Red Cross Oration | Loneliness in the Digital Age: Sustaining healthy communities in the 21st Century


How do we tackle loneliness and social isolation to develop a more socially inclusive society?

Start Date

23rd Aug 2018 6:00pm

End Date

23rd Aug 2018 7:30pm


Stanley Burbury Theatre, University Centre, Sandy Bay campus

RSVP / Contact Information

E.; T. 6226 2521

Logo of the Australian Red Cross

The 2018 Red Cross Oration
will be presented by

Jono Nicholas

Chief Executive Officer, ReachOut

Joining the conversation will be

  • Ms Ebony Gaylor, Community Mobilisation, Australian Red Cross
  • Dr Peta Cook, Senior Lecturer of Sociology, University of Tasmania

Register Now

Jono Nicholas

Photo of Jono NicholasJono Nicholas was a founding member of ReachOut when it launched in 1998 as the first digital mental health service in the world and has gone on to become one of the most passionate advocates for the mental health of young people. Jono spent the early part of his career developing and leading the ReachOut service before establishing ReachOut in Ireland in 2009.

Since his appointment as CEO of ReachOut Australia in 2010, ReachOut has gone on to become the digital entry point to the mental health system for young people and their parents and is now accessed by over 1.58 million Australians per year for everything from exam stress, relationship difficulties to suicidal thoughts. By 2020 ReachOut plans to help a further one million people per year.

Jono holds an Honours Degree in Psychology and a Masters in Public Health and is a father of three young boys.

Jono is a director of Mental Health Australia and the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education. He is co-chair of the Telstra Technology and Wellbeing roundtable, member of the Federal Department of Health’s Digital Mental Health Advisory Committee, and the NSW Mental Health Commission’s Suicide Prevention Advisory Group.

Ebony Gaylor

Ebony started her career with a local council youth hub, moving through a range of sectors including family violence, justice, therapeutic/self-help communities and government – and then into marketing and social design. She is a systems thinker, social designer and strategist with a passion for understanding the intersections of networks, influence, technology and social movements.

Ebony has led system reforms, service designs, innovation and digital portfolios as well as brand strategy and campaigns of various scales. Along the way she has also founded a string of for-purpose organisations, most recently having co-founded Thirty Waves, a social purpose consulting firm focused on the intersections of marketing, strategy and social movements. 

Ebony is fascinated by connection and chaos theories, and the role they can play in sparking action and inspiring positive social change. More recently Ebony joined Australian Red Cross, heading up the Community Mobilisation team, leading initiatives such as future membership models with humanitarian causes, models of self-organising volunteering, the role of youth participation and governance and leading cross-organisational efforts to design for mobilisation at scale.

Ebony also has a track record of bringing together diverse world views and mediums, including a youth-led short film (Growing Up in the High-Rise), Australia’s first online crowdsourced sentencing portal (Youth Peer Panel), storytelling initiatives with therapeutic drug and alcohol communities, designs for self-organising humanitarian action and e-gaming strategies to tackle loneliness.  Ebony is currently obsessed with developing models to help us understand what healthy social connection is in a modern world.

Dr Peta Cook

Peta  is a Senior Lecturer of Sociology at the University of Tasmania. Her research is based upon how knowledge is produced, circulated and experienced in relation to science, technology, medicine, health and illness. Her research traverses science and technology studies; health, medicine and illness; and embodiment. Peta’s current work includes an examination of sociocultural assessments of and reactions to xenotransplantation (animal-to-human transplantation), the sociology of cancer, Botox, and ageing.

Peta is a member of the Australian Sociological Association (TASA), Society for the Social Studies of Science (4S), the Asia-Pacific Science and Technology Studies (APSTS) Network, and the Australian Association of Gerontology (AAG).