Day 1 of the Hand-in-Hand: Make it Happen… Make it Matter conference, started with a bang with many aha moments, new ideas and strategies to unpack what lies ahead for the sector and what is needed to better equip our workforce and those moments of rib-tickling laughter, that will remain with us for a long time! Morning of Day 1 flew by in the blink of an eye with The Lucy Bloom’s dramatic opening keynote on β€˜Change as a superpower’. Lucy had the whole audience captivated and at times in stitches with laughter! Her anecdotes captured everyone with their uniqueness, and she had us all in awe of her perspective on life and how to make the most of it. One point that she made which stuck with many of us, is to live life like we’re chasing squirrels.
Mr Amar Singh (T4A – Turbans 4 Australia), 2023 NSW Australian of the Year, NSW Local Hero dazzled us all with his speech highlighting the key attributes required to bring on the β€˜Sticky changes’ to provide affordable, accessible, timely and culturally appropriate services at the right time. Amar spoke about skills vs attributes and his impactful words of wisdom on why no one should change themselves just to β€˜fit in’ with their surroundings. He emphasized that our individuality is what allows us to provide unique perspectives which makes us invaluable assets! Amar also talked about β€˜love’ as the driver for acceptance and how can we build that into our support services for NSW communities!
The Honourable Natasha Maclaren-Jones, Member of the NSW Legislative Council (former Minister for Families and Communities and Minister for Disability Services) gave a promising and aspiring speech acknowledging the long-standing as well as emerging issues impacting our communities in NSW – whether it be cost of living, housing and homelessness, heightened mental stress, family and domestic violence, violence against children, affordable accessible culturally appropriate services for young people, or it be attracting and retaining skilled workforce and to stop the “race to the bottom”.
Mr Edmond Atalla MP, a lifelong resident of Western Sydney, a strong voice advocating for the services the community rightly deserves promised to continue advocating to the Government to address the rising cost of living. He strongly believes that “people come first”, and this is the driving force in all his decisions.
LEAD would like to thank Amar Singh, Lucy Bloom, Edmond Atalla, and the Honourable Natasha Maclaren-Jones for making this conference an unforgettable learning experience!