Australian Communities Foundation - Home

Sorry. You're using a browser that we
don't support.

To experience this site, please use Firefox, Chrome or Edge.

How bad automation is harming people on income support – Strengthening Democracy Learning Circle

Profile of Australian Communities Foundation
Hosted by Australian Communities Foundation
20 October 2022

The critical role of income support is more apparent than ever. Over 1.4 million Australians relied on payments during the pandemic – a life raft to get through tough times and avoid falling into poverty.

But what happens when the system enabling this critical lifeline fails us?

Join us at our next Strengthening Democracy Learning Circle, presented in partnership with Mannifera, to learn about the reforms needed to make accessing and navigating our social security system easier and less punitive.

We will hear from Leanne Ho (CEO, Economic Justice Australia), Edward Santow (Industry Professor and Co-Director, Human Technology Institute UTS, and Former Human Rights Commissioner) and Paul Henman (Professor of Digital Sociology and Social Policy, University of Queensland), as well as funders who support this important work.

Our speakers will discuss how we can seize the opportunity of the Robodebt Royal Commission, as well as pathways to changing the law to ensure people experiencing domestic violence can make the choice to leave without plunging themselves and their children into poverty.

Event information

Thursday 20 October
1:00pm – 2:00pm AEDT

This event is online only. Registrants will be sent a link on the day to join via Zoom.


Leanne Ho, Chief Executive Officer, Economic Justice Australia

Leanne Ho is a human rights lawyer and leader in the community and pro bono legal sectors. She has been leading Economic Justice Australia since 2017, having previously worked in various roles at the Welfare Rights Centre in Sydney, most recently acting as Principal Solicitor for several months on secondment from a law firm. Leanne also works as a pro bono consultant, currently working as Special Counsel at Wotton + Kearney, developing the pro bono programs of large corporate law firms to provide legal assistance to vulnerable and disadvantaged groups including refugees and people seeking asylum in Australia. She has previously worked as the legal adviser to United Nations peacekeeping missions and its Human Rights Advisory Panel. 

Edward Santow, Industry Professor and Co-Director, Human Technology Institute UTS, and Former Human Rights Cmmissioner

Edward Santow is the Director, Policy and Governance at the Human Technology Institute, and Industry Professor – Responsible Technology at the University of Technology Sydney. From 2016-2021, Ed was Australia’s Human Rights Commissioner, where he led the Commission’s work on AI and new technology. Ed is leading a number of major initiatives to promote human-centered artificial intelligence. This approach aims to uphold human rights by ensuring that new technology delivers results that are fair, accurate and accountable. Ed’s areas of expertise include human rights, technology and regulation, public law and discrimination law. He has recently been appointed to the panel of experts undertaking an expansive audit of MyGov.  

Paul Henman, Professor of Digital Sociology and Social Policy, University of Queensland 

Paul Henman is Professor of Digital Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Queensland, and is a Chief Investigator of the Australian Research Council’s Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision Making and Society.

Paul holds degrees in both computer science and social science, and previously worked in the Australian Department of Social Security. He has studied the use of computers and digital technologies in social security systems for 30 years. Paul’s work includes the use of new digital research methods, including web-crawling, social network analysis, and online user experiments. Paul is author of Governing Electronically (2010), Performing the State (2018) and Administering Welfare Reform (2006).  


This session is open to Australian Communities Foundation fundholders and our friends in the philanthropy sector. Contact us to register.