2020 She Leads High Conference

The 2020 She Leads High Conference is an enriching experience that educates and activates the potential of young leaders.

This fun and inspiring day will provide students with tangible skills in communication, resilience, confidence building and stress management. Through exposure to a diverse range of young women leaders in the community, students will be inspired to start defining and developing their own leadership pathways.

By the end of the day students will:

  1. hear from and be inspired by young Canberran women leaders who will share their personal story and leadership journeys. 
  2. be enabled to interrogate their own power and privilege, and how that impacts their views and experiences of leadership.
  3. walk away with tangible skills to begin or strengthen their leadership journeys 
  4. learn how traditional representations of leadership hurt women because they are not inclusive—that indeed, anyone can become a leader, and that leadership requires all types of people with all kinds of skills, interests, and backgrounds.
  5. work in a safe space that allows them to share ideas and stories with other like-minded students.

 The day will include interactive workshops, a keynote speech, and a panel session, all featuring innovative young women-leaders under the age of 25, as well as an interactive activity that boosts students’ ability to think creatively and communicate effectively.  

 By encouraging student’s attendance, you will provide them with the opportunity to develop their leadership potentials and increase their capacities to take on leadership roles within their school environment and beyond. You will also provide them with awareness in relation to the structural bias which impedes women’s’ access to leadership positions, and questions of critical reflection, power, and privilege.  

 IMPORTANT NOTE: This is a school excursion, and all students must attend with their teachers/school supervisors. 

The registration deadline is Monday 26 October 2020 and places are limited, in line with our COVID-safe plan. We are currently able to facilitate a maximum of 10 students per school. However, if you wish to register more students please contact us directly as we may be able to accommodate.  

Key event details 

  • When: Friday 30 October 2020 8:45am – 3:30pm, 
  • Where: Cultural Centre KambriAustralian National University (Building 153), University Ave, Action ACT 2601, Australia 
  • this is a school excursion, and all students must attend with their teachers/school supervisors 
  • schools must return photography consent forms to She Leads for each registered student 
  • transport needs to be organised independently by schools  
  • cost and inclusions: $40 per student. Registration includes a full-day program of talks and workshops, morning tea and lunch, activity booklet and pen
  • to secure ten or more tickets at a time, YWCA Canberra will need to invoice your school. Please call us to arrange this.


If a student wishes to attend but feels as though the price may be a barrier, please advise the She Leads team. We may have a small pool of allocated scholarships that we may be able to allocate to eligible students. We are committed to assisting as many students as possible attend this event.



Download the program.


Master of Ceremonies – Ciára Duggan

Ciára has worked in the Youth and Community Sector for the past nine years and is the Youth Program Team Leader for YWCA Canberra. Ciára is passionate about working with young people in leadership and education settings and looking for alternative pathways as well as celebrating the LGBTQIA+ Allies community.

Keynote Speaker – Madeline Diamond

Maddie Diamond is the founder of Trash Gather, a youth-led volunteer group that organise regular rubbish clean ups in Canberra. She is also the Executive Officer of SEE-Change, a volunteer-based community organisation that aims to make Canberra more sustainable through community connection. In recognition of her work in community action for sustainability, Maddie was named 2020 ACT Young Australian of the Year, where she made a bold statement for climate justice at the national award ceremony. She is passionate about environmental protection and social justice, and approaches her life and activism through a feminist lens. Through her work, Maddie aims to ignite people to step up and take action to create a better world. She is particularly focused on empowering young people to take action and lead their communities to create the kind of future they wish to see.



Taylor Fitzgerald

Taylor is a 21-year-old Aboriginal Kamilaroi woman who stands proud with the greatest of qualities handed down to her from her long line of Elders. She is an activist, survivor, and 2018 NAIDOC Trainee of the year. Taylor’s interest and focus have always been within the power between cultures and education. This love and interest have led her into her current career as an Indigenous Education Officer at a local Canberra High School. Taylor’s passion is making a difference and supporting the voices of young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women. Taylor also strives to fight for the wellbeing and rights of women and children, believing in the connection of earth and the power for freedom within. Taylor breathes, dreams, and walks this daily. Taylor walks this Country every day reminding her people and the young women of Australia that we are changing the minds of those who have been in charge for too long. We are the change and still standing strong. Always was, always will be.

Kasey Dragisic

Kasey comes from a culturally diverse background. Her mum is part Aboriginal, Kiwi. Her dad is part Serbian, German. Each of Kasey’s grandparents was born in their respective countries. Kasey says she has always been proud of her rich heritage; it has shaped her inherent appreciation for diversity. From a young age, Kasey was very drawn to sport, team sports in particular. She loved the physicality and challenges involved and most importantly the friendships she made with a range of people. These same qualities that attracted me to sport have led her to her current career as a firefighter with ACT Fire & Rescue.

Kat Reed

Kat is a passionate queer rights activist, avid intersectional feminist and political performance artist based in Canberra. Since beginning with environmental activism in school, they have advocated for the rights of people of colour, queer youth and people with disabilities. Kat has made appearances on ABC Radio, Canberra Times and Win News speaking about survivor rights and sex education. Kat’s leadership experience is diverse – they’ve held positions of leadership in both local and national organisations including the ANU Ethnocultural Committee, the ANU Students’ Association and led the Australian Queer Students’ Network as the National Co-convenor. From 2015-2018 Kat was a Council member on the ACT LGBTIQ+ Ministerial Advisory Council and advised on issues affecting queer youth. More recently Kat ran the Women With Disabilities ACT Youth Leadership 2020 Program. Currently, they are working on a project with Tuggeranong Arts Centre to create a musical with an all trans and gender diverse cast.

Tikarra Looke

Tikarra is a proud Darug and Wiradjuri woman currently living on Ngunnawal country. She describes herself as, “the embarrassing and proud big sister who cries at every event of three amazing sisters and one incredible brother.” Tikarra is a passionate educator inspired everyday by her community, her students, and her connection to culture and her family. Tikarra has spent the last four years working as a part of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education section, starting out as an Indigenous Education Officer. Currently, Tikarra is a Cultural Integrity Coordinator creating supportive and inclusive communities for all of her First Nation’s students and families within her ACT Public Schools. Tikarra works alongside teachers and schools’ staff to ensure that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander voices, histories, cultures, and stories are embedded in all aspects of learning. When asked, Tikarra says she absolutely loves her job and is extremely passionate about doing everything she can to create and find opportunities to watch young people achieve their goals within learning environments that nurture and believe in a student’s capacity for achieving excellence.


School Requirements

It is vital that teachers attend the event and provide appropriate supervision and care and ensure that each student arrives and departs safely. YWCA Canberra staff will not provide supervision of students and will not be responsible for the arrival or departure of students, or for their behaviour on the day.

Schools should treat this event as an excursion and will need to independently organise all necessary permission slips and transportation (if required).

Schools are responsible for managing the allocation of places to interested students; there are 10 available places for each school. The day will feature a full program of speakers, including workshops, a panel, and individual and group discussion and reflection. It is an interactive event and students will be asked to engage and reflect on the content they are being presented with. Morning tea and lunch* are included in the ticket price.

For each registered student, a photography consent form will need to be completed and returned to the She Leads team. This is not the permission slip that should be used by teachers to gain guardian permission to take students to the event. Teachers should have access to their own school-specific permission slips and use those to gain guardian permission.

Please email all the photography consent forms to sheleads@ywca-canberra.org.au

*Dietary requirements can be altered up to three (3) days before the event.

The Complete Information Pack will be available to download soon, watch this space.  


Are you a girl, female-identifying or non-binary person? 

If you are a girl, female-identifying or non-binary person interested in attending the She Leads High Conference, you will need to let your teacher or principal know that you want to come along to the event as soon as you can. Your school may be sending other students too, or they may not yet know about this event.

You will need to treat this event like any other school excursion, which means having your guardians sign your school permission slip and organising transportation to and from the event through your school.

You and your guardian will also need to complete the photography consent form, which needs to be returned to the She Leads team prior to the event. Please give the photography consent form to your teacher, who will then provide the forms to us. 

 The Student Information Pack will be available to download soon. Watch this space.

Further information 

For further details relating to the event, or for any queries please contact the She Leads team at sheleads@ywca-canberra.org.au or call YWCA Canberra on (02) 6175 9900.