Speaker Date Topic
Adj. Prof Nicola Sasanelli Sep 28, 2021 7:40 AM
The Australian space ecosystem, why space is considered a priority for this country
The Australian space ecosystem, why space is considered a priority for this country

Since 2016 pivotal organisations have been established in Australia such as the Australian Space Agency, SmartSat CRC and the Andy Thomas Space Foundation as well as specific task forces created in national organisations (CSIRO, GA, ADF, BOB etc.) dedicated to space activities. Moreover this ‘infrastructure’ which includes significant government investments has stimulated a vibrant new high-tech industry specialised in innovative satellite design, launch technologies and innovative downstream applications of satellite.

What will the Australian space ecosystem look like in five years from now?

Nicola Sasanelli graduated from the University of Bari, Italy with a degree in Electronic Engineering. He went on to work as a researcher in microelectronics components before being appointed as Scientific Attaché at the Embassy of Italy in Canberra from 2001 to 2008.

In 2009, Nicola joined the South Australian Government as Director for International R&D Collaborations. From 2003 to 2013 he was appointed as Adjunct Professor of Science and Technology at the University of Canberra, Australia, and in 2007 he became a Member of the Order of Australia (AM).

In September 2017 the South Australian Space Industry Centre was created with Nicola as Director. In 2018 Nicola was appointed Adjunct Professor at the University of South Australia and he was appointed to the board of the Space Industry Association of Australia. In the same year he was also appointed to the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic by the Italian Government. In 2019 Nicola joined SmartSat CRC as Director of Communication and Outreach and in 2020 he founded the Andy Thomas Space Foundation, of which he is now CEO.

Nicola’s main passion, outside of his interest in space, is painting.

Ann Copeland Oct 12, 2021 7:40 AM
Researching family history at the State Library of Victoria
Researching family history at the State Library of Victoria

Ann is a librarian in the Digital Access and Family History team of the State Library, Melbourne.  Her talk will cover the principles of family history research and will showcase a wide variety of genealogical resources such as passenger lists and electoral rolls. Ann will also highlight several unique State Library Victoria collections which can be useful for family history research, including newspapers, manuscripts and maps.

Ann joined the State Library’s Family History team in 2011 after working for many years as a subject librarian in university libraries. She first became interested in genealogy when trying to locate an elusive grandfather who vanished in 1923. This interest turned into a passion and she has gone on to develop a deep interest in British and Victorian family history research.

Ann has written several Family History research guides, which can be found on the State Library’s Research guides website.

Sabrina and Gerard Watt Oct 19, 2021 7:40 AM
Farming in a flash
Farming in a flash

Gerard and Sabrina are Merino farmers, operating as the Woodbine Partnership at Balmoral, Victoria.

Their talk will take us through the multi-generation history of the Watt family on this property to the current challenges of running a progressive and profitable business in the industry. We will also learn about the recent changes in technology, hear of the best things about farming and living at Woodbine in the 21st century and some career highlights they have earned.

Sabrina grew up on a cattle ranch in Nevada and has worked in the U.S. Senate. Her life has centred on words. They were married and formed a business partnership in 1990.  Gerard has been involved in producing fine wool, lamb and mutton since 1974. He is a number-cruncher and a benchmarking evangelist.

They farm 2000 acres and run approximately 7,000 sheep in Western Victoria. Both are heavily involved in their community.

Shirley Glance Oct 26, 2021 7:40 AM
Living with Polio
Living with Polio

At the very young age of 14 months, I contracted poliomyelitis, and as a consequence had to spend many months at the Royal Children’s Hospital followed by attending Yooralla school for the disabled. I entered mainstream schooling at the age of 7. When I was 14 years old, I had my first of many operations on my polio leg. It was a daunting experience and I remember being asked as I was being wheeled down to theatre “are you having your tonsils out?” I believe that was my ‘light bulb moment’: I needed to speak up for myself.

This principle I have applied all my life for myself and others without even realising that this would become so important – that sharing my experiences might help others overcome their concerns. My involvement within the polio community has been extensive and covered a wide range of activities - planning Polio Days both regional and CBD, participating in the Volunteer School Speakers Program and attending the ‘Living with Polio in the 21st Century” conference in Atlanta, USA.

On my return from America, I re-established the Bayside Polio Support Group. Owing to Covid-19 we have been keeping in touch with our members by Zoom, a great way to reach out to our members. I recently joined the Board of Post-Polio Victoria Inc. and am currently the President. Our principal aim is advocacy for best outcome and equal and equitable access for people with polio to enable them to thrive in the community. Post-Polio Victoria is currently advocating against the exclusion of people over 65 with polio disability from accessing the National Disability Scheme. This is currently receiving considerable media coverage, via https://disabilitydoesntdiscriminate.com.au/

Advocacy is so much part of my life that when diagnosed in 2016 with breast cancer I saw the opportunity to raise awareness of people living with a disability and having breast cancer. I have contributed to a video for Breast Cancer Network Australia “Facing breast cancer with a disability” and I am actively involved with Breast Screen Victoria and Monash Health Community Advisory Committee as a consumer adviser. I am always seeking ways to raise awareness for people with disabilities. My other driving passion is the National Council of Jewish Women Vic. From 2014-16 I was President of this organisation, and in 2017-2020, Co-Vice President at the National level. NCJWA advocates, educates and empowers women.

In the 2018 Queen’s Birthday Honours listing I was honoured to be awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for my services to the community - National Council of Jewish Women of Australia and the Polio community.

Charles Allen Nov 16, 2021 7:40 AM
Rotary and Institute of Economics and Peace strategic relationship
Rotary and Institute of Economics and Peace strategic relationship

Charles Allen is the Director of Partnerships with the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), Sydney. He establishes and manages relationships with strategic, global and grass roots partners inclusive of governments, multi-lateral, non-government, education and civil society organisations. Through partnerships he is activating IEP’s Positive Peace framework globally.

Prior to his peace building career Charles was a Superintendent in Victoria Police with a policing career spanning 38 years. A Master in Leadership, an alumnus of Leadership Victoria and Australian Institute for Company Directors, Charles has extensive experience in NFP Directorship. He is a life-long learner and sees every day as a school day.

Charles is Vice President of Rotary Club of Sydney. He joined the Rotary family in 2010 as a Rotary Peace Fellow. He was previously a member of Rotary Club of Melbourne, he has a Paul Harris Fellow Recognition and is a member of the Peace and Conflict Prevention Technical Cadre, and a committee member of the Peace Centres Major Gifts Initiative.

Unsurprisingly his Rotary interests centre on the Foundation’s Peace and Conflict Prevention area of focus. Charles is active in recruiting and supporting Rotary Peace Fellows and is active in the Rotary Club of Sydney Peace group. He supported RCS’s being recognised as a Peace Builder club and engages in Rotary peace projects globally. He was recently asked by RI President Mehta to advise the 2022 Rotary Presidential Peace Conference Committee.