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Question Time

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at The Wheeler Centre

Generation Next: The Issues and Opportunities Facing Young Australians

With tertiary fees and youth unemployment on the rise, an uncertain job market, increasingly elusive home ownership, and climate change knocking on the door … you’d have to think things are looking a little grim for young people in Australia today. 

But there’s plenty of scope for optimism too. The number of young people working or studying in Australia has never been higher, controversial proposals to delay access to social security for under-30s have been scrapped, Australia’s tertiary system is globally competitive, and there appears to be a growing recognition – from both public and private quarters – of the importance of fostering an economic climate suitable for start-ups and small businesses. Increasingly, too, young Australians are gaining positions of influence, persuasively articulating their needs, and creating opportunities for their peers.

In her role as chair of the G20 Youth Summit in 2014, Holly Ransom was in the unique position of securing policy demands for young people from global world leaders. Madeleine Morris will host Ransom, as well Jan Owen, CEO of the Foundation for Young Australians, and Ruchir Punjabi, founder of the Australia India Youth Dialogue, in a full hour of audience questions – providing a unique opportunity to discuss the policies, bodies, organisations, and individuals shaping the future for young Australians.


Portrait of Madeleine Morris

Madeleine Morris

Madeleine Morris is a Melbourne-based reporter for ABC television’s 7.30. She was formerly a presenter for the BBC in London and reported from dozens of countries before returning to her native Australia. She is the author of Guilt-Free Bottle-Feeding: Why Your Formula-Fed Baby Can Grow Up To Be Happy, Healthy and Smart, published by Finch. 

Portrait of Jan Owen

Jan Owen

Jan Owen is the CEO of Foundation for Young Australians. Before joining FYA, Jan was Executive Director of Social Ventures Australia, which aims to increase the impact of the Australian social sector. Prior to this, Jan founded the CREATE Foundation, the national consumer body for children and young people in out of home care. 

In 2000 she was awarded membership of the Order of Australia for services to children and young people and in 1999 received a fellowship for leadership and innovation to the Peter Drucker Foundation in the US. Jan is the author of Every Childhood Lasts a Lifetime (1996) and The Future Chasers (2014).

Portrait of Holly Ransom

Holly Ransom

Holly Ransom is the CEO of Emergent Solutions, a company specialising in the development of high performing intergenerational workforces, leadership and social outcomes.

In 2012, she was the youngest person to be named in Australia’s ‘100 Most Influential Women’, and also became the world’s youngest-ever Rotary President. In 2014, the Australian Prime Minister appointed Holly to chair the G20 Youth Summit, and her corporate career has involved working as Chief of Staff to NAB Wealth Chief Executive Andrew Hagger and for Rio Tinto CEO Sam Walsh. Holly’s company Emergent Solutions has worked with the likes of INPEX, CBH, Conoco Phillips, KPMG, as well as local, state and federal government departments around the world.

Portrait of Ruchir Punjabi

Ruchir Punjabi

Ruchir Punjabi is the founder and chair of Langoor – an advertising agency of creative technologists with more than 150 people across Asia, in India, Singapore, Hong Kong and Australia. He was also the founding chair of the Australia India Youth Dialogue, a track II diplomatic dialogue between the young leaders of Australia and India. 

He serves as a Non-Executive Director of the Foundation for Young Australians in addition to a number of not for profit and business boards.

Question Time

When you think ‘question time’, perhaps you picture rowdy politicians cussing each other out. But in our regular series, we’re putting the dignity back into proceedings … along with a generous amount of time. It’s one full hour of pure Q&A between you, our audience, moderator Madeleine Morris, and a panel of experts in the evening’s chosen field of inquiry. Get informed about the key issues of our time. BYO hot potatoes and burning questions.

Hosted by Madeleine Morris.


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