Keynote speakers announced: Kate Carnell and Karen Bevan


AusBiotech is counting down the days before an incredible line up of speakers inspire delegates at the Women in Life Sciences Luncheon, in Sydney on Friday 8 March 2019.

The luncheon includes discussions to the theme: An hour to empower, where Ms Kate Carnell and Ms Karen Bevan will each deliver a keynote address, and a powerhouse panel of six women representing biotech, pharma, research, and the consumer. Each will be speaking on their experiences in making a difference and rebalancing gender equity within the workplace, and focus on actions that we can take to make a difference.

Kate Carnell commenced her role as Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO) in March 2016. Kate brings extensive experience and knowledge to the role of Ombudsman, having run her own small businesses for 15 years before becoming ACT Chief Minister in 1995 for a five year period.

Prior to her appointment as the inaugural ASBFEO, Kate held the position of CEO of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which represents more than 300,000 businesses across Australia.

Kate is a pharmacist by profession and was the inaugural chair of the ACT Branch of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia and the first female to become the National Vice-President of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia. Kate was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2006 for her services to the community through contributions to economic development and support for the business sector, knowledge industries, the medical sector and medical technology advances.

With a career dedicated to advancing the rights and wellbeing of vulnerable people, Ms Karen Bevan has held key leadership roles for organisations that transform people’s lives.

Currently the General Manager – Service Delivery at Settlement Services International, Karen combines her decades of experience with qualifications in human rights law and communications to play a key role in strategy, advocacy and policy, as well as overseeing the operational delivery of key services in employment, disability and child and family support.

Karen has been fortunate to receive a number of awards and scholarships to support her leadership development. In 2016 she was the Harvard Club of Australia Not for Profit Fellow, being awarded a highly competitive scholarship to attend executive education for not for profit leaders at Harvard University. In 2013 she was the inaugural winner of the McCarthy Mentoring NFP Executive Mentoring Scholarship.

Panellists include: Ainslie Cahill (Immediate past CEO, Arthritis Australia), Dr Anna Lavelle, (Chair, Medicines Australia Board), Fabienne Connet (Head of Human Resources Australia & New Zealand, Biogen), Kathy Connell (Senior Director New Ventures, Australia and New Zealand, Johnson & Johnson Innovation), Maria Halasz (CEO and Managing Director, Cellmid Limited), and Professor Marie Dziadek, Chief Scientific Officer, Garvan Institute of Medical Research. The panel will be led by Lorraine Chiroiu (CEO, AusBiotech) and Liz De Somer (CEO, Medicines Australia). Read their biographies here.

The Women in Life Sciences Luncheons provide a forum for women to gather and support one another in their careers in life sciences, in order to achieve a more equal standing. From an unacceptably low base, women have steadily been working towards an equal representation in life sciences. The time has now passed for identifying the issues: they are globally recognised. It is now time to begin addressing them; it is time for action. It is time to come together and empower each other to make a difference.

Let us join forces, be inspired by solutions, and consider what we can do to take the next steps in increasing females in senior leadership positions. Let us use the strength and bond we hold amongst women to further galvanise the diversity required within life sciences. For this is the underpinning to building a successful sector – a position supported regardless of gender.

Register for the Women in Life Sciences Luncheon now.