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25 + 26
Nov 2016

Welcome to the Breakthrough Blog!


Here you will find interviews with our illustrious expert speakers, why it’s so important for us break through in Australia and get a little taste of what’s to come at the event. The future is gender equality — join us!

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Life, Relationships + Money; Discuss


Thur 24 Nov

At Breakthrough, we’re inviting you to join us in the ‘Life, Relationships, Money; Discuss’ workshop to share your thoughts about one of life’s big questions — money. We want to know, what have you noticed about women’s experiences with finances? When relationships are thrown into the mix, what happens to the monetary side of things? And ultimately, we want to uncover how we can better support women’s economic freedom.

Led by Alana Johnson (Convenor, Victorian Women’s Trust), with support from Fiona Nixon (Bank Australia), this workshop will feature a whole host of experts (that’s you!), plus we’ll be working with researchers in the field such as Women’s Information Referral Exchange, Financial Counselling Australia, Women Talk Money, Good Shepherd and Women’s Legal Victoria.

Together, we’ll answer the question — what do we need to do to ensure women’s independence?

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7 Ways To Get the Most Out of Breakthrough


Tues 22 Nov

As Breakthrough draws ever closer, now is the perfect time to plan your Breakthrough journey. Check out our top tips for making your event experience a real delight.

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Kate Jenkins Talks Equal Pay and Equal Roles


Tues 22 Nov

It’s safe to say that Kate Jenkins knows a thing or two about gender equality, having gathered a wealth of human rights and legal experience over the years. Kate commenced her term as Australia’s Sex Discrimination Commissioner in April 2016 and has hit the ground running, determined to prevent violence against women and their children, secure women’s economic security, and advocate for greater diversity in decision making roles across our community.

Kate will deliver a keynote We Can + We Will on Day Two of Breakthrough. You can also see her in the Reforming Law workshop. We had a chat to Kate about the gender pay gap and women in sport.

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Dr. Clare Wright: I'm Drawn to Women's History


Tues 22 Nov

Dr. Clare Wright is an award-winning historian and author who has worked as an academic, political speechwriter, historical consultant and radio and television broadcaster. She is an integral part of the history faculty at La Trobe University, which has been a pioneering institution in the academic field of Gender Studies for decades. La Trobe University is a key partner of Breakthrough 2016.

Clare will be delivering a keynote address Making Waves, Making History on Day One of Breakthrough. We had a chat to Clare on the importance of learning about and from women’s history.

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Say hello to Susie from the Grand Magoozi



Fri 18 Nov

The Grand Magoozi are Melbourne based band with a sound rooted in folk, blues and country. Their first self titled LP features original compositions written by beguiling lead vocalist Susie Scurry. Her music has been described as “smoky vocals and simple song writing [that] deliver tenderness and subtle wit in equal measure”. Sounds like a dream.

The Grand Magoozi will be performing during our Breakthrough Get Together on Sat 26 Nov, featuring MC Jan Fran and music from the Brunswick Women’s Choir. We chatted to Susie about her music and the challenges specific to women in the music industry.

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Witch Way Forward: Co-Host Jan Fran from SBS's The Feed Talks Sexism and Salem


Tues 17 Nov

Currently I’m reading a book called The Witches, a historical retelling of the 1692 Salem Witch Trials. Much of the book is context with large chunks of chapters dedicated to explaining the prevailing cultural and religious ethos of the time, which gave rise to what was effectively the callous mass murder of (predominately) women.

The Feed‘s Jan Fran pens an article about the long history of belittling and demonizing women. And she has a theory as to why this is still happening.

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Jessica Rowe: '20 years ago I wasn’t “permitted” to read the main news story or do interviews.'


Wednesday 16 Nov

You may know her as one of Australia’s best-loved TV journalists. Or as one of Australia’s leading mental health advocates. Either way, there’s no doubting Jessica Rowe’s tireless work ethic and passion for social justice. As someone who has been in the media for over 20 years, she’s seen the newsroom transform from a boys club to what it is today. We asked Jessica about this and her thoughts on what it will take to make gender bias just fade away.

We are honoured to have Jessica on board with #Breakthrough2016. In the lead up to these very exciting times, we had a chat to Jessica about gender equality and women in media.

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GRL PWR: We’ll Tell You What We Want, What We Really Really Want


Mon 14 Nov

Girl Power is the gender equality motto of young women everywhere. And for good reason. Today’s girls are unstoppable, and they are not putting up with any crap! Join Yassmin Abdel-Magied, Brodie Lancaster, Jess Kapuscinski-Evans, Freya Bennett and Dinochip in GRL PWR at Breakthrough 2016 to hear how they are kick-starting their own activism, and how you can too.

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#QForLeigh: Brodie Lancaster + Anne Summers turn the mic on Leigh Sales


Mon 14 Nov

We’re over the moon to announce our special #QForLeigh session where Brodie Lancaster and Anne Summers will flip the script and turn the mic on one of Australia’s most renowned journalists Leigh Sales, following her keynote address at Breakthrough 2016.

Brodie Lancaster can barely contain her excitement either and penned an article for the Breakthrough Blog revealing all the questions she’d love to ask Leigh. You can tweet your question using the hashtag #QForLeigh and, when you join our audience, you might just get your answer.

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Mojo Juju sings tunes 'loaded with sin'.


Fri 11 Nov

Mojo Juju is a musician, raconteur and bona fide expert in “vintage rock ‘n’ roll licks, howling jazz and grinding juke-joint blues” (Sydney Morning Herald). With a sound to make the devil in you to come out and play, Mojo Juju is the perfect addition to Breakthrough 2016.

Mojo Juju will be performing during our Breakthrough Get Together on Fri 25, featuring performances from Judith Lucy and Georgia Fields. We spoke with Juju about the music world, what gender equality really means and got some choice advice for future music makers.

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Judith Lucy to Perform at Breakthrough!


Tues 8 Nov

Drum-roll please….not only can you hear Judith Lucy’s take on male dominated industries in the #NotAllMen breakout session (looking at you, Australian comedy scene), but she will also be delivering a comedy set in the Melbourne Town Hall on Friday 25 November.

Lucy has been part of the stand-up comedy arena for over 20 years and has been described as “painfully honest, sharply observed and with a joke rate second to none”. She has sold out countless theatrical runs in Australia and has taken her shows to Montreal, Edinburgh and London’s West End.

We couldn’t be more thrilled to have the powerhouse joining us in the fight for gender equality.

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Tues 8th Nov Written by Anne Summers

Anne Summers is a journalist and author. Her classic 1975 book Damned Whores and God’s Police was re-released on International Women’s Day 2016. Anne will be MC at Breakthrough 2016 on Friday 25 November. As someone who has been in the women’s rights movement for over four decades, she has seen first hand the power of positive social change for women and the ongoing struggle to maintain progress. She believes it’s time for Australia to breakthrough.


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Women On the Front Line: A How To Guide on Surviving and Fighting Back in Digital Spaces


Mon 7th Nov

We all know how rough it can be sometimes to exist as women in online spaces. But if you’re a woman online who’s also actively confronting bigotry in 2016, there’s a good chance you’ll need to brace yourself for a truck load of hatred from an onslaught of idiots.

Celeste LiddleClementine Ford, Mariam Veiszadeh,Van Badham and Stephanie Bendixson have all been there, done that and not only lived to tell the tale but also have a habit of taking down bigotry  and trolls online and creating space for women in male dominated arenas. Together, they’re going to get into the realities of online engagement, activism, trolls and tackling abuse at Breakthrough 2016.

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Ella Hooper: star musician + now — VWT board member!


Thurs 3 Nov

Goodness, this is exciting! The one and only Ella Hooper, musician, radio host and all round superstar, is joining Victorian Women’s Trust. She will also be speaking at #Breakthrough2016. We are over the moon about her appointment. Welcome to the team, Ella!

We had the happy task of interviewing Ella about her work, gender equality, and what this new role means to her.

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Say hello to Our Key Partner the Print Department.


Mon 31 Oct

Meet our lovely loyal VWT printers — The Print Department!  They are a key partner on Breakthrough 2016 and we are beyond excited to be working alongside them.

The Print Department are a young, dynamic, flexible, experienced and hard-working team. They have a reputation of establishing lasting relationships with clients, including us here at the Victorian Women’s Trust.

We caught up with this fabulous team to chat about gender equality and Breakthrough 2016.

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Nova Peris joins Breakthrough!


Tues 25th Oct

Nova Peris OAM has lived up to her name many times over. She shone on the world stage as an athlete, winning three gold medals. She earned her first gold at just 25 years of age, as part of the Australian women’s hockey team in the 1996 Olympics. She had a seven year old daughter at the time, placing her in the extremely rare category of Olympic champion, young mother and the first ever Indigenous Australian gold medalist. Seventeen years later, Nova became the first Indigenous woman to be elected to Australian Federal Parliament. She is a woman of courage and conviction, who continues to shine brightly.

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How Do You Succeed in a Man’s World?


Mon 24th Oct

What does it take to make it in a male dominated industry? Hear the bold, frank and often funny stories from the women who’ve done it. Judith Lucy (Comedian, Writer & Actor), Yassmin Abdel-Magied (Mechanical Engineer & Advocate) , Judy Horacek (Cartoonist), Leena Van Deventer (Game Developer, Writer & Educator) and Dr Toni Meath (Principal & Advocate) will share their stories of breaking the mould in #NotAllMen as part of Breakthrough 2016.

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Enough is enough - It's Time to Close the Pay Gap


Thurs 20th Oct

It’s 2016 and Australian working women are still being denied the pay and rights they deserve. We say enough is enough – it’s time to make a change! Joining us on this mission are organisers, researchers and workplace experts Ged Kearney (ACTU President), Colleen Chen, (co-founder, Interns Australia), Lyndall Stradzins (Clinical Psychologist and Associate Professor) and Prof. Barbara Pocock (Emeritus Professor, University of South Australia). Don’t miss this worthwhile She Works Harder for the Money breakout session at Breakthrough 2016.

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Rachel Griffiths is Joining #Breakthrough2016!


Wed 19th Oct

Hold onto your hats everyone, the beloved Rachel Griffiths will be appearing at #Breakthrough2016! Rachel first captured our hearts in the iconic Muriel’s Wedding, and has gone on to have a prolific career as an actor, and more recently as a director and producer. Rachel’s passion for combining her talent and work with positive social change is truly inspiring.

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This is what an Ethical Bank Looks Like.


Tues 18 Oct

Unlike the rest, Bank Australia believes that money should be a force for social good. Case in point — our long history of working with Bank Australia to prevent violence in our communities.  Bank Australia is the Major Partner of Breakthrough 2016, but prior to that, they were a crucial supporter of our violence prevention program Be The Hero which today has grown into a new national initiative, Club Respect. Grace Mountford (Club Respect, Project Officer) looks back on this important body of work and what it means for the future.

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Meet Ellen and Nina, AKA Dinochip


Tues 18 Oct

Musical duo Dinochip will be making an appearance in the GRL PWR session as part of Breakthrough 2016, alongside Yassmin Abdel-Magied, Brodie Lancaster, Jess Kapuscinksi-Evans and Freya Bennett. We had the pleasure of catching up with this Melbourne based folk-blues duo to find out the story behind the name and what GRL PWR means to them.

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Mon 17 Oct

‘Self made’ is a combination of words that assert independence, vision and tenacity — which are perfect descriptors for entrepreneurs Jo Burston (founder Inspiring Rare Birds), Le Ho (Director Sustainable Solutions Group), Sheree Rubinstein (CEO, One Roof, pictured), Dr Viv Waller (Managing Partner, Waller Legal) andBec Blurton (CEO Moorditj) each of whom will be sharing their stories in #SelfMade breakout session atBreakthrough 2016. Hear more about these trailblazing women and what success means to them.

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Thurs 6 Oct 2016

Sue Maslin is an award winning screen producer and Adjunct Professor of the School of Media Communication, RMIT University – and a Breakthrough 2016 speaker! A woman of many talents, Sue also heads up her company, Film Art Media, which produces and distributes screen content across many platforms and is currently Patron of Women In Film and Television Victoria (WIFTVic) – she is also Producer of the award-winning film, The Dressmaker (2015). Breakthrough volunteer, Lauren Meath had the chance to interview Sue and talk about why getting women’s stories out there and on our screens is one of the major focuses of her work.

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Tilly Lawless Wants People To Be Free


Thurs 29 Sept 2016

Tilly Lawless is a queer sex worker, activist, uni graduate and horse rider from NSW. In 2015, Tilly rose to fame when she took a stand against an anti-sex work article published on Mamamia (a piece which originally hailed from the blog of a US Christian group). In response, Tilly posted an image of herself on instagram, stating that “there is no singular story or person to represent the varied & complex experiences of all sex workers, but here is one face of prostitution amongst a myriad” along with the hashtag #facesofprostitution. It went global, providing an opportunity for important dialogue about sex work with those who actually work in the industry.

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Gathering Space: #Breakthrough2016


Wed 28 Sept 2016

During the two days of Breakthrough, over 1200 people will gather in the Melbourne Town, the Athenaeum and Baptist on Collins to talk how we can create an equal society for all. Find out a little bit more behind the history of these buildings and the significance they played in developing the culture of Melbourne.

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Get to know the speakers so far


Tues 27 Sept 2016

#Breakthrough2016 is made up of an array of social justice champions, entrepreneurs, writers, journalists, politicians, field experts — and this isn’t even our full speaker line up! Early bird tickets to Breakthrough are available right now but they’ll be all gone by 10pm Tues 27 Sept. Get them while you can!

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Embracing better body image with filmmaker Taryn Brumfitt


Thurs 22 Sept 2016

She might have stunned the world with an unexpected “Before” and “After” picture, but Taryn Brumfitt is more than a social media sensation. The body image activist, documentary maker and mother of three joins a stellar line-up of speakers at Breakthrough this November and girl, are we excited.

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Meet Le Ho: a woman who 'never, ever gives up.'


Tues 20 Sept 2016

As of 2016, women run 34% of all small businesses in Australia. That number is steadily growing, supported in part by a drive from female entrepreneurs to share information and resources, opening the business community up to more innovative women. One such woman is Le Ho. Arriving in Australia as a refugee from Vietnam, Le has successfully tried her hand at everything from bridal wear to waste management, turning a failing business into strong money maker.

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