Geelong Leadership Forum

Friday 4th October​ 2019

Rydges Geelong

Gheringhap St & Myers St, Geelong

Standard Rate

Early Bird Rate*

3+ Delegates​

5+ Delegates

$450 pp + GST

$360 pp + GST

$340 pp + GST

$320 pp + GST

Early Bird Rate Ends Friday 20th Sept

“The event helps you to personally get out of a box that you may have been sitting (in). It makes you think about what you can do to better yourself as a leader, and to stand out against the crowd; to build confidence in who you are.”


Event Overview

The Australian Women's Leadership Forum is for women who are looking for increased awareness of their leadership style and competencies, as well as practical strategies to help them overcome challenges within their work and personal life. The program also provides a relaxed and supportive environment to connect and collaborate with other female leaders.

The content and flow of the program is carefully designed to immerse participants in the subject matter and create valuable insights informed by collective experience. During the program, a number of key themes are explored via a combination of expert presentations, collaborative discussion, experiential activities and personal reflection.

AGENDA​ Geelong



Gheringhap St & Myers St, Geelong​

Standard Rate

Early Bird Rate*

3+ Delegates​

5+ Delegates​

$450 pp + GST

$360 pp + GST

$340 pp + GST

$320 pp + GST​

09:00 - 09.20


Janet Horton

Senior Facilitator and Executive Coach, WLA

08:30 - 09:00            Registration​

09:20 - 09:40


Christine Couzens MLA

State Member of Parliament for the Electorate of Geelong

Christine Couzens has been the Member for Geelong since November 2014. She believes that everybody, regardless of their family’s financial status, is entitled to first rate health and education and strongly believes in good government policy that supports this. Christine is committed to being a voice that supports the empowerment of all women to contribute their experiences and views on what matters to them and their community. Christine is committed to championing the rights of those with a disability to have equal access in their community to enable access to health, educational, social and employment opportunities. She has just recently initiated a study into ‘what will make Geelong a world’s best practice accessible city’. Christine takes on many matters that impact and improve the lives of constituents in the electorate of Geelong. Christine is committed to job creation and retention in her community, and believes everyone has the right to quality, accessible and affordable housing.

09:40 - 10:40



Personal and professional resilience is not only about strength through adversity but the ability to grow and adapt as a result of disruption. In this way we learn to move forward stronger than before. Participants are asked to consider resilience at both a personal and strategic level and through their leadership build resilience in their teams and manage challenging situations more effectively.

10:40 - 11:00            Morning Tea​

11:00 - 12:20

Panel Discussion

Where to from here?

We are progressing in terms of female representation in workplace and community leadership roles, yet high-potential women advance more slowly than their male peers in so many sectors, in terms of both career progression and pay. Individuals and organisations know, from research and intuitively, that female representation in top management can boost their performance, that everyone has a vested interest in seeing more women become top leaders, yet the progress is slow – pay parity wise we are talking 217 years slow according to the World Economic Forum. Is there a new conversation that needs to start? What else can be/is being done to accelerate these types of statistics to reach parity, equity and equality?

Jo Murdoch

General Manager, Customers and Community, Barwon Water

Jo and her team deliver outstanding customer service and community value, and are responsible for Barwon Water’s pledge to become a regional leader in effective, innovative customer experience management. The group’s core responsibilities include customer service, new property connections, communications, education, media liaison, community and stakeholder engagement, and business transformation initiatives.

Jo Murdoch is an executive leader with more than 20 years’ experience in government, the media and the private sector. Jo began her career as a journalist and editor before moving into leadership roles in local government. She has also consulted to the private sector.

Fiona Lawrie

Founder and Director, Tradeswomen Australia Foundation Ltd

Fiona Lawrie’s career began as a light vehicle apprentice, and during her apprenticeship and time working in the automotive industry, she identified a lack of support, promotion and opportunities for women in trade industries. Whilst undertaking her apprenticeship, Fiona started a networking group for women in trades. Building relationships and establishing partnerships with business and industry, Fiona developed and implemented strategies to increase the participation of women in trades. With a rounded experience, Fiona understands the opportunities of gender equity in male dominated industries and has since founded Tradeswomen Australia Foundation with the mission to increase the representation of women working in trade industries.

Councillor Mansfield is a general practitioner and senior lecturer at Deakin University. She has served as a councillor for the City of Greater Geelong since 2017. She lives in Geelong with her husband and toddler. Every day in her medical work she has seen the impact of policy decisions on people’s lives, including unaffordable housing, environmental degradation, discrimination, lack of education, poverty, unemployment, and inequality. Councillor Mansfield believes that it is possible to make a positive difference to these issues through the political process.

Cr Sarah Mansfield

Councillor, Greater Geelong City Council

Tracey Spicer AM is an author, journalist, and broadcaster who has anchored programs for ABC TV, Network Ten, Channel 9, Sky News and Radio 2UE. Tracey is the national co-founder of Women in Media, Outspoken Women, and NOW Australia. In 2018, she was named one of the Australian Financial Review’s 100 Women of Influence, and was also awarded an Order of Australia for her 30 years of media and charity work. Tracey has written, produced and presented documentaries for NGOs in Bangladesh, Kenya, Uganda, Papua New Guinea, and India, and the National Breast Cancer Foundation in Australia. Her first book, The Good Girl Stripped Bare, became a bestseller within weeks of publication in 2017.

15:55 - 16.00

Review Session and Closing CommentS

Janet Horton

Senior Facilitator and Executive Coach, WLA

12:20 - 12:40



A major factor that contributes to individual resilience is having a strong and diverse network. Numerous studies have shown the benefits of a strong network; a sense of belonging, increased self-worth and wellbeing, career progression and security. Particularly for women in male dominated workplaces, the data shows that having a network of other women has a significant impact on retention and career progression. This practical session explores the mindsets that hold us back from networking and methods for overcoming them. Participants will take away tips and strategies to build and maintain relationships - the bedrock of a strong network.

12:40 - 13:30            Lunch Break

14:00 - 14:50


Be Brave, Adaptive and Experimental

Although Australia has made significant progress in the gender equity space, we all know there is a long way to go until we reach parity. The time for action is now. It is time for each and every one of us to take accountability in creating gender equity. Our aim is to empower individuals and organisations, across all industries and sectors, to make all kinds of small and large-scale change.

13:30 - 14:00



14:50 - 15:10            Afternoon Tea

15:10 - 15:55

Keynote Address

Tracey Spicer AM

Reporter, Advocate and Author

16:00 - 16:30            Networking Drinks​

*Early Bird Rate Ends Friday 20th Sept

Event partners

Corrina is a proud Wadawurrung Woman with a deadly, strong and beautiful spirit. Her story is an amazing one of survival and strength, of which she is more than happy to share to teach and empower other young women across the community. Corrina is the Manager at Wathaurung Aboriginal Corporation, which is the representative body for Wadawurrung Traditional Owners. Corrina volunteers her time to the growth, development, empowerment, awareness and education of Aboriginal people, communities and the broader Geelong region. She is the heart and soul of the young women Deadly Dancers troupe and consistently volunteers her time to ensure these children have opportunities to learn, share, connect and celebrate their culture. She is currently the first Wadawurrung Traditional owner to study a Cert 3 in Endangered Victorian Aboriginal languages. In 2017, Corrina was awarded the First Nation’s Women of the Year award on behalf of the City of Greater Geelong.

Corrina Eccles

M anager, Wadawurrung Aboriginal Corporatio n

Megan Foster has over 25 years’ experience in retail across FMCG, Grocery, Specialty, Food, and general Retail. Having recently joined Viva Energy in January 2019, she brings with her extensive senior executive experience across Marketing and Brand, Digital, Sales, Property and Development, Operations, Merchandise and M&A. Prior to joining Viva Energy, she led the Retail division for QIC, responsible for the retail product strategy across Australia and their 22 Australian assets. Previously she has held general management positions with Myer and Sass and Bide after an earlier career with Woolworths and Unilever, and running a highly successful retail consultancy.

Megan Foster

General Manager, Retail, Viva Energy