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Date and Time: Wednesday 27th November 2019, 12:30 pm to 6:00 pm (registration from 12pm), followed by networking drinks
Theme: From the inside out – challenging social isolation and the repurposing of profit for social good
Venue: Griffith University - South Bank campus, Cnr Stanley & Sidon Streets Southbank Parklands, Brisbane 4000
Registrations close: Wednesday 20th November 2019
Fees (GST inclusive): AES and AMSRS members $150, Non-Members $240, Full-time Students $150 (please send copy of student ID card to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Humans are social creatures. Our need to connect with others is deeply hardwired within our DNA. In a fast moving, modern and digital world, social and family dislocation, fragmentation and isolation is becoming more commonplace. The 2018 Australian Loneliness Report revealed one in four Australians reported feeling lonely each week[1]. Feeling lonely can pose a bigger risk for premature death than smoking or obesity[2]. In fact, in 2018 the UK Government announced the world’s first Minister for Loneliness.

Outside of the health implications, increasing fragmentation caused by local and global politics and media can lead to growing distrust in establishments and corporations, heightened anxiety and increases in extremisms, fundamentalisms and violent forms of protests. 

While this sounds all doom and gloom, initiatives are being implemented by Governments, not-for-profits, social enterprises and industries to help bring people together, foster connections and increase the sense of community and inclusion. The notion of repurposing profit for a social agenda is also on the rise, and commercial organisations (big and small) are supporting initiatives to help achieve social good and foster connections within the communities they operate.

Research and evaluation are playing a critical role in helping decision-makers and change makers plan, design, measure and understand the value and impact of initiatives in this space, to give ‘voice’ to those effected, and in guiding organisations who are looking for a social licence to operate through building their corporate reputation. 



This symposium will provide an opportunity for collective capacity building, knowledge sharing and debate regarding the concepts, considerations and evidence relating to social purpose programs and initiatives aimed at addressing complex issues of social dislocation, fragmentation and isolation. 

Please join us to explore and debate areas around social and family dislocation, fragmentation and isolation, and programs and initiatives to help address this.

Who should attend?

This symposium is for anyone interested in the design, funding and/or assessment of social purpose initiatives. Whether that be:

  • Social marketers, social researchers, evaluators, statisticians and buyers of these services
  • Managers and practitioners in policy, program development, evaluation, review, research, business and market analysis, social planning and community engagement
  • Government, not-for-profit and private sectors
  • Academics and students from faculties dealing with social and economic change such as health, business, creative industries, biomedical, environmental, education, law, public administration, social sciences
  • Social enterprises, social change advocates, community support groups and stakeholders

Meet some of the keynote speakers


Rob Donovan is the Founder of the Act-Belong-Commit campaign which originated in Western Australia and is now diffusing internationally. He has held academic positions in Marketing at Pace University, New York University & University of Georgia, and been a Visiting Scientist at the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention in Atlanta.

He is Adjunct Professor in the School of Human Sciences at the University of WA. He has extensive commercial experience and founded Donovan Research, recognised as one of Australia's leading market research companies prior to its incorporation into the NFO Worldwide Group and then the TNS Research Group. In addition to his commercial experience across a range of products & services, he has conducted research & program development across many social areas, including Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander issues, alcohol, tobacco & drugs, HIV/AIDS, physical activity & the built environment, child abuse, domestic violence, racism, doping in sport, suicide prevention & mental health promotion.

He has been VP of the Board of Relationships Australia WA, deputy chair WA Ministerial Council on Suicide Prevention, board member Mates in Construction WA & scientific advisory group of RUOK? He chairs the World Anti-Doping Agency’s Social Sciences Research Sub-Committee. He has an international reputation in social marketing & health promotion, and has (co-)authored around 250 books & journal articles and a similar number of technical reports for govt and NGOs across a variety of health & social policy areas.

He is a Registered Psychologist, a Member of the Aust Psych Soc, holds Qualified Professional Researcher status, and Fellow of the Aust Market & Social Research Society. Professor Donovan is the originator of the conceptual frameworks of the Act-Belong-Commit and Actively involve-Build skills-and Celebrate achievements programs. 


Thought leader and social innovator, Sandy has worked across all three sectors to create positive change, both locally and internationally over the last 35 years. She is the founder and Managing Director of Social Outcomes, a for purpose business that specialises in researching, designing for, implementing, financing and measuring impact. Sandy has served on the Australian Advisory Board to the Social Impact Investment Global Steering Group since its inception in 2013, is a Non-Executive Director of the Hand Heart Pocket Foundation in Queensland, sits on the advisory board of QUT’s Australian Centre for NFP and Philanthropic Studies, and is an industry fellow at Griffith University’s Centre for Sustainable Enterprises. She was also a founding Director on the board of the Community Service Industry Alliance and served on the federal government’s Not For Profit Reform Council.

Sandy has played a leading role in growing the impact investing and social enterprise sectors in Australia, designing numerous large social innovation projects and co-founding Impact Investing Australia. She has also been heavily involved in the growing opportunity of social impact bonds, having worked on the Benevolent Society Bond in NSW, and more recently, the Youth CONNECT bond in Queensland. The team have also designed a development impact bond in PNG, along with other impact investment opportunities in the Pacific, including Vinaka in Fiji. The work in the Pacific has also had a strong gender lens investment focus, revealing many fresh insights as to where and how to focus capital.

Sandy has the ability to build bridges between the social and the financial after 15 years in international development in southern Africa and 10 years at senior levels in banking and professional services in Australia, with her last corporate role as Head of Social Innovation for Westpac. Through her work in social innovation, international development, impact investing and social enterprise development, Sandy has developed a pragmatic approach
to impact design and measurement in a wide variety of settings. She has worked on highly complex designs for social impact bonds and multinational aid programs through to simple and effective frameworks for small social enterprises.

Sandy is also an experienced facilitator, a best selling author and sought after public speaker.

* Full program and speakers list will be available next week


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