Keynote Speakers

June Oscar AO, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner

June Oscar AO is a proud Bunuba woman from the remote town of Fitzroy Crossing in Western Australia’s Kimberly region. She is a strong advocate for Indigenous Australian languages, social justice, women’s issues, and has worked tirelessly to reduce Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD).

June has held a raft of influential positions including Deputy Director of the Kimberley Land Council, chair of the Kimberley Language Resource Centre and the Kimberley Interpreting Service and Chief Investigator with WA’s Lililwan Project addressing FASD. She was appointed to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (1990) and was a winner of the 100 Women of Influence 2013 in the Social Enterprise and Not For Profit category. In 2015 June received the Menzies School of Health Research Medallion for her work with FASD.

June has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business from the University of Notre Dame, Broome, Western Australia, and is currently writing her PhD. June is a co-founder of the Yiramalay Wesley Studio School and is a Community member of the Fitzroy Valley Futures Governing Committee. In February 2017, she was awarded an honorary doctorate from Edith Cowan University. June began her five-year term as Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner on April 3, 2017.

Dr Thant Myint-U, Founder and Chairman of the Yangon Heritage Trust

Dr Thant Myint-U is an award-winning writer, historian, conservationist, and a former adviser to the President of Myanmar.  He was educated at Harvard and Cambridge Universities and taught history from 1995-2000 as a Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge. 

He has also served on three United Nations peacekeeping operations, in Cambodia (1992-3) and the former Yugoslavia (1994-5), as well as at the UN Secretariat in New York (2000-2006), including as the head of policy planning in the Department of Political Affairs.

Since 2007 he has been involved in numerous projects and initiatives related to reform in Myanmar: he has been a member of the National Economic and Social Advisory Council (2012-2015), a Special Advisor to the government on the peace process (2012-2015), the Founder and Chairman of the Yangon Heritage Trust (2012-present), the Chairman of U Thant House (2015-present), and a Founding Partner of the Ava Advisory Group (2016-present).  The Hidden History of Burma: Race, Capitalism, and the Crisis of Democracy in the 21st Century is his fourth book.

HRH Princess Dana Firas

HRH Princess Dana Firas is a global advocate for heritage protection and preservation as a foundation for sustainable development, responsible tourism, political identity and peace. 

Her Royal Highness was designated a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador in June 2017 in recognition of her commitment to heritage protection and preservation as pillars for sustainable development, and her contribution to responsible tourism and community participation.

Princess Dana is the recipient of the Arab Heritage Person Award for 2018, the first women and the first, Jordanian to be selected for this award. She was recognized by the World Monuments Fund with 2019 Watch Award for her lifelong work in cultural heritage and advocacy for preservation as a stimulus for economic development. In November 2019, she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Coventry University. 

Her Royal Highness currently serves as President of the Petra National Trust, Jordan’s oldest national nongovernmental organisation for heritage protection and preservation. She is the author of several articles on cultural heritage and sustainable development.