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May 27, 2010
By Annabelle Haywood
NAVY members involved in the 2010
Navy Women's Leadership Program
(NWLP) have been exposed to net-
working and learning opportunities at a
number of well-received conferences.
A group of 10 Navy women attend-
ed the Women and Leadership Australia
'Regional Women's Leadership
Convention' in Melbourne from April
19-20 through the NWLP.
The program's convener, CMDR Jenni
Wittwer, said the convention was aimed
at women from regional areas to provide
them with an opportunity to deal with
leadership in the context of life outside
Australia's capital cities and provided a
platform to stay abreast of current leader-
ship theory and practice.
"Drawing participants from every state
and territory, the convention highlights the
amazing diversity of Australia's region-
al and rural women and celebrates their
unique skills and achievements," CMDR
The 10 attendees ranged in rank from
AB to CMDR and came from various
ships and establishments.
CPOMED Victoria Brading, an
instructor at the Medical School at HMAS
Cerberus, said she enjoyed the conven-
tion, but had some initial misgivings about
how her experience would compare to the
"By the end of the two days, I realised
that we have all had our own leadership
journey which may be different, but cover
similar challenges," CPOMED Brading
"I also enjoyed the chance to meet
other Navy women I hadn't met before
-- it provided a relaxed ground on which
to share our different experiences and
challenges, and strengthened ties through-
out the Fleet."
An important outcome of the con-
vention for CPOMED Brading was the
realisation that she was making a real
difference in her workplace with her lead-
Supporting women in Navy
THE Navy Women's Mentoring
Program (NWMP) -- a tenet of
the Navy Women's Leadership
Program being conducted from
March to June 2010 -- has reached
the half-way mark, with par-
ticipants saying the program
has changed their perspective
and given them ideas on how to
progress their careers and achieve
'MyMentor: Challenging women
to make it happen' is a self-paced
development program, created by
Maureen Frank, CEO of Emberin.
The program is designed to be com-
pleted over a 12-week period, with
modules undertaken on a weekly
basis by watching a DVD, listening
to a CD and completing exercises in
Another important aspect of the
program is peer group support among
the women undertaking the program.
LCDR Vanessa Power, who is
leading the peer group for Canberra-
based personnel, ranging in rank
from AB to CAPT, said attendance at
the regular meetings really focused
those involved in the program and
gave everyone a change to debrief on
their own experiences.
Navy mentor program reaches half-way mark
ership -- perhaps more than she origi-
"Even if it seemed somewhat small,
everyone's leadership efforts can make
a difference to an individual's circum-
stances," CPOMED Brading said.
"I feel as if I have been recharged,
and have a new clarity on issues and
challenges I encounter in my work-
LSCTL Trish Dollisson, currently
working with RANTEWSS at HMAS
Albatross, attended the conference and
was pleased to see the strong presence
female Navy members had among the
"This 'show of force' clearly demon-
strates Navy's commitment to further-
ing women in the workplace," LSCTL
"The aim for all Navy members
should be to promote equity and diversi-
ty in your own workplace -- not because
it's politically correct, or because you
feel it is mandated, but from the wealth
that comes from a variety of experience,
innovation and opinions, which keep our
workplaces fresh and revitalised."
"We have challenges in working
around people's schedules, but every-
one has been supportive of the meet-
ings and we have some really good
discussions," LCDR Power said.
"It also helps to see that you're not
alone if you fall behind by a week, or
have other family commitments -- we
can support each other through the My
Mentor process, which is different for
ABWTR Kristy Debnam said she
enjoyed the meetings and encouraged
anyone involved to seek out a peer
group to discuss the process.
"The mentoring program has
expanded my contacts within the
Navy community and I have been
able to discuss my thoughts openly. I
have received some extremely useful
feedback and assistance," ABWTR
"I've gotten so much from it
already and I have changed the way I
do things at work and at home."
ACHIEVING BALANCE: (L-R)
Maureen Frank, RADM Trevor Jones
and Professor Kerryn Phelps take
questions from the audience at the
launch of the Navy Women's Mentoring
Program at ADFA on March 8.
Photo: LSIS Paul McCallum
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