Speaker Date Topic
Amanda and Mathew Challen Dec 01, 2020 3:40 PM
The lived experience of people with disabilities
The lived experience of people with disabilities

December 3 is International Day of People With Disabilities, an annual occasion designated to support people with disability in our communities.  It is an occasion to raise awareness of the importance of creating a future where people with disabilities experience equal opportunity and face no barriers in all aspects of their lives— whether it be going about their day-to-day lives with adequate accessibility in their communities, joining the workforce, or being able to showcase their abilities and reach their goals without facing barriers.

Amanda has often been referred to at various times throughout her life as a “poor kid”.  She has never known life without pain. She was 18 months old when diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis in her left knee. By the time she was 14, it had progressed throughout her entire body and she required a hip replacement. By age 30, she was the Bionic Woman - 2 hip replacements, 2 knee replacements, 2 elbows and a shoulder - lots of metal but without the strength or speed of Jamie Sommers. By age 31, it was time for wheels. Disability has not stopped Amanda but it has slowed her down.

After stellar results in secondary school, she opted to major in history and politics at Monash, rather than studying law or commerce, and finished with the distinction of Golden Key Society membership. The realities of her life with disability have curtailed the plans she had when younger but she has developed a strong determination to maintain her optimism, mental health and love for craft (except macrame). She maintains a strong interest in politics and history and is rarely short of an opinion. She has a dry sense of humour and considers herself “lucky”.

Mathew was born with right-side cerebral palsy which was first noticed by his mum when Mathew wasn’t able to pick things up with his right hand. Despite being told by doctors that there was nothing wrong, she persisted. When Mathew’s left hand was held behind his back, he was indeed unable to use his right hand properly. Mathew’s CP only affects him physically. He is an accomplished lawyer with the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions, where he has been for the last 15 years.

Earlier in his career, Mathew spent time working in private practice, Legal Aid and Tasmania Police Prosecution. He sits on the Football Federation Victoria Tribunal as an adjudicator. He is a keen golfer and with his wife’s permission, plays most Saturday’s. Mathew rates himself as a good golfer and formerly a passable squash player.

Kate Jenkins Dec 08, 2020 7:40 AM
Respect@Work: National Inquiry into Sexual Harassment in Australian Workplaces
Respect@Work: National Inquiry into Sexual Harassment in Australian Workplaces

Kate Jenkins is Australia’s Sex Discrimination Commissioner and a member of the Australian Human Rights Commission. Her purpose is to advance gender equality, consistent with the Sex Discrimination Act and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.

Kate is leading a number of projects, including the recently launched report Respect@Work: National Inquiry into Sexual Harassment in Australian Workplaces and the Commission’s collaborative project on cultural reform with the Australian Defence Force. Kate is also Co-Chair of Play by the Rules, a joint project between human rights agencies and sports commissions to make grass roots sports safe, fair and inclusive.

Prior to joining the Commission, Kate spent three years as the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commissioner, 20 years as lead equal opportunity partner with Herbert Smith Freehills and many years serving on the boards of Berry Street Victoria, Heide Museum of Modern Art and Carlton Football Club.

Rhys Williams Jan 19, 2021 7:40 AM
The value of international education to Australia
The value of international education to Australia

International education is a great Australian success story and it has been created rather than dug out of the ground. However it is often misunderstood and criticised, making its value under-appreciated.

Rhys Williams has been involved in international education for 25 years mainly at Victoria and RMIT universities. His principal work has been developing and managing transnational education projects involving the offering of Australian awards in other countries with foreign university partners. This work has taken Rhys to China, Singapore, India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Vietnam, Philippines, Colombia and Brazil. Rhys has also managed Australian start-up campuses in Singapore and India.

The transformational experience that this model provides for students is very valuable at individual, social and bilateral levels.

Suvam Ganguli Feb 02, 2021 7:40 AM
UN Sustainable Development Goals 2030 - what it means for your organisation
UN Sustainable Development Goals 2030 - what it means for your organisation

We are in the 5th year of United Nations Sustainability Development Goals 2030 (UN SDG 2030). We will discuss how far we have come and what does the next decade looks like for both Not-for-Profit and For-Profit organisations.

Suvam Ganguli is a member of Rotary Central Melbourne and has had a long career in Banking & Finance specialising in Institutional Funding and Capital Markets. Suvam is also the Co-Founder of Consult Urth, a data driven Software as a Service Platform that helps organisations plan, implement, monitor and report their sustainability journeys.

Suvam is passionate about helping organisations find their purpose and make sustainability practices central to the organisation’s strategy which with help build a resilient future for every organisation and the communities they serve.