Hayley is a proud Darumbal and South Sea Islander woman from Rockhampton Central Queensland and a passionate advocate for Indigenous social justice and First Nations-led education. Her roots are in Indigenous community media, vocational training and Indigenous Affairs policy. She was selected and served for four years on the Youth Advocacy Group for the UN Secretary General’s Global Education First Initiative to support young people around the world to advocate for their rights to education. She worked with national education coalitions to advocate for education rights and policy in Vanuatu, Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea. In 2015, Hayley facilitated the first national meeting to establish the National Indigenous Youth Education Coalition, where she currently acts as national coordinator and director. She is also the current co-chair of Learning Creates Australia, a growing alliance of people and organisations committed to education change in Australia.
Rona is a proud Kaytetye woman from Central Australia who works with high impact organisations to create systems that centre First Nations people, knowledge and solutions.
Rona is the founder of Common Ground and brings 7 years of professional experience working across First Nations organisations and not for profits. Rona was previously the Director of First Nations at YLab, a social enterprise that puts young people with diverse lived experiences at the centre of designing and developing innovative and impactful solutions to complex social issues. Over her career, Rona has worked in policy at the Central Land Council, the Research Unit for Indigenous Languages at the University of Melbourne, Reconciliation Victoria, and the Foundation for Young Australians.In 2020, Rona was a finalist for the Victorian Young Achiever awards, was awarded a Westpac Social Change Fellowship. In 2019 Rona won a Diana Award and was named a 'Woman of the Future' by Women's Weekly.Through her work with First Nations communities across Australia, Rona aims to create future systems that centre First Nations people, knowledge and cultures.Rona currently resides in Mpartnwe on Arrernte Country.