The first webinar in the series, Connecting with the self: Identity, belonging, and leadership, will be recorded on 15 November 2019 and will be available for viewing shortly afterwards. The webinar will feature Bianca Elmir, Hana Assafiri, and Wesa Chau.
Bianca Elmir is a woman of Lebanese and Islamic heritage raised in Canberra. With a degree in international relations and community development, her experience spans various roles: from working on an HIV/AIDS prevention program in rural South Africa, to advising a Greens member of the ACT Assembly, to acting as a film stunt woman and being on reality TV. Defying gender stereotypes, she has won national and international titles in both boxing and kickboxing. By utilising boxing as an instrument to inspire and elevate self-esteem, Bianca facilitates women’s boxing clinics across Australia and the Pacific providing peer-mentoring program for marginalised young women. A feature length documentary about Bianca titled Bam Bam the Movie was released in 2018 and has been selected for various film festivals and awards nationally and internationally.
Wesa Chau is the CEO of Cultural Intelligence and co-founder of Belonging From The Inside Out, an initiative to promote belonging through leadership programs and workshops, especially for people from a different cultural background. She has been a strong advocate for cultural diversity and gender diversity for two decades. Her work is recognised through a number of prestigious awards, including being an inductee of the Victorian Honour Roll of Women and is a finalist for the Agenda Settle of the Year Award in 2016. She is also a member of the Multicultural Business Ministerial Council and Ministerial Council for Women’s Equality.
Hana Assafiri OAM is a tireless advocate for women in the community, a spokesperson for Islamic feminism in Australia and as a long-time Melbourne icon, she is celebrated for both her generosity and success as a businesswoman. Hana has dedicated her professional and private life to removing barriers that prevent women from living prosperous lives. By opening her first restaurant in 1998, the popular Moroccan Soup Bar in North Fitzroy–now an institution for many Victorians, Hana has provided employment opportunities for marginalised members of the community. In 2015, Hana was awarded TimeOut’s Legend Award for her flair for innovation and entrepreneurship. In March 2017 Hana was inducted into the Victorian Honour Roll of Women, celebrating her contribution made to local communities and human rights. In 2019, Hana was awarded an Order of Australia Medal (OAM) for her services to women and the broader community.