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Women in Business Lunch with Natasha Stott Despoja AO

Every two minutes, police are called to a family violence matter. Every week, a woman is killed by a current or former partner. 

Women in Business guests joined us on Friday, 16 August 2019 for a lunch with keynote speaker; former Senator and leader of the Australia Democrats, Natasha Stott Despoja AO. A long-time advocate for gender equality, Natasha has turned her focus towards addressing one of the most insidious issues facing Australia today - violence against women.

Natasha's presentation provided an insight into her career highlights, including the work she has undertaken to help prevent violence against women; her first book "On Violence" which focusses on the important role of primary prevention; and her role as founding Chair of Our Watch, an organisation established to drive nationwide change in the structures, norms and practices that lead to violence against women and their children. 

We also heard from Lauren Huxley, the amazing young lady who survived a brutal attack in Western Sydney in 2005 and who has inspired everyone since with her determination and tenacity in the face of adversity.

Our amazing Women in Business guests raised $6,450 on the day for Our Watch.

As the first Australian law firm to gain White Ribbon Workplace Accreditation, Coleman Greig was proud to present this thought-provoking and inspiring event.

Read more about Women in Business with Natasha Stott Despoja.

The Story of Us: How working women have ‘accidentally’ revolutionised the world!

Wednesday 19 June saw attendees of Coleman Greig's 'The Story of Us' Women in Business signature event joined by keynote speaker, author, social commentator, columnist and Women in Leadership Walkley Award recipient Jane Caro as she shared her insights into the story of women in 2019 and how, whether we realise it or not, we have revolutionised the world that we live in.

Joining Jane on the evening was Cath Keenan, co-founder of the Story Factory and 2016 Australian of the Year Local Hero, who spoke to attendees about the incredible work being undertaken by the Story Factory in support of marginalised young people across Greater Sydney.  As part of her presentation, Cath spoke about one particular student, Vivian Pham, who had joined the Story Factory as part of a program which encouraged participants to write a short novel, but who went above and beyond in authoring a 90,000-word story, which has since been picked up by Penguin Publishing!

Following Cath's inspirational message focused on the support that the Story Factory gives young people across the Greater Sydney area, the room heard from Jane Caro, who spoke with passion and depth about her latest book 'Accidental Feminists', which explores how the world that women have been living in has transformed us into confident modern-day leaders - and how, almost in spite of ourselves, we've revolutionised the world.

Through dialogue best described as a discussion, Jane spoke of her personal journey towards feminism - a path first trodden by her mother, who ended up joining Jane as a fellow student when the pair attended university together thanks to the Whitlam Labor Government's abolishment of university fees in 1974.  Covering a wide range of topics, from the intergenerational liberation of women being bolstered by widespread access to the pill, the tampon and the pay check, through to the countless hurdles yet to be cleared by women in 2019, Jane's devotion to gender equality was one of the clear takeaway from the evening.

Jane's new book, 'Accidental Feminists', out now via Melbourne University Publishing, is both a celebration of grit, adaptability, energy and persistence, and a plea for future generations to keep agitating for a better, fairer world.

Celebrating International Women's Day with special guest speaker, the Hon Julie Bishop MP

Coleman Greig is happy to relay the incredible success of the Women In Business International Women's Day lunch with the Hon Julie Bishop MP, held on Friday 8 March 2019 in the company of 500 guests at the Waterview in Bicentennial Park.  
 
This year's lunch reflected the 2019 International Women's Day theme of Balance For Better, with Ms Bishop's keynote presentation delivering insights into her incredible career journey from commercial lawyer and former Clayton Utz Partner, to Foreign Minister and Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party.  She also shared some of the valuable lessons she has learned along the way, the challenges faced by women holding positions of leadership in male dominated environments, and why she believes that nations, organisations and other entities need to work harder to achieve gender balance.

Friday's lunch also shone a spotlight on some of the truly inspiring work being undertaken by women living and working in Western Sydney through the presentation of the Western Sydney University's Women of the West Awards.  These awards showcase some of Western Sydney's most outstanding high-achievers, with the University's Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) Professor Denise Kirkpatrick announcing this year's Award winners.

Every year, the Women in Business International Women's Day event proudly supports a chosen charity.  The 2019 lunch supported Grace's Place.  Named in honour of Grace Lynch, the mother of Anita Cobby, Grace's Place is set to include residential and counselling facilities, and will be home to the new head office of the Homicide Victims Support Group.  
 
Martha Jabour, Executive Director of Grace's Place spoke about the charity and how, as the first of its kind internationally, the primary purpose of its centre, soon to be under construction in Western Sydney, will be to provide a unique place of healing and restoration for children traumatised by homicide.  Thanks to the combined generosity of this year's Major Sponsors, Corporate Supporters and attendees, Friday's event raised $22,990 for the group.

Game On

Friday 2 November saw attendees of Coleman Greig's 'Game On' Women in Business forum joined by keynote speaker and CEO of Rugby Australia Raelene Castle, as well as a truly outstanding panel of professional sportswomen, including Olympic Rugby Union gold medallist and Order of Australia recipient Emma Tonegato, Wallaroo and NSW Waratahs Super W squad member Grace Hamilton and Australian netball superstar Kristina Brice.

Uniquely placed to touch on the leadership challenges faced by women in the modern Australian workplace, particularly for those working within traditionally male-dominated fields such as professional sport, Raelene's presentation covered a wide range of topics, including her own journey from running Netball New Zealand to her current role with Rugby Australia, the challenges she has faced along the way, and how both the Australian and international communities can create better pathways for women to excel in both the business and sporting arenas.

Also in attendance at the forum was Martin Bullock, CEO of the event's beneficiary, the Western Sydney Academy of Sport.  Thanks to the generous contributions of forum members combined with funds raised through the sale of raffle tickets on the day, the 'Game On' event managed to raise $5,490 for the Western Sydney Academy of Sport, who plan to use the funds to provide a range of scholarships for talented young female athletes residing in the Western Sydney region.

Unbreakable

'Unbreakable', our most recent Women in Business event was held on Friday, 24 August 2018 to a sold out Governor's Ballroom at the PARKROYAL Hotel, Parramatta.

We were lucky enough to be joined by a number of special guests, including Australian tennis powerhouse and co-author of her recently published biography 'Unbreakable', Jelena Dokic.

In an on-stage interview facilitated by ABC Political Reporter Brigid Glanville, Jelena opened up about her personal struggles, both with depression and mental health, as she relayed memories of her years as a professional tennis player under the aggressively watchful eye of her mentally and physically abusive father-come-coach, Damir Dokić.  

Following the up close and personal interview, a panel discussion saw Jelena and Brigid joined on stage by Dr Tim Sharp of The Happiness Institute and batyr’s Stephanie Vasiliou.  This panel took a range of questions from forum attendees, with many finding the courage to speak about their own personal battles with mental health.

Through the generous financial contributions made by attendees on the day, this event managed to raise $7,960 for the forum's two charity partners, Liptember and batyr.  As a beneficiary of the Liptember campaign, funds raised through the Unbreakable event will be specifically used by batyr to run programs for years 9-12 students in Western Sydney.