Skip to content

The Dunstan Dialogues

The Dunstan Dialogues are a series of discussions between prominent visiting thinkers, and leaders in our state to exchange knowledge, make connections and collaborate.

The Don Dunstan Foundation has hosted dialogues featuring a number of prominent speakers including:

Tom Hull, Tom Dawkins and Kate Scott - Funding For Impact

Creating social impact requires funding. The way we finance our efforts is changing rapidly and is increasingly being democratised. In October 2018, 'Funding for Impact' Dunstan Dialogue attendees learnt from some of Australia's leading funding practitioners about how we better fund social impact and how to get involved.

The Dialogue featured Tom Hull, General Manager of The Funding Network, a live-crowdfunding model that works to accelerate grassroots social innovation
Tom Dawkins, Co-Founder and CEO of, a global crowdfunding platform for social good projects and Kate Stock, Ambassador of 10x10 Philanthropy, an events program run by a team of volunteers and designed to support innovative grassroots charities.

Katrina Dunn - Ushering in a World of Three Zeroes

"The best way to cultivate a sustainable business is to solve humanity's greatest problems". Nobel Laureate, Professor Muhammad Yunus, founder of Grameen Bank.

In March this year two South Australian Universities, The University of Adelaide and University of South Australia, announced the set up of Yunus Social Business Centres. With South Australia leading the way, Katrina Dunn from Grameen Australia are returned to furthered the discussion via Dunstan Dialogue in May 2018  "Ushering in A World of Three Zeroes: Zero Poverty. Zero Unemployment. Zero Carbon Emissions - How Social Business applies across the social sector, business, academia and government".

Grameen Australia is leading the way in the development of Social Businesses to overcome abject poverty with the people supported gaining the skills and financial capacity to escape poverty permanently.

Noel Pearson - Aboriginal Economic Empowerment

Noel Pearson presented a Dunstan Dialogue titled 'Aboriginal Economic Empowerment and Growing the Aboriginal Business Sector' in May 2018. Noel delved into 'closing the gap' in what was a thought provoking and insightful event.

Noel Pearson comes from the Guugu Yimidhirr community of Hope Vale on south eastern Cape York Peninsula. Mr Pearson is a lawyer, and Founder and Director of Strategy of the Cape York Partnership. Mr Pearson also co-founded the Cape York Land Council, and helped to establish Apunipima Health Council, Balkanu Cape York Development Corporation and Indigenous Enterprise Partnerships. Mr Pearson served as a member of the Expert Panel on Constitutional Recognition of Indigenous Australians and the Referendum Council.

Brenton Caffin - Creating a Culture of Experimentation

In April 2018, Brenton Caffin participated in a Dunstan Dialogue, sharing his knowledge on innovation and experimentation. Brenton and Don Dunstan Foundation, Executive Director, David Pearson, put together a very thought provoking opinion article titled ‘Imagine if SA's politicians took policy risks.’

Brenton is a strategic thinker and regularly presents to and advises national and global organisations, including UN agencies, on a wide range of issues relating to social and public sector innovation. He is an advisor to the Adelaide Festival of Ideas and former board member of the global Social Innovation Exchange and was the founding CEO of the Australian Centre for Social Innovation.

From 2009-2012, Brenton was the founding CEO of The Australian Centre for Social Innovation, and previously held executive positions with the South Australian Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Government Reform Commission and WorkCover.

Download Brenton's presentation

Dame Louise Casey – International Perspectives on Ending Street Homelessness

Dame Louise Casey has an extensive history supporting governments in the United Kingdom, working on homelessness, but also victim’s rights, and anti-social behaviour. She has been a driving force in establishing the Institute of Global Homelessness, which is supporting the Adelaide Zero Project.

Over the last 17 years Dame Louise has been instrumental in the development of a number of bespoke social policy programmes for Government. Drawing on her experiences leading homeless charity Shelter, Dame Louise has consistently delivered brave and innovative solutions to long standing social problems ranging from homelessness to anti-social behaviour to troubled families.

Throughout this, Dame Louise has maintained her commitment to the charity sector and has been a driving force in the establishment of the Institute for Global Homelessness, with the aim of delivering an international solution to homelessness across the world. At the request of the Prime Minister, she led a review into opportunity and integration in some of our most isolated communities.

Dame Louise was awarded the Companion of the Order of Bath (CB) in the Queen’s birthday honours list, 2008 and made Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in the Queen’s birthday honours list, 2016.

Hear Dame Louise discussing Adelaide's role in ending street homelessness

Helen Szoke – Gender, Human Rights and the Private Sector

Dr Helen Szoke, CEO of Oxfam Australia spoke about the work Oxfam is doing in this area, advocating with private sector organisations for improved human rights in a range of communities. She is a strong advocate for foreign aid and international development, human rights, gender and race equity.

Helen joined Oxfam in 2013. Prior to this appointment, she served as Australia’s Federal Race Discrimination Commissioner and as the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commissioner.

Helen is both a Vice-President and a board member of the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID), and the ACFID Humanitarian Reference Group (HRG) Champion, representing the work of the HRG which provides a mechanism for Australian agencies engaged in humanitarian assistance work to share information, strengthen coordination, and drive policy dialogue and development for the improvement of humanitarian relief work.

Helen lends her expertise on a number of advisory groups. She is currently the Chair of the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services Bullying and Harassment Advisory Group. Helen was a member of the Royal College of Surgeons Expert Advisory Committee examining bullying, harassment and sexual harassment. In addition, she sits on the Australia Federal Police Future Directions Advisory Committee.

Most recently Helen was awarded as a Victorian finalist in the 2016 Telstra Business Women’s Awards. She received an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from Deakin University in October 2015 for her contribution to Human Rights. In 2011, Helen was awarded the ‘Law Institute of Victoria Paul Baker Award’ for her contribution to human rights and in 2014 she received the ‘University of Melbourne Alumni Award’ for leadership. She is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a fellow of the Institute of Public Administration.

Download Helen Szoke's presentation

Alexander Betts – Migration & Humanitarianism

As part of his recent visit to Adelaide, Prof Betts participated in a Dunstan Dialogue, sharing his insights and expertise on the lessons we can learn from Europe on migration and the refugee crisis.

Alexander Betts and his work have garnered international attention. Recently named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, he is an engaging and powerful speaker. His TED talk, titled “Our Refugee System is Failing,” received rave reviews – for provocative content and performance. His new book, “Refuge: Transforming a Broken Refugee System,” (Penguin, April 2017) further explores ways to improve outcomes for refugees and host countries. Betts was also named to the Thinkers50 2017 Radar list of scholars most likely to shape the future.

Oxford’s youngest British professor since World War II, his research is focused on the politics and economics of refugees. He also founded the Humanitarian Innovation Project (HIP) with an initial aim of exploring the role of technology, innovation and the private sector in refugee assistance. The project has undertaken pioneering work on Refugee Economies, developing cutting-edge thinking on how the conceptualize a people-centered approach to humanitarian innovation. The project also led to the creation of the annual Humanitarian Innovation Conference. In addition to many academic publications, Betts has written for Foreign Affairs, the New York Times, and the Guardian, and appeared regularly on the BBC, Al Jazeera and CNN. He has worked for UNHCR and has served as consultant to a range of international organisations, including OCHA, UNICEF, UNDP, and the World Bank.

Rosemary Addis – Impact Investing

Rosemary Addis is the Chair of Impact Investing Australia and has long been a global leader and strategist in social innovation and investment. At a gathering held in conjunction with the SIINSA and The Wyatt Trust, she discussed the latest international and national trends in impact investment.

Rosemary brings visionary fresh thinking and new models to complex issues, creating lasting impact and value for leading corporates, governments, foundations and strategists globally. She established and chairs the Australian Advisory Board on Impact Investing and Impact Investing Australia. In 2015 she was recognised for her contributions to innovation as one of the AFR/Westpac 100 Women of Influence.

Rosemary represents Australia on the Global Social Impact Investment Steering Group (previously the G8 Social Impact Investment Taskforce), is a member of the OECD Expert Group on Impact Investment, Bridges Impact + Global Advisory Council.

Jake Maguire - Scaling Social Impact

Jake co-directs Community Solutions' work to help communities end homelessness throughout the US and around the world. He is privileged to advise and support ambitious, partner-led housing efforts on three continents, as well as Community Solutions' own Built for Zero initiative in the United States. From 2010-2014, he worked as a member of the 100,000 Homes Campaign team, Community Solutions' flagship national team, which helped 186 communities find permanent housing for more than 105,000 chronically homeless Americans in under four years.

Prior to joining Community Solutions, Jake advised candidates and elected officials at every level of US politics on effective communications and public affairs strategies. He holds a B.A. from Amherst College and an M.A. from the University of Texas at Austin.

Download Jake Maguire's presentationLink to external website

David Stoesz - From Welfare State to Investment State

David Stoesz is a visiting Fullbright Scholar at Flinders University and Carnigie Mellon University (Adelaide). He is an influential author and his most recent book published in 2016 The Dynamic Welfare State, discusses the new relationship between public and private institutions in advancing the Welfare of the Public. David has experience in public welfare, mental health, and higher education. His books have addressed children's services, welfare reform, international development, professional education, and social policy.

David Stoesz' latest discussion paper proposes the coming together of impact investing, behavioural economics and asset building to kickstart Australian Development Accounts (ADA): a 1% withholding tax on wages matched by governments depending on certain beneficiaries vulnerability. The ADA's aim is to provide a means to accelerate upward mobility, increase human capital and generate revenue for economic development.

Could this be a solution to the ever growing austerity within the Welfare State?

Download David Stoez's Presentation Link to external website

Brian Lobel - Sick of the Fringe & the Wellcome Trust

Brian was was brought to Adelaide by the Fringe Festival as part of their proposed Sick of the Fringe program for 2018.

Brian is a Senior Lecturer in Performing Arts at University of Chichester, an Associate Artist with Clod Ensemble's Performing Medicine, a Core Member of Forest Fringe and a Wellcome Trust Public Engagement Fellow. He is a performer, teacher and curator who is interested in creating work about bodies and how they are watched, policed, poked, prodded and loved by others. Brian has shown work internationally in a range of contexts, from medical schools to galleries, cabarets to museums, marketplaces to forests, blending provocative humor with insightful reflection. Brian founded the Edinburgh The Sick of the Fringe program in 2015 along with producer Tracy Gentles – which is now expanding to London, Adelaide and elsewhere. The Sick of the Fringe supports and promotes art looking at health, medicine, illness, disability and the body.

Enspiral - More People Working on Stuff that Matters

Enspiral Link to external website is a collection of lawyers, accountants, designers, computer programmers and many others working differently together - online and offline in co-working spaces. One of Enspiral’s many success stories is the development of the open source collaborative decision making platform, Loomio Link to external website which is now used by thousands of people around the world.

Tim Dunlop - Why The Future is Workless

Tim Dunlop was a pioneer of political blogging in Australia. He ran the internationally successful independent blog The Road to Surfdom and was the first Australian blogger to be hired by a mainstream media organisation (News Limited, for which he wrote the political blog Blogocracy). He has a PhD in communication and political philosophy, teaches at Melbourne University, and writes regularly for a number of publications, including The Drum.

His new book is Why The Future is Workless explores how the landscape of work is changing right in front of us, from Uber, Airbnb and the new share economy to automated vehicles, 3D printing and advanced AI. The question isn’t whether robots will take our jobs, but what we will do when they do. The era of full-time work is coming to an end and we have to stop holding out the false promise that at some magical moment the jobs are going to reappear. He has also written The New Front Page: New Media and the Rise of the Audience whichin which he looks at the ways the media and audiences to work together to hold the powerful to account, and to produce the sort of news and analysis that enriches public debate.

Don Dunstan Foundation

Level 8, 115 Grenfell St
SA 5005 Australia


Phone: +61 8 8313 3364
ABN: 14 614 345 149

Registered Charity

Find Us Online
Follow Us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Watch us on YouTube