Speakers Profile - Jack Heath

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Jack Heath grew up on a farm at Mooroopna in north eastern Victoria, Australia. After graduating in Honours Arts and Law from the University of Melbourne, he entered the Commonwealth Public Service serving with key departments including Prime Minister and Cabinet. In the late 1980s, as a diplomat in Thailand he played a catalyst role in the Australian Government's decision to build the Friendship Bridge across the Mekong River. He was speechwriter to the Foreign and Trade Ministers in 1993 and a Senior Adviser to Prime Minister Keating in 1994.

In 1996 Jack established the Inspire Foundation with a view to using the Internet to do something about Australia's then escalating rates of youth suicide. He was a Torchbearer for the Sydney Olympics and a national organiser for the Dalai Lama's 2002 Australian Tour. Jack was awarded a Centenary Medal for "service to the community" and received the 2004 Equity Trustees Non-Profit CEO Award for Innovation. In 2005 he was a NSW Finalist in the Australian of the Year Awards.

In 2007 he established the Inspire USA Foundation in San Francisco to extend Inspire' s Reach Out program to the young people of America. Later that year he received the Ernst & Young Australian Social Entrepreneur of the Year of Award. He is currently working to establish the Inspire Ireland Foundation.

Jack is proud of his ability to assemble great teams of people who do amazing things. His vision for Inspire is to have a global impact on young people's mental health and wellbeing by 2020 and his dream is for world where all young people are truly happy.

A husband, father and practising Buddhist, Jack has spent too much of his life doing overly serious things.