Coffee WISE – Sally Nimon

work life balance

Sally Nimon was the director of Planning and Quality Unit in University of Canberra.

She spoke to us about life work balance.

She talked how she became a professional female and all the struggles she faced during her journey.

In life and work balance, especially for females, it’s bit hard when it comes to family and kids.

She encourages us to face the challenge and try our best. Follow your heart is the take away we learnt from her.


CoffeeWISE with Glenys London

On Monday, May 19, we had the privilege of meeting with the Director of UC International, Glenys London, for a CoffeeWISE. Glenys is a very talented woman with much life experience and we felt honoured that she would take time out of her busy schedule to share with us!

Glenys shared this visual aid with us to comment on the complex life of women:


We discussed how women today feel compelled to juggle home life with cooking cleaning, children, spouse and family along with work- often full time work.

Glenys told us that she did not actually plan her career, rather, along her career journey she grasped the next suitable opportunity as it became available. It was inspiring to hear that it’s possible to make it all the way to the director level without constantly pushing yourself to take big career jumps when you don’t feel ready. We can keep our eyes open for the next opportunity that comes at the right time and then give it our all.

Left to right: Kailee, Priya, Rebecca, Glenys and Hayley

Operation Christmas Child, Our First Synergy Experience

Back on September 23rd we met for our very first Synergy Experience, packing shoe boxes for the organization, Operation Christmas Child. Together, we collected enough items for nine shoe boxes to be sent to children in developing countries. 


Packing the boxes was a great icebreaker to get to know each other better and help children in need at the same time! We all brought shoe boxes and nine of one chosen item to fill each box. Some of the things we packed in the boxes were school supplies, toys, hygiene items and UC t-shirts. We had to include something to love, something to wear, something to play with, something for personal hygiene and something special. We also wrote a personal holiday letter from the WISE group to go in each box. 

We are very excited to think of the nine extra smiling faces this holiday season as the children open their presents.



White Ribbon Day morning tea

Just bumped into a colleague and mentor and we were discussing this program and how far our cohort and come. This brought to mind the White Ribbon Day morning tea and I thought, that 6 months on, the musings below are still as relevant today and a timely reminder that this should be in the forefront of our minds everyday.


“Was a great morning watching both staff and students of the University of Canberra come together to recognise the efforts of an organisation, geared towards ending men’s violence against women. The proceedings were kicked off with speeches from Joe Roff (CEO UCU), Prof. Stephen Parker (Vice-Chancellor UC) and Dr. Tom Calma (Chancellor), followed by the Oath said by all present and a delicious chocolate mud cake to wrap things up. The University was also presented with an award recognising our accreditation as a White Ribbon Workplace, one of only two universities in Australia to be accredited this year. As a woman and a staff member I feel both pleased and encouraged that our workplace acknowledges the seriousness of the situation and is taking active and effective steps towards preventing this type of violence (Go UC!!!).”


Want to know more? Check out the facts and strategies in Australia’s campaign to stop violence against women here or through the university’s website.

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Coffee WISE: Karen Pennell

coffee Wise image

On Monday 31st of March 2014, guest speaker Karen Pennell joined our Coffee WISE to discuss her experiences working for Advance Personnel. Here is a brief snapshot of what Karen had to say:


“Confidence in Knowledge


I have worked with the same organisation since it was established in 1988, with some time off to have children.  I truly believe in what we do and that all people deserve opportunity to participate in their community to whatever degree they can. 


Over these years I have undertaken every role (at some level) within the organisation, from reception to acting CEO and have experienced many contractual, participant, staff and procedural changes.  Knowing why we are here and maintaining that focus throughout continuous change gives me confidence to continue with my career choice.”


2013 WGMP MId-Year Workshop

WISE had our mid-year workshop on Monday, 2 December 2013 at the Federal Golf Club in Red Hill.

Aim of this workshop is to:

  • Reflect on their experience and celebrate their achievements of the last 6 months and identify strengths and areas to develop
  • Identify current challenges in their career and practice using a peer assist circle to explore new options
  • Use a team behavioural styles and preferences model to enhance team awareness and effectiveness
  • Plan activities for the next 6 months

We had a great day at the Golf Club and planned ahead for the next 6 months.




On November 13th, WISE members baked several cakes and cookies and volunteered their time for a bake sale in support of Movember, raising money for men’s health. 


We raised a whopping $267.45 …surely a record for a bake sale?!?! 
We are so pleased to be able to help this great cause.

This event was organized as one of our regular Synergy Experiences, occurring twice per month. As part of WISE, each member will organize one Synergy Experience during the course of the year. 


Gayla and Rebecca manning the Movember Bake Sale at the University of Canberra, and sporting our new WISE t-shirts!

Coffee WISE: Jane Tullis

On Monday, November 11, Jane Tullis will come to speak to our group as part of our monthly Coffee WISE meetings to further our networks as we learn from others. Jane was the President of the Community Alliance Party and ran as a candidate in the seat of Ginninderra in the 2008 ACT election. She is an ongoing active member of the Canberra community. Below is a summary of what she plans to speak with us about.

How to Flourish in the Workplace

The word ‘flourish’, according to the dictionary, means to sustain continuous, steady, strong growth; to thrive, to be successful, to be in one’s prime. 

By what do we measure a person’s flourishing?  Unfortunately, what we often mistakenly try to do is measure it in terms of worldly-recognised success factors rather than taking a holistic perspective.  We measure on the flourish-o-metre what job level you hold, what type of job you have, how many promotions you have had, perhaps how many times you have been published, what your pay level is, etc.  But when push comes to shove, and we see a crack appear in the outward success story, is it possible to still be deemed to be flourishing?  Is flourishing a fickle concept that waxes and wanes with your outward appearances of success?

Wherever you are positioned on a day-to-day basis, flourishing is all about how you handle yourself in any given circumstance, not what outcomes you may strive to achieve.  Is the ‘inside’ you genuinely reflected in the ‘outside’ you?

My experiences of flourishing are not so much based on what you might deem success stories; but on personal examples such as the time I fainted in front of 20 men in Melbourne wearing a flowing dress that flowed where it shouldn’t, the great cherry tomato incident of 1986, through to the exploding underwear disaster of 2008.

I look forward to sharing some lessons learned as we flourish together on the 11th of November.

– Jane Tullis



To kickstart the Women’s Group Mentoring Program 2013-14, we spent three days together at the Murramurang Resort on Durras South Coast participating in a teambuilding workshop. Our houses, husbands, kids, dogs and jobs were set aside in what is a rare opportunity in most busy women’s lives, to focus on ourselves and our goals for the next 12 months. Together, the nine of us, working for the same University but with a diversity of experience, shared hopes and insights and created a vision for what we hoped to achieve through the program. There was a common desire to break down silos within the University by building stronger networks, and each of us shared a desire to build our own confidence.

By the end of the three days, we had already begun to strengthen our networks and confidence, as we have come to know each other well and we had started with a plan for the next 12 months. We planned our objectives, activities, and goals and we formed a group which we entitled ‘WISE: Women In Synergy Experience’. We hope that you enjoy reading about our experiences, and sharing our insights and what we come to learn over the next 12 months.

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