Eliminate Inequality: Rebuilding Australia from the ground up, all the way to the stars

23 – 24 May 2022


Moonee Valley Racing Club, MELBOURNE, or attend online

Communities in Control 2022:
Why it matters

They say, “We all just want to get back to the way things were. Back when we could do things. Back when we could go out.”


What we want is for it not to have all been in vain.

All that sacrifice, all that responsibility, all that we gave up in enduring those hardships, in holding ourselves together through those deprivations, in guarding our country from inconceivable numbers of avoidable deaths – we want that to have been worthwhile.

If it was all for nothing, if we just retrace our steps to the way it was before, if we learn nothing and forget nothing and do it all over again, if we don’t use this opportunity to work out how to be better, how to love more, how to fix inequality, we will not be free. We will be locked once more into the mindless mechanisms that have twisted our lives and restricted our thinking for so long.

We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to rethink our basic assumptions and reset our goals. We can front up to inequality and injustice, climate change, and corruption, and we can say, “We beat covid. We can beat you.”

We want what the people who came through our mother’s and grandmother’s struggles wanted.

Australia and the community sector need to be restructured from the ground up, all the way to the stars.

We want a land fit for heroes to live in.

Download the Program

Conference Tickets

Flying Solo - Attend In-Person


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Flying Solo - Attend Online


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Dynamic Duo - Attend In-Person


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Dynamic Duo - Attend Online


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Gang of Five - Attend In-Person


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Gang of Five - Attend Online


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Event Schedule

08:30am – 09:15am (AEST)

Registration opens

09:15am – 09:30am (AEST)

Welcome and Opening with Acknowledgement of Country

09:30am – 09:45am (AEST)

A musical performance

Ziggy Ramo tells the story of Australia’s true history around race, so that we can move forward and find answers on how to improve. To come to terms with our past, we must listen.

09:45pm – 10:35am (AEST)

Truth Telling: The Yoo-rrook Justice Commission

How can we ever move on from our past if we do not accept the truth? First Peoples have been calling for an Australian truth-telling for generations – a process to establish an official record of the impact of colonisation, and allow us to acknowledge the human rights abuses that have occurred in this country since colonisation. Finally, in May 2021, the Yoo-rrook Justice Commission was established in Victoria, the first truth-telling body in Australia. We all must hear the truth. We cannot ask for forgiveness until we have acknowledged what transpired.

10:35am – 11:25am (AEST)

Understanding Inequality: How and why we are not equal

Inequality is on the rise in Australia. This is bad news for individuals. It’s bad news for the regions. It’s bad for health. It’s bad for our economy. We know how things are trending and we know it needs to stop. We also need to stop pretending that we can fix a problem we do not understand. How does inequality look in Australia? Why are we all not equal? If we can answer this, we have taken the first step in addressing our inequality, and moving towards making this country a better place.

11:25am – 11:40am (AEST)

Morning tea break

11:40am – 12:20am (AEST)

Who Gets to Be Smart: Privilege, power and knowledge

In 2018 Bri Lee’s brilliant young friend Damian is named a Rhodes Scholar, an apex of academic achievement. When she goes to visit him and takes a tour of Oxford and Rhodes House, she begins questioning her belief in a system she has previously revered, as she learns the truth behind what Virginia Woolf described almost a century earlier as the ‘stream of gold and silver’ that flows through elite institutions and dictates decisions about who deserves to be educated there. The question that forms in her mind drives the following two years of conversations and investigations: who gets to be smart? She discovers that, far from offering any ‘equality of opportunity’, Australia’s education system exacerbates social stratification. Is there a way to take inequality out of education?

12:20pm – 01:00pm (AEST)

Confronting the Big Challenges of Our Time: Reshaping the government and the public service systems that drive community groups bananas

When the pandemic began the slogan “we’re all in this together” could be heard echoing amongst our friends and family, from our politicians, and in the media. But was it ever true? As the pandemic dragged on, suddenly we saw the spread of COVID-19 accelerate in vulnerable and disadvantaged communities. Our inequality exacerbated the effects of the pandemic. How can we reduce inequality to make our community more resilient to future crises.

01:00pm – 01:40pm (AEST)

Lunch break

01:40pm – 02:20pm (AEST)

How Do You Create Real Change? Mapping out a path towards better communities

We all want to improve our communities, but sometimes it feels like everyone and everything is out to stop us. Why are we hitting these roadblocks? How can we move past them? No seismic shift will occur within our communities if we don’t look at how social change is made, then map out our own paths. It’s time to ask – how do you create real change?

02:20pm – 02:40pm (AEST)

Afternoon tea break

02:40pm – 03:30pm (AEST)

My Year of Living Vulnerable: A rediscovery of love

In early 2019, Rick Morton was diagnosed with Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder – which, as he says, is just a fancy way of saying that one of the people who should have loved him the most in childhood didn’t. So, in the following 12 months, he went on a journey to rediscover love. To get better. Not cured, not fixed. Just better. In this keynote presentation, Rick will discuss what he learned, and why love should be at the fore of everything we do.

03:30pm – 04:30pm (AEST)

The New Now: Preparing for the trends set to dominate our future

In some areas of life (working from home, digital acceleration) the coronavirus pandemic acted like a time machine, bringing 2030 forward to 2020. As the turmoil subsides and a new era dawns, smart leaders are turning their attention to where opportunity now lies and how to gear up for the future. What are the COVID-inspired shifts? And how can you, and your communities, take advantage of them?

04:30pm – 06:00pm (AEST)

Drinks and Networking

(Drinks for in-person attendees supplied as part of the conference fee)

09:00am – 09:50am (AEST)

Why Not Try Peace? Stopping violence before it occurs

Gil Hicks AM considers herself lucky to be alive. Gill lost both of her legs from below the knee as a result of the London bombings of July 2005. On that morning, she had to find the inner strength not only to fight for her life, and then to learn to walk again using prosthetic legs. Since that day Gill has been determined to make her life count – to really make a difference for world peace. Gill uses her experience to do all that she can to deter anyone from following violent action. She is a firm believer that we all have the strength and ability to make a difference to create a world that is peaceful. What can we learn from Gill?

09:50am – 10:40am (AEST)

The Coaching Habit: Say Less and Ask More

Drawing on years of experience training more than 10,000 busy managers from around the globe in practical, everyday coaching skills, Michael Bungay Stainer reveals how to unlock your peoples’ potential. In this keynote, Michael will unpack seven essential coaching questions to demonstrate how – by saying less and asking more – you can develop a coaching method that produces great results.

10:40am – 11:00am (AEST)

Morning tea break

11:00am – 11:50am (AEST)

Radicals: Remembering the sixties

The Sixties – an era of protest, free love, civil disobedience, duffel coats, flower power, giant afros and desert boots, all recorded on grainy black and white film footage – marked a turning point for change. Radicals found their voices and used them. While the initial trigger for protest was opposition to the Vietnam War, this anger quickly escalated to include Aboriginal land rights, women’s liberation, gay liberation, apartheid, student power and ‘workers’ control’. What can we learn from the sixties? How can we find our inner radical?

11:50am – 12:10pm (AEST)

Dance. Music. Culture.

12:10pm – 01:00pm (AEST)

Reimagining Australia: Building a safer, fairer country for all

If we consider Australia the most successful multicultural country in the world, then we may need to rethink what success looks like. It is not enough to simply be culturally diverse, we also need to be socially inclusive. We need to have a conversation about how we can achieve this – and there’s never been a better time than now, as we rebuild our communities after the pandemic. Let us be sure to rebuild them to be safer and fairer than what came before.

01:00pm – 01:40pm (AEST)

Lunch break

01:40pm – 02:20pm (AEST)

Who Can We Not See? How a lack of diversity in the media shapes us

If you have coinsumed media in Australia, you may have noticed something: Almost everyone is white. Whether you’re watching television, reading the paper or having a look lonine, finding diversity in our media is like trying to find a needle in a haystack. How does the affect us and our views on important topics, and the wider community around us? Australia people and leaders love to boast about being the ‘most successful multicultural country in the world’. Prove it. Let all voices be heard.

02:20pm – 03:00pm (AEST)

No World, No Economy: We can’t afford to not act on climate change

Every time we have a discussion about acting on climate change there is always someone quick to tell us that we simply cannot as it will destroy the economy. Wrong! Our economy cannot survive climate change, and we’re already seeing the effects. The cost of extreme weather events in Australia has doubled since the 1970s, our climate-related health costs continue to climb, and our trade partners are leaving us behind. It is time to act on climate change now: for our children, our country and our economy.

03:00pm – 03:15pm (AEST)

Afternoon tea break

03:15pm – 04:00pm (AEST)

Joan Kirner Social Justice Oration 2022

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