News Article

Victorian electrotechnology community celebrates International Women’s Day

13 March 2024

It’s often said the electrotechnology industry is male-centric, and that’s probably true. Which is why it was so inspirational for members of our community to hear from a true trailblazer for women, albeit in a different industry, at our International Women’s Day event last week.

Last Friday more than 230 guests from our industry gathered at the Melbourne Arts Centre to recognise and celebrate the role women play in our industry, our society, and our lives.

The keynote was delivered by Christine Nixon, whose name is familiar to many Victorians. She was the first female Chief Commissioner of any Australian police force, and the first female boss of Victoria Police. Moreover, she was at the helm when one of the greatest disasters to ever befall Victoria – 2009’s Black Saturday bushfires – swept across the state.

Ms Nixon shared inspirational insights from her trailblazing career in policing, and her experience as a woman who progressed to senior leadership in a traditionally male-dominated industry. There were countless takeaways for women and men alike within our sphere – we can all learn a lot from Ms Nixon’s experience.
The event also featured a panel discussion, expertly hosted by Elise Halton, Industry Careers Consultant at NECA Education & Careers Victoria (and a former electrician herself), and featured Jess McKenzie, Project Manager at Stowe and the 2023 NECA Victoria Women in Energy Award Winner, alongside runners-up Bobbi McKibbon from Solar Integrity in Wodonga, and Christine Kennedy from Total Solar Solutions. Jenna Humphry, a mature-aged apprentice with NECA Education & Careers, also shared her unique perspective, illustrating the diverse pathways available to women in this field. Together the five women on stage offered an in-depth look at the challenges and triumphs of women in our industry.

The event not only celebrated the achievements of these distinguished women but also provided NECA Victoria members and their guests the opportunity to come together, network with industry colleagues, and grow opportunities for collaboration.

It also highlighted the vital role women play in driving innovation and sustainability within the electrotechnology industry, reinforcing the message that inclusivity and diversity are key to overcoming future challenges.

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