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The panel of guest speakers L-R Kim Painter – head teacher, Technology & Business Services TAFE NSW, Joanne Reid – Chief Inspector Coffs/Clarence Police District, Liz Fairweather – coordinator Community & Industry Engagement, Clarence Valley Council, Skye Sear – General Manager, New School of Arts, and Michelle Hockings – area manager, Invocare who encompass Grafton and District Funerals. Image: Lynne Mowbray

Grafton celebrates International Women’s Day

Lynne Mowbray|

The Grafton Chamber of Commerce hosted their first International Women’s Day with a champagne breakfast on Friday, at the Clocktower Hotel in Grafton.

The event began with an inspiring talk from Kylie Pearson – LPM (Leadership, Property, Mentorship) Agent, who spoke about equality and empowering ourselves as women.

Kylie shared her personal journey of balancing a career (within the local real estate industry) and motherhood and the importance of looking after yourself and your own ‘inner journey’.

She said that leadership wasn’t all about us; it was about serving and building people up.

“As a business owner – we could do more,” Kylie said.

“People are feeling empty in their careers and losing touch with their family and themselves.

“You need to give yourself – some self-love.

“You can’t be a good leader, unless you’ve done the inside work,” she said.

Kylies inspirational talk was a great lead in for the following panel of speakers to share their experience in growing their careers, as professional women in the workforce.

The panel included:  Kim Painter – head teacher, Technology & Business Services TAFE NSW; Joanne Reid – Chief Inspector Coffs/Clarence Police District; Liz Fairweather – coordinator Community & Industry Engagement, Clarence Valley Council; Skye Sear – general manager, New School of Arts and Michelle Hockings – area manager, Invocare who encompass Grafton and District Funerals.

Several questions were put to the panel including: What were the biggest changes for them as a woman, over their career; how do they find balance juggling their career with other things in their life; who was the most influential woman in their life and what they can’t start the day without?

The questions gave each of the panellists the opportunity to share their personal reflections, challenges and inner strength throughout their careers. There were several light-hearted comments thrown in by the panellists, which helped to take the edge off their nerves.

The International Women’s Day breakfast was a huge success and enabled those attending to gain a glimpse into the lives of some of our local professional women.

Kylie Pearson was the first guest speaker of the day. Image: Lynne Mowbray
Liz Fairweather – coordinator Community & Industry Engagement, Clarence Valley Council. Image: Lynne Mowbray
Janeen Hampson and Joanne Reid – Chief Inspector Coffs/Clarence Police District.
Image: Lynne Mowbray
Skye Sear – general manager, New School of Arts. Image: Lynne Mowbray
Organisers of the Grafton Chamber of Commerce International Women’s Day L-R Natasha Watkinson and Annmarie Henderson. Image: Lynne Mowbray
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