Conference Program

Final Program Release

The conference program includes a mix of guest speakers, facilitated panel discussions, presentations sessions and workshops in line with the Conference aims and themes. The final half-day is dedicated to workshops, and spaces are limited for these.


Details for guest speaker presentations and panel discussion participants will be released in October.

Master of Ceremonies (Wednesday morning, 6 November)

Karla Grant, SBS Presenter, Producer & Journalist

Karla Grant has worked for SBS for over a decade. She was a presenter, producer, reporter and director of the Walkley award-winning ICAM program, SBS TV's ground-breaking Indigenous current affairs show that preceded Living Black. Karla reported on a wide range of issues for ICAM - politics, sports, the arts - and also produced a number of mini-documentaries. This year marks Karla’s twelfth series as Presenter and Executive Producer of Living Black, SBS TV's prime-time national Indigenous current affairs program. Karla was appointed Executive Producer of SBS's Indigenous Media Unit in 2002. From there, she developed the concept for Living Black which first aired in February 2003. For the past five years, Karla has also produced SBS TV's coverage of The Deadly Awards, the national awards for Indigenous excellence in music, sport, entertainment and community service.

Key Note Speaker

Professor Marc Stears, Sydney University – Sydney Policy Lab

Marc Stears is Director of the Sydney Policy Lab. Before arriving in Sydney in 2018, Marc had been Professor of Political Theory at the University of Oxford and Chief Executive of the New Economics Foundation, one of the UK’s largest think tanks, where his work often focused on deepening partnerships with community groups who are often overlooked in the policy process. Marc has advised a number of commercial and non-commercial organisations on strategic communication, democratic inclusion and community engagement. In his academic work, Marc is an expert in democratic theory and the history of ideologies and social movements. He is the author of Demanding Democracy; Progressives, Pluralists and the Problems of the State; and an editor of many volumes including The Oxford Handbook of Political Ideologies.

Guest Speakers

Monica Morgan, Yorta Yorta Nation Aboriginal Corporation

Monica is a Yorta Yorta Traditional Owner and the Chief Executive Officer for Yorta Yorta Nation Aboriginal Corporation. She is also a founder of the Murray Lower Darling Rivers Indigenous Nations (MLDRIN). Monica has a long history in advocacy for Indigenous land and water rights and gender equality. Monica established the Indigenous Partnerships Project under The Living Murray Initiative while working at the Murray Darling Basin Commission. She has authored and co-authored a number of publications on Native Title and Water Rights, including Indigenous Rights to Water in the Murray Darling Basin. Monica is a current member of the UNESCO Panel Cultural Diversity in Water.

Professor Sarah Maddison, University of Melbourne

Sarah is a Professor of Politics in the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Melbourne. She is the co-founder and co-director of the research unit The Indigenous-Settler Relations Collaboration. Sarah has published widely in the fields of reconciliation and intercultural relations, settler colonialism, Indigenous politics, gender politics, social movements, and democracy. Her published works include Conflict Transformation and Reconciliation; The Limits of Settler Colonial Reconciliation; The Women’s Movement in Protest, Institutions and the Internet; and Black Politics: Inside the complexity of Aboriginal political culture, the joint winner of the Henry Mayer Book Prize in 2009.

Naomi Nash, New River Leadership

Naomi is the CEO and lead facilitator with New River Leadership, a learning organisation committed to individuals who are working to make communities and workplaces better and focused on leadership capacity building. She has worked with social welfare agencies, schools, executives and individuals, and to explore leadership and cultural change. Naomi has a passion for entrepreneurship and mentoring start-ups, particularly with young people and has been granted an Honorary Associate position at the University of Sydney Business school for her work in this space. In 2017, Naomi co-authored Rethinking Leadership: Building capacity for positive change.


Workshop A (1/2 Day) - CLOSED session for First Nations women (Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander, or other Indigenous women), facilitated by Monica Morgan and Cathy Craigie. This session will focus on approaches and challenges to empowering first nations women and women-lead empowerment. LIMITED SPACES AVAILABLE

Workshop B (1/2 Day) - Design Thinking Workshop, facilitated by Ben Pecotich, Dynmaic4. This interactive workshop will provide experience in how to use this technique to help solve complex problems and accelerate innovation. Participants will be given practical tools and guidance on the design thinking process and how it can be used in their work or shared with others looking to create innovative and positive change in the community. LIMITED SPACES AVAILABLE