ACU women make a difference

Published: Tuesday 5th April 2016

Alumni, staff and students shared experiences of inspiration, adversity and spirit at ACU’s first International Women’s Day celebrations.

ACU celebrated International Women’s Day 2016 in style on Tuesday 8 March, with alumni, staff and students coming together to recognise the contributions ACU women are making in the community.

Celebrating the theme Women who make a difference, hundreds gathered across five locations in what was a first for ACU: inviting alumni and the wider community to hear from some of our most respected graduates and to participate in conversations around the changing roles and expectations of women in the world of business and education.

Breakfasts in Melbourne and Sydney sparked the conversation in the morning, while receptions in Brisbane, Canberra and Ballarat ensured these discussions would continue into the evening.

A high-calibre list of guest speakers told their inspirational and unique stories of success in the worlds of business, the arts, health services, and community engagement and welfare.

The National Museum of Australia was the stage for Canberra to host Australia’s only clinical psychologist endorsed by the International Committee of the Red Cross, Dr Sarah Miller; Donella Johnston, Director of The Office for the Participation of Women; and Fiona Godfrey, Principal of Radford College.

North Sydney were treated to the insights of health and beauty industry leader Pippa Hallas, CEO of Ella Bache; award-winning author of iconic novel Looking for Alibrandi, Melina Marchetta; and Gemma Rygate, CEO of The Centre for Volunteering.

2015 ACU Alumni of the Year award winners headlined the Melbourne breakfast, in Founder and Director of The Welcome Group, Penny Daly (Community Leadership Awards), and Spinal Cord Injuries Australia clinical supervisor, Jessica Hansson (Young Alumni Award).

Brisbane audiences welcomed Jean Madden, founder of Street Swags, which provides bedding to thousands of homeless Australians; Paralympian Tamara Nowitzki; and 2009 Queensland Australian of the Year, Bronwyn Sheehan.

In Ballarat there was a distinctly educational theme headlined by Audrey Brown, Director of Catholic Education for the Diocese of Ballarat joining Director and Educational Leader at Avenel Kindergarten, Emma Larsen.

To see more from the ACU Alumni International Women’s Day events check out the ACU Facebook page.

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