Cracking the Code: Innovation for a Gender Equal Future
This year we were thrilled to be able to bring back our annual International Women’s Day Breakfast – the first since the COVID-19 pandemic began. We express our gratitude to all 200 of you that came along to share a meal, connect with one another, and participate in conversations around how we can innovate and remove barriers to gender equity.
Opening the event was Yorta Yorta Dja Dja Wurrung singer, songwriter and storyteller Carissa Nyalu. Carissa generously shared some of her personal stories, singing in language, and eloquently painting a picture for attendees of her deep connection to Country and her ancestral roots.
Keynote speakers included WHLM Board Member/Deputy Chair Dr Skye Kinder – a passionate advocate for rural and other marginalised patients and their communities. In addition to her clinical work as a doctor, she is a prolific writer and award-winning speaker and health commentator.
Dr. Kinder reflected on some of the barriers she faced in her education and career journey. Growing up in Bendigo, she knew she wanted to be a doctor from a very early age. She was the first one in her family to attend university. Despite numerous setbacks she kept fighting to get the career she knew was meant for her.
“I had to go against society’s expectations of what I could and should achieve.”
Our second keynote Alissa Van Soest, General Manager of the Discovery Science and Technology Centre and talented Science Communicator. She also reflected on her career journey and some of the challenges she and others have faced in STEM careers due to their gender.
“Curiosity is not confined by gender and we need to make sure kids stay connected to it.”
The Discovery team are committed to breaking down barriers to STEM education, running virtual programs and incursions for regional, rural and remote schools across the state. They work with young families to imbed STEM literacy in early years, and their Girls in STEM program provides opportunities for girls from 15 schools across the region to come together once a month to build leadership skills and share their love of science.