Wednesday, November 16, 2011

we were inspired

It was wonderful to be part of the Women in Leadership event at Swinburne tonight. Be Inspired - an evening of inspiration, admiration and celebration was a collaboration between the Shire of Yarra Ranges and Swinburne University of Technology.

Pictured left to right: Sue Kokonis - Acting Deputy Dean, Swinburne, our host for the night, Fiona Bilton - Yarra Ranges Young Citizen of the Year, Cr Samantha Dunn - Lyster Ward Councillor Shire of Yarra Ranges, Jacqueline Pascarl, Suyin Chan - one of the founders of Koha Community Cafe and Kiara Warwick - recipient of the Yarra Ranges Women in Leadership Scholarship.

Participants were treated to keynote speaker, Jacqueline Pascarl, who talked about her experience of having her two children abducted and how she channelled her grief by working as an aid worker in war torn countries. In 1997 Jacqueline founded Operation Angel, a rapid response humanitarian agency targeting relief effors during times of natural disaster or emergency.

After Jacqueline spoke she joined myself, Fiona Bilton and Suyin Chan on a panel and participants had the opportunity to ask a full range of questions. It was a great night, with topics as diverse as domestic violence, how women lead and our advice for PM Julia Gillard.

It was also a good opportunity to highlight the wonderful partnership Yarra Ranges has with Swinburne through the Shire's Women in Leadership Scholarship. The scholarship is granted to a student who demonstrates strong leadership qualities and commitment to community engagement. Last year's recipient, Kiara Warwick, spoke to us about how the $1,000 scholarship has assisted her studies this year. It was terrific to hear how well she is doing at Swinburne.

The shire is proud to support the Women in Leadership event as part of our commitment to the Women's Charter, I was endorsed a 'Charter Champion' in July 2010 and enjoy being able to encourage women in the community to reach their full potential.

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