Anne's focus in life has been about determination above all else. Anne's four brothers died multimillionaires. All self-created. Each one left their mark in the world for others to enjoy. Anne set her own target to learn something new every day. And at 89 years old, she's still doing it. Never say ‘it cannot be done.’ After a life of pain and deprivation, and detecting as a hobby for about ten years, on Anne's 81st birthday in 2013, she found a gold nugget just outside Kalgoorlie worth over $35,000. And in 2023, Anne and husband Albert are returning to Kalgoorlie to look for more. "Finding gold" is about the deliberate, determined search for happiness and fulfillment, even when it always seems just out of your grasp.
Author, Lecturer, Folklorist
Dr David Waldron is a Senior Lecturer in History at Federation University Australia with a research focus on folklore and community heritage. A published author, Dr Waldron is regularly involved in public engagements, festivals, theatre, graphic novel writing and multi-media displays including Ballarat Heritage Festival. He is also the co-writer and researcher for the National Trust Australia People’s Choice award historical pod cast series “Tales from Rat City”.
Dr Kirby White
Dr Kirby White is a Specialist General Practitioner from Bendigo Victoria. Her medical career is dedicated to supporting patients with obesity. Dr White is an advocate for obesity to be recognised as a significant chronic disease and her work focuses on medical and surgical treatments for weight loss. Dr White was a Research Scientist at St Vincent’s Institute and has published her work in internationally recognised journals. Her contribution to the field of STEM was recognised by toy company Mattel honouring Dr White among 5 other women globally as carer role models. During the Covid-19 pandemic Dr White co-founded the project ‘Gowns For Doctors’ which produced over 7,000 reusable, sustainable medical gowns to protect doctors and nurses Australia wide. She was named Victoria’s Local Hero in the National Australia Day Awards and has used this platform to create awareness of sustainability of medical resources in rural and regional areas.
Dr Richard Mayes
Dr Mayes is a GP / Obstetrician in Castlemaine, Victoria, practicing across Goldfields Medical Group: Lyttleton Street Medical Clinic, Bendigo Health and Castlemaine / Dhelkaya Health. Richard is passionate about medical education and was awarded the RACGP Brian Williams Award in 2021 in recognition of services to rural and regional medical education as a GP Registrar Supervisor, and Clinical Hub Coordinator for Monash University Medical School for the Goldfields region. Richard is instructor for the Australian Maternity and Reproductive Education, Maternity Safety Education Program (Royal Women's Hospital) and PROMPT (practical obstetric) training programs. His own journey in reclaiming joy and wellbeing through dance led to his interest in, and commitment to social prescribing.
Author and Mental Health GP
Dr Susi Fox is a mental health GP, sex and relationship therapist and author based in the Macedon Ranges. She utilises the evidence-based modality of Internal Family Systems to assist her clients towards loving all parts of themselves, and endeavours to practice Self-leadership in her daily life.
Graham Pitts is a writer with five films and over thirty plays professionally produced in Australia and overseas. He is also a former bookseller and professional gambler.
Jen Willis is a 51 and a single mum to three awesome humans. In 2008, after the birth of her third child, she became quite unwell and was advised it was possible she may have multiple sclerosis. She made a vow at the time that if ever she was diagnosed she was going to follow a childhood dream to learn to mountaineer, and also fundraise for MS research, knowing what an important role this research would likely play in her own future health outcomes. Fast forward to 2018, to a diagnosis, and so began her journey to "climb for a cure" for MS.
Throughout a career spanning over 25 years working in Mental Health, IT, Training, Educational Leadership and Group Facilitation, there has been a common theme of guiding others to explore the shared experience of being human. With his finely honed skills of empathy and compassion, Joel is at his absolute best when he is holding space for others. He naturally adapts to the situation at hand and exercises deep listening and presence with a calm and considered energy. Joel has a strong belief that every person has unique gifts that should be celebrated. With integrity and authenticity, Joel encourages and empowers individuals to step towards the absolute best version of themselves. A natural storyteller with a calm, grounded presence, Joel is passionate about guiding groups on experiential journeys exploring humanity and creating meaningful connection.
Reformed Change Maker
Lucy is passionate about and committed to community, connection, joy, the arts and deep listening. She is a recovering ‘change agent’ and has worn many hats including as lawyer, social worker, leadership development practitioner, facilitator, mentor and coach. Her happiest ‘hat’ is as a mother. She works for the Hush Foundation leading their Gathering of Kindness projects and runs her own business consulting in human centred workplaces, engagement, partnerships, strategy, leadership and governance across healthcare, not for profits and government. Lucy is a Rotary Paul Harris Fellow for her service to youth leadership and was Victorian runner up in the Rural Women’s Award in 2008.
Writer, Journalist and Storyteller
Manue is a genderqueer writer, journalist and storyteller living on Dja Dja Wurrung Country. They completed their Bachelor of Journalism at RMIT and, during that time, presented and produced a current affairs show on JOY 94.9 and were a feature writer for Acclaim Magazine. They were completing a Master of International Relations at the University of Melbourne when the pandemic hit and, feeling the impact of lockdowns, relocated to the countryside. Since then, they have been working with regional young people impacted by the pandemic as Communication, Engagement and Project Support for Youth Take Over Loddon Campaspe. Manue has volunteered for local pride events like the Sunbury and Cobaw Community Health Pride Camp, Camp Different and Mount Alexander Shire’s Over the Rainbow Pride Formal. Manue believes in people power and telling your own story.
Director, Councillor, Consultant
Experienced Director, local government Councillor and mum Margaret O’Rourke will explore the benefits of our regional perspective and how our unique insight can enhance board and leadership composition. Margaret O’Rourke is a Company Director with close to 40 years of professional experience. She is currently Chair of Bendigo Kangan Institute of TAFE, a Director of Goulburn Murray Water and an Advisory Board Member of V/line. Margaret’s corporate experience in telecommunications and digital connectivity has focussed on ensuring regional people have equitable access to digital services. A current Local Government Councillor and former Mayor, Margaret has a passion for community combined with a strong emphasis on good governance. She shares with us her perspective on why living regionally should be an enabler - not a barrier - to representation in board rooms across Australia.
Writer, Consultant, Teacher
Meg Berryman is a neurodiverse, trauma-informed writer, consultant and somatics teacher seeding and teaching regenerative ways to live, lead, learn and do business. She lives, works, plays and unschools her two wildlings on Dja Dja Wurrung land, supporting individuals, communities and organisations to come back to life through her writing, consultancy and facilitated experiences. She is working toward a world where diverse folks feel valued and valuable, where we steward our resources wisely and where we heal the disconnection with nature, within ourselves and with each other so we may find regenerative soltions to the biggest social and cultural issues of our time.
Pam Ahern describes herself as an animal advocate. She lives in the small country town of Lancefield, Victoria with an eclectic mix of formerly farmed animals. Starting out life in suburban Melbourne when told she could not have a pony, Pam’s ingenuity saw her create one. Since that time, and with animals always at her heart, and often in her bed, Pam has been creating a kinder world for animals. From the one-time champion equestrian she became, so yes, she did get a real pony, she gave it all up when a tiny piglet she named Edgar came into her life and took them both in a direction neither could ever have imagined.
CEO, Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation
Rodney Carter is a descendant of Dja Dja Wurrung and Yorta Yorta People and resides on Dja Dja Wurrung Country in Bendigo, Central Victoria. He currently works for his people, the Dja Dja Wurrung as the Group Chief Executive Officer of the Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation and the Dja Dja Wurrung Enterprises Pty Ltd.