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  • International Women’s Day 2021, Choose to Challenge

    March 08, 2021


    International Women’s Day 2021, Choose to Challenge

    International Women's Day (IWD) marks the global celebration of women’s achievements, raises awareness about women’s rights, and lobbies for gender and racial parity. Monday, March 8, 2021 marks 110 years since IWD was first honoured and 2021 focuses on “Choose to Challenge”.   

    Renowned as Australia’s knowledge capital and innovation hub, Melbourne is home to some of the world’s brightest female minds who continually inspire, innovate and deliver big impact.

    At the Melbourne Convention Bureau (MCB), we are privileged to work with many of these women and connect them with our clients to collaborate and facilitate strong education programs, powerful knowledge sharing and foster world-leading innovations.

    In celebrating this IWD we share with you some of the remarkable achievements of inspiring Melbourne women who are committed to forging a path toward change for the betterment of society. By challenging the ways to improving people’s lives, these women not only influence and shape the great minds of the future but contribute to the economic value to Victoria as well.

    Professor Bronwyn Fox - Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Enterprise), Swinburne University of Technology

    Club Melbourne Ambassador, Professor Bronwyn Fox, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Enterprise) at Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, has been instrumental in positioning Swinburne at the forefront of manufacturing, building extensively on Australia’s Industry 4.0 strategy. She has led a number of significant initiatives and global research partnerships through her former role as the founding Director of Swinburne’s Manufacturing Futures Research Institute, including establishing the world’s first Industry 4.0 Testlab for additive manufacturing of carbon fibre composites with Australia’s national science agency, the CSIRO.

    Most recently, Bronwyn chaired an expert working group to write a ten-year horizon scanning report for Australia’s Chief Scientist with the Australian Council of Learned Academies (ACOLA) on the Internet of Things. In 2018 Professor Fox was awarded the Global Congress on Manufacturing and Management (GCMM) Research Leadership Award. In 2020 she was awarded the Royal Society of Victoria Medal for Excellence in Scientific Research.

    Professor Susan Davis - Specialist Endocrinologist at Cabrini Medical Centre and Director of the Specialist Women's Health Clinic at Alfred Health Melbourne.

    Club Melbourne Ambassador, Prof. Susan Davis, MBBS, FRACP, FAHMS, PhD, is an NHMRC Senior Principal Research Fellow, Director, Monash University Women’s Health Research Program, and a Consultant Endocrinologist, Alfred Hospital and Cabrini Medical Centre, Melbourne. Prof Davis’s research focus is on women's health, notably menopause and menstrual disorders. She is President of the International Menopause Society, a past president of the Australasian Menopause Society and Fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences.

    Erin Rhoads - Queen Victoria Market Sustainability Ambassador and sustainability blogger at The Rogue Ginger

    Sustainability blogger, writer and speaker Erin Rhoads is on a mission to show the big difference we can all make by rethinking what goes into our rubbish and recycling bins. She wants Australians to take the bin out less and reuse more. Erin is an international media commentator on the zero-waste lifestyle, was a consultant on ABC's award-winning TV show War on Waste, and is a regular contributor for ABC Radio in Melbourne and nationally. Erin is the author of the two books, Waste Not and Waste Not Everyday.

    In 2020 Erin was appointed the Queen Victoria Market’s Sustainability Ambassador to educate shoppers on how to live and shop sustainably at Queen Victoria Market. “The Queen Victoria Market provides the option to buy the exact quantities we need without all the unnecessary plastic that goes into retail supermarket packaging. It is also more sustainable to support local producers that you find at the Market, many of whom are small family businesses,” she said.  Her advice to anyone looking to make changes is to do it slowly. ‘Pick one habit then build on it. You won’t save the planet on your own. But if each of us did just one thing it would help shift the change we need.’

    Sue O’Donoghue – Co-Owner of Green Olive at Red Hill

    Sue O’Donoghue is a co-owner of Green Olive at Red Hill, a beautiful winery, olive grove, and sustainable farm on the Mornington Peninsula. Sue and her husband Greg have spent the last nineteen years transforming their 27-acre property into an award-winning agri-tourism business with a commitment to sustainability. Through establishing a vineyard; building a farm kitchen and store; launching farm classes, tours and tastings; creating a farm brand of food amongst other initiatives, they have challenged the ingrained mindset that a business needs to take shortcuts in order to be profitable.

    Sue’s expertise in business management, product development, and quality management, was an essential part of the creation of Green Olive at Red Hill’s own natural olive oil body products. Her dream is to help people live a good life through the goodness of the whole farm experience at Green Olive at Red Hill. Sue is also a judge for the Victorian Tourism Awards and past board member for the Riding for the Disabled Association of Victoria, not-for-profit encouraging confidence and independence through horse riding. 

    Rebecca Dimitrijovski - Pan Pacific Melbourne Groups, Conference & Events Manager

    Pan Pacific Melbourne Groups, Conference & Events Manager, Rebecca Dimitrijovski is committed to delivering exceptional meeting experiences. Upon completing a Bachelor of Business (Tourism and Event Management), Rebecca has led a team to successfully deliver both domestic and international conferences, events and large-scale accommodation groups.  A working mum of two with a third baby on the way has not slowed her down as she remains committed to managing and developing her team who handle all aspects of business events from initial enquiries, contract management and event management. Alongside working on Pan Pacific Melbourne’s conferences and events, Rebecca has worked very closely with Melbourne Convention Bureau to assist in the bidding of large International Events for Melbourne.

    Sally Cap – Lord Mayor of Melbourne

    Sally Capp was the first directly-elected female Lord Mayor of the City of Melbourne and was re-elected for a second term as Lord Mayor of Melbourne in November 2020. She was the first woman to hold the post of Agent-General for Victoria in the UK, Europe and Israel. She has also served as the Chief Executive Officer for the Committee for Melbourne and Chief Operating Officer of the Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. As Lord Mayor, she provided swift and practical support to businesses and residents affected by the global pandemic and successfully called on the Victorian Government for joint investment to help the city recover. One popular initiative implemented is the outdoor dining program that has successfully helped venues to reopen and continue operating.  She is involved in a number of charities, currently sitting on the board of the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute, the Mary Jane Lewis Scholarship Foundation, and the Melbourne University Faculty of Business and Economics.

    Professor Frances Separovic - Deputy Director of the Bio 21 Institute and pioneer researcher in membranes and proteins, The University of Melbourne

    Prof. Frances Separovic is an outstanding biophysical chemist who is recognised internationally for her leadership in the field of biological solid-state NMR and membrane assembly. Frances is a pioneer in the structural studies of antibiotic peptides in model cell membranes and developed a technique that is being used worldwide to study both the structure of membrane proteins and their effects on the membrane. Her innovative research and multidisciplinary approach have advanced the understanding of how peptides insert into membranes and the application of solid-state NMR to a wide range of systems. Frances was the first woman chemist to be elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science. She was also elected a Fellow of the Biophysical Society and the International Society for Magnetic Resonance, and in 2019 was appointed as an Officer (AO) of the Order of Australia.

    Find out more about Melbourne’s greatest minds and expert sectors.