AUS-NZ Croatian Women in Leadership
Sunday 7th November 2021 at the Nikola Estate, Swan Valley

  • The AUS-NZ Croatian Women in Leadership WA group held their first event at the beautiful picturesque Nikola Estate (owned by the Yukich family) set in the Swan Valley wine district close to Perth.
  • The event began with a mesmerising traditional cultural singing performance by the Lado folkloric ensemble of WA formed in 1982. Dressed in the folkloric costume of MeÄ‘imurje complementing their performance singing songs of the region where the audience joined in with some of the traditional folk songs. The Lado Folk Ensemble has toured regional areas of WA and travelled and performed in Croatia including the famous Lisinski Dom in Zagreb.

The first speaker was the much loved and respected the Hon. Ljiljanna Ravlich who was the first woman elected to parliament from a non-English speaking country in 1996.

Ljiljanna spoke of her childhood experiences migrating to Australia, education, and career path and entertained us. Ljiljanna joined the WA cabinet in 2004 and served in a range of portfolios including as Minister of Education and Training. Ljiljanna implemented major reforms to reduce skills shortages and strengthen the apprenticeship and traineeship system. Ljiljanna served until 2015 was the Senior Minister in the Gallop and Carpenter Governments and Deputy Leader of the Government in the Legislative Council.

In 2003 Ljiljanna was a founding member of the WA Croatian Chamber of Commerce to promote friendship good will and understanding between the business communities of WA and the Republic of Croatia. An initiative that was replicated across the states.  

Dr Diane Erceg left us enthralled with her talk and photos of Antarctica during the ten year period leading tour groups in Antarctica. Highly motivated to achieve her goals and dreams we heard how she began by moving to Hobart to do Antarctic studies, worked for Australian Antarctic Division. At 24 years travelled the world, was a tour guide in the Canadian Arctic and Nunavut Territory and West coast of Greenland. Finally, travelled to Argentina working as an Antarctic Tour Guide for 10 years. Follow, Dr Diane Erceg on her website Diane is writing a book of her experiences in Antarctica.

Luke Jurcevic President of the Western Australian Croatian Chamber of Commerce said "this was a great event and presentation of two amazing women. Also an incredible performance of Croatian music, song & dance. Congratulations to everyone at Lado Croatian Folkloric Ensemble of Western Australia for an outstanding  performances promoting Croatian culture. Thanks to our Vice-President as well as board WA member Francika for organising a great event as the Aus-NZ Croatian Women in Leadership organisation."
Support  to network, build and expand the group creating long lasting friendships.