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Women's Leadership Network: International Women's Day

Celebrate the role of women working to build a strong public sector

International Women’s Day

Is this event for you? 

The Women’s Leadership Network (WLN) aims to empower future generations of female public sector future leaders.

IPAA’s annual International Women’s Day celebration sheds light on the increasingly significant role of women in leadership positions. Each year the event brings together high-profile speakers from the public sector, corporate, and political worlds to share their insights on how to accelerate gender parity in the workforce.  

In 2024, we hear from the leaders and changemakers who are shaping the public sector to enable greater inclusion and equality for us all.

Join us as we delve into the perspectives of female Secretaries who have ascended the ranks to become influential leaders in the public sector. 

What will you gain?
Hear insights from senior leaders in government as they discuss how the sector can support more women in leadership. 

Enjoy an evening of networking and canapes as you hear exclusive insights from the women who lead the public sector. 

Sponsorship Acknowledgement

This is proudly sponsored by: 

Christine Jones
Holding Redlich

Christine Jones is a construction and commercial litigator with 20 years' experience across residential, commercial and infrastructure asset classes. She has been advising government agencies throughout her career, is the interface partner for the firm’s NSW Government practice and the editor of the firm’s fortnightly public law and government newsletter, NSW Government Bulletin.


Elizabeth Mildwater
Enterprise, Investment & Trade

Elizabeth was appointed Secretary of Enterprise, Investment and Trade in October 2022, bringing more than 25 years' management experience across customer services, legal, company secretarial, compliance, risk, management, human resources, and general operations.

Prior to that, Elizabeth was CEO of the Greater Cities Commission and held senior leadership roles at Transport for NSW, including helping to drive the integration transport modes to deliver improved customer-centred services and infrastructure for the Sydney metropolitan area. Elizabeth's earlier executive positions included Director of Australian Programs for Save the Children Australia and the Victorian Group General Manager with Transurban. Elizabeth is passionate about harnessing stakeholder and employee engagement and new technologies to achieve new levels of service.

She serves as a Council member with IPAA NSW and was appointed a National Fellow in 2022. In addition to holding degrees in Law and Economics, Elizabeth has an MA in Contemporary Asian Analysis and has completed the Advanced Management Programme at Harvard Business. She is also a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Susan Pearce
Ministry of Health

Susan Pearce is Secretary, NSW Health, appointed in March 2022. In this role, Susan is responsible for the management of the NSW health system - with over 120,000 FTE and a budget of over $30billion - to ensure the provision of world-class, patient-centred care to the people of NSW.

Prior to her recent appointment, Susan was Deputy Secretary, Patient Experience and System Performance Division, a position she has held from November 2015. In that role, Susan had responsibility for the oversight of front-end service delivery and system performance and management across NSW Health, and improving patient experience.

Susan was also the Controller of the State Health Emergency Operations Centre (SHEOC), responsible for directing and overseeing NSW Health’s operational response to the pandemic. From February 2021, Susan led the NSW Health vaccine rollout program, establishing over 40 NSW Health vaccination clinics and more than 100 mobile, outreach and pop-up locations across the state to contribute to the high vaccination rate that have been achieved amongst the people of NSW.

Susan began her career as a registered nurse more than 30 years ago in Broken Hill and has continually worked to serve the communities of NSW, including working in number of Local Health Districts and subsequently as the NSW Chief Nurse. Susan has qualifications in Law and was admitted to the Supreme Court of NSW as a solicitor in September 2019. 


Marina van der Walt
Deputy Secretary 

Marina van der Walt is the Deputy Secretary, Financial Management and Services; she re-joined Treasury in November 2022. In this role, she provides executive leadership and strategic direction for the Public Sector financial reporting, including frameworks and governance, Strategic Balance Sheet Management, including sustainable financing, social impact investment and also lead the Treasury functional Groups, including Human Resources, Finance, Information Technology and Communications.

Prior to this role, she was the Head of Assurance at Infrastructure NSW for 5 years, ensuring there is improved oversight of the state's capital works delivery program and asset management and she was in various roles in NSW Treasury between 2013 and 2017. She is the executive sponsor for initiatives aimed at improving gender equality in the construction sector and improving the culture of the sector. 

She has international experience in the public sector, consulting and investment banking of more than 23 years.

If you are a NSW public sector employee, click here to become an Affiliate member free of charge.


Event Details 


 04:30PM – 07:30PM (AEST/AEDT)


 Wednesday 6 March 2024


 Harbourside Room, Museum of Contemporary Art,
 140 George Street, The Rocks, Sydney 2000


 Pro Members: $55
 Affiliate Member: $65
 Non-members: $75


Be at your best, for NSW. 
Register now to secure your spot.


6/03/2024 4:30 PM - 7:30 PM
AUS Eastern Daylight Time
Harbourside Room, Museum of Contemporary Art Sydney, NSW 2000 AUSTRALIA
Registration not available.

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