We hope you enjoy taking a peek at what’s in store throughout ChangeFest. As you’ll see, there’s more to be added as time goes on so be sure to keep checking back!  

Please note that the heart of ChangeFest - and what the significant majority of delegates will attend - are the Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. This is what FULL REGISTRATION covers along with all social events on those days. Full registration also covers Monday afternoon’s Jargon Busting Workshop for those who can attend. You don't need a whole week - three days is all you need to be part of lasting social change!

The countdown to ChangeFest is on! 

ChangeFest 2018

Download Program

Monday 19 Nov, 2018
Registrations Open
Welcome Morning Tea

It's the start of what will be an unforgettable week! Take some time to mingle and mix with the like-minded and passionate people you'll be spending the day with!

OC Connect

This year’s OC Connect Building Sustainability will be an interactive day where Opportunity Child and its partners work together on wicked problems in early childhood disadvantage.

The event will focus on five key areas of sustainability; capital, results and measurement, policy & decision makers, engagement & effort and leadership. Participants will be assisted by renowned content experts such as Dr Michael McAfee, President and CEO of PolicyLink.

This is a closed, invitation only event. Please contact Joyce Teo at for more information.

ChangeFest Unboxed 10:00am-4:00pm

Logan Together, in partnership with the Logan Council of Elders, Gunyah Meta and Beenleigh Housing will host ChangeFest UnBoxed.

ChangeFest UnBoxed is for community members – the mums, dads and emerging leaders of Australia – who have registered for the ChangeFest conference. It is an interactive day loaded with opportunities to get to know each other and have deep conversations about each other’s priorities and the work we are all doing to make our communities great places to live. UnBoxed is also about getting set for active participation in the ChangeFest program over the following three days.

OC ConnectBreakout Room 1

Roundtable work

Afternoon Tea
ChangeFest Jargon Busting Foundation SessionMain Auditorium

The work we do can sometimes tangle us up in a web of words, jargon and acronyms. This workshop does just what it says on the tin: busts the jargon and sets us up for the rest of the event to be as clear as possible. This workshop focuses on definitions, and on using and understanding the language around place-based collective impact.

Kate Simpson, Kerry Graham, Beth Stockton

6:00PM to 8:00PM
Welcome Drinks and Canapes at Logan Art Gallery

Opened by Acting Mayor Cheree Dalley.
For ChangeFest delegates and also available to non ChangeFest delegates (Communities) at an additional cost. Drinks, canapes and entertainment including Heilani Productions Polynesian Dance and Canterbury College.

Tuesday 20 Nov, 2018
Registrations OpenMain Auditorium
Introduction and Welcome to CountryMain Auditorium

We are honoured to present a Welcome to Country by Aunty Robyn, entertainment from the Murriland Dancers, and a Torres Strait Blessing Song.

MC: Sandra Fields with Gunya Meta Representative Co-host: Louisa Whettam

Opening and Welcome to ChangeFest Main Auditorium
Opening Keynote: Achieving Big ChangeMain Auditorium

If anyone can inspire us to achieve big change it's Michael McAfee. As CEO of the US-based PolicyLink, a national research and action institute focused on advancing racial and economic equity, he has spent years working to create long-term positive change in communities. He speaks around the world, and never fails to make an impact. Not to be missed!

Introduced by Hon Coralee O'Rourke, Minister for Communities and Minister for Disability Services and Seniors, Qld Govt and Linda O'Brien, Pro Vice Chancellor, Head of Logan Campus, Griffith University.

Speaker:Dr Michael McAfee

Q&A with Michael McAfeeMain Auditorium

Facilitated by Kerry Graham (Collaboration for Impact)

Following Michael's presentation you're guaranteed to have some burning questions for him (he's that sort of guy). This is your chance to get them answered!

Speaker:Dr Michael McAfee, Kerry Graham

Morning Tea
Nine Community Snapshots from Across AustraliaMain Auditorium

Click here to discover the nine Australian communities we'll be shining the spotlight on at ChangeFest. They are as diverse as they come, with one thing in common: a drive for change.

Jane McCracken, Alistair Ferguson, Lisa McKenzie, Natasha Scully, Kiran King, Sarah Hopkins, Matthew Cox, Jane Miller, Eula Rohan, Karen Cieri

Centerpiece Panel

Harnessing the Power of Place for Social Change
This is a great opportunity to hear from thought leaders and our leaders in government in an impassioned discussion about the challenges, triumphs, opportunities and the hard work on display in communities throughout Australia and the world.

Stay tuned for the announcement of a high-profile government leader who will be joining this panel!

Dr Michael McAfee, Liz Weaver, Matthew Cox, Dr Dianne Jackson, Sean Gordon

Introduction to Breakout SessionsMain Auditorium
Indigenous Advancement

How Indigenous leaders and communities are approaching systems change work in communities around Australia.
More speakers to be announced shortly!

Alistair Ferguson, Mick Gooda, Sean Gordon, Dean Yibarbuk, Sonya Pearce, Janella Isaac, Dean Parkin

Unpacking Systems Change in Action

Deep dive exploration of two community initiatives driving systems change..

Jane McCracken, Sarah Hopkins, Kerry Graham, Fiona McKenzie

Government Plumbing: making the change in government

When the ubber hits the road - how does a new way of doing things get rolled out within a system that is unfamiliar with flexible and fit-for-purpose solutions?

Mick Keelty, Dr Roslyn Baxter, Belinda Drew, Katie Holm, Carita Davis

Brain Development in Early Childhood

The majority of the major discoveries about the growth and development of the human brain which led the 1990s to be labelled the 'Decade of the Brain' were about the brain from conception to 3 years of age. From a neurological perspective this is clearly the most important time in your life for influencing your entire life span. Participants will explore with Nathan how this works and what it means for how we interact, nuture and educate our youngest citizens. We will explore the implications this has for early childhood/infancy and the type of environment that best facilitates the fill development of the childs potential. Nathan's aim is to make this as jargon-free and easily relatable to practice as possible.

Nathan Wallis

The Quality of Numbers

Towards more effective outcomes data from a software provider perspective: this session will discuss the challenges of collecting quality data effectively so as to obtain the most meaningful results in addition to using data and predictive analytics for program and service design and policy development.

Greg Ware, Tracey Acton, Kristi Mansfield

The Place Agenda in Queensland

Spotlight on how place-based work is rolling out in one State jurisdiction. Hear about the vision, the challenges and successes of scaling at a State level from key Queensland leaders.

Mark Henley, Clare O'Connor

Role of the Backbone in Systems Change

The most successful system change initiatives are supported by a high performing backbone. What are they? How do you get one? And how do you know if yours is any good?

Liz Weaver, Kiran King, Kerry Graham, Jane Miller

Early Childhood Development Approach to Systems Change

Early Childhood - why it's important and how to power long term change by focusing on our youngest citizens.

Dr Michael McAfee, Lisa McKenzie, June McLoughlin, Katrine Hildeyard MP, Sharon Fraser

The Money Session!

How philanthropy, government and local communities can invest collaboratively to get lift off. How do we build an investment framework for the long term and for Australia-wide scale.

David Osborn, Seri Renkin, David Clements

Warrill Yari-Gu - Rivers Yarning Together

Yarning Our Way. Collaboration Our Way. Community Partnerships Our Way. Join the Logan Elders, Beenleigh Housing Development Corporation and Gunya Meta in this thought provoking discussion experience.

Afternoon Tea
Panel Session - what it takes to drive systems change

Get comfortable prepare to get involved. In this session one of the greatest thought-leaders shares the stage with a driver of change and they explore the space we're working in. The audience will also have a chance, with input and questions encouraged!

Lisa McKenzie, Mick Gooda, Liz Skelton, Prof Anne Tiernan, Fiona McKenzie


A chance to take stock of what's just happened and what it means for you....there will be a lot to digest and apply!

ChangeFest Anthem
5:30PM to 8:00PM
Festival of Food and Music - Logan Entertainment Centre Forecourt

Don't miss the chance to connect with your fellow ChangeFest 'optimist's. We'll supply the food and music so all you have to do to is enjoy yourself!

Our line up of entertainment includes Arthur Bristowe, La Boite Book Club piece, Polyamity, and Divine Our Destiny.

Wednesday 21 Nov, 2018
Registrations OpenMain Auditorium
Welcome to ChangeFest
What Would the Opposition Do?

Let's make the most of our political reality and find out what the Labor party's commitment to social change and equity looks like. Join us and hear it here first from the three frontbenchers who could be making the decisions!

Hon Tanya Plibersek MP, Linda Burney, Jim Chalmers

Keynote Snapshot: Liz WeaverMain Auditorium

The Missing Link - community leadership and how to bottle it!
In a snappy 15-minutes, Liz Weaver, Co-CEO of the Canadian Tamarack Institute, will excite you with her passion, insight and expertise on systems change.

Speaker:Liz Weaver

Campfire SessionMain Auditorium

Let's see how change can be amplified with this two-way conversation between a leader of change and some citizens who are on the ground making the change.

ChangeFest keynote Liz Weaver will spend time with two on-the-ground 'optimists', nutting out the opportunities, the pain points, and the way forward. This will be an intense and incredibly useful conversation for all change-agents to hear.

Liz Weaver, Glenn Hodgson, Julie Jarrett

Morning Tea
Community Durithunga

Deep and authentic Indigenous education collaboration from a Logan community-centric design.

Dr. John Davis shares his PhD insights on the community led leadership circle, Community Durithunga. Durithunga’s core focus is the empowerment of local Indigenous leadership to grow more culturally safe and responsive circles of learning.

Dr John Davis

Panel: Hard LessonsMain Auditorium

War stories and optimism from change-makers | What is the key challenge you are grappling with?

Jane McCracken, Natasha Scully, Kerry Graham, Liz Hefren-Webb, Liz Skelton, Sean Gordon


Bianca Hunt

Working with Data to get a Complete Picture in Place

How to access, analyse and use big data as a key input to driving system change and better outcomes for people and places.

Dr Tom Verhelst, Dr Ross Wilkinson, Dr Ingrid Burkett, Linda O'Brien

Unleashing the Power of Collaborative Governance

How to build the conditions of governance to enable and create capacity and impact, learning this together and applying systems change techniques to shift the trajectory towards intergenerational impact.

Liz Weaver, Natasha Scully, Dr Michelle Lucas, Karen Cieri

How to Get Started

If you are right at the beginning of place-based and system change work, this session will show you how to get from idea to action.

Kerry Graham, Fiona Allison, Shelley Birrell, Stacey De Calmer, Gordon Wragge, Jennifer Chaplyn, Beck Ronkson

Communities in Charge: How and When Government Should Devolve More Power to Communities

Revolutionary ratbags, idealists and frustrated public policy wonks debate how to put power in the hands of the people. Why would you do it? How would you do it and can it actually be done?

Dr Michael McAfee, Alistair Ferguson, Matthew Cox, Teya Dusseldorp, Devett Kennedy, Eula Rohan, Sean Gordon, Holly Rynsent

Publishing Your Place-Based Research

This session will provide guidance to those interested developing their paper, abstract, or short paper for submission to the special issue of the JOSI.

Dr Jennifer Cartmel, Paul Harris, Hyancinth Udah, Marilyn Casley, Kerry Smith

Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Wisdom and Western Organisations

Join Stronger Smarter Institute's Dr John Davis and Jinndi Mibunn's Will Davis as they discuss the importance of community voice, Indigenous knowledge and creating third cultural spaces.

Dr John Davis

Afternoon Tea

Belinda Drew, Dr Tom Verhelst

How Citizens Play a Role in all Parts of the Change Process?

Come to this session if you're interested in the frameworks and tools that will enable citizens to lead, participate and contribute to community change - big and small!

Angela Tuisamoa, Sabrina Stokes

How to Build a Common Agenda with Community Members and Diverse Stakeholders

How do you weave data and stories into a learning process to produce a transformational agenda for change? This hands-on session will give you a highly-useable process and unpack two case studies operating in very different contexts.

Kate Simpson, Kerry Graham, Eula Rohan, Dani Roderick, Beth Stockton

How Do We Know if it's Working?

We all think it's vital - but how do you measure and evaluate place based work and systems change?

Jess Dart, Fiona Merlin, Ellise Barkley, Lyn Alderman

Radical Ideas

This one is going to be fun! In this session some of Australia's smartest people will lob in radical and new ideas for change. Prepare to have your mind bent!

Matthew Cox, Sharon Goldfeld, Matthew Byrne, Professor Mark Moran

Building the Future Place-Based Research AgendaLimelight Room (70)

At this session we'll provide the opportunity to collaboratively construct a research agenda that identifies the key national priorities for future place-based research.

Sue West, Rebecca Mann, Professor Brad Jackson, David Lilley

Cultural Competency 'Is it stuck in awareness'

In this exciting workshop, Stronger Smarter Institute's Dr John Davis and Jinndi Mibunn's Will Davis discuss the Reconciliation Action Plan, empowering community and how change is not just a 'tick and flick'.

Dr John Davis, Will Davis

Movement Building

This session sets out to be an immersive experience reflecting back on what we have all done during conference to grow our movement making muscles and with real time collaboration to move things forward.

Liz Weaver, Kate Simpson, Moira Were, Jennifer Chaplyn

5:15PM to 5:30PM
PerformanceMain Auditorium
Thursday 22 Nov, 2018
Registrations Open
ChangeFest Social Policy Roundtable

By invitation only.

Conference Marketplace

This session will allow conference delegates to share 15 minute practice 'snapshots' on what has worked for them. As a participant, you'll get to hear four inspirational snapshots on each Table over two half hour sessions.

David Lilley , Melanie McKenzie, Carrie Rose, Sara Branch, Nathan Moulds, Greg Ware, Tracey Acton, Jennifer Chaplyn, Jack Noone, Amber Osborn, James Ryan

Lost Conversations

This powerful session will explore how the dynamics of collaboration play out when Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people come together to lead. Liz and Grant will share their own experiences in working with cross cultural collaborations around Australia. Not to be missed.

Grant Paulson, Liz Skelton

Coaching Clinic

Three lucky initiatives get the chance to engage in a 20 minute coaching session with international thought and practice leader, Liz Weaver. But here's the catch, there will be an audience! These live coaching sessions will help you make significant progress while those listening will learn from 'live' experiences and Liz's advice.

Liz Weaver, Kate Simpson


Showcase of local WOW projects.

From Little Things Big Things Grow

Here we'll look at how place based initiatives can scale up and replicate out. More details to come.

Liz Weaver, Dr Tessa Boyd-Caine, Kate Simpson, June McLoughlin

People and How They Grow - why lifecourse thinking is important

It's a simple, yet powerful idea - structure long term change plans around the early human lifecourse. But how does taking a lifecourse approach to systems change work? Why is it important? Who is doing it best?

Professor Karen Thorpe, Dr Holly Harris, Geoff Woolcock

ChangeFest Social Policy Roundtable Continued

By invitation only.

Systems Leadership Bootcamp

Tools, tips and working with 'live' challenges in leading collaborative system change work. Learn three approaches and tools for systems mapping so you can set system change strategies

Kerry Graham, Sharon Fraser

Spotlight on Logan Together

As the host city for ChangeFest, come and find out about the Logan Together project and how a passionate community and committed partners have galvanised a focus on local kids and families into a city-wide movement.

Victoria Parker

Morning Tea
ChangeFest Policy Roundtable Statement Announcement
Panel: Politics, Policy and Systems Change

The way forward: A public and passionate discussion between those who've started the climb.

ChangeFest Wrap-up and Close

Final summation of ChangeFest, a rallying call around the Summit Statement! Will include cameos and closing thoughts from many different perspectives.

2:30PM to 3:00PM
Event CloseMain Auditorium

The final wrap up and goodbye. More details will come, but you'll be sure to be floating when you leave the venue.

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