National Convention of Churchill Fellows Canberra 27-29 October

10 Jul 2017

Over the Horizon: What Happened Next?

The ACT Churchill Fellows' Association (ACTCFA) is pleased to be hosting the next National Convention in Canberra this October at the 'Shine Dome' (Australian Academy of Science)


This special event offers you the chance to connect with Fellows from around Australia whilst gaining a unique and enlightening perspective of Canberra through the work of our active local cohort of inspiring Fellowship recipients.
This Convention aims to engage Fellows in the conversation 'What Happened Next?' Through short presentations (TEDx style), facilitated conversations, Q&A sessions and focus group talks we hope to uncover you experienced as your goals took shape during and after your travels, new ways you can collaborate and tools to help you continue to fulfill the potential of your Fellowship into the future.
Enjoy Fellow-led walking, cycling and bus tours visiting some of Canberra's most well-known landmarks and institutions throughout this three-day event.
It is a great time to be in Canberra!
If you would like to lead a tour or showcase your merchandise at the Convention please contact Kirsty Guster Convention Administrator by email to
Expect to receive your official Convention Invitation, including the program, costs to attend and accommodation options by mid-July.

Draft Event Program



Registration from 1.00pm
Convention commences at 2.00pm

Keynotes: What Happened Next? (Public Event) 

Keynote Dr Michele Bruniges AM (Secretary of the Australian Department of Education and Training)

Michele will share how aspects from her Fellowship in 2000 helped shape her personal and professional pathway.

Keynote Cathy McGowan (MLA Indi)

Cathy will share how aspects from Fellowship in 1990 helped shape her personal and professional pathway.

Big Conversation (Public Event)

Michele and Cathy will be joined by three prominent government and corporate based Fellows to discuss the opportunities and challenges of gaining traction and sharing your findings after your Fellowship experience.

Welcome Reception

A relaxed, social gathering to share fine wine and conversation and to be surprised by the engaging pop-up entertainment of our creative ACT Fellows.

Evening Episodes

Excitement awaits those wanting to partake in our nocturnal delights. Choose to take a guided tour throughout a protected wildlife sanctuary to observe spotted quolls and other rare creatures; dare yourself with a ghost tour through the Film and Sound Archives (Canberra’s most haunted building), take a guided tour of the heritage listed Shine Dome or chill out in the bar at University House.




Convention continues from 9.00am

Big Conversations

There will be 5 'Big Conversations' on the following broad topics (TBC):
  • Our past, our future (history, education, science, technology, climate change)
  • People at the edge (marginalized and vulnerable communities, rural and remote communities, health services)
  • Our changing population (aging, multicultural, disability, indigenous)
  • Our creative world (performing arts, creative arts, therapy)
  • Moving Forward: Professional development tools for returned Fellows (technology and social media, speaking circuits, networking opportunities)

Each conversation will comprise three to four Fellows outlining ways their Fellowship opened up their career, workplace, community or chosen field

(6 minutes, 6 slides, TEDx style). These will be followed by a facilitated Q&A to explore opportunities and challenges the Fellowship provides.   

Focus Group Talks

This is a time to connect and explore the challenges faced by the different sectors. Focus topics (TBC) include: 

  • Defence and military
  • Emergency services
  • Rural communities
  • Our changing environment

Each Focus group will start with a panel of three to four Fellows from the specific sector, briefly outlining their Fellowship findings. Other participants will join in discussion around the issues facing their sector as we move into the future. 

The Big Issues (Public Event)

Our day concludes with a robust discussion on the biggest issues Fellows encounter on their journey, and the best ways to fulfill the potential of the Fellowship into the future.  



90-minute walking and cycling tours of the local precinct exploring a variety of Fellowship topics - planning, gardening, smart cities...


The Gallery

A fabulous exhibition showcasing the creative artistic works of local Fellows.

Merchandise Showcase

Many of our Fellows have produced books, artwork, and items of saleable quantities. The showcase will display these items with details outlining how the items can be purchased.

Convention Dinner

Saturday 28 October 6.30pm for 7.00pm until 10.00pm

Dining under the wings of G-for-George in the Great Hall of the Australian War Memorial.

Guest speakers include Dr Brendan Nelson, Director of the Australian War Memorial and Mr David Crotty (1998 Fellow) who was integral in the restoration of the plane under which we will be sitting.

We will also experience two amazing musical performances that will tingle your spine.

Be prepared for an unforgettable experience.




Convention continues 8.00am for breakfast
Tours commence from 10.30am


Start the day with a relaxed and casual breakfast in the surrounds of University House.

Morning Tours 

Explore the special, quirky and unique side of Canberra’s spaces and places. Join one of the many interesting tours hosted by local Churchill Fellows.

Locations to be confirmed.

Final Concert

Our Convention concludes with a unique performance from several Churchill Fellows in the impressive space of the High Court of Australia.




If you would like to lead a tour or showcase your merchandise at the Convention please contact Kirsty Guster Convention Administrator by email to

Expect to receive your official Convention Invitation including program, costs to attend and accommodation options by mid-July.

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