SLHD - Sydney Connect
Inspiring women leaders networking and sharing ideas

Women's Leadership Breakfast

June 2019

Inspiring women leaders networking and sharing ideas

Inspiring women leaders networking and sharing ideas

“Don’t underestimate your own power in inspiring others. Something you do, the way you take care of someone, the way you approach your work, could very well inspire someone else and that for me is the true definition of leadership.”

With those words the Premier of NSW, Gladys Berejiklian captured the spirit of our Women’s Leadership Breakfast. Held at NSW Parliament House during Innovation Week, our Breakfast was an opportunity to thank our staff for the inspirational work they do each and every day as we care for our community.

The event was also a chance for our staff and our partners to network, exchange ideas and hear from trailblazing women such as Gladys, who in March became the first woman elected premier of NSW.

As well as more than 200 women who were nominated by their peers, staff and managers, about 50 of our male and female staff were selected to attend the Breakfast, in recognition of their long-standing support for furthering the careers of the women they work with.

The Premier told us the five key values she has aspired to live by during her career:

  • Nothing replaces hard work
  • Have respect for what you do, for your peers and for the people you are taking care of
  • Love what you do and take pride in it
  • Have the strength of character to be yourself and
  • Use the criticisms you receive to build resilience and know you can’t please everyone all the time.

One of the Premier’s Priorities is for 50 per cent of all senior leadership positions in the NSW Public Sector to be held by women. In our District we have already exceeded this target and the Premier praised us as a “beacon” for other government agencies.

We also heard from Pioneering melanoma researcher Professor Georgina Long, who spoke about the juggle to manage work, research and motherhood. She shared advice she received from her mentor Dr Rick Kefford when she was struggling to work out what opportunities she should accept, and what she should let go.

“Rick told me, ‘Just say yes. Think about how you’ll fit it in later’,” Professor Long said.

“And as a female that’s very difficult because we’re always trying to find ways of how are we going to do everything, and do it well,” she said.

“He taught me to say yes – and if it’s a good thing to do, if it’s a helpful thing to do - priorities will fall into place.”

Professor Long is the Conjoint Medical Director of Melanoma Institute Australia. She is the first woman - and first Australian - to be elected President of the Society for Melanoma Research, which is based in the US. The Society is the world's largest association of melanoma researchers and scientists.

In 2018 she was named Outstanding Cancer Researcher of the Year at the New South Wales Premier's Awards.

Professor Long has changed the face of melanoma treatment with her clinical trials tripling life expectancy for patients with advanced melanoma. Her goal is to achieve zero deaths from melanoma. 

You can see a video of the Breakfast at

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