From the 2018 She Leads Conference: Just do it. Just be you and reach for your goals.

30 August 2018

After our 2018 She Leads Conference, we asked a select group of women the question of how attending the event has enriched their lives. Over the next couple of weeks, we will be sharing their answers and insights with you. This week’s post comes from Kartika Medcraft.

As a proud Pakana Aboriginal woman, registered carer for my son with a chronic medical condition, mother of four, aunty to many more, and Chairperson of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff network at the Department of Health, winning a scholarship to attend the She Leads Conference was an important opportunity.

Learnings from this conference would not only impact my life, but also those around me, those I care for, those I lead and those I am fortunate to be able to inspire and  influence.

Whilst my initial thoughts were ‘well I may learn what others are doing in the region, in terms of leadership to meeting the next generation of leaders,’ I had no idea the impact two of the keynote speakers would have for me. Not just what I could take forward and share but what I can instil in myself.

These speakers were Jamila Rizvi and Mary Delahunty.

Jamila’s concepts of owning my achievements and hard work rather than palming it off as ‘good luck’ or ‘right place at the right time’, why we as women judge each other instead of lift each other, and how we should back each other up and ‘amplify’ our voice in the corporate world, really sunk in. I have shared these thoughts at my work, my charity and social movement. When you see a good idea or agree with a plan make it known – amplify the voice, the movement, the opinion. These simple ideals align with the work I already do and to have someone else say it out loud, to live it out loud, has inspired me to lift my game, keep going, keep sharing, keep supporting my fellow women to aspire to just be who they want to be without fear of judgement.

Mary’s talk really appealed to me as a mother and that there are powerful, dedicated loyal women out there, who from the outside seem to have their life so together – wonder women – but at the end of the day they are real. Their kid’s hair may not have been brushed for three days and the kids have had MacDonald’s twice this week because mum is busy conquering the world.

I have often felt immense guilt that I went back to work, that I didn’t want to be a stay at home mum, that I wanted to go out, work hard and be a role model for my kids rather than be home to be and do ‘everything’ for my kids. Mary’s talk made me feel that wanting more and reaching for it, as well as be a mum is okay. That we can do it all but we do it in a way that works for you and your family – and we can do it in leather pants! Because why not?!

What I took away from this conference was a feeling of self-worth and empowerment. Something I have been sharing and promoting ever since!

Just do it. Just be you and reach for your goals. Dream out loud, live out loud, encourage/help others reach theirs. Rise together.

The 2018 She Leads Conference happened on Wednesday, August 1. You can read more about the event in this event wrap up, or in this Her Canberra article.

Visit Flickr to see photos from the day, and be sure to follow She Leads on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram for more on women’s leadership.

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