light. Identifying as an artist living with mental health issues, she has spoken at many events about mental health, disability and homelessness in relation to the arts.
Yatungka Gordon

Yatungka Gordon

Yatungka is a member of the First Nations Women’s Group. She is a Goreng Goreng and Munanjali woman and was born and raised in Redfern/Waterloo. 

Read more about Yatungka Gordon

Yatungka has had the privilege of visiting over 50 Aboriginal communities throughout NSW where she has delivered workshops about domestic violence, sexual assault and developing culturally safe practices with non-Aboriginal workers. Yatungka is also a member of DVNSW Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory committee.

Cassandra Kingsley

Cassandra Kingsley

Linkt Assist Manager at Transurban

Cassandra leads Transurban’s first dedicated national hardship team Linkt Assist. Cassandra joined Transurban in January 2019 where she moved to quickly establish a team of specialists to support customers experiencing financial and social hardship with their toll travel debt.

Read more about Cassandra Kingsley

With 13.3% of Australians living below the internationally accepted poverty line, Cassandra’s passion is to ensure that she assists, educates and empowers customers, removing any shame or distrust they might feel when calling and asking for support from Linkt Assist.

The reality that millions of Australians are only a relationship breakdown, a medical emergency or a job loss away from being unable to meet their financial commitments is what keeps Cassandra advocating internally and externally to increase awareness, accessibility of tolling information and support available to financially vulnerable Australians. She believes it’s her role to be their voice and to shine a light on the not-so-glamorous truths that make vulnerability a reality for many Australians today.

Jane Calvert

Jane Calvert

Customer and Communities Advocacy at Transurban

Jane has played a key role in advocating for the creation of Linkt Assist, Transurban’s first dedicated team to support customers experiencing social and financial hardship.

Read more about Jane Calvert

Jane has also played a key role in a range of systemic changes to improve the way the business detected and responded to hardship. She also led the development of Transurban’s first Financial Inclusion Action Plan.

An accredited Partnership Broker with more than 20 years’ experience spanning the transport, development, health, media and community welfare sectors, Jane is a firm believer that corporate, government and community organisations must work together to more effectively address the rising issues of social and financial inequality and restore the financial resilience of Australian communities.

Effie Zahos

Effie Zahos

Editor at Large at Canstar

Canstar is Australia’s biggest financial comparison site. Effie is a leading personal finance commentator in Australia with more than two decades of experience in consumer finance topics including banking, finance and property.

Read more about Effie Zahos

Effie was previously Bauer Media’s Finance Editor and editor of Money magazine, having helped establish it in 1999. She is a regular on Channel 9’s Today show and radio stations across Australia as a money expert.

Effie is also author of a children’s financial literacy book, The Great $20 Adventure and A Real Girl’s Guide to Money: From Converse to Louboutins.

Elliot Parkinson

Elliot Parkinson

Director at Beacon Strategies

Elliot is a Founder and Director of Brisbane-based health and social services consultancy Beacon Strategies. He leads the delivery of consulting projects for a diverse mix of client partners, supporting them to plan, design, implement and evaluate their work.

Read more about Elliot Parkinson

Prior to this, Elliot worked for local and state governments in strategy, project management and planning roles to improve the environments where people live and work. Elliot holds a Master of Public Health and Bachelor of Science, and is a member of the Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA) and Australian Evaluation Society (AES).

Justin Field MLC

Justin Field MLC

Independent Member of the NSW Legislative Council

Justin Field is an Independent Member of the NSW Legislative Council. He is a vocal advocate for a wellbeing approach to Government budgets and has a particular focus on environment and water policy.

Karen Cox

Karen Cox

CEO at Financial Rights Legal Centre

Financial Rights Legal Centre is a specialist community legal centre assisting people with credit, debt, banking, insurance and related financial problems.

Read more about Karen Cox

The Centre employs both financial counsellors and lawyers, and runs a number of free advice lines for the public and other caseworkers in the community. The Centre also conducts casework, provides education and resources, and advocates for systemic reform to improve financial well-being through a fairer financial services market.

Karen is trained as a lawyer and has been with the service for 20 years.

Fran Stead

Fran Stead

CEO at Cowra Information & Neighbourhood Centre

Fran has been CEO for the past 7 years and it is her most rewarding role to date. Before joining Cowra Information & Neighbourhood Centre she worked in the corporate world of accounts, for 20 + years.

Read more about Fran Stead

Fran has recently taken up a vacant position on the board of Local Community Services Association, and additionally has taken on their role of Regional Representative. She has a strong commitment to social justice and fights for equality daily. Her favourite motto is ‘we don’t do “No” we just find a way’.

Communities are like jig saws, all pieces are needed and all pieces need to belong for the picture to be complete.

Clare Wynne

Clare Wynne

Director of Community Inclusion at St Vincent de Paul Society NSW

Clare is passionate about community participation and has worked in the community sector in both Victoria and New South Wales as well as in Fiji over the past twenty years.

Read more about Clare Wynne

Clare’s qualification include a Masters of Social Work, Graduate diploma in International and Community Development and a Masters of Business Administration.

Poppy Brown

Poppy Brown

Director NSW and ACT at Australian Red Cross

Poppy has an Honours degree in Business Economics, is a qualified accountant and graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. She came to Australia after a career as a management consultant for private, government and not for profit projects in the UK and Europe.

Read more about Poppy Brown

With a passion for supporting those most disadvantaged people in our community, she has spent the last 17 years working in the not-for-profit sector primarily in the child and family space, managing programs supporting children with disabilities, migrant and refugee families and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Programs.

As State Director for the Australian Red Cross she has been heavily involved in the response to the recent unprecedented bushfire crisis in NSW and is working to support impacted communities in their long road to recovery.

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