Program of Activities


Click Here to Download the Convention 'Schedule at a Glance' (384.3 KB)



The Shine Dome Australian Academy of Science | 15 Gordon Street | Acton ACT

1:00pm-2:00pm Registration and Afternoon Tea 

2:00pm-2:30pm Welcome and Orientation

Andrea Ho (MC)
Adam Davey (CEO)

Keynotes: What Happened Nex

Dr Michele Bruniges AM Secretary, Australian Department of Education and Training (2000 Churchill Fellow)

The experience of being a Churchill Fellow gave Michele Bruniges the personal courage and professional confidence to pursue a high-level career in service of the public, focussing on measuring educational outcomes. It was during her Fellowship that, from a Toronto hostel telephone, Dr Bruniges had her first interview for a senior executive position in the NSW government. Her success in that role positioned her for major education system achievements nationally.

Catherine McGowan AO, MP Member for Indi, Victoria (1990 Churchill Fellow)

What Happened Next? - "Who would have thought!" Following her Churchill Fellowship in 1990 to research the Canadian Rural Women's Network, Cathy returned to promote the work of Australia’s rural women and women in agriculture. In 2012, a group of rural young people approached Cathy to stand for Parliament, believing that a "marginal" seat would bring improved services. With grass roots support, Cathy won the 2013 election with a margin of 439 votes, which grew to more than 8000 in 2016. Cathy is proud to attribute many of the lessons learnt from the Churchill Fellowship - the skills of community engagement, community organising, community leadership and participation, to her success.


3:30pm-5:15pm Big Conversation: Gaining Traction

Dr Michele Bruniges and Catherine McGowan will be joined by ACT Fellow and Facilitator Karen Middleton, NSW Fellow Tracey Cain, ACT Fellow Tony Peacock and VIC Fellow Barry Appleton to discuss the opportunities and challenges of gaining traction and sharing your findings after the Fellowship experience. Churchill Fellow Karen Middleton (Chief Political Correspondent for The Saturday Paper) will facilitate the panel discussion and Q&A.

5:15pm-6:45pm Fellows Reception

A relaxed, social gathering to share fine wine and conversation and to be surprised by the engaging pop-up entertainment of our creative ACT Fellows.

5:45pm-10:00pm Evening Episodes

Excitement awaits those wanting to partake in our nocturnal delights. Choose to take a guided tour throughout a protected wildlife sanctuary to observe spotted quolls and other rare creatures; dare yourself with a ghost tour through he National Film and Sound Archive - Canberra’s most haunted building (extra charge), take a guided tour of the heritage listed Shine Dome or chill out in the bar at University House.


Convention Header



The Shine Dome Australian Academy of Science | 9 Gordon Street | Acton ACT

Welcome and Orientation

David Trebeck (Chair of the Trust Board)
Meet the Facilitators (Dr Siwan Lovett, Andrea Ho, Nicholas Stuart)

10:00am-10:30am Morning Tea 

10:30am-12.30pm Focus Conversations

There will be 10-12 Focus Conversations comprising of three to four Fellows outlining ways their Fellowship opened up their career, workplace, community or chosen field (7 minutes, 7 slides, TEDx style). These will be followed by a facilitated Q&A to explore opportunities and challenges the Fellowship provides, and the issues facing the various sectors into the future.  

12:30pm-1:30pm Lunch


1:30pm-3:00pm Focus Conversations


Our day concludes with a robust discussion on the biggest issues Fellows encounter on their journey and the best ways to fulfill the potential of the Fellowship into the future.  


Convention Header


11:00am-3:00pm Saturday Tours

90-minute walking tours of the local precinct exploring a variety of interests, including heritage, politics, and sustainability in the landscape (designed for family not attending the official program).

  • 11:00am-12:30pm ANU Heritage Highlights
  • 1:30pm-3:00pm Old Acton

9:00am-5:15pm Merchandise Showcase

Many of our Fellows have produced books, artwork, and items of saleable quantities. The showcase will display these items with details outlining how the items can be purchased.

6.30pm-10:00pm Convention Dinner

6:00pm Buses depart University House
6:30pm Canapes
7:00pm-10:00pm Dinner, music and socialising

Dine under the wings of G-for-George in the Great Hall of the Australian War Memorial. Guest speakers include Geraldine Doogue MC (2000 Fellow), Dr Brendan Nelson, Director of the Australian War Memorial and Mr David Crotty (1998 Fellow) who was integral in the restoration of the plane under which we will be sitting. We will also experience an amazing musical performance that will tingle your spine, along with Canberra Jazz musicians at their finest. Be prepared for an unforgettable experience.


Convention Header



University House Common Room | Churchill Trust House | Tour venues around Canberra


8:00am-10:30am Breakfast at University House

Start the day with a relaxed Churchill Fellows breakfast in the Common Room and Central Gardens of the ANU University House, along with ANU Vice-Chancellor Brian Schmidt. 

8:00am-1.30pm Artists in the House

ACT Fellows Art Display at Churchill Trust House

10:15am-12:30pm Morning Tours

Explore the significant, quirky and unique side of Canberra’s spaces and places. Join one of the many interesting walking and bus tours hosted by local Churchill Fellows and knowledgable Canberrans. Tours will include:  

  • National Library of Australia
  • Jerrabomberaa Wetlands
  • ACT Fire and Rescue
  • St Andrew's Presbyterian Church
  • Mt Stromlo Observatory
  • Quirky Canberra (extra charge)
  • And more!

12:30pm-1.30pm Lunch (own arrangements) 

1.30pm-3:00pm High Court Concert

Our Convention concludes with a unique concert with performances by high profile musicians and Churchill Fellows in the impressive space of the High Court of Australia.


Convention Header

Photograph courtesy of Peter Hislop




Home  > Program > Speakers > Tours > Concert > Accommodation > Registration