Our people

Mary Freer

Founder and CEO

There’s something about Mary

Pronouns: She/They

Mary has contributed to Australia’s healthcare system reform in a variety of executive and leadership roles over the last 25 years. She has worked closely with health improvement leaders in many countries across the world to bring about global improvements to our health and social care systems.

Mary has held positions with national government and NFP health care and social welfare services, including women’s and community health services, healthdirect Australia, the Department of the Premier and Cabinet in South Australia, Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation and Health Workforce Australia.

In 2016 Mary was awarded a Westpac Bicentennial Foundation Social Change Fellowship. This enabled Mary to travel throughout Europe and the US meeting with leaders who are committed to creating a more compassionate healthcare system. From this Compassion Revolution was born.

Mary has been the Executive Producer of five international Compassion Revolution Conferences and has built deep connections with compassion practitioners all over the world.

In 2021 Mary published her book Compassion Revolution: *Start Now; *Use What You Have *Keep Going.

Amy Milhinch

Director of Design for Social Change

Here’s something about Amy

Pronouns: She/Her

Amy is a creative brain, with decades of brand, design and communication experience. Her offering at Compassion Revolution is in finding extraordinary ways to embed compassion with design for the workplace including artefacts, processes and interventions, and helping to articulate organisational values and then bring them to life. Her creative approaches are in merit of supporting behaviour change, new habits and ritual.

Her creative practice meaningfully connects high level creative thinking with visual communication. A very human human, Amy brings great understanding of Storytelling for Impact, Gamification, Graphic Scribing, Co-design Practice and Design Thinking. 

In 2017, Amy completed a fellowship in Mumbai, with Unschool of Disruptive Design with Leyla Acaroglu; an intensive in Design Thinking and Systems Thinking. 

Previously, Amy worked in a design agency, accredited as a BCorp, and whose client base included NFPs, Foundations and Social Enterprises, which gave her a refined understanding of organisations working with a social agenda.

Lou Pyman

Director of Activation and Learning for Social Change

And then there were three

Pronouns: She/Her

You’ll see Lou at the front of the room at Compassion Labs and Collaboratives as she is a dynamic and compelling facilitator. Before joining the revolution, Lou delivered wellbeing training programs with Be Well Co—an initiative embedded in the heart of SAHMRI (South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute).

When working with people, Lou holds learning spaces that are safe, calm and dynamic. She responds to people with love and curiosity. She knows that great learning spaces need to be safe for vulnerability to exist, and vulnerability is a gateway to human connection. When you meet Lou, you’ll very quickly pick up that she heroes beauty and excellence.

Running Labs and workshops is her public face of Compassion Revolution, but behind the scenes she wears a planning hat, responsible for the delivery of Salons, Retreats and seeking collaboration and partnership opportunities for us.

Her experience is deeply human, having taught on the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands, embedded person-centred approaches to support the psychological and physical safety of the clients with disabilities at Bedford Group, and empowered pre-service teachers to explore unconscious bias and whiteness at Flinders University.

Care Revolutionaries

In 2023 we met with The Care Lab and The Patient Revolution for the first time, which brought about a global alliance of care activists who are determined for a new system of care. Watch our first confab here.

Lekshmy Parameswaran

Lekshmy is co-founder and design strategist of The Care Lab, based in Barcelona. The Care Lab in an international network of designers-turned-activists working together to transform the world of care. The network recognises that design plays a vital role in reimagining care, with their collective understanding of empathy skills, optimistic mindset and solution-oriented approaches. In 2023 we met with The Care Lab and The Patient Revolution for the first time, which brought about a global alliance of care activists who are determined for a new system of care. Watch our first confab here.

Victor Montori, MD

Victor is co-founder of The Patient Revolution, a global movement for careful and kind care, and a turning away from industrialised healthcare models seeing that healthcare as we know it is cruel to professional healthcare workers and patients. The Patient Revolution’s imperative is transforming healthcare from an industrial activity into a deeply human one. Read Dr Montori’s book, ‘Why we Revolt’

Great affiliates

Over and over again, these people have our back and we are informed and supported by them. We salute them.

Kate Bowles

If you’ve been to a Compassion Revolution Conference, then you’ve enjoyed Kate as a part of our programme every time. Kate is a narrative researcher and patient advocate at the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District in New South Wales. At the University of Wollongong they teach narrative ways of navigating uncertain futures of work. Kate writes online at musicfordeckchairs.com

We look to them for wise council, the broadening of our understanding of what safe means, deep considerations, and a flipping of the script on cultural norms. Listen to Kate on the Compassion Revolution Podcast, S3 E3.

Shannon Weber

Shannon is a facilitator and coach who thrives holding space for leaders, organisations and communities in transition. Shannon is devoted to our connections with each other and what it takes for us to show-up in the big and small ways that create meaning amidst change. She authored Show Up Hard: A Road Map for Helpers in Crisis for those of us with wild, open hearts at the brink of burnout.

You may have participated in the Cloakroom at the 2023 Conference—Shannon was with us at the heart of this meaningful creative ritual and she also presented the outstanding session, Boundary Work, with Cessalee Stovall. Even though San Fransisco is her home, she checks in with the Revolution often, and we take-in her amazing gifts for sensitive, broad creative consideration, playful and deeply touching interventions.

Rachel Callander

Rachel Callander is a TEDx presenter, speaker, trainer, award winning artist and the author of the Outstanding Book of the Year Award 2015 IPPY New York, Super Power Baby Project. She is a highly sought-after speaker as she powerfully teaches how the first words used at diagnosis critically shape how patients and carers perceive their future—words can allow people to be at their best and find meaning even in pain; or they can create anger, mistrust, frustration, and can break down the crucial relationship between those with a diagnosis and health professionals. She is a consummate communicator and her EQ is demonstrative of how we can remember how to be with each other.

Peta-Anne Louth

Peta-Anne (fondly known as PA) was the Compassion Revolution’s Creative Producer in 2022 and 2023. Because we are off-season for the conference PA has rolled over with State Theatre of South Australia in the role of Development Executive.

She has been the reason why our post-Covid Conferences have been full of sparkling creative verve—having, in 2022, programmed Miss Cairo-Cabaret Singer and Eleanor Blythman-Opera Singer, and in 2023, Mama Alto-Jazz Singer and Gender Transcendent Diva. Peta-Anne continues to be at the creative heart of our Revolution.

The support of our Westpac Ambassadors

Kate Semrau and Maria Djakovic

Mary, being a Westpac Foundation Social Change Fellow, is supported by the Westpac Community Ambassador program. This has enabled us to be connected with Westpac employees who offer us access to Westpac’s programs and resources.

We acknowledge and thank Kate and Maria for having taken the opportunity to be with Compassion Revolution, giving us their time, their connections and their experience.

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