International Women’s Day – #balanceforbetter


On March the 8th every year we celebrate International Women’s Day. In modern times the day is generally a celebration of women and the strength, diversity and vital perspective they bring to all aspects of our lives. It is also a day to reflect on slow progress on many issues. But not as slow as back in 1917 in Petrograd when International Women’s Day was born. Read more about the origin of the day HERE.

In Armidale, the Armidale Regional Council held an International Women’s Day event on Thursday 7th March, a day prior to the official observance. UNE Discovery Program Leader Dr Kirsti Abbott was involved as a representative of UNE.

The day kicked off with a FinTech morning tea hosted by Regional Australia Bank, where guest Emma Weston joined business and financial leaders in town to thrash out what the future looks like in financial technology. Kirsti Abbott and Emma Weston then hosted a workshop for senior school students around STE(A)MM at the Armidale Bowling Club, where nearly 40 students from local schools discussed how they perceived STE(A)MM in schools, and the relevance for their futures.

The official event was a luncheon with approximately 270 attendees from local organisations: UNE, Regional Australia Bank, TAFE Digital, Aboriginal Women’s Group, PLC, TAS, NSW Department of Education, O’Connor Catholic High School, SMART Regional Incubator, Armidale Business Chamber and more. The guest speaker was Ms Emma Weston, founder and CEO of rapidly growing agritech company, AgriDigital. The theme of the presentation was “Mythbusting: The truth about building and balancing a global tech company”, and Emma took the audience on part of her own journey as well as that of her company that specialises in blockchain through the grain and cotton supply chains. From a start-up company 4 years ago, AgriDigital had just traded $1B in revenue at the time of the luncheon.  AgriDigital uses new technologies to enable new forms of supply chain finance, improve payment security for farmers and all sellers, and make it easier to trace food and fibre through the entire supply chain.

After Emma’s presentation, a panel discussion with Kirsti, Kate James (Regional Australia Bank), Megan Aitken (TAFE Digital), Susan Law (Armidale Regional Council) and Emma Weston (AgriDigital) was held. These inspirational women recounted stories of their work and personal lives where they experienced gender imbalances, sought mentors, and how they choose to lead their teams.

During the week leading up to International Women’s Day, the women of UNE Discovery were showcased on our facebook page too! You can see profiles of our talented bunch HERE.

Read more on the Armidale Regional Council website –