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

Interactive Online Event

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

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​

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

“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.”

ACT Ambulance Service

“[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.”

NSW Rural Fire Service

“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.”

Australian Federal Police
Aboriginal Woman

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

Hannah Graf

Hannah Graf

Alex Blackwell

Kate Munari

Kate Munari

Catherine Roberts

Air Vice-Marshall Catherine Roberts AM CSC

Lieutenant Colonel Eileen Hall

Lieutenant Colonel Eileen Hall

Timothy Rutherford

Colonel Timothy Rutherford

Gai Bolderrow

Inspector Gai Bolderrow

Barbara Olah

Barbara Olah

Shamsa Lea

Shamsa Lea

Elizabeth Murphy

Elizabeth Murphy APM

Clare O'Neil

The Hon. Clare O’Neil MP

Lauren Callaway

Lauren Callaway

Event Themes

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 Facilitators

Dr Janet Smith
Dr Janet Smith

Director of Programs, Women & Leadership Australia

Janet Horton
Janet Horton

Senior Facilitator and Executive Coach, Women & Leadership Australia

PDES Women

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