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Women of Influence support the next generation

14 November 2014

Board And Management Joint Winners Belinda Hutchinson QBE And Rebecca Dee Bradbury Mondelez International With Westpac

Belinda Hutchinson AM, Chancellor Sydney University and Rebecca Dee-Bradbury (former Mondelez CEO) shared the award in the Board/Management category of the 100 Women of Influence Awards in 2013. Both women (pictured here, Belinda at left with Westpac's Carolyn McCann centre and Rebecca at right), following the receipt of the award, determined to set up ongoing programs for young women leaders.

Rebecca has teamed up with St Leonard’s College Brighton East Victoria in a program which links middle school girl students (Years 8/9) to a sister school in an indigenous community on South Goulburn Island.

Belinda has set up a scholarship to assist a female student at Sydney University.

Women of Influence

“My objective,” Belinda explains, “was to support a young woman from a low socio economic background who had demonstrated significant commitment to their community.”

The University agreed to name the fund “The Chancellor’s Women’s Market Scholarship” and the inaugural scholarship was awarded to Alyssa Searles.

Already successful in receiving one of the University’s early offer Year 12 (E12) scholarships, a scheme designed for students from low socio economic backgrounds to make their path into university easier, Alyssa’s Chancellor’s Women’s Market Scholarship has provided her with further support. 

Alyssa has a long list of leadership achievements and contributions to her local community and was one of a number of high calibre applicants for the scholarship.

Women of Influence at school

In Rebecca’s case she has been involved with the Head of the Middle School at St Leonard’s College, Chris Appel. He has framed a program that she believes will have a sustained impact. The first award recipient for the young leaders programme funded by the 100 Women of Influence award is Stella Wadeson, who is in year 8. 

According to the school, Stella has been involved in raising significant funds for a recent journey to South Goulburn Island. In the inaugural trip, staff and students connected with the Warruwi Community School on South Goulburn Island. The raised funds went to the community centre currently being developed on the island. The College is also looking to assist with the resources of the College as well as gain a deeper understanding of the staffing and requirements in this area as the relationship, school-to-school, develops.

Stella’s award will give her further involvement in year 9 as she guides those, younger than her, with passion in this area.

“It’s a great story of how we can catalyse change and encourage female leaders at critical inflection points in their lives,” says Rebecca.

“Role modelling is a critical enabler of diversity, particularly peer to peer. To have the opportunity to acknowledge and support emerging female leaders in this way is immensely exciting,” Rebecca finishes.

What’s happening in other areas

SHE Leads Adelaide (1)

On a similar note, we’ve been speaking with the YWCA around its SHE Leads program and what’s happening around Australia.

Begun in Adelaide in 2012, the SHE Leads Program has since been launched at the YWCA Canberra (2013) and in 2015 will also begin delivery at YWCA Queensland. Other states and territories are also exploring future delivery of this Program in formats relevant to local markets.

Women still face discrimination when trying to access leadership roles, and are significantly underrepresented in leadership across our community including in politics, business, media, sport and the cultural sector.

This discrimination is exacerbated by rigid gender roles and stereotypes, creating negative body image and lack of confidence which is effecting girls as young as 9. 

YWCA Leadership programs strive to create respectful, age appropriate and culturally safe environments where women can practice and receive feedback on their leadership skills. Programs support young women to become connected and include mentoring and access to role models.

YWCA Adelaide’s third annual 10-month personal and professional leadership development SHE Leads Program has begun.

With a maximum of 20 participants per year, YWCA Adelaide’s SHE Leads Program covers theory, practical application and personal reflection on topics such as leadership styles, managing teams, finance, and project management and is designed to increase the skills, confidence, knowledge and leadership ability of graduates.

“Our vision is stronger communities through the leadership of women and girls and our SHE Leads Program is one of the great pillars of fulfilling this vision,” says YWCA Adelaide Chief Executive Liz Forsyth.

To see the Program Guide and to download a Registration form for the Adelaide Program visit

YWCA Canberra

YWCA Canberra has been delivering a gender responsive Diploma of Management course for emerging women leaders for the past 18 months.

SHE Leads Diploma of Management supports women to develop their own leadership identity. From the youngest to the oldest YWCA leaders give and receive guidance in their practice of leadership at home, work, in politics and in the community.

YWCA Canberra’s next SHE Leads Program begins in February 2015 concluding in October 2015.

The YWCA SHE Leads program offers gender analysis of leadership and management theory and practice. It provides a customised curriculum addressing the specific needs of women, either in the early stages of their career or reigniting their career after a break.

The course is run as a full-day monthly class held between February 2015 and October 2015.

Potential participants who want to know more should have a look here:

YWCA Queensland

YWCA Queensland will introduce its first SHE Leads Program in 2015 – starting Tuesday, February 3, 2015.

Delivered one day per month, students will also benefit from lunch-time Q&A panel discussions with local industry leaders within each month’s subject focus. Students receive a nationally accredited Diploma of Management on successful completion of all required course work, most of which is assessed in-class.

For further information for potential participants, visit: