doing it tough

When: 28-30 May 2024 | Where: Armidale Bowling Club

Understanding the complex and interlocking issues of homelessness, violence against children and young people, cultural safety and trauma informed mental health supports.

Email: conference@wsa.ngo.org.au | Phone: 02 6772 5911

Key Speakers

Gill Calvert

Gill was the inaugural NSW Children’s Commissioner from 1999-2009. She was also responsible for coordinating government action for children and importantly refocusing government attention on the importance of the early years. She started her career as a family therapist with children and their families and the importance of listening to children and families experience has underpinned her lifelong commitment to children and their wellbeing.

Trish Connelly

CEO YFoundations, Trish has an extensive background in homelessness and domestic abuse policy, research service design, and service system reform in both the Australian and UK contexts. She has worked across a broad range of sectors, including the NSW State Government, UK Government, peak bodies, non-government/frontline service providers and charities.

Jasmina Bajraktarevic-Hayward

Jasmina is a Social Worker who came to Australia in 1993 as a refugee from Bosnia-Herzegovina. She manages STARTTS’ Community Services Program. Jasmina is currently the President of the Refugee Council of Australia and a member of the NSW Refugee Communities Advocacy Network as well as a member of the World Pride Sydney Advisory Committee.

Andrew Johnson

Andrew brings 30 years experience at senior level at the national and international level. He was the UN Representative for Save the Children, and led Save the Children’s global strategic plan on violence against children and young people. He held the position of CEO in the Australian Republican Movement, Australia Council of Social Service, as well as the inaugural NSW Advocate for Children and Young People. He was adjunct Professor at New York University developing and teaching courses on child rights and Human Rights

Penny Lamaro

Penny has over 20 years’ experience across government and community sector dealing with women, children and young people doing it tough. She is currently the CEO for the Women’s Shelter Armidale Inc. Prior to this role, Penny worked in youth homelessness for nearly 10 years, during which time she managed the Youth Refuge, and founded ‘WAGS The Dog Program’ a highly successful dog therapy business. Penny is currently the Chair of Youth Action, the NSW peak body for young people and youth services.

Catherine Lourey

Catherine was appointed NSW Mental Health Commissioner in 2017-2024 and has more than 30 years’ experience in mental health at local, state and Commonwealth government levels. She is deeply committed to improving the lives of people living with mental health issues and strengthening the communities that support them: she values engaging with the diversity of communities and bringing expertise and evidence to guide reform.

Andrew McCallum

Andrew is an experienced Chief Executive Officer with a demonstrated history of working in the non-profit organization management industry. Skilled in Nonprofit Organizations, Social Enterprise, Corporate Social Responsibility, Youth Development, and Government. Strong business development professional graduated from Cambridge Institute of Education UK. Andrew led St Luke’s service provider, CEO of ACWA and President of ACOSS.

Sarah Stevenson

Sarah was the Head of Child Safeguarding and Protection at the Centre for Sport and Human Rights, UN representative for ChildFund Alliance, senior advisor for Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children and global advisor for child protection in development for Plan International. Sarah has provided her expertise to FIFA, Safe Sport International, ChildFund Alliance and Plan International to develop a toolkit, policies, positions and establishing processes for keeping young people safe.

Dave Widders

Dave Widders is a very proud Anaiwan man from Armidale NSW. David has worked over the last 20 years in Federal, State, local Government and community organizations. He is driven by a passion to make a difference for Aboriginal people and make a push towards a positive reconciliation across the wider community. This can only happen with a two way education process.


**Early Bird Discount**

Register by 21/4/2024 and get 15% off
Conference, workshops & Reception Dinner!

$220.00 Per Person

Option One: Conference & Workshops:

$200.00 Per Person

Option Two: Conference, Workshops & Dinner

$260.00 Per Person

For more information please contact conference@wsa.ngo.org.au