Major Speakers

Greg Alchin

International digital inclusion specialist | Alchin Consulting

Greg Alchin

Greg specialises in inclusive media, environments, and services that inspire innovation in engagement and participation. He uses a powerful mix of personal experience, professional knowledge and practical skills and strategies that empower:

  • individuals to live, learn and work to the best of their ability.
  • organisations to create inclusive environments, content and services where everyone participates with dignity.

Greg is industry certified by both Apple and Microsoft as a consultant on accessibility and is a previous recipient of the Premiers Teachers Scholarship in Special Education. He currently sits on the Apple Distinguished Educator Advisory Board for the Asia Pacific Region. Find out more about Greg.

Phil BrownPhil Brown

Executive Officer, Country Education Project,

Phil has a real passion for rural communities and their important contribution they make to the Australian community and economy. He grew up on a dairy farm in rural Victoria involving himself in a range of community and sporting clubs and activities. His whole schooling life was spent in a rural community – leaving this community to attend university studies.

Since graduating, Phil has had many years of experience within the education, vocational and higher education sectors as well as the youth, community and regional development sector. He has extensive expertise and knowledge in rural communities and economic development as well as rural and remote education provision within Victoria, other states and internationally.

He has held a range of positions – some of which include the CEO of a Rural Education Industry Partnership initiative within the Goulburn Valley of Victoria to support a skilled workforce within the food industry; manager of an Access and Further Education unit within a regional TAFE Institute; Manager of a regional Community Health Service; and a range of roles within the school education sector.

His undergraduate qualifications are focused on youth and community development and vocational education with a post graduate qualification in business management.

Phil is the current Executive Officer of the Country Education Partnership, a not for profit organization of 35 years that advocates for, and supports rural and remote learning communities across many states within Australia. The breadth of his role incudes facilitating a range of initiatives and programs including:

  • the provision of education leadership programs in Northern Territory, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Queensland;
  • the development of a Rural and Remote Leadership and Succession Pipeline professional development program;
  • supporting the development of collaborative approaches to education provision in Western Australia, South Australia and Victoria;
  • facilitating the development and delivery of digital learning approaches across rural and remote communities;
  • the provision of high quality professional learning activities;
  • supporting the recruitment and retention of quality educators and education leaders;
  • facilitating “student voice” initiatives within rural and remote education communities;
  • facilitating the conducting of research focusing on rural and remote education; and
  • advocating to various levels of government and education sectors on behalf of rural and remote learning communities.
  • the development of the Rural Educators Network within Victoria aimed at supporting recruitment and retention of educators within rural Victoria; 

Find out more about Phil.

Jemma WalshJemma Walsh

I am 19 and moved to the Nations Capital at the start of 2017 following a 12 month GAP Year which I spent working as an Au Pair in Italy and travelling Europe.

I graduated from Year 12 in 2015 from St Marys of the Angels Secondary College in Nathalia, North East Victoria.

During my VCE years, I became involved in the Rural Youth Ambassador program. This heavily shaped the person I am today.  Through exposure to opportunity and experience, I was for the first time no longer, “coasting” through life, and was challenged in my thinking and voice.
I was the school captain throughout my final year, and was lucky enough to also be an Australian delegate to the 3rd Johor International Student Leadership Conference in Malaysia where over 900 delegates from across the globe met.

I am studying Political Science and International Relations at the Australian National University, and have recently become a World Literacy Ambassadors with the World Literacy Foundation.

I work two part time jobs and love everything that Canberra has to offer.

My rural Victoria roots still and always will shine through, if not through my apparent Victoria accent, through my passion for rural education and like.

While the actual title of my future career is unclear, I would like to work either in the realm of diplomacy or in a position where education can be used to unite the globe.

Charlotte NixonCharlotte Nixon

I am 20 years of age and am a young person who grew up in a remote community in North West Victoria – Ouyen, where they are renowned for their vanilla slices, along with grain.

I went to the local Prep to Year 12 College where I completed my VCE.

Throughout my life I have been extremely passionate about ensuring that young people within communities like mine to be provided with a bright future and to encourage them to chase their dreams – regardless of whether that is university, a trade, or another plan.

As part of my school life I had the opportunity to be involved in the state-wide Rural Youth Ambassador program which allowed me to join with other equally passionate rural and remote young people to ensure that rural and remote young people are heard at senior education and government levels.

I was involved in the development of the Rural Inspire initiative, which was developed by rural and remote young people as a way to inspire young people to chase their dreams. Many initiatives have resulted.

A key my passion has been to ensure that our rural and remote schools provide their children and young people with the opportunities they deserve, and as a result I applied to undertake a university program focused on education – which I am currently studying at Flinders University in Adelaide.

I would love to have the opportunity to teach within a rural or remote community when I complete my studies.I’m passionate about ensuring a bright future for all young rural students in whichever field they wish to pursue; whether it be

I’m passionate about ensuring a bright future for all young rural students in whichever field they wish to pursue; whether it be university, a trade or another path. I believe that all students should be given the opportunity to succeed to their highest potential.

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