Video: Celebrating International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day is a time for celebrating the achievements of all women and ensuring we continue to press for progress in all fields. We interviewed some brilliant University of Newcastle staff and alumni about their thoughts on IWD.


Meryl Swanson MP
Meryl Swanson was elected to the House of Representatives as the Member for Paterson in July 2016. Meryl is deputy chair of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Agriculture and Water Resources. She chairs the Labor Party Caucus Committee on Sustainable Australia, and is a member of Caucus Committees on Education, Science, Research and the Arts, the Status of Women, Country Labor, and the National Policy Forum. Meryl is also a member of numerous parliamentary friendship groups, including the Asbestos-Related Disease Group.

Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes
Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes holds a Bachelor of Business degree with a double major in industrial relations/human resource management and marketing from the University of Newcastle and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Throughout her time on Council, Nuatali has championed the revitalisation of Newcastle’s coastline and worked to improve vital Council services such as Blackbutt Reserve, pools and libraries, to provide all Novocastrians with equitable access to high-quality public facilities. During the 2017 General Council Election, which Nuatali won with more than 42 per cent of first preference votes.

Professor Catherine Coleborne – Head of the School of Humanities and Social Science
Professor Coleborne is an internationally recognised historian for health and medicine and has an extensive portfolio of research, teaching, administration and academic leadership. She holds an outstanding record of research and scholarly activity. Catherine has published three sole-authored books, more than six collections and a range of book chapters and refereed journal articles.

Professor Sally Chan – Dean of the School of Nursing and Midwifery & Deputy Director for the Research Centre of Brain and Mental Health.

Professor Chan believes the human mind is more important than the physical self. Sally has spent more than 20 years devoting her career to mental health research, she has collaborated with nursing and health communities worldwide. Sally’s research has been influential in healthcare policy ad service delivery in Hong Kong, Singapore and China.

Professor Tania Sourdin – Dean of School of Law
Professor Tania Sourdin has spanned the globe with an extensive career focusing on justice, litigation, conflict avoidance and dispute resolution. Tania has influenced legislative reform initiatives, standards and cultural change for dispute resolution. She has also taught judges in a range of programs that include court craft, civil procedure, decision making, complex behaviour and in judicial orientation programs.

Professor Penny Jane Burke – Global Innovation Chair of Equity
Professor Penny Jane Burke was awarded a full-time Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) PhD studentship to study student equity, and upon completion of her PhD (University of London). She has generated over $2,500,000 in research funding and has published extensively in the field of equity and social justice in education. Penny Jane is the Editor of the Taylor and Francis international peer-reviewed journal Teaching in Higher Education and has always been deeply committed tot he development of high quality education opportunities

Alison Cheek

Alison is the Vice President Corporate Communications at eServGlobal and a University of Newcastle alumnus. Alison has more than 10 years experience in corporate communications and marketing within the sectors of technology, telecommunications and engineering. Working closely with the Executive Team, Alison is focused on delivering best-practice, enterprise-wide marketing and communications plans and strategies, which reinforce strong company values and drive business outcomes.

Dr Kirsten Molloy

Dr Kirsten Molloy is a Chief Executive Director of the Hunter Valley Chain Coordinator and a University of Newcastle alumnus. Kirsten is passionate about leadership and Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths, Diversity and Equity and over the years has implemented and supported a range of initiatives to support these areas. She developed a Women in Leadership Program in a  previous role, co-founding the Equal Futures Project in the Hunter region and the Hunter Valley Diversity Awards.

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