Small Loans
Big Hearts

Be part of Australia’s largest
microfinance conference

28 & 29 August
Grand Hyatt,
Melbourne, Victoria

Register Now


Last days to book

Have you secured your ticket to Australia’s largest microfinance conference? Ticket sales end soon, don’t miss out.  Register today.

Workshops are filling fast!

Haven’t registered for this year’s Conference yet?  Be sure to get in quick – some workshops are already FULL, and others have only a few seats remaining.  To participate in your chosen workshop stream, Register now.

Clare Bowditch live on stage at this year’s Conference !

Clare Bowditch is a musician, writer, and sometimes actor, who believes there is no better time in the history of history to be a big-hearted, independently-thinking, “sensitive creative type” who wants to make a living doing what they’re good at. Clare will speak about the courage needed to be big-hearted and she’ll sing a couple of songs to get us in the mood to celebrate the Award winners!


Powerful days


Not-for-profit, business and government leaders


Influential speakers


Practical workshops


  • Andrew Thorburn


    CEO, NAB

  • Lachlan Edwards

    Senior Solicitor
    Consumer Action Law Centre

    Senior Solicitor, Consumer Action Law Centre

  • Bec Scott

    Co-Founder and CEO


  • Kon Karapanagiotidis

    CEO and Founder
    Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC)

    Kon Karapanagiotidis OAM is the CEO and founder of the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre. Kon is proudly Greek, growing up in a working class family in a small country town in Victoria. Kon’s personal experience of racism and witnessing the exploitation of his parents in factories planted the seeds for his passion for human rights.

    Kon went on to become a lawyer, social worker, and teacher. He has been recognised as an Australian of the Year (Victoria) finalist in 2007, was invited to participate in the 2020 Summit in 2008, was voted one of Australia’s 20 Unsung Heroes as part of the launch of the new Portrait Gallery in Canberra in 2008, and was voted as one of Melbourne’s 100 most influential people in The Age Melbourne Magazine. Most recently, Kon was awarded a Churchill Fellowship in 2010 and an Order of Australia Medal (OAM) in 2011.

  • Susan Feldman

    Adjunct Associate Professor Primary Care Research
    Monash University

    Dr. Susan Feldman was the founding Director of The Alma Unit for Women and Ageing established in 1994 at the University of Melbourne, Australia’s first multi-disciplinary research and teaching unit dedicated to promoting an understanding of the health and wellbeing of older women.  Currently Susan holds the position of Adjunct Associate Professor Primary Care Research, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Science, Monash University.

    As a qualitative researcher Susan has worked extensively with communities of women to identify the health and wellbeing issues they face as they age. She is interested in the intersection of life experiences and circumstances and their impact on the quality of life and wellbeing for older women.

    Her work has expanded to include research on gender issues across the life span particularly for older people from different multi-cultural backgrounds and experiences.

  • Kristy Muir

    Centre for Social Impact

    Professor Kristy Muir is the CEO at the Centre for Social Impact (Business School) at UNSW Australia, a Professor of Social Policy and an elected academic member of UNSW’s Council.

    Kristy leads academic and applied research projects that help understand, measure and find innovative solutions to complex social problems in Australia. She works closely with local, state and federal government and agencies, not-for-profit organisations and civic groups, businesses and philanthropic foundations and peak bodies. Since joining UNSW in 2005, she has brought in over $10.5 million for research and capacity building projects focusing on children, young people, families and communities in addition to a broad range of social issues including housing, economic engagement, disability, mental health, place-based disadvantage and financial inclusion.

    Professor Muir is widely published and cited in journals, books and is frequently a headline speaker at social impact events and academic conferences in Australia and around the world. Kristy is a member of key social purpose committees including the NSW Premier’s Council on Homelessness, Opportunity Child and Financial Inclusion Action Plan leadership groups, and her research has had a significant impact on policy, investment and practice.

    Kristy Muir is currently a member of the Centre for Social Impact Executive Leadership team. Between 2011 and 2013 she was the Associate Dean Research (ADR) of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, UNSW. Her contribution in this role was recognised when she won the 2013 UNSW Staff Excellence Award for Senior Leadership. She was previously the Director of the Disability Studies and Research Centre, UNSW (2009-10) and held various roles at the Social Policy Research Centre, UNSW (2005-09).

    Kristy has a PhD in social history and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. She is an alumnus of the Sydney Leadership Program and, prior to joining academia, worked in the not-for-profit sector.

  • Cat Newton

    Policy Officer
    Consumer Action Law Centre

    Cat Newton is a Policy Officer at Consumer Action Law Centre, specialising in financial inclusion and difficulty and effective consumer dispute resolution. Consumer Action is a community legal centre, financial counselling service and national policy and research body based in Melbourne. Cat is currently leading the Centre’s campaign for long overdue reform of debt vultures – companies that spruik expensive so-called ‘debt management’ services to people already struggling to make ends meet. Prior to joining the policy & campaigns team, Cat worked as a solicitor at Consumer Action and at Allens Linklaters.


  • Lisa Crawford

    Director of Settlement and Multicultural Affairs
    Department of Social Services

    Lisa is the Director of Settlement and Multicultural Affairs for the Department of Social Services and is charged with engaging communities, key stakeholders and all levels of government to understand, assess and inform the Department and Government on priority opportunities and issues.  Lisa has a background in refugee protection, and has recently returned from serving as the Australian Co-Manager of the regional support office of the Bali Process, in Bangkok where she sought to develop practical cooperation on international migration and refugee protection on behalf of 45 governments.  Earlier in her career, Lisa worked for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, where she served in Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan, and was awarded a public service medal in 2011.  Prior to joining the public sector Lisa was a technology specialist, running her own company for a period of time.  Lisa enjoys travelling and spending time at the beach with her husband who works on the professional surfing circuit.



  • See all SpeakersRight Arrow


Grand Hyatt Melbourne

123 Collins Street
Melbourne Victoria 3000

Visit website


August in Melbourne is a quiet time for hotels, we would encourage you to look around for some great deals and discounts at Melbourne CBD hotels on search websites such as; and We have listed below for ease three hotels within easy walking distance to the Conference venue.

NAB Logo

NAB Funded Accommodation Subsidy

Our valued corporate partner, NAB, have generously offered to assist conference delegates by funding a special travel subsidy. For guests staying at the Stamford Plaza Melbourne, NAB will pay $100 towards the total cost of your accommodation.  Please email with your guest name/s; conference registration ID number and accommodation confirmation number and the subsidy will be automatically credited to your account at checkout. Please note this $100 subsidy only applies to bookings made using the “Good Shepherd Microfinance” conference rates at the Stamford Plaza and is payable once per room, per total stay.

Stamford Plaza Melbourne

5 Stars

An easy 3 min walk to the Microfinance Conference venue

Studio Queen Suite $190
One Bedroom Twin Suite $205
2 Bedroom Suites $345

To access these special rates, please contact the hotel directly on 03 9659 1000 or email and quote “Good Shepherd Microfinance”.  Bookings made using this special rate will also receive a per room per stay credit of $100 off the total bill upon check out. 


Grand Hyatt Melbourne

5 Stars

This is the venue for the Microfinance Conference

Rooms starting from $285


Mantra 100 Exhibition

4 Stars

An easy 6 min walk to the Microfinance Conference venue

Rooms starting from $126
Studio, 1 and 2 bedroom apartments