5 quick questions with Jane Alver

7 November 2017

Jessica Abramovic

Jessica is the Communications and Events Coordinator at YWCA Canberra.

The She Leads In-Conversation Series provides Canberrans with the opportunity to hear from women leaders from different backgrounds and industries in a conversational format, followed by a live Q&A session, networking, and canapes. Our November In-Conversation event will be with Virginia Haussegger AM and Jane Alver, discussing gender equality and equity as it relates to women and girls in not only an Australian context, but also an international one.

Jane Alver is an Australian lawyer, activist, PhD candidate, and gender equality advocate. Jane has worked as a private sector and public sector lawyer in Australia, England and Kiribati for 20 years and is an admitted solicitor in all three jurisdictions. She has been a senior public servant for the Attorney General and the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet in Australia. She has provided technical assistance and training and legislative reform assistance on behalf of the Australian government in Australia, Kiribati, Tuvalu, Samoa, Nauru, PNG, Federated States of Micronesia, and Fiji.

Jane has serves as a Director of the YWCA Australia National Board, Chair of a school board, and Director of QE2 private hospital helping families and young children. She has served as the President of the Women Lawyers Association NSW, President YWCA Canberra, Vice President of YWCA Sydney, Director Australian Youth Policy & Action Coalition, and the legislative adviser for the Australian National Council for Women.

Describe your leadership journey in 30 words or less.

Always walked my own path. Followed what interested me and what I felt would make a difference. I lead from beside and believe in the power of action; that is, lighting a candle rather than cursing the darkness.

What was (or is) your biggest leadership challenge?

Recognising what I do as leadership. Wasn’t until I heard of transformative or authentic leadership that I grasped it did not need to be the out of the front carry a big flag style – rather, mentoring, creating space for others to lead is leadership and much more my style. We needn’t subscribe to the notion of chasing a fancy title, a promotion. Success and leading happens in a myriad of ways and all our lives.

Why do we need more women leaders, and what difference can women in leadership make in terms of gender equality?

Seeing role models, who generate space, encourage others to claim that space, recognise other ways of leading. Bold women who support others in standing up and calling out inequality and speak truth to power make a difference.

What book should every aspiring woman leader read?

Max Ehrmann’s The Desiderata.

Share with us the best piece of advice you’ve been given.

Be yourself. Everyone else is taken.


To leave the world a bit better, whether by
a healthy child, a garden patch
or a redeemed social condition;

To know even one life has breathed
easier because you have lived;

This is to have succeeded

You can hear more from Jane Alver at the She Leads In-Conversation on Wednesday 22 November – book your ticket online today!

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