Dr Michael Carr-Gregg

Dr Michael Carr-Gregg is one of Australia’s highest profile psychologists. Working in private practice in Melbourne, he sits on the Board of the Australian Psychological Society, the Family Peace Foundation, Project ROCKIT and Smiling Mind, as well as being a Community Ambassador for Big Brothers Big Sisters, Postvention Australia, and Playgroup Victoria. He founded the charity CanTeen, 31 years ago and was the first psychologist featured on This is Your Life. He has been resident psychologist on Channel 7’s Sunrise for 11 years as well as Psychologist for the top rating Morning Show with Neil Mitchell on Fairfax Radio 3AW. He is a special patron of the Hawthorn Football Club. He is married to Therese and has 2 sons.

Melinda Tankard Reist

Melinda Tankard Reist is an author, speaker, media commentator, blogger and advocate for women and girls. She is author/editor of five books including Getting Real: Challenging the Sexualisation of Girls (Spinifex Press, 2009), now in its 9th printing, Big Porn Inc: Exposing the harms of the global pornography industry (Spinifex Press, 2011, co-edited with Dr Abigail Bray) and her new release (Spinifex Press, co-edited with Dr Caroline Norma) Prostitution Narratives: Stories of survival in the sex trade.

A newspaper columnist, Melinda is a regular guest on Channel 7’s Sunrise and Morning Show, and has also appeared on ABC Q&A and The Gruen Sessions as well as many other TV and radio programs. Melinda is co-founder of the grassroots campaigning movement, Collective Shout: for a world free of sexploitation, exposing corporations, advertisers and marketers who objectify women and sexualise girls to sell products and services. An ambassador for World Vision Australia, Compassion Australia and the Raise Foundation, Melinda is named in the Who’s Who of Australian Women and the World Who’s Who of Women.

Speaking Topic

The Sexualisation of Children

Sharon Witt

Sharon Witt has been a secondary teacher for over 23 years, as well as a media commentator on issues impacting young people, parenting and educational topics. She appears in print and television media as well as having two weekly parenting segments on radio in Melbourne and the Gold Coast. She is regularly called upon by journalists in relation to parenting and education topics. Sharon also writes for a range of publications including the ‘Parenting Ideas’ magazine.

Sharon is the author of 13 books written for young people to help guide them through many of the issues they face in early years and help them build resilience. Her books include the best selling Teen Talk, Girlwise and Wiseguys series.

Kate Johnson

Kate Johnson is the Founder and Director of Spectrum Journeys Inc, a not for profit Autism service that equips and empowers families, educators and future professionals as they support children on the Autism Spectrum to flourish.  Spectrum Journeys Inc is a volunteer based positive and practical service that provides low cost workshops across Melbourne with leading professionals, Blessing Bags to mums/carers of children on the Spectrum, an App to help support families through diagnosis, therapy and funding applications, a newly released book on Sensory Defensiveness by team member Hannah Gamble and innovative projects to encourage the community to embrace difference. Kate is married to Joel and together they have 4 amazing children, with their eldest on the Autism Spectrum.  Kate is passionate about seeing families supported, educators equipped and for children on the Autism Spectrum to see themselves as valuable and wonderful!

Susan Mclean

Susan Mclean is Australia’s foremost expert in the area of Cybersafety and young people. She is a mother of three and was the first Victorian Police Officer appointed to a position involving Cybersafety and young people. She took her first report of cyberbullying in 1994 and since then she has conducted extensive research and has completed advanced training in this area in both the USA and UK and is a sought after presenter and advisor to Schools, elite sporting bodies such as the AFL, GP’s, and both State and Federal Governments. She is a member of the National Centre Against Bullying (NCAB)Cybersafety Committee and is afforded ‘expert’ status on the Safer Internet Programme Database. She is also a member of the Australian Government’s Cybersafety working group and a published author. Her book Sext’s Texts & Selfies, is the definitive parents guide to helping their children stay safe online.

Speaking Topic

Wendy Mason and Lisa Maravelis

Wendy is the Director of Early Learning at an Independent School in Melbourne. An early childhood specialist, she is the driving force who conceptualised and develops the early years programs.She has been an educator in early childhood settings, TAFE and Primary school for over 30 years.

Wendy is passionate about developing resilience, social skills, and building a strong sense of wonder and curiosity about the world we live in. She loves connecting children with nature and inspiring sustainability practises. She values the uniqueness of childhood and encourages hands on learning through exploration, discovery and play.

Lisa Maravelis is a youth worker and counsellor with over 25 year’s experience supporting children, young people and families. She has worked in schools as a counsellor supporting students, parents and teachers, as well as pioneering programs for primary and secondary students.

She assisted and advocated for homeless and disadvantaged children, young people and families when she was a case worker in the community sector. She runs a private practice in counselling

Lisa is married and has an amazing son.She intimately understands the joys and challenges of raising a child on the Autism Spectrum.

Lisa is passionate about encouraging and developing the potential in children, empowering them to be the best they can be.

Wendy and Lisa are co-authors of the picture storybook series for young children, ‘When I’m Shining with Light’. These books form part of the Kids Light Up©project, a forum for educational information which teaches resilience as its foundational basis. Kids Light Up © specifically emphasises positive values and qualities so kids can thrive.

Wendy Mason
Dip. Teach (E.Ch.), B.Ed. (Prim.), Grad. Dip. (Mus), M. Ed.

Lisa Maravelis
B.A. (Youth Affairs), Masters (Counselling)