Rein-stating Power: Decarbonisation, Decentralisation and Digitalisation in Electricity

Sangeetha Chandra-Shekeran


Australia is currently undergoing a major transformation in the electricity sector involving decarbonisation, decentralisation and digitalisation. This talk focuses on the central role of the state in the making, managing and unmaking of markets for electricity. Sangeetha will show how markets are historically and socially produced; how the state enables and limits markets to achieve social and political-economic goals; and the uncontrolled effects of these state interventions. Our understanding of how states govern markets remains impoverished so long as we continue to ignore the actual realms of state intervention and selectively focus attention on self-regulated aspects of markets. The conditions under which the state intervenes for social and environmental protection provide us with insights as to the spatial limits of commodifying society all the way down. It also shows how governing in and through markets is fraught and eludes the control of any single entity due to the complexities and interdependencies of market society.

Socioecological change in a feudal island state

Distinguished Professor Jamie Kirkpatrick


The transition from neoliberalism to neofeudalism is well underway in most western societies. The diversion of resources to an undemocratic elite has not been as blatant since the 19th century, social mobility is stagnating, surveillance capitalism mines our data to exercise social control over our consumption, and care for people and the rest of nature is ordinary to the extent that species and ecosystem loss are exponentiating, along with human poverty and homelessness. The island State of Tasmania has not fully escaped a feudal condition since the violent and sanctimonious attempted genocide of the Palawa people of Tasmania by the British commanders, their convicts and the yeomen who stole their land. There have been waves of elites, each associated with forms of social and environmental modification. The yeomen, the miners, the dam-builders, the foresters and the tourism/real estate establishment successively formed powerful elites that transmogrified the rest of nature in distinctive and cumulative ways, and, to varying degrees, subdued the masses. The current elite has subverted the partially successful resistance to the environmental harm caused by previous elites by turning nature into a commodity to be gifted to themselves, by vitiating legal means of resistance, and by creating a new underclass. Geographers might consider subverting the new paradigm, as the old one dies, by conceptualising and implementing environmental and social probity in a process of emergent resistance.

Landscape Painting in Colonial Tasmania: a visual terra nullius?

Dr Gregory Lehman

The University of Melbourne


Considerable attention has been paid to the artist John Glover’s depiction of Tasmanian Aboriginal people, and his paintings have become emblematic of the colonial landscape of Van Diemen’s Land. However, Glover’s landscape paintings were made after removal of Aboriginal people from their homelands during the Black War that persisted in the colony from 1824 to 1831. To date there has been no recognition that prior to Glover’s work, Aborigines were almost completely absent from Tasmanian landscape painting or portraiture.

Greg will examine the work of artists who documented the colonies of New South Wales and Van Diemen’s Land from 1808 to 1831, a record of colonial development that profoundly influences our understanding of Australian history and geography. He raises new questions about the unexplained absence of Aborigines in their VDL views at a time when Palawa were a regular presence in the lives of colonists, and an increasing source of conflict as they resisted British settlement.

Was exclusion from the visual record part of a deliberate effort to minimise the impact of the Black War on economic development? Was colonial art used to effectively bolster the idea of terra nullius?

Mapping Possible and Preferable Energy Futures: Geographic Challenges

Dr Sangeetha Chandrashekeran


The polarisation of political debate around decarbonising Australia’s electricity sector has obscured a significant development: the actually existing, if unexpected, convergence of ideas around the role of the state in the political economy of energy. After years of market efficiency nostrums, politicians are now engaged in re-regulation but are doing so without situating policies in a broader spatio-temporal analysis. Key political and economic questions about where existing and future value streams originate need to be foregrounded. With the shift to free energy sources and proliferation of smart meter technologies  what does the new frontier of extraction look like and how do we defend against enclosure of our (energy) data commons? Can we move beyond the politics of ‘affordability’ to understand the socio-spatial nuances of renewable technology uptake and the contradictions between ecological repair and social equity? And how do we take account of the wide band of uncertainty surrounding our energy-economy and consider energy futures where continuous growth might no longer be business as usual?

 This lecture challenges geographers to engage with the messy and conflictual nature of socio-environmental change that is underway. In particular, to consider how we as researchers, embedded both in this carbon civilisation and its institutions of knowledge, can (and cannot) respond.

Ngaga-dji (hear me) – Young Voice Creating Change for Justice

Indi Clarke

Born in Narrm (Melbourne) and raised in Mildura, Indi Clarke is a proud Mutti Mutti & Lardil man with ties to Yorta Yorta, Wemba Wemba and Boon Wurrung.

Indi is a passionate advocate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and the power of strength based approaches and Aboriginal knowledge systems. Indi believes that the path to positive change starts with empowered families and communities as well as a holistic approach to healing and wellbeing.

Indi is the Executive Officer of the Koorie Youth Council and takes great pride contributing to work that gives back to his communities. Prior to this he was formally the Deputy Manager of KYC before then working with Mallee District Aboriginal Services (MDAS) as its Youth and Community Engagement Facilitator.

In 2016, Mildura Rural Council recognised him as an emerging leader in the local community by naming him Young Citizen of the Year. In the same year, he also won the Victorian Koorie Student of the Year, as part of the Victorian Training Awards and then went on to win the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year, as part of the Australian Training Awards.


Becoming a bicultural service with young people at its heart: New Zealand’s quest to transform Youth Justice

Gráinne Moss, Chief Executive of Oranga Tamariki, Ministry for Children

The current youth justice system in New Zealand is a mature restorative justice system that has proved effective since the introduction of Youth Justice Family Group Conferencing and Police Youth diversion in 1989. We are about to make the biggest changes to that system in those 30 years.

The New Zealand Government has shown trust and confidence in the youth justice system by asking the two-year-old Oranga Tamariki – Ministry for Children to support most 17-year-olds who offend after 1 July. We agree that our system will be the right one to support them.

The number of young people in our system has dropped significantly over the last 10 years. However, we know that while offending rates for young people are reducing, reoffending rates remain high, especially for those committing the most serious offences.

Tamariki Māori (young people) are also significantly over-represented in all parts of our system. So, we also want a system that is truly bicultural and reflects a genuine partnership between Crown and Māori. Such a system will better recognise and value Māori tikanga (culture) and bring it to life in a meaningful and sustainable way.

Drawing on what we know works, and being honest about what we can do better, we have embarked on an ambitious and innovative transformation programme. This will enable a more effective youth justice practice and support model that delivers on our vision of better outcomes for all young people who offend, the victims of their offending, their families, and the community.


Gráinne Moss’ career spans over 25 years in the public and private sectors across three countries, the UK, Switzerland and New Zealand.

Gráinne is the Chief Executive of Oranga Tamariki—Ministry for Children, where she is leading a fundamental system change, putting children front and centre so that New Zealand children can flourish.

Gráinne is overseeing the upcoming changes to give effect to the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989. Part of this includes, raising the age to include 17 year olds in youth justice services and to provide more alternatives and therapeutic responses addressing their offending behaviour than is currently available. This will come into force by 1 July 2019.

Before this Gráinne spent nine years with Bupa Care Services NZ as Managing Director, and previously as General Manager Rehabilitation and Care Services.

Gráinne was awarded an MBA (Hons) in 2003 from IMD Switzerland where she was recognised as one of the top five students and presented with the prestigious Gillian Welshe Award for the outstanding female graduate.

Prior to studying for her MBA she worked at Carter Holt Harvey Forests as the Human Resources Manager and then moved to the Central North Island as the Regional Operations Manager for Forests.

Gráinne holds a BSc (Hons) in Human Anatomy and Biology from the University of Liverpool and spent the early years of her career in the UK National Health Service prior to emigrating to New Zealand at the end of the 90s.

Originally from Ireland, Gráinne is an accomplished long-distance swimmer. She is the first Irish woman to swim the English Channel and Cook Strait. She is married to Ivan and they have four children.

Supporting positive youth development: Insights from a former ‘at-risk’ youth, now a Youth Justice Attorney

Frankie Guzman, Director of the CA Youth Justice Initiative at the National Center for Youth Law

Each year in the Unites States, hundreds of thousands of California children and youth are involved in the child welfare, juvenile, and criminal justice systems. A highly disproportionate number of them are youth of color. All too often, once involved, they are removed from their homes and communities, and denied the supports and opportunities they need to heal and grow into successful adults. Those removed from their communities often have suffered significant early-life trauma; but instead of responding to their needs, they are put into environments, like groups homes, juvenile halls, and prisons that by their very nature exacerbate the trauma. Drawing on his own experiences with poverty, abuse, and neglect, Guzman will discuss the myriad of obstacles these youth face, the impact of these challenges on their development and well-being, as well as what supports can help these youth transition successfully to their home communities and to adulthood.


Raised in a poor, mostly immigrant community plagued by drugs and crime, Frankie experienced his parents’ divorce and his family’s subsequent homelessness at age 3, the life-imprisonment of his 16-year-old brother at age 5 and lost numerous friends to violence. At age 15, he was arrested for armed robbery and, on his first offense, was sentenced to serve 15 years in the California Youth Authority. Released on parole after six years, Frankie attended law school and became an expert in juvenile law and policy.

Through partnerships with community organizations and advocacy groups, Guzman has helped lead California’s effort to reduce the number of youth prosecuted as adults and serving time in adult prisons by passing legislation that established Youth Offender Parole Hearings, reformed Juvenile Transfer Hearings, and eliminated prosecutor’s direct file authority. In 2018, Frankie worked successfully to eliminate California’s practice of prosecuting 14 and 15 year-olds as adults, prohibit California from arresting and incarcerating children under age 12 in the juvenile justice system, and secure more than $40 million dollars to expand pre-arrest diversion programs and deliver developmentally-appropriate, culturally-relevant and trauma-informed services for youth in under-served communities in California.

Finding solutions for youth justice systems across Australia: International perspectives, local applications

Julie Edwards, CEO, Jesuit Social Services

Youth justice is at a crossroads in Australia. In every state and territory across the nation, Governments are grappling with youth justice issues as they seek to reduce crime, improve community safety and respond to public concern that is being fanned by sensationalised media coverage.

In order to inform discussions around youth justice in Australia, Jesuit Social Services has looked beyond Australia’s shores for solutions. Senior leaders of our organisation have embarked on a series of international #JusticeSolutions study tours, taking in parts of Norway, Germany, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States (2017), as well as New Zealand (2019). We visited courts, detention facilities and diversion programs and talked with their managers and staff. We also met with senior justice personnel, non-profit service providers, academics and youth justice advocates.

In her keynote presentation, Julie Edwards will set the scene for youth justice in Australia and offer learnings from our #JusticeSolutions tours, detailing overseas successes as they relate to prevention and diversion, assessment, detention, transition and reintegration, education, workforce capability, social infrastructure and evidence-based policy.

Based on the learnings from our international tours, as well as more than 40 years’ experience working in justice, we propose the key principles for a good youth justice system that should be adopted and put into action by stakeholders and governments across Australia.

Julie’s presentation will also outline Jesuit Social Services’ approach to galvanising public support for an evidence-based approach to address youth crime. During our #JusticeSolutions tours the important role that communities can play in driving advocacy was a critical learning. We are now building on this to promote a clear and positive vision through an evidence-based, fully-integrated, youth justice advocacy campaign – #WorthASecondChance (


Julie Edwards joined Jesuit Social Services in 2001. She was the Program Director prior to her appointment as CEO in June 2004. Julie has over 35 years experience engaging with marginalised people and families experiencing breakdown and trauma. She is a social worker, family therapist and a grief and loss counsellor. Julie has a Masters in Social Work and is currently completing her doctorate in this discipline. In January 2010 Julie became a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Julie has served on a number of government and philanthropic committees that work to promote a more just society and contribute to the health and wellbeing of members of our community. She is also a member of the International Working Group on Death, Dying and Bereavement.

Julie is a member of a number of national and international Jesuit commissions and working groups across areas of justice, education, social ministry, ecology and is the leader of the global Ignatian Justice in Mining network.

Julie is passionate about finding ways to give practical expression to her social justice values, about exploring the most effective means to build a more just society and promoting a values-based model of leadership.

The Great Intersection Between Technology and Humanity

Dr Jordan Nguyen

Founder of Psykinetic

We’re living in an age of rapid technological change which is not only shaping and changing the way we work and live, but is also creating many new opportunities for solving seemingly impossible problems. In this presentation Dr Jordan Nguyen will introduce some of the big technologies bringing about these radical changes and how his insights gained from applying them to the disability sector might uncover new possibilities in aged care. His work ranges from social robotics to neuroscience and mind-controlled wheelchairs to eye-controlled communication and music to creative explorations in virtual reality.

Jordan is the founder of Psykinetic, a social business creating inclusive technology for empowerment in disability, and is a TV documentary producer and presenter, through which he travels the world to understand the global game-changing technologies and explore the impact they have on humanity. Some of the biggest technologies we are facing that will be raised in this presentation include Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality. How might these affect aged care moving into the future?

Through the story-telling of Jordan’s own adventures, this thought-provoking talk will open minds to technological innovation and raise important conversations as to where our future is taking us. We have the imagination to improve our communities, now we must keep an eye on the tools and research being done around the world to help us get there together.

Catherine DeVrye

Catherine DeVrye develops ideas, delights audiences and delivers results.

Combining Gen Y energy with baby boomer experience and wisdom, Catherine has the ‘street cred’ to deliver the results you want at your next conference.

Always customised to your theme, Catherine’s down to earth and delightfully humorous style is thought provoking yet practical and her content has earned repeat bookings on five continents.

Twice voted Australian Keynote Speaker of the Year in 1999 and 2010, Catherine is an entertaining communicator with proven international management experience in the private and public sectors-as both a female corporate executive and small business owner. She now speaks globally on customer service, change and turning obstacles to opportunities, through resilience.

Catherine is a best-selling author of eight books and past winner of the Australian Executive Woman of the Year Award. Her memoir, Who Says I Can’t? was released by Random House and nominated for the National Biography Award. On the cover Bryce Courtenay calls it a ‘story of hope and perseverance’, asking ‘when’s the movie?’ Other best-sellers, translated into over a dozen languages, include Hot Lemon and Honey – Reflections For Success in Times of Change (endorsed by Sir Edmund Hillary), Hope Happens! Words of Encouragement for Tough Times, The Customer Service Zoo and Good Service is Good Business, a #1 best-seller in Australia and Taiwan. Her most recent, endorsed by Dr Edward DeBono, is Paperclips Don’t Grow on Trees – Add value not cost to your bottom line.

A former IBM executive, Catherine held roles in sales, marketing, communication and leadership development, spending two years in Tokyo as Asia Pacific Headquarters Human Resource Manager. Once responsible for IBM incentive events and leadership programs, she vowed to not only deliver an entertaining and educational motivational message from stage but to be authentic and easy to work with off the platform. Thousands of testimonials from delighted clients prove she has achieved that.

Always in search of adventure and new material, she has cycled over the Andes, trekked to Timbuktu, beyond Everest Base Camp and was given the honour of carrying the Olympic Torch on the day of the opening ceremonies of the Sydney 2000 Olympics. A cancer survivor, she also has an inspirational, heart-warming story of her personal journey from an orphanage in Canada, which she sometimes shares depending on your brief.

Catherine is also an Australia Day ambassador, featured in Who’s Who of Australian Women, a former board member of the third largest police service in the world, past CEO of Young/Junior Achievement Australia, as well as working for Ministers of Consumer Affairs, Education and Sport, where she was involved in the establishment of the Life: Be In It fitness campaign.

She holds a Master of Science degree and has attended short courses at Harvard University and Melbourne Mt Eliza Business School… but believes the best education is common sense! She touches the head and heart to encourage action and better ‘buy-in’ to key management messages.

Clients include American Express, AT & T, Australian Tourism, Austrade, Bankwest, Coca-Cola, Domino’s Pizza, KPMG, Hewlett Packard, IBM 3M, Local Government, Mercedes, Neways, Qantas, Red Cross, Remax, Royal Australian Airforce, School Principals, TAFE, World Triathlon Championships…

Her versatility, experience and commitment to quality will act as a catalyst to maximise organisational and individual potential, and contribute to the success of your next event.

Real content, real fun, real life!

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