Women in Leadership: the 'isms' of diversity

Women in Leadership: the 'isms' of diversity

Oct 27
It’s time to break down barriers, remove silos and smash the glass ceiling as the Women in Leadership series returns for 2020. Leaders will come together to champion the move from ‘isms’ to inclusion.
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Prue Hawkins, Director, Empire Barristers & Solicitors
Sharyn O'Neill, Commissioner, WA Public Sector Commission
Robyn Smith-Walley, Co-Chairperson, Western Australian Aboriginal Leadership Institute (WAALI)

Event Overview

Valuing and respecting diversity of people (ages, cultural, gender and ability) creates an inclusive workplace which in return maximises and strengthens organisations. There is a growing recognition that leaders must drive inclusive behaviour, however it’s time to see results.
At this event we explore research and leading thinking on how we can design organisation-wide gender strategies, shift attitudes and behaviours, and engage others to effect real change.
Speakers will consider:
  • Composition of leadership and Australia’s current workforce demographics – do they reflect our diverse society?
  • Best-practice assessment, development, and implementation of strategies to drive diversity and inclusion in your organisation; and
  • Boosting corporate and government engagement with diverse business groups to mentor and empower.

The Women in Leadership series is intended for all who truly value an inclusive and diverse workforce, economy and society. When booking tickets and inviting guests, we encourage you to consider the above.


Event presentations

Sharyn O'Neill, Commissioner, WA Public Sector Commission MP3

Prue Hawkins, Director, Empire Barristers & Solicitors MP3

Robyn Smith-Walley, Co-Chairperson, Western Australian Aboriginal Leadership Institute (WAALI) MP3

Moderated Discussion MP3

Event program PDF


Meet the speakers

Prue Hawkins
Director, Empire Barristers & Solicitors

Prue Hawkins founded Empire Law in 2016. Based in Perth, Western Australia, Empire Law provides professional and competent legal services at affordable rates. After graduating from UWA in 2006, Prue spent the next ten years primarily working in family law matters and disability discrimination complaints in both the state and federal jurisdictions. It was in 2016 that Prue set up her own practice. Prue has over 10 years of experience in many different areas of law, however, her expertise lies in Family Law, Wills and Probate and Disability Discrimination matters. Prue has specialised experience in resolving complex care arrangements for children of a relationship and property matters arising out of marital and de facto separation.

Sharyn O'Neill
Commissioner, WA Public Sector Commission

Sharyn O’Neill was appointed as Public Sector Commissioner in July 2018 following 12 years as Director General of the Department of Education. She is the first woman to undertake the role. Sharyn's priority as Commissioner is to strengthen and unify the public sector to better serve the needs of the Western Australian community. She is leading a major reform agenda with a focus on sector leadership, talent, diversity, workforce, integrity and capability.

Robyn Smith-Walley
Co-Chairperson, Western Australian Aboriginal Leadership Institute (WAALI)

Robyn Smith-Walley is a Noongar woman with family connections throughout many regions in Noongar country. She has been a director of her family-owned business Aboriginal Productions and Promotions (APP) for more than 25 years. Ms Walley has a Degree in Community Development from Murdoch University and an Honorary Doctorate from Edith Cowan University for her contribution to Aboriginal Women’s Leadership Development and for her ongoing work in the promotion of Noongar Culture and Education. Robyn has worked in the fields of anthropology, cultural education, adult education, events and production management and has recently completed her training in Facilitating Values Based Leadership learnings. Robyn is the chair of the West Australian Aboriginal Leadership Institute and co-founder of the Yorga Djenna Bidi Aboriginal Women’s Leadership program.

Supported by CEDA members

Major series sponsors

Further sponsorship available:

Align your brand with CEDA and communicate with hard-to-reach business, government and policy leaders by sponsoring this event. Contact CEDA Programming Team on 03 9662 3544 or email
Public event advice – Coronavirus

At CEDA we are proud to regularly convene and engage speakers and audiences as an essential element of our efforts to broaden discussion and debate of the most important policy issues facing Australia. In doing so, our first priority is always the safety and wellbeing of our guests and staff.

CEDA is currently delivering a digital program of public events, podcasts and virtual Trustee roundtable discussions; hybrid events with both a livestream and audience in attendance; and face-face events, where there is member demand and they can be delivered in accordance with government health advice for a specific state.

For face-to-face gatherings, CEDA is working closely with our hosts and venues to ensure that social distancing can be maintained and facilities and equipment have been properly sanitised. Attendance numbers will strictly adhere to government guidelines for each state.In line with government advice we request people that are unwell with cough or fever or other respiratory symptoms do not attend CEDA events. We also ask that you follow government advice and maintain social distancing by refraining from shaking hands or exchanging physical greetings, and wherever possible, staying at least 1.5 metres away from others.

CEDA will continue to closely monitor government advice regarding public gatherings and will follow all relevant health advice from the Australian government in relation to COVID-19.

We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of country throughout Australia and recognise their continuing connection to land, waters and culture. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging.

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