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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.



1.4 Stories of Female Leadership network