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Massive speaker lineup for Women in Media 2023 National Conference

More than 50 leading women in journalism, politics, film, TV, advertising, marketing, technology, PR, comms, professional development, and social movements to speak at this year’s two-day Sydney event

The Women in Media National Conference, which will be held in Sydney for the first time on 8-9 September this year, will be the largest gathering of female media professionals from across the country.

Packed with thought-provoking topics, knowledge-building workshops and opportunities to engage in meaningful discussion, the conference lineup is far-reaching. Influential business leaders, media industry personalities, entrepreneurs, and those just starting out in their careers, will delve into crucial issues of gender, media, and society.

“With a carefully curated program, we present 50 extraordinary women from diverse domains; unified by their passion for media and depth of knowledge,” said Petra Buchanan, Strategic Advisor to Women in Media.

“From journalism to technology, politics to film, our lineup reflects the dynamism and impact of women across the industry. Brace yourself for thought-provoking discussions, knowledge-building workshops, and the opportunity to engage in meaningful exchanges.”

Petra added: “This is one of those events you clear the diary for and make it a priority to attend. Over the two-day event you will see faces you know, because they are leaders in their fields, and you will form new relationships with women like yourself; women who are focused on their careers in media and wanting to enhance their networks and knowledge.”

Please find the full program here


Chief News Presenter for Network Ten's flagship news bulletin, Sandra Sully will MC the first day of the conference (8 September 2023). Co-host of Nine Network's breakfast program Today, Sarah Abo will MC the second day of the event (9 September 2023).


Ita Buttrose AC OBE is an icon and inspiration to generations of Australian women. As a pre-eminent journalist, media industry powerhouse and trailblazer for women, her efforts have helped to improve diversity, equality and inclusion for all women in the media sector.

2023 Australian of the Year Taryn Brumfitt will be ‘in-conversation’ with Natalie Barr, Seven Network’s Sunrise co-host. Taryn, who rose to international fame with her Body Image Movement campaign and documentary Embrace, will share her story and discuss the importance of body acceptance and self-compassion in the media.

Award-winning journalist, ABC anchor, bestselling author and hit podcaster, Leigh Sales AM will be centre stage talking all things journalism. Caroline Jones Women in Media Young Journalist’s Award recipient for 2022, Samantha Jonscher will lead a Q&A with Leigh following her remarks.



This panel brings extensive expertise to the table, representing various sectors and institutions dedicated to advancing gender equality. Join former Sex Discrimination Commissioner, Kate Jenkins AO, Chair of the Women's Economic Equality Taskforce, Sam Mostyn AO, Federal Minister for Communications Michelle Rowland, CEO of Media Diversity Australia Mariam Veiszadeh andCEO of the Workplace Gender Equality Agency, The Hon Mary Wooldridge in a moderated discussion led by award-winning journalist and commentator on women and the workforce, Catherine Fox AM.


Leaders in advertising and marketing will discuss myth busting culture change and driving female narratives facilitated by Sunita Gloster AM. Bringing their creative, agency and marketing expertise to the discussion about advancing gender norms will be Seven West Media’s Chief Marketing and Audience Officer, Melissa Hopkins, CEO Dentsu Creative, Kirsty Muddle, Senior Strategy Director at Special Australia, Abbie Dubin-Rhodin and Clemenger BBDO Senior Copywriter, Phoebe Sloane.

Rosi Doviverata


Rosi Doviverata is the founding convenor of Women in Media Fiji and President of the Fijian Media Association. In her role as convenor, she has overseen the development of a regular series of networking events, expert panels and a mentoring program for Fijian women working in the media. She is currently acting in the role of Publisher/CEO for the Fiji Sun, one of two news publishers in Fiji.


Hear about the changing business of media from the women leading broadcast, print, online and platform businesses. Executive Vice President, Chief Content Officer and Head of Paramount+ at Paramount Australia and New Zealand Beverley McGarvey, Are Media CEO Jane Huxley, Chief Commercial and Content Officer of Foxtel Group, Amanda Laing and Co-founder and Chief Creative Officer of Mamamia, Mia Freedman will discuss evolving platforms, commercial realities and consumer expectation in a moderated discussion.


Entrepreneurship and new media offerings are changing the media landscape. This panel will address how these women are remaking the rules including Editor-in-Chief of Missing Perspectives, Hannah Diviney, founder, The Squiz, Claire Kimball, and co-founder and CEO, Cheek Media, Hannah Ferguson in a moderated discussion led by Kathy McLeish, a director of Women in Media Australia and an award-winning ABC journalist and producer.


Academic and media industry experts will dismantle the issues of technology that we are most curious about. UTS Senior Law Lecturer Dr Evana Wright will address how the law can help preserve creativity in an AI and tech-led world. Research fellow at the UTS Centre for Media Transition Michael Davis will delve into generative AI addressing concerns of misinformation and disinformation as this technology becomes more sophisticated. Former journalist and award-winning producer Lisa Main will address the future of journalism with AI and how we protect our democracies amid rapid and profound technological change. The session will be moderated by Monica Attard OAM, Co-Director of the UTS Centre for Media Transition and a Professor of Journalism at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.

Petra Buchanan


Women in Media is dedicated to gathering and sharing impactful data that addresses issues and supports women working in the sector. Our belief is that a well-articulated research agenda will enable us to communicate and represent women to stakeholders, peers, and the general public, fostering transparency and accountability. Presented by Petra Buchanan, non-executive director and strategic advisor to Women in Media.


Sport has an outsized impact, with more media coverage than other topics, funding and broadcast rights in the billions, and a spotlight on the inclusion of women. This session will include Ellie Cole OAM, Australia’s most decorated female Paralympian and winner of 17 Paralympic medals, Moya Dodd AO, a trailblazer in women’s football as a Matildas player and sports administrator, including on the successful Bid Committee to host the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023, and Jane Flemming OAM OLY, two-time Olympian. These amazing women are leading efforts to create a more inclusive future for Australian sport. Amanda Shalala, co-lead of ABC Sport's 50:50 Equality Project, will moderate this discussion.


Film and television influences how we see ourselves and others. You’ll know the work of Emmy and Golden Globe-winning producer Bruna Papandrea (Pieces of Her, Anatomy of a Scandal, Big Little Lies, Gone Girl, Wild) now you’ll get the opportunity to hear how she amplifies distinctive voices to tell unforgettable stories. Sally Riley, former ABC Head of Drama, Entertainment and Indigenous, is known for her impressive body of screen productions and for fostering and supporting key talent at all stages of the creative process. She has played a key role in developing and bringing to audiences’ programs that are entertaining, thought provoking and reflective of Australia’s national identity. Co-founder of Storyd Group, Chair of AI-Media and producer Deanne Weir, will discuss with Bruna and Sally how film and television influence the way we see ourselves and others, and why female narratives matter.


They always say you should end on a joke — we'll do better, we'll end on an hour of jokes. A Rational Fear is an award-winning comedy podcast hosted by Dan Ilic and Lewis Hobba. Together with a superstar panel of the funniest women in Australian media today, they'll rip apart the contemporary anxieties of being a woman in the media in 2023. Join Hannah Ferguson (Cheek Media), Nayuka Gorrie (Black Comedy), Lewis Hobba (Triple J), Nina Oyama (Deadloch) and Vidya Rajan (Aunty Donna's Comedy Cafe) and DJ Dylan Behan for a very special live recording of A Rational Fear, presented by Australian Ethical.

WORKSHOPS - 8 September 2023


How to reframe, redirect and relaunch your career when you’re feeling stuck, need a change or are returning from a career break. Hear from women that have taken a leap in a new direction and from those offering assistance and support including lessons learned, tips and advice. Presented by Women in Media Relaunch Project Leads Michelle Francis and Jacinta Rose with 2023 participants Selina Joseph, a freelance field, post and series producer and Sarah Elks, senior reporter for The Australian newspaper in the Brisbane bureau. Amanda Margariti, who leads LinkedIn’s advertising technology partnerships in Australia and Patricia Powell-Hughes, Managing Director of specialist executive search firm EP Australia, will add their expertise to the discussion.

Karen Eck


How to create career-defining opportunities and avoid killer mistakes when promoting your work. Learn the benefits of a culture where visibility is everyone’s business, including tips to curate personal and professional success at any life stage. Presented by communications strategist, talent manager and publicist Karen Eck.

Renece Brewster


AI as a tool to accelerate human creativity and content creation. Learn the role AI plays today as a co-creator of content. Presented by Renece Brewster, CEO & Co-Founder of Visual Domain and Co-managing Director of Girls in Tech Australia.

WORKSHOPS - 9 September 2023


How to make better decisions and solve tough problems in a rapidly changing media landscape. Learn a few simple but powerful techniques that will change you as a leader and as a person. Presented by Nudge Coaching and Consultancy, leadership and career coaching for women in media.

Suzie Shaw


How to target the trends and make empowered choices about your online engagement. Learn which platforms are trending, and why. Presented by Suzie Shaw CEO of We Are Social.


How to create meaningful impact with audience-relevant content. Learn from women who are building connections and businesses from the bush to beauty. Bobbi Mahlab AM, chair and founder of Mahlab Media and co-founder of Mentor Walks, will host this discussion with Georgie Robertson (PR Lead for buyfromthebush and Regional PR) and Sasha Kutabah Sarago (founder of Ascension, Australia's first Indigenous lifestyle magazine).


The Women in Media National Conference is supported by media partner ABC and presenting partners Seven and University Technology Sydney (UTS). The event takes place in Sydney on 8-9 September 2023. Attendees can expect an engaging and dynamic event that will leave them inspired and empowered. Find information about the event and speakers here.


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