Celebrating Families Speaker Series 2024

We thank our Speakers and registered attendees for being a part of Celebrating Families Speaker Series.

All webinars were delivered during National Families Week from 13-19 May 2024.


Celebrating Families Speaker Series 2024

Sarah Powell
CEO, PINK Hope

As CEO of Pink Hope since 2020, Sarah Powell leverages her expertise in banking, finance, and stakeholder engagement to support individuals and families in making critical decisions. Sarah was diagnosed with breast cancer at 29 and later discovering her BRCA1 mutation, transitioned from a corporate career to become a dedicated advocate for Australia’s cancer community, particularly those facing hereditary cancer. Her personal experience informs her commitment to reducing cancer risks and promoting health awareness. Sarah emphasises the importance of proactive health discussions, timely medical attention, and utilising Pink Hope’s resources for support during cancer diagnosis and for families at an increased risk of cancer. She currently lives in Melbourne with her children and a rescue dog.


Celebrating Families Speaker Series 2024

Benny Bol OAM
President, Queensland African Communities Council (QACC)

Beny serves as the President of the Queensland African Communities Council (QACC), representing over 80,000 individuals and organisations of African descent. Under his leadership since 2019, QACC has established specialised departments, including the African Youth Support Council (AYSC), which operates programs in detention centres and schools across Greater Brisbane. Additionally, Beny has facilitated the opening of three African Youth & Community Centres, providing employment opportunities for African youth leaders. He is also an author and has received numerous awards, including the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM), Minister’s Multicultural Award 2021, and recognition from Afroshine Australia and Victoria Police Community Award. Beny’s dedication to community empowerment and youth development is evident in his multifaceted contributions and achievements.


Celebrating Families Speaker Series 2024

Kate Bjur
General Manager Policy, Research & Advocacy
PeakCare

Kate possesses over 25 years of extensive experience working with children and youth across Japan, Canada, England, and Australia. Her diverse background encompasses leadership roles in youth detention, restorative practice, youth justice strategy, child safety policy, early childhood education, advocacy, and family support. In 2023, she conducted a global research project funded by the Churchill Fellowship, focusing on youth crime prevention, gang exit strategies, and therapeutic detention models. Kate is committed to advocating for children’s rights, amplifying their voices, and bridging government and non-government sectors to enhance the responsiveness of child and family services. With qualifications including a Bachelor of Arts in Japanese language and literature, and post-graduate studies in Organisational Change Management, Community Services Work, Business, Early Childhood Education, and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, Kate brings a multifaceted approach to her work in empowering and supporting children and families.


Celebrating Families Speaker Series 2024

Liz Neville
Acting Director
Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS)

Liz Neville is the current head of agency at the Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) and brings with her a strong social policy orientation and commitment to policy-relevant research affecting families, their children and communities. Liz has previously worked in management roles in service delivery and peak body organisations in the not for profit sector. Before joining AIFS, Liz was a senior executive with the National Disability Insurance Agency working in the early childhood space. Liz’s knowledge base is grounded in social science, education and evaluation.


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