2019 Keynote Speakers


Venerable Dr Juewei

Founder, Communities of Practice

Venerable Dr Juewei is the Director of Nan Tien Institute’s Humanistic Buddhism Centre and Lecturer at the Institute’s Applied Buddhist Studies program.

Venerable Dr Juewei holds a Ph.D. in Religious Studies, a Master of Arts in Buddhist Studies, a Master of Business Administration, and a Master of Science in Computer Science and Engineering. Through the Humanistic Buddhism Centre, Venerable Dr Juewei heads up a worldwide tour, ‘Buddha’s Birthday Education Project (BBEP)’ that connects past and present, east and west.  The team from BBEP are behind the current Communities of Practice series.

Keynote Speakers

Aunty Fran Bodkin

7 OCT 2018, Connections: The Power of The Gift

Aunty Fran Bodkin is a descendant of the D’harawal people of the Bidiagal clan. She is an educator of D’harawal knowledge and holds a Bachelor of Arts and Sciences with five majors, one of which is Environmental Sciences, plus other post graduate degrees. She has published three books on D’harawal culture, stories and natural resources. 


Aunty Fran works tirelessly with groups of all ages, sharing ethno-scientific knowledge passed down by traditional clans and which is being increasingly referred to by modern research, in order to promote a deeper understanding of how to care for our natural environment.

Bill Lovegrove AO

28 JAN 2019, The Power of The Mind

Professor Lovegrove has been President of the Nan Tien Institute since 2016. He was the Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Southern Queensland from 2003-2011. Before that he was the Senior Deputy Vice Chancellor at Griffith following appointments at the University of Wollongong as Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research and International) and as Professor of Psychology.


He is an Emeritus Professor at both the Universities of Wollongong and Southern Queensland. He received his AO in 2017 for leadership in tertiary education, developing academia in regional areas and to cooperative research in various fields.

Hugh Mackay AO

3 MAR 2019, Healing an Anxious Society

Hugh Mackay is a social researcher and bestselling author of 19 books, including his latest, Australia Reimagined, published in 2018. He has had a 60-year career in social research, and was also a weekly newspaper columnist for over 25 years.


He is currently a patron of the Asylum Seekers Centre and an honorary professor of social science in the University of Wollongong.

Stephen Hill AM

22 APR 2019, We Can Make a Difference

Stephen Hill is Emeritus Professor of the University of Wollongong, Faculty of Law, Humanities and the Arts. Though graduating initially as a research chemist, he also was awarded Australia’s first PhD in Business Administration (University of Melbourne) and was appointed as Foundation Professor of Sociology at the University of Wollongong at age 30.


He has authored or coauthored 22 books and over 350 publications or major international speeches across eleven disciplines. From 1995 to 2006 he served as the United Nations’ Regional Director for Science for Asia and the Pacific and Ambassador of the UN Agency, UNESCO – based in Indonesia and Paris.


Stephen is a key advisor to the Communities of Practice series.

John Hatton AO

22 APR 2019, We Can Make a Difference

John Hatton was raised in Hammondville, Western Sydney, and became a teacher of agriculture and science. In parallel he was elected Councillor of the Shoalhaven Shire Council from 1965 to 1973, President from 1969 to 1973. John then was elected as the Independent Member for the South Coast to NSW State Parliament from 1973 to 1995 where he was a consistent campaigner against corruption and wastage.


He retired in 1995 after 22 years as MP for the South Coast, but remains a committed campaigner against corruption and for community empowerment.

Rev Bill Crews AM

22 APR 2019, We Can Make a Difference

Originally an electrical engineer, in 1969, Bill helped create the Life Education Centres along with Rev Ted Noffs, to assist young people to avoid harmful drugs. Life Education Centres are now all over Australia, Hong Kong, Thailand, New Zealand, England and America.


In 1986, he was ordained as minister of the Ashfield Uniting Church in Sydney’s inner-west. At Ashfield he created The Exodus Foundation to assist homeless and abandoned youth. Today The Exodus Foundation is one of Sydney’s largest frontline charities.


Since August 2002 Rev. Crews has broadcast his Sunday Night Crews radio programme on Sydney station 2GB-873AM.

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