What a fabulous morning, celebrating the richness of diversity and bringing our theme to life.

This year was our 7th Women in Rotary International Women’s Day Breakfast. What a treat to be entertained by our amazing panel… certainly the brightest minds in town. Thank you to Stephen Quartermain, Ali Moore, Andy Penn, Deborah Glass, Adam Fennessy, Emma Welsh, & Husna Pusha.

Over the past 7 years, we have had a total audience of over 8,000 people and raised over $200,000! Women in Rotary-inspired International Women’s Day events are now also being held around Australia and the world, including in Sweden, France, Germany, UK and America.

I would like to share our Women in Rotary’s Hear Them Roar: Explore our road to success.

We have helped to change the face of Rotary. We are proud to say that we have:

  • Increased female membership from 17% to nearly 30%;
  • Introduced projects in Rotary Clubs to make a difference to many women’s lives;
  • We have attracted letters of endorsement from Natasha Stott Despoia &  2018 Australian on the Year Michelle Simmons,  and
  • Working together with the World Health Organisation in its aim of eliminating the preventable eye disease trachoma by 2020, Australia being the only developed country that still has this disease.

We have also introduced the Women in Science Award, we recognized the need to support early career women scientists at places such as The Royal Children’s Hospital, the Florey Institute, and Baker IDI.

The Breakfast's success is also a tribute to the support of our Sponsors and Partners who have all demonstrated their commitment to bridge the gender and diversity gap in their workplaces.

Clarke & Co, our Presenting Partner, have been with us for 6 years and have worked closely in developing today’s breakfast. Thank you Bernard and your team.

National Australia Bank — fourth year ! You are a great role model in the banking sector with your new initiatives.

Allianz, now in your third year. You recognise there is a whole world of customers and those that need support, so thank you.

And WorkSafe, welcome aboard. Like Rotary, WorkSafe’s vision is to improve the wellbeing of Victorians and make a positive impact within the community. 

The funds raised this year will help:

  • Violence Free Families, in its effort to break the cycle of family violence with its world-first online Men’s Behavioural Change program;
  • Interplast, a Rotary project that enables surgical intervention to rebuild lives across the Asia Pacific region; and
  • St Kilda Mums, provides material aid to young families in need.

Today would not have been possible without the involvement of the Rotary Club of Brighton North and the Rotary Club of Melbourne and the Committee of men and women from many Rotary Clubs who attended countless meetings and an occasional glass of wine ! Thank you to our volunteer team this morning Everyone’s devotion, dedication, and desire to make today happen - it certainly is a team effort !

Our heartfelt thanks to everyone for supporting our Women in Rotary dream of encouraging more women leaders and achieving a more balanced community where we all respect each other. 

We hope to see you in 2019!


Feedback from Elida Brereton, a previous panelist:

Dear Kerry Helen Worladge and I congratulate you and your team for the excellent Women in Rotary IWD Breakfast yesterday morning.....it was a terrific event and so good to see students there as usual. The panel was impressive and we found the whole event to be totally worthwhile. Well done ! With best wishes Elida Brereton