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‘Never take no for an answer’: Highlights from our International Women’s Day Luncheon

Our inaugural International Women’s Day (IWD) Luncheon, on March 2, at the Brighton Beach Hotel, was a celebration of extraordinary women.

With this year’s IWD theme being #BreakTheBias, we asked our event speakers and panel guests to share their experiences in facing bias and inequality.

COO Thea McCroary set the scene with her own experience in workplace inequality

“Prestige and the care industry are in contrast with my former career in the finance sector.

None of you would be surprised to learn that my workplaces during this time were by and large boys’ clubs, where a thick skin and ability to down a pint of beer were criteria if you wanted to succeed.

Now, as both a mother and leader, these were not qualities I wanted to emulate within our culture at Prestige.

Throughout my career, I’ve been fortunate enough to have many people believe in me and support me in growing into the leader I am today. I want all women who work for Prestige to have the same opportunity,” said Thea.

Susan Alberti AC delivered a truly unforgettable speech 

The sold-out room was quiet, and tears were shed as Susan Alberti AC so openly shared the tremendous losses she’s experienced, with both her husband and daughter unexpectedly leaving this earth far too early. And what followed: her going on to lead the large building corporation she’d started with her husband, and in honour of her daughter, a charity that would raise over $200 million to help find a cure for type 1 diabetes. 

We were kept captivated and inspired by Susan as she then shared how she played a pivotal ‘behind-the-scenes’ role in the establishment of the women’s football league (AFLW). And how she remains committed to supporting ‘every little girl out there’ in ‘reaching for the stars.’

“Tell them anything’s possible. Dream big. Work hard. Never take no for an answer and never give up,” was Susan’s response when our CEO Nick McDonald asked: “What’s the best advice fathers can give their daughters?”

We heard from two powerhouse figures in our industry

Sue Williams, CEO Cabrini Health, and Julie Murphy, General Manager Clinical Services Palliative Care South East, joined Susan on stage for a panel discussion that covered everything from what International Women’s Day means to them, to how both Cabrini Health and Palliative Care South East have been supporting the community throughout the recent challenging years we’ve all experienced. 

Thank you to our event partners – HESTA, Perpetual, Palliative Care South East, and Cabrini Health – for helping us bring this special event to our community.