Deadly Sista Girlz Empowers Future Leaders

Deadly Sista Girlz from across the country came together for a day of leadership, career development and yarning at the 2022 Leadership Summit.

Supported by Western Power, the summit was held at Mineral Resources Park and was attended by DSG participants from nine schools from throughout WA and Victoria. Themes and activities for the day covered leadership skills, resume writing, diversity, and personal branding.

As part of Deadly Sista Girlz, girls are supported to attend school but are also encouraged to develop as strong leaders and role models in their own communities.
The summit commenced with General Manager of Education programs, Josie Janz-Dawson, who spoke about her story and how she has developed her leadership skills over time.

From growing up in the Kimberley, coming to Perth as a teenager for boarding school, playing professional netball with the West Coast Fever, then onto her career and her most recent role – motherhood.

Josie highlighted the importance of standing up for what you believe in and maintaining your own personal values.

“For you as women and as First Nations Peoples it’s really important that you don’t forget who you are, because when you’re navigating school and work and industry and community, often people are trying to change you to be somebody else,” she said.

“I want you to remember what makes you feel good and happy and what makes your heart sing. If you’re not feeling that then you need to reset yourself and think ‘what am I doing here?’, ‘is this the right organisation for me?’, or ‘how can I change it or how can I change the system that I am in for the better?’”

Participants also heard from Sam Webster, Principal of Diversity and Inclusion at Western Power.

Sam spoke about how she is championing Diversity and Inclusion in her workplace and the different ways of being a leader.

“I have a job where I am allowed to break the rules a little bit, with permission, but it doesn’t mean everyone is going to follow me so I have to find ways to influence in my role so that we can make change. Sometimes it’s not just about having the hat to say you’re a manager or a leader, it’s about how can I work with you and bring everybody on the journey,” she said.

“Over the last 5 – 10 years in particular workplaces, organisations and schools have realised that having people that look the same, speak the same and behave the same, doesn’t necessarily create a pleasant and inclusive workplace. It also doesn’t bring out all the wonderful things that make us unique that can contribute to how we perform as a team.

“You will know where you’re leading already. If you’re a captain of a team, or a friendship group leader – that’s leadership. It’s coming from a place inside and that’s really important because that will serve you for the rest of your life.”

Thank you to Western Power for generously supporting Deadly Sista Girlz and to Water Corporation, Maxima, Woolworths, Intertek and Career Wisdom for taking part in the summit.


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