Philanthropy Meets Parliament Summit 2019 - Speakers

International Thought Leaders

Karl Zinsmeister
Vice President, The Philanthropy Roundtable

Karl Zinsmeister oversees all magazine, book, and Web publishing at The Philanthropy Roundtable in Washington, D.C. In 2016 he produced The Almanac of American Philanthropy, the 1,342-page culmination of a multiyear effort to create the authoritative reference on America's fascinating and culturally seminal tradition of solving public problems with private resources. He also founded and advises the Roundtable’s program on philanthropy for veterans and service members.

Karl has authored 12 books, including two different works of embedded reporting on the Iraq war, a book on charter schools, a storytelling cookbook, even a graphic novel published by Marvel Comics. He has also made a PBS feature film and written hundreds of articles for publications ranging from the Atlantic to the Wall Street Journal. Earlier in his career he was a Senate aide to Daniel Patrick Moynihan, the J. B. Fuqua Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and editor in chief for nearly 13 years of The American Enterprise magazine. From 2006 to 2009 Karl served in the West Wing as the President's chief domestic policy adviser and director of the White House Domestic Policy Council. He is a graduate of Yale University and also studied at Trinity College Dublin.

Sevaun Palvetzian
CEO, CivicAction

One of Canada’s leading experts on civic engagement, Sevaun Palvetzian has been CEO of CivicAction since January 2014. Under her leadership, CivicAction has focused on building inclusive cities and levelling the playing field of opportunity. Throughout her career, Sevaun has advocated for new voices at the tables of influence including championing the next generation of leaders in her roles with the Ontario Public Service, the University of Toronto, and Presidential Classroom in Washington, DC.

Recently named one of Canada’s 100 Most Powerful Women, Sevaun is a voice of influence and advocacy on many urban issues and is frequently called on for media commentary. She has served as a member of the Toronto Police Service Board Transformational Task Force and as a member of Mayor John Tory’s Advisory Panel for International Hosting Opportunities. She also sits on the Board of Directors for NPower Canada, Waterfront Toronto, and is a member of the Ivey Business School Leadership Council.


Esther Abram 
Giving Green Manager, Australian Environmental Grantmakers Network (AEGN) 

Esther Abram, Giving Green Manager, Australian Environmental Grantmakers Network

Esther is a highly experienced leader in the environmental not for profit sector whose background includes a wide range of environmental issues and climate change and roles in management and advocacy.

From 1996 – 2005, Esther led key environmental NGOs. She was the Director of Environment Victoria and the inaugural CEO at Moreland Energy Foundation. She then consulted on a wide range of environmental / climate initiatives.

Since 2010 Esther has worked with philanthropy. She has been with the AEGN for 5 years, supporting member collaborations, resource development and leading the organisation’s advocacy work. Prior to this Esther was the Executive Officer for Changemakers Australia, a groundbreaking organisation spearheading social change philanthropy. This work culminated in successful advocacy to establish the Charities Act 2013. 

Esther holds a Master of Arts from Melbourne University, a Graduate Diploma of Business and a Bachelor of Arts.

Glenn Barnes 
Joint Chair, Citizens for Democratic Renewal 

Glenn is a consultant and company director who has over twenty years of governance experience in banking & financial services, business information, healthcare & wellbeing, body protection, consumer goods and the not-for-profit sector. 

He has had a long term interest in economics and political systems, was a board member and Victorian President of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) and Co-Chair (withVerity Firth) of a 2017 Symposium on Trusted Long Term Decision Making (by Government). Glenn was involved in packaged goods and the banking and financial services sectors for over 30 years, as an executive, business leader and director in Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, United States of America, Republic of Ireland, Japan and China. He has also held a number of regional and global leadership roles.

Glenn recently retired as Chairman of Australian Unity Limited and is the Chairman of Ansell Limited an ASX100 company. He is a Senior Fellow of the Financial Institute of Australasia, a Certified Practising Marketer and Fellow of the Australian Marketing Institute, the AICD and the Royal Society for the Encouragement of the Arts, Manufactures and Commerce.

Sarah Davies
CEO, Philanthropy Australia

Sarah has had a broad and wide ranging career from executive roles in tertiary education in Australia to private sector consulting in HR, marketing and strategy in Australia, Europe and the Middle East, and back in the dim dark ages in airport management. But for the last 10 years, her focus has been exclusively in the for purpose sector: in philanthropy and social change.

In October 2015, Sarah joined Philanthropy Australia as the CEO.  Philanthropy Australia’s purpose is to champion, enable and support the growth and evolution of philanthropy throughout Australian society – in simple terms, to foster and achieve more and better philanthropy. It is the peak body and membership organisation for all individuals and organisations who are engaged, or want to be, in planned and thoughtful giving to bring about effective, positive social and community change.

This is not her first role in the philanthropic sector as she was the CEO of the Australian Communities Foundation for four years. The Australian Communities Foundation is a non-profit charitable foundation which enables accessible philanthropy and matches its donors’ interests to emerging social issues and needs of communities.

In between these two, prior to joining Philanthropy Australia, Sarah had an exciting and highly rewarding time as the CEO of The Reach Foundation, a for-purpose organisation working to improve the wellbeing of young people so they can get the most out of life.

In addition to her professional roles, Sarah has also served on a number of diverse Boards and committees. Her current community roles include Director of Kids Under Cover, board member of the Centre for Social Impact, Council Member of the National Museum of Australia and Board Member of the Australian Advisory Board on Impact Investing.

Sarah is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management, a Member and graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, a Fellow of the Williamson Community Leadership Program and a Victorian JP.

Virginia Haussegger, AM 
2019 ACT Australian of the Year

Virginia Haussegger is Director of the 50/50 by 2030 Foundation, at the University of Canberra’s Institute for Governance and Policy Analysis (IGPA), and Chief Editor of BroadAgenda, Australia’s leading research based Gender Equality blog. 

Virginia’s extensive media career spans 30 years, in which she has reported from around the globe for leading current affair programs on Channel 7, the 9 Network, and ABC TV. From 2001 she anchored ABC TV News in Canberra for 15 years. A former weekly columnist for the Canberra Times, she remains a regular contributor to Fairfax media. 

Virginia is the 2019 ACT Australian of the Year. In 2014 she was made a Member of the Order of Australia for services to the community, gender equity, and the media.

Virginia is Patron of the Canberra Rape Crisis Centre. She has served on a number of boards and committees including; UN Women National Committee Australia; the Snowy Hydro SouthCare Trust; Our Watch, Media Advisory Committee; and Women in Media. She currently sits on the Board of the ACT Government’s Cultural Facilities Corporation.

Amanda Miller 
Co-Chair, Philanthropy Australia

Amanda is a co-founder of Impact Generation Partners, which advises, invests in and supports enterprises that deliver financial as well as social and/or environmental returns. Amanda is passionate about and committed to building the impact investing ecosystem alongside the philanthropic sector in Australia. She is a committee member of the Impact Investment Forum, an initiative of the Responsible Investment Association of Australasia (RIAA). She is Deputy Chair of the Federal Government Social Impact Investing Expert Panel. 

Amanda holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Law (Honours) from Monash University and started her career practicing corporate law at Allens. She then moved into the philanthropic sector working with not-for-profit organisations and in philanthropic services at the Myer Family Company (MFCo), assisting intergenerational families and individuals to implement strategic giving programs.

Amanda is passionate about engaging the next generation in giving and in creating change. She Chairs Kids in Philanthropy, a not for profit organisation that engages, educates and empowers children and their families with hands on experiences to help communities in need. She was part of the Nexus Australia Summit Organising Committee from its inception in 2013 until 2018 and has been a member and Chair of Philanthropy Australia’s New Generation of Giving program in Melbourne. 

Amanda strongly believes in the power of supporting and investing in women and girls. A past staff member and Board member of the Australian Women Donor’s Network, Amanda is proud to have advised and invested in a number of for-purpose enterprises founded or co-founded by women.

Nick Moraitis 
Executive Director, Australian Progress

Nick is the founding director of Australian Progress. He brings 15 years’ experience driving social change in New York, Toronto, London and Sydney. Previously Nick co-founded one of the world’s first social networks,, played a leading role in the growth of Australia’s foremost campaigning organisation GetUp, worked in global strategy at Amnesty’s International Secretariat and managed public engagement for Greenpeace.

As founder of Sydney-based consultancy Make Believe, Nick developed winning campaigns and internal innovation projects for more than seventy non-profits. He has served on numerous boards including the Australian Youth Climate Coalition and the Centre for Policy Development.

Grahame Morris 
Chairman and Federal Director, Barton Deakin

Grahame Morris is one of Australia's most respected political commentators and government relations professionals and is chairman of Barton Deakin Government Relations based in Canberra.

He’s had a 40-years association with the Coalition Parties around the country and served as Deputy Federal Director of the Liberal Party and State Director of the SA Liberal Party. He also had a distinguished career at Parliament House serving as parliamentary adviser to Liberal Leaders Andrew Peacock and Alexander Downer and as Chief of Staff to former Prime Minister, John Howard. He has worked with the Coalition on 26 state and federal campaigns around the country.

He’s been involved in many of the prominent public policy issues in recent years including health, infrastructure, defence, foreign investment, tax reform and tertiary education.

Along with an encyclopedic knowledge of politics and government, Grahame has more than a decade of experience in the corporate world having been Chairman of PricewaterhouseCoopers' Office of Federal Government Services, CEO of a leading issues management firm and a director at News Limited.

Susan Pascoe AM 
Inaugural ACNC Commissioner 

Susan Pascoe AM is Adjunct Professor at the University of Western Australia.  She chairs the Australian Council for International Development, and the Community Director’s Council.  She is a trustee of St John of God Health and a board member Mercy Health.  Ms Pascoe is Principal of Kadisha Enterprises and of BaxterLawley, which provide consultancy services in governance, review, strategic planning, and leadership. 

Ms Pascoe was the inaugural Commissioner for the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission from 2012 – 17.  Her earlier career was in education where she served as President of the Australian College of Educators, CEO of the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority and of the Catholic Education Commission of Victoria. Ms Pascoe chaired the Australian National Commission for UNESCO from 2006-08.

Ms Pascoe is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, the Institute of Public Administration of Australia and the College of Educators.  In 2016 she was awarded the Leadership in Government Award for her outstanding contribution to public administration in Australia. 

Krystian Seibert 
Industry Fellow Swinburne University Centre for Social Impact, Policy Adviser Philanthropy Australia 

Krystian Seibert is a researcher, educator and advocate focused on public policy, philanthropy and the not-for-profit sector.

His part-time role with Philanthropy Australia supports our advocacy and thought leadership work and follows more than four years working as our full-time Advocacy and Insight Manager.

Krystian is an Industry Fellow at the Centre for Social Impact at Swinburne University of Technology, which is a multi-disciplinary research centre focused on promoting positive social change through improving the systemic and organisational conditions that shape communities. His areas of interest are the regulation of philanthropy and the not-for-profit sector and the role of not-for profit sector advocacy as a driver of social innovation.

Joe Skrzynski AO 
Board member and Chair of the Policy and Research Committee, Philanthropy Australia

Joe Skrzynski, AO, is Co-Chairman of CHAMP Private Equity which he co-founded with Mr Bill Ferris, AC in 1987. He has served on the Boards of numerous portfolio companies both in Australia and overseas. 
His not-for-profit activities have included several public sector appointments including Chairmanships of The Australian Film, Television and Radio School, The Sydney Opera House Trust, and SBS Radio and Television. He has also served as the CEO of the Australian Film Commission, a federal statutory authority.

He is currently a member of the Australian Committee for Human Rights Watch, a director of The Observership Program, The Conversation Media Group global board, and the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney. Past positions have included the membership of the boards of The Sydney Dance Company, Aboriginal Arts and Crafts Pty Limited and the major organisations board of The Australia Council.

He is Chairman of the Skrzynski family foundation, the Sky Foundation with programs relating to women’s rights, indigenous advancement, overseas aid, medical research and education.

Stacey Thomas
CEO of the Fay Fuller Foundation, Philanthropy Australia Board member 

Stacey is the CEO of the Fay Fuller Foundation, a grant making foundation seeking to improve health outcomes through long-term, systemic investment in South Australian community organisations and businesses. She has previously held roles with the Myer Family Company, Telstra Foundation and The Trust Company.

Stacey holds a Master of Business majoring in Philanthropy and Social Investment and is an accredited Mental Health First Aider. A passionate volunteer, Stacey remains involved with Impact100 SA after being on the management committee for its first five years of operation as well as serving on a number of other boards and advisory committees.

Michael Traill AM 
Chair, Federal Government Social Impact Investing Expert Panel

Michael was founding Chief Executive of Social Ventures Australia from 2002 - 14, after 15 years as a co-founder and Executive Director of Macquarie Group’s private equity arm, Macquarie Direct Investment.

He currently has a range of primarily social purpose Chair and board roles including Chair of Goodstart Early Learning; Executive Director of For Purpose Investments, a Director of M H Carnegie & Co, Sunsuper (where he is Investment Committee Chair), Hearts & Minds Investments, Australian Philanthropic Services and Adjunct Professor at the Centre for Social Impact at UNSW. 

He is Chair of the Federal Government’s Social Impact Investing Task Force and the author of ‘Jumping Ship – From the world of corporate Australia to the heart of social investment’ which won the prestigious Ashurst Business Literature Prize.  The book reflects on his personal and professional journey and has been a widely acclaimed manifesto for change and action in the social purpose sector. He holds a BA (Hons) from the University of Melbourne and an MBA from Harvard University.

Sarah Wickham 
Policy and Research Manager, Philanthropy Australia

Sarah has more than 10 years’ experience in philanthropy, public policy development and fundraising. As Policy and Research Manager, Sarah is responsible for policy development, advocacy activities, government relations and thought leadership for the Australian philanthropy sector.

Previously Sarah has worked as a Philanthropy Manager at Equity Trustees, where she was responsible for advising philanthropy and non-profit clients on making meaningful, effective and long-lasting impact. Sarah has also served as a policy advisor to several federal members of parliament and a Victorian state government department. Her policy experience spans foreign affairs, higher education, industrial relations, women’s affairs and employment and workplace relations.

Other Speakers

Liz Chapman OAM 
Convenor, Tomorrow Today Foundation 

Natalie Elliott 
CEO, Mai Tri Foundation

Ben Gales 
Executive Director, Strategic Coordination, NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet

Dr Jane Gilmour 
Chair, The William Buckland Foundation

Michelle Guthrie 
Former Managing Director, ABC

Patricia Hepworth
Director of Police and Research, FARE

Mark Kenny 
Senior Fellow, ANU Australian Studies Institute

Hon Dr Andrew Leigh MP 
Shadow Assistant Minister for Treasury and Charities

Lisa McKenzie 
CEO, Greater Shepparton Lighthouse Project 

Steve Michelson 
Founder and Director, Michelson Alexander 

Karen Middleton 
Chief Political Correspondent, The Saturday Paper

Dr Daniel Mulino MP
Member for Fraser VIC

Professor Kristy Muir 

Clare O’Neill MP
Shadow Minister for Innovation, Technology and the Future of Work

Seri Renkin 
Managing Director, ten20 foundation

Carol Schwartz AO
Chair, The Trawalla Foundation

Senator Amanda Stoker
Chair of Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee

Tom Switzer 
Executive Director, Centre for Independent Studies  

Jo Taylor 
General Manager, Paul Ramsay Foundation

Danielle Wood 
Program Director, The Grattan Institute 

In recognition

Darvell M. Hutchinson AM, retired Chairman of the Helen Macpherson Smith Trust, appointed a Philanthropy Australia Life Member.

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