In 2017 Ruby won the Green Innovators Award at the National Sustainable Living Festival for her plant-based compostable tableware innovation Moducware®; a product she researched and developed during her master’s. Moducware® is patent pending. Ruby continues to work on her innovation in hope of commercialising it in the near future.
Ruby has an inquisitive nature and is on the lookout for new opportunities to explore. She likes to keep her hands busy – cooking, collecting, gardening, and of course getting crafty and making things. Her mantra of “Valuing the undervalued” feeds a passion for upcycling. Ruby is consciously aware how objects of mass-production and the social trend of mass-consumption can affect the environment. Ruby believes in promoting environmentally conscious design for positive change.
Currently in the final stages of a PhD at the University of Melbourne, Claire has long been fascinated by the smaller living organisms on our planet; bacteria. These tiny microbes influence many aspects of our lives. They live in the environment around us, as well as on us and inside us. Some never cause health problems or disease, some always do, and some seem to switch between these two states. Some have even evolved to be resistant – untreatable – by all available antibiotics – “superbugs”. Claire’s current work focuses on tracking the transmission and evolution of certain antibiotic-resistant bacteria to better understand how they work and survive.
Professor Katrina McFerran is Head of Music Therapy at the University of Melbourne where she leads a team of researchers and teachers who investigate the ways that people use music to promote health and well-being. She is a world expert on music and adolescents, with a particular interest in preventing youth mental health problems through positive engagement with music.
She has published three books, including ‘Adolescents, Music and Music Therapy’, as well as creating a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) called ‘How Music Can Change Your Life’. She regularly writes and presents internationally on the relationship between music and well-being.
Before his roles in the AFL Matt worked as a commercial lawyer advising numerous sporting organisations, businesses, athletes and government. Matt also has extensive experience in supporting community causes and organisations having been chairman of Ladder – an AFL Players charitable initiative to tackle youth homelessness and a director of AFL SportsReady – the AFL industry’s group training company.
Matt was a director of Surﬁng Australia – the peak governing body for the sport of surﬁng between 2007 and 2016 and has been a director and company secretary of Surf Life Saving Victoria since 2002. Matt was also a founding director of HeartKids Australia, a charity supporting children born with congenital heart disease.
Matt has been a founding member of the Sport Male Champions of Change Group since 2015 working with inﬂuential leaders to redeﬁne men’s role in taking action on gender inequality.
With a particular interest in deliberative democracy, appreciative inquiry and collective impact, Max has developed innovative models for collaboration and community engagement. He has co-authored two books, presented papers at numerous international conferences, and is a regular guest lecturer at the University of Sydney, and University of Melbourne.
Naomi Kissiedu-Green is a first generation British-African, born to Ghanaian parents who immigrated to London in the 60’s. She first came to Australia as a stopping point on a round-the-world tour in 2006, falling in love with the country and its people.
A successful model, actor and childcare worker, Naomi is now focusing on motherhood. Married to an Australian Navy Officer, they have 3 beautiful children, Kobi, Ebony and Savanna.
Observations of her family’s interactions within communities led Naomi to write a series of Children’s books – The Colourful Life Series. Their success led to a number of focus pieces on SBS World News and Al Jazerra’s The Stream.
Naomi gives her time freely to present at schools and public events on the importance of teaching acceptance and diversity beyond racial and ethnic lines. As the owner/founder of Shea Purity Products, an all-natural line of body soaps, oils and butters, she is also a successful entrepreneur.
Sonya Stattmann has been a Success Strategist and advocate for women in business for more than 17 years. Her life’s work centres on helping every woman and girl achieve their greatness and she draws on her three daughters for constant inspiration.
She has had multiple businesses in the USA and Australia, including a female-centric branding agency, a work/life balance and wellness centre, and her long-time coaching business. She has studied, explored and educated others on the topics of women’s empowerment, gender equality in business and the best paths for women to reach their fullest potential.
She passionately produces a podcast called “The Liberation Lab” where she explores the complicated issues that women face in the business arena. She has had thousands of conversations with women around the globe about their challenges, their deepest desires and their definition of success and fulfilment.
Alice Glenn is a dancer, film maker, curator and entrepreneur. She is the President and Creative Director of the not for profit organisation Schoolhouse Studios supporting artists and creative business in Melbourne.
She is co-founder and Director of the dance community No Lights No Lycra that started in Melbourne in 2009 and has since spread to more than 75 countries around the world.
At the core of all initiatives Alice is passionately committed to the values of inclusivity and diversity. She is dedicated to using her creative and leadership strengths to foster community and build authentic connections between people.
Meena Shamaly is a composer, musician, multi-instrumentalist, producer, and poet. His favourite place on earth is sitting at a grand piano, improvising, and much of his music is in the cinematic realm
His music often intersects with the world of poetry, producing and performing music for other poets, aside from performing his own poetry. He is soon releasing a live album titled “Piano and the Poet”, featuring many of Melbourne’s best poets accompanied by himself on piano.
Meena is also one of the creative producers of Slamalamadingdong, one of Melbourne’s beloved poetry slams. He runs workshops in poetry and music, since he is as passionate about igniting and providing space for the creativity of others as he is about creating his own art.
Nicola Gidley and Prue Spencer are not your average teenage girls. Both have a strong passion for magic, and each has individually won the Australian Junior Championships of Close-Up and Stage Magic in 2016 and 2017 respectively.
They are both experienced performers who have performed at the annual Melbourne Magic Festival and participated in the Guinness world record for the longest magic show, which went for over 85 hours.
I’m not one for sitting on the couch watching Netflix. Nor am I interested in buying into mainstream thinking. And I guess that’s exactly why my ‘bio’ looks like it does…because I am always prepared to jump and figure out the landing on the way down. Whether it was playing AFL football transitioning my way to soccer or eventually racing a bobsled for Australia my sporting pursuits reflect the diversity of my life.
Beyond the sporting arena I’ve indulged my passion for performance from screen to stage having been a permanent fixture on Channel 9’s Footy Show to improv’ performances in my own show as part of the MICF. Currently I travel widely to facilitate workshops within schools & corporate Australia.
With a broad community connection stemming from my creation of NFP Whitelion to my background in education and support of students few people share such diverse touch points with a broad demographic.
Maintaining my mental fitness is also key thus I’m always developing new ideas and writing creatively as I look to add to my catalogue of published books.
And to top it all off I’m a father of three uniquely talented and inquisitive children who appropriately remind me each and every day that my most important focus is that of a father.