Main Speakers

The International Conference on Diversity in Organisations, Communities and Nations will feature plenary sessions by some of the world's leading thinkers and innovators in the field, as well as numerous parallel presentations by researchers and practitioners.

Garden Conversations

Main speakers will make formal 30-minute presentations in the plenary sessions. They will also participate in 60-minute Garden Conversations - unstructured sessions that allow delegates a chance to meet the speakers and talk with them informally about the issues arising from their presentation.

Please return to this page for regular updates.

The Speakers

  • Susan Bridges

    Dr Susan Bridges has taught in first and second language education for the past 25 years. Her research on pedagogy and diversity in both higher education and mainstream schooling is informed by ethnographic and interactional traditions. She has degrees in secondary teaching and applied linguistics and her doctoral work focussed on TESOL teacher education. She is currently an Assistant Professor with the Faculty of Dentistry at The University of Hong Kong working in curriculum design, e-learning and professional communication. Prior to this, she was a Research Fellow with the Faculty of Education at Griffith University, Australia. She has been an active member of Australian professional bodies in applied linguistics (ALAA) and teacher education (ATEA) contributing to a 2007 edited collection for the former and to the work of the 2005 National Conference Organising and Editorial Committees for the latter. She joined the Diversity Conference community in 2006 and in 2007 was awarded the International Award for Excellence with Cristina Poyatos Matas for a paper on multicultural education.




  • Jock Collins

    Jock Collins is Professor of Economics at the University Technology, Sydney (UTS), Australia, where he has been teaching since 1977. His research interests centre on an interdisciplinary study of immigration and cultural diversity in the economy and society. His recent research has been on Australian immigration, ethnic crime, immigrant entrepreneurship, immigrant youth, ethnic precincts and tourism, multiculturalism, the Cronulla Beach Riots and the social use of ethnic heritage and the built environment. He is the author or co-author of nine books, the most recent of which is Bin Laden in the Suburbs: criminalizing the Arab other (with Scott Poynting, Greg Noble and Paul Tabar). He is also the author of over 50 articles in international and national academic journals and book chapters. His work has been translated in French, Japanese, Arabic, Dutch, Chinese and Italian. Jock Collins has had visiting academic appointments in the UK, Canada, Sweden and the United States.




  • Robert Latham

    Robert Latham is the director of the Centre for International and Security Studies, and associate professor of Political Science, at York University in Toronto. Among the research at the centre that he is leading are projects on diasporas and migration, and cooperation and conflict in diverse societies. He is especially interested in ways of reframing understandings of highly complex, diverse, and increasingly transnational societies beyond the models inherited from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. He was recently a visiting fellow at the Transnationalism Project at the University of Chicago. Previously, he managed programs and conducted research in the international affairs at the Social Science Research Council in New York and taught at Columbia University. Besides his work on transnational relations, migration, and multiculturalism, he has research interests in communications & international politics; ecology; human security; and global governance. Some of his publications are Digital Formations: IT and New Architectures in the Global Realm (co-edited with Saskia Sassen); Bombs and Bandwidth: The Emerging Relationship Between Information Technology and Security; Intervention and Transnationalism in Africa: Global-Local Networks of Power; The Liberal Moment: Modernity, Security, and the Making of Postwar International Order; as well as numerous articles and reports. Throughout his career he has consulted with international organizations such as the United Nations Development Programme, NGOs such as Canada’s World, and various government agencies around the world.




  • Cristina Poyatos Matas

    Dr Cristina Poyatos Matas migrated to Australia in 1991 from Spain. She completed her Bachelor (Hons) and Masters of Education with Honours in The University of Bristol (England). Her doctoral work in Australia in the area of applied linguistics received The University of Queensland Dean’s Commendation for Outstanding Research Higher Degree Thesis 2005. She teaches as a senior lecturer in Spanish Studies at Griffith University. In 2001 and 2002 she was a finalist for the prestigious Australian Awards for University Teaching (AAUT) in the category of Humanities. In 2003 she became a HERDSA Fellow, and in 2006 she received a Carrick Institute Citation Award for her contribution to research supervision (Honours, Master and PhD). She has contributed to several research projects related to education, among them a Large ARC and a CAUT grant. Her research interests include Multicultural Education, Hispanic Communities in Queensland, Intercultural Communication, Grammar Teaching, and Higher Education Pedagogy. She contributed to writing the book Multicultural Queensland 2001, and has presented her research work in universities in Australia, France, Canada, England, New Zealand, Malaysia, Spain, and USA. In 2007 she received the International Award for Excellence of the International Journal of Diversity in Organizations, Communities and Nations with Susan Bridges for a paper on multicultural education.




  • Jacques Robert

    Jacques Robert is Assistant deputy minister, Integration, Regionalisation and Intercultural relations at the Ministère de l’Immigration et des Communautés culturelles du Québec (Québec Ministry of Immigration and Culturalcommunities). He also worked at the Ministère des Affaires culturelles du Québec (Québec Ministry of Cultural Affairs) where he coordinated different projects related to the cultural properties and architectural history.




  • Lucille Roch

    Lucille Roch hails from Manitoba where she started her career in the public service with the Manitoba and Federal Governments. In 1991 Lucille moved to Ontario and worked in Cabinet Office on both social and economic issues. She was appointed Assistant Deputy Minister, Children, Family and Community Services in August of 1993.

    Lucille became the Assistant Deputy Minister of Culture, Sport and Recreation in May of 1999 and returned to the Ministry of Community and Social Services as Executive Lead, Child Welfare Evaluation in October of 2002. When the new Ministry of Children and Youth Services was created in October 2003, Lucille, as Assistant Deputy Minister, created and oversaw the Strategic Policy and Planning Division. Lucille was appointed Deputy Minister for the Ministry of Culture and the Office of Francophone Affairs in June 2005.

    On June 1, 2007, Lucille returned to the Ministry of Community and Social Services as Deputy Minister. She continues to be responsible for the Office of Francophone Affairs.