On Thursday, 7 March, Trinity College hosted an inaugural International Women's Day Breakfast in Gibney Hall. Attended by more than 200 parents, students (from both Trinity College and Mercedes College) and staff, it was an opportunity to recognise and celebrate the many achievements of the women in and around our community as well as educating and empowering the young men of Trinity College to help forge a more gender-balanced world. Special thanks to Amanda Cox, Chief Financial Officer and General Manager - People, Finance and Business Operations, West Coast Eagles Football Club, and Chris Sutherland ('81), Managing Director of Programmed, for being inspirational guest speakers at this event.
MC'd by Year 12 Prefect Lachie Sibosado, the morning commenced with an acknowledgement to country and welcome, accompanied by Colby Sibosado and Robbie Hansen on the didgeridoo. Principal Darren O'Neill gave the morning prayer and reflection, speaking about respect, love and care towards women, celebrating their achievements and valuing equality.
Guest speaker and TC Old Boy, Chris Sutherland ('81) spoke about the importance of achieving gender balance and how this will benefit everyone. With two sons and two daughters, he advocated a balanced world and noted that inequity exists, sharing some statistics on this. Chris recommended we focus on the messages that females hear, from an early age, in regard to their education, career advice and choices, leadership and retirement benefits. He discussed the inequity of income and superannuation, and what we can do to make it better. Chris advocated Trinity students to be men for others and take action when something isn’t fair or right; to encourage females and to lead by example, being a strong influencer and not ignoring false or disrespectful comments. As a Trinity man, we should show respect and support towards females, including in their career and subject choices.
Amanda Cox gave an inspiring speech, showcasing her career highlights, achieved through hard work and creating opportunities. An academic high-achiever at Corpus Christi College, Amanda focused on the maths, science and accounting subjects. At Curtin University, she studied Commerce and excelled in Finance and Accounting. Securing a position in KPMG’s Private Enterprise division, Amanda gained exposure to many industries. Amanda spoke of how she had mentors along the way and the importance of men needing to champion change for women. After 5 years at KPMG, she applied for and was offered the position of Financial Controller for the West Coast Eagles Football Club. Fourteen years later, Amanda has progressed in the club, which has 250 employees and some 80,000 members. At the age of 27 years old, Amanda became the Chief Financial Officer on the executive team, with the support of the CEO who believed in gender equity. She worked hard and more hours than anyone. Along the way, she has attended Harvard Business School (2011) and taken part in community programs in Cambodia and remote Australia. Amanda is both CFO and General Manager of People. She said it is important that women feel valued and respected, and that generally, we embrace diversity and inclusion. It’s important that we don’t follow the crowd and that men are willing to stand up and work with women for a better and balanced future.
The morning concluded with a touching video of Trinity students talking about the inspirational women in their lives. Thank you to everyone who attended this morning, including the Fathers for Others members and the Year 11 and 9 students who served food and drinks.