Plenary speakers

The Hon. Simon Birmingham

Minister for Education and Training
Australian Government

Simon Birmingham has served as a Liberal Party Senator for South Australia since May 2007 and in September 2015 was appointed to position of Minister for Education and Training. Simon grew up near Gawler in Adelaide's north on his family’s small horse agistment property. Simon was educated at government schools before going on to study at the University of Adelaide where he completed a Masters of Business Administration.  Read more

Ms Janet Ilieva 

Founder and Director 
Education Insight 

Janet is founder and director of Education Insight, a research consultancy specialising in the international higher education. Janet started her career as a university lecturer in economics before joining the British Council in 2004, to lead the department’s work for higher education research and market intelligence. Under her leadership, the British Council published a number of widely cited reports ... Read more

Mr Dilruk Jayasinha

Comedian, actor and former international student

After moving to Australia on his own from Sri Lanka at the age of 19, Dilruk Jayasinha was well on his way towards making his parents proud by making good use of his finance and accounting degree. However, in 2009 he was unceremoniously fired by one of the Big Four accounting firms. Just as Dil had, his managers noted that he had absolutely no interest in being a full-time accountant. Dil then promptly jumped up for his first gig in September 2010 and hasn’t looked back since. Read more

Ms Anjali Rao 


Anjali Rao has spent more than 20 years in the top tiers of television journalism. In Australia, she presented SBS’s ‘Dateline’ and is a frequent host on Channel Ten’s ‘The Project’ and ‘Studio 10’. Anjali spent six years anchoring on CNN, interviewing the likes of the Dalai Lama, President Bill Clinton, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kevin Spacey, Roger Federer and Karl Lagerfeld. She has also covered numerous breaking news events, including the 7/7 bombings in London, the Asian tsunami, the death of Pope John Paul II ... Read more

Dr Helen Turnbull

Human Facets
United States

Dr Helen Turnbull is a world-recognised thought leader in global inclusion and diversity. Her PhD dissertation research was on stereotype threat, covering internalised oppression across cultures, and she has deep knowledge and understanding of what it takes to create an inclusive environment. She is the author of three psychometric assessment tools on unconscious bias (UB) and inclusion – Cognizant, the ISM profile, and the Gender Gap Assessment – and a new e-learning program on UB and inclusion. Read more




Plenary speakers at #aiec2017