2017 CDAA National Conference
17 - 19 May 2017 • Pullman Brisbane King George Square, Queensland
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Keynote Speakers


Dr Ryan Duffy

Dr. Ryan Duffy is a University of Florida Research Foundation Professor in the Department of Psychology. He is an internationally recognized leader in the study of two main areas - work as a calling and the psychology of working.

To date Ryan has published over 90 peer reviewed journal articles, many of which have appeared in counseling and vocational psychology's top tier journals including the Journal of Counseling Psychology (JCP), The Counseling Psychologist (TCP), and the Journal of Vocational Behavior (JVB).

Recently, Ryan and his colleagues sought to integrate research from the psychology of working with findings from other disciplines (e.g., multicultural psychology, sociology, labor economics) to develop an integrative Psychology of Working Theory. This theory paper was recently published in JCP (Duffy et al., 2016) and is designed to capture the work experiences of all individuals, especially those who are marginalized. Ryan has have been cited close 4000 times according to Google Scholar.

Ryan is also part of project teams which have received over $4 million in grant funding on topics relating to career development from agencies such as the National Institutes of Health and Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. Finally, Ryan is an editorial board member of JVB, JCP, the Journal of Career Assessment, and the Career Development Quarterly.

Keynote Presentation:

Putting the Psychology of Working to Work

The world of work is in a consistent state of change and for the majority of adults around the globe finding decent work is a priority. In this keynote presentation, Dr Ryan Duffy will outline the recently developed Psychology of Working Theory (Duffy, Blustein, Diemer, & Autin, 2016) and discuss how concepts from the theory may be useful for career practitioners.

The theory attempts to describe the career development process of all working adults – regardless of privilege – by highlighting structural and psychological factors that promote the attainment of decent work and describing how attaining decent work leads to need satisfaction and well-being. Dr Duffy will briefly discuss ongoing quantitative and qualitative research supporting the theory’s propositions and will conclude by honing in on potential intervention strategies that may help individuals find and secure decent work.


Dr Ann Villiers

Dr Ann Villiers is Australia's only Mental Nutritionist. She specialises in helping people to think more flexibly and speak more confidently by mastering mind and language sense making processes.

With careers in academia and the public service, Ann's business includes over a decade as a career coach, with a focus on demystifying selection criteria.

Ann co-emceed the 2012 CDAA Canberra National Conference and has delivered multiple conference workshops. She is a Professional Member and was awarded the 2015 President's Award for Professional Leadership.

Keynote Presentation:

Career Practitioners as Sense Makers:  Practical Skills, Uncomfortable Questions

Regardless of context and client base, influencing our clients, organisations and profession [both nationally and internationally], with self-awareness, is one of the most demanding tasks we face. Using practice-related demonstrations and examples, the presentation will explore how everyday and professional taken-for-granted constructions of careers impact communicating, choices and decisions.

The presentation will examine how our personal acts of meaning making give rise to potentially unhelpful practices that play out in our dealings with clients and colleagues and how vocational information and assessment tools are socially constructed and contain unexamined assumptions that underpin how we think about careers.  Practitioners will be offered language practices to expand their response repertoire; guided to question the unquestioned in professional practice, and challenged to consider uncomfortable questions about the future, namely, for practitioners, how to offer hope, and for the profession, what sort of society do we want to live in?


Dr Peter McIlveen

Dr Peter McIlveen is an Associate Professor at the University of Southern Queensland, in the School of Linguistics, Adult & Specialist Education. Peter leads a multidisciplinary research team, ACCELL: the Australian Collaboratory for Career Employability & Learning for Living. ACCELL's research focus is "adaptive capacity" for career development and working in occupations and industries with a desparate need for sustainable labour supply (e.g., education, agriculture, retail).

He is an International Fellow of the National Institute for Career Education and Counselling (UK) and Fellow of the Career Development Association of Australia. He is a registered psychologist and a member of the Australian Psychological Society's College of Counselling Psychologists.

He serves on the editorial boards of the Australian Psychologists, Journal of Employment Counselling, Frontiers in Psychology (Organisational), Australian Journal of Career Development, and the international flagship journal of the career development field, Journal of Vocational Behavior. He is a past president of the National Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services (NAGCAS), and past vice-president of the Career Industry Council of Australia (CICA) and Career Development Association of Australia (CDAA).

Keynote Presentation:

Past Post-Modernism is the Return of Truth

Since 1960, the world mortality rate of little children has declined from 182 in every 1000 born, down to 42 in 1000 in 2015.  In the same period, world life expectancy has grown from 52 years to 71 years. World GDP per capita has climbed from $US5413 in 1990 up to $US15470 in 2015.  As a species, our babies die less frequently, we live longer, and our economies are churning more. Yet, paradox prevails. Despite humanity’s achievements, the postmodernists’ post-truth world is portrayed as a garbage pile of broken bodies, hearts, minds, and dreams. 

If one believes the revisionists, it seems as if we live in a world littered with the human detritus of destruction. It is as if the postmodernists’ nihilistic dark pall—their miserable rendering of meaninglessness—drapes heavy across our faces, smothering the breath of hope, shading the light of liberty. They say we live in an epoch in angst that broils in the superficiality of digital (dis)connection. The postmodernists’ nihilism is writ large in their revisionist ambition to annihilate traditional knowledge, which they portray as evils of the colonial, paternal, or capitalist hegemony.  Their pernicious discursive trickery that distorts and subverts the meaning of organic, real world, lived experience, gives reason to turn away, to turn back, and to renew what we already knew to be true. 

There is beauty in work—hard work, devoted work, meaningful work, ethical work, and, moreover, decent work. Not since the end of World War II has there been a greater need for career development practitioners than now.  Now, ironically, we must go back to the modern future to find ourselves as practitioners whose hearts, minds, and hands are devoted to the aesthetic of work that makes a difference, each day and every day, in the lives of people who wish to dream a dream, and hope on high that one day they too will make a difference.


Marayke Jonkers

Marayke Jonkers is one of Australia’s most revered paralympics athletes. Marayke swam to prominence when she clinched two bronze medals for Australia at the Athens 2004 Games. Four years earlier she had qualified for the Australian team only to finish an agonisingly close fourth at the Sydney 2000 Paralympics. 

Far from giving up, she persevered and went on to not only win two medals, but to complete two university degrees achieving the highest grades, volunteer in the community and launch a new career in journalism - all while in full training. Marayke has broken over 70 Australian records in breaststroke, individual medley, freestyle and butterfly. After 10 years representing Australia, she is now the eldest and longest serving female on the Australian Paralympics swim team.

In 2004 she graduated with a Bachelor of Social Science, and achieved high distinction grades. By 2006 she had a second degree in communications, for which she received a Dean's Commendation for Academic Excellence. A tireless advocate for people with disabilities, Marayke's week often includes a visit to schools speaking to students about spinal injury prevention or encouraging children with disabilities to take up sport. 

Marayke was named the Queensland Young Achiever 2005 and was appointed 2005-2008 Australia Day Ambassador by QLD Premier Peter Beattie. As an official Ambassador, Marayke visits a different Council region each year to deliver the official Australia Day address and participate. 

She was recognized as Sunshine Coast Outstanding Paralympian 2004; Olympic torch bearer, Sydney 2000 torch relay, Young Australian of the year, finalist 2004, 2001.

Maroochy Barambah

Maroochy, of the Turrbul/ Dippil ancestry, was born on Cherbourg Aboriginal Reserve in Queensland.   She is the Songwoman and Law-woman of the Turrbal People – the Traditional Owners of Brisbane.

At the age of 12 she was taken from her family and fostered out to a family in Melbourne.  Maroochy later attended the Melba Conservatorium of Music in Melbourne and Victorian College of the Arts where she graduated in Dramatic Arts in 1979. Over the years, Maroochy has acted in such television series as “The Flying Doctors”, “Winner Take All” and “Women of the Sun”.  She has performed in numerous concerts and once had her own jazz/reggae band.

She was an integral part of the shows such as “A Fruitcake of Australian Stories” and “Bran Nue Dae”.

Maroochy has also had an extensive community involvement over many years working with the younger generation of Indigenous Australians in the arts industry.  She has delivered several lectures on Aboriginal culture in various institutions and was a keynote speaker at the Australian Reconciliation Convention in Melbourne in May 1997.

When Maroochy made her operatic debut in “Black River” in October 1989, she became the first Aborigine to perform on the Australian operatic stage. She was the first Australian to perform at the United Nations in New York in honour of the International Year for the World’s Indigenous Peoples in 1993.  In November 1995, Maroochy starred in the American opera Porgy & Bess and became the first Indigenous Australian to perform in an opera at the Sydney Opera House.  She hopes to continue to work in this area of the performing arts, while at the same time engender better understanding of Aboriginal culture.

Maroochy is presently the Artistic Chief Executive of Daki Budtcha Records in Brisbane and will be performing the Welcome to Country at the 2017 CDAA National Conference.


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