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Masters 2016: Meet the Speakers

May 15, 2016

Last updated on February 27, 2018

Meet the speakers who will feature at the Social Traders Masters Conference 2016 and contribute their thoughts and vision to the conferene theme, Realising the Future of Social Enterprise.

With international guest Carla Javits providing a US perspective alongside some of the best and most influential local social enterprises, there’s sure to be robust discussion, big ideas and information shared across the two days of the conference.

International Guest Speaker: Carla Javits, CEO, REDF

Carla Javits

As president and CEO, Carla Javits provides the leadership and vision that drives REDF’s mission to provide equity-like investments and business assistance to social enterprises, mission-driven businesses focused on hiring and assisting people facing barriers to work in the United States.

Prior to joining REDF, Carla was the national President and CEO of the Corporation for Supportive Housing, where she was responsible for providing grants, loans, and technical assistance to service-enriched housing initiatives that ended homelessness for tens of thousands. She was Program Analyst with the California Office of the Legislative Analyst and Director of Policy and Planning for the San Francisco Department of Social Services.

Carla holds a BA and Master’s in Public Policy from UC Berkeley. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Social Enterprise Alliance and the Melville Charitable Trust and as an Advisor to the Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship at Duke University. She is a member of the Advisory Committee of The Philanthropic Initiative as well as the Insight Center for Community Economic Development National Advisory Board.

Jo Barraket Professor Jo Barraket, Director, CSI Swinburne

Professor Jo Barraket is Director of the Centre for Social Impact (CSI) Swinburne. She is a leading international researcher in social enterprise and social innovation and has worked with Social Traders to map the field in Australia. Jo has particular research interests in the impacts of social enterprise and in the role of social procurement in creating social value; she is lead author of the recently published book, Social Procurement and New Public Governance (Routledge, 2016). Jo is also the Chairperson of CERES Environment Park in Melbourne.

Lill Healy Lill Healy – Executive Director, Program Management, Economic Development, Employment and Innovation, Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources

Lill has worked at senior levels across the community, private and public sectors.  She has held positions within the Department of Planning and Community Development as Executive Director Community Engagement within Regional Development Victoria as Executive Director, Policy and Planning and within Department of Environment and Primary Industries as Executive Director – Agriculture Policy.

Luke Luke Geary, Managing Partner, Salvos Legal

Luke has been the Managing Partner of Salvos Legal and Salvos Legal Humanitarian from the time the firms commenced in 2010. Luke is also General Counsel to The Salvation Army Australia Eastern Territory. In 2015 Luke was recognised by Pro Bono Australia for its Impact 25 as one the 25 most influential people in the Australian social sector.

Anna McGregor Anna McGregor, Australian National Manager, Pollinate Energy

Anna holds a unique career working across the community development sector (including India, Vietnam, and Indigenous Australia), Government, and business.  She has an entrepreneurial spirit having started two of her own successful businesses. With a core commitment and passion for harnessing business to deliver sustainable solutions to social problems, she joined Pollinate Energy in 2015 as Australian National Manager.

Luke2 Luke Terry, Executive Director, Toowoomba Clubhouse

Luke has been developing social enterprises in both the UK and Australia for more than a decade. His experience as an innovator in mental health and employment was recognised in 2014 when he was appointed to the QLD mental health commission advisory council. Luke was a winner in the 2015 Social Enterprise Awards and recipient of the 2015 David Clarke Harvard Scholarship.

Trent Trent Innes, Managing Director – AU, XERO

Trent has more than 17 years of experience growing and managing major businesses in the accounting and IT industries. Initially joining Xero as National Sales Director, Trent was appointed as Managing Director in 2016 to manage the company’s next phase of growth. Prior to Xero, Trent managed the Microsoft Business Group in Australia and began his career as a Certified Practicing Accountant (CPA).

Darren Darren Sutton, Business Development Director, Guardian Australia

Darren helps brands take a value led approach to engaging communities of interest through interesting advertising solutions. The goal is to help drive their business and marketing objectives objectives and more importantly create a positive social impact using best in class content marketing practices.

Ben Ben Hubbard, General Manager of Public Policy and Strategy, Maurice Blackburn Lawyers

Ben was Chief of Staff to Australia’s former Prime Minister, the Honorable Julia Gillard MP from 2011-2013. Prior to that, he was appointed Chief Executive Officer of the Victoria Bushfire Reconstruction and Recovery Authority, the Government agency that coordinated the recovery of communities affected by the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires. Ben has served in senior Government and Parliamentary advisory roles including Chief of Staff to the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (2007-09) and Principal Adviser to the Victorian Premier (1999-2002 and 2004-2007).

Stella Stella Avramopoulos, CEO, Kildonan UnitingCare

Kildonan UnitingCare delivers financial counselling, energy advice, settlement services and child, youth and family support services to more than 20,000 Victorians each year across metropolitan Melbourne through to Northern Regional Victoria. It also has a corporate arm which consults nationally to the utility, telecommunications, banking and government sectors on issues affecting vulnerable consumers. Stella has worked across the community services and government sectors for over 20 years and has a reputation for inspiring teams to design and deliver holistic and innovative approaches that engender systemic change.

Rebecca Rebecca Scott, Co-founder and CEO, STREAT

STREAT is a social enterprise that tackles youth disadvantage and homelessness by providing life-skills, support, work experience and training to young people aged 16-25. Since starting its first street food cart in Melbourne in 2010, the organisation has grown to be running cafes, a coffee roastery and a catering company. Across these businesses, the young people in STREAT’s programs have had over 38,000 hours of training and support opportunities, whilst helping serve over 1.5 million customers.

Jackie Jackie Ruddock, CEO, The Social Outfit

The Social Outfit is a fashion label with a difference. Our purpose is to employ and train people from refugee and new migrant communities. We celebrate creativity and our diverse community, believing fashion and creativity can lead to learning and empowerment. Jackie has worked professionally within the charity sector for over 12 years, and in the social entrepreneurship sector for over seven years in Australia.

Erin Erin Lewis-Fitzgerald, Founder and Managing Director, Bright Sparks Australia

Erin, a lifelong mender, she joined community repair organisation Fix It! in 2012, rescuing all manner of clothing, zippers, umbrellas and toys and guiding their owners through the process. In 2013 she organised Australia’s first Repair Café-style workshops – a series of free, social repair events in Melbourne. Her latest venture is Bright Sparks, a social enterprise that reuses, repairs and recycles small electrical appliances to keep them out of landfill.

Marissa Marissa Brown, Manager, Marketing and Strategic Development, CBB

Marissa leads the marketing and strategic development team at CBB. In this role Marissa is responsible for contributing to the implementation of CBB’s business plan, developing strategic partnerships, overseeing CBB’s Community Development Program and working to achieve increased CBB profile and positioning Australia-wide in salary packaging, strategic consulting, marketing,human resources and financial services.

Lachy Lachy Ritchie, Cofounder and Managing Director, Sprout Ventures

Lachy has spent the last six years working alongside exceptional teams across a number of start-up purpose driven enterprises. Initially cofounding Dismantle Inc, an org that uses the humble bicycle as a tool for reengaging at-risk youth with employment and education pathways. Then working with the team to launch a spin off social business called BikeDr, that offers mobile bike servicing across Perth’s CBD, and reinvests profit into Dismantle. Lachy has now moved on to focus on Sprout Ventures. Sprout is dedicated to the revival of Local Hubs across Australia in an effort to create more connected communities and thriving local economies.

Matt Matt Allen, Convener, Community Recycling Network Australia

Matt is Convener of the Community Recycling Network of Australia, a national network of waste-management social enterprises. He has been involved in the management of various non-profits for the past 10 years, most recently as the Coordinator/ General Manager of Resource Work Cooperative in Hobart, Tasmania, and is interested in organisational structures that achieve project goals while also redistributing power and encouraging collaborative leadership. Matt is an occasional consultant, a board member of Hobart social enterprise startup Hamlet Inc, and an MBA (Social Impact) candidate at UNSW.

Spohiew Sophie Weldon, Founder and Director, Humankind Enterprises

Humankind Enterprises is a social business with the primary aim of improving social connectedness and resilience. Sophie is passionate about driving social change by reconnecting youth and seniors through her StoryPod initiative. StoryPod hires video booths to community orgs, councils and businesses to capture stories. Sophie is also working with Deakin University to develop an app and an intergenerational program that will enable young people to record stories of elders in their community and reduce the isolation that they face.

Craig Craig Marshall, CEO, The Work Group

Craig is passionate about the emerging Social Enterprise Sector and over the past 10 years he has been instrumental in transitioning the Workgroup from a Government funded NGO to a successful mid-size Social Enterprise with an annual turnover of 15 million dollars and employing 280 people. Operating across Central/North East Victoria and Southern NSW, The Workgroup uses its commercial ventures to fund local employment programs that reduce generational welfare in regional areas.

Andrew Andrew Outhwaite, Learning Lead, Pollinators Inc

Pollinators Inc nurtures people and innovations that enable healthy resilient communities. Since 2010 Pollinators’ member Community, Spaces (CityHive, CreativeHub & Laneways) and Learning programs (Flock, Catalyst, Goodness etc.) have been enabling the growth of a culture and ecosystem of innovation in regional WA. Prior to founding Pollinators, Andrew’s experience included growing social enterprise solutions to homelessness in the UK, advising European corporates on sustainability solutions, and working with WA communities on coastal, water and biodiversity strategies.

Jeanette Jeanette Large, CEO, Company Secretary & Principal Estate Agent, Women’s Property Initiatives (WPI) and Property Initiatives Real Estate (PIRE)

Jeanette has extensive experience across the housing sector: from running refuges and local housing groups to management roles in government departments. Her position prior to joining WPI was managing a women’s homelessness support service for nine years in the Northern suburbs of Melbourne. Under Jeanette’s leadership, WPI’s housing stock has significantly increased . By working innovatively with public, corporate and non-government partners, Jeanette has increased the organisation’s size and influence.

Alex Alex Oppes, Associate Director, Impact Investing, Social Ventures Australia (SVA)

Alex joined SVA’s Impact Investing team in 2013 and is responsible for investing SVA’s $9m Social Impact Fund and the $30m HESTA/SVA Social Impact Investment Trust. His responsibilities include deal origination, assessment and execution, portfolio management from investment through to exit and investor relations. Alex is also a founding director of Vanguard Laundry, a social enterprise commercial laundry based in Toowoomba.

Simon Simon Griffiths, CEO, Who Gives A Crap 

Who Gives A Crap is a profit for purpose environmentally friendly toilet paper company that uses 50% of its profits to build toilets in the developing world. He is also the founder of Shebeen, Australia’s first non-profit bar, located in Melbourne’s CBD. In 2011, Simon was recognised by The Age’s Melbourne Magazine as one of Melbourne’s Top 100 Most Influential People, and in 2013 he was shortlisted for Young Australian of the Year. He is an outstanding entrepreneur and philanthropist who has already built two, million dollar social enterprises.

Peter Peter Chia, Chief Executive Officer – Muru Mittigar Ltd

Peter has worked in the not for profit sector for over twelve years, developing enterprises in natural resource management, tourism and building industries after a career in the private sector in similar fields. Peter has managed Muru Mittigar’s business activities for the past six years and has over 20 years’ experience in commercial and community renewal programs, specialising in land care projects, workplace training, community microfinance, civil workforce development and employing marginalised job seekers with focus on meaningful, Indigenous economic participation . Peter is positioning Muru Mittigar to be a leading advocate and example of social impact utilising commercial business to Close the Gap for Indigenous communities.

Con L Con Lappas, Head of Procurement, Australia Post

Con Lappas has over 25 years of management experience gained across a range of industries, including banking and finance, government and health.  In 2011, Con joined Australia Post where he is responsible for developing business relationships and in-house capabilities to ensure commercially sustainable and social procurement outcomes.  Prior to Australia Post, Con held senior leadership positions at ANZ Bank across IT, eCommerce services and Procurement functions.  As a “champion of change” Con is determined to evolve the role of Procurement and enhance supplier relationship management practices and innovation processes that deliver new sources of sustainable value.

Jane Canaway Jane Canaway, Executive Director, Clinical Services and Quality, CoHealth

Jane has extensive experience in the health sector, being a Registered Nurse with postgraduate qualifications in midwifery, health counselling and program evaluation. She has worked in both acute settings and community health. Jane has also worked in State Government in health policy and program administration. Of her close to 20 years of management experience, she has spent the last 7 in the community health sector.

Mary Mary Sayers, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, VCOSS

Mary Sayers joined VCOSS in November 2014. She is Deputy Chief Executive Officer working in close partnership with the CEO, to support the organisation, members, the development of policy and sector sustainability activities.  Prior to VCOSS she was Manager Family, Children and Young People at the City of Whittlesea between 2012 and 2014, overseeing a large team supporting children and young people from birth to 25 years of age, plus their families. The City of Whittlesea is one of the fastest growing municipalities in Australia.

Elisabeth Elisabeth Tuckey, CEO, Ladder

Elisabeth has 30 years of experience in corporate affairs and communications. Elisabeth started as a motoring journalist, contributing to The Australian, The Age, radio programs and magazines and writing several books. She has an in-depth understanding of the not-for-profit, government and corporate sectors, and her most recent roles were as GM Corporate Affairs at Rural Ambulance Victoria, Head of Communications at the Bushfire Appeal Fund and Head of Corporate Affairs at national youth mental health foundation headspace. Elisabeth is currently the CEO of youth homelessness organisation, Ladder.

Robert Robert Pease, Consultant

Robert is a highly experienced procurement and supply chain consultant, thought leader and coach with extensive experience in procurement transformation and capability development across corporate, government and consulting sectors. Robert has led the delivery of major consulting engagements across a client portfolio which includes, Alcoa, ANZ Bank, Australia Post, BHP Billiton, Coles, NAB, National Foods, NSW Government, Santos, Telstra and Qantas. Robert’s key areas of expertise include; Supplier relationship management (SRM), contract lifecycle management, procurement category management, strategic cost management, stakeholder influencing and change management.

KatherineKennedy Katherine Kennedy, Strategy Manager, Social Traders

Katherine leads the business development and strategic planning work for Social Traders. She also provides support and advice to social enterprises and government stakeholders. Key projects include social enterprise consulting to the New South Wales Department of Family and Community Services around social enterprise funding and support models.

LibbyWardChristie Libby Ward-Christie, Head of Investment and Advisory, Social Traders

Libby specialises in social enterprise business strategy, investment and implementation. Libby has worked to support a multitude of start-up and trading social enterprises and was the original architect of Social Traders’ start up accelerator, The Crunch, which has grown to be Australia’s pre-eminent social enterprise support program. Libby also founded Social Traders Investment Portfolio, which to date has provided $2.4 million in capital and support to 12 early stage social enterprises.

MarkDaniels(1) Mark Daniels, Head of Market and Sector Development, Social Traders

Mark plays a key role in social procurement by introducing new markets to the benefits of social enterprise. He also works with social enterprises to build capacity in winning contracts and finding customers. Mark has overseen the development of Social Traders Connect, a platform that links social enterprise suppliers to government and corporate buyers. He has extensive experience in the development of social procurement in Australia.

DavidBrookes David Brookes, Managing Director, Social Traders

David was appointed Managing Director of Social Traders in 2009. He is an Executive Director on Social Traders’ board and has responsibility for executing the organisation strategy, staff recruitment and external stakeholder engagement.Previously, David held senior executive roles with Amcor, Toyota and Rio Tinto across government, media and community relations portfolios.

Jason Jason Clarke, Founder, Minds At Work – Event MC

Jason Clarke is one of the most sought-after creative minds in the country, but he thinks of himself a Plumber of the Mind, the guy you go to when your head gets clogged. As founder of Minds at Work, he’s been helping people ‘think again’ since the end of the last century, working with clients across Australia in virtually every industry and government sector on issues ranging from creativity and trouble shooting to culture change and leadership.

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