Social Innovation, speakers

Joanne Patterson

After graduating in law from Glasgow University Joanne was appointed to the UK Civil Service at The Scottish Office.  She held a range of positions including supporting the development and implementation of Scottish devolution and the establishment of the Scottish Parliament.  She also enjoyed a six month secondment to the European Commission to work on the European Union’s response to the 1992 Rio Declaration on Environment and Development.

In 2005 she emigrated from Scotland to South Australia where she joined the Department of Treasury and Finance’s Corporate Services team.  Moving to Queensland in 2008 she initially took up a position with Queensland Treasury to undertake a review of TAFE fees and charges. She has largely remained with Queensland Treasury, leading teams responsible for advising government on a variety of topics including education, public safety, justice and unemployment.

In 2015 she supported Walter Sofronoff’s Commission of Inquiry into the 2011 Grantham Floods.

Since April 2016 Joanne has been Director of the Market-Led Proposals (MLP) Team in Queensland Treasury. Joanne will participate in a concurrent session about different approaches to funding community services. Her presentation will focus on explaining the criteria that MLPs should address, such as alignment with government policy, priority and community need; justification for direct negotiation; value for money; and the organisation’s capacity and capability to deliver the project.


Masterclass: Building the foundations for place-based collaboration

Learn about the thinking and action required to build the foundations for a successful collaboration in your community.  Working collaboratively is tough as it requires us to actively seek out those with different ideas, opinions and perspectives from us.  Learn how to design and develop collaborative practice at all levels of your initiative.  This workshop will provide participants with a combination of individual and group learning, practical frameworks and tools to apply to your community.


Simon Rowe

Simon Rowe

At 19, Simon was evicted from his home and forced to live in his car for the next four
months having to sneak into the local caravan park for a shower each morning until he got back on his feet. For the next 20 years he would go on to forge a successful career as a
multiple business owner and operations consultant for some of Australia’s largest
Franchise Groups, until he quit the corporate world in 2016 after a chance encounter with a homeless man, the tiredest man Simon had ever seen, and decided to act.


Founded in 2016, sleepbus is the world’s first charity converting old buses into temporary overnight accommodation for people sleeping rough. It took just eight weeks of crowdfunding to raise the $100,000 needed to build the very first sleepbus, which
features 22 sleep pods, two toilets, personal lockers, 8 pet pods, an overnight Caretaker
and monitored security system.

100% of public donations go directly to sleepbus projects and they prove it, by showing
where a donation goes including its progress through the build process and updates on
service locations. Donors can log on to the website to view real time statistics on

Our goal is to build 319 buses across Australia to END the need for people to sleep
rough. Just one sleepbus can provide 8,030 safe sleeps per year.


Indigenous Scholarship Partner

We welcome Mission Australia as our Indigenous Scholarship Partner.

Mission Australia is a Christian community service organisation that helps people to regain their independence. We reduce homelessness and strengthen communities through homelessness initiatives and affordable housing, early learning and youth services, family support, and employment and skills development. Together, we stand with Australians in need until they can stand for themselves.

Visit the Mission  Australia website.



Masterclass Partner

We welcome AGL Energy as a Masterclass Partner at the conference.

Drawing on almost 180 years of experience, AGL Energy provides gas, electricity, solar PV and related products and services to more than 3.5 million customer accounts across Australia.  We operate the country’s largest electricity generation portfolio and we’re its largest ASX-listed investor in renewable energy. We are taking action to responsibly reduce greenhouse gas emissions while providing customers with secure and affordable energy.

Visit the AGL website.

Social Innovation, speakers

Social innovation around the world

Belinda Bell joins us to discuss social innovation around the world from her perspective.

Belinda Bell is Programme Director of Cambridge Social Ventures, at Cambridge Judge Business School, supporting a wide range of businesses making social and environmental impact.

She is a social entrepreneur herself having established a range of social ventures including those focusing on finance, ageing and young people. She has acted as a mentor, advisor and supporter to many more social entrepreneurs and as such has developed a broad knowledge of business models for social innovation.

Her specific interest is in the social finance market and leveraging capital for social impact. She was Founder and first Chief Executive of Foundation East, a groundbreaking community finance organisation where she remains a Director. She has also undertaken research at the University of Cambridge focusing on the social finance sector and continues to write on this topic.

Belinda holds a Masters Degree in Community Enterprise from the University of Cambridge and a Bachelors degree in Social Anthropology from Goldsmiths College, University of London.