Speakers

Natalie Collard
Host

Natalie Collard is the Executive Officer for Food and Fibre Great South Coast.  She is a highly-regarded advocate for regional Australia, agriculture, renewable energy, innovation and women’s leadership.

In 2013, Natalie was awarded Telstra Business Woman of the Year - Victoria (Community and Government) and NAB Women’s Agenda Emerging Leader Award national finalist in recognition of the business and industry transformation she led as CEO of Australian Dairy Farmers Ltd. In July 2018, Natalie was awarded Woman in Renewables of the Year by the International Global Solar + Energy Storage Organising Committee for her work as Chair of Women in Renewables (Australia) and EGM Industry Development at the Clean Energy Council.

Natalie’s other career highlights include managing Rural Affairs for the National Farmers’ Federation, leading Telstra’s Corporate Affairs for Victoria and Tasmania, managing an emergency post-September 11 arms control meeting of 32 countries in Paris, and speaking at the United Nations in Geneva on biological weapons. She has managed $1.2bn in corporate contracts and, as Defence’s lead negotiator on security treaties, negotiated seven bilateral agreements, including Australia’s first treaty with an organisation, NATO.

Her board experience includes the Australian Government’s Council of Australian Latin American Relations, Landcare Australia Ltd, Agsafe Ltd, and the Victorian Government Agriculture Energy Investment Plan Independent Advisory Council. Natalie has been a Business Mentor for APEC Women’s programs and a Board Advisor to Women in Renewables Asia.  More recently, she founded Quartz Group, where she applies her human-centred leadership philosophies as an executive coach. 

Natalie’s sense of belonging to the region commenced fifteen years ago when she first connected with the dairy community of south west Victoria. Enriched by these bonds, she kept in touch and leaped at the opportunity to deepen her relationship with the community and breathtaking beauty of Warrnambool and the Great South Coast. Her goal is to showcase the magic of our people, places and products in a way that inspires us to be the best we can be, and moves the world to celebrate communities that care for each other, while respecting differences and sharing prosperity.  

 

Dr Sharon Horwood

Dr Sharon Horwood is a senior lecturer in the School of Psychology and the Chair of personality psychology at Deakin University.

She is a researcher in the Centre for Social and Early Emotional Development where her research is primarily based in personality psychology, with a specific focus on human-computer interaction. Along with overseeing the design and delivery of a core undergraduate subject in psychology, Sharon leads a research team that investigates the impact of technology on health and wellbeing across the lifespan, and has published several leading studies investigating problematic smartphone use in adults.

Her current research is focused on the developmental impacts of screen use by toddlers and pre-schoolers, and the effects of social media use on adolescent wellbeing.

In 2020, Sharon was commissioned by SBS Australia to conduct a large-scale study of smartphone use in Australia for their recently released world-first interactive documentary Are You Addicted To Technology.    

 

Dave Beggs

After growing up on a merino stud not far north of Caramut, Dave Beggs graduated as a vet from the University of Melbourne in 1990 and worked briefly in Smithton, Tasmania, before moving to Warrnambool in 1992.  

After working as a mixed-practice vet for about 20 years, during which time he completed a Master degree in dairy medicine and production, he stepped back from general veterinary practice to take up an interest in research, academia and animal welfare.  

He is now a senior lecturer in cattle medicine at the Melbourne Veterinary school.  

Dave has completed a PhD in animal welfare of dairy cows.  

He has authored more than 25 peer reviewed research papers and presented at about 20 conferences.  

Dave is the author of WelfareCheck – a program used by cattle vets to develop animal welfare plans for farmers, he sits on the Victorian Government Animal Welfare Advisory Committee, and he has recently been appointed as a Fellow of the Australian Veterinary Association and editor-in-chief of the Australian Veterinary Journal.  

He is very excited to answer the important question, “Do cows think grass tastes good?”

Paul Watkins

Paul Watkins is probably best described as a cross between Harry Potter and Bear Grylls.

Starting out as a local pharmacist, he has spent time as a builder, property developer, entrepreneur, public speaker and trail runner. 

He has climbed, trekked and adventured in Tanzania, Argentina, Alaska, the Arctic, Antarctica, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, India, Jordan and Nepal to name a few.

He has also managed to race in some of Australia and the world’s toughest ultra-marathons - including being one of only six  people to ever finish and win the 614km 6633 Arctic Ultra.

His training for these expeditions also led him to become an avid student of the nuanced art of endurance training and a regular speaker on the topics of mental toughness, emotional resilience and personal discipline.

Paul describes himself as the only forklift driving, ultra-racing Pharmacist who has an MBA but is also handy with an ice-axe.

He now divides his time between being a pharmacist, climbing mountains, public speaking, corporate workshops, running ultra-marathons as well as being a husband and father to two young boys.

Tom Richardson and Kylie Thulborn

TOM RICHARDSON

Tom Richardson is your newest oldest friend and will leave you feeling as fulfilled as your most inspired coffee date. A multi-award winning singer/songwriter, international touring artist turned chaotic choir director, Tom has performed in over 15 different countries with his passport showing memories of musical collaborations with Native American poets, Indian Kirtan masters, Fijian highland village choirs and indigenous Australian icons. 

Appreciating the liberation in exploration and privilege of forging relationships with listeners and cultures around the world, Tom’s own and wider work is reflected in musical arrangements better categorised by emotion and experience, rather than genre or labels.

Tom is extremely passionate, through his work he ensures universal access to music is attainable for minority groups, his unwavering belief is that we are all much more alike than we are different.

KYLIE THULBORN

Equal parts enthusiasm, compassion and fireworks, Kylie Thulborn lives a selfless life empowering others through self advocacy and creative activism.

Mother-of-four, yogi, biophilliac and logistics queen are just a few adjectives used to describe Kylie, who for over 20 years has been committed to facilitating access and equality for those that share the lived experience of disability across South West  Victoria.

Whether speaking to suits in metropolitan political offices or pulling on a wetsuit before diving in the Southern Ocean, Kylie’s life’s work has elevated the conversation around equalising the lived experience of disability in regional areas. 

Kylie’s imprint can be found embedded in projects such as Bungy Jumping, Lawyers and Love,  the Speak Up Space, Rights / Lights / Sound, Advocacy / Inclusion / Community - Power of Partnerships Forum, the All Abilities Advocacy South West Network in addition to the Find Your Voice Choir. 

These projects with roots planted deeply in human rights have reinforced the essential nature of creative activism when raising community consciousness and empowering those individuals often left isolated and disempowered by disability.

TOGETHER

Life long friends and proven formidable team, Tom and Kylie have facilitated a number of inclusive projects across South West Victoria and beyond. Internationally, Tom and Kylie have collaborated to develop and deliver adaptive surfing and skating opportunities for people who share the lived experience of disability. 

Tom and Kylie have worked in partnership nurturing their shared capacity for creative community activism via internships with the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation,  Life Rolls On (USA), JAWS and Ocean Healing Group International Adaptive Surfing Program in Mal Pais (Costa Rica).

Above all, Tom and Kylie live the shared belief that if we are all able to look at each other through the same lense, the world would change for the better immediately. 

John Sherwood

John joined Warrnambool Institute of Advanced Education as a Lecturer in 1979, moving to Warrnambool from Sydney with his family.

Following formation of an expanded Deakin University in 1990, he was promoted to Associate Professor, a position which was made Honorary on his retirement in 2010.

John has strong environmental research interests and is actively involved in environmental management through his memberships of the Victorian Marine and Coastal Council.

Previously he has served on the  Board of Glenelg-Hopkins CMA, the Western Coastal Board, Victoria’s National Parks Advisory Council and, Victoria’s Fisheries Co-management Council.

He has also served as National President of the Australian Marine Sciences Association.

His work has been recognised by Warrnambool City Council (Australia Day Awards 1988, 2017), Glenelg-Hopkins CMA (Individual in Business Award 2005) and the Victorian Coastal Council (Lifetime Achievement Award 2005).