The University of Newcastle, Australia

International Women’s Day with the Equal Futures Project

Friday, 6 March 2020

With over 500 attendees, the International Women’s Day Breakfast run by the Equal Futures Project was a sold out event. The Equal Futures Project are Hunter based business leaders who are committed to diversity and achieving a more equitable and inclusive society.

Elley Walmsley EMBA, Professor Kerryn Phelps AM, Samantha Bremmell WiMBA and Susan Hood Empower Network.
L to R: Elley Walmsley EMBA, Professor Kerryn Phelps AM, Samantha Bremmell WiMBA and Susan Hood Empower Network.

Members of the Faculty of Business and Law, including representatives of the EMPOWER network, WiMBA and Professor Alex Zelinsky himself attended the event and were inspired by the life story and achievements of keynote speaker Professor Kerryn Phelps AM.

Kerryn is a doctor, businesswoman, public health and civil rights advocate, author, media commentator, health communicator, and a mother of three. In 2018, in the Federal By Election, she was the first woman and Independent to be elected to the seat of Wentworth in the House of Representatives. She was also the first female President of the Australian Medical Association.

Kerryn spoke about the new wave of homelessness, and how more women are retiring with little or no super. The remarkable achievements of women in education were explored, along with how these achievements are not transitioning to leadership roles, to the point where there are more CFOs called Andrew than there are women CFOs. Staggering reports were shared about domestic violence, a problem that appears to be worse in the Hunter region than in other parts of Australia.

But there is hope. By standing up as a role model, by educating ourselves and by mentoring those that come into our field with less experience than we do, we can create more opportunities for women and work toward a more equal distribution of power in our society.

Over the past nine years this event has raised over $160,000 for charity. In 2020 the money raised by ticket sales and raffle tickets went to Nutrition Plus and Got Your Back Sista.

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