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Jessie Williams, ChaiR, Executive Director

Jessie Williams wants to live in a world where everybody is learning, privileged people work for equality and dragon boat racing is the united nations sport of choice.

As a learning entrepreneur, she’s facilitated for over 20 years for The School for Social Entrepreneurs, The Centre for Community Welfare Training, the Hunger Project and the Create Foundation. In all of her spare time, she runs learning sessions on grief, ethics and coaching.

When she’s not in a room with 20 spirited entrepreneurs who want to change the world, you can find her captaining the underdog crew of the Sloths dragon boat team, dreaming to compete in China, watching Game of Thrones or arguing with her husband about the existence of Feng Shui.

After losing her first born son in 2006, she experience post traumatic growth thanks to her community and the practice of death ritual. Her passion with the GroundSwell Project keeps her up at night and she invites everyone to be a part of the collective change around death and dying in Australia


Mel Greblo, Director, fundraising, communications and community engagement

Mel Greblo is a speaker and author on purpose-driven leadership and business. She is also a trusted advisor around how to develop purpose thinking in your business, creating a thriving purpose culture to future proof and succeed in the purpose economy. 

Melanie Greblo is a businesswoman, social entrepreneur, and thought leader on the art and science of community. She is passionate about helping businesses develop thinking and practices to future proof for the purpose economy. 

She is Founder and Director of Talking Sticks Communication, a boutique agency specialising in strategic communications, unlocking purpose and crafting fresh, authentic conversations around it. Talking Sticks blends creative strategy with the craft of journalism and offers an end-to-end service to small and medium sized enterprises and thought leaders who have a purpose to share or a purpose to grow. Talking Sticks also curates and hosts international events that inspire and ignite purpose, most recently bringing Poet, author and speaker, David Whyte to Australia for the first time.

Mel Greblo spent 20 years in executive roles, building the brands of some of Australia’s great organisations: The Art Gallery of NSW, RMIT, CanTeen, YWCA, The Benevolent Society, and SchoolAid Trust. She was the Founding CEO of HOME Hospice, a social enterprise creating social change at end-of-life. She writes about lessons from the values-driven sector for the commercial world, speaks about community building and engagement, shared value and coaches leaders and executives around personal brand and purpose.

She is passionate about conversations, collaboration, stories, mindfulness, innovation, sustainability and partnerships to affect both business growth and positive social change. Mel is also a passionate philanthropy advocate and serves as a Director on the Board of SchoolAid Trust, the inspiration behind KidsGive, Australia’s first crowdfunding platform for kids. 


Ivan Brown, director, Fundraising and business development

Ivan Brown is currently the General Manager and Senior Consultant for NFP Success. NFP Success is a Not for Profit consulting firm that works exclusively with NFPs, Charities and Social Enterprises. Ivan is a keen advocate of small to medium-size NFP empowerment through the development of business acumen, operational innovation and performance systems. Ivan commenced his career in the NFP sector over a decade ago. Within seven years of beginning his career he moved through the ranks holding several senior leadership roles until he was appointed as Chief Executive Officer at the Guardian Foundation. He then went on to become the General Manager for the School for Social Entrepreneurs. During his time as leader in both organisations and a Senior Consultant Ivan successfully developed leading-edge sector innovations in the areas of governance, operations, finance, competitive business modelling and performance management.


Kerrie Noonan, Director, cofounder

Kerrie founded The Groundswell Project in 2010 with Peta Murray and has been working on initiating our projects and partnerships. Kerrie is passionate about the role that the arts can play in facilitating social and cultural change about death, and has a long-standing interest in capacity building approaches to death, dying and bereavement, palliative care and how people can build their death literacy.

Kerrie has worked in community development, as a social researcher, clinical psychologist in palliative care, health and community settings, a fellow of the School for Social Entrepreneurs and a PhD Candidate at Western Sydney University. 


Read:Why talking about death is good for you by Adel Horin

Developing Death Literacy article published in the journal Progress in Palliative Care

End of Life at Home: Co-Creating an Ecology of Care by the Caring at end of life research team. 

10 Facts about death everyone should know

Talking about Death with Children: Lessons from Sesame Street.

ListenRN breakfast


Birth and Death: the home ground advantage via Talking Sticks


Lizzie Barrett, Director, secretary

Lizzie Barrett is an ICU nurse from western Sydney, who combines part time clinical work with a part time nurse educator role. She currently runs the Intensive Care Education & Training centre at Nepean Hospital, which incorporates a simulated learning environment designed for critical care training. Lizzie has a passion for the ever increasing role in critical care education that social media has to play and as such is committed to increasing the quality of education around this. Her previous work in the organ and tissue donation sector in NSW piqued Lizzie's interest in promoting community discussion around death and dying. Lizzie is the Vice President of the NSW branch of the Australian College of Critical Care Nurses and has been with The GroundSwell Project for the past 2 years.


Peta Murray, CREATIVE DIRECTOR and Co-Founder

Peta left high school Drama teaching behind for a career as a professional playwright after writing her first play. Wallflowering which has since been produced all round the world. Subsequent commissioned plays include the AWGIE award winning, Spitting Chips, on the theme of adolescence and bereavement. This Dying Business was commissioned by Junction Theatre Company, Adelaide, in association with the Hospice Society, and premiered at an international conference on Palliative Care. This play was also nominated for an AWGIE award. Other works include The Law of Large Numbers, about the impact of gambling addiction on small communities, and the AWGIE-winning The Keys To The Animal Room, on family violence. In 2003 Peta was awarded a Centenary Medal for services to society and literature.

Peta completed an MA in Playwriting through QUT’s Faculty of Creative Industries in 2011 and is now a PhD candidate in creative writing at RMIT University, Melbourne. In March 2014 her extravaganza for ensemble performance, Things That Fall Over: an anti-musical of a novel inside a reading of a play, with footnotes, and oratorio-as-coda was presented at Footscray Community Arts Centre.

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