Our Thought Leaders
Jane has over 20 years experience in managing projects and leading teams in community development initiatives. Jane loves supporting managers and teams to lead and deliver in challenging environments. She has worked for over nine years with World Vision Australia’s community development program, a program which includes a number of community-led early childhood care and development projects with remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. Jane held a number of roles with World Vision, both field facing operations management and in communications, advocacy and supporter engagement. Jane was also the national Convenor of the Australian Council for International Development’s Community of Practice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander programming.
Prior to working with World Vision, Jane worked in Victoria facilitating engagement on the State-wide native title policy reform agenda, she spent four years with Cape York Land Council and nearly seven years with the National Native Title Tribunal in roles facilitating agreement making and policy reform on complex native title and social justice matters.
Jane lives in West End, Brisbane and is active in her own community where she volunteers with Community Plus Queensland, an organisation that creates welcoming and active community spaces in Annerley, Yeronga and West End. She has a passion for yoga and the great outdoors, and has just returned from a career break spent camping her way across Australia.
Geraldine Harris, ARACY QLD
Geraldine has 20 years’ experience in place-based leadership of collective action and management of integrated children’s services both in Australia and the UK. She is a champion of children’s rights and has a sub-speciality of embedding children’s voice through child friendly communities, the model of which has been presented both in Australia and Internationally. She has worked in government, non-government and the private sector.
Geraldine has a background in health (nursing and population health), education (early childhood) and family support and is about to complete her PhD in Place-based Leadership and Social Innovation (Early Childhood). Geraldine has designed cross sectoral and whole of community approaches purposed at co-creating more equitable childhoods, developed integrated hubs, authored texts and developed a range of transdisciplinary training and resources.
Geraldine is currently a consultant and holds the shared role of Queensland Coordinator for the Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth (ARACY).
Penny Dakin, ARACY
Appointed as Acting CEO in June 2018, Penny has previously worked as General Manager for Policy and Strategic Engagement with ARACY. She has also worked in a number of senior capacities and with organisations including Insight Consulting, the Australian Government Department of Health, and A Village for Every Child. Penny also sits on a number of boards including that of the Belconnen Community Service.
Penny is passionate about ensuring young Australians, regardless of their background or circumstances, receive every opportunity to reach their potential and is a firm believer in ARACY’s unique role as a driver of collaboration and a leader of alliances to help achieve this.
Seri Renkin, ten20 Foundation
Seri Renkin is the Managing Director of the ten20 Foundation. She joined ten20 as founding CEO in 2012, bringing over twenty-five years’ experience in senior executive and advisory roles to her leadership of the ten20 Foundation.
Having worked across the corporate, non-profit, philanthropic and government sectors she has a unique perspective of how diverse sectors operate and utilises her strategic, innovative and entrepreneurial skills to build cross sector collaborations to ensure Australian communities are resourced to respond and work differently, so all children learn and thrive.
Convinced that positive outcomes for children depend on the day-to-day actions of individuals and organizations supporting families and other neighborhood residents within their specific geographic context, the Foundation has focused on undergirding a larger movement towards community-led, initiatives. Ten20 Foundation is backing place-based early childhood initiatives as the most promising and effective investment to address the complex issues that lead to intergenerational disadvantage.
Dr. Michael McAfee, PolicyLink
Michael is President and CEO of PolicyLink, a national research and action organization dedicated to advancing racial and economic equity by Lifting Up What Works®.
He has spent more than 20 years serving as a results-driven leader in the government, philanthropic, and human-service sectors. He has partnered with community leaders to build 3,000 units of affordable housing, create 5,000 jobs, and provide hundreds of thousands of children and their families with the educational and community supports they need to thrive.
Most recently, he was one of the catalysts for ground-breaking research highlighting the corporate advantage of racial equity in America. The research showed that opportunities to create shared value by promoting racial equity occur at every point along a company’s value chain—from hiring, training, and advancing employees, to procurement, product design, and marketing, even including the company’s ownership and governance structure and its lobbying and philanthropy.
Additionally, he’s played a leadership role in investing $1 billion dollars in neighbourhoods across America in order to transform them into communities of opportunity for children and their families. This ground-breaking work resulted in the Promise Neighborhoods program becoming a permanent federal program through the 2015 authorization of the Every Student Succeeds Act.
Michael is on a journey to build a legacy grounded in equity – just and fair inclusion into a society in which all are fully participating, prospering and reaching their full potential.