New sessions and speakers announced for Women in Media National Conference

Women in Media Pivots and Portfolios panellists - Anisha Khopkar, Jane Caro AM, Zara Siedler & Megan Brownlow

Guests include Anisha Khopkar, Jane Caro, Zara Siedler, Megan Brownlow, Rachel Griffiths, Liz Haye, Justice Michael Lee, and Ita Buttrose.

Women in Media has announced a host of panels and speakers for their annual conference, taking place on 9 August at Sydney’s Sofitel Wentworth.

The marquee event organised by the non-profit, which is dedicated to helping women excel in media, brings together professionals from all corners of the industry.

Pivots and portfolios

Research shows that most people will change careers three to seven times, and changing jobs is more common than ever before. This panel will discuss these career trends in media and explore the rising diversity in our working lives, including career pivots, job diversity, and the gig economy.

Featuring media strategist Anisha Khopkar, who left her role with the ABC to start her own business, Walkley award-winning columnist and author Jane Caro AM, and The Daily Aus co-founder Zara Siedler, and moderated by journalist-come-board director Megan Brownlow of Houston Consulting.

“Women working in media are familiar with short contracts and having to be multi-skilled and flexible to be employable,” explained Women in Media general manager, Kym Middleton.

“This brings challenges but also lots of opportunities that different generations are seizing. It will be wonderful to hear how this impressive trio of women manage their professional pivots and portfolio careers.”

Rachel Griffiths AM and Liz Hayes

Australian film icon and Academy Award-nominated actress Rachel Griffiths AM (Muriel’s Wedding, Six Feet Under) will join Liz Hayes for an in-depth conversation about Griffiths’ career and life in the screen industry. Hayes will delve into Griffiths’ career as an actress, director, and producer, as well as her role in highlighting women’s issues over the years.

Rachel Griffiths AM

Rachel Griffiths AM

Middleton called the pairing of Griffiths and Hayes as “frankly, really special.”

She continued, “Despite coming from wildly different parts of our industry, Rachel Griffiths and Liz Hayes are both storytellers at heart. They just do it in different ways; one through scripted films and TV, the other through reporting on news events. Each has interesting skills in creativity, investigation, narrative-making, and character exploration that we can learn from.”

Justice Michael Lee and Ita Buttrose AC OBE

The conversation between Justice Michael Lee of the Federal Court of Australia and pre-eminent journalist, media industry powerhouse and trailblazer for women, and Women in Media Patron, Ita Buttrose AC OBE will have a particular focus on the themes of truth and trust.

Lee, known for his incisive handling of complex legal cases, and Buttrose, a veteran journalist and former Chair of the ABC, will explore critical issues affecting both the media and judicial landscapes. The session is a unique opportunity for attendees to gain perspectives from both the legal bench and the media hot seat on maintaining and fostering public trust.

Middleton described the session as one that will offer a comprehensive view of how the media and legal systems intersect, and the crucial role trust plays in both arenas.

“This conversation is a rare opportunity for women working across different forms of media to hear from two highly experienced figures on the intersections of public discourse and legal standards,” Middleton stated.

“This session is more than just an exploration of problems; it’s about empowering women in media to lead with integrity and champion the truth. Justice Lee and Ita Buttrose bring unparalleled insights that will inspire and equip attendees to contribute positively to our media landscape.”

See also: ‘Highly concerned’: Avoiding potential talent drain of women in media

Top Image: Anisha Khopkar, Jane Caro AM, Zara Siedler & Megan Brownlow

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