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Sororum - Issue 2


Issue 2 Autumn 2016

Welcome from the Chair

Dear Members,

It's been an incredible few months since we launched Sororum. I have been in a reflective mood as we approach the 2nd Anniversary of our Society of Women Leaders. This was brought home to me recently on a Friday evening when I received an email from a fellow Member, part of which I want to share with you…

"It really is such an honour to build something special and meaningful together as a team. Our work is so important.

"I daily think about women who don't know about us yet ... perhaps women who are in corporate roles that feel a bit unfulfilled who wish they could do something with their gifts to contribute to something with deeper meaning ... or women who are watching their children grow with somewhat of a heavy heart as they realise that they aren't needed quite so much at the home front anymore and they are wondering if there is something they could sign up to where they can give of themselves and connect with like-minded women ... or even busy working women who are compelled to use their minds as well as their hearts to be engaged in deeper, meaningful philanthropy.

"We are building a place for them all to gather. To contribute. To make friends. To grow and learn. The magic about Society of Women Leaders is that in coming together to help others, we end up helping ourselves! It's so exciting."

These words resonate so deeply with me, as I know they will with you. What an incredible, unique philanthropic circle of women supporting women we are building together.

It's impossible to outline everything we have achieved this year, but I wanted to share some of the highlights:

  • We helped young mums and their children, more than 100 families, to get the best start in life, giving them the support they needed to follow their career or educational dreams, rediscover their self-esteem and heal broken connections with family, friends and their community.
  • We ensured that passionate and highly skilled female aid delegates stayed in the field, working in extremely disadvantaged and remote communities to improve health standards, implement clean water and sanitation and make daily life as safe and rewarding as possible.
  • We directly supported a major water project in Lebanon, which has given thousands of Syrian refugees living in informal settlements access to water pumps and sanitation facilities.
  • We enjoyed a unique series of fully-sponsored, informative and inspiring events. Who could forget the day CEO Christine Holgate hosted us at the Blackmores Campus, recounting personal moments in her life including stories of challenge, loss and joy that have shaped the woman and the strong female leader she is today?
  • We gave countless hours of time and talent to grow our Society of Women Leaders, including volunteering at programs, working on sub-committees and opening our offices, our homes and our hearts to each other in sisterhood.

My heartfelt thanks for your support this year and on behalf of Australian Red Cross I thank you for choosing to be a part of this all-female giving circle. I really hope your year with us has been both fun and rewarding. As we gathered at our events, we heard directly from senior Red Cross leaders about the critical needs in many under-the-radar Red Cross programs, including: support for victims of trafficking and forced marriage; independent immigration detention monitoring; and providing emergency assistance for refugee and asylum seeker families through our migration support work to name just a few.

Our immediate goal is to direct our pooled funding on the advice of our programs sub-committee to this life-changing Red Cross work in the lead up to some very special announcements at our anniversary events . This would not be possible without your financial support and advocacy throughout the year and ongoing support in the year ahead.

To that end, I would like to humbly invite you to consider celebrating our 2nd anniversary by stepping forward to become a Founding Patron of our Society of Women Leaders, by extending your existing Membership to a 5-year pledge. Please know that renewing or extending your Membership to a multi-year pledge will allow us to commit our joint support to multi-year Red Cross programs, where we can have a significant, sustainable impact on the lives of the most vulnerable women and children.

Thank you being the strong, amazing woman that you are. It is my absolute privilege to lead this unique philanthropic sisterhood.

Fondly,

Kimberly
Chair and Founding Patron

An interview with Kimberly Gire

Anita: Tell me about how Society of Women Leaders started in Australia.

Kimberly: In November 2013 I was invited by my friend Miranda Jackson to a special evening at the Sydney Opera House for the Red Cross International Statutory Meeting celebrations. Director of Community Programs for Australian Red Cross, Kerry McGrath, spoke at the event about some of the programs that Red Cross provides for women and children and the guest was Elaine Lyerly, a past National Chair of the American Red Cross Tiffany Circle - a women's giving circle started in the US nearly 9 years ago by the female Chair of the American Red Cross, Bonnie McElveen Hunter, and Melanie Sabelhaus, who is the Philanthropy Chair of the Board. They had previously done some work together with women's giving circles and saw an opportunity to bring the concept to Red Cross. It was so successful in the US, they've raised more than $70M to date, and they decided to share the model with other countries where Red Cross is active.

They initially introduced the concept to Canada, the UK and France and we were the next country to hear about this new initiative. Australian Red Cross decided to launch the program on that night at the Opera House. I listened to a presentation where Elaine spoke about the $10,000 annual commitment to become a member of this unique giving circle. Red Cross wanted to focus the initiative on women and children and there was a call to action for people to put up their hand to become the first member of the Society of Women Leaders. Being an American, although I've lived in Australia for more than 20 years and I'm a dual citizen, I was very familiar with the concept of giving circles and saw the amazing benefit.

A: So you literally 'put up your hand'?

K: Yes, I did!

A: After you pledged to become the founding Member, how did that translate into you becoming the Chair and a Founding Patron?

K: After I joined, in November 2013, I was invited by Miranda to go to a cocktail party that was scheduled in Melbourne for the next week. In the first week of December I was asked to be the keynote speaker for a similar event. I had to quickly do a lot of background research on the Society of Women Leaders and the International Tiffany Circle. I contacted the Founding Members and Chairs of the UK and Canadian Tiffany Circles to get an understanding of how their giving circles were developed and they were extremely helpful. They gave me a great insight into the membership program, the potential, the type of women who were joining, and it solidified in my own mind what it might look like in Australia.

I have a corporate background, a banking background, and saw how we might be able to reach out to women in some of those industries. So I prepared a speech, went down to Melbourne, met a fantastic group of women - Kathleen Bailey-Lord, Amanda Coombs, Kate O'Callaghan - all of them had a great interest and have a similar background to me, and they had great enthusiasm.

When I came back to Sydney I was approached by Red Cross to consider being the Chair. I asked for a few weeks to do some research and to think about the model for Australia. I also had a conversation with Jennifer Gibb, the Red Cross Director of Marketing, Fundraising and Communication, about how the Society of Women Leaders would work with Red Cross, including having Miranda as my partner in creating this women's giving circle.I then agreed to be the Chair as well as pledge for 5 years to become a Founding Patron. We had our first steering committee meeting in February of 2014 in Melbourne.

A: You speak about your background in banking, tell me a little bit about that.

K: I am a 'retired' banker. I started out at Citibank as a graduate on an accelerated management program and as part of that I experienced all different aspects of banking, and had a career from there in treasury, capital markets, largely working on start up programs for the banks that I've worked at - Citibank and then Westpac. I very much enjoyed that. I did a lot of international travel as part of that time in my life and when my husband was transferred offshore as an expat to Hong Kong I decided to take a sabbatical. I had my second child, and started some charity work in Hong Kong and it was at that point that I knew I wanted to make a change in my career. My grandmother and my great grandmother were both social workers and I've always done some form of charity work, particularly in my younger years - I was in a junior giving circle in middle school. I decided to take a different path and take all of the skills I'd gained in banking and apply them for a humanitarian purpose.

From that point on, in about 2000, I started a philanthropic career - all voluntary - initially in Hong Kong with an orphanage called Po Leung Kuk, dealing with very young children in institutionalised care. When I came back to Australia I did some work for Stewart House, which provides respite care for children in crisis and saw that I could use my fundraising and network skills for the benefit of non-profits.

A: So as a philanthropist, what do you enjoy about this career path?

K: I enjoy connecting other people. Somebody once said to me 'you're a great networker'. But I don't see myself as a great networker at all. I'm not doing this to network for myself. I enjoy finding people and bringing people together with different skills who can help make something happen. In this case, a common cause, for philanthropic good. It marries my skills together with what's in my heart.

A: Philanthropy in Australia: what do you think we do well currently?

K: I think Australians are really good at getting behind a disaster. I've seen overwhelming support for bushfires in my earlier work with Red Cross, to tsunamis to earthquakes. Sometimes there needs to be more focus on making sure we're ready and prepared for the disaster that may come, or the every day work that happens more quietly. Many people may not realise these areas need focus and support. Through the work of Society of Women Leaders, we're lucky to understand more of the need in those areas of every day work - the work that might not get the impact funding that a disaster on the news might get.

A: Can you take us back to February 2014. You're inspired by the likes of Kathleen Bailey-Lord, Amanda Coombs and Kate O'Callaghan. You've put up your hand, you've been nominated as the founding Chair. What happened next?

K: I had a lunch with Kellie Robertson, who I know through Westpac Private Bank. She was also at the initial cocktail party at the Opera House, and had recognised my name. We had lunch and decided it might be great to put something on to kick start the initiative - a pre-launch luncheon. Kellie very generously hosted a lunch for us, and at that point I started tapping a few like-minded women, friends, on the shoulder to see if they might be interested. I was socialising the idea, having coffees, presenting it as a start-up - which it was. The Red Cross brand is definitely something that gets people's attention and gets them meeting but the start-up concept of women helping women, and the opportunity to be part of an early steering committee - it really interested a number of women.

Linda Martin who's a friend and ex-banking contact of mine put her hand up to join. Lorraine Tarabay attended the Westpac lunch through Kellie Robertson's sponsorship and asked me on the spot if she could help, and so we had a cohort of amazing women with amazing skills and hearts to get this thing off the ground.

A: Can you break down the model for me. How does it work?

K: In my early research I looked at the US model which is chapter based - so money raised goes to initiatives in the particular city or region where the women live. I looked at the Canadian and UK model and we decided to go with our own version, slightly different. The women were expressing the desire to have a say in where the money is directed, so we have a grant making model where all our donations are pooled - the $10,000 donation per member per year. We pool that money, Red Cross is the beneficiary but they hold that for us until we assess different proposals for funding and we've defined some criteria that we'd like those proposals to meet. So we have a desire to fund programs that benefit primarily women and girls, and we also want to fund things that are really at the margin. If there's another corporate or sponsor out there that really has a good fit for something, we'd like to look at something else where we can make a difference.

A: And since early 2014, how much money has your group raised and what have you done with those pooled funds?

K: We have raised in excess of a $1.2 million dollars, both in cash donations and multi-year pledges. We have a five-year pledge for example, I was the first Member to pledge for five years, to show my commitment to the program but also to show that our funding is aligned to the program needs. It's unusual for Red Cross to need funding for something short term. An average proposal might go 3-5 years from a funding perspective so we wanted to align that with our giving. We have 18 Members who have made multi-year pledges and that's increasing as women start to see their impact of their giving and enjoy their membership to this unique group. I think we'll see that a lot more as we go forward.

The first area we funded was the Young Parents' program. There was a great need to support a gap in their funding for child development work, so we made a $150,000 per year commitment for three years. We also wanted to select a program where we could have a volunteering project - we now have a volunteer liaison - Rowena McGilvray - and she has set up a number of opportunities for our Members to help the Young Parents' Program in a hands-on way.

We also wanted to do something to help Red Cross' international work. We decided the initial way we could have an impact would be to fund a female aid worker. We'd heard from a number of aid workers about the work they were doing in the Philippines and the Ebola crisis zone and we wanted to make sure we could keep those women out in the field. I think more than two thirds of our international delegates are women and we were in awe of what they do. There was a particular position that was in jeopardy and we decided to step up and keep that aid worker in the field.

We also have a program called RespectED which works to prevent violence in disadvantaged communities in Western Australia and Tasmania. And our fourth program to-date provided funding for water in crisis zones, in particular, in a refugee camp in Lebanon which has received thousands of refugees from Syria. Water is one of the weapons of war - it's one of the ways people in conflict zones are undermining their enemy.

A: Fast-forward to 2016, how many Members have you gathered along the way?

K: We have 43 Members. We also have 7 youth Members, my daughter is one of those. Our youth Members are any women in middle school, high school, university - daughters, nieces and other young women who we're trying to expose to philanthropy at a young age.

A: 43 Members in a couple of years. What does the future look like for the Society of Women Leaders? What's your vision for growth and impact in Australia and across the world?

I'd like to see our numbers double. They've doubled in our second year, I'd like to see that trajectory continue. With the momentum we have and the calibre of the women that are joining, their passion to bring the best of themselves and make a difference, you'll see that circle naturally expand and grow. But also, given the unique profile of the women joining from all different industries and all different connections, we have such a great opportunity to leverage the knowledge to bring in corporate sponsorship, matching of funding of some of our key programs, we'd like to do something offshore that we can have an impact in - in a developing country - and actually go out into the field and see the impact of our work.

A: I've also heard some reports that in addition to the pooling of funds, and the collection of these impressive women, you also have quite a bit of fun with your philanthropy. Can you tell me more about your events?

K: The model that has evolved is that philanthropy works with fun and friendship. So whenever we get together, we hear from a specialist - that might be someone in the Red Cross team, or working in the field, or someone who has been helped by Red Cross. I'm so grateful that throughout this processes I've gained a great circle of friends. I knew I'd be working with great women, but it has evolved into something very special. We really do support each other in our personal and professional lives. It's a unique model where you can share an interest that's not about your work, or your kids, it's about helping something greater than all of us. That's a common bond between the Members, but at the same time we celebrate being together. Whether it's at a Boardroom lunch or a night somewhere like Burberry or Paspaley. I think you'll see more and more the women starting to open their own homes to invite in the Members, who are increasingly becoming their friends, to learn and to laugh together. So Lorraine Tarabay recently hosted one of the most enjoyable events at her home. And for our second anniversary, Yang Yang will celebrate with us in her home. That's what it's all about - opening your home, your office, your address book and connections.

A: And are you all volunteers? Do some of you work for Red Cross? How does it operate in terms of governance?

K: We are both donors and active volunteers. That's the concept behind our Society of Women Leaders. We're an auxiliary to Red Cross, so all the funding raised is for Red Cross programs. We sit outside Red Cross, and we have their support, especially through our chosen staff lead, Anita Pahor who is also a Member in her own right. Our volunteering can take many forms, from participating in the national steering committee to helping with events, to analysing the program funding needs. We even have our own volunteer membership engagement team - Members with an interest and passion in making sure our Members have a wonderful and meaningful philanthropy experience. We have women developing databases and others helping us identify corporate relationships.

A: I understand the 43 Members here in Australia form a bigger cohort of women of around 900 members globally. Could you tell me about that?

K: Yes - you join our membership and you are automatically a part of a global giving circle. The American Red Cross who started the initiative have the most members at around 800. They are in their ninth year, heading for their 10th anniversary next year. The Canadians have about 70 women in their society. The UK has about 25. I just received an email this morning that the Netherlands Red Cross has their first three members and at 43 members I think we're the fastest growing Society in the group.

I sit on what's called the International Council. All the Chairs of the various countries come together on a quarterly basis to make sure we're sharing ideas, sharing materials. We also support the development of new societies, and we're looking at new ways of engaging younger women to ensure we keep growing. We also encourage our Members to attend events in other countries. So for example, Canada has their five year anniversary coming up and we are invited to attend in Ottawa in September. The UK has their anniversary event in October and those invites are open to our Members. The US also has a regional summit coming up in South Carolina.

A: And as we finish off today Kimberly - I've loved sitting down and chatting with you - I often see you refer to the history of Red Cross and the role that women played even 100 years ago in the organisation's work. If we were to propel ourselves into the future another 100 years, what do you think history will say about the Society of Women Leaders?

K: I think history will see our Society as a turning point. Red Cross has an amazing history of women making important changes. The organisation itself started at the beginning of World War One, led by a woman - Lady Helen Munro Ferguson. It was the largest volunteer movement in Australia during the war. It has a unique and rich history of women bringing the best of themselves - whether they were at the highest point of society or out in a country town - putting together food parcels for the troops. Red Cross has a history of women coming together to help in any way they can. I think that as that generation has done an amazing first 100 years of work for Red Cross, you'll see a page in the history books of this group of women - our Society of Women Leaders - tweaking that model for the next generation. So while we may not be packing food parcels and knitting socks we are connecting through other means. We are modern women working, we're managing our own money, we're doing all these things that mean we can bring in a new model of support for Australian Red Cross and I think this will be seen as a real turning point.

A: It sounds like you're very proud of your work, do you enjoy it?

K: I love it! My husband says I work full time for Red Cross for free, which is pretty true, but I wouldn't have it any other way. One of the best things I can give is my time and my passion. I love it.

Women bringing hope to the 5-year conflict in Syria

Last month, we marked the five-year anniversary of the conflict in Syria with great sadness.

The communities and families in these regions who are fighting to get back on their feet, or indeed, to stay alive, show incredible courage and resilience. And thankfully, they are not alone in their struggle.

Every year, Australian Red Cross sends more than 100 specialist aid workers overseas to disaster and war zones. From treating wounded patients in a field hospital, to preventing the spread of water-borne diseases after a disaster, these experts work in collaboration with thousands of local Red Cross staff and volunteers on the ground. Our Society of Women Leaders helps make this possible, providing generous funding for passionate, skilled female aid delegates - women like Sarah Davies - to remain in the field.

"As humanitarian workers here, we provide critical support," Sarah wrote about her experiences in Syria, in an article published by the Melbourne Herald Sun.

"Recently we visited one family in a partly built bleak concrete apartment block. This family has barely made it through winter after fleeing four times to avoid danger.

"The mother, father and three children huddled around a small gas burner to cope with sub-zero temperatures. We asked about some modest improvements we made for them - doors and windows to protect from the elements and connecting running water and lights.

"The mother tells us that "everything is fine, thankyou… everything would be perfect if we could just return to our home in Aleppo." Everyone I meet wishes simply to go home.

"All Syrians I know want a different tomorrow. My job has been to restore water supplies and help bring critical services to millions. Five years into the conflict, life gets tougher each day for those who remain. Fuel, food, water, and healthcare become ever more expensive across the country. Only half the country's water services are turned on. Power supplies are crippled.

"My greatest wish for my friends, colleagues and for all Syrians is that they will soon be able to rediscover their home. Until then, they need our support to live beyond fear and hope."

Did you know?

Society of Women Leaders Provide Respite for Young Mums

By Member and Volunteer, Rowena McGilvray

Friday 15 April marked our second respite day for the year. These days are a great way for our Members to get involved and gain more insight into the Young Parents Program. We had 5 Members volunteer on the day helping to take care of babies so that the young mums could take some time out. Our Members all had a positive experience, as you will see in their comments.

"It was such a blessing to spend time with the gorgeous babies. The love and care given by the beautiful carers really touched me." Monika

"It was one of the best moments for me. Please say thanks to Jake's mum and tell her how much I enjoyed the time we spent with him." Yang

"The program is remarkable, I couldn't believe how seamlessly everything works and how routine oriented those beautiful babies are at such a young age. I take my hat off to the staff for setting those essential boundaries around routine and teaching the mums how to raise their bubs. Truly a very important program." Ali

"It was a pleasure spending time with the kids." Crystalynn

We have our next Respite Day on Friday 22 July and we're organising a tour of the Residence in Randwick, Sydney for Members on 15 June where we will see how the young mothers are supported and encouraged on a daily basis followed by light refreshments and a talk. More details will follow shortly and please let Rowena know if you'd like to get involved rowmcgilvray@gmail.com

Thank you (from left) Crystalynn Arya, Founding Patron Monika Tu, Founding Patron Yang Yang, Member Ali McEvoy, and Member Shayne Nealon for giving your time and opening your hearts.

Founding Patron's gift to the elderly

Our gorgeous Founding Patron, Yang Yang recently celebrated a special birthday and surprised us all when she announced that the greatest gift she can get is knowing that she is helping others. Instead of traditional gifts, Yang invited her guests to support the humanitarian work of Australian Red Cross Society of Women Leaders, showing us all that she is as generous and she is gorgeous.

Her guests' donations were pooled into our Society of Women Leaders giving circle and at our recent national steering committee meeting, Yang tabled her request to allocate those funds to the work Red Cross does calling isolated and elderly people across Australia who are living alone, to check in with a friendly call to make sure they are safe and well. It's a beautiful service that helps elderly people to live at home for as long as they would like to and are able.

During her party, Yang gave an eloquent and heartfelt speech (in both English and Chinese) about the sisterhood she has found with her fellow philanthropists. There wasn't a dry eye in the room. Between Yang's touching speech and Leo Sayer's serenade to her for her birthday, an elegant, fun and philanthropic night was experienced by all.

Thank you Yang!

Founding Patron Yang Yang, left, celebrates her birthday with dear friend and fellow Founding Patron Monika Tu.

Events in Australia

In the coming months we have a number of exciting celebrations to help connect you with our Members and with the humanitarian work we are so passionate about. Please contact Anita at apahor@redcross.org.au with any enquiries or to RSVP.

2nd Anniversary Gala Celebrations - you're invited to join the celebrations in Sydney or Melbourne or both

27 May, Cocktails, Sydney

An elegant evening of celebration and renewal with special Society of Women Leaders friends including Blackmores CEO Christine Holgate, Vogue Editor-in-Chief Edwina McCann as well as our wonderful Members and their partners, so don't forget to rsvp soon to celebrate the 2nd Anniversary at Founding Patron, Yang's beautiful private Vaucluse residence.

7 June, Paspaley Cocktails and Dinner, Melbourne

Members will be treated to an intimate evening in celebration of the 2nd Anniversary of our Society of Women Leaders starting with cocktails and pearls in the Paspaley Collins Street boutique followed by a private dinner generously hosted by Paspaley, where you will be adorned in exquisite Paspaley pieces throughout the evening.

... and something very special!

27 - 30 August, Kangaroo Island

Southern Ocean Lodge Retreat
Don't miss this exclusive offer to stay at the celebrated clifftop retreat, Southern Ocean Lodge, for our special Society of Women Leaders event rates with thanks to Founding Patron Hayley Baillie. What better way to spend a weekend getting to know your fellow Members and friends - amazing women leading through philanthropy.

Events overseas

Your membership is part of a global community of female philanthropists, and each of us is invited to share in important milestones with our fellow Members overseas. Please let Anita and Kimberly know if you are interested in attending one of these international events.

  • 23-25 September Canadian Tiffany Circle 5th Anniversary celebrations, Ottawa
  • 28-30 September USA regional summit in Charleston, South Carolina
  • 6 October UK Tiffany Circle 4th Anniversary event

Member Connections

Boardroom Series Luncheon, MinterEllison, Sydney

The first Boardroom Series Luncheon for the year was held on 17 February and generously hosted by MinterEllison in Sydney. Fellow Member and MinterEllison Partner Virginia Briggs welcomed a group of Members and their guests around a stunning circular boardroom table. Set against the backdrop of a sparkling Sydney Harbour view, we heard from Australian Red Cross Director, Australian Services and member of the National Executive Team, Noel Clement. Noel reminded us of the importance of leadership in difficult scenarios, using Red Cross' work in detention facilities as an example of how incredible change can be made through skilful negotiation. After hearing some insights, invited guest Tracy Noon confirmed her Membership to our Society of Women Leaders. She was presented with our signature Red Cross silver charm bracelet, which symbolises our joint commitment and our 'circle' of sisterhood - women leading through philanthropy.

Burberry Crown Cocktail Evening, Melbourne

With thanks to Burberry, we gathered at the Crown store in Melbourne on 24 February to kick start the year in style. Members and guests heard from Marina DeLuca Head of Retail Burberry, Kimberly Gire Chair and Founding Patron and inspiring international aid worker, Ruth Jebb. Melbourne Member Amanda Coombs drew the lucky door prize and a guest of one of our Members won an iconic Burberry scarf. Burberry also generously gifted a gorgeous scarf to Ruth as a way of thanking her for her continued service to Australian Red Cross and to vulnerable communities around the world.

Autumn Member Cocktails, Sydney

In Sydney more than 50 Members and guests gathered on 2nd March for cocktails at Founding Patron, Lorraine Tarabay's temporary home. We heard from Kim Ryan who manages the Young Parents program and we were able to see exactly how our pooled funding is changing lives right here in Sydney. Piper-Heidsieck generously donated the champagne for the event and Lorraine provided the delicious canapes. Our giving circle expanded as we officially welcomed Beth Madison and 3-year Members Ali McEvoy and Kate Slack-Smith into our Society of Women Leaders.

Boardroom Series Luncheon and Tour of Blackmores, Warriewood, Sydney

Blackmores generously hosted 40 Members and guests on 6th April at Warriewood on Sydney's Northern Beaches. Among us, was new CEO of Australian Red Cross, Judy Slatyer who gave some of her insights about Red Cross and showed her commitment to continue supporting people like us who are working to make a difference. We also toured the Blackmores Campus which opened in 2009 and has received several awards for environmental sustainability. Most excitingly, we heard from CEO of Blackmores, Christine Holgate, who in 2015 became the first woman ever to be awarded CEO of the Year by CEO Magazine. Christine joined us for an intimate lunch and spoke about the main influences in her life, sharing her own personal story of struggle and drive. Thank you to fellow Member, Caroline Furlong for facilitating the day which was both eye opening and inspiring.

Boardroom Series Luncheon, MinterEllison, Melbourne

With thanks to fellow Member and MinterEIllison Partner Virginia Briggs, her Melbourne Partners welcomed us for the first time into their stunning offices on Collins Street for an informative working lunch.

Hosted by Partner Rebecca Bedford, the event was to launch the first issue of the IHL magazine for 2016 entitled 'The Business of War'. We heard from Dr Phoebe Wynn-Pope who officially launched the magazine and she also spoke about her personal story that - a compelling insight into why she decided to work in international aid and conflict environments. After responding to some of the gravest global crises of the 1990s, including the Rwandan Genocide, she felt that more needed to be done to prevent atrocities from happening in the first place. We felt very privileged to hear some of her humanitarian journey.

It was another informative and elegant philanthropy event thanks to our Members and the wonderful staff at MinterEllison.