Boldness a beautiful approach for women

YWCA's Sandra Handley with former Queensland premier Anna Bligh who was the key note speaker at an International Women's Day lunch in Lismore.
YWCA's Sandra Handley with former Queensland premier Anna Bligh who was the key note speaker at an International Women's Day lunch in Lismore. Alison Paterson

BOLDNESS in your personal and professional life offers enormous dividends and satisfaction.

That's the advice from former Queensland premier and current Young Women's Christian Association chief executive Anna Bligh and Major Sana Henderson (nee Fernandez), who was a commander of an Australian Army helicopter detachment in Afghanistan.

Speaking to more than 120 guests at the International Women's Day luncheon in Lismore on Wednesday, Ms Bligh and Ms Fernandez shared their experiences in facing challenges in their working lives and how a bold approach helped them overcome doubt, fear and retain confidence in their abilities.

Ms Henderson was the first female Australian Defence Force Academy graduate to complete the Army's pilot training course.

She spoke about when she decided to go into the army at age 17, become a pilot and overcome resistance to becoming part of a reconnaissance team.

YWCA NSW senior manager, Lismore branch, Sandra Handley said the speakers were exceptional.

"They showed how women can achieve by being bold and standing up foe themselves in those moments when you need to,” she said.

"Anna and Sana talked about taking bold leaps when it gets hard and facing challenges head on.”

Ms Handley said Ms Bligh shared her experiences in the 2010-2011 Queensland floods which affected 90 towns and over 200,000 people.

"Anna spoke about how it was important to show leadership and courage, as well as emotion and empathy,” she said.

"She said how she thought she'd stuffed it when she broke down during a speech and it was not until afterwards she realised how much it touched people and showed empathy and emotion in times of adversity. You don't have to strong and unfeeling to be a great leader.”

Luncheon organiser Gai Ferris from the Rotary Club of Summerland Sunrise said funds raised from the event would go towards Heartfelt House and the Lismore Women's Health & Resource Centre.

Topics:  anna bligh international women's day lismore major sana henderson northern rivers community

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