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International Navy Women Inspire Leadership at Home

International Navy Women Inspire Leadership at Home

Naval women from New Zealand, the United States, and Australia will come together tomorrow to share experiences and map the way ahead for women in the Navy at The Modern Sailor Conference, presented by Westpac NZ as part of the Royal New Zealand Navy’s (RNZN) 75th Anniversary celebrations.

The two day conference (23-24 June) is part of a long term strategy to maximise the success of New Zealand’s Navy women now and in the future. It aims to develop leaders, and help them reach their full potential as part of a diverse naval workforce.

“We have come a long way in empowering women in the Navy, and this conference is a great opportunity to look at where we are now and what we must do next to ensure we are a Service that all of our people are proud to live and work in,” says Captain (CAPT) Corina Bruce, Programme Director.

Former Governor-General Dame Catherine Tizard will open the conference, followed by a range of keynote speakers who will discuss a range of subjects such as diversity in the workforce, balance of power, and culture.

Speakers include Gina Dellabarca of Westpac, Commodore Michele Miller from the Royal Australian Navy, Fleet Master Chief Petty Officer Susan Whitman from the United States Navy, New Zealand Secretary of Defence Helene Quilter, and subject matter experts from across New Zealand. They will offer alternative views on the challenges women face in naval service, and the opportunities for growth, development, and leadership of women.

“Maximising these opportunities is crucial in increasing the number of women serving at all levels of the New Zealand Defence Force, including the most senior positions of command and leadership.

“We are honoured to have such high calibre role models speaking at the conference. They offer great insight into what it takes to be a successful leader, which will inspire our Navy women to be the best they can be and ensure a future where women will thrive and continue to play a key role in navigating our Navy’s success.

“The inclusion of Westpac people with New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel is an opportunity to compare solutions to the challenges faced by women in the highly competitive banking sector and those applicable to women in the Navy,” says CAPT Bruce.

The Modern Sailor conference is part of the programme of events celebrating 30 years of Women at Sea throughout the month of June. The conference will be attended by NZDF personnel from all ranks and trades.

Upcoming major events and activities for 2016:

23 –24 June –Westpac NZ presents the Modern Sailor Conference, Auckland.

17 –22 November –International Naval Review, including an exhibition at The Cloud, a sports tournament, cultural performances, street march, and ships’ open to the public day, Auckland.

18 December –Memorial service for the 150 New Zealanders lost from HMS NEPTUNE, Pukeahu National War Memorial, Wellington.

Visit the Operation NEPTUNE 75th anniversary webpage and follow the Royal New Zealand Navy’s Facebook page for regular updates on how, when, and where people can get involved.


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