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Engage an Inspiring Trailblazer this International Women's Day

Dhiyana Varsani
21 Jan. 2022

International Women's Day (IWD) is celebrated annually on 8 March offering an opportunity to reflect on progress made, to call for change, and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and communities.

Saxton Speakers works with a range of women who have pioneereed through adversity and challenges to inspire a new generation to take charge, be resilient, and speak to be heard.

Engage one of our top trailblazers for your next school, conference, or business event, and join the movement to #BreakTheBias

2021 Australian of the Year & Advocate for Survivors of Child Sexual Assault

After being groomed and raped by her maths teacher when she was just 15 years old, Grace Tame has spent the last 10 years turning her traumatic experience into being an advocate for survivors of child sexual abuse and a leader of positive change.

Now, 26 and based in Hobart, Grace is dedicated to eradicating child sexual abuse in Australia and supporting the survivors of child sexual abuse.

Her focus is around enabling survivors to tell their stories without shame, educating the public around the process and lasting effects of grooming and working with policy and decision-makers to ensure we have a federal legal system that supports the survivors, not just the perpetrators.

More on Grace >

Author, Business Leader, former Federal Member of Parliament | Lawyer

Julia Banks is a former Federal Member of the Australian Parliament and a corporate lawyer with impeccable credentials. Julia held senior positions as General Counsel, Executive Director and Company Secretary and was Head of Risk and Compliance in some of the world’s most successful blue chip companies including Kraft, Glaxo Smith Kline and George Weston Foods working across Australia, New Zealand and Asia Pacific.

More on Julia >

Record Breaker, History Maker & Founder of Awake Academy

Against the odds, Layne Beachley emerged from humble beginnings to become a 7-time world champion surfer. Now one of the world’s most highly regarded motivational speakers, she’s devoted her life post sport to helping others unlock their potential. In her raw, inspiring, and powerful presentations, Layne reveals what it took to become (and remain) a world champion: framing success, traversing challenges, setting powerful goals, and managing expectations and pressure on the journey to the top.

Motivation, Inspiration, Determination
Layne Beachley will take us on a journey through a challenging upbringing including two bouts of chronic fatigue, depression, and many injuries to becoming the best in the world, and indeed, a seven-time world surfing champion. She had the motivation to be a world champion, the inspiration to surround herself with the people who can assist her, and the determination to overcome a myriad of challenges. Her exploits are astounding, her attitude unwavering and her achievements inspirational. Layne certainly dared to dream and passionately believes that anything is possible

More on Layne >

Australian media icon

Ita Buttrose AC, OBE is one of the most powerful voices for women across Australia. A legendary media trailblazer, businesswoman, best-selling author, committed community and welfare contributor and former Australian of the Year.

In 2019 Ita became a Companion of the Order of Australia for her service to the community through leadership in the media, the arts, the health sector and as a role model.

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Hurdles of life

Jana Pittman is one of the most recognisable faces in Australian athletics. She is also the first woman to represent Australia in both Summer and Winter Olympics, having joined the Australian bobsleigh team after injury forced an end to her athletic career. In 2019 she also completed a Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery at the University of Western Sydney and is currently practising in the Obstetrics and Gynaecology Department of the Blacktown hospital, all while being the devoted mum to four kids.

More on Jana >

Women's Rights Activist & Chief Information Security Officer at UNSW

Manal al-Sharif has been listed as one of TIME Magazine's 100 most influential people, as one of Forbes Top 50 Women in Tech, and by Newsweek as one of the 10 tech-revolutionaries in the world. She is a prominent voice advocating for women's rights and empowerment and was one of the first Saudi women to specialize in Information Security, starting her career in 2002 with Saudi Aramco, the largest oil company in the world.

Manal is a leading expert in Cybersecurity and is currently the Chief Information Security Officer and the University of New South Wales.

More on Manal >

27th Prime Minister of Australia

The Hon. Julia Gillard AC was sworn in as the 27th Prime Minister of Australia on 24 June 2010 and served in that office until June 2013.

As Prime Minister and in her previous role as Deputy Prime Minister, Ms Gillard was central to the successful management of Australia’s economy, the 12th biggest in the world, during the Global Financial Crisis and as Australia positioned to seize the benefits of Asia’s rise.

More on Julia >

Australian tennis great

Evonne Goolagong Cawley, AC, MBE is a Wiradjuri woman and one of Australia's most loved sportspeople. Evonne is an Australian icon and has been Australian of the Year (1971) and Australian Sportsman of the Year and in 1972 Queen Elizabeth II appointed her as a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE). In 2018 Evonne was awarded Australia's highest honour and was appointed as a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) for eminent service to tennis as a player at the national and international level, as an ambassador, supporter and advocate for the health, education and wellbeing of young Indigenous people through participation in sport and as a role model.

More on Evonne >

Digital resilience, shame, and survival

Monica Lewinsky advocates for a safer and more compassionate social media environment, drawing from her unique experiences at the epicenter of a media maelstrom in 1998. "Public shaming as a blood sport has to stop. I was Patient Zero of losing a reputation on a global scale almost instantaneously." Through her personal experiences of survival Monica powerfully re-contextualises the impact of cyberbullying and shaming on society and personal lives and what the monetarisation of humiliation & shame is having for brands, leaders, employees, and youth.

More on Monica >

National Icon & the First female jockey to win the Melbourne Cup

Michelle Payne's historic win in the 2015 Melbourne Cup with Prince of Penzance turned the race that stops a nation into a race that inspired one. But it is the story behind this remarkable woman that cemented her place as a beloved national icon and inspired the biopic, Ride Like a Girl, directed by Rachel Griffiths and starring Teresa Palmer and Sam Neill. Released in late September 2019 to audience acclaim and the number one position at the box office, it has become the highest-grossing Australian film of the year. Her grace in the face of untold tragedy and triumph is now a beacon for many. Michelle Payne is that rare kind of icon: one who lives with gratitude and humility.

More on Michelle >

Gamilaroi Gomeroi Woman & TODAY, Entertainment Reporter

Brooke Boney is a proud Gamilaroi Gomeroi Woman, Indigenous Affairs advocate and the entertainment reporter for the TODAY show. Brooke masterfully balances her trademark relaxed outward glow with an inward fierceness that was borne from a childhood of disadvantage. It’s that perfectly-pitched belly-fire which has shaped her poise and readiness in high-pressure live media environments. It’s not often you meet a journalist who can cover a political campaign trail as comfortably as they can cover the showbiz beat.

Brooke is passionate about igniting discussion around indigenous affairs and sharing her message with sensitivity to the slow and subtle pace of progress. Best of all, she’s doing it under the hopeful gaze of thousands of Indigenous youths across the country, who have someone to help them imagine themselves doing it too.

More on Brooke >

Unlocking Purpose, Performance, and Power

Dr Bronwyn King is a leader, influencer, and future thinker who has mastered the art of translating a simple idea into a global movement. Bronwyn is the founder of Tobacco Free Portfolios, a global advocacy organization that has redefined finance industry standards. She has been recognized with countless awards. Most notably, she was awarded an Order of Australia (AO) in 2019 for distinguished service to community health and named 2019 Melburnian of the Year. In 2018, she took to the stage at the United Nations in New York to launch ‘The Tobacco-Free Finance Pledge’, a global initiative that now has more than 120 Signatories – global financial institutions with combined assets under management of >$US7.5 trillion (AU $10 trillion). Bronwyn exemplifies what it means to lead and change the status quo and do better. A new way of thinking which certainly relates to what we are all experiencing as a result of COVID-19.

More on Bronwyn >

One of Australia's greatest ever Olympians

Cathy Freeman is one of Australia's best-loved and most successful Olympic champions. Her greatest achievement came in 2000 at the Sydney Olympic Games as her image was beamed into millions of homes around the world. This was when Cathy became the first competing athlete to be invited to light the Olympic flame at the opening ceremony; she then went on to win the gold medal in the 400m, realising a life-long dream. Cathy's journey has been documented in the critically acclaimed ABC documentary Freeman released in celebration of the 20th Anniversary of the Sydney Olympic Games.

She was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) and the Centenary Medal in 2001 and retired from competitive running in 2003. She now concentrates her time on making a difference to others through the Cathy Freeman Foundation.

More on Cathy >

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