Meet Our Speakers
Achieve Fest speakers March 16 - 17, 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.
Founder & CEO | The Mancave | STUFF™
Hunter Johnson is the Founder & CEO of two purpose-driven organisations. Hunter leads The Man Cave, an emotional intelligence charity that has impacted the lives of 20,000 young men across Australia. Hunter also leads STUFF™, an investor-backed, purpose-driven personal care brand for the next generation of men. Alongside his work in the masculinity space, Hunter is an Advisor to The Queen’s Commonwealth Trust (QCT), a charity championing young people throughout the Commonwealth alongside Prince Harry, the President of QCT.
Hunter's work has led him to speak around the world including presenting at the United Nations, Government House, Human Rights Commission, Sydney Opera House, Melbourne Town Hall, Graduation Ceremonies and various Universities. Hunter has been recognised as a Finalist for the 2020 Young Australian of the Year Awards (VIC), listed as one of Harper's Bazaar's "Visionary Men for 2019", named a 2018 Queen's Young Leader by Her Majesty The Queen, and 2018 Winner of the EY Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award (Southern Region).
Founder | Miks Chai & Ethnic LGBT+
Mikhara Ramsing is a social entrepreneur from Brisbane, Australia. She is the founder of Miks Chai - a tea social enterprise which funds suicide prevention and; Ethnic LGBT+ - a national resource platform for culturally and linguistically diverse LGTBIQA+ communities.
She believes stories save lives and has traveled 70,000Km around Australia in a self-built tiny home connecting with rural communities.
She is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and has been nominated as the Young Australian of the Year QLD 2019, AFR Top 100 Women of Influence, and was awarded a Westpac Social Change Fellowship enabling her to attend Harvard University and work with communities around the world.
CEO/Partner | Cornwalls
Levent has extensive Australian and international legal and business experience representing both public and private clients in corporate and commercial matters.
His vast experience creates value for all his clients, across a multitude of industries. Levent’s talents were recognised in articles appearing in The Australian, where Levent was named as one of Australia’s best lawyers.
Levent is also the Chief Executive Officer of Cornwalls Capital, a global advisory firm. He uses his business skills, international networks, and his legal acumen to assist clients.
In addition to being a legal and business advisor, Levent is also a founder and investor of a diverse range of companies. Among them is Twenty3 Sport and Entertainment, a sports and entertainment marketing, media and management company, which recently acquired fashion and lifestyle PR Agency AMPR.
Levent also holds a number of local and international board positions. Among them include, the Australian and New Zealand subsidiaries of global enterprise, TerraCycle, the Western Bulldogs Football Club and newly formed A-League Club, Western United F.C.
Courtney Talbot is a Company director who is passionate about the not-for-profit sector.
Courtney was awarded Queensland Community Foundation’s Emerging Philanthropist of the year in 2018 for her work at the Queensland Library Foundation.
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.