Opinion

Annual conference rated a huge success

The first weekend of June Transport Women Australia Limited had their eighth conference, the theme of which was Driving the Difference, and it has been deemed a resounding success.

The packed programme began Friday night in Melbourne when the conference was officially opened by Roma Britnell and kicked off a great weekend. 

Saturday began with a breakfast sponsored by Viva Energy Australia where Nick Lubransky and Jessica Spivak engaged in an interview style presentation about the policies that Viva has in place to improve the options for women, especially regarding their superannuation. 

The main programme kicked off with presentations from two inspiring and empowering women, Jacqui Alder of Clarity Simplicity Success, and Kerrie Challoner of NTI. They told amazing stories about their life and career successes.

We then had sessions with NHVR CEO Sal Petroccitto, and Kim Denyer, followed by TWAL collaborations with Inspiring the Future Australia and Training Services NSW in which Adrian Rhodes and Rhonda Stone were interviewed by Ruza Zivkusic of Import Export TV, TWAL broadcast media partner.

After a wonderful lunch sponsored by NTI, we had a session where we spoke about our proposed executive leadership programme, and the Inspired by You project with Manvinder Randhawa. This was followed by interactive session with the TWAL board and the audience, and then Gillian Bristow gave a highly informative session on directors’ obligations which is particularly important for both companies and not-for-profits. 

The afternoon was rounded out by fabulous session of our Woman Driving Transport Careers representatives from Wodonga TAFE, Alex Fraser/Hanson and two graduated drivers Rachel Topp and Tammy DuBose. Matt Wood of Volvo facilitated the panel and showed what a joint venture of this nature could bring to the industry and how successful it had been in graduating female drivers from the programme. 

Tammy and Rachel were wonderful presenters, describing how they became part of the programme, how much they loved truck driving and part of the industry. Tammy had the room in fits of laughter when she questioned Matt’s driving credentials. 

A wonderful dinner followed, sponsored by Packer and Cummins at the dinner where we raised funds via auction with many generous people attending and we thank them for their support. The highlight of the dinner was being able to bestow, our immediate past chair, and longest serving director and chair of transport Women Australia Limited, Pam McMillan with a life membership.

This was presented to Pam during the evening by Coralie Chapman and I. We were proud to be able to make this presentation. 

Sunday morning kicked off with a Volvo breakfast and a presentation by the amazing Philippa Wood, Philippas’ story proved to everyone who attended that she is a great storyteller and after some AV issues we were able to show two incredible Volvo videos.

Listening to Philippa, speak I realised how so rich we are with talented women in our industry and how many role models we have out there to look up to; and we heard from many of them throughout the conference.

Philippa was followed by a session on our Driving the Difference scholarship winners which was facilitated by Stacy Davies of Daimler who was joined by two former scholarship winners Melissa Barry and Hannah Stewart. Our last session was on superannuation post-Covid covered by TWUSUPER. 

Our closing keynote was the absolute high note to end our conference. David Coleman, AKA The Dating Doctor, presented for 90 minutes. No one wanted to let him go. David presented via Zoom from the US about different types of interpersonal relationships and had the audience look to themselves for better insights. 

It was a very interactive session and the audience participated fully and took advantage the information David was prepared to offer. Undoubtedly, we will be hearing more from David in the future. 

  • Jacquelene Brotherton is Chair of Transport Women Australia

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