Isaiah is a proud Butchulla and Gawara saltwater man who is the CEO and founder of ID. Know Yourself, a culturally-focused, trauma-informed mentoring program for Aboriginal young people in out-of-home care. Isaiah grew up in foster care. He had 17 different placements, and struggled with losing his sense of belonging and culture. It was Isaiah’s drive that led him to become the first Aboriginal person awarded the TAFE NSW Student Graduate of the Year in 2017, the first Aboriginal person to be appointed chair of the NSW Youth Advisory Committee, a finalist for the 2019 Channel 7 Young Achiever Award, and part of the first Indigenous team to sail in the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race. ID. Know Yourself is about breaking the cycle of foster care and for Aboriginal young people to become rich and strong in their cultural identity and the best versions of themselves which involves a process of healing and empowerment
Dean Rankine is a Comic Artist and Writer best known for his work on Simpsons Comics. He’s the creator of the Ledger Award winning Itty Bitty Bunnies in Rainbow Pixie Candy Land #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, Itty Bitty Bunnies: Cavalcade of Contraband (TPB), Friendgasm (TPB), and wrote and illustrated; Baby’s First Exorcism and Poetry of the Geek (Popsicle Press) and Be Batman : The Unofficial Superheros’ Guide to Overcoming Adversity (coming soon). He’s currently working on the comic book version of the French animated series Oggy and the Cockroaches (Oggy et les Cafards). When he’s not drawing Dean likes to eat pizza, play Dungeons and Dragons and watch cat videos.
Caine is the Company Director and founder of First Step Wild, a UK based empowerment and outdoor education program for children. Caine developed the idea of First Step Wild while working in children’s homes across Yorkshire. He’s a powerful advocate for the power of outdoor learning on a child’s development, behaviour and achievement outcomes, having spent time at a pupil referral unit himself before finding his strengths in the great outdoors.
Mother, foster mother, social worker and Chief Executive of VOYCE-Whakarongo Mai, Tracie Shipton is a leading protagonist for getting the voice of children in care to be heard in the system and reflected in practice. Tracie has been involved in VOYCE-Whakarongo Mai since its inception, and one of her greatest pleasures was co-designing, with young people, the advocacy agency for young people with care experience.
Gregory has worked in the child/adolescent mental health care field for more than 35 years with a special interest in improving the outcomes of those who have adverse childhood experiences. He is the founder and current CEO of Australian Childhood Trauma Group (ACT Group) specialising in support services to clients and professionals, including assessments, therapy, consultation and program development. We’re delighted to have Gregory back for this conference after his hit presentation at Voices in Action 2017 in Sydney.
Keyarnee is a fun and bubbly 26 year old whose out-of-home care experience was paved with cross roads. At age 16 Keyarnee ran away from care and was seen by others as the textbook version of a “foster kid” going nowhere fast. These days Keyarnee’s strength and independence make her one of the most passionate and committed speakers set to take the stage at the 2019 Voices in Action conference.
Dr Joseph McDowall
Dr McDowall has a PhD from the University of Queensland in social psychology. He’s lectured both there and at Griffith University in the areas of research methods, statistics, social skills, and empirical aesthetics. Since 2002 he has been involved in child protection and has provided consultancy services to the Queensland government within the out-of-home care sector and for the Recognised Entities. He joined the board of CREATE Foundation in 2008 and is now Executive Director (Research). Dr McDowall is the author of three CREATE Report Cards (2008, 2009, and 2011), and two CREATE reports on Out-of-Home Care in Australia (2015 and 2018). The highly anticipated post-care version of CREATE’s 2018 national survey is set to be launched at Voices in Action 2019.