Keynote Speakers


Scott Morrison

The Hon. Scott Morrison MP. Minister for Social Services

The Hon. Scott Morrison MP is the Minister for Social Services and a senior member of Prime Minister Abbott’s Cabinet and Expenditure Review Committee.

Minister Morrison was appointed Minister for Social Services on December 23, 2014 and is responsible for driving the Abbott Government’s welfare reform strategy that is designed to increase the economic participation of Australians and to ensure the long term sustainability of Australia’s welfare safety net.


Senator Zed Seselja

Elected in 2013, Sentaor Zed Seselja is the Liberal Senator for the ACT. Senator Seselja was also previously the Opposition Leader of the Australian Capital Territory Legislative Assembly where he served as Shadow Minister for Youth Affairs, Education and Training.

Senator Seselja will speak on the policy direction of the Federal Government with particular reference to youth education, employment and training.


Soup to Nuts: Internationally Recognised Best Practices for Supporting Mentors

Presented by Professor Michael Karcher

The AYMN Benchmarks and online tracking system for monitoring match and program quality capture key practices that have been adopted by mentoring organisations in several other countries and that reflect key program based practices supported by research from both Australia and the States. Documenting use of these practices can catch the attention of funders, but more importantly their use can help sustain longer matches that are more satisfying for mentors and impactful for youth. An overview of several key practices, illustrated through media examples and one particular school-work-agency collaboration, will reveal the pivotal role of program staff in facilitating match and program success and help convey the importance of implementing, tracking, monitoring and reporting these important program practices.


The Role of Mentoring in Supporting Youth During the School to Work Transition: 

Presented by Professor Robyn Broadbent

Explore the effect that mentoring, as part of a holistic approach to workforce development, has in strengthening our communities and economies. Presenter Robyn Broadbent will highlight innovative and creative partnerships that integrate mentoring as a powerful tool to achieving positive youth outcomes, teach real-life job skills and open doors to educational and career opportunities. Delegateparticipants and will share firsthand their experiences and the role mentoring plays in advancing career and life goals and educational and employment opportunities and delegate will engage in dialog and Q&A with the presenter. The role of mentoring in supporting youth during the school-to-work transition.

 John Falzon

Challenges Facing Australia’s Young People and What We Can Do

Presented by Dr John Falzon, CEO St Vincents de Paul

Dr John Falzon is the author of The language of the unheard (2012). He is a political sociologist, poet and advocate for a more equitable society. He has worked in academia, in community development in large public housing estates and in research and advocacy in NGOs. He has been the Chief Executive of the St Vincent Paul Society National Council of Australia since 2006. He has written and spoken widely on the structural causes of marginalisation and inequality in Australia and has long been an advocate for a fairer and more equitable society. He is currently a member of the ACOSS Board, was a participant in the 2020 Summit and has also served on Government advisory committees such as the Australian Social Inclusion Board, the Community Response Task Force during the Global Financial Crisis and the Energy White Paper High Level Consultative Committee.


What’s Happening to our Boys and Girls: 

Presented by Maggie Hamilton, Writer and Social Researcher

Where are our boys and girls at right now? Why do they pay more attention to their peers than their teachers or parents? What makes brand-name clothes and looking sexy so appealing? Why are they drawn to ‘out there’ behaviour, and why are depression, cutting, eating disorders and drinking on the rise? How do so many kids lead secret lives? Why are increasing numbers accessing porn? Discover practical ways to deal with the many issues that bite – from the growing fragility amongst teenagers, an escalation in acting out and attraction to risk, the constant need for entertainment, the growing exposure to violence, and more. Informed and revealing, Maggie’s research lays these issues bare, and offers sensible, easy-to-implement solutions.


Kids, Consumerism and Materialism: 

Presented by Christopher Zinn

For young people, there is a causal link between low self-esteem and materialism. In early adolescence the stage is set for the use of material possessions as a coping strategy for feelings of low self-worth and marketers know it. What can we do to help kids get the best of our consumer society and avoid the real costs of having too much? Kids, Consumerism and Materialism