Report – BPW Australia Conference


22 – 24 OCTOBER 2010

Day 1

Friday 22 – Eve in Action – Pre Conference Event

Eve for Gender Equality

Welcome address by presenter Sandra Cook

Panel discussion on  Eve for Gender Equality questioning “Why does WA have the highest gender pay gap in Australia?”

Panelists were;

Sandra Cook – State Manager for Corum Health Services managing a team that delivers software and hardware solutions to community pharmacies.  She is BPWA Nationals Director of Policy and the driving force behind the Equal Pay Campaign.   She is also the Vice-Chair of the Security4Women National Secretariat.

Marilyn Forsyth, BPWA President, with a history of unionism and public sector employment in the health system.

Simone McGurk, Secretary of the Unions WA with more than 20 years experience in the trade union movement, working over a diverse range of industries.

Marcia Kuhne, CCI manager of industrial relations policy and a strong advocate for effective industrial relations and employment related policy for sustainable business.  More than 25 years experience over a diverse range of positions in industrial relations in both government and private sectors.

Angela Ferguson, head of delivery at ThoughtWorks Australia and responsible for the health of ThoughWorks’ portfolio  of engagements across Australia.  A project and programme manager and consultant, she has experience across a diverse set of engagements in many different industries.

Bridgette Engeler-Newbury, director of Incognito Sum, a specialist brand consultancy that helps organisations speak clearly in the marketplace.  She is a member of BPW Mid-City Victoria and is the National Project Manager – Marketing and Promotions for the BPW Equal Pay Day Taskforce.


The discussion was lively and engaging, all speakers clear and concise with excellent real life examples to offer that added credence to their presentations.


Marilyn Forsythe talked about her goal to add power to the BPWA movement by liaising with the Trade Unions (ACTU) to fight for equal rates.  Starting with this liaison they looked further afield and are now liaised with 130 organisations across Australia, represented by 160,000 voters.  This is a powerful tool when talking to politicians.

One of the BPW strategies for Equal Pay Day was to serve cookies at a morning tea – full cookes for men, women received cookies with an 18% bit already missing.


Simone McGurk reported the following gender pay gaps as at May 2010 for the different states in Australia – NSW 15.1%, WA 23%, ACT 13.3%. SA 13.2%, Vic 18% – Australia overall average 17.2%.

Westpac have decided on a quota system for women on boards.  In Australia in 1999 the percentage of women on boards was 15.6.  This has gradually risen since to 17.2%.  There is a website called PAYUP that addresses these issues.


Marcia Kuhne talked about the benefits in ensuring gender equity and also that closing the gap could cost the country $93 billion.


Angela Fergusson stated quite strongly that because there is still a challenge there must be action. Inequality is based on factors that cannot be controlled – gender, race.

The business case for addressing gender equality :-

In IT, women influence 80% of the choice of purchase, and men design 90% of the product.

Strategy –

  1. Fight in plain view – let everyone know what you are fighting for and why
  2. Survivor bias – when employing in your business, look for women first
  3. Don’t take the easy way out – be a developer rather than a manager
  4. Creating policies – Policies offend everyone – most people do not want extra support to be gender specific – policy should be generic and communicated well
  5. Quotas – position as targets and do not lower the bar for women
  6. Root Causes – don’t address the symptoms
  7. Vote with your feet – Work for a company that shares your values.
  8. Know your facts and be able to express them – develop a business case for gender equality, eg It is the right thing to do to obtain better business development.

Bridgette Engeler-Newbury. The secret of getting ahead is getting started.  She has a Masters in Women’s Studies so considers herself to be a qualified feminist.

Action is the foundation of all success.  Blame nobody.  Expect nothing.  Do something.

Act on your own convictions – refuse to work for certain companies – one is Nestle.  A year from now you may wish you had started today.  Find your voice and use it.  Take responsibility to get involved.

Advised that there is no human rights charter in Australia – interesting!  Beware those who readily agree with you.  Seek, nurture and cherish dissidents as this will show you where you need to have more communication and knowledge.

Start weird alliances – she obtained support from student unions for pay equality.

People are always ready to tell their story – collect anecdotes.

Read ‘The Breaking of Nations: Order & Chaos in the 21st Century by Robert Cooper.

The problem is hardly ever the only problem.  The response to the problem invariably ends up losing the problem.

Get mad and start doing something about it – NOW!


All speakers were presented with a certificate to acknowledge that they had made a contribution to the Port Moresby Education Fund Project instead of receiving gifts.   This was repeated throughout the conference to all speakers and workshop presenters.


Eve on Council – celebrating the 2010 Year of the Women in Local Government

Anne Banks – McAllister.CEO for the Shire of Peppermint Grove, WA.  Worked for 21 years in local government and appointed City of Nedlands first female director in 1998.

Sheryl Froese. First female Mayor for the city of Nedlands, elected in 2007.  She is also the ALGWA WA State branch president and has a keen interest in encouraging women in local government and supporting them.

Paddi Creevey OAM – Mayor for the city of Mandurah and has been in local government for 16 years.  Awarded the Order of Australia medal in 2010 for her services to the community and local government.

Sheryl Bryan. Elected as the first female Moora Shire President in 2004.  She is a registered nurse and midwife and has worked locally at the Moora hospital for more than 20 years.

Lynette O’Reilly. Has been the CEO for the Shire of Moora since 2008.  She has worked in a range of industry sectors across many parts of Australian in both the private and government sectors.

Tanya Dupagne. Elected as the youngest councillor on the Town of Kwinana Council in NSW in 2009.  She has worked extensively with young people in the Kwinana community and won the 2008 Premier’s Active Citizenship Award, 2007 Kwinana Citizen of the Year and 2007 Martin Waudby Memorial award for outstanding community leadership.  Tanya worked in townships in South Africa and started Dance for Africa in Australia, teaching young people the dances she learned in the townships.  Growing up in Kwinana Tanya and others her age were told they would not amount to anything and she saw that this was still happening. The dance programme in schools has seen an increase in students gaining better marks and more confidence.  They have an interest in the community and have developed good listening skills.


Question to the panel: What are the downfalls you have had the most challenges with?


Sheryl Froese – Time.  The kids were 4/5 years old when she started in local government.  There was a lot of preparation and reading involved before meetings and it was essential to priotise family activities.  It was important not to get so involved that the family came second.

Sheryl Bryan – Red tape and research required for the planning commission.  Time – remembering to take time for self and family.

Tanya – Time and reading


All panellists had stories to tell and advice to give.  Most entertaining and fast moving.



Educating Eve – debate “To degree or not degree”

Dr Patricia A H  Williams. Senior Lecturer in the School of Computer  and Security Science at Edit Cowan University.  She is internationally recognised for her expertise in Medical Information Security.

Professor Rowena Barrett. Head of School of Management at Edith Cowan University and has a background in Industrial relations and an interest in understanding how people are managed in smaller firms, particularly given that many small firms operate without formalised management systems.

Talie Palmer. Acting Senior Sergeant and Manager Academic pathways Unit in WA Police.  She has been a police officer for 29 years, serving in both coutry and metropolitan locations and is one of few female detectives.  In 2006, Talie established the Cyber Predator Team and became the first office in charge of the team.

Jill Loughridge. An advanced skills lecturer at Polytechnic West.  She has travelled through WA training and forming partnerships with quality care services for 20 years.

Carol Hanlon. CEO of Belmont BEC and has a strong commitment to empowering women to develop economic opportunities through the establishment and/or growth of their own home based, micro, small businesses in Bali, Sri Lanka and Papua New Guinea as well as with the indigenous people of Australia.


Question to the panel: What is the benefit to women who have spent time in the workplace and decide to go back to tertiary education?

Responses: Education makes a financial return to the individual.  For every year studying expect a 10% increase in income.

Any woman at anytime, should start an online business asap.  Keep the business running while studying and keep it running while you run another business.  Develop an at home business.  Find your passion and turn it into a business.


Question to the panel: Why should women choose to go for further education because if everyone has a degree what is the value?

Responses: Unrealistic expectation for everyone to have degrees.

Question to the panel: In a male oriented environment, such as the police force, is it more difficult to get ahead if not holding qualifications?

Responses: Police show that if higher up the ladder you need some tertiary education.  Studying gives the ability to think critically, analyse, write better with extra confidence to take on the high interest jobs.


Carol Hanlon left school at 15 years of age.  Get involved and do the hard yards.  Create the vision/goals.  Carol attended various courses, got involved and completed a company director’s course.


Police accept that university is not for everybody – different strokes for different folks.


Question to the panel: What is the value of life learning?  If you have 4/5 careers in your working life and have to go into debt to be educated, are you actually going to be able to pay back before you retire?

Responses: Yes, education is expensive however the benefit will eventually outweigh the cost.  Cost is becoming long term rather than short.  Women are heading the fastest growing small businesses in Australia.  1 in 9 households in Australia have a small business.  It is a huge growth area.  University does not prepare you to do the job, it prepares you to learn how to do the job.

In the past some tertiary educated people have had a lesser view of those with life experience.  Universities are now recognising that life and professional experience is important and works towards accepting people for post graduate courses on this basis.


Once again the debate was compelling and the banter amusing.  My notes are unable to convey the energy and learning gained from these inspiring women.


Breakout Workshops

Taking Action by Negotiation

Women need to negotiate better is the mantra offered as an explanation for why women don’t secure the same salary packages, the same promotion opportunities, the same conditions and benefits.  Negotiation skills are also essential in influencing others to support our wider causes and ambitions.  This workshop was designed to give what is needed to  not only expect a better outcome but actually achieve it.


Arlene Quinn. Professional facilitator and credentialed coach that uses a variety of proven approaches to assess, plan, progress and reflect on the many frames of life that her clients bring.  Through People Performance Plus, Arlene’s clients have benefited from making clearer and more focused decisions.

Mary-Louise MacDonald. More than 30 years in executive management roles, including representing Government ministers on bioethical issues, primary industrial negotiator in state wage disputes, independent chair on a state wide industrial dispute in South Australia, CEO of major industrial relations business advisory organisation and many other contract negotiations.

Short notes:

What is the bottom line?  Go for more than expected.

Resistance around how much each party is prepared to compromise – do they have common goals?  Do they want a win win or a win lose?

The sticking point may be 1 or 2 little issues.

Who has the office, has the power.  Meet on neutral ground, or better still, choose your office.

Put a mark on taking the lead – get into the room first and select where to sit.  How may people are on the other team?  Match the numbers.

Wear block colours, red, yellow, orange.

Basic tools of trade – calculator (whether you use it or not, and the bigger the better in full view on the table), briefcase.

Choose the venue (not the local coffee shop)

Watch usage of words – eg  ambitious can seem negative to women, men see this as a positive

Women tend to delay in replying to negotiations.  Frame the delay as “this is a really strategic decision for me, I will get back to you by ? time tomorrow.”  Women feel, men do – direct and indirect language.

In brief – Know the Location – Match the numbers – Wear trousers or a suit – Use bright block colours – know the language

And remember – when negotiating with men, don’t draw a breath and you don’t give them a chance to know it is their turn to speak.

Mentor women actively to further their education around negotiation.  Is the negotiation worth the upheaval?  Last word – always wear bright red lipstick!


Networking Action

Networking doesn’t work unless you take action to make it work for you.  Putting yourself in the right place at the right time can catapult you from just wishing and hoping to being and doing.

Freda Miriklis. Second Vice President of BPW International and the chair of the United Nations Committee on the Status of Women. She is a private client adviser of Tol Hurst Stockbroking & formerly with Barton Capital Securities.

Networking is little more than having a conversation.  The opportunity comes in through the door and out by the window.  It is what you do in the room that counts – they don’t come back.

Be proactive, take a genuine interest in others and be willing to learn, communicate effectively.

Have respect for the person you are talking to, that is, don’t be looking around the room for ‘someone more important’ to be spending your time with.  Focus on the person in front of you and the law of reciprocacy will kick in.


Empowered Eve – How I Took Action to Lead

Honourable Robyn McSweeney. Minister for Child Protection, Community Services, and Seniors & volunteering and Women’s Interests.  Robyn is also member for the South West Region of WA.  She was elected to Parliament in 2001.  Educated at Bridgetown and Manjimup high schools, Robyn currently divides her time between living in Bridgetown and Perth.

Elizabeth Broderick. Appointed Sec Discrimination Commissioner and Commissioner responsible for Age Discrimination in September 2007 for a 5 year term.  A lawyer and businesswoman, she was the 2001/2 Telstra NSW business Woman of the year and Australian corporate business woman of the year.

Sharryn Jackson. After a career with the Miscellaneous workers union Sharryn served as an ALP MP for the Division of Hasluck in 2001/4 and again in 2207/10.  She chaired thestanding committee on Employment and Workplace Relations that produced the Making It Fair Report, offering numberous recommendations on pay equity and women’s participation in the workforce.

Honourable Helen Morton. Currently the parliamentary secretary to the Premier and has been in the WA State Parliament since 2005.  During the Liberal Party’s time in opposition, Helen was Shadow Minister for Mental Health, Women’s Interests and Public Sector Management.

Councillor Janet Davidson. A businesswoman and a quality assurance/human resource management consultant, Janet is Executive Officer to the WA Regional Office/Committee of the Royal Australian and NZ College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologiests.  She is a City of Perth Councillor, holds a Master’s Degree in Management from UWA and is also a Justice of the Peace.

Be kind to yourself every day so you can keep on doing what we are doing.   Do not carry the world on your shoulders.

Elizabeth Broderick has championed flexibility in the workplace and the rights of Aboriginal Women. We stand on the shoulders of those who have gone before us.  Be grateful for that work that has preceded ours.  Her main life goal is to live in a world where gender does not dictate her children’s lives.


Sharryn Jackson believes the personal is the political and believes politicians should treat others as they wish to be treated.  Integrity and respect for one another is paramount.  To be a good leader you need to be:-

A team player, part of the community, informed, balance and commonsense (head & heart), self knowledge, self discipline, imagination, dream about what is possible and settle for what is practical, have fun, remember you are human and not perfect, make mistakes, lose, get your strength.  This will be a measure of your character.  Read ‘The Women’s Power Handbook’ by Joan Turner and Moira Raynor.  Remember you live in a community not an economy.  Confidence and ability are essential.  Take what you believe and run with it.  Take power, exercise with it.  And finally, ‘Life is too short not to drink good wine!”  Sharryn quoted from the following song.

Don’t Be Too Polite Girls

A song by Glen Tomasetti©Glen Tomasetti 1969
Tune “All Among The Wool”

We’re really on the way, girls, really on the way,
Hooray for equal pay, girls, hooray for equal pay,
They’re going to give it to most of us, in spite of all their fears
But do they really need to make us wait three years.

Don’t be too polite girls, don’t be too polite,
Show a little fight girls, show a little fight,
Don’t be fearful of offending, in case you get the sack
Just recognise your value and we won’t look back.

I sew up shirts and trousers in the clothing trade,
Since men don’t do the job I can’t ask to be better paid
The people at the top rarely offer something more
Unless the people underneath are walking out the door.

They say a man needs more to feed his children and his wife,
Well, what are the needs of a woman who leads a double working life?
When the whistle blows for knock-off it’s not her time for fun
She goes home to start the job that’s not paid and never done.

Don’t be too afraid girls, don’t be too afraid,
We’re clearly underpaid girls, clearly underpaid,
Tho’ equal pay in principle is every woman’s right
To turn that into practice, we must show a little fight.

We can’t afford to pay you, say the masters in their wrath
But woman says “Just cut your coat according to the cloth”
If the economy won’t stand then here’s the answer boys,
“Cut out the wild extravagance on the new war toys”.

All among the bull girls, all among the bull,
Keep your hearts full girls, keep your hearts full
What good is a man as a doormat, or following at heel?
It’s not their balls we’re after, it’s a fair square deal.

Helen Norton.  When she was Secretary to the Minister of Water and Health, her office was known as ‘Menopause Mansion’.  She has a very clear vision of what she wants to achieve and how it fits into the big picture.  Team work and the synergy that come from the interdependency of teams is an important part of her life.  She is a planner, gathers the information and the evidence, likes to know strengths and weaknesses.  Action to lead must be flexible, adaptable, and the leader need to have the courage to bring people together from all walks of life.

Janet Davidson. Believes she can also lead from the middle, side or back.  Mentor, promote, support, sustain, transform – enjoy! Be comforted with all thats is done.  We all have qualities and skills, have confidence and enjoy what you do.


Robyn McSweeney writes a letter to herself every 10 years.  She has a degree of Sociology.  She has taught body language and man talk and has been on the Women’s Advisory Board, Zonta, CWA, and BPW.  Robyn was the opening speaker at the World Conference on Domestic Violence on 8th March, the 100th Anniversary of International Women’s Day.  Men and women working together on the pay equity issue is a huge step.  The next step to success if men working with men to support pay equity.


Helen Morton – has a 17 year old granddaughter who is now listening to and getting her message about pay equity.  She has always believed that opportunities come with courage and risk taking.

Friday Night Function

Young BPW Award Coctail Function.

3 young women from different ethnic backgrounds who had received mentoring from Alicia Curtis gave moving accounts of their personal history and the difference that Alicia’s mentoring had made in their lives, reducing the speakers and the audience to tears at times.


Saturday 23 – 35th BPW National Conference

Marilyn Forsythe opened the conference and reported on progress made since last conference.

Sandra Cook introduced International President Elizabeth Broderick, who spoke about the Australian Human Rights Commission.  Equality in the workplace would give access to an under utilised talent pool.  Greater gender diversity is correlated with stronger performance in the economy.  The ideal worker model is networking for women and increasingly also for men.  Research has shown that a better balance between men and women leads to a better bottom line for business.  Australia needs to reflect on the current status, explore what needs to be done in regards to pay equity and women in leadership.  Australia has only recently achieved paid parental leave, the next step being to have superannuation attached at the 2 yearly review.

Currently in Australia  the pay equity gap is 18%. The starting wage for female graduates is $3,000 lower than for males.

Is poverty the reward for a lifetime of caring? Is the catchcry for unpaid caring work for mothers.

The Commonwealth Bank has set a target of 35% women on boards and are funding scholarships for 70 women to undertake company director’s courses.

Elizabeth believes that the plan should be to stop trying to fix women.  Mentoring etc is not enough.  Fix the system so it works for everyone.  Without significant change all we can expect is more of the same.  Men need to start working with men to solve the problem.  Aim for critical mass – minimum of 40% of each gender on boards.

Reiterated that the clear goal should be for a future when our children and our grandchildren’s futures are not influenced by gender.

Women need to be where the economic power is.

The question of quotas.
Will we need them? Elizabeth believes they should be a temporary special measure to and achieve gender equality.  There have been objections from men and women alike as to whether women are appointed to boards on merit or as a token.

Westpac has adopted the Women in Empowerment Principles


BPW Australia Club Reports

These had been issued as part of the conference papers.  Something that perhaps NZ could do for next conference.  Unfortunately no time was given at this conference for the NZ Delegates to present the NZ report.


It was reported that there was a 24% member attendance at the conference.

Achieving Equal Representation – Panel and Questions

Sandra Cook

Elizabeth Broderick

Elizabeth Benham

Sharryn Jackson

Marilyn Forsythe

Pamela Weatherill. Lecturer at Edith Cowan University and is a communications consultant and civil celebrant.  She brings a range of experience in HR, the community sector and tertiary education. CEO of a progressive employment and training organisation, with a special focus on building career and life skills.


Q:  How do women who have worked part time get on to boards?

A:  The preferred model for board members is no children and available 24/7.  There is a need for men to access flexible workhours and paid parental leave.

It is important to maintain employability and look to career education so that part time works is valued.

Q: What can be done to maintain employability?

A:  This is a good time to be on a board.

Q: To Sharryn Jackson – Should we introduce quotas for women on boards?

A:  This would be an institutionalised change and would mean shared power, equal opportunity, justice, recognising people’s rights, men don’t own everything.  Agree with quotas.  It is not about eliminating males but recognising that women are also well qualified.  Quotas could be a fallback position.

Some men are very angry about quotas and believe there could be a surface instead of an attitude change.  One quote she has heard is “When there are as many mediocre women as men at Parliament, then we know we have achieved equality”.

Q: How do you feel about quotas on board selection committees?

A: Selection committees are sometimes dishonest.  Thought that quotas would be a good strategy.

Q:  How do we take experience on community boards to become representatives on paid boards?

A:  Paid positions are still not being held by women.  Need to formalise pathways between publicly listed and private boards and Government boards to private boards.  Disturbing results from a recent survey showed that 54% of women surveyed want a male boss.  Need to challenge gender beliefs from birth.  Local Government is a good start to getting onto boards.


Pamela stated that she felt quotas are inefficient, bizarre and dangerous.  If we keep setting targets and don’t reach them what are we doing wrong?


Sharryn felt that the importance of affirmative action programmes is in setting targets.  No woman ever made it on her own.  Acknowledge your own achievements, stand on the shoulders of those who go before.


Liz Benham supports quotas as a temperorary measure.  5
% of Government procurement in USA to women has not been achieved.  Quotas to jump start and then the merit system will kick in.  The come the empowerment principals.


Elizabeth Broderick.  There are only really 2 conclusions.  Women as a sex are inferior OR  there is something wrong in our culture.


Equal Pay Club Activities

NT –   Advertised in magazine that is distributed to all businesses in the area resulting in 15 potential new members at their red bag day breakfast.

VIC – did the same

QLD – held a breakfast – women were give 18% discount

NSW –          Coffs Harbour – ran a seminar on financial management

Parramatta – held an unhappy hour at local pub that ran all day with local TV present – Printed T shirts worn by pub staff 18% discount for women ran from 10am to 6pm

Gave out 400 postcards and 670 pamphlets on the day.

WA –   Negotiation skills workshop to help women recognise their own worth.  Held breakfast and a picnic lunch in the local botanical gardens.  Handed out quizzes about equal pay.

SA –   held a dinner on the day.  Red Bag Gala Event.  Had an 18% discount unhappy hour.


One club had a morning tea and handed out cookies to men and women, the women’s cookies had an 18% “bite” taken out of them.


Gabriella reported that Germany BPW  went to the government and received 200,000 Euro to promote red bag day.


Making Time for Action Workshop

Angie “Sppeedy”Spiteri is an efficiency specialist that loves making an instant impact on people’s lives and results.  She shares practical solutions that can be implemented immediately and will revolutionise how everyday people manage day to day time stealers.  To date she has trained 983 people who on average have generated 2.3 hours a day and increased productivity by as much as 30%.


3 secrets to generating an extra 6 weeks a year.    Be more in control, get the most important work done, get home on time, be free at weekends, have time for family, have time for self.


  1. Learn how to use your tools.

Clean out your desk draw

Make better use of your email programmes

Have useable reliable processes – we can touch things about 6/12 times before we do anything with it

Reduce time looking for information, reduce crises, reduce distractions, reduce stress and overwhelm.

  1. Touch thing once

Get rid of clutter

Turn off your email alert

  1. Schedule

Make appointment to do your own work.  Leave space for things that come up.  Reduces interruption – ask people to wait until after a certain time to come to you with queries.


Reduce Crisis – 20% of what you do could be delegated to someone else.

Reduce procrastination – forces action

Get your work done!

  1. Know thyself

Are you guilty of – multiple handling, looking for info you already have, crisis management, distractions, interruptions, procrastination.


Put all your bills in a folder and deal with them on one day of the week.

Tell people what you are doing so that you will not be interrupted.

Make appointments to do your own work


Paper vs Electronic

Reduce the boxes in the side panel of email – use search engine.  Headings for Working, Reference, Archives


Look at all paperwork.  File what is needed and throw out the rest.

Have a half way box and document when work has to be done.

Manage the small stuff and have time for the important stuff.



Saturday Night Function

Speaker was ABC Presenter Karina Carvalho, who gave a moving personal account not given before to any group.  Karina began her career in Perth after graduating from the WA Academy of Performing Arfts.  Extensive overseas experience including work with the BBC secured her the role of presenter for the ABC’s flagship nightly news bulletin from the Corporation’s East Perth headquarters.  Karina talked about her family’s emigration to Australia and the difficulties they encountered and overcame.



Muriel Matters

Member for Florey in the House of Assembly in the South Australian Parliament.  She is dedicated to researching and perpetuating the history of Muriel Matters, a prominent Australian-born suffragist, best known for her work in the UK during the militant struggle to enfranchise women from 1905-1924.

This was an interesting presentation showing photographs and drawings of Muriel chained to the grille in Parliament.


BPW Women Taking Action Globally

Faye Gardiner

Faye is BPWNZ Immediate Past President and works as a consultant providing quality and risk management, training and auditing to health care organisations.  She is a registered nurse and has clinical and management background.  Faye chairs the BPW International Health Standing Committee.

Faye presented an interesting report on the health issues of women in the workplace.  One interesting point that I noted was that research is showing that a woman’s symptoms when having heart problems are different from men’s symptoms.  All training to deal with heart attacks is based on white males.


Elizabeth Benham

Liz Benham was elected International President at the Mexico City Congress in 2008.  She has proved a tireless leader and visited numerous clubs in countries around the world.  She will join us from the Regional Asia-Pacific Conference in Singapore.

We are all responsible for the future.  We have a great past, do we have a great future?  When the winds of change blow, some people build walls, others build windmills – Chinese proverb.

Clubs needs to modernise, improve communications and financial stability.  We need an efficient, operational and sustainable organisation that will grow and provide real value.

Improved Value for Membership –         Website upgrade

Partnerships – International Trade Convention, WeConnect, Roadmap to 2020

Formal training programmes

A reminder to members to sign up on BPWI website and receive E news.

Elizabeth stressed that we are not networking effectively enough.  She would like to know who the members are.  There is a survey on the International Website.  As a club we could be communicating with other countries.

Another reminder that BPW is not a charity and not a service.

27th Congress is to be held in Finland at Helsinki.  An opportunity to experience 24 hour light.  Early Bird registration is 650 Euro including lunches, etc. Accommodation is 135 Euro twin share.  Conference runs for a week.


Gabriella Canonica

Gabriella is the First Vice-President of BPW International and is from Switzerland.  She gives lectures at schools and to private clients for Internet and all Personal Computer Systems and Software.


Gabriella stressed that we need to look at BPW as a business.  The most important thing in business is the customer, or member.  The President is not better than the newest member.


Freda Miriklis

Freda is the Second Vice President of BPW International and the Chair of the United Nations Committee on theStatus of Women.  She is a private client adviser with Tol Hurst Stockbroking and formerly with Barton Capital Securities Pty Ltd.

Recognising the contribution that women make to the economy is a business case that makes goods economic sense, not just about women’s rights. BPW represents the voice of Business & Professional Women.  We are not a charity.  Zonta and Soroptomists are already there for charity purposes.


Judith Van Uren

Judith is theCEO, Director at JERA International – Justice, Equality, Rights, Access past national president of BPWA.  She is a business performance strategist, worked int eh SME sector, State and local Governments and director of national foundation of Australian Women & Riding for the Disabled Association.


June Kane

Dr June Kane is an internationally respected expert in human rights, specifically in the fields of violence against children and women, child labour, sexual abuse and exploitation of children, and human trafficking.  She has worked with the UN, ILO, UNICEF and NGOs extensively.


Judith and June gave an interesting demonstration on what happens at the United Nations and how negotiations take place.


Dr Jean Murray

After 20 years as a medical scientist, Jean became a bioethics policy adviser to Australian State and National Governments.  She has served as a director on health, education and bioethics boards, and is active in women’s policy at state, national and international levels.

Jean has been heading the sub committee that has been looking at changes to the international constitution.  The constitution for ratification at Helsinki has been reduced to one page only.  It looks at why we exist and what type of organisation we are, our values and aims, our structure and regulations, how we operate and who we are.


Young Hai Park

Emeritus Professor of Humanities at Sookmyung Women’s University, Dr Park’s work promoting women’s status includes positions of Vice-President of International Council of Women and Vice- President of Korean National Council of Women and President of BPW Korea, also BPW Asia Pacific Regional Coordinator.

Young Hai presented the next International Congress to be held in Jenju, Korea on 23 to 27 May 2014.  A very beautiful venue.


In closing the attendees were instructed to ask themselves the following questions –

What is it that might improve me?

What is the burning desire that I will take from this conference?


By the time the next Australian conference comes around in 2013 –

What have I achieved?

What position do I hold in BPW?

How am I going back to clubs to inspire those who are not here?


Points I noted for my own club:

Encourage saving for conferences

Share information freely

Value one another

Work together

Show members value added opportunities, personally and in business

Run club like a business

Stress global opportunities

Action in the community to attract members.


Judith Van Uren announced that the 1st Australian club to reach 100 members strong by the 2013 Australian Conference will be gifted $1,000 from her personal funds.

Next Australian Conference will be at Etalong on the Central NSW Coast in 2013.


Marilyn Forsythe was re elected President for the next 3 years.

Policy – Sandra Cook

Membership – Liz Flatters

Marketing – Bridgette Engeler-Newbury

Ex Secretary – Debbie Rychvalskey

YBPW – Kate Macauley

Vic – Hazel Ingham

Qld – Kimberley James

NT – Pat Forsyth

NSW – Margaret Tipper

Tas – Mary Dean


Conference finished Sunday evening.

Elaine White and myself were fortunate enough to have two and a half days sightseeing in and around Perth and both caught up with relatives living there.

Personally the experience was an extremely rewarding one.  I cannot express strongly enough the advantages of attending these conferences.


Lyndy Jackson

Delegate to Australian Conference 2010

Progamme Convenor 2010

President Upper Hutt Business & Professional Women’s Club Incorporated.


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