Igniting your future: Australia-Korea Women in Leadership Event – Sydney RECAP

The Australia-Korea Business Council (AKBC) was thrilled to launch our inaugural Women’s Leadership Lunch held at the Four Seasons in Sydney on Thursday 24 March.

Following the momentous achievements of last year, we are delighted to continue into 2022 with even greater momentum, as we enter into the full swing of yet another year of successful Australia-Korea relations.

This greatly anticipated series of ‘Australia-Korea Women in Leadership Lunches’ supports enabling pathways and opportunities for women in business, in particular those working within Australia-Korea bilateral relations.

Events like these provide the chance for both women and men to join together in building vital leadership skills, sharing knowledge, and establishing robust, mutually-beneficial networks.

It was an honour to host this event sponsored by the Australia Korea Foundation as a panel of resilient and influential women took to the stage, sharing their career journeys and insights into modern leadership.

Opening the event, H.E. Catherine Raper, Australia’s first female  Ambassador to the Republic of Korea, shared how her position has allowed her to seek to incrementally change the status quo when it comes to the representation of female leaders in Korea.

A common theme shared throughout the event by H.E. Catherine Raper and fellow panelist speakers was that of self-belief –  the ability to put yourself out there to establish connections and embrace every opportunity to build your network.

“Don’t count yourself out. You won‘t always succeed but you have to be in the mix. Work hard to acquire the skills and experiences you need to be in the mix. Seek out mentors and others as sounding boards along the way.” – H.E. Catherine Raper

Ms. Kylie Bell, Managing Director – Trade and Investment Group Investment NSW took to the stage as a representative of the NSW Government and shared the government’s excitement to expand their NSW-Korea relations and champion the increase of collaborative projects between the two nations.

Ms. Bell also shared “the NSW Governments internal target for 50% of all their executives to be women, a target that is already sitting at 42.5%.”

We were then thrilled to be joined by our Sydney speaking panel, Ms. Heejung Cecilia Lim CA, Management Consulting Manager, Accenture Australia, Ms. Christine Heesook Park, Partner, Head of Asian Business Group Findex (Crowe Global), and Ms. Julie-Anne Mizzi, Managing Partner and CEO Plenary Funds Management as each shared a brief introduction before taking questions from attendees.

Each of the panel speakers crafted their topics to a point of passion, with Ms. Heejung Cecilia Lim speaking on the need to take risks, and not be afraid to step into the unknown. She shared her personal story of travelling from Korea to Australia on her own with no prior connections and how this was pivotal in the cultivation of beginning her career from the ground up.

Ms. Christine Heesook Park spoke on the topic of mapping out a career plan, setting goals, and how working hard and diligently toward these pays off when it comes to career success. She shared from her own career journey touching on how she paved the way for herself in a male-dominated industry, balancing pregnancy and family life.

Ms. Julie-Anne Mizzi shared her learnings of the necessity of prioritising the building of relationships and trust with Koreans while working to help them build a stronger knowledge of Australia’s infrastructure sector. She shared that while it takes time to work on building these deeper connections it is beneficial in the long term.

The panel questions sparked a dynamic and beneficial discussion covering questions and topics from creating a healthy work-life balance, to representing yourself as a resilient and hardworking individual, as well as forming an identity that complements those who are representatives of both Korean and Australia.

In closing the event, Dr. Kyungja Jung, Associate Professor, University Technology Sydney shared the importance of and her passion for empowering women through access to education, training, and economic participation.

The AKBC was delighted to host and share this valuable initiative with our AKBC members and wider network and provide a platform for women excelling in Australian-Korean relations to share their expertise and pave the way for the next generation of leaders.

We’re delighted to share that this event is just the first in our series of leadership lunches as we look forward to hosting another in Melbourne on the 7th of April and Brisbane in the near future.

If attending our event has sparked your interest in becoming a member, find out more about our membership opportunities here.


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Australia Korea Business Council
PO Box 24430
Melbourne, Vic 3001 Australia
Liz Griffin – Executive Director

The Australia-Korea Business Council is the leading national body committed to strengthening the Australia-Korea economic relationship.