Liz Conor is an academic, activist, mother, editor and columnist. Over 20 years she has brought her research into visual history into her work as a community advocate. She is currently a senior research fellow at La Trobe University writing about colonial prints of Indigenous Australians. Her PhD was published as The Spectacular Modern Woman: Feminine Visibility in the 1920s and her more recent book, Skin Deep: Settler Impressions of Aboriginal Women will be released in 2016. She is editor of the scholarly journal Aboriginal History and former editor of Metro Magazine and Australian Screen Education. She has written on the relation between spectacle and race and gender in a wide range of publications and regularly writes a column for New Matilda. Liz is a passionate and experienced community campaigner, founding and convening the Coalition Against Sexual Violence Propaganda (1990) on media portrayal of rape, the Stick with Wik (1997) campaign on Native Title, the Mother’s of Intervention (2000) campaign on Maternity Leave, and the activist theatre troupes The John Howard Ladies’ Auxiliary Fanclub (with Zelda Da, 1996) and ClimActs (with Deborah Hart 2013).
Deborah Hart is an ‘activist, writer, mother’ from Melbourne. For 16 years Deborah worked in development roles with leading Australian arts and culture organisations, as funding shortages were forcing what she considered important crucibles in a healthy modern democracy to act like businesses by forming ever-closer alliances with industries. In 2006, feeling uneasy that fossil fuel corporations—or the legal and finance industries that serve them—were among the few sponsors standing in the Arts, Deborah left her profession in order to devote more time to climate activism and LIVE, a local climate group that she had earlier founded. Deborah later co-founded CLIMARTE (2010), an independent not for profit body that brings the arts community together to tackle climate change. Deborah volunteers with many not-for-profit environment groups and helped establish ClimActs (2013) to combine spectacle, humour and direct action to draw attention to the climate issue. Deborah wrote Guarding Eden to show how and why highly destructive, polluting industries that built immense wealth and influence last century are now using that power recklessly to protect their profits, and what ordinary citizens are doing in attempts to safeguard nature and humanity’s future.
Samantha Castro is a mother of three, a social and environmental justice activist committed to environmental, social, cultural and political transformation. She is the co-founder of Whistleblowers Activists Citizens Alliance (WACA) and currently works for Friends of the Earth Australia (FoE). Sam has previously worked in International Aid and Development on the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals as a campaigner for Make Poverty History. Sam’s background is in media and production. She has a Masters in Communication with her specialty being around Global Media and the War on Terror. She also co-hosts a weekly community radio show for Friends of the Earth in Melbourne, called Dirt Radio. Sam is travelling to Paris with the Climate Angels to bring the message from her own children to world leaders: it is their planet too and it’s time for the adults to grow up and stop killing the planet.
Melissa Corbett is a Melbourne based activist committed to building an environmentally sustainable and socially just future. This has led to her involvement with climate activist theatre group ClimActs. She is also an organiser with Earthworker Cooperative, an organisation that is building a network of worker cooperatives in Australia, initially focusing on local renewable energy manufacturing. Melissa sees her mission in life as being a “good ancestor” and is interested in new ways of thinking and being in the world.
Nina Dubecki trained intensively as an orchestral bassoonist at the Victorian College of the Arts before deciding to get out of the rehearsal room and explore the world beyond concert halls. Eventually she found her way back to Melbourne and settled in the Marketing Department at the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. Nina starting spending her spare time setting up Moneygirl, a free online portal to financial websites helpful to women interested in investing their money, and this lead to her co-authoring two finance books Money Makeover and Organise Your Money: Be Financially Free. She has been featured in BRW, written a weekly finance column for Melbourne’s Herald Sun and contributed articles to Money magazine, among others. Nina is currently writing a third finance book focusing on ethical investment, her passion. She loves being a member of ClimActs and is excited to be a climate activist at a time when a New World Order can be glimpsed around the corner.
Zoe Buckley Lennox is an Environmental Science student from Brisbane. She has in the last two years, slid down the slippery slope of Activism. Zoe works on many campaigns in Brisbane, fighting coal expansions on the reef, for her university to divest from fossil fuels and climbs for Greenpeace. After being arrested for blockading the construction of an open cut coal mine in NSW in 2014, she found herself fighting Arctic drilling earlier this year. Zoe and 5 other activists boarded Shell’s arctic oil drilling vessel on the high seas, occupying the platform for 6 days to highlight the insanity of Arctic oil.
Kat Moore is a committed volunteer at Friends of the Earth Melbourne campaigning on various issues including coal, unconventional gas and the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and member of Whistleblowers Activists Citizens Alliance (WACA). She has previously completed a Graduate Certificate in Sustainability and Social Change, which led her to explore her personal relationship with money and subsequently its capacity to control much of our society, both in terms of the perceived value we attribute to anything backed by money, and the incomparable influence it has over those in positions of power. Kat was involved with the East-West Tunnel Picket, where she experienced first-hand the influence that a strong community can wield over decisions that many perceive to be out of our control. She is a strong believer in the power of community, and bases much of her work on the premise that meaningful change stems from the ground up, from individuals and groups who work autonomously and in networks or affiliations, both to create positive change in their community and to influence those in power.
June Norman is a mother of five, a grandmother of eight and a great-grandmother of three children. She is the first person in Australia to have been arrested for taking direct action against gas fracking. It wasn’t until her early 40s that June began her working career and spent the following 20 years working in the community sector. Moving into her 60s and being outraged by Australia’s support for Indonesia’s occupation of East Timor, June spent three years there volunteering with local communities. June’s main interest is in long distant walking with Footprints for Peace, raising awareness of issues (mainly mining) preventing people from living in peace. She organised and managed the Women’s Walk for a Nuclear Free Sustainable Future in 2010, walking nearly 2,000 kms from Brisbane to Canberra. June also organised and managed a 500-km walk from Kumbarila (Dalby) to Gladstone along the CSG (coal seam gas) pipeline, before meeting with the representative from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation. June has walked 2,400 kms through France and Germany, and in 2013 walked 1,200 kms from Cairns to Gladstone to raise awareness of the threat to the Great Barrier Reef — as well as the world’s habitable climate — at the hands of the transnational fossil fuel industry and polluter friendly governments. In 2014 June was honoured with a United Nations Association of Australia community award for her commitment to world peace and the environment.
Artists, Filmmakers & Curatorial Advisors
Sean Bedlam is a sculptor, multimedia artist, stand up comic and video maker with a background in no-budget underground music video, small community autonomous event making (The Biscuit Factory) and popular youtube comedy videos. His citizen’s media skills combining news, art and comedy are a unique way of keeping communities in touch with campaigns, and were instrumental in the success of the tunnel picket that stopped Melbourne’s unpopular East West Link. Sean loves organising and carrying out creative, peaceful and strong direct actions with most emphasis on the creative, the images, the storytelling and the “audience” in each case. For three years Sean has worked with Whistleblowers Activists Citizens Alliance (WACA), while also juggling standup comedy, sculpture and online video commitments.
Maggie Miles was senior producer with Burrundi Pictures based in the Northern Territory where she managed a range of creative projects including the Yirrkala Workshop Program and Choose Yourself: The Audition Event. Maggie cast the feature Yolngu Boy and Burrundi Pictures was a co-producing entity on the film with the Yothu Yindi Cultural Foundation and the Australian Children’s Television Foundation. Maggie’s first feature, Van Diemen’s Land, distributed by Madman Entertainment, had its World Premiere at the Adelaide Film Festival in 2009 and premiered internationally at the Edinburgh Int. Film Festival. The film received a ‘Special Mention’ at Sitges Int Film Festival 2009 and won ‘Best Non-European Feature’ at Lund International Fantastic Film Festival 2009. Alongside Robert Connolly, Maggie produced The Turning, distributed by Madman Entertainment and CinemaPlus, 2013, also producing five of the chapters. The Turning had a Gala Screening at Berlinale 2013 and also at the Melbourne Int Film Festival 2013. The film won ‘Best Film’ at the WA Screen Awards. With Robert Connolly and Liz Kearney, Maggie produced the children’s feature film Paper Planes distributed by Village Roadshow and the Australian Children’s Television Foundation which screened at the Melbourne Int. Film Festival 2014, Toronto Int. Film Festival 2014, Busan Int. Film Festival 2014 and opened the Generation KPlus Section of the Berlinale 2015. Paper Planes won the inaugural CinefestOz Film Prize 2014. With Mark Patterson, Maggie produced Paul Cox’s Force of Destiny distributed by CinemaPlus, which played at the Opening Night Gala of the Melbourne International Film Festival 2015. Maggie directed the documentary Dare To Be Different, a special program of which aired on ABC Compass 2015 and is currently producing a Women’s Horror Anthology feature film with Lizzette Atkins of Unicorn Films.