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Sisterworks International Women's Day Breakfast

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Event description

Join us for an inspiring morning of celebration, empowerment, and connection as we come together to support migrant, refugee, and asylum-seeker women in the lead up to International Women's Day. Our event will be a rich discussion on real-world ways to achieve economic empowerment for women, featuring a stellar lineup of speakers and the impactful stories of our Sisters who have participated in SisterWorks programs.

        Tickets close on Wednesday 28 February - secure yours today! 

        Key Highlights:

        • Economic Empowerment Discussion: Dive into the real-world strategies for women's economic empowerment and learn how it can transform lives. Our Sisters will share their experiences, shedding light on the impact of economic empowerment and offering insights on how we can collectively drive positive change.
        • Networking: Meet and make connections with like-minded change makers who are passionate about empowering womenand improving their economic outlook. 
        • Support SisterWorks: This event is a major fundraiser for SisterWorks, with all proceeds helping to provide support to migrant, refugee and asylum-seeker women in becoming economically empowered.
        • Sit Down Breakfast: Enjoy a delightful sit-down breakfast in the company of like-minded individuals who share a passion for supporting women's economic empowerment.

        Why Attend?

        This year, the official UN theme for International Women’s Day is "Count Her In: Invest in Women. Accelerate Progress." Acknowledging that women’s economic empowerment is central to a gender equal world. When women are given equal opportunities to earn, learn and lead – entire communities thrive.

        Despite significant progress, women continue to face obstacles in achieving equal participation in the economy.

        SisterWorks has been steadfast in its mission since 2013, economically empowering over 2500 women from 105 countries through entrepreneurship and employment programs. This event will showcase the stories of these women, highlighting the positive impact of economic empowerment.

        Fundraiser for SisterWorks

        Your attendance at this event will contribute to an important cause. All proceeds will go towards empowering more migrant women through SisterWorks programs, ensuring that the mission of economic empowerment continues to make a lasting impact.

        Let's come together, celebrate the achievements of women, and work towards a more inclusive and empowered future. Join us at SisterWorks' International Women's Day Breakfast – where empowerment begins!

        Proud Sponsors Keolis Downer

        Keolis Downer (operator of Yarra Trams) is proud to partner with SisterWorks to deliver on our shared goal of economically empowering women. Engaging with SisterWorks is integral to realising our social procurement commitments and we look forward to delivering more impact together this year.


        Shabnam Safa - Keynote Speaker

        Shabnam Safa - Keynote Speaker

        Shabnam is a driven community development practitioner who is passionate about cultivating true partnerships between communities and structures of power to create lasting solutions and social change.
        She grew up as a Hazara Afghan refugee in Pakistan before arriving in Australia at the age of 15. Inspired by her own experience of forced displacement, she is a strong advocate for meaningful participation of refugees in addressing the complex challenges of resettlement, inclusion, and belonging.
        Shabnam has founded and led multiple initiatives in Australia and abroad supporting refugees and host communities. She is part of a small national team at the Community Refugee Sponsorship Australia (CRSA) working to establish a holistic community-led refugee sponsorship program in Australia, building community capacity to welcome newcomers. She is the inaugural Chairperson at the National Refugee-led Advisory and Advocacy Group (NRAAG), a refugee-led organisation creating spaces for effective elevation of voices with lived experience in key decisions, policies, and discourse about refugees.
        A Director at the Centre for Multicultural Youth, Shabnam also serves on multiple government advisory boards influencing policy design and program delivery to devise unique solutions for the unique challenges and opportunities facing refugee and migrant communities in Australia. She is an emerging leader in the Afghan Australian community and since the fall of Kabul in August 2021 has been one of the leading voices behind the Action for Afghanistan campaign.
        She was recently inducted to the Victorian Honour Roll of Women for her tireless work in promoting refugee rights, social cohesion, meaningful diversity and inclusion. Fun fact about Shabnam: she is also a former Karate champion with multiple national and international titles to her name. 

        Maha Sukkar - Event MC

        Maha is a dynamic public speaker, that can hold a room of people with flair and good humour. She has been actively involved at SisterWorks since 2021 and has been integral in spreading SisterWorks key mission, including being involved in several of our events.Originally from Lebanon, she understands the experiences of our Sisters migrating to Australia and is passionate about raising the organisations profile. “As a migrant woman, I love being part of SisterWorks because of their work, which helps amplify, empower and elevate women who are refugees, asylum seekers or migrants.” Says MahaMaha was named “Australian Muslim Women of the Year” at the Australian Muslim achievement awards (AMAA) in 2009. In 2010, she was awarded the Australian Council for Women and Policing Bravery Award in recognition of her work with multicultural communities.In 2018, Maha was added to the Victorian Honour Roll of Women. In 2022 Maha was awarded the inaugural Australian People of Colour Corporate Legend of the Year Award.

        Vivienne Nguyen - Panelist 
        Chairperson, Victorian Multicultural Commission (VMC)

        Viv has an extensive track record as a business executive and a community leader in the corporate, community and government settings. She has held roles at AMP Asset Management and ANZ Banking Group where she was the Head of Risk Management for the ANZ Margin Lending portfolio and their diversity strategy.
        Viv became a member of the Order of Australia for significant service to Victoria’s multicultural community and has played a critical role in the Victorian government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. She is on the Victorian government’s Anti-Racism Taskforce to help inform and drive the state’s Anti-Racism Strategy, amongst many other interdepartmental committees and ministerial advisory task forces and councils.
        Along with her corporate career, Viv is a tireless advocate for grassroots participation and representation, in civic engagement and participation. 
        She is a recipient of the Centenary Medal, Victorian Women’s Honour Roll and Rotary International’s Paul Harris Fellow.

        Mamiko Nakada - Panelist

        Mamiko has a background as an international aid professional specialising in governance, capacity development and peace-building. After completing a Masters Degree in International Relations in the US, she had been working globally including post-conflict developing countries, designing and implementing projects, policy development in the UN system, and as a bi-lateral donor on official development aid.
        Mamiko started volunteering at SisterWorks as part of the UN Women program and currently is the Head of Programs at SisterWorks. She is also an owner of a handcraft shop and is passionate about linking the two paths in a social enterprise environment and being able to contribute to the women SisterWorks support.

        Omolola Olayanju - Panelist

        Omolola is originally from Nigeria. She is a single mother who fled to Australia in early 2023. Initially she struggled making social connections in Australia, and also experienced financial hardship. Looking after her young daughter, as a single parent in a foreign country, has been challenging. 

        She found SisterWorks last year and completed the Hospitality Program. She was then connected to Delaware North and successfully secured a job. She loves the job and the workplace, as she has settled in and got to know her colleagues she feels valued and respected.

        Abeda Andar - Panelist

        Abeda, a mother of three children, moved from Afghanistan to Australia in 2014 with her husband, who was on a student visa. When it became too difficult to return to Afghanistan they sought and were granted asylum. Being an asylum seeker, she found it hard to access services that could support her in gaining employment, financial security and social connections. She started engaging with SisterWorks in 2022 and has completed the Warehousing Program. After completing the program, she was connected with Loreal where she was successful in securing a job and she has been working as a Pick Packer since 2022. She also volunteers at SisterWorks which has provided her with more confidence in herself. Now she has more financial stability and freedom.

        Carla Purcell - Premier Sponsor Address 
        CEO, Yarra Trams (operated by Keoils Downer)

        Carla Purcell is the CEO of Melbourne’s iconic Yarra Trams network, proudly operated by Australia’s largest provider of multi-modal public transport, Keolis Downer. 
        A Melbourne local, Carla was a passenger long before joining Yarra Trams as Chief Operations Officer in 2018, where she drove significant improvements in safety, customer service and disruption management. 
        A committed leader, Carla consistently delivers results and innovations and puts passenger experience at the heart of her work to ensure that the tram network continues to be a service that Melburnians can be proud of now and into the future.

        Hon. Vicki Ward MP
        Minister for Prevention of Family Violence and Minister for Employment

        Sally Capp, Lord Mayor of Melbourne

        Sally Capp was re-elected Lord Mayor of Melbourne in October 2020 – having previously been elected in May 2018 – and is the first woman to be directly elected as Lord Mayor. Sally’s top priorities are setting the pace and driving a prosperous city economy, helping rough sleepers get more support and a pathway into secure housing, and ensuring Melbourne remains a global leader in environmental sustainability. She is committed to seeing Melbourne reclaim the title of the world’s most liveable city.
        Sally is the current Chair of the Council of Capital Cities Lord Mayors, and also a member of the Federal Government’s Urban Policy Forum. In 2023, she was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia in the King’s Birthday Honours for distinguished service to the people of Melbourne, to local government, to business, and to the community through various organisations. She was also named the McKinnon Emerging Political Leader of the Year in 2019.
        Sally was the first woman to hold the post of Agent-General for Victoria in the UK, Europe and Israel. She has also served as the CEO for the Committee for Melbourne and Victorian Executive Director of the Property Council of Australia. A passionate Collingwood Football Club supporter, Sally made history in 2004 as the club’s first female board member. 
        Sally began her career as a solicitor, after completing Law (Hons) and Commerce degrees at the University of Melbourne. She has held senior roles at both KPMG and ANZ, and co-founded a small business, which she took to the ASX.
        She is involved in a number of charities, currently sitting on the board of the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute, the Mary Jane Lewis Scholarship Foundation and the Melbourne University Faculty of Business and Economics.

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