Leadership with Deborah Cheetham

11 July 2019

Are you ready to Thrive? Our She Leads Conference delivers a fresh and innovative approach to women’s leadership development. It gives aspiring, developing and established women, female-identifying and non-binary leaders, the opportunity to develop skills, knowledge and networks to amplify their leadership journey alongside their career.

In this interview we talk to Deborah Cheetham, one of our speakers at the upcoming 2019 She Leads Conference.

Describe your leadership journey in 30 words or less.

Any opportunity to lead has always begun with a journey into deep listening. To hold true to your vision requires a determined spirit, but to share that vision with your team is the greater challenge.

What was (or is) your biggest leadership challenge?

I think my biggest challenge is yet to come, as our nation comes to the realisation that our shared history questions the very legitimacy of our system of government.

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

It is possible that gender equality will not be enough. The level of toxicity in the current patriarchal models of leadership means that we will require a substantial absence of male leaders in order to reduce the half-life of the corrosive effects.

What book should every aspiring woman leader read?

Dark Emu by Bruce Pascoe. If you are an aspiring leader in Australia, this book will help you to know who you are. Knowing who you are is an essential platform for leadership.

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

Talk about what you know.

As an Indigenous leader, I have been called upon to press opinions and give advice in almost every area in life, in as far as it relates to the first peoples of this continent. Needless to say, it is virtually impossible for anyone to acquire this encyclopaedic body of knowledge. So, the best I can do is expand my lived experience, manage expectation and just talk about what I do know.

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