The Esperance Chamber of Commerce and Industry have hosted Minister Sussan Ley as part of the launch of their new Esperance Women’s Leadership Network.
The 'Meet and Greet' was held on Thursday, February 28, and was attended by more than 60 women of all ages.
Mrs Ley, the Assistant Minister for Regional Development and Territories, spoke at length about her experiences as a young woman entering the workforce and the many hurdles she faced.
Mrs Ley stressed to all attendees and younger members of the audience that everyone had the potential to be a leader.
“If you’re not already leaders, I’m sure you will be," she said.
“Leadership is a weird concept that people might attach to someone like me, someone like your shire president, someone like the principal of your school, but everyone, everywhere, is a leader.
“Everyone’s life is different and everyone’s experiences are different but, as women, it won’t have escaped you that we need more women in leadership positions.
"Wherever I go, I like to encourage women, whether they’re 12, 22, 62 or anything in between, never to have that little voice inside you that says ‘that won’t work, I won’t fit in there’ or ‘people will look at me and laugh’.
“As women in the modern world, I know that you have got something to say.
"The more women we get into local government, any organisation, the better the decisions that come out of those bodies will be.
"I really, really want to encourage you to put yourself forward, don’t overthink it, just do what needs to be done next.”
“When I first stood up to make a maiden speech in parliament, I had never spoken in public before.
"It was quite incredible to get to that point, to stand up there and realise that was something I’d never done.
"Something I have to stress is that you get there and you learn - you don’t have to be perfect.”
Esperance Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive officer Kylie Ryan extended thanks to those that attended and Esperance Business Local adviser Tammy Maloney for her presentation on Women in the Workplace and strategies for overcoming Gender Gaps.
" It was both humbling and inspiring to meet with over 60 amazing women of all ages who are at different stages in their lives and career journeys," she said.
"A special thank you to Jennifer O’Bourne and Rick Wilson for making it possible for the Hon Sussan Ley MP to speak at the launch about her journey from an awkward schoolgirl to Federal Minister."
O'Connor MP Rick Wilson and Minister Sussan Ley also donated a signed copy of 'Speeches That Changed the World' as a Door Prize that went to Esperance Senior High School head girl Anna Smith.
For more information or to get involved with the initiative, contact Ms Ryan on 9071 5142 or firstname.lastname@example.org