We are very excited to announce FOUR outstanding individuals, who have a lot of wisdom and practical life experience to share with our attendees. Between all four, the breadth of our theme, “Diversity, Inclusion and Care in the Outdoors ” will be well covered (and then some!)
- Dr Bruce McGregor, President of VNPA, will open the conference on Friday morning, delivering the inaugural “Dr Brian Nettleton Lecture“. Bruce is taking over the reins from Doug Humann, who is now unable to attend due to unforeseen circumstances.
- Merinda Dryden, Aboriginal Training and Development Consultant at the Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency. (VACCA) will be presenting to us on Friday afternoon.
- Following directly on from Merinda will be Jolleen Hicks, a proud Ngarluma- Aboriginal woman who’s organisation Aboriginal Insights, offers online cultural awareness training that is in demand from all sectors, with a specific focus on Aboriginal Engagement.
- Opening the second half of the conference on Saturday morning will be Sally Goldner AM, from Transgender Victoria.
We will share more with you about their presentations over the coming months.
Dr Bruce McGregor
Delivering the Dr Brian Nettleton Lecture on Friday May 31
We warmly welcome Dr Bruce McGregor, President of the Victorian National Parks Association, who will now be offering the keynote address on Friday morning.
Bruce is an active research scientist with training in biology, land management, adult education and organisation leadership. For many years he has volunteered with environmental groups in environmental protection and restoration, waterway management, and outdoor recreation. This led to a Victorian Environmental Friends Network Best Friend Award in 2015. He currently volunteers with the Victorian National Parks Association, Trust for Nature and BirdLife Australia.
Keynote Speaker Friday afternoon, May 31
Merinda Dryden is a Dja Dja Wurrung and Yorta Yorta young woman living in Melbourne and currently working as an Aboriginal Training and Development Officer at the Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency. (VACCA)
In 2016 Merinda was crowned Victoria Miss NAIDOC and participated in the National Indigenous Youth Parliament in 2017. She is currently a Youth Ambassador for the National Youth Commissioner, in the Youth Healing Foundation Advisory Group and an Advocate for Aboriginal kids in out-of-home care.
Merinda had limited knowledge of her Aboriginal heritage while growing up, as she lived in out-of-home care. This affected her self-confidence, sense of wellbeing and identity. In 2014 Merinda re-connected with her family, which began her cultural journey. She is passionate about ensuring that the voices of young people are heard in the development of suicide prevention solutions for Aboriginal communities moving forward.
Keynote Speaker Friday afternoon, May 31
Jolleen is an advocate for Aboriginal People, teacher, former lawyer, business woman, NFP Director, truth seeker & proud Australian.
I am a proud Ngarluma- Aboriginal woman who is committed to empowering Aboriginal peoples’; Aboriginal communities; Aboriginal organisations; and Aboriginal businesses to achieve self- determination. I want to be part of a country where Aboriginal people become the decision makers for their families and communities; and Aboriginal communities operate and prosper in successful local economies. I want to be part of a country that respects and appreciates our diverse Aboriginal cultures; and recognise Aboriginal Heritage as part of Australian Heritage. This beautiful country has a history spanning over 60,000 years. Every Australian should be proud of this. I am proud. I respectfully and confidently walk in two worlds and promote respect and understanding between both of these worlds. I launched “Aboriginal Insights” in 2016, committed to building understandings and respect between Aboriginal and non- Aboriginal people. I offer a highly successful Professional Development/ Cultural Development workshop on #EngagingWithAboriginalCommunities.
I now offer online cultural learning courses for ALL Australians. Aboriginal Heritage & Cultures are Australian Heritage & Culture. Part of my identity and yours. Please join our online community, https://members.aboriginalinsights.com.au/
Sally Goldner AM
Keynote speaker on Saturday June 1
Sally Goldner’s involvement of nineteen years in Victoria’s queer communities includes Transgender Victoria, co-facilitator of Transfamily, presenter of 3 CR’s “Out of the Pan” and Treasurer of Bisexual Alliance Victoria.
She is the focus of an autobiographical documentary “Sally’s Story” and a life member of 4 queer organisations.
She was inducted into the Victorian Women’s Honour Roll in 2016, awarded LGBTI Victorian of the Year in 2015, noted in The Age’s Top 100 most creative and influential people in Melbourne in 2011 and awarded Activist of the Year at the 2010 ALSO Awards.
She is an educator, speaker, MC and occasional performer (all in contrast to her original accountancy training) …and watch this space for more to come!
Sally was appointed a Member of the Order (AM) of Australia in January of this year.