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speaker

Melanie
Tran

Thought leader in the intersection of Design Innovation, Disability, Technology & Social Impact

We need to harness unique perspectives to rebuild a society that's designed for inclusion.
Profile

Named one of the Top 100 Women of Influence 2019 by the Australian Financial Review, Melanie Tran is a designer, an innovator, an activist, a social entrepreneur.

Current Work:

Melanie’s work as a User Experience (UX) Designer and social entrepreneur has been recognised internationally - including being named the winner of the Laureate International Universities Global Here for Good Award 2018.

The award recognises a student from the Laureate network who is using education as a platform to help create positive social change.

Melanie’s lived experience, developed skills and knowledge allow for her work to span the disability, health, social impact and technology sectors. With over eight years’ experience, and through her role as a UX Designer at Hireup, Melanie specializes in bringing together the worlds of business, design and social impact.

In 2017, Melanie was selected as one of the Laureate Global Fellows - an international fellowship for young social entrepreneurs. Melanie recently commenced postgraduate study, Master of Philosophy, at Torrens University Australia.

Leveraging her expertise as a UX Designer, her study would serve as an opportunity to approach some of the challenges within Australian healthcare, through a creative lens. Following her success, Melanie has become a sought-after international public speaker, presenting at [email protected], TEDxSydney Pitch Night, Laureate Leadership Summit, World Usability Day at Commonwealth Bank Australia, and a keynote at Google, opening their first-ever Asia Pacific UX Design Summit.

Expertise
Talking Points

Does Disability Overpower Identity?

What do you define as social norms?

We live in a society that is defined by expectations and stereotypes - almost as if gender, race, ability and culture defines who we are as individuals. The word disability comes with a wealth of preconceptions, but what happens when gender is added to the equation? As an individual striving for success, Melanie often wonders whether her disability overpowers heridentity as a woman. Can both these identities co-exist and be leveraged to create social good, or does this mean we have to fight twice as hard for disability rights and women's rights?

Key Takeaways:
1. The principles of access and inclusion goes well beyond disability and compliance. Gain practical tips on how your business can adapt a curious mindset that enables you to go beyond compliance and checking boxes when it comes to creating a more inclusive and diverse workforce.
2. Learn how to create better products and services through the power of storytelling and lived experiences. More importantly, gain insights on how this contributes to a wider systemic change.
3. It is okay to make mistakes. In fact, we need to create an environment where we can safely learn, make mistakes, fail and grow.

Leveraging the Power of Education to Create Social Change

Education can serve as a catalyst for change within the walls of institutions and beyond.

As a person living with a disability navigating through the education system, it is clear to Melanie that there is still an uphill battle for social inclusion and equality.

On the other hand, it is a known fact that education has the power to create a positive social and cultural shift by nurturing brilliant minds that can approach society with empathy, curiosity and desire to drive change. If we were to reimagine the future of education, what needs to change in order to bridge the gap between fighting for social inclusion and equality, and having the ability to leverage education as a platform to create social and cultural change? Now let's come back to the present day - what small changes can we make today?

Key Takeaways:
1. Gain insights on how the education system can be leveraged as a catalyst for change.
2. Practical tips on how to foster collaboration, empathy and curiosity in order to embrace inclusion and access to quality education.
3. Practical tips on how we can create a roadmap to help facilitate learning and knowledge exchange in the workforce as education extends well beyond the walls of institutions.

Rebuild a Diverse and Inclusive Society Through Creativity and Technology

We live in a society that was not built for inclusion.

How might we harness the power of creativity and the unbelievable potential of technology to shape a society that embraces unique perspectives? It's easy enough to say that our system is too big and complicated to change. But we are the system. Change starts with us - the question is, where do we start?

Key Takeaways:
1. The global pandemic has placed us in a unique position to redefine social norms - let's shift our conversation from 'road to recovery' to 'rebuilding our society to embrace change and unique perspectives.
2. Gain insights on the power of lived experience and unique perspectives. Through this, you will learn the concept of access and inclusion, and how to amplify the impact of your business.
3. Practical tips on how to develop solutions (products and services) that are driven by user needs and inclusive design principles.
Media
Feedback
Melanie is an exception to any rule and norm we know about in the best possible way. Mel's ability to deliver clear messaging with depth, authenticity, and conviction set Mel apart from many individuals I have come across. As a fellow social entrepreneur and speaker, I enjoy the conversations with Mel on and off stage and have witness Mel's brilliance under the spotlight. I look forward to hearing more of Mel in the limelight. Enabler Interactive

Melanie has a great ability to captivate audiences when she speaks. She brings a unique perspective when speaking about the intersection of design, innovation, social inclusion and technology. I’d highly recommend Melanie

Torrens University Australia

Mel is an inspiring speaker who quickly captures your attention and rewards you with strong messages and an upbeat desire to be positive and do positive. Better still, Mel practices what she preaches

The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Australia
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