Celebrating Aus-NZ Croatian Women in Leadership  

Thanks to our Vice President - Francika Roberts also the WA board member for AUS-NZ Croatian Women in Leadership attended Canberra for the Women in Leadership summit 2022 and also representing WA and attending - Darlene Gianoli. 

It was a privilege and honour to attend and be part of the 2nd Summit held in Canberra, 25th-27th Feb. 

The weekend commenced with a Welcome reception at the Parliament House - Members Hall in Canberra where over 130 women of Croatian heritage gathered from around Australia. 
The night was Welcomed by Co-Founders H. E. Ambassador Betty Pavelich and Sonja Palic. 
followed by Senator Holly Hughes. We were then greeted by Madame President Kolinda Grabar Kitarevic, former President of Croatia. The opening night in Parliament was one of empowerment, presence and opportunity. 

The Summit Conference commenced at the DOMA Realm hotel conference centre where we were addressed by our Key Note speaker H.E. and Madame President Kolinda Grabar Kitarevic  
Their speeches provided the women inspiration, a sense of value and worth, and focused on what it means to serve and how the opportunity of how to dream bigger than today.  

This was followed by 4 powerful panels with 16 speakers sharing their personal stories of heritage, expertise and lessons. The themes for the panels were 

 Panel 1 - Foundations for the future 
 Panel 2- Leading on Challenging Times 
 Panel 3- Successful Creative Journeys
 Panel 4 - The Well being of our Communities Q&A with panelists 

These panels packed the day with most amazing Croatian women that made you just burst with pride! 

These was a celebration dinner into the evening with a 3 course dinner whilst enjoying beautiful music with Dobre Vibracije at the famous Doma Hotel Realm! The food was spectacular followed by dancing and singing. 

The Sunday concluded with a Sunday Brunch at the Embassy of the Republic of Croatia with both Her Excellence and Madame President and the Board introducing new initiatives to inspire further growth and heritage connections. These included:

 Launch of Mentor Program 
 Launch of Young Person’s Program
 Launch of Education Program  

The AUS-NZ Croatian Women in Leadership is an organisation that consists of women of Croatian heritage whose common goal is to support, encourage and inspire each other as they progress through their working lives. It's a network that represents a number of diverse groups and businesses across Australia and New Zealand, including: Croatian entrepreneurs, female professionals, small business owners, women in the workforce, students and recent graduates. Annual members are a available on line small fee to stay connected between summits to keep supporting each other. 

Key take ways for me were be true to your self, retain your values. Education, professional development and experience will help you but hard work and perserverence will get you there and don’t forget to seek support from the wise ones to give you their wisdom and help to get you there . 

Look forward to seeing you at the next Summit in Ilirija Biograd in Croatia in September 2023! 

Be empowered! 

Francika Roberts /Cindy Drake 

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