The Natalie Miller Fellowship (NMF) welcomed and inspired 170 women on Friday February 24 at the Brilliant Careers Leadership Conference, the first ever national professional development conference in Australia designed specifically for women in the screen industry.
The conference, held at RMIT University in Melbourne and streamed to many more online, marked the first event in the Brilliant Careers Leadership Program, which runs for 12 months and focuses on providing practical tools and advice to develop leadership skills and mentoring and networking opportunities.
The NMF Brilliant Careers Leadership Program is made possible through Screen Australia’s Gender Matters: Brilliant Careers program and is also supported by RMIT’s School of Media & Communication and Stage and Screen.
Over 400 women from all eight states and territories registered for the program, which far exceeded expectations for its inaugural year.
The conference opened with a welcome address from the Program Director Sandra Sdraulig AM who noted that, “The overwhelming interest in this program, and the other Gender Matters programs, suggests not just an interest in individual programs but … a cultural shift and a renewed preparedness by women to step up, put ourselves forward and play a greater role in leading this industry.”
Attendees were treated to inspiring words from two motivating and inspiring keynote speakers – General Manager, Studios at The Walt Disney Company Australia and New Zealand, Jo Bladen and one of Australia’s leading documentary producers, the Emmy Award-winning Sonya Pemberton.
Bladen talked about the importance of building effective relationships and how mentoring had been an intrinsic part of her career, while Pemberton talked about courage, confidence and navigating her own crossroads.
“I’m delighted to say that attendees described the conference as ‘thought provoking’, ‘challenging and affirming,’” said Sdraulig. “We have been inundated with feedback saying it left them feeling inspired, more courageous and confident, with a new found belief in what they are doing and why. The sense of excitement and camaraderie was palpable.”
The NMF Brilliant Careers Leadership Program is made possible through the support of Screen Australia’s Gender Matters: Brilliant Careers program.
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