Jalbu Jalbu burnie beans.
Since Jawun began, it has facilitated powerful
connections between corporate and Indigenous
Australia. Such connections live on long beyond
the initial introductions by Jawun and are a source
of pride for the organisation in terms of impact.
Several years ago, however, Jawun CEO Karyn Baylis
realised the high-level connections were mostly
male. A successful female leader herself, she pledged
to right this situation with the creation of a unique
network of women.
The first gathering was tentative, a testing of the
water. In November 2015, around two dozen women
from across the country—half Indigenous and
mostly from community organisations, the other half
non-Indigenous and from corporate businesses or
government agencies—gathered for a lunch event
in Sydney. After a panel of distinguished Indigenous
and corporate female leaders spoke, those gathered
shared and celebrated stories of female leadership.
Connections were made spanning mentoring and
friendship, and it was clear that there was enough
common purpose for the group to continue and grow.
In October 2016, a larger event brought together
around 40 women from both Indigenous and
corporate or government backgrounds. With
professional facilitation, the group workshopped
their combined objective. They agreed to connect,
collaborate, and build a coalition of women whose
actions drive change. They resolved to invest in
their own leadership development, but also create
pathways for the next generation of female leaders.
Feedback after the event highlighted the energy,
sharp focus and collective strength in the room.
One participant spoke of a ‘groundswell’, and it
was agreed that the Stories of Female Leadership
network had come to life.
A lot of times I’ve felt the isolation of being in a man’s world,
among a lot of stalwart relationships between men. My hope for
Stories of Female Leadership, and the reason I’m involved, is that
I know the impact women have on communities. And there’s value
in bringing that together and having women support each other.
EXECUTIVE GENERAL MANAGER FOR CAPE YORK PARTNERSHIPS
1.4 Stories of Female Leadership network
2017 LEARNINGS AND INSIGHTS