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The Police, Defence
and Emergency
Services Women's Leadership Summit

Interactive Online Event

This event has ended

Summit Overview

The Women’s Leadership Summit is a significant annual event for women personnel at all levels of the Police, Defence and Emergency Services sector. The event offers a unique opportunity for women across a wide range of organisations to connect, share their experiences and develop their leadership capacity. Created by Australia’s leading authority on women’s leadership, Women & Leadership Australia, the Summit is supported by a wide range of stakeholders throughout the sector.

Featuring international keynote presentations

Due to the continuing uncertainty around COVID-19, and with the intention of safeguarding the health and wellbeing of Australia’s emergency response professionals, the 2023 Summit will once again be delivered as a fully interactive online event. The format of this year’s event has enabled a select number of inspirational international speakers and presenters to be included in the agenda. It is also hoped that the online format will assist participating organisations to include a wider range of personnel, especially those based in regional and remote locations.

Past attendees said

84% of attendees strongly agree summit presenters are highly stimulating and engaging​

85% of attendees strongly agree summit content is useful in their everyday role​

84% of attendees strongly agree summit content was appropriate for their leadership level

My Leadership Journey​

During the Summit, participants will hear from a number of inspirational speakers about their leadership/career journeys and the key elements that have contributed to their success. Armed with this valuable insight, participants will identify their own unique gifts and talents and begin to create their personal brand and message.

Leadership and the Imposter Syndrome

For many, feeling like an outsider isn’t an illusion — it’s actually the result of systemic bias and exclusion. The impact of systemic racism, ableism, classism, homophobia, xenophobia, and other biases were absent when the concept of Imposter Syndrome was developed, and our understandings about it are now more sophisticated. Our expert panel will discuss the strategies and mindsets that have supported their understanding of their own Imposter Syndrome, in addition to supporting their teams to recognise their own Imposter Syndrome and its impacts.

Taming the Imposter Voice

Did you know that most attendees of our summits and programs report that they sometimes hear an 'inner imposter voice'? Learning how to manage that voice is a mindset choice.  With practice we can learn to recognise it and choose a more effective response. In the Development Session, we will learn how to interrupt that voice when it arrives and replace it with a more helpful one.

Event Themes

Event Facilitators

Dr Janet Smith

Director of Programs, Women & Leadership Australia

Dr Janet Smith is the Program Director for the Australian School of Applied Management (ASAM), Women & Leadership Australia (WLA) and the National Excellence in School Leadership Institute (NESLI). Her role involves workshop facilitation, leading national and international leadership summits, teaching face-to-face and online leadership courses, course design and executive coaching. Janet has previously worked extensively as an Associate Professor in Higher Education,  focusing on educational leadership, gender, coaching, mentoring, emotional intelligence, communication, reflective practice and well-being. See complete bio.

Janet Horton

Senior Facilitator and Executive Coach, Women & Leadership Australia 

Janet is passionate about growing organisations and the people who work in them. After successfully navigating her way through careers in Finance and IT, Janet became fascinated with how individuals and organisations change. Consequently, she obtained her Masters in Organisational Coaching and ran an organisational change consultancy for 5 years. Janet has come to believe that through skilled leadership, it is possible to change our work environments so that they increase both employee well-being and business performance. See complete bio.

Supporting Leadership Equity and Excellence 

This significant annual event represents a key platform for women in Police, Defence and Emergency Services organisations to enhance their leadership knowledge and capacity. The purpose of the Summit is to contribute to the development of resolute and effective women leaders through skills development, role -modeling, expert advice and strategic sector-based networking.

2023 Event Speakers Include


Retired Captain of the British Army; LGBTQ, Diversity and Equality Advocate; Patron of Mermaids Charity


​World Cup & Ashes winning cricket Captain; Genetic Counsellor; Patron @prideinsport


​Leadership and Resilience Speaker; Helicopter Pilot; Veteran

Air Vice-Marshall Catherine Roberts AM CSC

Commander, Deep Space Command

Lieutenant Colonel
Eileen Hall

​Cultural Advisor, Regional Force Surveillance Group (RFSG), Australian Army; One of the highest-ranking Indigenous Soldiers in Australia

Colonel Timothy

​Commanding Officer of the 51st Battalion, The Far North Queensland Regiment, Australian Army; Commander of the Defence’s NT COVID-19 response

Inspector Gai

​Inspector, Forensic Services Command, Queensland Police; QPS Representative, Queensland Government LGBTI Roundtable and the Pride in Diversity Executive Ally Network


​National Manager, Women's Development, Fire and Emergency New Zealand


Director, Deloitte; Co-Founder #PropelHerAUS; Veteran

Murphy APM

​Chief Operations Officer, Ambulance Victoria

The Hon. Clare
O’Neil MP

Minister for Home Affairs; Minister for Cyber Security; Federal Member for Hotham


Assistant Commissioner, Family Violence Command, Victoria Police

“I thought all [summit presenters] were great, and I don’t think they will realise the positive effect they have had on all of us here today! I am so glad I came, it was motivating in every way.”


“[The summit] has given me some useful tools to take back and help other women in my organisation become the best they can be in their own professional capacity.”


“I gained a stronger understanding of the gap between men and women in the workplace. I learnt tips and strategies on how to improve myself as a leader and how to help other women to progress.”


Summit Details

Date: This event has ended
Held: Interactive Online Event
Start: Attendee registration will commence at 08:40am
Finish: Summit sessions will conclude at 04:30pm

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