After two Covid-enforced postponements, Transport Women Australia Limited’s (TWAL) Driving the Difference 2022 conference certainly packed all the punches, with a fascinating blend of inspiring and empowering speakers taking the stage across the weekend.
Held at Hyatt Place Melbourne, Essendon Fields, the conference ran across three days from June 3-5.
The conference kicked off with a cocktail event on the Friday night, sponsored by Volvo, with the conference officially opened by Roma Britnell MP.
“It was such an amazing weekend and after being postponed twice, our cocktail party on the Friday night provided an incredible opportunity to see people face to face. There were a lot of new faces and a lot of old friends,” said TWAL chair, Jacquelene Brotherton.
On the Saturday, day two of the conference kicked off with a special breakfast sponsored by Viva Energy Australia, with the opening keynote delivered by author of ‘Clarity Simplicity Success’, Jacqui Alder. NTI’s chief people and operations officer Kerrie Challenor then took to the stage, with a session called ‘Driving the difference and succeeding in a non-traditional role’.
This was followed with numerous sessions, including one hosted by the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator’s CEO Sal Petrocitto and director of national compliance services Kim Denyer, which focused on Chain of Responsibility (CoR) and compliance.
A conference dinner was held in the evening, sponsored by PACCAR Australia and Cummins, where Life Membership was awarded to Pam McMillan. She joined the board of TWAL in 2000, soon after its incorporation; and served as Chair for 11 years.
On the Sunday, following a breakfast sponsored by Volvo, with Philippa Wood delivering the breakfast address, Driving the Difference scholarship winners shared their stories about the opportunity afforded to them through the initiative.
There was also an interactive session with the TWAL Board discussing the future of TWAL.
The closing keynote was delivered by ‘The Dating Doctor’, David Coleman, via Zoom. “He just had the audience enthralled. It was a fully interactive session and the participation from the audience exceeded both mine and his expectations,” added Brotherton.
“Everybody there was so pumped about having a face-to face event and finally being able to see each other. We’ve waited quite a while – the last conference was in 2018. This event should have happened in 2021 as it is usually every three years. We’re now moving back to a two year break rather than a three year break, so will be announcing a 2024 conference in the near future.
“It all went fantastically well. We had wonderful and inspiring speakers, the program had great content, there were many great take-aways from the conference. One of the comments from our sponsors was the fact that we have so many young people in our membership too. It’s a great mixture of the older generation and the younger generation coming up through the industry.”
Brotherton also thanked all of the sponsors, the board and volunteers who made the event come to fruition.