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Grammar Women in the Boardroom: A Conversation for Change — Ms Kerryn Newton

Kerryn NewtonA Non-executive Director of Energy Queensland and Managing Director of Directors Australia, Ms Kerryn Newton, will be speaking at our upcoming Grammar Women in the Boardroom: A Conversation for Change event — a panel discussion drawing on the wealth of experience of five prominent career directors to champion the next generation of female business leaders.

For more than twenty-eight years, Kerryn has worked in various legal, management and commercial roles across the private and public sectors.

Her extensive experience as a director on the boards of private, public sector and not-for-profit companies is drawn from her desire to ‘be involved and make a difference’.

It is a long-standing motivation; when Kerryn’s daughter (current Year 12 student, Jess Jenkinson) attended a non-profit long day care centre as a toddler, the centre faced the challenge of successfully introducing prep, which was a significant undertaking for the community-based organisation.

The management committee sought new members to help oversee and guide the centre during this period of transition, and Kerryn volunteered to be on the committee, before becoming President for a number of years.

‘I enjoyed the collegiality and strategic role of the committee, and gained a lot of satisfaction from the outcomes we achieved for the centre and local community,’ Kerryn said.

In the years since, Kerryn has held a number of board positions, including her current role as Director of Energy Queensland; her passion for making a difference has remained steadfast.

‘I’ve always enjoyed being actively involved in my community and hopefully I’ve made a positive contribution,’ she said.

‘In return, I have challenged myself and developed both professionally and personally.’

In Kerryn’s experience, the contribution of women ‘enhances the way boards go about fulfilling their functions’ and ‘adds to the richness of discussion’.

Her advice for women interested in joining a board is to think about what is you are passionate about, and how you can contribute to organisations in that field.

‘Be clear as to why you want to join a particular board and how you can add value to the board’s work,’ Kerryn said.

‘The key to adding value will be your skills and experience, which come from being good at your day job.

‘Tell relevant people that you are interested in joining a board and don’t be afraid to put yourself forward for a role for which you have a sense of connection and/or passion.’

We look forward to hearing more from Kerryn at Grammar Women in the Boardroom: A Conversation for Change event, to be held on Wednesday 30 August 2017 in the Barbara Fielding Room, level 4, Cherrell Hirst Creative Learning Centre at Brisbane Girls Grammar School.

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