Previous Guest Speakers

Information on the guest speakers SWAN has had during its first 10 years can be found under the About Us and then History of SWAN section of this website. There you will find 2 publications. "Pen Portraits" looks at SWAN's first ten years, including stories from individual SWAN members as well as information about guest speakers. "A Just Peninsula" has interviews with numerous local residents, including some of the founders of SWAN, talking about how SWAN first started.

Since then some of the guest speakers (for details about their presentations go to the relevant newsletters) have included: 

May 07: Mary Dalmau

July 2007: Tara Anderson

September 2007: Leslie Cannold who spoke about ethics and the abortion myth. For more information go to: 

November 2007 Merle Mitchell spoke about many community development initiatives from the Springvale Community Aid and Advice Bureau to assist newly arrived migrant and refugee families during her time as their director. For more information go to:

March 2008: Jenny Wharfe spoke about the Blue Wedges Coalition against the deepening and dredging of Port Phillip Bay, Melbourne, Victoria, Australiafor more info go to

May 2008 Pamela Warr spoke about her commitments with the Salvation Army including her role with their missing person's bureau, now known as their family tracing service. For more information go to:

July 2008: Belinda Jakiel spoke about her Aboriginal heritage and role as Project Manager – National Indigenous Employment Program with AFL Sportsready. For more info go to:

September 2008: Di Bowles spoke about her work with World Education Australia which helps empower women in developing countries by providing education and training and micro-finance loans to assist them in creating sustainable employment opportunities. For more information go to:

November 2008: To commemorate and celebrate the Centenary of Women's Suffrage in Victoria SWAN had a special meeting which included 3 special guest speakers. Founding SWAN member Judith Graley spoke of her 12 years as a local councillor and current State MP role, Bev Colomb Mayor of thr Mornington Peninsula Shire Council spoke of a recent meeting with the PM, Kevin Rudd in Canberra and Marian Quartly academic gave an overview of the history of the women's vote in Victoria. For more information on the centenary go to:

March 2009: Our planned speaker Mary-Lou Doswell from Trauma Center Australia was to about strategies for supporting grieving adults and children who are survivors of trauma and disasters. Forbmore information go to: However due to a family emergency she was unable to attend. Instead at short notice, SWAN was able to get SWAN member and academic Dr. Carol Morse to provide us with information about post-traumatic stress disorder and her work with survivors of the recent bushfires.

May 2009; May Kentish spoke about her life long interest in the international political economy and the devastation wrought on the environment during times of war. For more information May suggested members go to:

July 2009: Aboriginal health worker and artist Bea Edwards spoke about the current and future concerns of the Aboriginal community on the Mornington Peninsula. For more information on the local Aboriginal community go to:

September 2009: Joan Kirner AM, first female Premier of Victoria (1990-92), spoke about women having a voice in our political system and of Emily's List which she helped found in 1996 to support and mentor progressive Labor women to be elected to parliament. For more information go to :

November 2009: Sabra Lazarus spoke about her role as a housing officer at the Mornington Peninsula Shire and her report "Speaking Home Truths: homelessness on the Mornington Peninsula 2008" for more information go to:

March 2010: Debby Maziarz spoke about circus skills to engage and disadvantaged and troubled young people, migrants and refugees. For more info go to

May 2010: Morag Loh spoke about social justice and the ABC. Morag who is a writer and curator of photography also spoke of 'The ABC: It's Ours Independent and Free' a travelling exhibition she put together with photographer John Werrett, for Friends of the ABC, to emphasise the importance of the ABC remaining in independent hands. For more information go to:

July 2010: Marguerite Ryan spoke about Women For Women In Africa Foundation (WFWIA) which wasfounded in 2003, and of which she is the chairperson. WFWIA is committed to empowering and supporting women and children in Kiberia, a slum area of Nairobi, Kenya. For more information go to

September 2010: Marlene Drysdale,Associate Professor and Head of the Indigenous Health Unit at Monash University Department of
Rural and Indigenous Health spoke about her Aboriginal Women's Journey: Politics, Social Justice and Academia. For information on Aboriginal Health issues in Victoria go to:

November 2010: Sian Darling, film maker, spoke about her role at the Human Rights Arts and Film Festival (HRAFF) and screened her film "You'd Sing Too" about artists from refugee backgrounds and their thoughts on the concept of freedom. For more information on HRAFF go to:

 March 2011: Marlene Fox, manager of 'Biala' in Mornington, spoke about children with disabilities and the importance and benefits of early intervention strategies. For more information go to:

May 2011: Fazila Hajeb, who was born in Kabul, Afghanistan and is now a part-time teacher and SBS broadcaster, spoke about the charity Tents4Peace, for which she is currently the Deputy Chairperson. For more information go to:

July 2011: Our NAIDOC week speaker Glenys Watts, team leader of the Aboriginal Support and Development Team at the Mornington Peninsula Shire, spoke of her family history and the work of her team. For more information go to:

September 2011: Due to our planned guest speaker becoming unavailable at short notice, SWAN member Rosemarie Draper spoke about her recent working holiday in the Northern Territory, when she did a six month Child Protection locum to see for herself how the Government's Emergency Response ("Intervention") was being implemented.For more information go to:


May 2013: Mel Reynolds from Project Futures and Nicky Mih spoke about how they became involved in the organisation to raise awareness and funds to combat the terrible trade of children and women into sexual slavery. For further details and information go to: and/or

 September 2016:  We were privileged to have the 2016 Mornington Council's winer of the 'Australia Day Citizen of the Year" award,  Aline Burgess.  Aline gave a passionate and inspiring speech outlining the power of grass roots organisations and explaining how it was that she  came to recognise the need for support for carers of those with mental illnesses,  which led to the formation of  the Peninsula Carer Council.  For more information on this valuable community resource : 


Image Gallery