Past Events

Truly A Woman of Influence

An outstanding leader in the advocacy of women’s rights was our Guest Speaker at the Red Shoes Network event  held on Tuesday 23 August and we enjoyed lively discussion on the topic.

Mary Crooks AO has been described as a tireless champion of the rights of women and girls in the quest for gender equality.

MarySince 1996 Mary has been the Executive Director of the Victorian Women’s Trust, pioneering programs to encourage women to be politically active, and to support boys and young men to choose lives without violence, amongst a myriad of other initiatives.

Mary’s AO is for her “distinguished service to the community through contributions to public policy, particularly in the areas of social cohesion and water sustainability, and as an advocate for the advancement of women”.

Caring and Sharing

Our Guest speaker on 14 April 2016 was Louisa Shillingford-Brown  from Fitted For Work.

Our April event included a fascinating look at the support Fitted for Work gives disadvantaged women to get into meaningful employment. Many of us found this a great cause to which we donated quality business clothes. Others considered the potential to volunteer to help fit women with the clothes or the confidence to apply and face interviews with aplomb! I loved the fact that guest speaker Louisa benefited from our amazing women who brainstormed ways Fitted For Work can partner with other groups or raise funds to expand their reach and offerings. We received excellent feedback from both participants and Louisa – not sure who enjoyed themselves the most!
Our GUEST SPEAKER was Louisa Shillingford-Brown from Fitted for Work.

Did you know that 350,000 women are currently registered as looking for work in Australia?

Fitted for Work, a not for profit organisation, is committed to addressing this alarming statistic and helping women, in particular those experiencing disadvantage, to be financially independent and to get work and keep it.

Louisa shared some amazing and inspiring stories from her work then let’s discuss whether there’s a role for us.

Listening to Your Body

Thursday 11 February 2016*

Red Shoes member Valentina Markovska is a Melbourne based Psychologist and Yoga teacher. Val  introduced us to The Art of Relaxation: using the body’s wisdom to manage stress.

Learning to identify and manage stress and tension are integral to maintaining body and mind wellbeing. Val’s presentation  introduced key concepts, helping us to listen to our bodies and providing an opportunity to experience how to identify and manage stress, anxiety and relax effectively.

*Women Supporting Women

At our last event for 2015, one of our regular participants, Margaret Lane, inspired us with her volunteering experiences: mentoring newly arrived women migrants and refugees. Margaret shared the podium with one of her mentees, Thanh, the Pink Nails lady from Eltham.

Margaret has had a stellar career in personnel and recruitment. She helped design the “return to work” model that won $68 million of work with government to place long term unemployed in meaningful employment. She opened and managed interstate branches for the company, and managed the balance between the needs of private enterprise and the contractual requirements of the federal government.

Margaret Lane and Thanh

But despite all her exciting and important roles helping people, her current one, as a volunteer with the Northern Adult Migrant English Program is the most rewarding! Margaret and Thanh entertained and inspired us with their stories of their journey together, each learning about the other whilst practising English and culminating with Thanh obtaining her citizenship certificate.

Today Thanh runs a very successful business – Pink Nails and Spa in Eltham Terrace.

To top off the year , we enjoyed a short session as an impromtu choir, expertly led by Nerida Kirov of Chocolate Lillies fame. What an exhilarating way to end the Red Shoes year!

We had a number of stalls with lots of Christmas ideas including:

*Gingerbread houses hand made by Maureen’s Kitchen
*Chocolate houses by Raelene
* Wines from Barwon Heads Winery
*Fairtrade handmade and ethical goods from Only Just – Eltham and Montmorency
*Jewellery by 5th Avenue jewellery
*Personalised cards byClik Connect

16 September 2015

Topic for the evening was Decluttering Your Life.  We had two guest speakers for the evening – wardrobe expert extraordinaire Suzanne Dekyvere and IT tech coach guru Megan Iemma.

guest speaker SuzanneWardrobe guru Suzanne Dekkyvere  took us through decluttering our wardrobes with an amusing and bruising account of the do’s and don’ts of our wardrobes.

Megan Iemma, IT guru and coach, helped us find the balance between paper and digital records. Megan knows how to make technology both fun and functional, and helped audience members find those tools to make life on-line so much easier.

15 July 2015

At our July meeting we explored being  Comfortable in Your Own Skin with discussion leader  Sally Arnold, Director of Creating Encores.

Sally is an author, speaker, psychotherapist and high performance coach who specialises in helping women move out of ‘stuckness’ andSally-Arnold challenges in their personal and professional lives. She has won awards including from Business 3000 and Anthill for her programs focused on turning women’s lives around. Her book is “Creating Encores”, The Wake up Call for Women Leaders.

Sally challenged us to recognise old negative behaviour patterns and reframe these thought patterns to achieve positive solutions.

13 May 2015

Many of you had asked us to cover the topic  ‘Dealing with Conflict’ and we were indeed  fortunate to procure the services of psychologist Dr Gabby Ostrognay to lead the discussion. Gabby is Director at GO People and Performance and has had a wealth of experience in the field including past roles with Telstra, and Coles Myer to name a few.

Gabby O

Gabby started off discussion with an interactive exercise to get us thinking about our own styles of relating and how differing styles can sometimes derail communication.  We all considered what our own personality profile might be which led into a discussion on how differing ways of seeing the world might lead to misunderstanding and conflict. Gabby challenged us to reflect on our experiences of conflict in various settings  and introduced a framework useful for addressing workplace conflict. She left us with some useful tips on how to lower stress levels in heated moments.

This was an informative and fun evening much enjoyed by all attending. Here are Gabby’s powerpoint notes on the session.

Conflict in the workplace (May 2015)

Gabby can be contacted at Go People and Performance : 0409 140 786

25 March 2015

Our aim was to start the 2015 year being inspired and encouraged by someone who has had the passion and courage to use their talents and abilities for the betterment of society. So who better to start the year with than our very special guest speaker Fabian Dattner.

Fabian DattnerFabian, well known to many Australians, is founding partner of Dattner Grant, highly regarded leadership experts, and founder of Compass, a national leadership initiative for women. She’s also an educator and social entrepreneur and a regular commentator in the media on leadership and ethical issues in Australia today.

Fabian led us through a discussion on claiming our space as women, illustrating her talk with life experiences including running the family business, establishing her own consulting business and as a daughter, partner and mother.  She challenged us all to find, acknowledge and accept our own space, skills, values and ways of doing things and align  our work and life roles accordingly.

As an illustration of the different values often displayed by men and women,  Fabian asked the audience to name the reasons behind the kind of work they do. She reflected on how different these answers were to the same question asked of a room full of men!

Down-to-earth, informed, entertaining and provocative, Fabian certainly lived up to her reputation as an outstanding and sought-after public speaker and we thank her for her presentation and making the time to speak with the Red Shoes Network.

December 2014

We celebrated our first birthday and the end of the year on 3 December in style with a Christmas party, an opportunity for Christmas shopping and some belly dancing fun as well as a review and reflection session. Our last event for the year was really an opportunity to REFLECT, REJOICE and RE-FOCUS

Utilising techniques based in neuroscience, we reviewed our achievements over the past year and then spent time clarifying objectives for 2015. Many thanks to trainers Roma O’Callaghan and Jennie Hill for leading us through this important work.

We had some fantastic stalls offering creative and interesting Christmas presents and of course enjoyed Marie-cris’ delicious Christmas party fare. A surprise guest was belly dancing teacher Zabelle Zamovtek who had us all up and letting off steam. Everyone went home happy and exhausted.

 Roma apr11Our Workshop Facilitator for the night was Red Shoes co-founder, Roma O’Callaghan MBL, ECCP, GAICD. Roma is an executive coach, trainer, facilitator, non-executive director, and Principal of Performance Unlimited.

Roma was joined by friend and colleague Jennie Hill. Jennie is an executive coach, trainer, facilitator and Principal of Sharp Pencils.


15 October 2014 Health and Wellbeing

We explored the topic of Health and Wellbeing at our event on 15 October.

Our guest speaker was Judy Paynter, journalist, business woman, mother and grandmother and breast cancer survivor.

Judy shared her story of life as a mother and career woman in the fashion industry, leading up to a breast cancer diagnosis in her mid forties. As well as surviving a double masectomy and other health issues, Judy has found the capacity to find time for herself through tai chi and quigong, and maintain support for family, business and others in a service club. She is now a happy grandma and, as she says “Life is full, Life is wonderful.”

A teacher in tai chi and quigong, Judy ended her talk by taking us through a mini experience of tai chi.

Judy’s talk was followed by 10 minute rotations of health & wellbeing experiences including:

* Information on nail health and learn by doing – how to give a hand massage – Caitlin: Pretty Intense Beauty Salon, Greville Road Shops.

* Foot health – Thien Trinh Podiatrist, Stepwell Shoes, Station Street Rosanna

* Essential everyday fitness activities – Nikki Ellis, Personal Trainer

* 3 Tips to a Healthier You – Deb Harrison, Health and Wellbeing Consultant (including diabetes and 40+ women)

* Optimal Emotional & Physical Health – Dr. Vesna Grubacevic, PhD, NLP & Hypnotherapy Trainer, http://www.qttransformation.comdonated to

A fund raiser was conducted during the evening to raise funds for research into women’s cancers. $45 was raised and donated to the Cancer Council of Victoria. Many thanks to all who participated.











20 August 2014  Women and Finance

Our August meeting saw us asking the questions: Are you creating your own financially secure future? Do you have sufficient superannuation? Should you be investing and building your own portfolio?

To set the scene we heard from Real Estate Agent Leigh Maher, Branch Manager, Morrison Kleeman who inspired us with her personal journey and her insights into investing in property. From living on the streets at the age of 15 to a career as a successful Real Estate Agent, Leigh Maher had a great story to tell. Her sense of humour, determination to succeed and  overcome obstacles made for an entertaining, emotional and thought provoking talk.

Next up, Elise Michelmore, National Manager Partnerships, Australian Unity, covered the areas of superannuation, investing and the in’s and out’s of financial planning including how to choose a financial planner.

We were happy to be back at our usual venue at Old Shire Offices, 60 Beverley Road, Heidelberg.

June 18 2014 Getting Connected – Using Social Media

Our June meeting saw us exploring many facets of social media. We had three excellent speakers – Melissa Norfolk, Christina Lew and Rosie Shilo who each covered aspects of social networking.

Melissa presented a clear and concise run through of the most common forms of social networking including Facebook, Twitter, Linked-in, Youtube and Google plus. Melissa is the author of Starting an On-Line Business for Dummies published by Wiley Publishing in 2009.  For more information visit

Christina, known locally as blogger ‘Miss Rosanna’ gave us an introduction to blogging, including the power of a blog to market products, services and events.

Thirdly, Rosie gave us an entertaining look at the world of Virtual Assistants and how they can be used to enhance your business. Rosie is a passionate VA and runs the Virtually Yours Network and the Australian Virtual Business Network. More information at

As always, there was a warm welcome for new attendees,  lots of networking and great food. Comments by participants included:

* Very good presenters with some really great foundation information

*Being a ‘new-by’, I appreciated the openness and welcoming energy provided by a great bunch of women

*The speakers were all good – I learnt quite a lot. It was good to network with other women about their lives

April 2014 Personal and Professional Image

Our April event was all about “Personal and Professional Image”. Our two speakers, Lisa Cutler and Suzanne Dekyvere,  challenged us to think about the image of ourselves we wish to project in business, social activities and when meeting new people.

Image Consultant, Suzanne Dekyvere, Principal of An Air Of Distinction spoke about the importance of creating a great first impression and why we make shopping mistakes. Participants learned to assess their  horizontal body type and how to use line and design to best highlight their assets and downplay any perceived flaws.

Lisa Cutler, an experienced coach, speaker and trainer, and Founder of The Butterfly Program and Cutler Coaching  presented on personal branding. Lisa  shared key insights into the Power of Personal Branding and how to develop a Personal Brand that is real, authentic and helpful with career progression or life’s purpose.

As usual there were lots of opportunity to network and meet new and old friends over drinks and delicious food.  Our April exhibition tables were well patronised. In addition, some 12 ladies took advantage of our offer of digital portraits by photographer Natalie Morawski.

Here’s what a few of you said about  the evening:

“A great blend of informal networking and presentations”

“Enjoyed eveything. First timer, found everyone welcoming and friendly”

“Enjoyed the food, the speakers. Thanks for a great evening”

Feb 2014: Leadership and the Inner Glass Ceiling

The failure of contemporary society to bring about gender balance in leadership roles in the government and corporate sectors is troubling.

While much of this under representation of women can be attributed to historical and cultural factors, the psychological aspects also play a part.

Many women experience not simply outer messages to ‘keep them in their place’, but inner ones which frequently mirror the outer messages.

Come and learn from an expert what we can do with our inner voices!

Wednesday 19 February 2014     6 – 8.30 pm

Venue: Old Shire Offices, 60 Beverley Road, Heidelberg

Nibbles, drinks, networking as well as . . .

Paul Gale Baker

Guest Speaker: Paul Gale-Baker

In his work Paul Gale-Baker focuses on the inner constraints to change, which affect both women and men. Often experienced as rules – the should’s and the shouldn’ts – these constraints can be quite subtle, even unconscious.

Psychotherapist and couple therapist, Paul uses a number of methodologies including Psychological Type work and the Voice Dialogue method to be particularly effective in helping us move beyond our own limiting voices.

Paul is a certified Psychological Type practitioner (Caillou-Cauvin Type Indicator®), a Neuro- PQ® (Cognitive skills Mapping) Facilitator and a Voice Dialogue practitioner and teacher.