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Day 1
Tuesday 9 March 2021

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10:00am: Welcome address

We are looking forward to kicking off the WE Lead virtual forum with a special welcome from The Hon. Wendy Lovell, Deputy President of the Legislative Council and Maree Edwards Deputy Speaker of the Legislative Assembly. We will also introduce our incredible facilitator for the two days Mehak Sheikh, a young leader, founder of U-learn and recent local government candidate for the City of Wyndham. She will be hosting some of our conversations and keeping you informed online throughout the program.

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10:20am – 11:10am: Take a Leap

Join us in an intimate discussion about diving into politics as a woman with three Victorian MPs from across the political spectrum – Ellen Sandell Member for Melbourne, Steph Ryan Member for Euroa and Sheena Watts Member for Northern Metropolitan. The conversation will be moderated by Mehak Sheikh.

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11:20am – 12:10pm: Because of Her, We Can

Sit in on this yarn between Gunditjmara and Tiwi Islander woman Kiewa Austin-Rioli, Ngayaywana woman Patrice Mahoney OAM and Bunurong woman Tanisha Smitherson in conversation to celebrate the strong Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women in their lives. They share how connection to identity, culture, community and land have shaped and aided in their respective leadership journeys. Expect to walk away with pointers on how to dip into your internal resources to keep going in the face of adversity, among other great tips.  

Lunch break (12pm – 2pm)

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1:00pm – 1:50pm: Nourish and Network (optional)

In a loosely facilitated online networking session, delegates will be broken into small rooms to talk about the issues they care about, get a chance to meet and mingle with the other delegates, and share ideas on any interesting projects they might be working on in a casual way. We don’t want you to miss out on the chance to meet have great chats with like-minded people so make sure to register for the session here.

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2:00pm – 2:50pm: How does politics work?

Sink your teeth into this unconventional politics 101 session where senior staff and a politician share their insights about the complex nature of politics and how things really work behind the scenes. This session will feature the first female Clerk of the Legislative Assembly, Bridget Noonan, Deputy Clerk for the Department of the Legislative Council Anne Sargent, and Fiona Patten, Member for Northern Metropolitan Region, on the Legislative Council. This conversation will be facilitated by Mehak Sheikh.

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3:00pm – 3:50pm: Emotional health and well-being as a leader

Gayle Hardy, founder of the Global Leadership Foundation will take us on a journey of exploration to understand what emotional health and wellbeing looks like in leadership, and how to lean into your three centres; Head, Heart and Body in decision-making. This session is hopes to expand your ideas of what is essential for you as a leader.

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Day 2

Wednesday 10 March 2021

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10:00am – 11:00am: Challenging the Status quo

This is an opportunity to delve into the unconventional lives of Member of Parliament Harriet Shing, Women’s Empowerment Officer – Youth, at Women with Disabilities Victoria Bridget Jolley and Kerryn Vaughn, co-founder of Girls with Hammers, as they share how they broke out of moulds to become change agents in their community. Each speaker will give a short presentation about their experiences, followed by a Q and A with Mehak Sheikh.

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11:15am – 12:05pm: You want to change the world?

This session will help you explore alternative pathways to get involved in creating change through advocacy, politics and social impact. We will be joined by Head of Strategy and Partnerships at B Lab Australia and New Zealand, Anna Crabb, Committee Manager at Parliament of Victoria, Yuki Simmonds and CEO of The Push, Kate Duncan. Each comes from a different sector and will bring unique perspectives on how you too can create impact in unconventional ways.

Lunch break (12pm – 2pm)

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1:00pm – 1:50pm: How to take care of yourself

We are stoked that we will have Helen Babb, CEO and founder of Yes Get It run a workshop on practical self-care to get through testing times. It will be an opportunity to participate in discussion and learn why it's important to take care of your mental health and well-being as young leaders. Register here to secure your spot

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2:00pm – 2:50pm: When you’re not at the centre

How do we navigate the rural, regional and urban divide when we’re trying to create to have influence on decision making? This conversation hopes to answer just that. Join Emma Kealy, member for Lowan, former Bendigo Youth Mayor and Multicultural Youth Commissioner, Khayshie Tilak-Ramesh and Carly Jordan, co-founder and project manager of the Great South Coast Economic Migrant Project as they share how they have been able to influence change and cross the divide. This panel will be facilitated by Mehak Sheikh.

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3:00pm – 3:50pm: #ChooseToChallenge Pledge Session

Inspired by the 2021 International Women’s Day theme, Choose to Challenge, each delegate will be given the opportunity to make a pledge of how they will #ChooseToChallenge themselves personally, professionally, as leaders or in any other areas of their life to wrap up the two days. This workshop will be run by our awesome facilitator Mehak Sheikh.


We hope you will have been inspired over the two days and choose to challenge yourself in as leaders in 2021!

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