Festival of Change focus on ‘Generation COVID’, connecting communities through pandemic and beyond

Published:24 August 2020

Held online across 1 – 17 September 2020, the Festival of Change 2020 features nine free events open to anyone and everyone passionate about driving social change.

CQUniversity’s annual Festival of Change is back, despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The celebration of social innovation will be held online across 1 – 17 September 2020, with nine free events open to anyone and everyone passionate about driving social change in their community.

A fixture of CQUniversity’s calendar since 2018, the Festival of Change has traditionally been for CQU students, staff, and social innovation partners.

But coordinator and CQU Social Innovation Program Manager Ashley Clarke says the new virtual format makes the festival more accessible than ever before.

“This year has been really challenging for people and we are not through it yet – but since the start of the pandemic, we’ve been hearing from people who are passionate about driving solutions,” Ms Clarke said.

“By pivoting the Festival of Change to an online learning format, we’re ensuring that anyone can connect with inspiring changemakers, and learn how to make their own impact.”

Participants can register now for big-impact sessions featuring social change leaders from the corporate, not-for-profit and government sectors, practical social innovation workshops, and storytelling with inspiring changemakers from across Australia.

CQUniversity Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Nick Klomp will moderate the opening event, a youth panel titled Generation COVID?

“The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted education, work opportunities and future planning for countless young people,” Prof Klomp said.

“It also highlights and exacerbates so many existing issues in our society - but I’m already hearing some great ideas and so much positivity from these young people, about how they want to start rebuilding their own lives and their communities.

“I’m really looking forward to hearing from the panel on how we can all support this generation for a brighter future post-COVID, and beyond.”

Across three big weeks, the Festival of Change also features experts and changemakers from CQUniversity AustraliaQueensland Youth Advisory Council, The Australian Centre for Social Innovation, Young Change Agents, The Next EconomySmart Precinct NQ, TECKnology Indigenous Corporation, IMPACT Community Services Bundaberg, Queensland Social Enterprise Council, Country University Centres, Western District Health Service, Metro South Health, Food Connect Foundation, The Big Issue and Foundation for Young Australians' YLab.

Explore the full program at, and register to attend any of the free sessions via Zoom.

The Festival of Change is part of CQUniversity’s role as Australia’s only Changemaker University, accredited by Ashoka U, a global network for social innovation and impact.