Five quick questions with Amanda Whitley

23 September 2021

In anticipation of our upcoming She Leads workshop, How to build your brand through compelling content, the She Leads team sat down with facilitator, Amanda Whitley to discuss her passions, leadership challenges and future goals.  

In 2011, after enjoying a diverse career in communications across private and public sectors, Amanda Whitley launched HerCanberra has grown to be one of the city’s leading media brands, with a monthly unique readership of more than 150,000 and a social network of nearly 100,000 followers. Amanda is one of Canberra’s most influential people and has played a significant role in the city’s evolution into a “cool little capital”.

When the pandemic hit in March 2020, Amanda drew on her decades of experience in government communication and community-building, and took up a senior executive role within the ACT Government’s COVID-19 Public Information Coordination Centre. She spearheaded the effort to ensure Canberrans were well-informed through public information campaigns, and the innovative use of web and social media channels.

Amanda was ACT Woman of the Year in 2016 and was recently named joint 2021 Canberra Citizen of the Year, alongside all the Canberrans who have enacted the Territory’s public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Describe yourself in 30 words or less.

Canberra fan. Loves connecting people. Always more ideas than time or money.

What can people expect to take away from your workshop, How to build your brand through compelling content.

Information and inspiration about taking an idea from spark to reality. Practical activities to guide participants through finding their brand’s (personal or commercial) voice and how to use this to build an authentic online presence.

What questions are you tired of about gender equality or women in leadership?

Probably the old chestnut about work-life balance, which is less often asked of men. But the question is indicative of broader societal challenges and won’t stop being asked until we get serious about making necessary changes to ensure greater participation of women in the workforce.

What is a personal challenge you have had to overcome for your leadership goals?

I like to make people happy and find it challenging to have hard conversations—I continue to work on my ability to give honest and constructive feedback that will have a positive impact in the long run, even if it’s difficult at the time.

Imagine yourself in your 80’s. What leadership advice would your 80-year-old self-give to you right now?

Keep listening to your gut – it hasn’t steered you wrong yet. Balanced analysis and calm consideration of any situation are always important, but instinct is totally underrated. If it feels wrong, it probably is.

Want to How to build your brand through compelling content? Register for Amanda’s workshop Tuesday 19 October. Book your ticket today!

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