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Sororum - issue 1

Issue 1, Summer 2015/16

Welcome from the Chair

Dear Members,

A very warm welcome back to each of you, and welcome to our first issue of Sororum, the quarterly newsletter for our Australian Red Cross Society of Women Leaders.

I hope each of you has enjoyed your summer, finding time to relax and recharge with family and friends. The summer, I have learned, is one of the busiest times for Australian Red Cross, with staff and volunteers working tirelessly to support those impacted by the devastating fires and floods around the country. I know we are all proud to be part of this great humanitarian organisation, with the knowledge that Red Cross is on the ground in these communities, supporting Australian families in great need.

As we head into 2016, I am so pleased to announce that we will be welcoming yet another strong, female leader to Australian Red Cross, with Judy Slatyer joining as the new CEO on 29 February. Judy told me she is excited about joining the team at Red Cross, and that it is great to know of the Society of Women Leaders. I look forward to introducing Judy to all of you at a Society of Women Leaders event this year.

On that note, we once again have an informative and engaging calendar of events planned for 2016. Be sure to check out the upcoming events calendar below and please mark your diaries! A reminder that our events are open to all Members, whether Sydney or Melbourne based, and we encourage you to support our sister events and meet your fellow Members if you are travelling or just want to make a trip of it. You can also find details for all future and past events, Member profiles and Red Cross programs we have funded to date on our website.

Welcome to Anita Pahor, who has just joined our Society of Women Leaders as both our newest Member and our Australian Red Cross staff lead. Anita will be working closely with me and all of you as we continue to develop this amazing circle of women leaders in 2016 and beyond. Anita is a former corporate executive who brings a great deal of international experience in women's philanthropy to our giving circle, not to mention the fact that she is smart, fun and fabulous like all of you...she will fit right in! Anita is based in the Sydney office but hails from Melbourne, a perfect match for our strategic focus in 2016 to significantly grow our strong group of women leaders in both Melbourne and Sydney. Anita travels regularly between the Sydney and Melbourne Red Cross offices and is looking forward to meeting each of you personally in the weeks ahead.

I am so looking forward to an amazing 2016 working together with all of you, continuing to lead through our philanthropy, welcoming new Members to join us and sharing our special bond of sisterhood supporting vulnerable women and children across Australia and around the world.


Chair and Founding Patron

Member profile, Hayley Baillie

Hayley Baillie is a Founding Patron and Steering Committee Member of the Society of Women Leaders.

Anita: How did you first hear about the Society of Women Leaders?

Hayley: It was our Chair, Kimberly Gire. We were school mums together at the same school and she approached me and thought it would be something I'd be interested in. It took me about six months to get along to something because I was pretty busy at the time. I went to Red Cross in the city for a Boardroom Series lunch and I was sold on the spot!

Key to this organisation is that it grows through word of mouth - through sisterhood - one woman shares a story with another and that's how we've all come together.

A: What was it in particular about the Society of Women Leaders that interested you?

H: I liked the fact that it was essentially a start-up, I suppose. It was something new. But it was for a very recognised organisation so it had credibility. And I liked the social side of it - that I'd get to meet interesting women from different areas of the corporate world, different parts of Sydney and Australia. I also liked that I'd have a say in where my money went, and because the group was in its infancy, we could collectively have a far greater impact by pooling money together and have an impact on programs we'd already chosen. I think that's been shown over the last 18 months - we've been gaining great traction and we've been able to commit to even more programs.

A: How are you now involved?

H: I'm a member of the Steering Committee and one of the things I love to do is connect with other women to see if they're interested in stepping up to the plate. I really like to rally on behalf of our Society of Women Leaders to get more and more Members involved.

A: Apart from your involvement with the Society of Women Leaders, tell me about what your life looks like day-to-day.

H: I have four sons, aged 7-13. My husband and I run a business, called 'Bailllie Lodges'. We have a portfolio of luxury lodges in places of natural significance around Australia: Kangaroo Island, Lord Howe Island and one in Central Australia at Uluru. There's 12 of us here at head office and I try and get to the office most days. I also sit on the board of Tourism Australia, promoting our country as a destination of first choice. And I get up at 6am to go running or training pretty much every day!

A: What are you looking forward to as a Member, when it comes to what the Society of Women Leaders can achieve in 2016?

H: I'm looking forward to growing our network and growing our membership base so that we can focus on more programs, or we can give more to the existing programs that we're currently working on.

Something that I really love being part of is having access to the calibre of speakers that we've had, either Red Cross employees or guest speakers. They are inspirational people, telling amazing stories. The Society of Women Leaders really allows you to have access to influential people, and people who have done incredible humanitarian work. That's something I really look forward to in 2016, I look forward to the different speakers we have lined up this year.

How our pooled funds are changing young mums' lives

The Young Parents program helps young mums and dads to break the cycle of poverty and trauma that many of them have experienced, so their children have the best start in life.

It was the very first Red Cross program that our Society chose to fund. It is our largest grant to date - committing $150,000 per year for three years - and it is very close to our hearts.

This program helps young women to turn their lives around. Through your support, they are helped to find a job or begin studying, to find their own place to live, and to learn how to be the best parent they can be for their young children.

At the end of each year, these brave young women and fathers are acknowledged and applauded for their achievements, great and small. A number of our Members were able to attend this very special Recognition Ceremony in December, and when one young mum got up to speak, you could hear a pin drop. There was barely a dry eye in the house.

Georgia told us how the Young Parents program has given her the chance to follow her dreams.

When she recently took part in a cooking class, at Kylie Kwong's flagship restaurant Billy Kwong, she left a lasting impression. Kylie also continues to mentor Georgia as she pursues her goal of becoming a professional pastry chef.

"Georgia was an absolute star in the Billy Kwong kitchen - no mean feat in a kitchen full of Chinese male chefs! She worked with great skill, focus and speed. She is a credit to herself and her beautiful daughter."

Georgia is delighted at the opportunity, and she's now determined to realise her dream of becoming a chef.

"One day I hope to become - in fact I will become - a pastry chef," she said. "I would like to run my own patisserie in the future. This will also show my daughter that whether you have a kid young, or whatever your age or your circumstances, you can become anyone and do anything you want."

Upcoming events - save the date

Your membership to the Society of Women Leaders includes invitations to inspirational, unique and elegant events. Here's what we've got planned in the coming months.

To ensure you receive invitations to the events that interest you, please contact Anita if your details have changed or just to say hello and make sure we have all your current information! For more details about the events listed below, please contact Anita Pahor, or 0457 528 316.

17 February, Sydney

Boardroom Series Luncheon, hosted by Minter Ellison

24 February, Melbourne

Cocktail Evening hosted by Burberry, Crown
Members and their guests will enjoy an inspirational night of philanthropy, fashion and friendship. This will be a wonderful opportunity to get to know your fellow Members or learn more about joining our unique women's giving circle. Several Sydney Members are making the trip to support this Melbourne event, please join us.

2 March, Sydney

Autumn Member Cocktails in Point Piper
All Members are invited to our Autumn cocktail event in Sydney. We are planning an intimate cocktail evening with an inspiring Red Cross guest speaker in a Member's private residence at Point Piper. Please invite along a friend or colleague who would like to learn more about joining you as a Member.


Boardroom Series Luncheon Melbourne
If you are interested in hosting a Boardroom Series Luncheon in March or April in Melbourne please contact Anita, or 0457 528 316.

6 April, Sydney

Boardroom Series Luncheon, hosted by Blackmores Campus Warriewood, NSW
Hosted by Christine Holgate, CEO Blackmores, CEO Magazine 2015 CEO of the Year, join us for another inspiring and informative event, part of our Boardroom Luncheon Series. This is the perfect event to invite a friend or colleague who wants to learn more about the Society of Women Leaders and active philanthropy. Invitation to follow.


2nd Anniversary Cocktail Event, Sydney
Stay tuned for more information about a very special event we are planning at a Member's private residence to celebrate the second anniversary of the Society of Women Leaders in Australia. Invitation to follow.

Get involved: Leading through your philanthropy

There are many ways you can get involved in our Society of Women Leaders, in a very small way or a very big way, and we have included a few here for you to consider.


We currently have several active sub-committees that focus on: Programs and Advocacy, Communications and PR, Events and Sponsorships, Corporate Program Development and Member Engagement. All Members are welcome to participate as much or as little as your schedule allows.

If you have skills and passion in any of these areas and would like to explore getting more involved in a way that suits you, please contact Anita Pahor, or 0457 528 316

Boardroom Luncheon Series and Cocktail Evenings

One of the unique elements of our Society of Women Leaders is the variety of events we are able to offer Members and our invited guests.

As well as elegant and informative cocktail events hosted at beautiful locations such as Burberry and Paspaley, many Members have also offered to open up their homes for more intimate cocktail parties and 'fire-side chats' with a Red Cross speaker. We have many Members working in corporate and professional sectors who have invited our Members into their boardrooms by hosting our unique and informative Boardroom Luncheon Series - a shorter-style event that often suits Members and potential members who are based in the city during the day. The Boardroom Series can also be hosted in a cocktail format after work hours.

Our events always include a guest speaker from Red Cross who inspires us and educates us about what is happening on the humanitarian front in Australia or across the world. These intimate events allow our Members and invited guests to ask questions in a relaxed, round-table format, hearing the facts from senior Red Cross leaders, always in accordance with the Red Cross fundamental principles which include neutrality, impartiality and independence.

If you would like to host a Boardroom Series Luncheon or cocktail event, or if you'd like to learn more about hosting an event in your home, please contact Anita Pahor, or 0457 528 316.