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40 Under 40

A helping hand with good business sense

40 Under 40

Providing a service to people in need has proven to be a rewarding career choice for our latest 40 Under 40 alumni.

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Joanna Howe
University of Adelaide / Associate Professor in Law

Howe is an expert on labour migration who is keen to inform both public opinion and policy on a vital economic and social issue.

The 39-year-old Adelaide Law School Associate Professor, Rhodes Scholar and PhD is a prolific published author and media commentator who has also advised governments and influenced labour market policy.

“As an immigrant myself, I understand the power of immigration done well,” Howe said.

“I know first-hand the myriad opportunities Australia can provide. But too often, immigration is used as a political tool and poorly designed immigration policies lead to unintended consequences – bottlenecks and shortages for employers and exploitation and vulnerability for workers. The success of a state like South Australia hinges upon an effective immigration program.”

Howe said her research had directly influenced the immigration policy of three successive federal governments, the development of the National Agriculture Workforce Strategy, and the piece rates decision by the Fair Work Commission.

“My academic career has been driven by two key commitments: first, to the pursuit of justice for vulnerable workers, and second, to applied and high-impact socio-legal research that addresses regulatory challenges arising from temporary labour migration, and makes it easier and simpler for employers to access overseas labour.”

Rule to live by? Real integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobody’s going to know whether you did it or not.

Lauren Whiting
Lift Cancer Care Services / Founder

Following the cancer diagnosis of a good friend, Whiting conceived Lift Cancer Care Services four years ago to provide cancer patients with evidence-based allied health treatments to improve their health outcomes.

The centre is staffed by clinicians with experience in oncology, and the services they offer are designed to support them along the continuum of their cancer experience.

Lift provides exercise specifically for people undergoing active cancer therapies, which can help to manage common side effects of cancer drugs and improve overall survival.

Whiting, 39, is an oncology physiotherapist who has experienced firsthand how disjointed cancer services can be.

“We have brought together the allied health services these patients need in one location,” Whiting said.

“Improving physical function was important, but they also needed help with areas such as nutrition, lymphoedema and mental health.

“Disrupting a traditional and conservative industry has been and will continue to be difficult. Having the unwavering belief that my vision is achievable and refusing to give up is why Lift is still operating and growing.”

Looking to the future, Whiting plans on a second site in South Australia and also to take Lift interstate – her dream is to have one in every state and territory.

Last series you binged? Why Women Kill.

Nathan Freeman
Bungala Aboriginal Corporation / Catering and Training Manager

In the past four years, Freeman has established and grown Bungala’s Food Services Program from a canteen with two staff to a 16-employee operation, providing 520 meals per week to vulnerable people in Port Augusta, Whyalla, Quorn, Coober Pedy and Oodnadatta.

The food service also works in conjunction with aged care providers to supply meals through Commonwealth Home Support Program and Aged Care Packages.

But beyond its role as a service provider, the program also facilitates employment and training opportunities for long-term unemployed people and has a strong reputation as an employer of First Nations people in Port Augusta and the wider region.

Bungala currently has 10 staff and six trainees – all Aboriginal women – who work in the kitchen.

Through high-level stakeholder engagement with the Bungala board, government agencies and funding bodies, Freeman, 32, has helped transform the program from a small operation to a successful self-sustaining social enterprise.

“Establishing Bungala’s Food Services Program was difficult – it took a long time to be accepted in the Aboriginal community,” Freeman said.

“It was also a challenge professionally, transitioning from a chef to a manager in education, training and social services.

“Initially, the program wasn’t financially viable – we made a loss and there was a real threat that funding would be cut. I was given a year to turn it around and I did.”

Favourite pastime/activity that isn’t related to your work? Coaching Judo and training at my local CrossFit gym

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