THE sixth Shoalhaven Women’s Conference at Bomaderry Bowling Club on Thursday was a success, with well over 300 women turning up to be motivated and inspired.
Guest speakers captivated the audience with stories of their journeys and achievements.
Keynote speaker Dr Louise Mahler, an expert in the psychology of face-to-face engagement, involved the audience in her humorous and energetic talk on communication.
She had the room up on their feet and singing Somewhere Over the Rainbow by the end of her talk.
Dr Mahler said audiences found themselves breaking patterns and doing things they never thought they would during her interactive sessions.
With a background in opera, Dr Mahler noticed an element lacking in corporate leadership and embarked on a PhD to research the mind-body-voice connection.
Dr Goli Samimi, group leader of the Ovarian Cancer Research Group at the Kinghorn Cancer Centre and Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Sydney, spoke about her challenging work.
Her ultimate goal is to develop a non-invasive early detection test for ovarian cancer in high-risk women.
“I really enjoy writing and speaking about science,” she said.
“As part of my job, I get to educate the public on cancer research. I really enjoy answering their questions and hopefully making an impact.”
Three diverse local speakers shared their experiences with the audience as well.
Soprano Christa Leahmann from Shoalhaven Heads spoke about her career in opera and musical theatre.
Pam Gokgur spoke about her diverse experiences in hospitality and accounting. She is now chief financial officer at Shoalhaven City Council.
Vincentia’s Grace Kennedy regaled the audience with her tales from the high sea.
A sailor from a young age, Ms Kennedy recently completed the 2013 Sydney to Hobart.
The boat was crewed by Sailors With Disabilities.
Ms Kennedy, 19, was born with spina bifida and uses a wheelchair.
“I could never play the team sports my family played, but sailing is all about team work and more,” she said.
“On the water I can contribute to the team effort and achieve a common goal.”
The Shoalhaven Women’s Personal Development Fund and the Shoalhaven Education Fund grant recipients were also introduced.