If something is worth doing, it's worth evaluating. To make good decisions you have to have a plan, you have to gather the data, make sense of it, and impose value on it. What are you doing right? Where could you do it better? Of the things you could do better, which is more important? A program that is properly evaluated gives twice: first, in the impact it has, and second, in making it possible for you - and others - to do better next time. Boards must lead the way.
Nicholas Gruen: Nicholas is a widely published policy economist, entrepreneur, and commentator on the economy, society and innovation. He was formerly Chairman of the Australian Centre for Social Innovation, the Australian Government's Innovation Australia and founding chairman of Kaggle. Former MP Lindsay Tanner has described him as "Australia's foremost public intellectual".
Robyn Mildon: Robyn is the Executive Director of the Centre for Evidence and Implementation, an initiative of Save the Children Australia, and holds an Honorary Associate Professor position with the University of Melbourne. Robyn has a longstanding career focused on the implementation, mainstreaming and scaling-up of evidence to achieve social impact for children, families and communities in a range of health and human service areas. She has led a number of national, multi-year initiatives aimed at improving the selection and use of evidence in real-world service and policy settings.
Laura Black ( International guest ) : Laura is the Director of Methodist Mission Southern based in Dunedin, New Zealand. She has overseen the transformation of the Mission into an achievement-oriented innovation hub. Laura was a member of the NZ Treasury's Social Investment Panel, is the Chair of Science into Action, a Trustee of the Otago Museum, and is a member of the University of Otago's Legal Issues Centre Advisory Board.
Sonja Hood: Sonja is the CEO of Community Hubs Australia, where she leads a national partnership with schools, government, corporates and philanthropy to engage culturally isolated women and pre-school children through place-based hubs in primary schools across Australia. Sonja has more than 20 years of social policy and program experience in the US, UK and Australia, across the government, health and not-for-profit sectors.
Andrew Means ( International guest ) : Based in Chicago, USA, Andrew has dedicated his career to creating a more effective and efficient social sector by developing data tools that help organisations improve their impact. He is the founder of Big Elephant Studios, a technology and data consulting firm for not-for-profits and philanthropy, and the co-founder of BrightHive, a start-up focused on data sharing technology and infrastructure for the social sector. Additionally, Andrew started Data Analysts for Social Good, a professional organisation for individuals interested in how data, technology, and analytics are changing the social sector.
Jen Riley: As a Principal Consultant at Clear Horizon, Jen has highly developed program design, monitoring and evaluation skills, including qualitative and quantitative research methods, and is experienced in developing data management systems and data dashboard solutions for social change. Jen is experienced in co-design, delivery and evaluation of collaborations working with complex and wicked social problems including poverty, homelessness, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and development, school to work transitions and school readiness in vulnerable communities. Jen has over 20 years' experience in the social sector, and has worked for Oxfam, Plan International, United Way and the Murdoch Children's Research Institute.
Annual conferences as demanding as the Community Directors Conference require the support of dedicated, community-minded organisations. We thank our Alliance Partners for their ongoing commitment to connecting Australia's community sector.
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