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Deloitte ‘angels’ use pitch-fest to test Melbourne social entrepreneurs


5 November 2013: Partners from the Melbourne office of professional services firm Deloitte are putting social entrepreneurs through their paces to try and identify innovative approaches to achieve social change.

As part of the inaugural Changemakers Festival, and with the support of StartSomeGood, Deloitte’s Social Innovation Pitch Night will see four local Melbourne social entrepreneurs, Sonia Ben Ali, Catherine Kirby, Jo Sayer and Julia McKay, pitch their ideas for social change to a panel of four Deloitte practitioners: Geoff Roberts; Dennis Goldner; Vanessa Cover; and Robert Patterson.

Those attending the event will be asked to vote for their favourite idea, and the winner will receive $5,000 of mentoring assistance from Deloitte professionals to develop the idea.

Deloitte has joined forces with The Australian Centre for Social Innovation (TACSI) as sponsor of the Changemakers Festival, which takes place around Australia from 1-10 November.

The Changemakers Festival encourages leading thinkers and local organisations to share ideas on how social innovation can tackle some of our toughest social challenges. Activities include:

  • Corporate participation on social change projects involving organisations, like Deloitte, and their employees to use their skills to drive change in their local communities
  • Social enterprise, driven by ‘impact investors’ as alternatives to traditional charity and welfare programs
  • The ‘Sharing Economy’ – making greater use of resources, reducing consumption and our impact on the environment
  • Citizen-led change – co-design and co-creation of social services and change programs by the citizens  they aim to assist
  • Crowdfunding of social change projects by harnessing community support.

Carolyn Curtis, Acting TACSI CEO welcomed Deloitte’s support of the Festival and said she was thrilled to see so many people hosting and attending events.

“It’s amazing to have more than 150 events listed in our first year, and to see leading organisations in business, government and the social sector collaborating and celebrating all the great work that’s happening,” she said.

“The Changemakers Festival is bringing together thousands of people, ideas, and projects that can create change in our communities, across our country, and for our planet. It’s an exciting time.”

Deloitte will host similar pitch events in Adelaide (6 November), Brisbane (6 November), Canberra (5 November), Hobart (6 November), Launceston (6 November), Parramatta (6 November), Perth (4 November) and Sydney (4 November).

Cindy Hook, Deloitte Partner, National Audit and Advisory Leader and executive sponsor of the firm’s Responsible Business Program, said, “I’m very excited about the Changemakers Festival and its potential for creating a positive impact on communities across Australia. Innovation is in Deloitte’s DNA and this festival is a wonderful example of the power of innovative thinking, action and collaboration to solve social problems and benefit the broader community.”

Other Changemakers Festival events in Melbourne include:

  • Social Enterprise Study Tour – Social Traders (7 November), which will allow participants to see the inner workings of four social enterprises in Melbourne
  • Crowdfunding for Changemakers – Ross House Association and StartSomeGood (7 November), which is designed for community organisations who want to explore how crowdfunding could help them and to learn how to rally the community to their cause.

See our media releases and research at

Follow us – @DeloitteNewsAU, @OzInnovation  

Last Updated: 


Vessa Playfair
Deloitte Australia
Job Title:
Head of Corporate Affairs
Tel: +61 2 9322 7576, Mobile: +61 419 267 676
Elise Williams
TACSI and The Changemakers Festival
Job Title:
Head of Marketing and Communications
Mobile: +61 431 221 293




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