Image by Naomi Wilkinson.

Australia is full of awesome people who are passionate about making the world a better place, and the increasing number of changemaker events are solid proof. From social innovation to sustainable living to impact investing, there is something for everyone.

Next month inspirational and committed activists, academics and business leaders will come together for the Social Good Summit Australia to discuss solutions for the greatest challenges of our time: end poverty, fix climate change and tackle inequalities. The Social Good Summit Australia is a one-day conference held on Saturday 15 October, which examines  the impact of social good initiatives around the world. Held annually the Social Good Summit Australia unites a dynamic community of leaders from Not for Profits, Corporations, Government, Universities and Industry bodies as well as grassroots contributors to discuss solutions for the greatest challenges of our time.

The Australian Summit follows the New York Social Good Summit, which is held every year since 2010 to coincide with and expand the conversations of the United Nations General Assembly and is part of a community movement on a global scale.

Part of a global network of more than 100 events held in more than 80 countries, the Social Good Summit unites global citizens from around the world to unlock the potential of individuals, technology and collaboration to make the world a better place.

What is unique about the Social Good Summit Australia is it’s the commitment to showcasing diverse voices, staying inclusive and maintaining a sense of openness and connectivity. It recognises that the solutions for the big questions of our time need to come from all of us, working together.

The theme, #2030NOWAU, asks the question, “How Will We Create a Better World by 2030?”

Get your tickets before they run out!

While the Social Good Summit is a fantastic opportunity to connect with like-minded people and get inspired, it is not the only gathering out there about positive social change. If you’re not available to come along on 15 October, here’s a list of the best Australian events for aspiring and seasoned changemakers. 

Collaboration for Impact

May / Melbourne

A two-day conference designed to help you bring collaborative approaches to life in your work and community. You will be introduced to the latest thinking and doing in collaboration and Collective Impact and learn how to make progress on some of our most complex social issues. This is a unique opportunity to develop your skills in an active learning space and to connect with a network of peers advancing new approaches to collaboration in Australia. The conference draws on the experience of previous Collective Impact conferences hosted by the Centre for Social Impact and Social Leadership Australia.


November / Melbourne

Commonground is a community of changemakers dedicated to the purpose of supporting the social change movement. On 95 acres of rejuvenated bushland 1 hour north of Melbourne. Commonground Festival is a festival that celebrates social change. A place to experience what life could be like. It’s about working together to make the world a better place and having one heck of a good time along the way! Run by volunteers, the festival is a fundraiser for Commonground, a not-for-profit social enterprise that supports social justice, environmental, disadvantaged and community groups.

IMPACT Conference

August / Brisbane

A three-day conference packed with inspirational speakers, thought-provoking workshops and networking opportunities. At the IMPACT Conference, you will have the opportunity to work with other young people in building your very own social enterprise idea that addresses an issue you’re passionate about. You will gain the skill-set to build a business, pitch an idea and tackle complex community problems – all whilst learning from leading change-makers in the field.

Impact Investment Summit Asia Pacific

October / Sydney

Join impact investment thought leaders, trailblazers, and experts at an inspiring Summit like no other. Secure your place at an education-rich array of international keynote and thought-provoking panel sessions, real deal case studies, deep dives and panel discussions. Hear all you need to know and gain from the fast-growing global impact investment sector. Experience a program curated by experts in the community for the investment community.

Link Festival

March / Melbourne & Sydney

Focused on the nexus of design, technology and social change, the event is truly cross-disciplinary and cross-sector. In 2016, Link Festival brought together over 1200 engineering, architecture, technology, design and social change professionals across Sydney and Melbourne. Not just a talk-fest – Link Festival is the spark that enables Australia’s leading and emerging social innovators and future makers to connect, collaborate, and be inspired to go out into the world to take positive action!

Nexus Australia Youth Summit

March / Sydney

Nexus is a global movement to bridge communities of wealth and social entrepreneurship. With thousands of members from 70 countries, Nexus’ work to unite young investors, social entrepreneurs, philanthropists and allies to catalyse new leadership and accelerate global solutions. The Nexus Australia Youth Summit aims to inspire learning and collaboration between a uniquely powerful network of peers through an interactive program of panels, workshops, and social activities explore philanthropy, impact investing, and social entrepreneurship, family dynamics, strategies for investing and attracting investment, social transformation, and more.


December / Melbourne & Sydney

Purpose is the coming together of purpose-driven people. It’s by application only and over two days you’ll get to meet, learn from and be inspired by the best in the industry. The people who are doing good and doing it incredibly well. Purpose is all about reinventing business models, shifting corporate cultures and rewriting the role of brands and organisations to be purpose driven.

SeCo Young Social Entrepreneurs Conference

Melbourne / September

Social Enterprise Collective (SeCo) exists to empower young leaders and changemakers, equipping you with the essential tools to become social entrepreneurs. SeCo is a community of young changemakers and go getters who are passionate, innovative and entrepreneurial. If you want to learn more, or already have launched your startup come along to the Young Social Entrepreneurs Conference on September 22nd. Hear from Melbourne’s prominent young changemakers. An amazing opportunity to authentically connect, indulge in meaningful conversations and hear from inspirational speakers who have made a difference.

Social Impact Festival

July / Perth

The Social Impact Festival 2016 connects and celebrates the people, organisations, ideas, networks and collaborations across all sectors that are creating positive social impact. The festival is your chance to create, learn, connect, and build capacity so we can collectively create a place that we are proud to live in – Perth, Australia, the World. The Festival is hosted by the Centre for Social Impact at The University of Western Australia.

Sustainable Living Festival

February / Victoria

The Sustainable Living Festival aims to accelerate the uptake of sustainable living and seeks solutions to global warming that will return the planet to a safe climate as fast as humanly possible. The Festival raises awareness and provides tools for change by showcasing leading solutions to the ecological and social challenges we face. Attracting over 150,000 visits annually the Festival engages with hundreds of organisations and individuals to stage Australia’s largest sustainability festival.

Unleashed Festival

September / Melbourne

Hosted by FYA, Unleashed provides skills and connections that will equip young innovators, makers, thinkers and doers with the ability to change the world. Over 1000 young people from every corner of the country will come together to talk big issues, find out about big innovations and develop skills to make a big impact. Featuring a stellar lineup of speakers, film and live music, the fourth annual Unleashed Festival will take over Melbourne’s Fed Square on Saturday 24th September.

If you know of an event not on the list, add your suggestion in the comments section below.

The Best Events for Changemakers