On Wednesday 8 March 2017, an enlightening International Women’s Day Breakfast was held at the spectacular Mornington Racecourse with over 400 attending. The weather was perfect, the breakfast delicious and the speakers inspirational. The project is a collaborative effort by Frankston North Rotary and the Frankston, Peninsula 2.0 and Mount Eliza Rotary clubs. The money raised will be allocated to local community projects.
The first speaker, Kate Carnell AO, started with a quote from John Lennon: Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans. This is how she explained her life, from her early years as a pharmacist to her current role as Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman. Early in life she realised that to succeed in business you need to make people feel important: to listen to and be interested in both staff and customers.
After a successful 15-year career in pharmacy, including being the first female National Vice-President of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia, she went on to serve as Chief Minister of the Australian Capital Territory from 1995 to 2000, and has since held various CEO roles. To succeed in your life and career, Kate’s advice is to be ethically true to yourself, engage with the community and be willing to take risks.
The second speaker, Susan Berg, author of The Girl Who Lived, recounted the trauma when, as a 15 year old, she was the sole survivor of a boating accident that claimed the lives of her mother, father and brother. Suffering from survivor guilt, Susan charged down a path of self-destruction. In the following years she continued to face significant challenges and hardship, including domestic violence.
Then, at age 30, when she escaped death again in a fatal motorbike accident, Susan turned her life around, refusing to remain a victim of her past. She fought through her demons – learning to love herself and life again. In January 2017, she faced her greatest fear, open water, and swam the Lorne Pier to Pub. Then, on 26 February 2017, she completed the Rip Swim across Port Phillip. This was all part of her ongoing journey of self-healing, and to encourage other women to confront and overcome their fears.