A conversation with His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Panel Biographies

On June 17th 2011, His Holiness the Dalai Lama inspired the Brisbane business and community sector in a luncheon addressing values and leadership, environmental thinking and the action required. In order to bring these messages home, Green Cross has worked with Dalai Lama in Australia Ltd to bring together an amazing panel of Australian leaders who discussed how these values have mattered in their careers and community contributions.





Graeme Wood, Founder & Executive Director, Wotif.com Holdings Limited

Graeme Wood revolutionised the travel industry in Australia when he created the concept for, and cofounded, Wotif.com in 2000. The Wotif Group employs more than 450 people in offices spread across the globe. During his seven years at the helm, Wotif.com became one of Australia's most successful and well-known online businesses.

In 2008, Graeme's passion for the environment and conservation saw him launch the not-for-profit Wild Mob, which creates volunteering opportunities in wilderness conservation around Australia. Through the Graeme Wood Foundation, Graeme also supports a range of organisations across educational, community, environmental and creative sectors and causes. This has included providing initial funding to establish The Centre for Youth Substance Abuse Research at the University of Queensland and The Global Change Institute (also at UQ) which targets solutions for problems linked to global-scale change.

Graeme's business and philanthropic achievements have been acknowledged through accolades such as:

  • Honorary Doctor of Economics, University of Queensland, 2011
  • 2008 Suncorp Queenslander of the Year
  • National winner of the Technology, Communications, E-Commerce and Life Sciences category - 2005 Ernst and Young, Entrepreneur of the Year awards.
  • Australian Institute of Management Medal for Management Innovation 2004 Management Excellence Awards.
  • Overall Winner and Winner of Outstanding Achievement by an Organisation in the Services Sector - Premier of Queensland's SMART Awards 2004.



Yassmin Abdel-Magied, 2011 Young Queenslander of the Year, Founder Youth Without Borders

At just 16 years of age, Yassmin Abdel-Magied established the organisation Youth Without Borders, a forum that empowers youth to work together for the implementation of positive change within their communities, locally and internationally.  On an international level, the organisation is working with a youth group in Indonesia to establish mobile libraries and is in the early stages of discussion with the Queensland State Library to expand the project to include Papua New Guinea.


Locally, Yassmin works with schools to promote diversity and understanding using sport as a medium for change.

She is currently coordinating Shinpads and Hijabs, a soccer training program for young Muslim women. The program has six local female Muslim community representatives involved as volunteer coaches and mentoring is being provided by players from Queensland W-League club Brisbane Roar. Yassmin also sits on the board of the Youth Affairs Network of Queensland and while still at school became the Deputy Chair of the Queensland Youth Council. She serves as a Director of the Queensland Museum and is a member of the Premier's Design Council.


Yassmin's work in the community is empowering young people to make positive changes in their lives and their communities.





Allan English - Founder and Non executive Chairman, Silver Chef

Allan English is founder of Silver Chef where he was the Managing Director from 1986 to June 2010 when he was appointed Non-executive Chairman. The idea for Silver Chef was born at a 1985 US trade show. Seeing that the American home delivery pizza market was booming, and convinced of the market's potential for growth in Australia, Allan invested heavily in conveyor ovens.


Unfortunately, it soon became clear that many pizza businesses could not afford to buy them. The solution? The ovens were rented out, and soon began to sell themselves.


Ten years later, Allan bought out his partner and devised a funding option that enabled small businesses to procure the equipment they needed, without committing large amounts of capital up-front. The new option, called Rent-Try-Buy®, has been at the centre of the Silver Chef success story ever since.


Allan is a Director of the Board of Karuna Hospice Pty Ltd, a Brisbane-based charity operating since 1992. Karuna strives to bring comfort, support, care and peace of mind to those who are dying, as well as their carers and families. Karuna provides free nursing, counseling, spiritual care, grief and loss support and equipment loans to over 500 people a year.


Allan is an Ambassador of Opportunity International Australia, a non profit offering microfinance in developing countries. Allan has provided theBrisbane office of OIA space pro bono since 2003. He has raised significant funds for OIA's work with the poor since 2001. Allan English received the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year award for the northern region in 2006. Silver Chef was proud to be listed Number 25 on the BRW Great Place to Work 2010.




Peter Williams, CEO Deloitte Digital

Peter Williams is a Partner with Deloitte, CEO of the newly formed Deloitte Digital, and until recently, was CEO of Australia's largest online mobile and emerging technology firm, Eclipse. Prior to his time at Deloitte Digital & Eclipse, Peter founded Deloitte's e-business consulting group in Australia in 1996.


Peter is one of Australia's thought leaders on innovation and online, mobile & emerging technology. He has worked with many high profile organisations such as Telstra, CSIRO, Holden, Victorian & Federal Governments and Meat & Livestock Australia. Peter is a sought after commentator on web and technology trends and in 2006 & 2007 has been featured in articles in the Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, BRW and Fast Thinking Magazine.


Peter's other roles include: Chairman of the Deloitte Innovation Council, AdvisoryBoard Swinburne University, School for Business Innovation, Board member of Circus Oz, Institute of Chartered Accountants - Future of the Profession Thought Leadership Committee.



Peter has played a significant community leadership role in the Black Saturday recovery, particularly relating to the community Flowerdale. He developed the first community blog and rebuilding website and is Chair of the Steering Committee of Green Cross Australia's "Build it Back Green" online portal (www.builditbackgreen.org ) For the past four years, since its introduction, Peter has been voted by peers and Deloitte staff as the firm's most inspirational partner.




Steve Killelea, Founder and Chairman, Integrated Research

In August 1988, Steve Killelea formed the Australian ASX listed company Integrated Research in 2000. The company's main business is systems management for international corporations such as Visa, Mastercard and American Express; the New York, London and Hong Kong stock exchanges; and most of the world's ATMs. Having stepped down as CEO November 2004, he is still Chairman of the company that now branches into the field of internet telephony. Steve also has an IT venture capital fund.


Steve set up The Charitable Foundation in 2000. He is Australia's largest individual overseas aid provider. Steve is the creative force behind the Global Peace Index study, launched in May 1997, that attempts to rank the world's nations' and regions' peacefulness. The Index is endorsed by the Dalai Lama, Desmond Tutu and Jimmy Carter.  He is the founder of the Institute for Economics and Peace which is "analysing the impact of peace on sustainability, defining the 'Peace Industry', estimating the value of peace to the world economy, and uncovering the social structures and social attitudes that are at the core of peaceful societies".


In 2008, Steve was the producer and chief financier for the documentary Soldiers of Peace, which was shown at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival, where it received The Club of Budapest World Ethic Film Award. The documentary also won Best Feature Film at the Monaco International Film Festival.


In June 2010, Steve Killelea was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for his service to the community through the global peace movement and the provision of humanitarian aid to the developing world. Steve and his wife Debbie are Foundation Members of Green Cross Australia.

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