CIC 2019

Our conference is here to shake things up

Imagine this. One thousand delegates fired up by campaigners, mavericks, advocates, radicals, intellectuals and artists two days after Australians go to the polls.

An explosive mix? You bet.

For more than a decade, the Communities in Control conference has done much more than inform and educate community groups about the state of the sector.

The reason it's been the must-attend event of the community calendar is the lasting buzz that delegates get from learning what's possible by meeting those who've overcome the most wicked of obstacles with passion, creativity and pure guts.

Tens of thousands of people have taken away fresh ideas for campaigns and community efforts.

This year, the event will be held on Monday and Tuesday 20-21 May. That's hot on the heels of the federal election.

Expect fireworks. Here are some highlights:

The apology: To the refugees, we say sorry

Refugee Legal executive director David Manne will deliver an apology for the way we've treated asylum seekers in this country. He'll be joined by former PM Malcolm Fraser's daughter Phoebe Wynn-Pope, a powerful advocate for refugees.

The #MeToo Movement: What's next?

Household name, journalist and provocateur Tracey Spicer took on the old boys with her 2017 campaign against sexual assault and harassment in our workplaces. She reveals how she channeled her rage for good.

Trailblazing: Navigating without a map

Cult figure Lee Lin Chin has been a news presenter, journalist, fashionista and social media sensation - often at the same time. She explains how and why she's broken the rules.

The Joan Kirner Social Justice Oration

Professor Helen Milroy, a commissioner for the royal commission into child sexual abuse, will deliver the first-ever oration held in memory of the late and pioneering Victorian premier by an Indigenous person. We don't expect her to hold back in her assessment of some of the biggest taboos and toughest challenges of our time.

All Justice is social

Anglican priest Rod Bower is an unabashed social justice warrior, known for provocative billboards outside his Gosford church, campaigning over climate change, racism, refugees, violence against women and any kind of intolerance you can think of. Did you know he's running for the Senate? That's why he's speaking.

Of course, that's just a taste.

Other speakers include positive psychologist Professor Lea Waters, one of Australia's most influential women futurists; Angus Hervey and Tane Hunter; media guru Brett de Hoedt leading a cast of community champions in the "innovations showcase"; leadership thinker and best-selling author aka "wizard rogue" Jason Fox, and diversity advocate Mariam Veiszadeh, who blows privilege apart.

And we'll spice things up with a musical opening by Indigenous musician Emily Wurramara, and an inspiring performance by slam poet Josh Brnjac, who turned despair into destiny.

Our Community managing director Denis Moriarty has taken great care to curate a talent list that fizzes with possibilities.

So what's the common thread running through an event with the theme "Get Angry. Then Get Organised"?

"It's simple really," he said. "Every one of these people is an outsider, or at least perceived as an outsider, and they're all trying to change the status quo.

"Father Rod Bower? He's broken the mold. Le Lin Chin? She's truly a trailblazer. David Manne? He's thinking ahead to 2030. Lea Waters? She switched track from a purely academic path and now she's the go-to person for educators.

"As with all of these events, I want people to be provoked, even angered, by what they hear. But most of all, I want people to walk out with renewed purpose, whatever their path.

"This is why I'm in this game, and that is why Communities in Control is my favourite event on the calendar. Who knows how things will play out with the election so close?"


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