Meet our Affirmative Team 2024!

Petrina Macpherson

Petrina has been a Women of Influence debater three times in 2019, 2020 and 2023! If you were at The Women of Influence Annual Great Debate in 2019, then you will remember Petrina as the Woman of Influence who received a standing ovation and brought the room down in surprise and fits of laughter. On a day-to-day basis, Petrina specialises in construction and infrastructure disputes, has a diverse range of experience in all aspects of commercial litigation and has a Masters in Construction Law at the University of Melbourne. Petrina loves trekking and recently completed the Camino trail, she is also a stand-up comedian – a hobby which she describes as the ‘one night stand that never went home’! She was a finalist in the Queensland Raw Comedy Competition in 2008, performed at the inaugural ‘In Stitches Comedy Festival’ at QPAC and she was the only female comic to make the final of the ‘Thank F*ck I’m Funny’ Competition in 2011.

Rebecca Fontaine

Although this is Rebecca’s first foray into the Annual Great Debate, she is ready for the challenge!
Rebecca is the QLD Business Development Manager for the award-winning not-for-profit social enterprise Fruit2Work. Following significant growth in Victoria, Fruit2Work has recently launched its first Brisbane site, creating meaningful employment opportunities for Queenslanders seeking to transform their lives, just as Rebecca has done. Rebecca is committed to creating opportunities for people who, like her, have been impacted by the justice system. After overcoming formidable personal challenges, she is determined to pay forward her lived experience in a positive way. Her wish is to bring positive transformation to all who cross her path, both by creating chances for those impacted by the stigma associated with lived experience and as a powerful voice against domestic and family violence. Rebecca’s most cherished role is being a mum to her two young boys. She is committed to raising awareness about mental health, addiction, and fostering a violence-free community where her children can thrive.

Dr Di Johnson

Dr Di has been a Women of Influence debater in 2022 and 2023 and will be bringing her debating A-game again in 2024!

As a multi-award-winning academic at Griffith Business School, active media contributor on finance and inclusive economics, and a Mum of two teenagers, Di is changing the way we think about, and act on, bias and inequality. Born and raised in rural north-west Queensland on the traditional lands of the Yidinji, Mbarbaram, Jirrbal, and Ngadjon-ji peoples, Di was ‘first in family’ to attend university, and has qualifications in human resource management, finance, behavioural economics and university teaching. Di made a career change to academia in 2012 after working for 18 years in people management, applied finance, and policy reform roles, and is back to make you laugh while simultaneously making you smarter.