Women's Leadership Network host special guest

Photo: Jesinta Burton.
Photo: Jesinta Burton.

Esperance Activ Foundation have hosted the third instalment of the Women's Leadership Network on Tuesday evening, April 16, lead by their chief executive officer.

Activ Foundation CEO Danielle Newport travelled from Perth to attend the event, a monthly initiative established by the Esperance Chamber of Commerce and Industry in a bid to increase the number of women in local workplaces.

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Ms Newport discussed her career to date, as well as the challenges she had faced since stepping into the lead role at the state's largest disability service more than three years ago.

With more than 1,300 staff and 2,000 customers across 100 locations, Ms Newport said she was driven every day by a sense of justice.

"For a lot of us, whether we're working in the government sector or commerce or we volunteer, a really strong sense of justice is what motivates us," she said.

"I've been exceptionally lucky all of my life.

"I enjoyed school, I had great parents that supported me and everything kind of went my way.

"I don't believe it should be about luck.

"In society, I believe we should make sure that everyone gets opportunities no matter what.

"My sense of being a lucky person translates into really wanting to make sure that everybody gets, if not all, most of the opportunities they can.

"That's what we do at Activ - we support people with disabilities.

"We start with the expectation that you should be living a normal life, the same lives that we all lead, and it's about what we can do to help achieve that."

Having studied and pursued a career in accounting for the majority of her working life, Ms Newport said her role at Activ had encouraged her to lead with her heart and not just her head.

"I'm super passionate about what I do - and it makes a difference," she said.

"I started out as an accountant. I was a good accountant, I was efficient, I had a lot of qualifications and I worked very hard.

"The whole of my career, much of my job had been about my head.

"There is something about this organisation that gets you here [heart].

"I know that everyone in the organisation wants to do the right thing.

"I brought my heart to the table as executive, it scared me because I cared desperately."

The presentation concluded with a question and answer session before Esperance Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive officer Kylie Ryan extended thanks to those in attendance.

For more information about the Esperance Women's Leadership Network events, contact Ms Ryan on 9071 5142 or email ceo@esperancecci.com.au