IWD Women in Rotary Breakfast
On Wednesday 8th of March, 10 student leaders from Suzanne Cory High School were fortunate enough to attend the Women in Rotary International Women’s Day Breakfast. This event, held annually at Crown Palladium, brings together hundreds of business and community leaders, rotary members and prominent figures in women’s affairs from across the state. We were privileged to hear a keynote speech from Australia’s first female Chef de Mission (and former modern pentathlete) Kitty Chiller, who oversaw the affairs of Australian athletes at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic games. In her speech, she emphasised the importance for people to accept the challenge before them, and do the best they can. She also spoke about how women shouldn’t regard female innovators in a field as being ‘special’, but rather a part of everyday life; to normalise women taking on any role they are capable of and so choose to do.
The students were then able to listen to a panel discussion with guests ranging from champion of the Western Bulldogs and women in sport Susan Alberti AC, to leading criminal defence lawyer Robert Stary. They all had their own unique perspectives to share on “Women leaders: what does it take?” Although there was some acknowledgement around the need to change social structures, such as eliminating the gender pay gap and providing more accessible childcare, most panel members emphasised the need for resilience, courage and perseverance in approaching the challenges and barriers to achievement and recognition.
Being a secondary school student myself, this rings true for me. I see great importance in the inclusion of resilience education across society, and hope it can become a cornerstone of education in the future. Not just to benefit gender equality, but to make positive contributions to society in a variety of ways.
After these inspirational presentations, and a substantial breakfast, we all returned to SCHS, inspired and resolved to make a difference to the ever-important issue of gender equality. Thank you to Ms Nina de Garis for organising this invaluable excursion.
Joshua Cordina 12K2
Women as Leaders... What does it take? Top 3 tips from our 2017 Panel
Elida Bereton - Leadership in the Education
1. Have advisors who aren't 'yes' men/women. Mix with people who are smarter and compliment your gaps
2. Have a passion to make a difference in
David Thodey AO - Leadership in Business
1. Follow your passion and do what you love doing
2. Have a plan and find people who can support it
3. Be bold
Susan Alberti AC - Leadership in Sport
2. Welcome challenges
3. Be bold and stand up for what you believe in
Robert Stary - Leadership in Law
1. Be defiant
2. Be courageous
3. Be committed to your vocation