Keynote Speaker

Professor James Arvanitakis

Professor James Arvanitakis is the Director of the Forrest Research Foundation based at the University of Western Australia and brings together the five Western Australian-based universities to attract world classes to the state and confront the world’s grand challenges. He is an award-winning educator, cultural researcher, and media commentator with 20-year experience in the higher education sector having also had successful careers in finance and the not-for profit sector. As an educator and researcher, James was the driving force behind several innovative programs at Western Sydney University including The Academy. He remains associated with the University as an Adjunct Professor at the Institute for Culture and Society. 

James is a Fulbright alumnus, having spent 12 months at the University of Wyoming as the Milward L Simpson Fellow. In 2021, he was appointed the inaugural Patron of Diversity Arts Australia in recognition of his commitment to promoting a cultural sector that reflects the rich diversity of Australia. In 2022 he founded Respectful Disagreements, a brave spaces project that promotes the lost art of civility in political disagreement as well as the educational power of discomfort.