4th Financial Inclusion Conference – Roads to Resilience

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Dinner and Awards

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Program

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).

Dr Jeremiah Brown photo

Dr Jeremiah Brown

Research Fellow at Centre for Social Impact

Dr Jeremiah Brown joined CSI UNSW in May 2020 and is currently working on the financial wellbeing component of CSI’s Amplify Insights, and on issues related to the underfunding of charities in Australia.

Jeremiah’s research interests are in social policy, financial wellbeing, and the role that both organisations and the welfare state play in shaping the outcomes of democratic citizens. He is particularly interested in the principles that underpin policy choices, and the impact that both government and organisations can have in improving wellbeing outcomes in people’s lives.

Read more about Dr Jeremiah Brown

From 2019-2020, Jeremiah was the inaugural ANZ Tony Nicholson Research Fellow at the Brotherhood of St Laurence, where he worked on employing economic dignity as a concept for evaluating ideas, structures and policies related to financial wellbeing.

His work draws heavily on Amartya Sen’s capability approach to understand how different kinds of disadvantage can constrain people’s freedom in established democratic societies.

In 2018 Jeremiah completed his PhD in Political Theory at the University of Melbourne, where he has taught political theory and research methods.

His PhD thesis, Freedom as Capability: How the capability approach can improve our understanding of freedom in established democracies, examined the way that freedom is conceptualised in the measurement of democracy, and he developed a new measure of democracy drawing from the capability approach.

The measure developed in the thesis has been used to compare different wellbeing outcomes across different welfare regimes, highlighting that different types of welfare states have different outcomes in the wellbeing that they produce for disadvantaged citizens.

Reverend Tim Costello photo

Reverend Tim Costello AO

Alliance for Gambling Reform Chief Advocate

Tim is one of Australia’s most respected community leaders and a sought after voice on social justice issues, leadership and ethics. For 13 years until October 2016, Tim was Chief Executive of World Vision Australia (WVA). In his current role as the Alliance’s Chief Advocate, Tim is putting awareness of gambling harm on the national agenda. Concurrently this year, Tim is the Executive Director of Micah Australia.

Read more about Reverend Tim Costello AO

Other positions Tim holds are Chair of the Community Council of Australia; member of the Multi-Stakeholder Steering Committee of the EU-Australia Leadership Forum; member of the SBS Community Advisory Committee: Chief Advocate of the Thriving Communities Partnership; board member for the Campaign for Australian Aid; board member for the Australian National Development Index; Patron of SMSF and Patron of the National Youth Commission.

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.

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 Master of Leadership through Deakin University, a Bachelor of Social Science and has completed post graduate studies in public sector management.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

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. Before joining EWON five 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.

Read more about Helen Ford

Helen 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.

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.

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

Adjunct Fellow at Western Sydney University and Policy Officer at Western Sydney Migrant Resource Centre

Dr Archana Voola is an academic researcher and policy advocate focused on financial wellbeing, gender equality, poverty alleviation and migrant experiences.

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 focused 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.

Archana’s work is underpinned by a passion to be a voice for the voiceless, and Mahatma Gandhi’s quote best encapsulates her ethos ‘Be the change that you want to see in the world’.

Farhan Ashik

Farhan Ashik

Farhan Ashik is a PhD candidate in the Discipline of Marketing at the University of Sydney Business School. His research is focused on the role that Marketing can play in reducing inequality and contributing to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Monique Wiseman

Monique Wiseman

Senior Aboriginal Project Officer at Homelessness NSW

Monique is responsible for providing strategic advice and building strong collaborative partnerships with services and community members, to establish a connected voice that addresses the core drivers of Aboriginal homelessness across NSW.

Read more about Monique Wiseman

Previously, Monique worked for over eight years with the Aboriginal community of Kings Cross as the Aboriginal Program Manager at Wayside Chapel. Under Monique’s leadership, the Aboriginal program grew from eight case files to over four hundred engaged community members. Monique’s legacy was a sustainable program that provides a culturally appropriate service for Aboriginal communities both locally and inter-state.

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.

Ellis Blaikie

Ellis Blaikie

Service Improvement and Innovation Manager at 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.

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).

Joanna Quilty

Joanna Quilty

CEO at NCOSS

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.

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.
Gerard Brody

Gerard Brody

CEO at Consumer Action Law Centre

Gerard is CEO of the Consumer Action Law Centre, an independent, not-for-profit consumer organisation based in Melbourne.

Read more about Gerard Brody

Consumer Action provides financial counselling, legal advice and representation to support vulnerable and disadvantaged Victorians, and draws on its direct knowledge of the consumer experience in modern markets to pursue consumer interest campaigns and policy reform at both state and national levels.

Gerard is also the Chair of Consumers’ Federation of Australia, the peak body for consumer organisations in Australia, representing a diverse range of consumer groups, including most national consumer organisations.

Kristin O'Connell

Kristin O'Connell

Co-founder of the Antipoverty Centre

Kristin is an unwaged worker living below the poverty line on the Disability Support Pension. She is involved in research, policy development, advocacy and parliamentary engagement to advance the interests of everyone living in poverty and those subjected to the brutal conditions placed on people receiving a social security payment. Kristin is a co-founder of the Antipoverty Centre and was formerly the spokesperson of the Australian Unemployed Workers’ Union.

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).

Jess Perrin

Jess Perrin

Head of Social Innovation and Digital Inclusion at Infoxchange

Jess leads Infoxchange Group’s social impact programs to ensure no-one is left behind in today’s digital world.

Read more about Jess Perrin

With a focus on inclusion by design in digital, Jess oversees Ask Izzy, the award winning mobile website that connects thousands of people in need to housing, meals, support and counselling, as well as Infoxchange’s digital inclusion initiatives such as Digital Springboard in partnership with Google. With a formidable bunch of partners, she leads the team to tackle some of Australia’s most pressing social challenges through the smart and creative use of technology.

Prior to joining Infoxchange, Jess was Head of Global Programs at the Thomson Reuters Foundation in London where she led the Foundation’s global pro bono program, TrustLaw, and the Trust Conference human rights forum. Her career has focused on building partnerships to support and scale innovative social justice projects with organisations such as CARE Australia, Amnesty International and UNICEF. She has held a number of Board positions with UK-based charities and co-founded Not My Style, an app that shows how much fashion brands share about how they treat the women and men who make their clothes.

She holds a Masters in International Communications and Development from the City University of London, received a scholarship to the McKinsey Executive Leadership Program in 2019 and in 2015 was a finalist for the UK Women of the Future Awards.

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.

Jess Davidson

Jess Davidson

Disability and Inclusion Regional Manager at St Vincent de Paul Society NSW

Jess Davidson has over fifteen years’ experience working in the community sector, with particular experience working with communities experiencing injustices such as homelessness, domestic violence and marginalisation.

Read more about Jess Davidson

Jess has previously spoken at NSW parliamentary inquires, and has been a panellist on ABC’s The Drum and is currently the regional manager for Disability and Inclusion at Vinnies. With qualifications in Psychology, she is passionate about creating safe and inclusive communities that address both individual need and systematic change.

Poppy Brown

Poppy Brown

NSW and ACT Director 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.

Chris Hartley

Chris Hartley

Research Fellow at UNSW's Centre for Social Impact

Chris Hartley is a Research Fellow at CSI UNSW with a research focus in housing and homelessness and expertise in social housing policy, outcomes measurement in specialist homelessness services, homelessness and trauma, and research co-design with people who have a lived experience of homelessness.

Read more about Chris Hartley

Chris has a decade of experience in the homelessness sector having previously worked as the Senior Policy Officer with Homelessness NSW and Policy Officer/Solicitor with the Homeless Persons’ Legal Service.

In 2020, Chris was a co-author on the Australian Homelessness Monitor 2020 and the research report A pathway to where?, an enquiry into understanding and reimagining social housing pathways which examined the lived experience of people who have moved into, within or out of social housing. Chris is currently undertaking an evaluation into the temporary accommodation provided to people sleeping rough in NSW during in the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chris is a member of the Everybody’s Home campaign, a member of the Homelessness NSW Policy Council, Chair of the Eastern Area Tenants Service and a board member of Northern Rivers Community Gateway.

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.

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.

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.

Rebecca Glenn

Rebecca Glenn

CWES Founder and 2019 Churchill Fellow

Rebecca founded the Centre for Women’s Economic Safety (CWES) to raise awareness of economic abuse as a form of domestic and family violence and advocate for structural and systems change to support women’s economic safety.

Read more about Rebecca Glenn

Rebecca is also Assistant Director at Insight Exchange (Domestic Violence Service Management), with a focus on the impact of domestic and family violence on financial wellbeing. In 2019, she was awarded a Churchill Fellowship to investigate service responses to women experiencing or escaping economic abuse in the UK, USA and Canada.

Rebecca developed her passion for financial wellbeing while working as a Communications Executive at the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA). In that capacity she was an Executive Committee member and Campaign Director for MoneySmart Week before being appointed founding CEO of not-for-profit organisation, Financial Literacy Australia in 2013.

Before CWES and Insight Exchange, she worked for the Commonwealth Bank (CBA) developing its Employee Financial Wellbeing Program. As a member of CBA’s Domestic and Family Violence Working Group Rebecca worked with a range of experts to develop the Women’s Financial Wellbeing Guide and partnered with Domestic Violence NSW to produce the Addressing Financial Abuse Guide. She also led development of the bank’s first Financial Inclusion Action Plan.

Rebecca has an MBA and a Masters of Media Practice from the University of Sydney.

Jane Calvert

Jane Calvert

Head of Social Licence 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.

Helen Hodgson

Helen Hodgson

Curtin Law School

Helen Hodgson is an expert in taxation, based at the Curtin Law School. Her research is in the areas where tax and social policy intersect: superannuation, housing and inequality. She has contributed significantly to policy review in the areas of superannuation and the tax and transfer system.

Read more about Helen Hodgson

Helen has been teaching taxation law in business and law schools since 1989, and joined the Curtin Law School in 2014. Her areas of teaching include superannuation, capital gains tax and the taxation of trusts and companies. She is the Director of Graduate Studies for the Curtin Law School, and has previously held research and teaching leadership positions at Curtin and UNSW. Helen was also a Member of the Legislative Council in Western Australia between 1997 and 2001.

Helen holds qualifications in accounting, business law and taxation, is a Fellow of the Australian Society of CPA’s, a Chartered Tax Advisor and an associate member of SMSF Australia. She is a member of Super Consumers Australia Policy Reference Committee, and a Director and Chair of the Social Policy Committee of the National Foundation for Australian Women. In this capacity she is a co-editor of the Gender Lens on the Budget, published annually by NFAW.

Heather Saunders

Heather Saunders

Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand

Heather Saunders leads the Financial Inclusion Action Plan (FIAP) Program, a national and place-based network of over 50 organisations, who have made public commitments to take strategic and practical actions that will improve the financial wellbeing of their customers, employees, business, and community partners.

Read more about Heather Saunders

Before joining Good Shepherd, Heather was working in the United States as the Chief Development Officer at Juma Ventures, a social enterprise focused on breaking the cycle of poverty for youth across America.

Having begun her career in the financial services industry, Heather is passionate about issues of financial inclusion and economic security. She has a Masters in Applied Anthropology & Participatory Development and has held a variety of community capacity building roles across the Asia-Pacific and Australia.

Here in Australia she has held senior management positions in the area of financial inclusion at the Brotherhood of St Laurence and First Nations Foundation helping to design, implement, and drive national financial capability initiatives such as MoneyMinded and My Moola.

Megan McAlpine

Megan McAlpine

Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand

Throughout her career Megan McAlpine has worked in both the commercial and not-for-profit sector in financial services, health, disability, and community services.

Read more about Megan McAlpine

Leading the Economic Participation and Wellbeing division at Good Shepherd has been one of the biggest challenges of Megan’s career. Over the last 12 months over 100,000 vulnerable people have accessed services including financial capability, financial counselling, and no-interest loans (NILS) across multiple programs and channels, including a newly developed telephone & online centre.

In her role at Vision Australia Megan worked closely on the organisations strategic response to consumer directed funding within disability services.

At Medibank, Megan worked in the health services division in some of the largest telehealth services in Australia (including 1800RESPECT, Nurse-on-call, Healthdirect & Beyond Blue counselling).

Like many of us who work in health, disability and community services, Megan feels privileged to have the opportunity to support positive change.

A believer in the power of education to change lives, she has completed a Bachelor of Financial Administration (Accounting), a Master of Business and has also completed a Master of Public Health.

John Fenech

John Fenech

Bushfire Recovery and Community Development State Manager at St Vincent de Paul NSW

John is a community development practitioner with over 15 years’ experience in the sector and a diverse career path spanning fundraising and communications, operations, and finally program design and implementation.

Read more about John Fenech

Prior to joining Vinnies, John was the International Program Lead for Islamic Relief Australia, overseeing a diverse and growing program portfolio of work in the Middle East, Africa and South-east Asia, and before that an International Program Coordinator for ChildFund Australia, where he supported large project portfolios in Cambodia, the Pacific, and East Africa.

John has also lived and worked in Laos, Thailand, Sri Lanka and Timor-leste, and has had short-term stints in several other locations

Marta Kreiser

Marta Kreiser

Brotherhood of St Laurence

Marta Kreiser has been working with refugee and migrant communities since 2006 at the Brotherhood of St Laurence, City of Greater Dandenong and Community Hubs Australia.

Read more about Marta Kreiser

Previously, Marta has coordinated and managed many programs including initiatives focused on empowering women and mobilising volunteers, the Refugee Action Program working with over 30 refugee communities, the Brain Bank project which linked volunteers from mainstream community to mentor individuals and refugee community groups and Bridging Women’s Worlds which trained women to organise cross-cultural events.

Marta has worked across primary schools to engage and support migrant and refugee women through school community hubs and co-managed an Early Years Centre providing support to families and the local Mernda community.

Through the Stepping Stones to Small Business program, Marta supports and mentors women to start a small business, find employment and create training pathways.

Marta has a passion for teaching, has trained at TAFE and through her various work places. She is a mother of two toddlers who keep her busy. In her spare moments, Marta loves exploring nature and traveling across regional Victoria.

Katherine Boyle

Katherine Boyle

Executive Director at Welfare Rights Centre

Katherine has a 25-year career working to achieve social justice in the community legal sector, union movement, the public sector and private practice.

Read more about Katherine Boyle

Following her undergraduate degree, Katherine worked for a Labor Senator and volunteered at the Welfare Rights Centre. She then worked for a number of years in the NSW Department for Women, before she was seconded into the NSW Public Service Association, first as an Organiser and then as Acting Women’s Industrial Officer.

Her work at the union led to an interest in the law, and ultimately to a first class honour degree in Law from UNSW, which she worked towards while raising three children and continuing her volunteer work at Marrickville Legal Centre.

Katherine completed her practical legal training at the Homeless Persons’ Legal Service, where she also worked as a junior solicitor. Following a period in private practice, she shifted to LawAccess NSW.

The CLC sector beckoned, however, and she took a temporary position as law reform solicitor and clinical supervisor at Kingsford Legal Centre. She continued her work supervising law students in the provision of legal advice to socially and economically disadvantaged residents of Western Sydney at the Parramatta Community Justice Clinic, a joint project (then) Macquarie Legal Centre and Western Sydney University.

She started as Coordinator/Principal Solicitor at the Welfare Rights Centre in 2016, and in 2019 was appointed Executive Director. She is also the Deputy Chair of Economic Justice Australia.

Leanne Ho

Leanne Ho

Executive Officer at Economic Justice Australia

Leanne Ho is a human rights lawyer and leader in the community and pro bono legal sectors. She joined Economic Justice Australia as Executive Officer in 2017.

Read more about Leanne Ho

Leanne has previously worked in various roles at the Welfare Rights Centre in Sydney, most recently acting as Principal Solicitor for several months on secondment from a law firm.

Leanne also works as a pro bono consultant, developing the pro bono programs of large corporate law firms to provide legal assistance to vulnerable and disadvantaged groups including refugees and people seeking asylum in Australia. She has previously worked as the legal adviser to United Nations peacekeeping missions and its Human Rights Advisory Panel.

Rhiannon Cook

Rhiannon Cook

Policy and Advocacy Manager at St Vincent de Paul Society NSW

Rhiannon leads research, policy and advocacy work across diverse social issues for Vinnies NSW, connecting on-the-ground experience with decision-making processes, and supporting the grass-roots implementation of large campaigns.

Read more about Rhiannon Cook

Rhiannon has previously worked for several peak bodies, including the NSW Council of Social Service and the Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth. Prior to entering the not-for-profit sector, Rhiannon brought her social policy experience to bear on roles with both the State and Commonwealth Government, and with international development agencies in the Philippines and Thailand.

Rhiannon is also the current President of the Canterbury City Community Centre in Lakemba.

Dr Diana Warren

Dr Diana Warren

Senior Research Fellow

Dr Diana Warren is senior research fellow at the Australian Institute of Family Studies, where she leads the Families and the Economy stream of the Families and Society research program.

Read more about Diana Warren

Diana research covers a variety of topics related to family wellbeing over the life course, ranging from analysis of the benefits of preschool attendance for later developmental outcomes, to financial wellbeing in retirement.

Phil Usher

Phil Usher

CEO at First Nations Foundation

Phil is a Wiradjuri man who was appointed the CEO of First Nations Foundation in January 2020 and has led organisational change that helped navigate the pandemic – and reach a new generation of Indigenous Australians.

Read more about Phil Usher

Phil embarked upon a product design and market gap analysis journey that saw the Foundation launch two new digital products in 2020.

Indigenoussuper.com.au is a one-stop portal for Indigenous Australians to learn about their superannuation, while TomorrowMoney.co is a youth-focused content website written for Indigenous Australia, by Indigenous Australians. Both platforms enabled the Foundation to secure new record level of funding support and further investment by the Depart of the Prime Minister allowed the Foundation to launch a post-pandemic education course and social group specifically for Indigenous women.

Using his knowledge and expertise, Phil is a regular finance commentator on ABC Breakfast TV and has been featured in numerous industry titles.

Sharon Edwards

Sharon Edwards

Financial Counsellor at Indigenous Consumer Assistance Network

With a background in supporting families and young people experiencing homelessness and poverty across Far North Queensland, Sharon has developed a passion for delivering and innovating financial responses to promote wellbeing.

Read more about Sharon Edwards

Sharon has extensive experience in financial inclusion service delivery, program development and systems advocacy targeting outcomes for remote indigenous peoples, vulnerable families, young people and prisoners alike.

Kris Newton

Kris Newton

Manager at Mountains Community Resource Network

Kris has been managing the Mountains Community Resource Network (MCRN) since March 2012. MCRN is the local peak body for the Community sector in the Blue Mountains; in this role convening and supporting a range of interagencies and networks (including the Resilience & Preparedness Group), developing policy, undertaking advocacy, etc.

Read more about Kris Newton

Kris started in teaching in the ACT; then spent another 30 years in Canberra working in several Federal Government agencies, her own consultancy firm, and in the management of national NFP peaks.

Following both the 2013 and 2019-20 Blue Mountains bushfires, Kris Chaired the Wellbeing (Psychosocial) Recovery sub-committee; since 2014 she has convened the cross-sectoral Resilience & Preparedness (R&P) Group; and is now a permanent Observer (representing the community sector) on the BM Local Emergency Management Committee.

Kris is a passionate advocate for community-led resilience and recovery, and for the effective resourcing of local placed-based organisations trusted by community to support them in undertaking this work. Her qualifications include BA; Dip. Ed. and Dip. Psychology (Counselling).

Taleen Shamlian

Taleen Shamlian

Board Member of NSW Government’s Council for Women’s Economic Opportunity

Taleen has been instrumental in advising on the Women’s Financial Toolkit – the free, online resource that all women can use to find help with money concerns. Taleen brings her specialist expertise aimed at supporting women with economic opportunities.

Read more about Taleen Shamlian

Taleen is Director and Principal Consultant at @AdvisoryStreet, an economics and public policy firm, providing advice on a range of stakeholder engagements and public policy issues, such as the Banking Royal Commission.

Taleen’s previous experience includes Head of Government Affairs for Visa and the Commonwealth Bank, and as an economist at Commonwealth Treasury.

Kylie Flack

Kylie Flack

Policy Officer at NSW Department of Communities and Justice

Kylie is a Policy Officer with Women NSW in the Department of Communities and Justice. She works on a range of projects including the secretariat for the NSW Council for Women’s Economic Opportunity, the Return to Work Program, and the Women’s Financial Toolkit.

Read more about Kylie Flack

Kylie has worked at all levels of government, specialising in social policy research and has a Master of Policy and Applied Social Research. In 2018, she completed a PhD in History at Macquarie University.

Julia Weber

Julia Weber

2021 Young Woman of the Year Award finalist

Julia Weber, a @harveynorman 2021 Young Woman of the Year Award Finalist and author of a self-help book for teenage girls, understands the importance of managing her finances as a young woman leading a busy lifestyle.

Read more about Julia Weber

When Julia was a uni student, she used the Toolkit to help manage her expenses while studying. This allowed her to keep on top of things and focus on her studies.

Julia also develops financial literacy content of her own, with the aim of solving monetary struggles for all Australians, and has taught financial literacy to young people in her community, and creates online content in collaboration with the @childrensadvocate.

Jessica Casey

Jessica Casey

General Insurance Team Manager at Australian Financial Complaints Authority

Jessica Casey has been a part of AFCA since its inception, first joining the predecessor scheme the Credit and Investments Ombudsman in March 2017 as a case manager.

Read more about Jessica Casey

Jessica commenced her role as a team manager in April 2019 with AFCA and has managed teams handling both banking and finance and general insurance complaints. Prior to this, Jessica also spent several years practising family law in which she was also experienced in dealing with dispute resolution.

Jessica holds a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Arts and was admitted as a solicitor to the Supreme Court of NSW in July 2015.

Professor Jan Breckenridge

Professor Jan Breckenridge

Head of School of Social Sciences at UNSW

Professor Jan Breckenridge is the Head of the School of Social Sciences UNSW, Sydney and is the Academic Lead and Convener of the Gendered Violence Research Network, UNSW, Sydney.

Read more about Professor Jan Breckenridge

Professor Breckenridge is an internationally recognised interdisciplinary social sciences scholar in areas of gendered violence and her research is oriented towards maximum impact in innovative social policy development, best practice service provision and outcome measurement of effectiveness.

Jan leads an evidence informed knowledge-exchange stream ‘Gendered Violence and Organisations’ which provides expert advice to government, private and third sector organisations on best practice policies and organisational response to employees and the management of customers and clients affected by domestic and family violence, sexual assault and sexual harassment.

Natalie Wright

Natalie Wright

Director at NSW Office of Responsible Gambling

Natalie Wright is the Director, Office of Responsible Gambling, in the Better Regulation division of the NSW Department of Customer Service.

Read more about Natalie Wright

Natalie has worked in gambling harm prevention since 2016, establishing the Office of Responsible Gambling in 2017 to deliver prevention, early intervention and support programs for people experiencing gambling harm in NSW.

She has previously worked in a range of public sector agencies in a range of portfolios, including food, liquor and gambling regulation. Natalie has extensive experience in government services, engagement and communication, holds a Bachelor of Arts (Communications) and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

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.

Ian Hamm

Ian Hamm

Board of Directors Chair at First Nations Foundation

Ian is a Yorta Yorta man who has been actively involved in the Victorian Indigenous community in a personal and professional capacity for many years.

Read more about Ian Hamm

Ian has had a wide level of exposure to policy development and program management through his work with the Federal Government (Office of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health) and the Victorian Government (Department of Justice; Department of Planning and Community Development, Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources).

Andrew Lewis

Andrew Lewis

Executive Director Energy at Department of Planning, Industry and Environment.

Andrew has almost 20 years’ experience working in and around energy in a variety of roles, and brings perspectives from his time at government agencies, ministerial offices, an energy peak body and energy market participants.

Read more about Andrew Lewis

Andrew  has held senior executive positions with a strong focus on developing and implementing strategies and programs for energy market reforms, policy and regulatory analysis and development, consumer protection and support, stakeholder engagement and technical regulation.

In his current role, Andrew leads a number of teams delivering services and outcomes in the areas of energy social programs, clean energy programs funded by the NSW Climate Change Fund, national and NSW policy reforms, technical and operational performance of energy networks, emergency management and development of the NSW Hydrogen Strategy. A particular focus is on continuing to improve support for vulnerable and low income households, including the customer experience, in line with the NSW Government’s “Tell Us Once” approach.

Andrew has significant senior leadership, stakeholder engagement, communication and management capabilities gained at a time of intense political and public interest in issues including housing affordability, increasing energy prices, ownership of utility assets, renewable energy and climate change. He has proven success in regulatory and policy development and advocacy; building, leading and motivating teams; and identifying strategic directions, implementing change and delivering customer-focused programs and reforms.

Leanne Walding

Leanne Walding

Community Builder at Lithgow Information and Neighbourhood Centre

Leanne has worked in the community sector with a range of NGO’s for over 30 years across a diversified range of grass roots programs. Currently she is working in the community-strengthening stream providing programs that foster resilience, financial inclusion and mental health well-being.

Read more about Leanne Walding

Leanne’s community support programs at Lithgow Information and Neighbourhood Centre are a “hand up” that foster resilience community connectedness and well-being – steps to full life potential.

Leanne represents her local community on a range of committees – convenor of Lithgow Community Interagency, Suicide Awareness Let’s Talk Lithgow and the Resilience Coaching Project and community/ professional representative with Lithgow City Council – Community Development, Women’s Advisory and the Local Drug Action Team – Planet Youth.

Her qualifications include the Australian Mental Health Leaders Fellowship and Bachelor of Social Science – Social Welfare.

Larisha V Jerome

Larisha V Jerome

Indigenous Women’s Financial Wellness Project lead at First Nations Foundation

A Jarowair, Wakka Wakka & Wulli Wulli woman with strong family ties to South East Queensland who grew up on Dharug Country in Western Sydney.

Read more about Larisha V Jerome

Larisha currently works at First Nations Foundation as the project lead for the Indigenous Women’s Financial Wellness Project. Her aim to redress the economic injustice that First Nations people face and to empower women to achieve Financial Wellness and Economic Independence.

Larisha has an extensive background working in Banking, Health and Government (Indigenous Affairs) and Non-for-Profit sector (Women’s Health & Women’s Community Legal Service in the Financial Abuse Prevention Unit).

Gayatri Nair

Gayatri Nair

Financial Abuse Service NSW Policy and Capacity Building Officer at Redfern Legal Centre

Gayatri Nair has worked in domestic and family violence throughout her career, first as a community lawyer and then in policy, research and advocacy in both Government and the non-government sector including most recently as Policy and Research Manager at Domestic Violence NSW.

Read more about Gayatri Nair

Gayatri is passionate about achieving better outcomes for people experiencing domestic abuse and is working towards this at the Financial Abuse Service NSW and also the NSW chapter of the Economic Abuse Reference Group.

Redfern Legal Centre’s Financial Abuse Service NSW assists victim survivors of financial abuse in intimate partner relationships to remedy coerced debt and achieve financial independence. Through the legal service, systemic issues are identified and used to inform policy and law reform initiatives to improve government and industry responses to this widespread but under-reported form of domestic abuse. Gayatri has provided an economic abuse perspective in a number of forums and public inquiries, including the recent NSW Inquiry into Coercive Control.

Laura Bianchi

Laura Bianchi

Financial Abuse Service NSW Team Leader at Redfern Legal Centre

Laura Bianchi started her career at the Aboriginal Legal Service of Western Australia, and was later a Senior Lawyer at the National Justice Project in Sydney.

Read more about Laura Bianchi

Laura’s passion for human rights and social justice led her to Redfern Legal Centre where in 2019 she established the Financial Abuse Service NSW and the NSW chapter of the Economic Abuse Reference Group.

Redfern Legal Centre’s Financial Abuse Service NSW assists victim survivors of financial abuse in intimate partner relationships to remedy coerced debt and achieve financial independence. Through the legal service, systemic issues are identified and used to inform policy and law reform initiatives to improve government and industry responses to this widespread but under-reported form of domestic abuse. Laura has provided an economic abuse perspective in a number of forums and public inquiries, including the recent Senate Inquiry into National Consumer Credit Protection.

Dr Dina Bowman

Dr Dina Bowman

Principal Research Fellow at Brotherhood of St Laurence

Dr Dina Bowman is a principal research fellow in the areas of work and economic security at Brotherhood of St Laurence. She is also an honorary principal fellow in the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Melbourne.

Read more about Dr Dina Bowman

Dina leads BSL’s research on work and economic security, including financial wellbeing.

Her research focuses on work, employment, economic security and inequality. She is particularly interested in the drivers, impacts and lived experience of economic insecurity, low paid work and income support and how social policy impacts on people’s lives.

This research informs program innovation and policy development to better respond to economic insecurity and foster financial wellbeing.

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