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Diversity Council Australia and MLC Life Insurance Annual Diversity Debate


This year DCA and MLC Life Insurance invite you to join us for the 2019 Annual Diversity Debate, moderated by Tony Jones, to ask: Is backlash good for diversity and inclusion? 


WHAT: DCA and MLC Life Insurance Annual Diversity Debate

WHEN: Tuesday 29 October 2019, 6.00pm - 10.00pm (AEDT)

WHERE:  Doltone House, Darling Island, Ground Floor, 48 Pirrama Road, Pyrmont


Backlash: is it a force for good or evil? A force for change or a sign of defeat? That is the question we tackle at this year’s Debate.

Anyone agitating for change – especially D&I professionals in the workplace – would be no stranger to backlash. But is a strong negative reaction such a bad thing? Could it mean people are listening and might change their minds? And is it inevitable if you want to challenge the status quo?

On the flip side, does backlash mean people don’t agree and will never get on board? Does it mean that you’re going about it the wrong way? And can it come with too much personal cost for those trying to achieve it?

Introducing the Affirmative team:

Headshots of the Affirmative Team

Magda Szubanski AO, Actor, writer and advocate

Magda has become one of Australia's most courageous and effective advocates for LGBTQI rights, diversity and inclusion. Her efforts to advocate for gay marriage in Australia were critical to the Yes vote's win. Magda is also a multi-award-winning comedian, actor, producer, and author.

David Hackett, Chief Executive Officer, MLC Life Insurance

David’s career spans 30 years in the finance industry including a number of major global and investment banks. He became CEO and Executive Director of MLC Limited in 2016, and before that was Executive General Manager Insurance for NAB’s wealth management business.

Lucy Zelić, SBS Football Presenter

A passionate football journalist and lifelong sports fan, Lucy hosts SBS’s flagship football news program The World Game, appears as a sports presenter on SBS World News and writes for The World Game online. She also presents SBS’s coverage of local and international football.

Introducing the Negative team:

Head shots of the Negative Team

Chas Licciardello, Comedian, The Chaser

Chas has produced, written and appeared in such TV shows as The Chaser's War on Everything, The Checkout, The Hamster Wheel, and a series of election specials. He has also sold mobile phones and edited a local newspaper - occupations that we note to prove that he did actually once hold a real job.

Jackie Huggins AM, Historian and Author

Jackie is a Bidjara (central Queensland) and Birri-Gubba Juru (North Queensland) woman who has worked in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander affairs for over thirty years. She is a celebrated historian and author who has documented the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people throughout the decades.

Chris Varney, MD and Chief Enabling Officer, I CAN Network

Growing up with Asperger’s, Chris was inspired to start I CAN from the support his family, schools and mentors gave him. Since it’s inception, the I CAN Network has mentored 1,052 Autistic kids, teenagers and adults nationwide through schools, TAFEs, workplaces, camps and online programs.



Further details contact:  Sue Flockart, Diversity Council Australia on M: 0414 531 476 E: sue@dca.org.au