Anne-Marie Elias is an Egyptian-born, Italian-Australian whose core focus is to be a catalyst for change, and through a collective effort restructure the manner in which our social systems support those in need.
Disruption is in Anne-Marie’s DNA; as a result she has spent three decades breaking down the cycle of social disadvantage. Starting her career as a youth activist, Anne-Marie went on to become a senior policy adviser to several Australian and NSW Cabinet Ministers. During this time, she also worked for NGO’S, and the private sector.
Throughout her career, Anne-Marie became aware of how our social systems were letting down those in need of support. Where some would walk away these issues frustrated Anne-Marie, and in December 2013 a serious wake-up call came along, with the loss of a young life, very close to her heart.
Jordan was a vibrant 17-year-old who spent much if his leisure time helping other young people get through depression, drug use and homelessness. A day before his 18th birthday Jordan suddenly passed away in his sleep.
This created a huge impact in Anne-Marie’s life prompting her to take action, and not be resigned to social structures failing to support the ‘voiceless’ members of our community. This was Jordan’s legacy, and his life led her to a heartfelt mission. Now was the time to form an army of change agents, willing to create sustainable solutions for those in serious need.
In February of 2014, Anne-Marie founded The Collective NSW. This networking group aims to protect the most vulnerable in our society through cross-sector and community collaboration. This is a unique approach where instead of relying on government, the community leads the way with regards to problem- solving initiatives. It is a movement run by the people, for the people. Every single life counts.
As a professional speaker, Anne-Marie’s passion and enthusiasm for collaborative disruption is undeniable. With a culture that often views social problems as too difficult, Anne-Marie leads the charge and asks all of us to step up, and seek opportunities to be the change. She connects startup, design thinking and tech with government and NGOs to bring about disruptive social innovation.
As a published writer and Ted X Speaker, she preaches the gospel of disrupting the status quo, and provides others the tools to do exactly the same.