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xDiscipline 2019

Communication for problem solving

xDiscipline 2019 was about how we use empathy and effective communication to solve problems. Our incredible guests Tanja and Geoff challenged attendees to create, out of thin air, the people they need to communicate with, and then understand how debate framing can get those people on-side.

Tanja Kovac

Tanja Kovac is Senior Research Fellow Gender Equity at progressive think tank Per Capita, Director at EMILY’s List Australia and runs her own leadership and comms consultancy, Kovac & Co. A writer, lawyer, gender and human rights advocate, she’s been championing social change for over 20 years. It’s all about head, heart and being hands-on.

After a decade of student activism at school and university, Tanja commenced work as a solicitor at Slater & Gordon, working in the firm’s Public Interest Unit, where she was responsible for a number of high profile human rights cases.

Tanja is a Director and National-Convenor of EMILY’s List Australia, where she has been instrumental in developing gender based campaign strategies and policy change within the ALP, including setting the affirmative action target for women – 50/50 by 2025. She is also Deputy Chair of the Multicultural Centre for Women’s Health and on the board of Burrinja Arts Centre.

An interview with Tanja about xDiscipline 2019!

Geoff Paine

Geoff Paine is a performer, writer, sometime blogger, improviser, keynote speaker and inventor of ideas who currently splits his time between working at a university and acting in Neighbours (using very different parts of his brain). His work on radio and in live theatre is the stuff of anecdote.

Geoff’s writing credits include live shows such as It’s a Dad Thing, How to Make A Musical and Unpack This! (a comedy based on spending a single day in a men’s anger management group).

His interest in behavioural science is based on a lifetime of portraying people’s behaviour, along with studies in neuroscience and social science. He creates content for a behavioural research unit exploring the core question of all human sciences - why do we behave the way we do?

An interview with Geoff about xDiscipline 2019!

Our facilitators

David Blumenstein is a service designer and visual communicator. His business Experience Illustration is where those two disciplines come together. His background is in animation and storyboarding. He co-founded Squishface Studio, Australia’s first open comics studio.


Rob Seddon is an experienced service designer with a background in learning as an instructional designer and facilitator. He has led several design projects and sprints, bringing a variety of approaches, methods and tools from human-centred design and other disciplines including Lean Startup, Gamestorming and Agile.


Sarah Aquilina is a cross functional unicorn, specialising in change management, focused on project delivery. With a background in strategic design and facilitation across diverse industries in both the private and public sector, she has a dynamic skill set ready for any occasion.

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