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Queenslanders in Conversation: purpose in paradise

A panel of highly regarded Queenslanders from diverse backgrounds share their stories about what being a Queenslander means to them and discuss the challenges and opportunities they have faced in creating meaningful and sustainable lives here.

In the first Queenslanders in Conversation talk for 2018, ABC Radio Brisbane’s Craig Zonca facilitated a conversation between high profile panellists, audience members and online viewers.

Meet the panel

Evie Ryder
Evie has been working with the LGBTIQ+ community for the last 10 years, after completing her Bachelor of Social Work and a Diploma in Film and Television. Having lived as a trans woman for the past 13 years, Evie underwent sex reassignment surgery (SRS) in Thailand. Evie is a founding member of the Lesbian Health Action Group and Many Genders One Voice, a trans and gender diverse action group promoting healthy communities.

Faiza El-Higzi
After a terrifying run in with the Sudanese secret police, Faiza moved to Australia from Sudan as a skilled migrant and now has four post graduate degrees in science, education, project management and international business. She is the founder of Create Global, the National Human Rights Advisor for the National Council for Women and was the Economic Advisor for the Queensland Chapter, and is passionate about spreading the truth about refugees.

Maha Sinnathamby
Maha is a Brisbane-based entrepreneur who cites Mahatma Gandhi and Swami Vivekananda as his inspirations and is the visionary behind the “World’s Best Master Planned Community", Greater Springfield, as awarded by the International Real Estate Federation. Maha has himself said on many an occasion, “I have learnt far, far more from my failures than my successes and I have failed much, much more than I have succeeded”.

Nicole Gibson
Nicole is a fierce ambassador for mental health, innovation and connection after recovering from her own frightening lived experience with anorexia nervosa. At 18, Nicole established a not-for-profit, The Rogue & Rouge Foundation and has recently completed three terms as the youngest Commonwealth Commissioner for Mental Health. Nicole was a finalist for the Young Australian of the Year at 20 and listed as one of Australia’s top 100 most influential women at 21, shortly after taking out the Pride of Australia Medal.