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Speakers

We are pleased to announce the following confirmed speakers for AGAC 2019:

Attorney General, Gordon Ramsay MLA

Born in Sydney in 1964, Gordon originally studied Arts-Law at University of Sydney and went into practice as a commercial and intellectual property solicitor.

He became a Uniting Church Minister in 1993, serving the community of Kingsgrove-Bardwell Park before moving to Canberra in 1997 to lead Kippax Uniting Church.

From 1997–2016, Gordon was the Executive Minister at Kippax in the West Belconnen area, establishing a UnitingCare agency which grew to become one of the largest and most influential community service organisations in the ACT. During this time, Gordon became a major spokesperson and organiser for social justice.

He was significant in the Anti-Poverty Week movement, the ACT Council of Social Services, was a member of the ACT Community Inclusion Board and a Community Inclusion Advocate. He was a Community Champion for the 2020 Time To Talk process, and a member of the ACT Better Services Taskforce. In 2012, he led the ACT Targeted Assistance Strategy.

In 2015, Gordon was recognised as a finalist in the ACT Local Hero category of the Australian the Year awards.

He also served on the board of Uniting, one of Australia’s largest, and not-for-profit, aged care providers, from 2011, including as Chair from 2014–2016.

Gordon was elected to the ACT Assembly in 2016 and holds the portfolios of Attorney-General, Arts and Cultural Events, Building Quality Improvement, Business and Regulatory Services and Seniors and Veterans.

The Hon Dr Kay Patterson

Dr Patterson began her role as Age Discrimination Commissioner on 29th July, 2016. Her strong interest in issues affecting older people has been demonstrated throughout her professional career. After gaining a BA (Hons) at the University of Sydney and a PhD in Psychology and Dip Ed at Monash University; Dr Patterson taught allied health science for 11 years. She then went on to study gerontology at two universities in the USA, and used the knowledge gained during those visits to co-develop the first Victorian post-graduate diploma in gerontology and to introduce gerontology into the undergraduate behavioural science courses. 

Following her election to the Senate in 1987, she served on a number of Senate committees and held various shadow portfolios.  In 1988 she was appointed a Parliamentary Secretary, and in 2001 was appointed to Cabinet and served in the Health and Social Security portfolios. During her time in the Senate one of her major areas of interest were issues affecting older Australians. She retired from Cabinet in 2006 and from the Senate in 2008. 

She has served on a number of not-for-profit Boards and voluntary positions, and is currently Director of the Brockhoff Foundation and honorary Professorial Fellow at Monash University.

Mr Alistair McEwin

Alastair McEwin is Australia’s Disability Discrimination Commissioner.  He commenced in this role in August 2016.

Alastair’s educational background is in arts, law and business administration. Following his undergraduate studies in Adelaide, he spent time in Vancouver, Canada, pursuing postgraduate studies.  Prior to moving to Sydney to commence as a consultant with Accenture, a global management and IT consulting company, he worked as Associate to the Hon. Justice John von Doussa at the Federal Court.  Alastair has a strong background in working with non-profit organisations. He was the Executive Director of Community Legal Centres NSW, the peak body for Community Legal Centres in NSW.  Other roles include CEO of People with Disability Australia and Manager of the Australian Centre for Disability Law.

Prior to commencing in his current role, he was the Chairperson of the NSW Disability Council, the official advisory board to the NSW Government on disability issues.  He was also the President of the Deaf Society of NSW and Chairperson of the Australian Theatre of the Deaf.  He has also been the coordinator of the World Federation of the Deaf Expert Group on Human Rights and an adjunct lecturer for the Masters of Community Management degree at the University of Technology Sydney.

Alan Cameron AO

Alan Cameron graduated in arts and law from the University of Sydney.  He worked for the Aboriginal Legal Service and taught law in Indonesia, before returning to private corporate law practice.

He has been Commonwealth Ombudsman and chairman of the Australian Securities Commission and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).  

He is chairman of the NSW Law Reform Commission,  BuildingIQ Inc, listed on the ASX, and Property Exchange Australia Limited, the electronic hub for the settlement of land transactions.

He was a Fellow of the Senate of the University of Sydney and its Deputy Chancellor for 7 years, and is an Officer in the Order of Australia.