Grantmaking Intelligence Conference 2021

Grantmaking has come a long way over the past 20 years, maturing over time into a sophisticated, complex, nuanced profession.

Grantmakers are better educated than ever before about the importance of process and governance. They know about and strive for collaboration and partnerships. They know more about how to evaluate and measure their impact. The tech has improved out of sight. But how did the profession reach this point, what has slipped through the cracks, and where do grantmakers go next?

Conference program

Day One

Thursday, March 18

Grantmaking Intelligence Conference 2021 - Powered by SmartyGrants

An interactive online conference drawing together grantmakers from all corners of the country (and beyond) and all types and sizes of organisations, providing an opportunity to connect and collaborate. A line-up of provocative speakers will invite you to lift your gaze from the everyday and be inspired in all areas of this multifaceted profession.
Day Two

Friday, March 19

Government Musters (Local & State/Federal)

Spend the morning among your people, focusing on what really matters to you, in one of two “muster” groups – one for local government grantmakers, the other for state and federal government grantmakers. Together with your peers you’ll collaborate, share war stories and celebrate successes. Sit back and take it all in or stand up and be heard.

SmartyGrants: Behind the Curtain

After lunch, quiz the SmartyGrants brains trust on the latest developments in the southern hemisphere’s leading grants management system.
SG Conf2021 Brochure Cover
For details on sessions and times, please see the conference brochure


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Sarah Barker

Sarah is Our Community’s Director of Data Intelligence, heading up a team of data scientists who are working to help grantmakers and not-for-profits make the most of the data they collect. Sarah has extensive experience in consulting, systems architecture, training and management, working mainly on large-scale IT system replacements. Before joining SmartyGrants, Sarah spent two years working for an international NGO in London, first in their IT department and then as the coordinator for a multi-million-dollar livelihoods project funded through a corporate grant. She is particularly interested in poverty reduction, ICT for development, and women's rights and empowerment.

Chuck Berger Kimberly Community Legal

Chuck Berger

Chuck Berger is Manager of Kimberley Community Legal Services, which provides legal and family support services to six towns and a dozen remote Aboriginal communities across the Kimberley region of WA. He has previously worked as a graphic designer and corporate lawyer, before shifting gears to join the Australian Conservation Foundation in 2003, where he worked for ten years as general counsel and Director of Strategic Ideas. He has also led Outdoors Victoria, an industry group representing nature-based tourism, education and recreation.


Teena Blewitt

Teena is the group manager of Communities Group, working in partnership with government and non-government organisations to improve the wellbeing of individuals and communities through the delivery of policies, programs and services. Teena has extensive experience across the public sector and not for profit sector, having worked in the disciplines of policy development, program management, service delivery, budget strategy and people management. Teena has occupied a range of Senior Executive positions in the APS including in the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, the Department of Finance, the Department of Human Services, and the Department of Social Services. Teena has an Executive Masters in Public Administration (Hons) and is a recipient of th

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Jahna Cedar

Jahna Cedar is a Nyiyaparli/Yindjibarndi woman from the Pilbara region of Western Australia. She has spent more than 20 years advocating for equal rights and reconciliation of Indigenous people in Australia and abroad. She is a director at IPS Management Consultants and a current board member of the Curtin University Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Committee, IBN Corporation and the Institute of Community Directors Australia advisory committee. She is an Associate fellow of the Australian Institute of Management WA (AIMWA) and Governance Institute of Australia and a graduate of Australian Institute of Company directors

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Fiona Dempster

Fiona is a grantmaking and social inclusion consultant. A former ministerial advisor with experience in program management and delivery, Fiona’s key areas of interest are social inclusion, community development, organisational governance, carers, families and children’s policy, and community consultation.

Nicole Guyatt

Nicole Guyatt

Nicole Guyatt has been a grantmaker for over 13 years, working in state government. Nicole is currently the acting leader of the grants team at Heritage New South Wales, within the NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet. The Heritage NSW grants program is designed to provide a wide range of support for customers and to respect the cultural safety of Aboriginal customers and staff. In 2019 the grants team was awarded the title Grantmaker of the Year in recognition of innovations such as providing a “champion team” of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal men and women from around the state rather than a generic grant enquiry contact number, and engaging a respected Aboriginal artist to develop an artwork to promote the grants.

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Anthea Hancocks

Anthea is the CEO of the Scanlon Foundation and CEO of the Scanlon Foundation Research Institute. The Scanlon Foundation is a private philanthropic organisation dedicated to social cohesion and the transition of migrants into Australian society. She has an extensive background in strategic planning, business development, community service, education, communications and relationship and services marketing through senior leadership experience in private, ASX listed, government, professional services, academia and not for profit organisations here and in the US. She is a Member of the Australian Multicultural Council, Chair of The NMFC’s Huddle Advisory Committee, an accredited mediator, Chair of the Monash Migration and Inclusion Centre Advisory Board, a non-executive Director of YMCA Victoria, Chair of Welcoming Australia, Chair of the Ubuntu Project’s Advisory Board and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Lars Jensen

Lars Jensen

Lars joined SmartyGrants in early 2016 after amassing nearly two decades of experience in digital and large enterprise IT as a software developer, architect and consultant. With a strong specialisation in Java EE, his expertise also encompasses a broad array of web and integration technologies, attained in a range of industries including banking, online retail, government and insurance. An advocate of open-source software, Lars is enthusiastic about delivering robust, scalable and secure systems that are a pleasure to use. Lars holds a Bachelor of Business Systems from Monash University.

Jeremy Kelshaw

Jeremy Kelshaw

Jeremy Kelshaw is the Manager of Grants and Sponsorship for the City of Sydney, He is responsible for end-to-end leadership and oversight for one of Australia’s largest local government grants programs working across the cultural, social, environmental and economic domains valued at $20M annually.

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Robyn Koehler

Robyn Koehler is research manager at Community Trust South in New Zealand. Her professional experience ranges across the not-for-profit, sport, tertiary education and health sectors, and she has held roles with the Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind, a sport franchise, the Southern Institute of Technology, and the New Zealand government’s Accident Compensation Corporation. Robyn is passionate about continuous learning and working in partnership to enhance community resilience.

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Dr Simon Longstaff AO

Simon's distinguished career includes being named as one of AFR Boss' True Leaders for the 21st century, with Carol Schwartz noting; "I don't know one CEO or chairman in corporate Australia who has not worked with Simon Longstaff". Simon Longstaff began his working life on Groote Eylandt (Anindilyakwa) in the Northern Territory where he worked in the Safety Department of the then BHP subsidiary, GEMCO. He is proud of his kinship ties with members of the island's Indigenous community. Following a period studying law in Sydney and a brief career teaching in Tasmania, Simon undertook postgraduate studies in philosophy as a Member of Magdalene College, Cambridge. Simon commenced his work as the first Executive Director of The Ethics Centre in 1991. Simon is a Fellow of CPA Australia and is an Honorary Professor at the Australian National University - based at the National Centre for Indigenous Studies. Formerly serving as the inaugural President of The Australian Association for Professional & Applied Ethics, Simon serves on a number of boards and committees across a broad spectrum of activities, including Our Community. He was formerly a Fellow of the World Economic Forum.

Amanda Martin AEGN

Amanda Martin

Amanda has worked in philanthropy for over 20 years, having worked as Executive Officer for the Poola Foundation for four years before helping to establish the AEGN in 2008. After years of participating in and helping with social and environmental change, Amanda believes that a key ingredient to making the world a better place is smart and strategic community groups working with smart and strategic philanthropy. She has a background in biodiversity and protected area advocacy and management, working in both the public and community sector. Previously, Amanda was the Executive Officer of the Victoria National Parks Association, and the Head of Policy and Planning at Parks Victoria.

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Tabitha McMullan

Tabitha McMullan is a cultural development manager, strategist and passionate visionary for arts and culture. With over 15 years of experience in the sector, she strongly believes in Western Australia’s place as a cultural leader on the world stage. She holds a Master of Art History and Curatorial Studies degree from York University, Toronto. A Canadian citizen, Tabitha immigrated to Perth in 2010, where she has consistently worked to support place-making, community vibrancy and liveability through arts, culture, heritage and art history. She manages a diverse portfolio of cultural services in her role at the City of Perth, including the grants and sponsorships program.

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Nathan Mifsud

Nathan is a data scientist in Our Community's Innovation Lab. He has done research in youth mental health and higher education, is an enthusiastic teacher, and has a PhD in cognitive neuroscience from UNSW.


Kate Mocsay

Kate Mocsay is the community development project officer at Logan City Council in Queensland, where she gets to channel her passion for community by coordinating the Community Development grants program. Kate is driven to create opportunities that build capacity and respond to the needs of the community.

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Denis Moriarty

Denis is the founder and Group Managing Director of Our Community. Denis has a strong background in executive management in both the public and private sectors. He has served as head of the Victorian Government's Information Service, Managing Director of Strategic Australia Pty Ltd (a boutique management consultancy), and Commissioner and Deputy CEO of the Victorian Tourism Commission. Denis is a graduate of the Vincent Fairfax Ethics in Leadership program and the Williamson Community Leadership Program, and a member of several not-for-profit and private boards. He is passionate about change and is driven by a desire to improve the lives of the most disadvantaged in society in a way that assists individuals and communities to take charge of their own destiny. Denis was awarded a Centenary Medal in 2001 for his work in establishing Our Community.

Gavin Murphy

Gavin Murphy

Gavin has spent three years laying the policy groundwork for a stronger focus on outcomes at the City of Greater Dandenong, where he leads the community funding team. With a big grants budget and a diverse community to serve, he seeks a clear line of sight from policy to outcomes in all his grantmaking endeavours.

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Nina O'Brien

Nina leads the Disaster Resilience & Recovery team at FRRR who support remote, rural and regional communities across Australia to be vibrant, resilient and revitalised. FRRR believes that targeted, well-informed investment in people and organisations that are in and of their place will stimulate ideas that lead to actions, both big and small. Nina brings professional experience in not-for-profit management, community services, arts development and local government across South Australia, New South Wales and Victoria, in addition to volunteer roles across her community.

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Kathy Richardson

Kathy is Executive Director and Chaos Controller at Our Community, where she is overseeing a range of data-related initiatives for grantmakers and not-for-profits. A 2014 Eisenhower Fellow, Kathy began her career as a journalist before joining the Our Community team in 2003 to play a part in activating the organisation's mission to build stronger communities through stronger community organisations.

Jessica Rutherford

Jessica Rutherford

Jess joined Our Community early in 2016 to lead the SmartyGrants delivery team. She has more than 17 years’ experience in the IT industry, from consulting with a niche software development company, to working with large-scale corporates. Starting her career as a business analyst, Jess has always been keen to understand customer requirements and ensure systems are built with users’ experience at heart. Before joining SmartyGrants, she ran large-scale IT projects in the banking sector. Her passion for community (in particular Scouting) makes Our Community a natural home.

Jodie Shanks

Jodie Shanks

Jodie is our Director of Platform Transformation at SmartyGrants. She has been with Our Community since 2012. In her current role, Jodie helps guide SmartyGrants’ strategic direction, with a focus on product transformation. Jodie also heads up our training and support area, where she works on continual improvement of our interactions with clients and colleagues. Previously, Jodie worked in a variety of different roles, from marketing and communications to membership management to bank analyst to tour guide. Before joining SmartyGrants, Jodie was immersed in the grantmaking world whilst working within the research and planning area at beyondblue. Jodie has a Diploma in Business Management, train-the-trainer qualifications and is currently completing a Bachelor of Business (Information Systems).

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Barry Smith

Barry is a consultant and a former senior public servant with more than 30 years’ experience in grantmaking, social policy research, policy and program development and management. His key areas of interest include program development and administration, and special policy training and education.

Lavinia Tyrrell

Lavinia Tyrrell

Lavinia is the coordinator of community projects and grants for Western Downs Regional Council in Queensland, overseeing a small team to deliver grants to the local community as well as community projects such as the volunteering program. With over 20 years of experience in local government, Lavinia has a passion for ensuring that rural communities thrive and prosper.

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Michael van Vliet

Michael leads the grants team at Yarra City Council overseeing a $3.2m grants program. Yarra covers the diverse inner Melbourne suburbs of Collingwood, Richmond and Fitzroy and was one of the early adopters of SmartyGrants. Michael has a journalism degree and became involved in grants after writing speeches for the State Government. He previously managed the grant program at the Victorian Multicultural Commission for eight years. Michael is the current Chair of Multicultural Arts Victoria, manager of his daughter’s basketball team and in his spare time, plays Bob Dylan songs on piano and guitar.

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Chris Wheeler

Chris Wheeler is a former deputy New South Wales Ombudsman, and he served in this role with five successive administrations. A Public Service Medal recipient, he has extensive experience in investigations and reviews and has been widely published. Now a consultant, he specialises in advice and training on ethics, complaint handling, administrative law, public interest disclosures and whistleblowing. He is a commissioner on the NSW Greyhound Welfare and Integrity Commission.

Vanessa Zanotti

Vanessa Zanotti

Vanessa Zanotti is a qualified social worker with over 18 years of experience in community development, grants, child protection, youth work and disability at state and local levels. She currently works as a community development and grants officer at Sutherland Shire Council in New South Wales, where for the past three years she has administered an annual community grants and subsidies program that aims to support, empower and connect the local community. Vanessa is passionate about working with the community and protecting vulnerable populations.

What people say...

“Understanding that grantmaking is a craft/industry that has colleagues, peers, professional development opportunities etc. I had never really considered that there is a community around it.”
“Hearing from a range of different speakers. The SmartyGrants helpdesk was amazing and a great idea.”
“Meeting other local government employees who are in the same grants space. We built a little network.”
“Meeting other local government employees who are in the same grants space. We built a little network.””
“A good chance to catch up with people and see what’s happening, what we are doing right and what we need to improve on.”

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