Some of the most impactful community organisers are lining up to speak at PowerUp. These Australian and international change-makers will bring you exclusive insights into the state of the nation and the world, and share their strategies for building the people-power to win.
Check out the first release of speakers below, and stay tuned for more announcements.
Annie Kia is the community engagement coordinator for Lock The Gate Alliance, a national coalition resisting invasive gasfields and coal. A great believer in collective intelligence, Annie applies network theory to movement-building. She co-developed the Gasfield Free Community process that helped achieve mass-movement dynamics in the Northern Rivers campaign.
Becky Bond is the co-author of “Rules for Revolutionaries: How Big Organizing Can Change Everything.” She served as a senior adviser on the Bernie Sanders 2016 presidential campaign, and was an architect of the campaign’s national, volunteer-driven grassroots campaign. After the 2016 presidential cycle, Becky founded the Big Organizing Project and is a pioneer in the use of distributed organising to win advocacy and electoral campaigns.
Sally McManus was appointed Secretary in March 2017. She was previously the Vice President directing the ACTU's campaigns. Prior to joining the ACTU, Sally was the Branch Secretary and an Organiser with the ASU in NSW and the ACT for 22 years. During Sally's time as ASU Secretary their membership grew from 9,500 to 12,000 members. She has led many successful campaigns in the private, public and community sectors including a campaign preventing water privatisation and the Equal Pay campaign for community and disability workers that delivered between 18-40% pay increases.
Ellen Roberts is the Queensland Lead Organiser for GetUp!, handling campaign and other activities for GetUp in Brisbane. She joined GetUp in November 2015 after three years with the Mackay Conservation Group campaigning on coal mining and Reef protection. She was very involved with the Lady Cilento vigil for GetUp in February 2016, drawing on over a decade of experience working with refugees and asylum seekers in detention.
Luke Hilakari is the Secretary of Victorian Trades Hall Council. Under Luke’s leadership, Victorian workers are taking grassroots action in unprecedented numbers to improve our working lives. Luke’s experience organising some of Victoria’s lowest paid workers drives him to fight for wage justice in Victoria. Under the banner of We Are Union, Victorian workers are leading the fight for progressive social change.
Ursula Alquier has been a climate activist for the last 10 years. She has spent the last 5 years as the Lock the Gate Victorian Coordinator employed by Friends of the Earth and played a key role in the successful gasfield free campaign which lead to a permanent ban on all unconventional gas mining and fracking in Victoria.
Shen Narayanasamy is the Human Rights Campaign Director at GetUp! She leads the No Business in Abuse campaign which targets corporate involvement in mandatory detention of asylum seekers, and #LetThemStay which aims to prevent the deportation of hundreds of asylum seekers to Nauru. Shen's background is as human rights lawyer and advocate working in Australia and across the Asia-Pacific on issues of economic justice and land rights.
Natalie O'Brien is the Economic Fairness Campaigns Director at GetUp! She graduated with first-class honours in political science from the University of New South Wales. After a stint at the NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet, Nat earned her campaigning stripes over in the USA before joining the GetUp! team in 2013. Nowadays she spends her time cyberbullying the federal treasurer and begging people on Facebook to care about tax reform. Follow her on Twitter: @nataliejobrien
Miriam Lyons is an Australian policy analyst, writer and commentator, and currently Environmental Justice Campaigns Director at GetUp! She is a co-author of Governomics, published by Melbourne University Press. Miriam is also a Fellow of the Centre for Policy Development, a public-interest think tank which she co-founded. She has been a regular guest on the ABC shows Q&A and The Drum, has contributed to several media outlets and co-edited the books Pushing Our Luck and More Than Luck.
Paul Oosting is the National Director of GetUp, a one million strong member-driven organisation that has campaigned for progressive policy in Australia for a decade. Before joining GetUp, Paul led the successful campaign to stop Gunns' proposed pulp mill in Tasmania. The campaign resulted in the protection of over 160,000 hectares of Tasmania's ancient forests.
Liuanga joined the Pacific Climate movement in Sydney in the lead up to the People’s climate march in 2015, when she helped organise a contingent of over 1000 people from the Pacific diaspora. Since then she has been working closely with religious, environmental and community leaders in Sydney around a new grass-roots initiative called the ‘Talanoa4Climate”; which aims to help our Pacific diaspora communities across Australia Talanoa or be in dialogue about Climate Change.
Julian Morrow has made a career of public nuisance in various forms, co-founding satirical media empire The Chaser and joke company Giant Dwarf, as well as making TV shows including The Election Chaser, CNNNN, The Chaser's War on Everything, The Hamster Wheel, and The Checkout. His work has been nominated, unsuccessfully, for many awards, and prosecuted successfully in many courts. Giant Dwarf's latest venture, a live comedy venue at 199 Cleveland Street, has been described as "absolutely hilarious" by his accountant.
Ben Jenkins is a writer, comedian, podcaster and television presenter. He is a writer/presenter on The Checkout (ABC1) & a writer/panellist on The Chaser’s Media Circus (ABC1). He is host and co-creator of the comedy nights turned podcasts Story Club and Dragon Friends. He is also co-host of the hit podcast Free to a Good Home. He co-wrote the radio play Space Wizard for ABC RN.
Charles Firth is a co-host of Radio Chaser on Triple M Sydney, and senior writer on the Podcast series Changemakers. He founded the satirical comedy team The Chaser. His work traverses all forms of dying media, from print to online to television and radio. He has won three Logies, an AFIs and been nominated for the prestigious Rose D’Or. On more serious topics, he is the author of American Hoax (Picador, 2006) and a regular writer for news.com.au. He was Executive Producer of The Roast (ABC2), and is managing editor of The Chaser Quarterly.
Cam Klose was the Communications Manager of Cathy McGowan’s successful 2013 election campaign. He worked again on her 2016 campaign and has also been a Senior Adviser for the Greens and worked on environmental justice campaigns with 350.org Australia. Cam has done work with local government running workshops on social media campaigning. Cam can be found on twitter @camklose