2021 International Women's Day Event


In Australian companies, only 17.1% of CEO’s are women. While women comprise around 47% of all employees in Australia the national gender pay gap is 14%, a figure that has remained the same for the past 20 years. Isn’t it about time this changes?

The main push behind empowering women is the desire to live in a world where women have access to the same opportunities as men. This encompasses access to education, career opportunities, political influence, economic advancement and the ability to make their own personal career and life choices.

Increased involvement in leadership and non-traditional roles provides women the opportunity to make decisions in respect to social values, development directions and allocation of resources, permitting women to influence societal agendas and to help set priorities.

“Always remember you are BRAVER than you believe, STRONGER than you seem, and SMARTER than you think “

The Empowering Women – an International Women’s Day event will benefit the entire Queensland Region. It is an opportunity for women and men to come together and celebrate the amazing women we have in our region. In 2020 the GEA International women’s day attracted 174 attendees, this year we are going “BIGGER!”

The International Women’s Day event is a 2 course sit down luncheon held at the GECC, attracting approximately 250 to 300 attendees. The event will run from 11:00am to 2:30 pm and include 2 keynote speakers and a panel discussion. Panelists will discuss their real-life experiences as women in leadership and non-traditional roles in industry on how they have overcome challenges throughout their career.

** A GEA initiative – “CQUnicares Gladstone Engineering Alliance Scholarship”. A portion of proceeds raised from the International Women’s Day event will go to a female student for study in the STEMS sector.


Keynote Speakers

Julie McKay

Previously working as the Executive Director of UN Women Australia for close to a decade, Julie McKay has worked tirelessly to advance gender equality and women’s empowerment globally. She has previously served as the Gender Advisor to the Chief of the Australian Defence Force, where she supported the cultural change program within the ADF.

Julie runs a private consulting business, where she has worked with an array of companies, including PwC, Autopia, the QLD Public Service, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Aurizon. Currently convening the QLD Male Champions of Change, Julie has spent over a decade leading QLD based CEOs to advance gender equality in typically male dominated fields. She is also Chair of the Women’s College Council of the University of Sydney, as well as previously holding numerous board positions in the not-for-profit sector.

Julie’s education includes a Master’s in Public Policy from ANU, an Executive MBA from the University of Sydney and recently completed a Churchill Fellowship in the area of women’s leadership.

For her leadership and cultural changes, Julie has been awarded several recognitions, including the 2013 Young Australian of the Year, 2012 Young Telstra Young Business Woman of the Year and the National Award for Excellence in Women’s Leadership.

Lorraine Hatton , OAM

Lorraine was awarded the Order of Australia Medal (OAM), for service to the Indigenous Community in January 2019. She is a Ngughi /Nunukul, female elder. In 1986 Lorraine embarked on a highly successful military career which spanned for over 20 years, providing loyal, dedicated and selfless service to the Australian Regular Army, her country and her people. She retired from the Australian Regular Army, in 2007, after a nomadic career that saw her live both widely throughout Australia and abroad.

She continues to provide service, in her new-found community, as a female mentor with the Beyond the Bronco’s Academy and Ambassador and Mentor for the Preston Campbell Foundation. She has been appointed as the Patron for the Indigenous Youth Mobility Pathways Project (IYMP). IYMP was established in 2006 and is the gateway to post-secondary education for all young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men and women from remote regions, supporting students from over 130 different remote communities across the country at any given time.

To name a few, Lorraine was appointed as the Indigenous Elder of the Australian Army in May 2020. She is also appointed Board President of the Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Dedicated Memorial Committee. In November 2018 Lorraine was selected as the only woman finalist, one of four, for Queensland’s Australian of the Year for 2019.

Panel Speakers

Rowen Winsor (GAICD)
Executive General Manager, People & Community –
Gladstone Ports Corporation
Patrice Brown
CQG Consulting
Belinda Maihi
Mechanical Equipment Technician – Carbon Maintenance
Rio Tinto Boyne Smelters Limited (BSL)
Tanya Canniffe
Business Manager
Mecha Engineering
Olivia Atanasov
4th Year Electrical and Instrumental Apprentice
Gladstone Power Station – NRG

Watch Empowering Women Videos

Julie McKay IWD message

Lorrain Hatton IWD message

#daretointerrupt – Empowering Women video 

Kristin Raman – Australian Gas Infrastructure Group IWD message

GEA IWD Panel Discussion video

Event Photos