Do Lectures Australia Speaker Announcement 01

Well well, end-of-year fun is here! The Do Croo in Australia is celebrating having brought the first Do to southern hills and gleefully humming with the joy of next year's Do.

It's getting very very exciting as each incredible speaker signs up for doing "the talk of their life" and as confirmed attendees send through animated replies.

Share in the excitement!

Drum roll please!

In-trrrrro-duuuuc-ing the first batch of Do Lectures Australia 2015 speakers...…..

Annie Parker – Co-Founder of muru-D, Founder of Code Club Australia 

Annie came to Australia in 2013 to launch Telstra's startup acceleration programme – muru-D - which invests in 10 startups every 6 months, gives them amazing advice to help scale their idea, connects them with experience to have them be successful and connections to boot. 

Annie's experience is in the digital, telco and new business launch space. She has extensive commercial marketing knowledge from having run a billion dollar P&L in the UK and before Australia, Annie ran operations across Europe for Telefonica’s accelerator programme – Wayra.

She’s seen thousands of pitches, overseen investments in over 100 startups globally & is a passionate supporter of anything that helps to grow the startup scene across Australia & South East Asia.

A personal passion is also to inspire kids to learn digital skills which had Annie launch Code Club Australia in April 2014. It's a nationwide network of volunteer-led, after-school coding clubs for children aged 9-11.  The long term goal is to get the national curriculum changed here in Australia so that all children are taught basic coding skills from primary school onwards.

We hope Annie brings her usual fashion accessory - her thongs ('flip flops'). 

Connie Johnson - Founder of Love Your Sister, mum, activist, instigator, cheerleader

Connie Johnson.JPG

Connie Johnson is a wife and mother of two young boys. She is sister to Samuel Johnson, the World’s most determined unicyclist.

At the age of 33 Connie was diagnosed with breast cancer – terminal, untreatable breast cancer, after having fought off 2 previous cancers earlier in her life.

At 12 she was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive bone tumour, and then at 22, she faced a tumour in her womb. Through early detection and effective treatments, she was able to overcome these cancers. This time is different, this time she will die of the disease, leaving her children behind.

In an effort to make her death meaningful, she set her brother Samuel, (a popular, fun loving, larrikin actor), the dare of a lifetime – to unicycle around Australia to raise money for breast cancer research. Together they established Love Your Sister and raised (to date) nearly $2m for breast cancer research, continuing their work and vowing not to give up until a cure is found.

It's an incredible story of making things happen in such a short time.

Tamsin Carvan - Founder of Tamsin's Table, farmer, cook, Instagram legend

Raised in the Blue Mountains outside Sydney, Tamsin was lucky enough to spend much of her childhood running wild in the bush and swimming in freezing water in valleys and canyons.  

After years of study in Continental Philosophy at the University of Queensland where she spent her time with the likes of Heidegger and Nietzsche, the questions only seemed more intense and unsure of what to do next. Tamsin moved to Canberra and started work at a social research agency doing policy and program evaluations for federal government departments. While challenging and interesting this was a very transient life that involved a lot of travel, and every time she ventured out to the far flung regions, which she did quite often, Tamsin felt overwhelmed with homesickness for a farm, and a way of life, she didn't have. 

So in the end she succumbed, and bought one, a run down, difficult, steep but fertile 113 acres on a windy hilltop in Poowong East. Although Tamsin had never done a day’s farming in her life, she learnt how much you can get done when you have no idea what is meant to be impossible.  

These days Tamsin runs a small business on the farm called Tamsin’s Table, and lives with her eight and a half year old daughter Martha and, after many years on her own, she shares her life with her companion Allan. 

Tamsin's style and grace is so engaging.

Nicholas Gruen - Economist, entrepreneur and commentator

Nicholas Gruen is a widely published policy economist, entrepreneur and commentator on economy, society and innovation.  He is CEO of Lateral Economics and Chair of: The Australian Centre for Social Innovation, Deakin University’s Arts Participation Incubator; and The Open Knowledge Foundation (Australia). And he chaired the Federal Government’s Innovation Australia 'til 2014.

Nicholas is Patron of the Australian Digital Alliance, comprising Australia’s libraries, universities, and providers of digital infrastructure such as Google and Yahoo. He is a Council Member of the National Library of Australia.

He was Chairman of successful San Francisco based data analytics crowdsourcing platform and investor in numerous Australian and American startups. 

He has advised Cabinet Ministers, sat on Australia’s Productivity Commission (then Industry Commission and founded Lateral Economics and Peach Financial. He has had regular columns in various daily papers and published numerous essays on political, economic and cultural matters. 
In 2009 he chaired Australia’s internationally acclaimed Government 2.0 Taskforce.

Nicholas will provide many wonderful insights that you may not have pondered before, and possibly a Leunig cartoon or two.

The first Do Australia 2015 duo is Aaron & Kaitlin Tait.

Aaron & Kaitlin Tait - Founders of Spark* International

Aaron and Kaitlin were born in Auckland and San Francisco respectively. In 2001, as eighteen year olds Kaitlin went to Santa Clara University in Silicon Valley, and Aaron went to war, serving as a young military officer in Iraq.

At 21 Aaron was running a nightclub in Spain, and one night Kaitlin decided to party at that nightclub and they met.

Together Aaron and Kaitlin have travelled to 56 countries, built an orphanage in Kenya, turned around a secondary school for street kids in Tanzania and studied five Masters degrees with one of them from Cambridge University.

In 2011 Aaron and Kaitlin launched Spark* International, an organisation that has dramatically improved the lives of 40,000 people living in extreme poverty in Africa and the Pacific as well as the award winning organisation Education Changemakers.

The Tait’s were the winners of the 2014 FYA Trailblazer Award. 

Their talk will be full of determination, care, vision and humility. Of that, we're sure.


Imagine a 4 day dinner party with these incredibly courageous and fascinating people. Applications to attend are here.