Dinner at Parliament House with Brisbane’s Young Change Makers!

Last Wednesday I had the very humbling honour to be invited by the Foundation for Young Australians to an intimate “Democracy Dinner” with the Speaker of QLD’s Parliament House, Fiona Simpson. It was an incredible opportunity to be in a room surrounded by young change-makers passionately discussing our system and how to further engage Australia’s youth in building the tomorrow that we want to live in.

Madam Speaker is passionate about leadership, young people and democracy and facilitated a really interesting discussion that prompted frank, honest and insightful engagement.

“No matter who they are, no matter where they are, young Australians are connected, confident and optimistic about the future, with a deep sense of purpose and belonging”. – Foundation for Young Australians

Below are the exceptional people I had the pleasure of meeting, please do google them and check out the great things they are doing, you won’t regret it!

Untitled 11Jan Owen, AM

CEO, The Foundation for Young Australians  – a national, non-profit organisation dedicated solely to young people. At FYA we are relentlessly optimistic about all young people and their ability to be enterprising. We believe that they have the courage, imagination and will to create the change they want to see for themselves and their world. We want to see generations of future focused learners, enterprising changemakers and confident global citizens.


Untitled 7Aidan Harrison, age 18

Founder of Swish Start, an initiative that uses basketball as a tool to raise young people’s awareness of mental health.

Untitled 4Ben Hamley, age 29

Ben Hamley is a non-executive director of the Brisbane Writers Festival and the Manager of Audience Research, Strategy & Advocacy for the Queensland Museum Network.

Untitled 10
Edda Hamar, age 24
Founder of Undress Brisbane, an annual vintage and sustainable fashion event that challenges the community to assess the sustainability of their wardrobe.

Untitled 9

Emmy-Lou Hamley, age 26
Clinical Nurse & Lead Nursing Educator (MSIT). Educating and Teaching in Mental Health, including assessing and facilitating in clinical environments. Project Managing the re-development of the Mental Health Nursing program for Metropolitan South Campuses.
Untitled 6Felicity Brodie, age 27

Founder of Power of Engineering, a non-profit organisation that empowers women and young people to change the world through a career in engineering.


Jack Stone, age 24

Founder / Director of Bee One Third – Neighbourhood Honey, an enviro. enterprise helping to pollinate urban landscapes and ecologies through partnering with businesses & companies to activate under utilised ‘grey-space’ throughout the city.

Untitled 3Kaylene Langford, age 24

Social Service Founder of Sense Youth Mentor Program that provides support and positive role models at at risk young people.

Untitled 8

Laura Stokes, age 26
Licensee of TEDxSouthBankWomen, a not-for-profit that connects women and men behind ideas that can change the world.

Untitled 5Lee Crockford, age 29

CEO of Spur Projects, a not-for-profit that exists to make it easier for young men to take positive action than to take their own lives. Democracy allows the freedom of opinion, yet must be underpinned by a value system of fairness, respect, empathy & equality deeper than popular opinion.

Untitled 13Lucille Danks, age 22

Director of Impact Youth Social Enterprise Conference, an initiative to introduce young business and social sector leaders to the innovations between charity and “business as usual”

Untitled 14Pip Russell, age 27

Founder of Jucied, a multi-faceted entertainment program that will offer unique environmental enrichment opportunities to the patients and families of the Royal Children’s Hospital Brisbane, and from November 2014 the new Queensland Children’s Hospital

Untitled 12Nicole Gibson, age 27

CEO of The Rogue & Rouge Foundation, a charitable organisation that helps young people through mental health challenges through financial assistance and education.

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