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Dear Guest,

It's the buzz word these days - leadership - and it's certainly one that has been highlighted during the last year as uncertainty has rained. As a person who is always willing to work on my own leadership style, I have worked hard to gain the trust of the WNA community and have prided myself on being reliable and sincere, but I know I always need to keep learning and growing to keep the good energy and purpose flowing. 

With this week marking my fourth year as CEO of Women's Network Australia, it has been wonderful to reflect on my own personal growth as a leader and the trust I have built within the network. What an amazing four years it has been!

It was absorbing to read Ron Carucci's latest article on what it takes for leaders to master, earn and keep the trust of others in their circles and his four research-based practices are enlightening:
  • Be who you say you are
    • Embody your stated values in your daily actions
    • Acknowledge any inconsistencies with humility and take responsibility
  • Treat others and their work with dignity
    • Create opportunities for others to shine and showcase their talents
    • Be a safe place to fail - be an ally and help others get back on track
  • Balance transparency with discretion
    • Set and keep information boundaries - share information that will help others and keep confidences
    • Offer and invite dissent and feedback to help others improve their work
  • Build bridges that unify people in your organisations and teams
    • Invite greater trustworthiness by creating a greater good with others instead of being antagonistic
    • Create belonging by allowing your people to be their natural selves in a safe environment.
Speaking of leadership, our latest WNA event in Brisbane this week with Marisa Vecchio AM at the iconic Hanworth House was full of female business leaders who really are making a difference in their sectors. The lunch was sublime, the connections were real and I went home on Wednesday night with renewed energy in my step. You can read more about the beautiful lunch and a boutique home further on.

Our events continue to grace our WNA members inboxes and it's only one week until the dynamic and delightful story-telling entrepreneur Simone de Haas graces us in Hobart. You can also prepare for two morning events in Brisbane in July with two kickass women including Jody Sainsbury who believes the future is truly female in mid-July and then Katelyn Aslett who wants to share her incredibly diverse career perspectives and her loves of travel, colour and design. Please register quickly to secure your seats.

I am thrilled our latest Women's Network Magazine Edition is back from the printer. In fact, the lucky members who attended our Hanworth House event already have a copy! You can view some stunning photos and inclusions as a sneak peek on our socials! There will be beautiful winter fashion, inspiring WNA member stories and other exceptional additions. Keep a keen eye on your letterbox as copies will be distributed over the next week or two. 

For a little something else, I will be speaking at The Carers Foundation Australia Fundraising Luncheon today and I've included a powerful reminder of how important our carers are for their loved ones. I have also spotlighted a hybrid business event opportunity to showcase your products and services, highlighted why the Heart Foundation is such a great advocate for walking, and there is a tear jerker Australian Story episode that I think you will just love as it captures the true essence of kindness! 

Please share your knowledge and experiences in our WNA Facebook, Instagram and/or LinkedIn pages so other members can connect or utilise your services and get on top of all your end of financial year paperwork - winning!

Thank you as always for your support of WNA.

Janelle ♥


What a wonderful time we had at the beautiful Hanworth House in East Brisbane on Wednesday this week.

Greeted by Hanworth's Chatelaine Marisa Vecchio AM, we were guided through into the pavilion where we enjoyed warm conversations and chilled bubbles! We learnt more about the story of Hanworth House, its restoration and Marisa's determination to complete this long-term project, despite it being almost completely destroyed by fire.

It was our first Bespoke Luncheon of 2021 and our guests were thrilled to take away with them gorgeous gifts from Hanworth, as well as a copy of our Winter Edition Women's Network magazine which was still hot off the presses!


We are delighted to have Simone de Haas as our guest speaker at the next Hobart event and she will be presenting on the "Perfect Pitch: the Art of Sharing Your Business Story".

Stories can be powerful business tools and successful leaders use them to engage their teams. Entrepreneurs use the art of storytelling to drive sales, and speakers use stories to transform. With this in mind it stands to reason that if you want to create greater personal and business influence, you need to learn how to tell a good story. Stories can change the way we think, feel and act.

Stories can capture our imaginations, illustrate our ideas, arouse our passions, and inspire us in a way that cold, hard facts often can't. Throughout this dynamic presentation, multi-award winning Theatre Director & Entrepreneur, Simone de Haas will share her top tips for identifying your perfectly persuasive business story, the techniques for sharing it most effectively, and how to monetise your message for increased sales and customer engagement.

Simone is a Corporate Story Strategist, International Speaker and Mentor, and Executive Speaking Coach. She specialises in helping business owners, entrepreneurs, and CEO's tell their entrepreneurial story in a way that resonates with their target market - and in doing so, help them better monetise their products and services.

Hosted at the delightful RACV Hobart Hotel, Collins Street, Hobart, you will be welcomed with a drink on arrival, followed by a sit down two course luncheon. Don't miss out - secure your event tickets today.


Get comfortable with the idea of change...says our Guest Speaker, Jody Sainsbury from Kickass Women. Working for a global resources company has given Jody an interesting glimpse of the latest innovations - an "Internet of Things" through which everyday objects communicate with one another are no longer things of the distant future.

In saying that, Jody hardly recognises herself these days. Jody is not talking about the way she looks, but rather what she does. For the past eight years in Jody's role as a coal train driver she has learned more from her transformation from high heels to high vis than just the fact that women indeed need to be retrained, mobile, and tech savvy to adapt to the new world of work skills.

Kickass Women kicked into gear in advocating and putting plans in place for the development of the future of work for women...defining her. A campaign about promoting the future skills women will require to work alongside with Artificial Intelligence and automation and that by relearning and rearming ourselves, both by nature and by culture, women are better placed to benefit from learning how to work with the Bots.

Join your fellow WNA members on Thursday 22 July:


The Paddington Tavern, Given Terrace, Paddington


Katelyn Aslett has an incredible story and life journey to share. Some key childhood moments stood out that shaped her life and outlook to live fearlessly, with adventurous spirit, love and self belief. Katelyn started her solo travels when she was just 18 years old – to Africa. Here, she did community work assisting to build a school and dispensary. She also helped set up White Rhino rescue stations. Later in her early 20's she helped set up an organic flower farm. This started the next life journey when she became a creative designer for the next 20 years with her fashions being shown in New York, Paris and Hong Kong. 

She is currently in the corporate aviation world with Adagold Luxe, an industry impacted heavily by COVID-19. Katelyn has now, in her own words, "returned to my future" and created My Giving Table. Come and hear from Katelyn - her “why”, her lessons and journey in life. We are delighted to be hosting our South Brisbane event at Ralph & Co, Camp Hill with one of our newest members. Seating is limited to just 30 places, so get in quick this one is going to be a sell out!


The Carers Foundation Australia started over 15 years ago when Ronnie Benbow and her husband Michael began hosting Carer Retreats for unpaid family carers. Being a Registered Nurse with a passion for helping others, Ronnie personally knows the relentless demands and debilitating stress that family carers endure daily having experienced the hardships of this role herself. Ronnie cared for Michael after a near fatal accident that left him paralysed from the neck down and she was also the carer for one of her sons who had a serious medical condition.

Ronnie and Michael would see carers arrive for their Retreat Programs that were stressed, exhausted, and riddled with guilt for taking time out. They realised there was nowhere for overwhelmed carers to go when they were at breaking point. After these Retreat Programs, Ronnie could visibly see these carers would leave feeling refreshed, happier and more resilient and ready to face the caring challenges back at home.

There are currently over 2.7 million registered carers in Australia who support others through accidents, illnesses, cancer, mental illness and many other heart-breaking conditions and there are many others who are not registered who provide these life-saving services for others. The Carers Foundation Australia also importantly supports young carers who are often thrust into these caring roles as young as eight years of age.

I am fortunate to be guest speaking at today's Who Cares? Fundraising Luncheon alongside Dr Dinesh Palipana OAM (Qld Australian of the Year) and Chithrani Palipana, Dinesh's carer and mother, just to name a few. It will be a special day to celebrate those who truly are legends in their own households, in their communities and for the people they care for.

You can also hear directly from Ronnie in 3AW's latest podcast - 'Who Cares for the Carers?'


I was privileged to attend the 2021 Asia Pacific Cities Summit and Mayors' Forum VIP Stakeholder Reception at City Hall in April this year and it was a fantastic event for all that attended. I am just as excited about the 2021 Asia Pacific Cities Summit & Mayor's Forum Special Edition which will be held in Brisbane, home of the APCS from 8-12 September 2021. The event was created by Brisbane City Council and is an internationally acclaimed, award-winning gathering of city and business leaders from across the Asia Pacific and beyond. Inspiring speakers, high-calibre networking opportunites and top-level insights will equip attendees to meet the challenges and opportunities for the new world.

The program theme is "Redefining Cities through Opportunities and Challenges." Delegates will have the option to attend in person or digitally as a virtual delegate and you can view the program outline here.

Early bird registrations for the APCS Special Edition are now open until 29 July and you can register here. You can also sign up today to get the latest information and news about the event. You can also showcase your products or services to key decision-makers through the Exhibition opportunity.


I love Sunday mornings for the fresh air, the warmth of the sun on my back and the meditative freedom walking provides. I have always been fond of the purposeful work that the Heart Foundation accomplishes for the community and their fierce advocacy for better health for all Australians. Their most recent initiative - Free personalised walking plans is a great idea for everyone who wants to walk more and find that bit of extra health and happiness.

All you need to do is complete the two minute questionnaire and you will be on your way to a healthier and fitter you. I love that it's not about walking for hours and hours, but rather short and sharp walks can increase our health and vitality just as much! Over the six week period, the Heart Foundation experts will help you with a personalised plan.

The walking program cards are a great way to keep track of your progress along the way and the Heart Foundation keeps you on track with weekly updates and regular tips!

If you need more information you can email the Heart Foundation and check out their socials for inspiration!


Louise Pleming has been a professional tennis player and travelled the world in her role as a Grand Slam tennis commentator for tournaments such as the Australian Open and French Open. She is known for her kindness and her giving nature and in more recent times, her latest venture Rally4EverAus has proven to be one of her best yet.

Inspired by her friendship and mentorship with Brian Burton, a man who has seen the hardships of life through homelessness and mental illness, Louise started the Charity to help others who may be experiencing loneliness, isolation and have also suffered the debilitating effects of homelessness, through tennis, movement and connection. 

If you have 30 minutes over the weekend, the latest Australian Story episode - "Bouncing Back" will leave you a little bit teary and with some positive butterflies in your stomach. Kindness really does make the world go round!

Do you know someone who would benefit from being part of WNA? 

Feel free to forward our Member Benefits link so they can join too! 


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