The Hon. Curtis Pitt was sworn in as Queensland’s Treasurer following the historic 2015 Queensland election. He is also Queensland’s Minister for Trade and Investment and has previously served as Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships, Minister for Sport, Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations, Minister for Disability Services and he was Queensland’s first standalone Minister for Mental Health. He was elected into the Queensland Parliament as the Member for Mulgrave in 2009 and continues to work tirelessly for people of Far North Queensland. In Opposition he was Labor’s spokesperson for Treasury, Trade, Energy, Water Supply, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships, Main Roads and Sport. Curtis and his wife Kerry live in his childhood town of Gordonvale. They are the proud parents of four children: Isabel (deceased), Tristan, Layla and Kobi. Curtis is a patron of Stillbirth and Neo-natal Death Support Queensland (SANDS), Edmonton Tennis Association, Innisfail Police Citizens Youth Club, Edmonton Storm Junior Rugby League Club, Vice-Patron of Surf Life Saving Queensland and a member of the Gordonvale RSL Citizens’ Auxiliary. His sporting interests include tennis, cycling, rugby league and judo.
Professor Lily Kong is Provost and Lee Kong Chian Chair Professor of Social Sciences at the Singapore Management University (SMU).
A graduate of the National University of Singapore (NUS) and University College London, Professor Kong was a faculty member in the NUS Department of Geography from 1991 to 2015. She took on numerous administrative positions from 1995, often concurrently, including Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (2000 – 2003); Dean of the University Scholars Programme (2002 – 2003); Vice Provost (Education) (2004 – 2007); Vice-President (University and Global Relations) (2007 – 2014); Acting Executive Vice President (Academic Affairs), Yale-NUS College (2011 – 2012); and Vice-Provost (Academic Personnel) (2012-2015). She was a key force in shaping and establishing Singapore’s first liberal arts college. She moved to SMU in late 2015.
Professor Kong is well-known for her research on religion, cultural policy and creative economy, urban heritage and conservation, and national identity. She remains actively engaged in research. Recent publications include “Religion and Space: Competition, Conflict and Violence in the Contemporary World” (2016), “Food, Foodways and Foodscapes: Culture, Community and Consumption in Post-Colonial Singapore” (2015) and “Arts, Culture and the Making of Global Cities: Creating New Urban Landscapes in Asia” (2015).
Dr Tim Soutphommasane has been Race Discrimination Commissioner since August 2013. Prior to joining the Australian Human Rights Commission, Tim was a political philosopher and held posts at The University of Sydney and Monash University. His thinking on multiculturalism, patriotism and national identity has been influential in shaping debates in Australia and Britain.
Tim is the author of four books: I’m Not Racist But … (2015), The Virtuous Citizen (2012), Don’t Go Back To Where You Came From (2012), and Reclaiming Patriotism (2009). He was co-editor (with Nick Dyrenfurth) of All That’s Left (2010). He has been an opinion columnist with The Age and The Weekend Australian newspapers, and presented the documentary series Mongrel Nation on ABC Radio National (2013). Tim is an adjunct professor at the School of Social Sciences and Psychology, Western Sydney University and chairs the Leadership Council on Cultural Diversity.
Born in France and raised in southwest Sydney, Tim holds a Doctor of Philosophy and Master of Philosophy (with Distinction) from the University of Oxford, and is a first-class honours graduate of The University of Sydney.
For those interested in the correct pronunciation of Tim’s surname, the phonetic spelling of it is Soot-pom-ma-sarn.
Dr Soutphommasane’s attendance is proudly sponsored by the University of Sydney.
Tony Dreise is a proud descendent of the Guumilroi and Euahlayi peoples of north-west New South Wales and south-west Queensland.
Tony is an independent consultant who undertakes research; policy analysis; curriculum and resource development; change management; and community planning for government, community, philanthropic and education bodies. He is also an Indigenous Scholar at the Australian National University, where he is finalising his PhD study into the role of Australian philanthropy in Indigenous education. He holds both a Bachelor of Teaching degree and a Masters of Public Administration.
Over the past twenty-five years, Tony has served in a number of professional capacities including as a senior executive in government, a regional director in Indigenous education, and a national executive in Indigenous adult education and youth training connected to the then Australian National Training Authority. In more recent years, he served as the former Hub Leader and Principal Research Fellow for Indigenous Education at the Australian Council for Educational Research.
Tony is a passionate advocate of both lifelong learning and regional development. At a national level, he is a former Board Member of Adult Learning Australia and a former Member of the National Vocational Training Equity Advisory Council. At a regional level, Tony has volunteered in a number of capacities including as both President of the Northern Rivers Social Development Council and Deputy Chair of the Northern Rivers Board of Regional Development Australia.
Tony’s work in Indigenous education has appeared in both Australian and international publications and conferences. His work at a national level has included analysis of how Indigenous children and young people are faring in Australian education. Tony is a firm believer that Indigenous education results will only improve through sustained and continuous improvement within education institutions and within the wider community environments in which children and young people live. As such, he has been keen to advance theories and programs in ‘whole child’ development, ‘place-based’ investment, and de-institutionalised equity.