A group of creative and reflective people will present the one-day program. These people are known for their contributions to business, philanthropy, public health, human rights, philosophy, communications, the media and the environment.
Lama Choedak Rinpoche
Lama Choedak Rinpoche is the founder and director of over a dozen Buddhist centres in Australia and New Zealand. He was born in Tibet, and at the age of four, escaped with his family to Nepal during the Chinese invasion of 1959. After completing a rigorous12 year monastic training in the Sakya order of Tibetan Buddhism, he completed a three and a half year solitary meditation retreat sponsored by His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama. Rinpoche has lived in Australia for 20 years.
Lama Choedak Rinpoche is an accomplished and inspiring teacher and has a special interest in making traditional Buddhist teachings accessible to people in the West. His teachings are lucid, practical, enjoyable and immediately appropriate for modern life. He is a highly acclaimed author, interpreter and translator of ancient texts. Lama Choedak Rinpoche is married and the father of three children.
Mary is the Executive Director of the Victorian Women's Trust, and has a varied background in public policy, social research and media commentary. Mary has written prolifically on social policy issues, and recently released the Watermark Report following six years of tireless research and community advocacy around the issue of water management in Australia.
Mary has a strong profile as a community activist. For example, in 1998 she led a ground-breaking community activity, the Purple Sage project, that allowed people throughout Victoria to voice their concerns, aspirations and visions for their State and its future.
She is currently Chair of Changemakers, a consortium of grant makers committed to community philanthropy. Mary has appeared regularly in the media and public speaking events, and has a passionate involvement and interest in education, social justice and the environment.
Christine Edwards is the Chief Executive Officer of The Myer Foundation, and the Sidney Myer Fund. Both the Foundation and the Fund continue the philanthropic legacy of Sidney Myer and the succeeding generations of the Myer family.
Christine's career has spanned health, community services, and the philanthropic sectors. In Victoria, she has been the Chief Executive Officer of St George's Hospital, and Bethlehem Hospital, responsible for delivering in-patient and community services for the aged, chronically ill, and people who are dying. Prior to settling in Victoria, Christine held senior positions in Western Australia and Tasmania in portfolios of mental health, aged care, dental, alcohol and drug services, women's health, child protection and youth justice.
Christine is an Associate Fellow of the Australian College of Health Service Executives, and a member of the Institute of Public Administration Australia. She is a member of the Governing Council of the Asia-Pacific Philanthropy Consortium, and a Council member of a secondary education college in Victoria.
Carrillo Gantner AO
Carrillo has had a distinguished career as an actor, and held positions with many arts organizations. He founded the Playbox Theatre, and led the development of the CUB Malthouse Theatre.
In the mid 80s he was Cultural Counsellor at the Australian Embassy in Beijing and is widely known for his passionate commitment to promotion of Australia's links with Asia, his independent thinking, and the lively expression of his views. Carrillo is known for his role as an innovative and entrepreneurial leader of teams, and "making the improbable inevitable".
Carrillo Gantner is actively involved in both the business interests and the remarkable philanthropy of the Myer family. He is President of the Myer Foundation, Chairman of the Sidney Myer Fund, and has been awarded an Officer of the Order of Australia for his services to the performing arts, arts administration and cultural exchanges between Australia and Asia.
Gabriel Gaté is a chef, author and television presenter who trained in several of France's finest restaurants. He is the author of nineteen cookbooks, his most significant titles including "Good Food Fast", "Good Food for Men", "How to Teach Kids to Cook" and "A Guide to Everyday Cooking".
His latest book project, co-authored with Prof. Rob Moodie and entitled "Recipes for a Great Life", will be published early in 2008.
Gabriel is well-known in Australia for presenting cooking shows on television over the last 25 years. He currently appears each year on SBS Television in "Taste Le Tour with Gabriel Gaté" which airs during the Tour de France bicycle race.
Gabriel, who believes it's a great bonus in life if you can cook, spends much of his time helping people become happier cooks.
Lynne has had an outstanding and diverse media and radio career. From the Sydney Olympics to national talk-back radio, Triple J to Classic FM, Lynne knows how to get the most out of people and how to communicate to a target audience. She presented the highly successful Breakfast program for four years on 774 ABC Melbourne, the Afternoon Show, the Law Report and Countrywide on Radio National.
Since joining CPR Communications, Lynne has provided strategic counsel and acted as a public moderator for numerous government and corporate bodies. Her wide experience, knowledge base and intellectual rigour equip her to offer concise and effective communications advice and facilitation skills.
She has a long record of community involvement as Chair of the Victorian Foundation for Survivors of Torture, and recently completed her term as Chair of the Premier's Children's Advisory Committee in Victoria.
Recently Lynne led the team responsible for the media and government relations for the tour by His Holiness the Dalai Lama in June 2007.
Karen Mahlab is founder of Pro Bono Australia and Managing Director of the Mahlab Group. She has been in business for many years developing different business and social purpose enterprises. Pro Bono Australia publishes Australia's most widely read newsletter for Not for Profit Organisations and another on Corporate Social responsibility issues. She also started VolunteerMatch Australia which feeds volunteered professional skills into Not for Profit organisations across Australia.
Karen has a strong interest in how communications technology can be a resource for the Not for Profit sector and those they serve. She has a commitment to counteracting social and economic disadvantage, wherever it occurs, by promoting the use of information and communications technology. She is a trustee with the Melbourne Community Foundation and chairs their MacroMelbourne Initiative. This year she is the Patron for celebrations for the 80th birthday of the National Council of Jewish Women, and also sits on their Foundation. Karen also has a strong interest in mind body connections and has studied psychotherapy at the Kairos Centre in Melbourne.
Professor Rob Moodie
Rob is Professor of Global Health at the Nossal Institute for Global Health at the University of Melbourne. Between 1998 and 2007 he was the CEO of Vic Health, the Victorian Health Promotion Foundation. Since 1979, he has worked for Save the Children Fund, Medecins Sans Frontieres, the Aboriginal Health Service in Alice Springs, the Burnet Institute, the World Health Organisation and UNAIDS.
Rob chairs the Technical Panel to the Gates Foundation's HIV Prevention Program in India, and also chairs the Melbourne Storm Rugby League Club. He plays (a very slow form of) touch rugby on Sunday mornings. He first started practising Vipassana ('Insight') meditation in 1976, and it only took him 20 years to finally realize that you have to meditate every day for it to have its proper effect!
He writes a regular column about unusual medical conditions in the science magazine Cosmos, and is co-editor of three books, including 'Hands on Health Promotion'. He was named 2005 Victorian Father of the Year.
Gabriel and Rob are currently writing a book called 'Recipes for a Great Life', which presents food recipes as well as 'recipes' for our spiritual, physical and ultural lives, our relationships, and our work and intellectual lives.
Joy Murphy AO
Joy Murphy Wandin is an Aboriginal Elder of the Wurundjeri people. Joy has been involved with Aboriginal issues for 30 years and is Chairperson of the
Australian Indigenous Consultative Assembly. She has held various executive positions with government.
Joy is an honorary Professor of Swinburne University, a Trustee of the
National Gallery of Victoria, a member of the Victoria Police Ethical Standards Consultative Committee and the Equal Opportunity Commission. She also operates her own business, Jarlo Visions.
Joy is an Australia Day ambassador. She accepted the role because she believes she has to take every opportunity that comes her way to tell non-indigenous Australians, and even some who identify as Aboriginal, that they're standing on Wurundjeri land. She then welcomes them, using as her symbol of goodwill a small branch of the wurun. The wurun she has in the front yard of her home in Healesville is shedding bark, great pink strips of it maybe 10 metres long that trail in the wind. She was born in Healesville, a place of tall trees and magnificent birdsong - bellbirds, mostly, but also magpies, kookaburras and the mimic call of the lyrebird. Occasionally, she sees an eagle overhead.
Brian Walters SC
Brian is a prominent Melbourne senior counsel. Through court work, writing and public speaking, he is active in promoting human rights and environmental causes in Australia.
He is an executive member and the immediate past president of Liberty Victoria (the Victorian Council of Civil Liberties). He is also spokesperson for Free Speech Victoria.
A keen bushwalker, he has a passion for the environment and has appeared in many environmental causes. He co-founded and writes for "Wild" - Australia's wilderness adventure magazine.
His book, "Slapping on the Writs", explores the use of lawsuits to silence public debate in Australia.
Fascinated with our legacy of story and history, Brian has recently been involved in writing drama, particularly for the screen.