Day one

9:30am – 5:15pm

The stories we tell ourselves now will determine the future.  How do we change these stories to create the future we want? How do we move our communities closer to creating greater wellbeing by challenging how we all talk and think about the world?

At a time when we are seeing the demonisation of groups such as welfare recipients and asylum seekers and our community is disenchanted with the democratic process, we need a new way to describe the change we want to see for all Queenslanders.

Today, we will focus on the stories we tell as organisations and as a community, what they mean and where they lead us.  Then explore how we change the narrative and inspire more positive outcomes by the actions we take today.

Introduction from Host –  Jane Caro


Jane, in her own unique style, will guide us through day one of the conference.  Don’t know Jane?

Jane Caro has a low boredom threshold and so wears many hats; including author, novelist, lecturer, mentor, social commentator, columnist, workshop facilitator, speaker, broadcaster and award winning advertising writer. More here

Welcome to Country – Shannon Ruska 

Shannon Ruska small.jpgShannon brings his first-hand knowledge of the traditional ways of Indigenous culture to contemporary stages, and will perform the Welcome to Country at the opening of the conference.

Every time Shannon welcomes us to Country we learn something new about Aboriginal culture of this country.  More here

Context –  Mark Henley, QCOSS CEO

mark smallWhy has QCOSS chosen this theme for the conference?  What are the driving forces behind wanting to create a movement and change the stories we tell?  What role will QCOSS play in this movement and what role will you play?

Mark Henley will provide the context for the two days.  More here

Keynote speaker – Richard Denniss, The Australia Institute

Econobabble, weasel words and welfare cheats
Richard will give us context for our conversation for the rest of the day.  Posing and answering a series of questions about story!

What is the current landscape in which we live and work? What are the stories that are dividing our communities? Let’s challenge people to think about how they talk about the world.  More here.

11:00 – 11:25am            MORNING TEA    

Making a real difference, differently …  (Panel discussion)

This panel discussion brings together speakers from different areas, different locations, and with different stories.  What is the same is that they have all been successful at making a difference.  It is an opportunity to be inspired and learn from stories of action and change.

VitaMaioranoColour125.jpgVita Maiorano, Family by Family
Family by Family is a network of families helping other families make the changes they want to make in their lives.

Vita will talk about this model and how it has made a difference to families who are part of their community.  More here

Majella125x125Majella Ballard, Hands Up Mallee
Hands Up Mallee is a collective impact initiative that channelled the voice, aspirations and priorities of 1600 community members into the development of their common agenda.  They also formed and enabled a diverse Community Leaders Table of 20 citizens to join with government and service leaders to determine the agenda for their community.  The Community Leaders Table’s role includes building social connections in community to move towards a common agenda of a connected community where families matter and children thrive. More here

DeniseHagan 125Denise Hagan, Puuya Foundation
The Puuya Foundation seeks to empower the local community of Lockhart River to set goals and visions for their community’s future and to develop and nurture the skills, knowledge and confidence needed to realise their vision. More here

This presentation will explore the work of the foundation and the success it is having.

MatthewCox_125Matthew Cox, Logan Together
Matthew is Director of the Logan Together initiative. Logan Together is a long term, whole of community campaign to create the best life opportunities for every child in Logan. They are serious about achieving true co-design between community members and industry . More here

1:00 – 1:45pm       LUNCH

Assumptions, values and beliefs (Concurrent sessions)

Session 1: Lifters or leaners?
The welfare space has demonised people receiving income support.  What are the broader implications for our communities and people and how do we change perceptions, stories and attitudes?  This panel will explore everything that ‘lifters and leaners’ has come to mean in Australia.

Cassandra Goldie_125
Cassandra Goldie, ACOSS
Cassandra Goldie is recognised as one of the most influential people in social services in Australia. Cassandra has represented the interests of people who are disadvantaged, and civil society generally, in major national and international processes as well as in grassroots communities. More here

Kathryn Wilkes_125Kathryn Wilkes, No Cashless Debit Card for Hinkler Region
Kathryn initiated the No Cashless Debit Card for Hinkler Region Facebook group which has more than 1,800 members. As a Disability Support Pension recipient herself, Kathryn is fighting the media’s perceptions of welfare recipients. More here

TimDunlop125x125Tim Dunlop, Writer, academic and author
Tim Dunlop is a writer, academic, and author. He has a PhD in political philosophy, and teaches at the Centre for Advancing Journalism at the University of Melbourne. He has written and broadcast extensively on US and Australian politics, the media, and the future of work. More here

Peter Neville125.jpgPeter Neville and Owen BennettAustralian Unemployed Workers’ Union is a national volunteer organisation dedicated to protecting the rights and dignity of unemployed workers and pensioners. One of their aims is to reframe what unemployment is by smashing the myth of the ‘job snob’ and educating people on what the reality of unemployment is. More here

Session 2: Listening, learning and including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander voices
How do we include Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander voices in the work we are doing every day? This panel will discuss the importance of listening and learning and ways we can do this well.

2016 Photo Mick Gooda 120x120Mick GoodaIndigenous affairs advocate
Mick Gooda is a descendant of the Gangulu people of Central Queensland. He is well known in Indigenous affairs throughout Australia, having advocated and represented on behalf of Aboriginal people for the last 25 years. More here

Natalie LewisNatalie Lewis, Queensland and Torres Strait Islander Child Protection Peak
Natalie Lewis is a proud descendent of the Gamilaraay  (Kamilaroi) and is the Chief Executive Officer of QATSICPP. Her professional experience has been acquired in Queensland and the United States in the areas of youth justice and child protection, providing direct service, program and policy development and organisational leadership over the past 20 years. More here

Tammy Williams125Tammy Williams, Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships
Tammy Williams is a Murri woman whose family is originally from Cherbourg. Her focus in her role as Acting Director-General of DATSIP is to continue to serve the community by developing social policy to improve life outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, young people and their families. More here

Session 3: Words, messages and stories
We are surrounded by them everyday but how do we change them so they build wellbeing and make a difference.  In this panel journalists, communication professionals and change agents talk about language and how it really does make a difference.

Amanda Alford

Amanda Alford, National Association of Community Legal Centres
In the face of a 30% cut to funding, the community legal sector responded by launching a national campaign, Fund Equal Justice. Hear how the Fund Equal Justice campaign stopped the cuts and rallied communities across Australia. More here


Nance 125 Nance Haxton, The Wandering Journo

Nance Haxton has proven her excellent reporting track record over more than two decades, winning Australian journalism’s most prestigious honour – a Walkley Award – for the second time in 2012.

She has a passion for justice, and sees her main motivation for working in journalism as giving those who do not normally have access to the media a voice.

 photo-nick-moraitis 125.jpgNick Moraitis, Australian Progress
Nick is Executive Director of Australian Progress, a national organisation building the advocacy capacity of civil society. He has more than 15 years’ experience driving social change in New York, Toronto, London and Sydney. More here

Jo Lynham_125Jo Lynam
Jo Lynam hoped for years that her daughter Emma would learn to read and write. She thought this skill was essential for Emma to find a job; but it turned out to be the secret of her success. Emma now runs her own ‘master shredder’ business in Townsville. More here

2:45 – 3:15pm         AFTERNOON TEA

I can make a difference! (Panel discussion)
In this panel session we hear from leaders who are making a real difference in their communities.  What are their stories and how have they gone about making that change happen?

Taj.jpgTaj Pabari, Fiftysix Creations
“From suspended schoolboy to educational pioneer. Taj Pabari is living proof that anyone with determination and passion can change the world.” More here


nadia-currie-125Nadia Currie, Queensland and Torres Strait Islander Child Protection Peak
As Operations Manager, Nadia encourages social change and transformational leadership.  This entails ensuring the voices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people in out-of-home care are heard and further represented to achieve equity and access to services. More here

David Spriggs 125x125

David Spriggs, Infoxchange
David Spriggs is the CEO of Infoxchange, a not-for-profit social enterprise with the vision of ‘technology for social justice’. He is passionate about creating a more digitally inclusive society and the role technology can play in improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the not-for-profit sector. More here

The language of blame, responsibility and accountability – Luke Pearson, IndigenousX
Luke Pearson - 125

Luke Pearson is a Gamilaraay man living in New South Wales. His professional background is in education, but for the past eight years has been actively involved in social media, advocacy, and community journalism as the founder of IndigenousX. More here


5:00 – 5:15pm         Wrap up and call to action


5:15 – 7:00pm

A networking function at the end of day one will be an opportunity for guests to catch up with old friends, make new connections and enjoy the company of our partners.

Day two

9:00am – 4:30pm    ACTION FOR CHANGE

Day two is time for action! We will discuss the stories we want to tell in our communities and how they can change the outcomes for people everywhere. Then we will work through a process to create the movement for change.

This will be a hands-on session, drawing from the responses QCOSS received during the QCOSS Pulse sessions and the strength and wisdom in the room, to develop a vision and key actions for change.

We will explore what individuals and organisations can do to make change happen in their lives, organisations, or communities, and what role QCOSS and other stakeholders can play.

People will leave day two with not only actions for change for themselves but also a process and tools that they can use to start conversations for change in their own communities.

Welcome to Country – Uncle Desmond Sandy

Uncle Des Sandy 125Uncle Desmond Sandy is a Yuggara man of the Chepara people and King of Brisbane Traditional Owner Elder. More here



Facilitator –  Max Hardy, Collaboration for Impact Associate

Max Hardy_125The day will be facilitated by Max Hardy, Collaboration for Impact Associate. Max specialises in appreciative models of collaborative governance, collective impact and designing, facilitating and evaluating deliberative community engagement processes. More here