Meet Our Speakers
Speakers featured at Achieve Fest June 22-23, 2021
The Hon Julie Bishop served as Australia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs from 2013 until her resignation in 2018. She was the first female to hold the role as well as the first female Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party, serving for 11 years.
In a political career spanning over 20 years, Julie also served as Minister for Education, Science and Training, Minister for Women’s Issues and Minister for Ageing.
Prior to entering politics, Ms Bishop was Managing Partner of the law firm Clayton Utz in Perth.
Julie is the Chancellor of Australian National University, chair of Telethon Kid’s Institute, director of The Palladium Group, and a member of the international advisory boards of Afiniti, Greensill Capital and the Human Vaccines Project.
She has also established a boutique advisory firm, Julie Bishop and Partners.
Director | Marhaba Films
Charby Ibrahim is passionate about social impact documentaries with a creative twist. He comes to the film industry with a background in youth advocacy and empowerment, community radio, and over 15 years in the alternative education system
'Marhaba Films' was born; a documentary production company primarily concerned with social impact creative filmmaking, where Charby and his team cover issues such as juvenile justice, inequality, substance abuse and addiction, the experiences of young people on the fringes, racism and xenophobia, and refugee and asylum seeker matters, to name a few. Marhaba Films is proudly run by culturally diverse people of colour behind the camera, who create stories with and about people who've historically been overlooked, in front of it.
Senior Manager | YLab + Podcaster| Collective West
Michael Lim is a Senior Manager at YLab, the social enterprise arm of the Foundation for Young Australians. His work focuses on partnering with local young people with diverse lived experiences to design and develop solutions to complex social challenges.
Michael's work focuses primarily on Melbourne's west where he has lived his whole life. He has been appointed by the Minister for Suburban Development to be a member on the Western Metropolitan Partnership member, Melton Revitalisation Board and Tarneit Revitalisation Board.
Michale Co-Hosts the Podcast: Collective West.
Collective West provides a platform for university students and young professionals to connect and thrive. We see our audience as our peers.
Cofounder | EarthHour & CEO| Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef
Co-founder and founding CEO of the global movement, Earth Hour, Andy is the CEO of Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef. Formed in 2017, Citizens’ is a network engaging and inspiring people, organisations & industry to drive positive action for the Reef.
Previously, Andy spent eight years growing the award-winning Earth Hour campaign from the concept and inaugural event in Sydney to the largest mass participation movement in history, engaging hundreds of millions of people in more than 7000 cities on every continent.
Andy then took up the role of CEO for Circle Economy, a cooperative organisation based in Amsterdam. The use of circular economy principles has become a cornerstone to his current work on the Reef and in shaping Citizens as a 21st Century environmental organisation.
Founder | Groove Therapy
Training across New York, Paris, Berlin, London, Tokyo, Brazil and regional Australia, Vanessa is particularly fascinated with street dance and the way it is born outside of the dance studio context, often by an oppressed people in reaction to political and socio-economic turmoil. in 2016 Vanessa founded Groove Therapy, aimed at making dance accessible to all walks of life. The program has brought dance to at-risk youth, Indigenous communities, dementia sufferers, refugee girls and the every-day person, using the political and healing foundations that these street dance styles are built upon and mindfully appropriating it in new communities to help spark global conversation and cultural understanding.
Since launching in 2016, Groove Therapy has gone on to feature in documentaries, facilitate workshops and choreograph for the likes of MTV, Vice, Frankie Magazine, Oyster Magazine and commercials for Apple, Victoria’s Secret, Samsung, Nike, ASOS and Mercedes Benz Fashion week.
Co-CEO | AIME
Drew Paten has led various roles from Program/ Mentoring Delivery, Recruitment, Global Operations in the US, and at 23 years old is currently the co-chief executive officer at AIME mentoring.
His focus is on building bridges between the most marginalised young people and those who hold power, helping to alleviate educational inequity. An essential passion is amplifying youth voice and representation of young people in decision making, in rooms and stages that have not previously done so.
Drew Paten is a proud Gunai/ Kurnai man from Gippsland, Victoria, with ties to Papakura, Aotearoa, a key element in his grounding and fuel to keep driving forward.
Founder | Mingle
Jordyn is the Founder of flavoursome food brand, Mingle. Jordyn's journey certainly hasn't been a straight linear one, but it sure has been tasty!
Mingle launched 5 years ago when Jordyn struggled to find healthy seasonings in the supermarket. At 25 years old she sold her car, moved back home and put her life's savings into creating a flavoursome brand all Australians could trust and love. Developing food products, with no food technology or manufacturing background and selling to supermarkets was certainly not part of the original plan when at university studying Japanese, Chinese and Accounting.
With a whole lot of grit, resilience and hard work, Jordyn is shaking things up in the food industry and this is just the beginning!
A renowned sneaker freak and hip hop junkie, YO! MAFIA has been killing them on the wheels of steel for a whopping 20 years. Having grown up at the fruition of Hip Hop in the late ‘70s/early ‘80s, YO! MAFIA became FLUORO BREAKER after falling in love with Boogaloo Shrimp in Breakin’.
After winning every B-Girl competition she entered, YO! MAFIA hung up her knee spin for the turntables after amassing a huge collection of original pressing 12-inch wax from every musical genre known to man. Relying on her acute party savvy ears, YO! MAFIA quickly began mashing up sounds from her beloved Hip Hop, mixing in RNB, electro, Commercial Bangers, Cock Rock and everything in between.
She has solidified her place as one of Australia’s premier Party/Open Format DJs, possessing an incredible ability to blend and mix a variety of genres into one big party set! Her signature genre-smashing sets have seen her named Official Hit FM/ Fox FM’s RNB Fridays Live Tour DJ while also supporting a wide range of A-List artists.
Tom has more than eight years’ experience as an AFL player for North Melbourne and the Western Bulldogs and is a recent Victoria University graduate, having completed a Bachelor of Business (Management & Innovation). Through these experiences he has developed a range of valuable and versatile skills, including:
- Teamwork: After more than eight years in an elite team sport environment he has developed teamwork and collaboration skills.
- Communication: He has develop communication skills in a variety of settings, including, under pressure on the football field, in front of large groups as an AFLPA delegate, and in a higher education environment.
- Resilience: In his AFL career, Tom has had to overcome injury, form, and selection setbacks in order to consistently maintain a high standard of performance.
In 2019, Tom enjoyed a brilliant first season at North, dominating in the VFL. Strong pre-season form saw him play Round 2 and 3 in the AFL, but the quality of Todd Goldstein saw his opportunities limited. The ruckman kept the pressure on the selectors and was named an emergency on multiple occasions. Campbell finished third in the JJ Liston Medal count, and won his first John Law Medal.
Mandy Dante is the CEO & Founder of Flourish Girl. Mandy is an ex-speech pathologist and an Australian Accredited Facilitator. Mandy is the first-senior female facilitator at The Rites of Passage Institute and is paving the way for their school programs for teenage girls across Queensland, Victoria and South Australia. She has also worked with alongside leading youth experts such as Hunter Johnson and Arne Rubinstein and within youth-led organisations such as The Man Cave, Game Changers Australia and Little Dreamers Australia. To date, Mandy has worked with over 3700 young people across Australia.
Mandy's passion originated from being a speech pathologist, where she empowered children with a range of communication disorders to find their voice. Towards the end of 2016, Mandy found that the rate of depression, anxiety and eating disorders amongst teenage girls were on a rise and it was in that moment that she found herself shifting her passion and focus towards giving teenage girls a voice.
Helen is the CEO & Founder of Yes Get It, an organisation that empowers and equips young women with the self-awareness, confidence and tools to be bold and powerful leaders. She also works in NAB’s Social Impact team, focusing on supporting vulnerable communities and people experiencing domestic and family violence. Her background spans Australia and the U.S. running women’s leadership programs and advocacy on reproductive rights, racial justice and LGBTI+ equality. In 2018 Helen was selected by the Foundation for Young Australians to participate in their “Young Social Pioneers” program as one of Australia’s top young innovators.
When she’s not creating a better world for young women and men, you'll find Helen singing karaoke (90s hits, of course), exploring the outdoors and looking for the next great read.
Dr Ranjit Rao
Dr Ranjit Rao is a Surgeon with a difference. He blends western and eastern; modern and ancient; physical and spiritual in a way that is easy to understand and apply to daily life.
Graduating from Monash University as a Doctor in 1994, he then undertook residency training in General Surgery and Urological Surgery. He currently works as a Urologist at the Epworth Hospital Richmond and specialises in keyhole and robotic surgery.
Though he works as a surgeon, he remains open-minded to a holistic approach, and encourages patients to take control of their lives with proper diet, exercise, yoga, meditation, as well as establishing a sensible and practical way of living. He was first exposed to meditation as a medical student and found it a useful companion during his studies and training.
His deep personal experience as a meditator, culminated in him writing a book, “Meditation & Martini” where he outlines how it is possible to integrate both the material and spiritual lives seamlessly. “Meditation represents the spiritual and martini represents the material” he says, “and the key to a happy life is finding the right balance between the two”.
The theme of his writing is to encourage people to make conscious choices and live a life of balance, rather than being swept away by the collective sway of society.
Gideon has been an independent journalist and author for more than thirty years. Born in London, Gideon went to school in Geelong and is now based in Melbourne.
He writes about cricket for The Australian and The Times, and has been featured in The Australian Financial Review, The Guardian, The Sunday Telegraph (London), The Sunday Age, Crikey, Good Weekend, The Monthly and The National (Dubai), among others.
Gideon is also the author of more than 40 books, including End of the Road? (2013), Winner of the Jack Pollard Trophy and Shortlisted for the National Biography Award, On Warne (2012), The Office: A Hardworking History (2012), Asbestos House: The Secret History of James Hardie Industries (2006)
Lead Facilitator - Achieve Fest
Prior to establishing The Eventful Learning Co, Summer worked across Australia, the USA and Asia with school leaders, teachers and policy makers including work as a teacher and leader in NSW & USA Schools, lecturer at Sydney University and internal innovation consultant at AITSL. Summer has led projects at a national scale working alongside education systems including Northern Territory education, ACT Education Directorate and government agencies including Victoria Police and Zoos Victoria, as well as a range of non-profit organisations.
With expertise in facilitation, learning design, strategic consulting, policy and school teaching & leadership, Summer works with a collective of associates and leverages a broad network of clever connections to enhance the skills, capability and impact of teams.