Forum to highlight female leaders

Two of Victoria’s highly regarded leaders in the community services sector will share their leadership journeys at an upcoming forum in Mildura next week.

The Women in Leadership forum, presented by La Trobe University, will feature Conny Lenneberg and Sandie de Wolf AM as panellists on Wednesday 27 March.

The annual event is in its third year and is designed to stimulate a conversation around the topic of women in senior leadership roles whilst raising funds for female students studying at La Trobe’s Mildura campus.

Conny Lenneberg is currently the CEO of the Brotherhood of St Laurence and has devoted her working life to social justice initiatives.  She has 25 years’ experience in the development and social justice sector and led World Vision International’s organisation and programs in the Middle East and Eastern Europe for more than six years.  In this role she confronted some of the most devastating global humanitarian crises including in Afghanistan, the Syria and Iraq conflicts and responding to the 2004 Indian ocean tsunami.

Sandie de Wolf AM stepped down from her role as Chief Executive of Berry Street in 2017, after a 43-year career in community services.  As CEO of Berry Street, Sandie helped children, young people, women and families recover from the devastating effects of violence, abuse and neglect.  Sandie sits on a number of number of federal and state ministerial committees and peak bodies, influencing change in both policy and practice.

Dr Deb Neal, Head of Campus, said both Conny and Sandie are alumni of La Trobe University and she was thrilled to be able to bring them to Mildura to share their stories.

“Both Conny and Sandie are highly regarded in their field and we know that their areas of expertise will be of real interest to the local community. Both are alums of La Trobe and personify what we are about as a University at its core. We hope the community gets behind this event again, as they have the previous two years, as the funds raised goes towards the Regional Women in Leadership bursary.  So far we’ve been able to award nine $1000 bursaries to female students studying at our campus and we’d love to support more local students,” Dr Neal says.

Previous recipients of the bursary and current Social Work students, Jemma Johnson and Sarah Taha, will share on the night what impact the bursaries have had on their journeys.

Tickets are $30 per person and the evening concludes with drinks, canapes and a chance for networking.  Tickets can be purchased online by visiting