Communities in Control conference seeks people-powered solutions to our biggest issues

Our Community

Australia’s most progressive leaders, thinkers and community agitators are gathering in person and online to spur on practical solutions to society’s toughest problems.

Representing leaders from across the country’s 600,000 not-for-profits since 2003, Communities in Control this year has as its theme “Think Bigger: Fix Everything”.

“Some may say that’s too ambitious. We think not. We’ve seen insurmountable problems like homelessness and poverty vanish – albeit briefly – in response to the COVID-19 threat. We want to build on those possibilities,” said Our Community managing director and conference organiser Denis Moriarty.

He said lasting solutions for the country’s biggest challenges would not come from royal commissions, but from the community – and community groups in particular. Hundreds of delegates will join the two-day Melbourne event in person and online, May 17–18, to hear from those who have shown what works, who know what’s coming next, and who have the power to inspire.

The 15 talented and though-provoking speakers and guests are:

  • Australian of the Year Grace Tame, a sexual assault survivor turned changemaker
  • Senator Penny Wong, delivering the Joan Kirner Social Justice Oration
  • Uncle Jack Charles, a Stolen Generations survivor, actor, activist and mentor
  • Chart-topping “voice of a generation” Mitch Tambo with a live performance
  • Investigative journalist Jess Hill addressing the domestic violence crisis
  • NSW Ageing and Disability Commissioner Robert Fitzgerald, a veteran of more than 18 government-commissioned inquiries, on why reform in the community sector is overdue
  • Dr Helena Popovic on how to “boost your brain power” with neuroplasticity
  • Hugh Mackay on the kindness revolution that’s needed in the wake of COVID-19
  • Researcher Dr Ramona Vijeyarasa arguing that it’s time for laws to change to create gender equality
  • Progressive economist Dr Tim Thornton who argues inequality and injustice are unsustainable
  • Philosopher and educator Daniel Teitelbaum on the power of playful thinking
  • Slam poet and Somalian refugee Hani Abdile, who found her voice in detention on Christmas Island
  • Public servant, academic and author Andrew Wear, providing proven solutions to some of the world’s biggest problems
  • Renaissance woman Jess Scully, Deputy Lord Mayor of Sydney, curator and author, on how we can harness technology and creativity to reshape the world for the better
  • Master storyteller Chris Helder, who draws together the power of communication, leadership and influence to show how change is possible.

Mr Moriarty was unapologetic about selecting a line-up designed to provoke change.

“It’s no accident that we’ve called this conference Communities in Control. We expect that delegates will walk out of the room charged for action, and with hundreds of thousands of community organisations in this country, that’s some serious clout.”

/Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length.