2016 Speakers

Shaun Nannup

'Our connection to our land will anchor all of us. Then we can live our purpose in freedom'

Shaun Nannup describes himself as a human being, an Indigenous man and a father. His purpose in life is to connect people through his stories. If you have sat through a ‘welcome to country’ by Shaun you will know how connected he is. He is connected to the ancestors. He knows their stories. He knows what must be done. He is a leader of reconciliation.

However, he also understands the struggle. As a teenager, sitting on country he just got angrier and angrier, and he didn’t understand why. He could not feel the connection  to Earth, he had something blocking his energy connection. This impacted on many aspects of his life. He, like most Indigenous people was carrying trans generational trauma.

This trauma stops or limits connections, not only to Earth but to each other. By healing this trauma, he could connect to himself and therefore to the land.

Sash Milne

'When we trust one another unequivocally, we shine light on the good that already lies within'

Sash Milne is a writer and social activist. With a Masters degree in Social Change, Sash creates creative community centred projects that are designed to encourage lasting social change at a grass roots level. She is well known for her Nothing New Project, for spearheading the creation of Project Bunbury and for generally advocating for real world connection between humans.

Sash encourages out-of-the-box social thinking, alternative economies and community building through her essays, which have been shared all over the world. You can find a collection of her work on her blog Inked in Colour.

In her talk, Sash will ask us, “What is time and how can it build a united community”?

Charles Roche

'Mining the commons: eudaimonia and extractives'

Charles is the Executive Director of the Mineral Policy Institute, a civil society group focusing on the impacts of extractive industries.

Charles’ interest and PhD (Murdoch University) research is centred on the seemingly inevitable conflict and sub-optimum outcomes that arise from industrial mining. He has a special focus on mining legacies in Australia, terrestrial mining in Papua New Guinea and deep-sea mining in the Pacific.

Seeking change, Charles applies a variety of concepts and lenses to inform on-ground action. Confident that there must be a better way for extractive industries to honour the interrelatedness of people and place, becoming a temporary but valuable suppliers of means – serving and subservient to the common good.

Rachel Wotton

'Open your mind to what goes on behind closed doors.'

As a sex worker who provides sexual services to clients with disability, Rachel often hears about the negative reactions and attitudes people are faced with when trying to discover what their bodies will – and wont – do. While seeing a sex worker is not for everyone, Rachel’s personal experience shows that, for some, it can be an educative and fun experience.

We must never underestimate the importance of touch, affection and intimate contact for people, especially those who may have more limited options in society to enjoy sexual expression with another, or even by themselves.

Human touch, affection and intimate contact are eudaimonic: they help us flourish.

Neville Ellis PhD

'Somewhere along the line, we have forgotten that our own wellbeing is intimately connected to the health of all living things.'

Neville is a Postdoctoral Associate with the Centre for Responsible Citizenship and Sustainability at Murdoch University in Perth, Western Australia. Part eco-psychologist, part human geographer and part systems scientist, Neville is a self-declared academic mongrel whose interests lie at the intersection of ecosystem health and human (mental) health. In his PhD, Neville researched the impact of a changing climate on the sense of place and mental wellbeing of family farmers in the Western Australian Wheatbelt.

Neville shows how environmental degradation negatively affects the emotional and psychological wellbeing of people who retain close living and working relationships to the land. Through a mixture of professional research and personal reflection, Neville explores how it is possible for human beings to flourish on a sick planet, and offers some ideas for how we can heal the Earth and ourselves.

Lewis Winter

Lewis Winter

'There's no harm in hoping for the best as long as you're prepared for the worst.'

Lewis has spent 35 years in the emergency management industry. He has worked for federal, state and local governments and the private sector on innovative projects, and regularly trains government employees in emergency management, including Australian Defence Force personnel.

Over the past 13 years, Lewis has been increasingly involved in community driven emergency management. He has been working to develop stronger connections between community and emergency services, and is particularly interested in how communities can develop resilience through self-reliance.

As an emergency management lecturer for Charles Sturt University he coordinates core subjects within the Emergency Management post graduate and undergraduate degrees. Lewis occasionally project manages innovative and complex emergency management issues for industry and government agencies and assists where he can following significant disasters. He is currently overseeing community recovery following the devastating fires in the Shire of Harvey.

Lewis will talk to us about why the new emergency maxim is: Be ready now or be ready to face the consequences.

Dr. David Deeley

'I invite all right-thinking people to earnestly contemplate what they stand for.'

Appreciation of the wisdom of the elders and the urgent need for environmental connectedness are two important manifestations of a life lived well for individuals and communities.

Elders and Eldership are connected to an ancient time course. They provide a moral compass for our families and our communities.

The divine feminine has become undervalued in our western societies, and we can trace our current plethora of planetary ills back to our lack of balance of the masculine and feminine.

We need to balance the feminine and masculine energies in all of us – in our institutions, in our decision-making and in our political processes. We humans are at our best when we are balanced and connected. We can then experience nothing less than a spiritual flourishing.

Dr. Andy Harkin

'Mind the Gap: Moving From Brain to Body on the Path to Wellness.'

For a not inconsiderable portion of the last 30 years Andy has been a student of the body – initially  Medical School studies and working as a Doctor, then years of training as a body centred psychotherapist. In the latter regard he specialised in working with people suffering from the legacy of psychological and emotional trauma principally within a method known as Sensorimotor Psychotherapy.

Sometimes this work was helping patients restore a sense of stability inside were none or little existed. Other times this meant helping folk release held trauma from the body. For the last decade Andy has taught this work to Mental Health professionals in North America, throughout Europe and in Australia

Most recently he has become interested in the importance of reclaiming a sense of health, and a sense of belonging in the body as a birthright .