Women in Focus Conference

As the year is drawing to a close, I find myself reflecting on some of my highlights for 2019. 

In late August, I had the privilege of attending the invitation only CommBank Women in Focus Conference. It was a great mix of work and play as well as a range of amazing speakers and participants. The big takeaway I had was on discipline and following through with the commitments you make to yourself. 

Women in Focus Conference blog

Life gets busy and it is so easy to forget the path we have committed to walking on and the reasons we are there. It is vital to take time to make sure we are aligned in what we are doing and renew our commitment to self. 

I think the biggest aha moments for me came from listening to Julie Bishop speak. No matter what your political persuasion is, you have to admire her drive and determination. One of the habits she shared with us was one she uses when travelling. No matter what time she lands in the country she is travelling to, she always goes for a run. It’s something that she has committed to doing and is in line with her priorities in life so she makes it a non-negotiable. She has made a point of sticking to what she says she will do and this is one of those times. I realised what a commitment it was, when I landed back in Perth at 3am after my flight had been delayed and thought in my extremely exhausted state. “Thank goodness I’m not Julie Bishop otherwise I’d be going for run.” 

I would like for you to take a moment today and ask you – do you know what your priorities are? If you don’t, maybe it is time you start working that out. I guarantee you once you have these nailed you will start living a fuller life without regrets. 

Julie also shared with us that one of her big goals was to become foreign minister. It took her 15 years to achieve this goal, but she continued to put one foot in front of the other each day getting closer and closer. She kept forward momentum and sought out the skills she needed to get where she wanted to be.  

Julie wasn’t the only speaker who left me with lots of things to ponder. There was a session on cyber security. I was astonished at how easy it can be to get hacked. Not everyone out there has pure motives so it was a timely reminder of that and how we need to make sure our digital world is secure.   

We also heard from Edwina McCann, Editor of Vogue who was interviewed about her story by Sandra Sully. This interview really resonated with me, not only hearing Edwina’s inspiring story but also Sandra’s on point interviewing skills.  

There was also some great information on the emerging trends in the future of work and I have come away with some wonderful ideas to implement into my business. 

Another inspiring speaker was Haneen Zreika who is the first female, Muslim AFL player. She shared her story and a bit about her culture with us. I was intrigued to learn that Haneen doesn’t even drink water during Ramadan but continues to play AFL. This really drove home the message that if you are determined you will succeed.  

Kate Sarah also shared her inspiring story with us. Kate has climbed all 7 summits and 7 volcanoes, and she is just about to do the North Pole meaning she can add both poles to her impressive list. Not only that but Kate is the only women to have ever achieved this feat. She has achieved this despite a massive ankle where she was told she would never be able to hike again. The thread of strong, determined women was woven tightly through the whole conference and I found Kate’s story so interesting.  

The conference also touched on storytelling for business, increasing productivity, digital disruptions and breathing techniques for relaxation. There was so much great information that it is going to take me a while to digest it but I already feel like I have a whole new range of tools in my tool belt to go away and live a more impassioned and determined life.

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