Hosted by UNAA (Victorial Division)

20 and 21 April 2021
This will be a Virtual Event


SDG #17: Partnerships for the goals

The incredible global impact of the Coronavirus pandemic has made people in Australia and around the world aware of the urgent need for action to ensure people’s basic needs are met; that the planet is made secure from the effects of climate change and that our future world is healthier, safer, fairer and more prosperous.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) provide the global blueprint to end poverty, protect our planet and ensure prosperity. Working together to implement them by 2030 will mean we address the underlying factors which exacerbated the worldwide crisis: poverty; food insecurity; fragmented health systems, educational inequality and climate change.

On 20 and 21 April 2021, we will bring together governments of all levels, businesses, universities, start-ups, students and community organisations to hear from, and interact with, leading speakers from within the UN and from companies, universities and organisations which partner with the UN.

Over two days, Forum delegates will have access to compelling and inspiring expert information. While virtual, people will be able to connect, network and lay the groundwork for the range of partnerships needed to achieve the SDGs. This gathering will encompass all 17 Goals but be guided by SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals to ensure it is outcome oriented.

After a worldwide consultation, the UN has identified four key areas which require urgent and sustainable solutions. If you haven’t already done so, we urge you to watch Nations United: a beautiful and inspiring visual representation of these challenges.

Our Forum will use these as overarching themes for our range of Keynote and Panel Sessions and Interactive Workshops. They are:

  • Climate and Planet
  • Poverty and Inequality
  • Justice and Human Rights
  • Gender Equality
The SDGs “name all societal sectors as key development actors and require an unprecedented level of cooperation and collaboration among civil society, business, government, NGOs, foundations and others for their achievement” Maximising the impact of partnerships for the SDGs Report


Day 1: Tuesday 20th April

9.30am - 10am
Welcome and Opening Statements

12.30pm - 1.30pm
Breakout Session 1

6pm - 7pm
Informal Drinks/Evening Session

Day 2: Wednesday 21st April

11.30am - 12.30pm
Breakout Session 3

“Everything we do…must be with a strong focus on building more equal, inclusive and sustainable economies and societies that are more resilient in the face of pandemics, climate change, and the many other global challenges we face. Our roadmap is the 2030 Agenda and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals” Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary-General


Gillian Triggs
Assistant Secretary-General, Assistant High Commissioner for Protection, UNHCR

Ms Triggs was appointed to the role by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres in August 2019 after a long history of service to human rights and the refugee cause globally. Formerly, President of the Australian Human Rights Commission, Ms Triggs now oversees UNHCR’s protection work for millions of refugees, internally displaced and stateless people.

In October, Ms Triggs outlined the massive impact of the global pandemic on the world’s refugee population – which, at 80 million refugees and others forcibly displaced and stateless, is now at unprecedented levels. Ms Triggs said the pandemic has made very clear that we “cannot longer exclude people on the basis of their legal status. The future must be one of inclusion and shared responsibilities”.

Darian Stibbe

Executive Director, The Partnering Initiative

Driven by a passionate belief in the power of collaboration to achieve prosperous, inclusive and sustainable business and society, Darian has for the last 16 years worked extensively with the United Nations, companies, NGOs, and governments with one aim: to drive the use of robust, effective partnerships for sustainable development worldwide.

John Thwaites
Co-Chair, Leadership Council, UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN)

John is Co-Chair of the Leadership Council of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) launched by the UN Secretary General to provide expert advice and support to the development and implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. He is also a Professorial Fellow, Monash University, and Chair of the Monash Sustainable Development Institute, ClimateWorks Australia and Melbourne Water.

Kylie Porter
Executive Director, Global Compact Network Australia

Kylie is the Executive Director of the Global Compact Network Australia (GCNA); the Australian Local Network of the United Nations (UN) Global Compact. As a sustainability expert and business leader, holding particular expertise in delivering responsible business and corporate responsibility strategies, guiding businesses on reputation risk management for environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues and policy development and implementation across thematic areas such as the climate change, modern slavery, human rights and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Leanne Smith
Director, Whitlam Institute

Leanne is an international human rights lawyer by training, with a Masters in Public Policy from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton. Leanne has worked in the Australian judicial system, for the Australian Human Rights Commission, in the international NGO sector, regional human rights organisations, as an Australian diplomat (DFAT) and in various roles for the United Nations in New York and in the field, most recently as Chief of Policy and Best Practices for UN Peacekeeping Operations.  She is a visiting fellow at the ANU Asia-Pacific College of Diplomacy and the UNSW Australian Human Rights Centre, a member of the Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law Advisory Committee.

Dr Cathy Oke
Melbourne Enterprise Senior Fellow in Informed Cities at the Connected Cities Lab, Faculty of Architecture Building and Planning

Cathy has considerable international and local expertise in sustainable, resilient and liveable cities. Cathy’s research interests focus on the interaction between urban research, policy and practice for greater impact in cities. She is project leader of the SDGs Cities Challenge, and Senior Advisor to the Innovate4Cities program of the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy. Cathy is the First Vice President of Local Government’s for Sustainability (ICLEI) and is currently the Chair of the ICLEI World Secretariat Board and co-chair of the Cities With Nature Knowledge & Research Hub.

Dr Alexei Trundle

Research Fellow in Sustainable Urban Development, Connected Cities Lab and Future Cities Coordinator, Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute

Alexei’s current research focuses on the way that cities are contributing to the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, as well as urban climate resilience and adaptation planning in Pacific Small Island Developing States. Alexei is a Scientific Advisor to the UN-Habitat Cities and Climate Change Initiative in the Pacific region and was previously a Visiting Scientist at the United Nations University in Bonn, Germany.

Victoria Thom
Partnership Broker and Trainer

Victoria is an accredited Partnership Broker and Trainer and an Associate of The Partnering Initiative. She is a senior leader with over twenty years’ international experience across the corporate, government, and not-for-profit sectors as a social innovation strategist, partnership broker, trainer and facilitator. Victoria specialises in analysing the business/society landscape to understand risks and opportunities, define solutions and implement them through collaborative approaches. She established Synergy2030 to enable social innovation and collaboration, within and across sectors, toward the 2030 agenda for sustainable development.

Tanya Hosch​
Executive General Manager ‑ Inclusion and Social Policy, AFL
UNAA Goodwill Ambassador for the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

Tanya has a long and distinguished history in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander policy, advocacy, governance and fundraising. Before joining the AFL as the first ever Indigenous person and the second woman in its Executive ranks in 2016, Tanya was the Joint Campaign Director of the Recognise movement for constitutional recognition.

Michael O’Neill

Senior Manager, Strategic Projects, Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning

Michael is a Certified Environmental Practitioner currently tasked with sharing Victoria’s expertise to create thriving, liveable cities and places with a particular focus on the state’s water management and governance frameworks. Michael has over a decade’s experience in the water, environmental, planning, policy and built environment sectors. Michael is currently leading the Victorian Government’s CivVic Labs challenge which is utilising Victoria’s start-up sector to measure Victoria’s liveability through the Sustainable Development Goals.

Steve Gawler
Regional Director, ICLEI Oceania

Steve joined ICLEI in 2008 as Director International Programs and was based in Jakarta for seven years coordinating climate change and disaster risk reduction programs. During this time Steve established the ICLEI Indonesia Office and managed projects funded by the Rockefeller Foundation, German Government and European Union.

More speakers to be announced soon

“Collaboration and partnerships are critical to addressing the complexity of the SDGs. Although partnerships can be challenging to build and maintain, they provide a range of opportunities. To help forge strong partnerships, the SDGs should be used as a common starting point for discussion” Australian SDGs Summit Outcomes Report


Forum Partners

Session Partners

Future Leaders Partners

Connecting Partners

Supporting Partners

If you would like to partner with us to deliver the 2021 UN & Australia Sustainable Partnerships Forum, email for further details.

“The SDGs provide points of focus around which we can innovate and collaborate in the search for solutions to critical global and local sustainability challenges… we will continue to invest in these priority areas and work together with Governments, civil society, academia, and other businesses to realise the opportunities the SDGs offer to all, and we call on other business leaders to join us.” Australian CEO Statement of Support for the SDGs


What's Included:

  • Interactive Workshop Sessions
  • Keynote Addresses and Plenary Panels
  • Networking opportunities
Forum Registration Early Bird
Ends 31 February 2021
Ends 2 April 2021
Standard $299 $399
NGOs / Start-ups / UNAA Members $199 $299
Tertiary Student / Concession $99 $139


Contact Us


Email to join the 2021 UN and Australia Sustainable Partnerships Forum e-news list.


To deliver the forum – email to find out how.


Email to find out how.