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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 social enterprises and interested parties.

View the detailed program below or download program here

State of Social Enterprise in Australia

20th August 2019

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

Location Details

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