Program speakers


Sandy Blackburn

Sandy has worked across all sectors to create positive social impact both locally and internationally over the last 35 years. She is the founder and Managing Director of Social Outcomes, one of Australia’s leading for purpose businesses that specialises in researching, designing, implementing, financing and measuring impact. Sandy has served on the Australian Advisory Board to the Social Impact Investment Global Steering Group since its inception in 2013 and was the first female Non-Executive Director of the largest philanthropic foundation in Queensland, Hand Heart Pocket, the charity of the Freemasons. She is on the board of Happy Paws Happy Hearts, a social enterprise that supports socially excluded people to re-engage with community and work, through building confidence and skills with animal handling at the RSPCA. Sandy has also served on the advisory board of QUT’s Australian Centre for NFP and Philanthropic Studies since 2013, and is an industry fellow at Griffith University’s Centre for Sustainable Enterprises. She was also a founding Director on the board of the Community Service Industry Alliance and served on the federal government’s Not For Profit Reform Council.

Sandy has played a leading role in growing the impact investing and social enterprise sectors in Australia, as well as designing numerous large social innovation projects and co-founding Impact Investing Australia. She has also been heavily involved in the growing opportunity of social impact bonds, having worked on the Benevolent Society Bond in NSW, the Youth CONNECT bond in Queensland, the latest payment by outcome contracts commissioned by the South Australia and federal governments, as well as numerous other bond design projects. The team have also designed a development impact bond in PNG, exploring ways to improve outcomes for small scale female farmers through infrastructure projects.

Sandy has the ability to build bridges between the social and the financial after 15 years in international development in southern Africa and 10 years at senior levels in banking and professional services in Australia, with her last corporate role as Head of Social Innovation for Westpac, including grantmaking with the Westpac Foundation. Through her work in social innovation, international development, impact investing and social enterprise development, Sandy has developed a pragmatic approach to impact design and measurement in a wide variety of organisational settings. Sandy is also an experienced facilitator, a best selling author and sought after public speaker.