Free Community of Practice | Tea & Buns

Friday 29 Oct | Rethinking the drivers of employee performance in the future of work

In October, Ruth will be speaking to Dr Ben Farr-Wharton from Edith Cowan University as for the past decade Ben has been exploring the enablers of, and barriers to, employee wellbeing. This has resulted in Ben having a passion for exploring the topics of workplace wellness and engagement.

Ruth and Ben will be chatting about:

  • Do we know what drivers influence workplace performance?
  • Do the relational and social elements at work drive or prevent workplace wellbeing?
  • What does research tell us about workplace stress and compassion?
  • What are some practical suggestions for leaders?

Ben Farr-Wharton is Associate Dean of Management, School of Business and Law at Edith Cowan University. Ben has examined the impact of supportive management and leadership on employee wellbeing, including analysing the ensuing impact of stress, safety culture, sick leave and engagement. Ben’s research partners span a number national and international, large, health care, public service and not-for-profit organisations. Ben has undertaken research for the Australian Army, Ramsay Health Care, The Maltese Civil Police Force, State Emergency Services, the Centre of Work, Health and Safety (NSW), and Humanitas Hospital (Italy).

Register to attend


Note: There is no need to re-register if you have registered in the past. The same Zoom link is used for all Tea & Buns.


Simpson, A. V., Farr-Wharton, B., & Reddy, P. (2020). Cultivating organizational compassion in healthcare. Journal of Management & Organization, 26(3), 340–354.

Xerri, M., Brunetto, Y., & Farr‐Wharton, B. (2019). Support for aged care workers and quality care in Australia: A case of contract failure? Australian Journal of Public Administration, 78(4), 546–561.

Trinchero, E., Farr-Wharton, B., & Brunetto, Y. (2019). A social exchange perspective for achieving safety culture in healthcare organizations. The International Journal of Public Sector Management, 32(2), 142–156.

Friday 26 Nov | Why more women are turning to social entrepreneurship, and what it takes to thrive

Dr Ruth Knight will be chatting with Julia Kready from The Xfactor Collective about the attributes of female social entrepreneurs, and why so many women are founding and leading social enterprises.  Julia will share some of her insights about how women becoming empowered and equipped to lead effective social and environmental change.

We welcome all practicing and aspiring female social entrepreneurs, who want a recipe for success (in business and life), to join us for this Tea and Buns.

Julia Keady is the founding CEO of The Xfactor Collective – a dual entity social enterprise with a mission to eradicate social changemaker burnout. She has been a champion for women’s leadership, social enterprise and rural and regional Australia for many years including being the inaugural CEO of Australian Women Donors Network and serving on the board of Australian Centre for Rural Entrepreneurship. Alongside that, she has been an advisor and mentor to many of women philanthropists and social entrepreneurs. When she’s not, she can be found playing LEGO with her eight-year-son, or talking social justice on the beach with her trauma psychologist husband, who together run their enterprises from the Northern Rivers of NSW.

Register to attend


Note: There is no need to re-register if you have registered in the past. The same Zoom link is used for all Tea & Buns.


About the Tea & Buns Community of Practice

Tea & Buns aims to create an opportunity for those working in nonprofit and social innovation to learn from each other, discuss the latest research and how we might apply research to our work. The webinar is online, free and gives you access to a vibrant network of like-minded people, including researchers at QUT. Each month we will tackle topical leadership questions. These topics will be guided by the news, and what YOU want to talk about. There is no set agenda, and while we can’t promise to have all the answers, we do promise to provide a safe place to chat where you can tap into the insight, research and experiences of many people in the sector. You’ll also have the opportunity to find out about sector events, news and the big issues facing nonprofits.

It’s free to attend and you’re welcome to send through your issues and questions any time during the month to Ruth at

Wherever you are in the world, please take the time to come along – you can come as a once off, or every month. You will become part of a network of great thinkers and doers who are working collaboratively to strengthen the philanthropy, nonprofit and social enterprise sector – and you might just find the answers to some of the questions you’ve been pondering on!

Disclaimer: Views and opinions represented in this Community of Practice are personal and do not necessarily represent the views of QUT.





Access previous Tea & Buns webinars

OCTOBER 2021: Can people thrive (not just survive) during times of change?  

Our workforce is the single greatest resource our organisation has. But what do we need to do to strengthen team performance to achieve the organisation’s purpose? Dr. Ruth Knight will be chatting with Sharon Blackburn about what she has learnt, and what she has done, to build the organisational culture, and engage the workforce to contribute in meaningful ways.

Watch the recording now


AUGUST 2021: Dealing with Uncertainty with Mark Berridge

This is a very topical subject to discuss with all the uncertainty we are facing individually and as a community, so Mark will be sharing his tips about reducing anxiety and living through challenging times- and what angels and demons to be mindful of. Mark had an accident and suffered a severe spinal cord injury. This unexpected and life-changing moment interrupted a successful corporate career and he had to deal with the uncertainty of not knowing whether he would walk, run or work again.

Watch the recording now

JULY 2021: How can you build resilience in you and your team?

During the pandemic there have been lots of conversations about the importance of staying physically and mentally healthy and resilient. But now it’s time to check in and ask each other – how are we going? Are we still maintaining our wellness, or has ‘resilience’ just become a buzz word?

Watch the recording now | Other useful links: Deep Listening: Impact Beyond Words |   Podcasts   Empathy First 

JUNE 2021: Australia’s COVID Vaccine Rollout – Helping Staff & Service Users to Make Informed Choices

Very informative conversation with Ruth and Dr Natasha Yates about what an informed decision is, the role of influencers, support workers and G.P.s and supporting a decision when you might disagree.

Watch the recording now

Other useful links: COVID-19 Vaccines: Myth vs Fact   |   Department of Health Is it true?   |   Department of Health Weighing up the benefits & risks

Giving in times of crisis

MAY 2021: Giving in times of Crisis

This month’s Tea & Buns conversation was with Ben Nicoll, QUT’s Development Officer,  about what QUT has learnt from this year’s QUT Giving Day held on May 20th. Ben gave us a candid insight into what it took to rally support for QUT’s world-changing projects and student scholarships. View his top 6 tips here. 

Watch the recording now. 


APRIL 2021: Reconciliation: What does it mean to your nonprofit?

At this Tea & Buns, Mark Watego, Managing Director of Meeting Place Consultancy, joined Ruth to discuss the importance of understanding First Nation history, culture and health; how to take action toward reconciliation in your workplace and the community and; why organisations should have a Reconciliation Plan.

Watch the recording now


MARCH 2021: Developing a feedback culture within your team

This session was all about developing a feedback culture within your team and the undeniable benefits of doing so. Guest speaker, Dr Shari Read is an award-winning educator with a special focus on human-centred, transformation, transformational leadership and future-oriented workplaces. Her research focuses on understanding how effective leaders of transformation think, what they pay attention to and their ability to see things from different perspectives. Watch the recording now | Access the handout, Developing a feedback culture | The At My Best 360 tool is inexpensive and easy to use



OCTOBER 2020: COVID-19 and Behaviour Change

Professor Ross Gordon from QUT had a conversation about how COVID-19 is very much a behavioural issue at heart. He discussed how the pandemic has led to behavioural problems relating to alcohol consumption, and gambling – and how behaviour changes will be key to eliminating COVID-19. Watch the recording now 


SEPTEMBER 2020: Journey mapping for nonprofits – What it is and why you need to know about it

Journey mapping is a powerful tool to analyse and understand how people experience and interact with organisations, programs, services, and systems. For this reason many nonprofit organisations are using it to gain feedback from their beneficiaries, innovate and measure impact. Watch the recording now 


AUGUST 2020: Surprising ways volunteers can help your organisation thrive in 2020

Dr Ruth Knight chats with Michelle Stafford from Volunteering Queensland about how COVID-19 has changed the way organisations engage and support volunteers and what volunteering coordinators should be doing when their organisation is going through change.  Watch the recording now 


JULY 2020: Is COVID-19 hurting your job or career opportunities?

At this Tea & Buns, Wendy Scaife from ACPNS and Dylys Bertelsen from Windsor Group discuss what you should be thinking and doing to protect and bolster your career and opportunities amid COVID-19. Watch the recording now

JUNE 2020: Can organisational culture enhance fundraising results? 

At this Tea & Buns, Dr Ruth Knight and Dr Kathleen Chell from ACPNS discussed the link between organisational culture and fundraising results. Watch the recording now 


MAY 2020: Learning from fear and how it affects decision making

At this Tea & Buns we asked Eleanor Carey, dual world record holding adventurer, entrepreneur and author, about how fear has impacted her decisions, and strategies she has used to overcome fear. Watch the recording now


APRIL 2020: Daring to lead in times of uncertainty

At this Tea & Buns we asked psychologist and Certified Dare to LeadTM facilitator, Cassandra Levin about what research by Brené Brown says about leading bravely when you are feeling vulnerable and uncertain. Watch the recording now