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The Social Traders Conference 2019 is a unique opportunity to meet with, reconnect and learn from the largest gathering of social enterprise practitioners in Australia.  This event is open to all #STcertified social enterprises.

View the detailed program below or download program here.

ST certification must be current and all certification fees paid.  Eligibility to purchase this package is based on these terms, and Social Traders reserve the right to downgrade the package to the The State of Social Enterprise in Australia program (20 Aug only) if these terms are not met.

Power of Impact

20th & 21st August 2019

08:00 - 19:00 & 08:00 - 19:00

Abbotsford Convent,
1 St Helier Street,
Abbotsford Victoria 3067

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Tuesday 20th August 2019


8.30 - 8.40

Welcome to Country

8.40 -8.50

Welcome & Opening

David Brookes – Managing Director, Social Traders


Official Opening & Remarks

Hon. Martin Pakula – Minister for Jobs, Innovation & Trade, Victorian Government



The State of Social Enterprise in Australia, Canada & Beyond

In his capacity as Board Member, Social Enterprise World Forum (SEWF) and Managing Partner, Buy Social Canada, David LePage will discuss the progress of the sector across four pillars, how that has and continues to play out across Canada and Europe.

Matt Pfahlert, CEO of Australian Centre for Rural Entrepreneurship (ACRE) will discuss the progress of the social enterprise sector in Australia over the last decade.


David LePage – Managing Partner, Buy Social Canada
Matt Pfahlert – CEO, Australian Centre for Rural Entrepreneurship


Sector Debate

Social enterprises will emerge from the edges into the mainstream – it’s debatable

A lively debate between practitioners and academics as we look at the case for the Affirmative and that for the Negative.

Featuring, for the Affirmative [in no particular order]

  • Alex Hannant – Co-director, Yunus Centre for Social Business, Griffiths University
  • Sabrina Chakori – Founder, Brisbane Tool Library
  • Sally Quinn – Co-founder & Executive Director, Green Collect

Featuring, for the Negative [in no particular order]

  • Carolyn Curtis – CEO, The Australian Centre for Social Innovation (TACSI)
  • Rob Pekin – Founding Director, Food Connect
  • Kirsten Larsen – Open Food Network


Morning Tea


Breakout: Pick a Session

Marketing Your Enterprise  

Hosted and facilitated by Tom Allen of Impact Boom, this panel-style session will showcase three leading social enterprises. Each enterprise will discuss how they approach marketing as a social enterprise, their successes and challenges.

There will be opportunities to ask questions during the session.

Tom Allen – Founder & CEO, Impact Boom
Cinnamon Evans – CEO, CERES
Cat Harding & Mardi Brown – Co-founders, PonyUp for Good
Tim Baxter – Who Gives A Crap


Social Enterprise Certification – the Good, the Bad & the Ugly 

This session will explore the progress of the sector, the role of certification, and why we believe it’s time has come. Nina will highlight the inherent challenges in certifying a diverse sector and how ST has evolved its certification to cater for the spread, while maintaining the brand social enterprise.

There will be opportunities to ask questions during the session.

Nina Yousefpour – Manager, Social Impact & Standards, Social Traders


Opportunities & Challenges in Rural & Regional Australia 

From global to local, this session will profile the key insights, case studies and universal themes from the inaugural ‘Rural Symposium’ that coincided with the 10th Anniversary Social Enterprise World Forum (SEWF) in Scotland last year.

The session will delve into the local opportunities and challenges that we face in an Australian context when you’re outside of our major cities.

There will be opportunities to ask questions in this session.

Matt Pfahlert – CEO, Australian Centre for Rural Entrepreneurship


Business Tools for Social Enterprise 

Hosted by Sharon Zivkovic, Founder & CEO, Community Capacity Builders

This session will provide attendees with

  • An understanding of the challenge of balancing social and business objectives
  • An approach for incorporating social objectives into business model canvas
  • An approach for creating a theory of change

Ingrid Burkett – Co-director Yunus Social Business Centre, Griffith University



Return to Auditorium



Access to Capital: Getting the Investment Your Enterprise Needs From Birth to Maturity

Hanna Ebeling, CIO, Social Enterprise Finance Australia (SEFA) will host a panel to discuss the paths to access capital, specifically from a range of intermediaries.


  • Catherine Brown, CEO, Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation
  • Tom Dawkins – CEO & Co-founder, Start Some Good
  • Sabina Curatolo, Director Public Policy for Social Enterprise Development, Impact Investing Australia




Breakout: Pick a Session

Making the shift to a B2B market 

Steve Betinsky – Director, Social Enterprises, Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC)
Katie Wyatt – Co-director, Wake by Reach
Nip Wijewickrema, Co-founder, GG’s Flowers


Pitching Support   

Hosted and facilitated by Tom Allen, Impact Boom, this session will demystify what makes a good pitch.  Watch live pitches in front of an impressive panel who eats pitches for breakfast.

Luke Terry – Founder & Managing Director, Vanguard Laundry Services
Alex Oppes – Director, Impact Investing, Social Ventures Australia
Belinda Morrissey – CEO, English Family Foundation


Impact Measurement 

Hosted by Sharon Zivkovic, Founder & CEO, Community Capacity Builders

This session will provide attendees with an awareness of

  • Different approaches of impact measurement, such as theory driven evaluation approaches, approaches that integrate organisational performance and accountability, and approaches that assess costs compared to outcomes
  • The advantages & limitations of different impact measurement approaches

Kevin Robbie – Director, Think Impact


You’ve got the idea, but where do you start?

This session will detail insights from a recent piece of CSI Swinburne research in which experienced social enterprise founders reflected on their start up journey.  The team from Swinburne Social Startup Studio will provide an overview of what support is available for early stage social enterprises and what to think about when deciding on what’s right for you and your enterprise. 

Libby Ward-Christie – Director, Swinburne Social Startup Studio
Kate Saporta – Manager, Swinburne Social Startup Studio



Afternoon Tea



Social Enterprise: Uncut & Uncensored

We see the headlines and read all about the success stories.  However, the road to build, sustain and grow a social enterprise is far from smooth.  Generating impact takes hard work – and often with a twist and turn along the way. 

Come hear the real story – UNCUT & UNCENSORED from our panel of social enterprise practitioners 

  • Mark McKenzie-McHarg – Executive Director, Mt Buffalo Community Enterprise 
  • Amy Orange – Founding Director, Harvest Fair 
  • Chris Ennis – Founder & General Manager, CERES Fair Food 

Closing Remarks

David Brookes – Managing Director, Social Traders


Networking Drinks

Wednesday 21st August 2019



Welcome to Country



David Brookes – Managing Director, Social Traders


Welcome to Victoria & Opening Remarks on the Victorian Government’s Commitment to social procurement

The Honourable Robin Scott, Assistant Treasurer, Victorian Government

9.20 - 10.05


The What & Why of Social Procurement – A Canadian Perspective

In his capacity as Managing Partner, Buy Social Canada and Director, Social Enterprise World Forum (SEWF), David LePage will discuss the development of social procurement in Canada and provide a perspective on progress in Australia.

David LePage – Managing Partner, Buy Social Canada


Lightning Talk

When to Scale, When to Consolidate?

Jess Moore, CEO, Community Resources Limited



My Life Changed

Simon Fenech, Fruit2Work



Morning Tea


Breakout: Pick a Session

You Can’t Ask That: All the Questions You Want to Ask Social Enterprises About How They Solve Their Money Problems 

This interactive panel examines the various hurdles social enterprises face when it comes to accessing money, whether it be for working capital, human resourcing, or investment to grow. It explores issues and solutions from a number of perspectives, and provides an opportunity to learn from an experienced panel.
Suitable for: Social enterprises, intermediaries, philanthropists, business and government interested in exploring solutions to the money problem.

Luke Terry – CEO & Co-founder, White Box Enterprises
Paul Brown – General Manager, Jigsaw
David Laity – Director, GoodWill Wine
Rob Pekin – Executive Director, Food Connect


Selling the Concept of Social Procurement to Stakeholders 

Social procurement involves a significant shift in the way procurement is traditionally done. This interactive workshop will help you understand how businesses who have managed the change well.
Suitable for: Businesses, government agencies and social enterprises wanting tactical advice on how to broaden stakeholder engagement on social procurement

Stephanie Roache – Corporate Responsibility Manager, Australia Post
Rajiv Ramanathan, Major Roads Project Victoria


Learning From Successes and Failures – A Case Study of John Holland and Outlook Environmental

Learn howsocial enterprise Outlookis winning work with some of the largestconstruction companies in Australia.
Suitable for: Social enterprises,  businesses and government agencies who want to gain insights from the lessons learnt from Outlook and John Holland 

Leigh Hardingham – Social Procurement & Inclusion Manager, Westgate Tunnel Project
Sam Sondhi – CEO, Outlook Environmental


The Impact of Policy on Practice 

An interactive panel discussion exploring the current policy landscape, and the implications on community and business.
Suitable for: All who are interested in the Australia-wide social procurement policy in practice 

Elisabeth Lette – Policy Team Manager – Strategic Sourcing Group, Department of Treasury & Finance
Dean Sparshott – General Manager Human Resources, CPB
David LePage – Co-founder & Managing Partner, Buy Social Canada



Move to next session


Breakout: Pick a Session

Winning Work – the Value of Business Development Expertise in Your Social Enterprise

All things Business Development – the who, the what and the plan.  We have pulled together a panel of those in the know.
Suitable for: Social enterprise leaders looking to drive revenue growth through business development. 

Debbie Brooks – National Business Manager, IPA Diversity
Paul Brown – General Manager, Jigsaw
Erika Jeffs – HR Business Partner, Seek


Embedding Social Procurement in Your Systems 

Changing the way you buy is most effective when it is systematised.  Join this interactive workshop to find out how you can embed social procurement into your systems.
Suitable for: Business and government agencies interested in changing how social procurement is done in their organisation 

Dave Andrews – Procurement Lead Australia, Mircosoft
Jacqui Gava, University of Melbourne


Insights From Social Enterprise on How They Have Positioned Themselves for Success 

Learn how three social enterprises – Rebuild, Ability Works and yourtown – have evolved and the critical factors that have enabled them to take advantage of contract opportunities in this interactive panel.
Suitable for: Social enterprises, business and government agencies who want to gain insights from the lessons learnt from Rebuild, Ability Works and yourtown 

Gary Sinclair – Manager Bridge Project & YMCA Rebuild, YMCA Rebuild
Sue Boyce – CEO, Ability Works
Sarai Tuuga – Northern Area Manager, yourtown





Breakout: Pick a Session

Tactical Advice on Selling to the Victorian State Government 

Suitable for: Social enterprises looking for advice on selling to state & local government .

Felicity Roberts, VicRoads
Marco Martini, DTF
Sam Edmonds, Social Traders


Telling the impact story 

Impact – a set of numbers, stories or all of the above?  Join us as five organisations tell their perspective of impact in a lightning talk style.
Suitable for: Social enterprises, businesses, governments, philanthropists 

Simon Robinson, Australia & New Zealand Corporate Citizenship
Lisa Waldron. Senior Advisor, Westpac Foundation
Nina Yousefpour – Manager Social Impact & Standards, Social Traders
Mikey Leung, Co-Creator, Digital Storytellers
Aurora Elmes, Centre for Social Impact

Learning From Successes and Failures – A Case Study of Broadspectrum

Broadspectrum is one of the largest spenders with social enterprises of any Social Traders member. This is an opportunity to hear what has worked and what hasn’t worked from a market leader. 
Suitable for: Social enterprises,businessand government wanting to gain insights from the lessons learnt fromBroadspectrum

Loes Westerbeek-Veld – Community Engagement Manager, Broadspectrum
Jason Webster – Operations Manager, Broadspectrum



Afternoon Tea



An Employment Success Story

Tim Beasley – Head of Growth Projects, LongView



Insights From the Social Traders Marketplace and the Future of Social Procurement

Lisa Boothby, Social Traders



Future Potential

Matteo, Wake by Reach


Closing Remarks

David Brookes – Managing Director, Social Traders


Social Traders Awards

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