IWD 2023 Wrap Up and Thank You

09 Mar 2023

On 8 March 2023, Hands Across the Water hosted its annual International Women's Day (IWD) breakfast to an audience of 190 guests in the brand new venue space at the Art Gallery of NSW in Sydney. It was a beautiful morning to network and engage in an inspiring conversation led by our speaker panel of women in media.

Facilitated by Gemma Action, Network Finance Editor at 7 News, our panel of women including Michelle Gunn, Editor in Chief of The Australian and Natalie Harvey, National Sales Director Channel 7, addressed topics from the choices they made when they were just starting out, to what they consider their biggest successes and failures today and how they #EmbraceEquity in their lives. We encourage everyone to continue the conversation with your colleagues, partners, families and teams around these topics.

Most notably for our Hands team were the points about:

Embracing what is uncomfortable to push us further. Natalie talked about being comfortable in a role and then looking to take on something that made her uncomfortable was how she progressed in her career. When we are often on the end of our perceived limitations, that is where we can achieve great things.

We are not presented with challenges because we are doing something wrong, but because we are doing something right. As Michelle said, "failures" produce grit, and that grit can actually make you better down the line.

Back yourself! When in doubt, just back yourself. You might fall, but it will be a beautiful journey picking yourself back up. And, to Nat's point, if we surround ourselves with people who uplift us and support us, this becomes even easier.

Define your own success. Michelle said we can be anything we want to be - for us at Hands this is our hope for our kids, but first we have to be able to see that opportunity. We can’t aspire to be what we can’t see.

At Hands Across the Water, we measure our success by the choices that our kids have when they leave our homes. Knowing they have university support, they can begin to see themselves as graphic designers, scientists, teachers, or airline staff, so they can aspire to be these things, turning their dreams into choices that become reality.
You can make a difference for more kids like Aom and May by allowing them the opportunity to have a future of their choosing through university support.

We would like to thank Michelle Gunn, Natalie Harvey, and Gemma Acton especially for your raw honesty in sharing your experiences with us, as well as our event sponsors Betta Stores Designer Appliances and Fisher & Paykel, Julie Wallace for the florals, and Nerys Hancock from Clifton Creative Photography for the beautiful photos.

Finally, thank you to all our guests in attendance. It was great to engage and connect with you, to be inspired with you, and to #EmbraceEquity.

If you enjoyed this event, look out for the Future of Leadership Conference launching 20 March 2023.

All photos courtesy of Clifton Creative Photography