Celebrating IWD in purple at Faculty of Health.

Faculty of Health

International Women’s Day kicked off with a morning of insightful talks in the Faculty of Health from a number of women playing crucial roles in learning and teaching at UTS – such as DVC Shirley Alexander, Associate Professor Angela Dawson, Professor Liz Harry, and briefly from Professor Fiona Brooks and Associate Professor Elizabeth Denney-Wilson. From the learning side of the spectrum were a number of presentations from research students on the exciting developments in women’s health from the faculty, including projects from Sabera Turkmani, Amanda Rehayem, Heather Pierce, Peter James and Nasrin Javid Zamani.

Accompanying the UTS natives were visitors Rowenna Walker (Aurecon Global Service Leader for Rail & mass Transit) and Deborah Harrigan (Public Relations Chair from Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Women’s Shelter). The range of topics covered in such a brief time was vast and diverse, and included many interesting moments from women who are leading the way in UTS and beyond. It was fantastic to hear Shirley Alexander reflecting on the unpredictability of career trajectory from her early studies to her pathway through UTS, reminding us that you never know how career experiences will go on to affect you in life. Rowenna Walker also refreshingly provided some real life context for her career, introducing herself not only as a leader at Aurecon and a Civil Engineer, but also as a mother and wife with a full and vibrant life outside of her work and career identity.

Women in STEMM, live broadcast panel hosted by Equal Futures and 2SER

Photo credit: Katia Sanfilippo

The panel was an enormous success, hosted by Professor Liz Harry, Ms Nell PayneMs Ashwini Ranjithabalan and Distinguished Professor Elizabeth Sullivan.

A podcast of this excellent panel is available here.


Women@UTS – an hour with Catherine Livingstone, our new Chancellor

Photo credit: Katia Sanfilippo

Catherine Livingstone took the stage at the official Women@UTS lunchtime event, after an introduction from both Verity Firth, our Executive Director, Social Justice  and VC Attila Brungs. To call Livingstone’s achievements impressive is an understatement: from starting out as an accountant working for PricewaterhouseCoopers in Sydney and London, to moving to the CEO role in Cochlear Australia, and serving on the boards of Goodman Fielder Limited and Rural Press Limited, to name just a few. Currently Livingstone is Chairman of Commonwealth Bank in addition to taking on the role of Chancellor.

It was an informative hour in which Livingstone contemplated the mantra of International Women’s Day 2017 – be bold for change. Livingstone told the audience that she had “struggled to think of” a time in her career in which she had made a bold move, which is hard to believe when considering her resume. Livingstone recounted times when she had made decisions quickly and forthrightly, and regarded this as the closest she had come to the dictionary definition of bold as courageous, rather than the more disparaging definition informed by her Irish heritage. With the floor open for questions, Livingstone addressed the issues of gender quotas for boards (not the simple solution they seem to be), how ambition and confidence are essential attributes for women to overcome sexism in the workplace, and the stark difference between men and women when it comes to these qualities and abilities.

Equality at UTS

Photo credit: Katia Sanfilippo

At the end of the lunchtime session, the new Equal Futures video featuring VC Attila Brungs was unveiled, reaffirming the UTS commitment to equity and diversity. The video can be viewed here, and make sure to take a look at the Equal Futures website. As Joanna Leonard from Women @ UTS puts it, every day should be International Women’s Day. With the UTS Equal Futures initiative, at least we know that we’re getting closer to women, as well as other marginalised groups being more involved and enabled to reach their full potential at UTS.

Feature image credit: Katia Sanfilippo


Join the discussion