WWC Co-founders

2019 Womenar

Coming in mid-2020

Check your inbox every now again. Our WWC newsletter will eventually have all the details for 2020 event - and in the meantime, come to a Confab Dinner for some brilliant and heartfelt dialogue with women who know how tough it is out there. (And no, you didn't miss the 2018 & 2019 Womenars - sometimes life has plans other than the ones you make for yourself.)

2017 Womenar

The Art of Compassionate Resilience

The 2017 Womenar was a gathering of remarkable women. We brought together three very different approached from three amazing women to inspire, instruct and involve us. Every session challenged us to explore how we think, feel and act as leaders.

We know that navigating the endless daily demands of human services while not losing your own compassionate core is hard. So, each speaker was asked to offer a practical and interactive session on the art of compassionate resilience.

The essential lessons were:

  • how to use a strengths based approach in your leadership practice
  • how to use the power of the storytelling process to understand, craft and share who you are
  • how to prevent compassion fatigue (burnout) and practical ways to protect passion and motivation

What 2017 Attendees thought...

Dr Paige Williams on choosing Strengths-based Leadership


  1. Strengths based approaches are effective. Looking at ones own profile helped me better understand those dimensions I can tap in to easily and those that may be further down the list are still available to me but not so much my "default". This was revelatory.

  2. The message I took... was that working to your strengths will energise you, and lead to requiring less external validation (and that we have a choice!).

2017-12-22T19:35:30+11:00
Strengths based approaches are effective. Looking at ones own profile helped me better understand those dimensions I can tap in to easily and those that may be further down the list are still available to me but not so much my "default". This was revelatory. The message I took... was that working to your strengths will energise you, and lead to requiring less external validation (and that we have a choice!).

Kate Lawrence on the Power of Storytelling


  1. Loved the structure and exploration of this session as so much of the time I think we think stories are useful vehicles for lessons. I've realised that in my own practice, it may take a little longer to complete the story to fulfill its potential. Its work started / work in progress.

  2. This session showed me that engaging others in a story can help you connect with people very quickly through shared experiences. And that developing these stories can take work and practice to piece together and communicate in an engaging way. I plan to practice story telling with my partner/friends/family/colleagues working on the steps discussed in the session.

2017-12-22T19:39:58+11:00
Loved the structure and exploration of this session as so much of the time I think we think stories are useful vehicles for lessons. I've realised that in my own practice, it may take a little longer to complete the story to fulfill its potential. Its work started / work in progress. This session showed me that engaging others in a story can help you connect with people very quickly through shared experiences. And that developing these stories can take work and practice to piece together and communicate in an engaging way. I plan to practice story telling with my partner/friends/family/colleagues working on the steps discussed in the session.

Julie Warnock on Resilient Compassion


  1. I put a “lunch”half an hour into my calendar as an ongoing daily reminder...managed to get out of my office for 15 min today of same...a start in the right direction!!!

  2. The most brilliant take home for me was the strategy she shared towards the end of the session about ... being able to acknowledge and stand with the person who is venting, but not step in to and own the issues. This is a practice I have implemented back in the workplace already.

2017-12-22T19:42:25+11:00
I put a “lunch”half an hour into my calendar as an ongoing daily reminder...managed to get out of my office for 15 min today of same...a start in the right direction!!! The most brilliant take home for me was the strategy she shared towards the end of the session about ... being able to acknowledge and stand with the person who is venting, but not step in to and own the issues. This is a practice I have implemented back in the workplace already.

All our speakers donated their time, and we were beautifully hosted by La Trobe University at Collins Street - again.

The 2017 event raised $2,259.26 for Very Special Kids.

2016 Womenar

What would you like YOUR Leadership Story to be?

The 2016 Womenar was one brilliant, action-packed day working with five fabulous leaders from across, (and beyond), the health, aged, and community care sector!

Each speaker provided an interactive workshop to share how to use their research, hard-won experience, and leadership lessons in practice.

The essential lessons were:

  • how to create personal presence and confidence
  • which emotional intelligence area is most important for your personal and professional goals
  • making change to make a difference
  • the 3 key ingredients of health and human services leadership
  • how to influence in the world of unconscious bias

What 2016 Attendees thought...

Mel Neil on Emotional Intelligence


  1. This session was amazing! I learnt so much and have shared a lot of the learnings with my team and even discussed with our CEO! Learning the science in a basic way re EI really helped so many things make sense.

  2. Amazing how the brain works and I now understand how to react in a more effective way.

2017-03-14T16:30:33+11:00
This session was amazing! I learnt so much and have shared a lot of the learnings with my team and even discussed with our CEO! Learning the science in a basic way re EI really helped so many things make sense. Amazing how the brain works and I now understand how to react in a more effective way.

Veronica Strachan on Personal Presence


  1. I took away from this session how significant your body position/body language can be in not only creating your own presence but actually feeling genuinely confident and comfortable when presenting to or interacting with other people. For 2017 I am going to focus on feeling grounded and be conscious of my body position in meetings and also in uncomfortable situations (e.g. returning an item/asking for a refund).

  2. I have been using the 'coming home' strategy a lot and trying to think about how I present and how I can be grounded and how I really connect with people when I'm talking to them.

2017-03-14T16:32:34+11:00
I took away from this session how significant your body position/body language can be in not only creating your own presence but actually feeling genuinely confident and comfortable when presenting to or interacting with other people. For 2017 I am going to focus on feeling grounded and be conscious of my body position in meetings and also in uncomfortable situations (e.g. returning an item/asking for a refund). I have been using the 'coming home' strategy a lot and trying to think about how I present and how I can be grounded and how I really connect with people when I'm talking to them.

Cathy Balding on Leading Change


  1. This has really helped my thinking re a Quality framework I'm developing. I took a lot of notes and summarised key points at a recent meeting I had with my team.

  2. A couple of interesting points I took from this session were (1) that change fatigue can be related to 'poor' change fatigue which resonates with me and my previous experience of quality improvement and (2) that it is worthwhile approaching change as wanting to make a positive difference to the people who you want to come with you. For 2017 I am going to focus on those within my circle of influence, focus on developing relationships with those outside of my circle of influence, and focus on managing beliefs and expectations.

2017-03-14T16:33:56+11:00
This has really helped my thinking re a Quality framework I'm developing. I took a lot of notes and summarised key points at a recent meeting I had with my team. A couple of interesting points I took from this session were (1) that change fatigue can be related to 'poor' change fatigue which resonates with me and my previous experience of quality improvement and (2) that it is worthwhile approaching change as wanting to make a positive difference to the people who you want to come with you. For 2017 I am going to focus on those within my circle of influence, focus on developing relationships with those outside of my circle of influence, and focus on managing beliefs and expectations.

Sandy Leggat on using evidence, giving and receiving feedback


  1. This sparked a conversation between myself and a peer and since then she's emailed me 3 questions that she uses during staff supervision - so helpful!

  2. This session helped me reflect on some of the effective leaders I have worked with and the behaviours that they displayed that allowed them to give/receive feedback effectively, even to those more senior to them (e.g developing an honest and trusting relationship over time, high levels of emotional intelligence, balance of honest positive feedback). In 2017 I plan to focus on asking others for feedback - my supervisor/manager, and clinical working parties I am involved with.

2017-03-14T16:36:51+11:00
This sparked a conversation between myself and a peer and since then she's emailed me 3 questions that she uses during staff supervision - so helpful! This session helped me reflect on some of the effective leaders I have worked with and the behaviours that they displayed that allowed them to give/receive feedback effectively, even to those more senior to them (e.g developing an honest and trusting relationship over time, high levels of emotional intelligence, balance of honest positive feedback). In 2017 I plan to focus on asking others for feedback - my supervisor/manager, and clinical working parties I am involved with.

Anne Smyth on Unconscious Bias


  1. Really made me think about how common " unconscious bias " is in the workplace and being aware makes me ready for better decisions and actions.

  2. Gender inequality is institutionalised - lets call it when we see it!

  3. This was a reminder for me to speak up if I hear or see something that makes me uncomfortable e.g. a sexist comment in a meeting. I've thought a lot about this issue since the Womenar.

2017-03-14T16:38:52+11:00
Really made me think about how common " unconscious bias " is in the workplace and being aware makes me ready for better decisions and actions. Gender inequality is institutionalised - lets call it when we see it! This was a reminder for me to speak up if I hear or see something that makes me uncomfortable e.g. a sexist comment in a meeting. I've thought a lot about this issue since the Womenar.

All our speakers donated their time, and we were beautifully hosted by La Trobe University at Collins Street.

The 2016 event raised $4,476.68 for Very Special Kids.