Friday 30th August 2019

Hobart Symposium 2019

Friday 30th August 2019

Grand Chancellor


Journalist, Author and Walkley Award Winner; Director of Diversity, WLA


Laboratory Head, Walter and Eliza Hall


CEO, Local Government Association of Tasmania


CEO and Founder, Water for a Village


Organisational Development Coordinator, Lebanese Muslim Association; Board Member, Go Active Women; Former Communications Officer, Australian Federal Police

09:30 - 10:00

Keynote Address

Leader of the Tasmanian Labor Party  

Rebecca White is a feminist who has challenged gender stereotypes and works to empower girls and women in her career and her life. 

Rebecca is only the second MP to give birth while serving in the Tasmanian parliament and became Leader of the Tasmanian Labor party when her daughter was four months old. 

She grew up on a farm and maintains a love of the land and animals and lives with her family on a small acreage at Richmond.

Rebecca was elected unopposed as the Leader of the Parliamentary Labor Party in March 2017.

Rebecca White MP

09:00 - 09:20

Welcome and Opening Comments

Director, Leadership and Advocacy, WLA



Author, Journalist and Presenter ABC’s 7.30 Report

Carolyn is known and respected domestically and internationally for her leadership, expertise and experience in advancing the human rights of women and girls with all types of disability. For the past two decades she has held the position of Executive Director of Women With Disabilities Australia (WWDA) - the award-winning national Disabled People’s Organisation (DPO) for women and girls with all types of disabilities in Australia. Under Carolyn’s leadership, WWDA has received a number of prestigious awards for its ground-breaking work including the National Human Rights Award and a number of national and state violence prevention awards. Carolyn has received a number of esteemed awards for her work including the National Human Rights Award in 2013. In 2009, she was inducted into the Tasmanian Women’s Honour Roll. In 2015, Carolyn was announced as one of Australia’s most influential women, in the 100 Women of Influence Awards.​

​CEO and Founder, Women with Disabilities Australia

Carolyn Frohmader

Olivia, 23, is currently in her final year of undergraduate medicine at the University of Tasmania. During high school, Olivia identified a need for greater mental health awareness within her peer group. With the assistance of a group of friends, she created The Little HELP Project Tasmania Inc. The programs that they facilitate employ peer-to-peer mentoring and skill-based activities to empower and educate young people about mental health. They also help build self-esteem, create positive social supports and reduce the stigma associated with accessing mental health services. To date, The Little HELP Project Tasmania Inc. has become a registered charity and runs numerous programs within schools and the wider community. They have run over 40 programs and have worked with over 8,000 young people. In her spare time, Olivia is an active member of the Australian Army Reserve and trains with a local Brazilian Ju Jitsu club.​

​Founder, The Little Help Project

Olivia Fleming

12:50 - 13:40


Panel Members

We can be trapped by our competence, which can hamper opportunities for growth. Has your past best practice held you back? Panellists will discuss how they adapted and thrived in challenging environments by making gradual and meaningful change.​

'Breaking the competency trap and developing adaptive Leadership’

Panel Discussion

11:20 - 12:50​

15:10 - 15:30

Afternoon Tea

16:50 - 17:00

Closing Comments

Director, Leadership and Advocacy, WLA


In 2015, Dr Katrena Stephenson was appointed as CEO of the Local Government Association of Tasmania (LGAT), the first woman in the role in the organisation’s 100+ year history. Prior to commencing as CEO, Katrena held the position of LGAT’s Policy Director for several years. Before entering the Local Government sector, Dr Stephenson held operational, policy and evaluation roles in a number of Tasmanian State Government departments and in the UK. These included Manager of Public Housing Services in Tasmania, Advisor to the Leader of the Government in the Legislative Council, Manager Social Projects in the Department of Premier and Cabinet and Evaluation Officer for the Prince’s Trust. She has undertaken a range of voluntary and paid board positions and is currently a member of the Municipal Association of Victoria’s Insurance Board. Katrena has 15+ years of management experience and advanced skills in community engagement and stakeholder management, governance, political analysis, strategic planning and policy development. ​

​CEO, Local Government Association of Tasmania

Dr Katrena Stephenson

While walking through the Simien Mountain National Park in North Ethiopia in 2014, Dr Catherine Wheatley, a former nurse and now a doctor of bio-chemistry, was moved by the poverty and challenges faced by the local people. Later that year she founded the charity Water for a Village (WFAV) whose sole aim is to install clean water sources in these remote mountain villages. Since then, she has raised more than $170,000 in donations and travels to Ethiopia at least annually to be on the ground when the wells are built. Catherine’s contribution has seen the health of local children improve, reducing absences from school due to sickness.WFAV has installed 33 wells and tankers that are providing clean water to around 10,000 people in the Simien Mountains with at least 6 more to be installed in February 2019.​

​CEO and Founder, Water for a Village

Dr Catherine Wheatley


​CEO and Founder, Women with Disabilities Australia


​Founder, The Little Help Project

13:40 - 14:40​


15:30 - 16:10

Keynote Address

​Organisational Development Coordinator, Lebanese Muslim Association; Board Member, Go Active Women; Former Communications Officer, Australian Federal Police

Amna Karra-Hassan is an activist and advocate for diversity, inclusion and gender parity. Amna founded the first ever AFL Women’s team in Western Sydney and is widely recognised for the diversity she brought to the game and for taking the code to Western Sydney. The Auburn Giants AFL Club played a critical role in establishing the game in the region, both for women and for its engagement with diverse communities, contributing to the recent inauguration of the GWS Giants in the AFLW.  Amna uses her influence to change the conversation on gender, culture, faith and representation.​

Amna Karra-Hassan

Rebecca White MP

Leader of the Tasmanian Labor Party

16:10 - 16:50

Keynote Address

​Author, Journalist and Presenter ABC’s 7.30 Report

Leigh Sales is an award-winning author and journalist at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and currently anchors 7.30. Until 2011, Leigh Sales anchored the prestigious Lateline program, interviewing major figures including Hillary Clinton, Tony Blair and Henry Kissinger. In 2005, Leigh won a Walkley Award, Australia's highest journalism honour, for her coverage of Guantanamo Bay and the case of David Hicks. Leigh's writing has been published in The Monthly, The Bulletin, The Australian, The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Diplomat. One of her essays was included in The Best Australian Political Writing of 2007, and her third book, Any Ordinary Day, was published in 2018.​

Leigh Sales

​CEO and Founding Director, Brave Foundation


Tasmania Award for Excellence in Women's Leadership

14:40 - 15:10

17:00 - 18:00

Networking Drinks

Platinum education Partner

09:20 - 09:30

Sponsor Address

Interactive SESSION​ with Catherine Fox

​Journalist, Author and Walkley Award Winner; Director of Diversity, WLA

Catherine Fox is one of Australia’s leading commentators on women and the workforce. An award-winning journalist, author and presenter, she is regularly invited to address audiences around Australia and often appears in the media. During a long career with the Financial Review, she edited several sections of the newspaper, and wrote the weekly Corporate Woman column; and she has published four books, including her latest "Stop Fixing Women” (NewSouth), which along with her journalism was awarded the 2017 Walkley Award for Women’s Leadership in Media. In 2012 Catherine helped establish the annual Westpac/Financial Review 100 Women of Influence Awards; she is a member of the Australian Defence Force Gender Equality Advisory Board and Australian Women Donors Network board, and co-founder of the Sydney Women’s Giving Circle.​

11:00 - 11:20

Morning Tea

10:00 - 10:30

Keynote Address

Laboratory Head, Walter and Eliza Hall

Dr Misty Jenkins is a NHMRC RD Wright fellow and laboratory head in the Immunology Division at Walter and Eliza Hall Institute for Medical Research. Dr Jenkins laboratory currently researches the use of CART cell immunotherapy for brain cancer. Dr Jenkins was awarded the L’Oreal for Women in Science Fellowship (2013), was Tall Poppy of the year (2015) and won the Westpac/Australian Financial Review Top100 Women of Influence award (2016). In addition to her research career, Dr Jenkins is experienced in governance and is a Board Director for Monash Health, Director, Deputy Chair of The National Centre for Indigenous Genomics at ANU, ambassador for the Poche Centre for Indigenous Health and is Chair of the NHMRC Indigenous Project Grant Review Panels.​

Dr Misty Jenkins

10:30 - 11:00

Introduction to Women Kind