The role of women as leaders in our community and workplace will be celebrated at a special event being organised by Yarra Ranges Council and Swinburne University on Wednesday, 17 November.

The event ‘Be Inspired’ will feature guest speaker Naomi Simson, CEO of online gift certificate retailer RedBalloon, along with three panellists from the Yarra Ranges community: Yarra Ranges councillor Samantha Dunn, CEO Morrisons Community House Jan Simmons and community leader Julie McDonald.

Professor Shirley Leitch, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) of Swinburne University will chair the event.

Yarra Ranges’ Director Corporate Services Rebecca McKenzie said the speaker event promised to be an insightful and inspiring evening for those who attend.

"Our ‘Be Inspired’ event will be exactly what its name suggests – an evening of inspirational women who will share their experiences as leaders in both business and the community," Ms McKenzie said.

"Guest speaker Naomi Simson will provide us with an insight into her journey as a successful business woman and the many challenges she faced and overcame along the way.

"Our panelists are all community leaders in the Yarra Ranges community, and will provide their own motivation and inspiration as they discuss their thoughts and experiences on women as leaders in the community and workplace," she said.

The ‘Be Inspired’ speaker event will be held on Wednesday, 17 November at:

Swinburne University, Lilydale,

LC Building, Room LC226

50 Melba Avenue, Lilydale.

"We are looking forward to an exciting evening, and hope members of our community will join us and benefit from the energy, wisdom and inspiration our guest speaker and panelists will bring to the event," Ms McKenzie said.

Drinks and canapés will be served from 5.30pm, with speakers to begin at 6pm.

Cost is $10 per head. Bookings are essential and can be made by phoning Roxann Jenkins on 9294 6370 or email