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Inspirational women share their stories
The annual ICMI Women in Leadership showcase returned to Melbourne this year and certainly didn't disappoint, with all four highly-regarded speakers sharing their informative - and at times, emotional - stories with the captive audience.
Wycheproof firefighter Laura Bish was joined by Volunteer Sustainability Team member Bec McDonald at the event, after Laura was identified by her Catchment Team as deserving of recognition for the integral role she plays not just in her Brigade, but also in her community.
Laura has been a member and operational firefighter with the Wycheproof Fire Brigade since 2012, and is currently tasked with the roles of 4th Lieutenant and Brigade Community Safety Coordinator. Laura is widely recognised as an exceptional role model by those who know her.
Nicole Livingstone OAM welcomed attendees to the event and kept proceedings on track as the afternoon's MC. Her bubbly personality was infectious from the very beginning. Nicole then introduced Dianne McGrath, one of only 100 remaining candidates for the future Mars One space mission.
"If you see life as an experiment, it gives you the permission to try, to fail, to succeed and to learn," said Dianne.
Sadhana Smiles, CEO of Harcourts Victoria, was then welcomed to the stage to share her experiences as a business woman and mother. Sadhana was impressive in her determination to achieve equality for all and was able to engage the audience with her witty manner.
2015 Queensland Young Australian of the Year Yassmin Abdel-Magied followed by explaining the concept of bias, problems caused by bias and discussing the benefits of increased diversity in all workplaces.
"Never underestimate your ability to change the world around you," said Yassmin.
Last but certainly not least to address the crown of over 500 was Olympic and Commonwealth track cycling champion Anna Meares OAM, who not only had the uncanny ability to make the audience laugh - but also cry. Anna spoke of her journey as a four-time Olympian and showed incredible strength when sharing the difficulties she faced following her horrific accident in 2008.
"There is no guarantee of outcome - only process and application," said Anna.
The afternoon was wrapped up with a few more tears, both on stage and in the audience, as ICMI presented Anna with a cheque for $5000 towards charity Cycling Cares. Charity Cares campaigns for a cure for Motor-Neurone Disease, in support of former Cycling Australia Coach Gary West.
A truly incredible day was had by all attendees, with both Laura and Bec keen to share their learnings with colleagues and friends alike after returning home. For more information visit ICMI on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ICMISpeakers/