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All times listed are in Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST)

Thursday 8th June 2023

Interactive Online Event

08:30 - 09:00

Welcome and Acknowledgement of Country

Dr Janet Smith

Program Director, Women & Leadership Australia

Dr Debra Kelliher

Senior Facilitator, National Excellence in School Leadership Institute

09:10 - 09:40

Opening Address

Hon Dr Anne Aly MP

Minister for Early Childhood Education; Minister for Youth; Federal Member for Cowan

The Hon Dr Anne Aly MP has been the Federal Member for Cowan since 2016. In her late twenties, Dr Aly was a single mother of two young boys, relying on minimum-wage work and social services benefits to put food on the table. She went on to study her Masters and PhD and worked as a professor, academic and practitioner in counter terrorism and countering violent extremism and was the only Australian representative to speak at President Obama’s 2015 White House summit on countering violent extremism. In 2021, Dr Aly was awarded the McKinnon Prize for Emerging Political Leader of the Year, in recognition of her Parliamentary work against both right-wing extremism and family & domestic violence and following the election of the Albanese Government in 2022, she was appointed Minister for Early Childhood Education and Minister for Youth – becoming the first Muslim woman to serve as a Commonwealth Minister.

09:40 - 10:10

Keynote Address

Dyonne Anderson

Principal, Cabbage Tree Island Public School; Chief Executive Officer, Stronger Smarter Institute; President, National Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander Principals Association

Dyonne Anderson is a Githabul woman, and the Principal of Cabbage Tree Island Public School on Bundjalung country on the far North Coast of NSW. She has also been President of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Principals' Association (NATSIPA) since 2012. Dyonne has been successful as a classroom teacher, senior curriculum advisor in Aboriginal studies, curriculum consultant and principal. She has also been seconded to the Stronger Smarter Institute (SSI) as a Principal in Residence and then employed as a Director and Chief Operations Officer (COO) at the Stronger Smarter Institute for three years until returning to her principal role at Cabbage Tree Island Public School in 2019. Cabbage Tree Island Public School and its community was devastated by the floods in 2022 and a temporary school and community has been set up until a rebuild is possible.

10:10 - 10:25



10:25 - 12:00

Panel Discussion

Leadership and the Imposter Syndrome

The Imposter Syndrome is loosely defined as doubting your abilities and feeling like a fraud. It disproportionately affects high-achieving people, who find it difficult to accept their accomplishments. 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. In this session, 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.

Panel Members

Han Worsley

Education Coordinator, Country Universities Centre Snowy Monaro

Han Worsley is a passionate educator, gender inclusivity advocate, and public speaker. Growing up on the family farm north of Nullamanna NSW, has driven Han’s passion for rural and remote communities. Han is the immediate past CEO (2020 - 2022) of Country to Canberra, a national not-for-profit dedicated to empowering young rural women and non-binary people to reach their leadership potential. They are now working on Ngarigo Country for the Snowy Monaro Country Universities Centre, coordinating programs for rural students. Han was named ACT Canberra’s Community Champion Under 40, and in Out For Australia’s 30 under 30 Awards in 2021. As a proud non-binary person Han also delivered a TEDx Talk on the gender binary in 2022, and volunteers with the Pinnacle Foundation to support disadvantaged LGBTIQA+ students. Giving back to and building community is something Han holds dear.

Hillary Swann

Teacher, Caroline Chisholm School; Founder, EMPOWER

Hillary Swann is the youngest Executive Teacher at Caroline Chisholm School in Canberra and the founder of EMPOWER. a wellbeing initiative focused on young women and non-binary students. Hillary coordinates and organises all EMPOWER sessions, which include key Canberran professionals visiting to mentor the students, exploring topics surrounding self-esteem, self-worth, and self-efficacy through project-based learning. The impact of these opportunities on Canberra and the wider educational community are significant. Since EMPOWER’s launch the hope is that more of these modelled in-school programs can be shared for others to benefit from. Hillary was nominated in 2022 as a finalist for ACT Young Australian of the Year for the intrinsic outcomes of EMPOWER.

Donna Bridge 

Principal, Brentwood Primary School

Donna Bridge is a proud Yamatji woman from the Geraldton region with 30 years' experience in education and leadership in remote and regional communities with high populations of Indigenous students. She was the first Level 3 Indigenous classroom teacher in WA, an inaugural director on the Australian Institute of Teachers and School Leadership (AITSL) board, ), a member of the First People’s Education Advisory Group (2012-2013), and currently a WAPPA Board Member and National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Principal Association director (NATSIPA). Donna was also awarded a Churchill Fellowship on breaking cycles of disadvantage and a Harvard Scholarship on Creating Collaborative Solutions.

09:00 - 09:10

Welcome Address

Karen Taylor GAICD

Chief Executive Officer, Women & Leadership Australia


13:00 - 14:00

Development Session

Dr Janet Smith

Program Director, Women & Leadership Australia

Taming the Imposter Voice

Did you know that most attendees of our events 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 this Development Session, we will learn how to interrupt that voice when it arrives and replace it with a more helpful one.

14:00 - 14:15


12:00 - 12:30


14:15 - 14:45

Keynote Address

Wendy McCarthy AO Life Fellow FAICD

Mentor; Speaker, Writer; Social Activist; Company Advisor; Patron, Sydney Women's Fund, The Parenthood; Director, FPIP; Former University Administrator and Secondary School Teacher

Wendy McCarthy is an experienced manager and company director who began her career as a secondary school teacher. She moved out of the classroom into public life in 1968 and since then has worked for change across the public, private and community sectors, in education, family planning, human rights, public health, overseas aid and development, conservation, heritage, media and the Arts. She has a long track record of advocating, campaigning and fundraising for women’s issues in public life. Wendy has held many significant leadership roles in key national and international bodies. She has established several businesses, including the national consulting practice McCarthy Mentoring. Wendy McCarthy is an experienced speaker and facilitator and is regularly asked for comment on social and political issues.

14:45 - 15:25

Keynote Address

Ellie Cole OAM

Australia’s most decorated Female Paralympic Athlete

After losing her right leg to cancer at age 3, at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics, Paralympian Ellie Cole became Australia’s most decorated female Paralympic athlete. With a record-breaking 17 Paralympic medals and OAM to her name, Ellie Cole is an extraordinary athlete. Overcoming injuries and adversity, Ellie has risen to prolific heights and, in recognition was honoured as the flagbearer at the Tokyo 2020 Closing Ceremony. Ellie is incredibly passionate about the subject of diversity and inclusion, leveraging her strong platform as an athlete to highlight important causes like #WeThe15 – a movement that endeavours for disability visibility and representation. Ellie has been instrumental in a number of global initiatives to promote diversity and inclusion – starring in WOWOW Japan’s WHO I Am series, being invited to speak at the Cannes Lions in 2019 on the subject of diversity and inclusion not only in sport but in life, and closer to home partnering with her sponsors to deliver greater awareness of and support for the Paralympic movement and the disability community.

15:25 - 15:30

Closing Comments

Dr Janet Smith

Program Director, Women & Leadership Australia

Dr Debra Kelliher

Senior Facilitator, National Excellence in School Leadership Institute

08:10 - 08:30

Online Registration

12:30 - 13:00

Keynote Address

Dr Nicole Archard

Principal, Loreto College Marryatville

Dr Nicole Archard (BA DipEd, MA, MEdLead, MTheolSt, PhD) is the Principal of Loreto College, Marryatville, South Australia. Nicole is a specialist educator of girls and has taught and held a variety of leadership positions in girls’ schools in both New South Wales and South Australia. Nicole is an advocate for single-sex education and was interviewed on 60 Minutes as a spokesperson for girls’ education. In addition to this, Nicole has written several opinion pieces for media on girls’ education and social issues concerning girls and women. Her current research interests include girls and wellbeing, particularly in relation to girls’ identity, self-concept, and efficacy. In 2011, Nicole received the Excellence in Research Award for the Faculty of Human Sciences at Macquarie University, Sydney. Nicole is a passionate advocate for gender equity and believes that being a girl is to be celebrated.    

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