Ways to Get Involved

Countdown to Youth Connect: meet the speakers

Tuesday, 2 Jul 2024

With just over one month until Youth Connect, Life Ed South Australia’s signature event for primary and secondary school educators and leaders, we are counting down to the thought-provoking discussions to be had by our range of highly-respected speakers.

Who will you meet?

Dr Jodi Richardson, anxiety and wellbeing specialist 

Dr Richardson will explore the concept of shifting anxiety to resilience, as she explains:

Did you know one in seven primary school children and one in four high school students in Australia are affected by anxiety? Early intervention is crucial and there's so much you can do. At Youth Connect, you can equip yourself with powerful, actionable strategies to support your students' mental health and wellbeing.

Matt Dunn, Head of Automation at Missing Link 

Mr Dunn will look at how schools can embrace AI including ChatGPT. He said:

Every teacher needs to understand how AI can transform education, be leveraged to automate routine tasks, reduce your stress and reclaim your personal time. ChatGPT is an invaluable part of your teaching toolkit and you can learn how to master it and its benefits at Youth Connect.

Maree Crabbe, Director of the Australian Violence Prevention Initiative

Ms Crabbe will discuss the impact of pornography and what schools can do to support students. She shares:

By addressing pornography's impact in the school community, you can play a pivotal role in preventing sexual violence and promoting gender equality among your students.

Dr Mark Dowley, Associate Head of the Crowther Centre 

Dr Dowley will present on student behaviour and how to improve this in the current school climate


The highly-anticipated education forum will be held on Friday, 9 August at Hectorville Sports and Community Club in Magill, SA. The event will feature keynote presentations and a lively panel discussion with young people front and centre as they share their perspectives and insights.

Hosted by renowned comedian Lori Bell, who will also serve as MC, the event promises an engaging blend of humor and insight. The day will start with a Welcome to Country by Robert Taylor, setting the stage for the Youth Connect forum to tackle tough issues and challenging conversations. With her unique comedic perspective, Lori will infuse the discussions with levity, making the complex topics more approachable and engaging for all attendees.

The not-to-be-missed event will give school leaders, wellbeing coordinators, teachers and youth workers a chance to learn, share and connect – and can be counted towards professional development hours.

We developed Youth Connect in 2022, as a way to acknowledge the dedication of teachers and school leaders during the COVID-19 pandemic. It has since grown into a professional learning day filled with expert insights, youth voices, good food and fun – what Life Ed is all about. Now in its third year, Youth Connect, is the go-to PD event of the year.
Gildi Carty, CEO, Life Ed South Australia.