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The Connecting Up Conference 2021

Location: Melbourne (Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre) Event Dates:   05 May 2021 - 07 May 2021

Event Time: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM (AEST) Organisation: Connecting Up and Infoxchange Contact Name: Grant Smyth Contact Phone: 0411494850 Contact Email: Cost: $150-$660 Posted: 17 January 2020

The Connecting Up Conference 2021


First established in 2004, the Connecting Up Conference is targeted at organisations who are interested in using technology and innovation to improve their impact and achieve better outcomes for the communities they serve.

​As technology and the digital landscape continue to evolve rapidly and the competition becomes stronger, not-for-profit organisations need to continue to innovate to keep up with the changes. This is where the Connecting Up Conference can help.

The 2021 Conference encompasses the theme of ‘’Evolve” and will inspire and empower not-for-profits and charities to enhance their organisations through technology and best-practice to fulfil their missions.

This process of evolving is more relevant than ever in the current era of disaster recovery and mitigation due to the damage caused the COVID pandemic and the 2019-20 Australian bushfire season.

By coming together to learn from global and national not-for-profit sector leaders, technology providers and peers, not-for-profit organisations across Australia can be educated and inspired to have a powerful and adaptive impact into the future.

World class plenaries

The Connecting Up Conference is renowned for its high-quality plenary speakers, and this year is no different. Star plenaries will include Paul Ronalds, CEO, Save the Children, Noel Clement, Director of Australian Programs at Australian Red Cross, Melissa Kaplan, Digital Architect at Microsoft, and Darren Kane, Chief Security Officer at nbn.

Paul is one of the most influential figures in the Australian not-for-profit sector through his work with Save the Children, which makes a positive impact in every state of Australia and in more than 120 countries around the world on children’s education, health and protection issues. He is also currently a non-executive director of the Centre For Social Impact, the Campbell Collaboration and the Community Council of Australia and prior to joining Save the Children, was First Assistant Secretary responsible for the Office of Work and Family in the Department of Prime Minister & Cabinet.

Noel is one of the not-for-profit sector’s most inspirational figures. He has dedicated his career to the not-for-profit sector, including spending 13 years in community health and public housing organisations, where he worked in direct service delivery, community development and program leadership roles.

Melissa brings a wealth of knowledge and experience designing and implementing leading-edge digital and technology solutions and strategies across a wide range of clients and sectors. She has worked as a Global Product Manager for Australian and international companies, managing clients on the Forbes 100 list.

Darren has been the Chief Security Officer at nbn™ since 2015. In 2020, he was appointed to the Federal Government’s Cyber Security Industry Advisory Committee to help guide the implementation of the nation’s Cyber Security Strategy and provide ongoing advice to address emerging cyber security challenges.

Great value full-day master classes

Our full-day masterclasses offer some of the best value training in the not-for-profit sector, with courses costing under $200. This year’s presenters are Alecia Hancock, Director at Hancock Creative, Jo Garner, Director at Strategic Grants, and Marcus Harvey, Consulting and ICT Services Manager at Infoxchange.

Alecia will be leading this year’s marketing and social media master class, giving you the rundown on how to elevate your marketing and social media game to stand out and excel in today’s digital marketing environment. Alecia is a star social media marketer and is not to be missed.

Jo will lead this year’s fundraising master class. Jo is one of the Australian not-for-profit sector’s most experienced and charismatic fundraising experts. She will be talking about the most effective fundraising initiatives in 2021 and how you can increase donation amounts for your not-for-profit.

Marcus, will bring his vast experience and technology product knowledge to this year’s IT strategy master class. Marcus is passionate about helping not-for-profit organisations use technology effectively to work smarter rather than harder and achieve measurable outcomes with the clients and communities they work with.

Other speakers … with more to come!

Our other speakers include Vicky Davy (Vix), Co-founder of PetRescue, Wendy Williams, Editor at Pro Bono News, David Gomes, Executive General Manager at CodeBlue, and Joe Ciancio, Managing Director at Maxsum Consulting.

Vix has been leading the PetRescue team along with co-founder John Bishop (JB) since 2004. She works with corporates, academics, and community rescue groups to create and run programs that create genuine impact, transforming the lives of pets and people.

Wendy has a decade of experience working as a journalist in Australia, the UK, and Spain. She writes about the not-for-profit sector and the broader social economy.

David has applied his passion for people and customers to build several highly successful and engaged teams throughout Australia and Asia. He has also held senior executive leadership roles with iconic brands including IBM, Telstra and Australia Post and founded two start-up companies in the technology space.

Joe brings clarity to organisations seeking to navigate the myriad of business technology options available. His role is to define which solution will deliver real outcomes, and design a transformation and innovation roadmap that will allow them to achieve those outcomes.

More about the conference

The Connecting Up Conference is a three-day interactive event that aims to help Australian not-for-profits get the most out of technology, training, and strategy.

Our 2021 conference will be a hybrid event, seamlessly merging the covid-safe physical conference with virtual plenaries, streams, and expos, wherever you are.

And don’t forget the Australian Not-for-Profit Technology Awards which take place annually on the second day of the conference (Thursday 6 May). These awards recognise technology innovation and service in the sector across eight categories. Nominations close 18 April, so get them in soon.

Visit the conference website to find out more about the event and awards – and to register at

If you have any questions about the conference, please contact the Conference Manager Grant Smyth on

P.S If you are a Connecting Up Premium member, your discounted rates apply to all ticket purchases.


​Connecting Up is a member of the Infoxchange Group

Event Category: Communities | Education | Fundraising | General | Governance / Management | Innovation | Leadership | Marketing / PR | Policy / Government | Research | STEM | Technology | Volunteering

Event Type: Conference

Enquiries: Contact Phone 0411494850


Event Category: Communities | Education | Fundraising | General | Governance / Management | Innovation | Leadership | Marketing / PR | Policy / Government | Research | STEM | Technology | Volunteering

Event Type: Conference

Enquiries: Contact Phone 0411494850


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