Confirmed Featured Speakers
Children’s eSafety Commissioner
Julie has extensive experience in the non-profit and government sectors, and spent two decades working in senior public policy and safety roles in the tech industry at Microsoft, Twitter, and most recently Adobe.
Julie’s career began in Washington DC, working in the US Congress and the non-profit sector before taking on a role at Microsoft. Julie’s experience at Microsoft spanned 17 years, serving as one of the company’s first and longest-standing government relations professionals, ultimately in the role of Global Safety Director for safety policy and outreach.
At Twitter, Julie headed up Public Policy for Australia and South East Asia, managing a range of public policy issues, including online safety and countering violent extremism. Julie also built Twitter’s ‘Rules and Tools’ for safety, and conceptualised and piloted #PositionofStrength, which now serves as Twitter’s global female safety and empowerment program.
Most recently, Julie served as Director of Government Relations Asia Pacific at Adobe, where she worked with governments across the region on issues such as innovation and digital transformation, creativity and STEM skills development and cybersecurity.
Principal Commissioner, Queensland Family and Child Commission
Cheryl Vardon was appointed Principal Commissioner of the Queensland Family and Child Commission in September 2015. She has a distinguished career in education, community and children’s services. Cheryl has held many board and university council positions and statutory roles on tribunals and commissions including the Social Security Appeals Tribunal and the Commonwealth Safety and Rehabilitation Compensation Commission.
She is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management and a Fellow of the Australian College of Education.
She is a previous Director General of Education for Western Australia and a former Chief Executive of the Australian Capital Territory Department of Education and Community Services. She was a Vice Principal of the University of Melbourne and an Adjunct Professor at the University of Canberra.
In 2004 while Commissioner for Public Administration in the ACT, Cheryl led a review “the Territory as Parent” and “The Territories’ Children” (the ‘Vardon Report’) of child protection services which established an ACT Children’s Commissioner.
Fellow, Centre for Social Research and Methods, College of Arts and Social Sciences, Australian National University
Dr Naomi Priest received her PhD in population health at the University of Melbourne, conducting a qualitative participatory study exploring Aboriginal perspectives of urban child health and wellbeing. She then completed a NHMRC post-doctoral fellowship also at the University of Melbourne with training in social epidemiology. She was leader of the VicHealth funded Anti-Racism and Diversity program at the University of Melbourne from 2012-2015, and also a Senior Research Fellow in the Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation from 2014-15. In 2014-15 she was a Visiting Scientist at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
Dr Naomi Priest’s broad research interest is to integrate social and epidemiologic methods to examine and address inequalities in health and development across populations and place. This includes social epidemiology and qualitative research to understand differences in health and development experienced by children and youth from Indigenous backgrounds and from ethnic minorities, and explanations for observed differences across intersecting identities and experiences such as gender, socioeconomic position, and disability. Much of this work focuses on patterns, mechanisms and prospective influence of adverse early life exposures and stressors, including discrimination, stigma and bias.
Acting Director and Senior Lecturer – ANU Legal Workshop, Australian National University
Dr Skye Saunders is a legal academic from the Australian National University and is an advocate for issues of sexual harassment and bullying in Australia. With a particular interest in gendered harm in rural communities, she is the author of the book, Whispers from the Bush – The Workplace Sexual Harassment of Australian Rural Women. In collaboration with the Victorian Womens’ Trust, Skye has just recently finished making a short film based on Whispers from the Bush called ‘Grace Under Fire’. Skye is also the Acting Director of the Australian National University’s professional legal education programs and has formerly practised as a solicitor in the area of Employment/ Discrimination Law in Canberra. She is a regular speaker at conferences and events, both in Australia and internationally.
Founder, Managing Director, Psynapse Pty Ltd
A former Research Fellow at the Melbourne Business School and the University of Melbourne, Jennifer is a recognised academic expert and organisational consultant specialising in corporate diversity, inclusive leadership, and innovation. Jennifer is also the founder of boutique consultancy Psynapse, through which she advises on organisational diversity, inclusive leadership, collective intelligence, and innovation.
Jennifer is an active thought leader and a regular contributor to industry forums, events, and public debate, including contributions to The Conversation, The Age, and Women’s Agenda; and engagements with The Sydney Opera House (Ideas at the House), The Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA), UNWomen, Australian Human Resources Institute (AHRI), The Diversity Council of Australia (DCA), Women in Banking & Finance (WiBF) and the 100% Project.
The Psynapse story began in 2010 with the goal of bringing innovative cognitive science research out of the laboratory, and into the world of practical solutions to organisational problems. A central passion for our work was, and remains, helping organisations and leaders to leverage diversity and inclusion to drive innovation and organisational performance.
Director, Industry Policy, Safe Work Australia
Dr Peta Miller is a Director at Safe Work Australia. She has a Bachelor of Applied Science in Occupational Therapy and post graduate qualifications in ergonomics and human factors. Her PhD was on the effects of high workload on health, safety and performance.
Dr Miller has over 35 years’ experience in both the public and private sectors in the work health and safety and workers’ compensation arena. She has worked as a senior manager of policy and research teams developing major national initiatives.
Dr Miller led the development of the Australian Work Health and Safety Strategy 2012-2022.
She is passionate about working collaboratively to improve the work health and safety of all Australians and about using evidence to inform the development of robust and implementable national policy and practice.
Director and Professor of Clinical Psychology, Parenting and Family Support Centre, The University of Queensland
Professor Sanders joined UQ in 1979 and has been a member of the School since 1996. He is the founder of the Triple P-Positive Parenting Program and is recognised as the global leader in the field of evidence-based parenting intervention. Professor Sanders Triple P system is currently in use across 26 countries, has more than 70,000 practitioners trained in its delivery, and millions of families have benefited from the program.
He has published over 400 scientific papers, books and book chapters. His work has been widely recognised by his peers as reflected in many prestigious awards, including; Fellow of the Australian Association for Cognitive and Behaviour Therapy (2016), Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia (2016), one of UQ’s Top 5 Innovators (2013), the Australian Psychological Society’s President’s Award for Distinguished Contribution to Psychology (2007) and Queenslander of the Year (2007).
Damian and Rae Panlock established Brodie’s Law Foundation in memory of their 19 year old daughter, Brodie, who tragically took her own life in September 2006 after being relentlessly bullied at work. Victoria’s anti-bullying legislation, known as Brodie’s Law, commenced in June 2011 and made serious bullying a crime punishable by up to 10 years in jail. The Department of Justice and Brodie’s Law Foundation launched the ‘Take a Stand Against Bullying’ campaign in August 2012. This was followed by an on-road campaign with the support of Holden motors.
Brodie’s Law has changed perception in Victoria and other states about the serious nature of bullying and the damaging consequences it may have. Brodie’s Law aims to raise awareness of the issue of workplace bullying and help prevent it through awareness programs, public speaking, lobbying to streamline the law in other states and working together with workplaces, unions, government and education sectors. This is all to ensure organisations are taking appropriate actions to reduce the risk of bullying and create a positive culture.
Principal and Department Manager of Abuse Law, Shine Lawyers
Lisa Flynn is the National Practice Leader of Shine Lawyers’ Abuse Law Practice. With over 16 years’ experience, Lisa represents and stands as a voice for survivors of historical abuse, helping them to access justice and acknowledgement for the wrongdoing they have suffered.
Lisa leads a team of senior practitioners with over 90 collective years of experience in abuse law. With a strong understanding of the fragile state that many abuse survivors are in, her team recognises the importance of ensuring that all litigation is run in an empathetic and respectful manner.
Lisa has led some of the firm’s most significant actions brought on behalf of abuse survivors, including the representation of individuals in the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. Her work has also extended to fighting on behalf of hundreds of survivors of church and institutional abuse. Actions have included those brought against Brisbane Grammar School, St Paul’s School, Brisbane Boys College, The Church of England Grammar School, The Synod of the Anglican Diocese of Brisbane, the Catholic Church and the Anglican Church in Tasmania.
Throughout recent years, Lisa and her team have invested significant time and resource toward lobbying for the abolishment of Time Limitation Laws involving child sexual abuse, focusing heavily on New South Wales and Queensland.
With an invested interest in social justice matters and the wellbeing of children, Lisa is an active member of pro-bono legal service provider QPILCH; she is also a member of the Executive Committee for Toormina Community Preschool, and has been involved with the Women’s Legal Services Fundraising Committee in Brisbane.