COVID-19 UPDATE: Tickets to our walks are currently on hold. 

For up to date information and implications for our events, please click here

Join us in Geelong!

You have just taken a huge step towards addressing your career challenges by learning from Australia’s most influential business women – so trust us when we say you’re in good hands!


Please ensure you read the below information about our walks prior to purchasing your ticket


On the day you will be grouped with a mentor and up to two other mentees. From there you will walk and talk for an hour.


Each mentee must come with a question that they’d like to discuss with their mentor. You’ll be asked to submit this when you book your ticket.


If you ‘re not sure what to ask, here’s some ideas:

What makes a great leader?
I’m a start-up. How do I take my business to the next level?
I want to change my career. What steps should I take?
How do I ask for a pay increase?


Just know, there is no issue too big or too small. You can come to talk about anything!

Mentor Walks Geelong is presented in partnership with

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If you have already registered as a mentee, please click the below

Please note we are unable to take full time students as mentees

2020 Walk Dates

Mentor Walks will run in Geelong on the following dates from 7:15am to 8:30am

Wednesday 19 February 2020
Wednesday 15 April 2020 – Cancelled due to health restrictions
Wednesday 17 June 2020
Wednesday 19 August 2020
Wednesday 14 October 2020

Our Mentors

Our mentors are senior executives, thought leaders, business owners, boundary pushers and high achievers at the top of their field.

Each event brings together a diverse group of mentors from industries where they set a senior precedent and are established role models. Our mentors can choose to be involved in the series as a one-time commitment or as a regular mentor. Recognising the busy, and often travelling life of our mentors, mentor names are not disclosed prior to each event and there is no obligation to share contact information outside of our events.

Lisa Sweeney
CEO, Business in Heels

Lisa is a CEO, Strategic Connector, Mentor & Speaker who is passionate about unlocking the potential for women in business. Through Business in Heels, she is working to unlock the potential for business through empowering women. This is done through 3 pillars of education, marketing and connection enabling business women to succeed with equality, ultimately benefiting them and their community. She specialises in partnership management, creating win-win deals for businesses looking to further their reach to women in business and to harness the power of female purchasing. She has 25 years of senior management & corporate buying experience working for Target, Spotlight, Best & Less.

Diana Taylor
Director, Diana Taylor Consulting

Diana is a Director with more than 20 years’ work/life experience as a lawyer, business owner and is a regular keynote speaker addressing topics that include leadership, AFL, resilience, transforming community organisations, diversity and values-based decision making.

Diane established ‘Diana Taylor Consulting’ to support organisations, boards and their people to work better, engage respectfully with each other and to achieve collective and individual goals.

She currently holds Directorships at Geelong Football Club, Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Trust, Geelong Authority, Anam Cara House Geelong (Chair), as well as General Counsel at Netball Australia.

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Elaine Carbines
CEO, G21

Elaine’s career has been diverse. She worked as a humanities teacher in Victorian State Schools during the 80s and 90s before entering State Parliament representing the Geelong region.

Elaine has also been the Member for Geelong Province. During this time she held the positions of Parliamentary Secretary for Education and Environment.
Following her parliamentary career, Elaine worked as the Manager of Strategic Relations at Parks Victoria.

Elaine is currently the Chair of Geelong Workforce Development Centre Advisory Committee, Deputy Chair at Barwon Water Board, Director at Institute of Public Administration Australia, Director at G Force Board, Member of Barwon South West Regional Development Australia Committee, Member of Barwon Region Partnership, Member of Funds for the Future Board and Member of Great Ocean Road Taskforce.

In 2018 Elaine was inducted as a Fellow of the Institute of Public Administration for her contribution to the public sector in Victoria.

Jennifer Cromarty
Jennifer Cromarty
CEO, Committee for Geelong

Jennifer has worked in public relations for over 20 years and is currently the CEO of the Committee for Geelong.  She is committed to Geelong’s economic transformation and uses her strategic communication skills, networks and experience to support clients in growing Geelong’s future. She also founded Creative Geelong Inc to demonstrate the importance of creative industries in transforming Geelong’s economic futures.

Until February 2015, she was a Director at multiple award-winning consultancy Socom and led the government relations and stakeholder engagement team for almost four years. She has worked extensively with local, state and federal governments on policies and programs including managing Regional Cities Victoria and the Australian Golf Industry Council.

In a former life she was Deputy Executive Director of the Australian Retailers Association (ARA), where she was a key strategist in significant industrial relations and tax reform campaigns.

Jennifer is a Fellow of the Public Relations Institute of Australia and sits on the Board of the Anam Cara House Geelong. She is a member of IPAA Vic’s Geelong Advisory Committee.

Portraits of Barwon Water Board of Directors at Barwon Water Geelong.
Tracey Slatter
Managing Director, Barwon Water

Tracey Slatter is the Managing Director of Barwon Water.  She has extensive executive leadership in the public sector including as CEO of the City of Port Phillip; Head of Claims at the TAC, CEO of Colac Otway Shire and Director of Primary and Community Health with the State Department of Health and Human Services.

Tracey enjoys leadership challenges and is passionate about achieving excellent outcomes and improved value for her customers and the community more broadly.

Tracey holds post graduate qualifications in Business Leadership, a Master of Commerce and is a Fellow of the Institute of Public Administration and a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.  Tracey is also a certified level 1 IECL coach.

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Joanne Plummer
Executive Director, Business in Heels

Jo is Director and co-owner of Business in Heels International, an organisation that exists to unlock the potential for women in business by connecting them with the connections, education and marketing that are essential for success. They operate internationally and connect over 160,000 women.

She is also;
Board Chair – Barwon Water | Barwon Asset Solutions | VicWater
Board Chair – Advisory Board | Deakin MBA
Committee Chair – South Melbourne Market
Executive Director | Co-owner – Business in Heels International
Committee Chair – Geelong Regional Football
Geelong Committee Member – AICD

Christine Couzens
State MP for the Electorate of Geelong

Christine Couzens MP has been the Member for Geelong since November 2014. Geelong born and bred widowed with three young children, she is now the mother of four and currently living with her partner in Geelong West. Christine has a long history working in community development and with disadvantaged youth.

Christine strongly supports equal rights and opportunity for women, and is committed to being a voice that supports the empowerment of all women to contribute their experiences and views on what matters to them and their community. Gender Equality and Equal Pay are to key areas.

Christine established the Geelong Gender Equality Coalition, a group of strong women leaders who want to be a part of bringing about cultural change and dealing with the issues affecting women such as equality, the gender pay gap, and violence against women.

Christine has held the position of Geelong Trades Hall President, is the Premiers Ambassador for Closing the Gap which addresses issues that negatively affect the health of Aboriginal people in Victoria. Christine was also a member of the 58th Parliament of Victoria’s Family and Community Development Committee, is Co-convener of the ALP Parliamentary Women’s Caucus and an Acting Chair during the 58th Parliament.

Dawn O’Neil AM
Managing Director at Dawn O’Neil & Associates

Dawn is known to be continuously looking over the horizon to discover strategic answers to critical issues before they emerge and has lead change in the social and mental health sector and now seeking to contribute to a more sustainable Australia by reducing our chemical footprint. With pollution the leading cause of death globally – the risk to human health from exposure to toxins has never been greater. Now is the time to act to prevent the health problems of the future.

Jane den Hollander
Vice-Chancellor, Deakin University

Professor Jane den Hollander AO has been Vice-Chancellor of Deakin University Australia since July 2010. At Deakin, Professor den Hollander introduced LIVE the future, an aspiration for Deakin to drive the digital frontier in higher education, harnessing the power, opportunity and reach of new and emerging technologies in all that it does.

Professor den Hollander is a Director of UniSuper Limited and Trustee, a member of the Premier’s Jobs and Investment Panel and a member of the VERNet Board (Victorian Education and Research Network)

Prior to taking up her appointment as Vice-Chancellor of Deakin University, Professor den Hollander was Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) at Curtin University in Western Australia.

Professor den Hollander received an Order of Australia for her distinguished service to tertiary education in the 2017 Australia Day Honours awards.

Marsha Uppill
Director, Arranyinha Pty Ltd

Proud Adnyamathanha Woman, Marsha has over 25 years experience in working across all tiers of Government in areas that focus on Aboriginal affairs, social inclusion, workforce planning and reform, and strategic and systems cultural change.

Most recently, Marsha has worked in the areas of the Prevention of Violence against Women and Children and Gender Equity for the City of Greater Geelong.

An Aboriginal Entrepreneur and Director of Arranyinha, Marsha is a First Nations Woman determined to shake the planet and make this life matter in all aspects, in all areas and in all systems, through education, inspiration and empowerment.

Libby Mears
CEO, Leisure Networks

As CEO at Leisure Networks for the past 6 years, Libby has developed a reputation as a #culturefirst leader. Her passion is in supporting her team to be aligned to the vision and mission of her organisation and to make an impact.

She has a strong interest in supporting young women and women returning to work after children to develop their presence and maximise their impact as values-based leaders.

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Georgie Knight
General Manager, genU

Georgie has enjoyed a successful career in small business and the not-for-profit sector. She demonstrates strong leadership qualities and has a proven track record in sales and marketing, account management, business development and HR. Industries include retail, agriculture, tourism, hospitality and luxury accommodation. Having recently relocated to Victoria after more than two decades in Queensland, Georgie is enjoying the challenges of working in the disability sector and brings with her expertise in developing businesses and delivering outstanding results for customers.

Sarah Barth
Head of Strategic HR and Development, Quality and Compliance, The Gordon TAFE

Sarah joined The Gordon in 2009 as Senior Manager, Human Resources. During her tenure, Sarah has overseen and been part of a number of key changes and projects within the Institute. Prior to joining The Gordon, Sarah held a number of senior HR positions in the UK, including Assistant Director of Human Resources in a large, acute National Health Service (NHS) hospital.

Sarah also represents the Australian Human Resources Institute (AHRI) as a committee member of the regional AHRI Geelong network.


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Frances Diver
Chief Executive, Barwon Health

Frances is a well-known and respected healthcare leader in Victoria, having held senior leadership roles for more than 15 years. Having initially trained as a nurse and midwife, Frances has worked in a clinical setting in a number of metropolitan and regional hospitals across New Zealand and Australia. Her clinical background then led to roles in health promotion and education for BreastScreen, before moving to Monash Medical Centre where she worked on capital project development, and then as site manager for the Monash Medical Centre. Following this role, Ms Diver took on the position of Manager Patient Access with Bayside Health (The Alfred).​​
Frances then joined the Department of Health and Human Services as Manager of the State-wide Emergency Program, eventually rising to the position of Deputy Secretary, Hospital and Health Service Performance, charged with the responsibility for the overall performance of the Victorian public health services, including service, quality and financial outcomes. Before joining Barwon Health in April 2019, Frances was the Chief Executive Officer of the Country Fire Authority.​​​​​​​

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Melissa Stephens
General Manager Organisational Performance, Barwon Water

Melissa leads the Organisational Performance team at Barwon Water. Melissa and her team ensures the integration of people, process and governance systems to drive high performance workplace to deliver Barwon Water’s Strategy 2030. The role informs decision making on prioritisation, risk management and deployment of resources within a financially sustainable framework. The group’s core responsibilities include People, Finance, Enterprise Project Management Office and Health, Safety and Wellbeing.

In a career spanning more than 25 years, Melissa has extensive experience in strategic management, human resources, change management, customer service, stakeholder engagement, and finance. In 2018 Melissa was named as one of the Top 50 Public Sector Women in Victoria and has been recognised on the IPAA International Women’s Day Honour Roll.

Melissa holds a Bachelor of Commerce and a Master of Business Administration. She is a Fellow of CPA, a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, a Fellow of Institute of Managers and Leaders and is a Certified member of Australian Human Resource Institute.

Suzanne Antonac
Manager, Safety and Safety Systems, Deakin University

Suzanne has worked at Deakin for the past 6 years. Prior to that she held positions related to safety management, ergonomics, injury management, project management , consulting, and counselling.

She’s worked with multinationals – Alcoa and John Holland and had her own consulting business working in SW Victoria for 10 years.

She has 38 years experience in the workforce across a range of fields principally heavy manufacturing, health, construction and now tertiary education.

Janet McLeod
Associate Professor in Medical Education, Deakin University

Janet is the head of the Health Professions Scholarship Unit in the School of Medicine at Deakin University. She holds a PhD in comparative physiology and over 20 years experience in tertiary education.

Her positions of responsibility within the University sector have included Course Director of the Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery degree, Faculty Academic Integrity and Progress committee chair and University appeals committee chair. Janet is involved in a number of external committees including the Medical Deans of Australia Education collaboration and the Graduate Australian Medical Schools Test (GAMSAT) policy committee.

She also volunteers in the FutureMe program working with secondary students from low socio-economic areas in the greater Geelong region.

Cora Trevarthen
Advisor to the Vice-Chancellor, Deakin University

Following high-level government and corporate roles, Cora has advised the Vice Chancellor of Australia’s fifth largest University and managed the University’s government relations successfully during a period of change and uncertainty. Cora also serves on the boards of the Committee for Geelong and Ballarat Health Services and is a graduate of the AICD.

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Linda Timothy
Executive Lead – workers compensation reform, Worksafe Victoria

Linda is an experienced public sector leader with a broad skills base. An astute strategist with well-developed stakeholder engagement and relationship management skills, Linda has a deep understanding of workplace health and safety legislation and workers compensation policy.
Linda joined WorkSafe Victoria in 2001 and has held leadership roles across the business including Director National Health & Safety Reform as well as Director of Legislation, Policy & Information Services.
In her role as Executive Director External Affairs, Linda led Marketing & Communications, Government Relations & Corporate Affairs, Stakeholder & Community Engagement, Board Secretariat and Medical Panels.
In addition Linda holds key relationships with the Victorian Asbestos Eradication Agency and the Accident Compensation Conciliation Service.
Linda is passionate about science holding a PhD in Life Sciences, (University of Nottingham) and a Bachelor Degree in Biological Sciences (Napier University, Edinburgh). Linda recently relocated to Geelong.

Julie Nielsen
Executive Director Health & Safety, Worksafe Victoria

Julie joined WorkSafe Victoria as Executive Director in October 2018 and is committed to ensuring Victorian workplaces are the safest in Australia. With a career spanning both the private and government sectors, Julie has held a range of executive and senior positions, most recently within health and safety regulatory agencies.

Julie and her team are focused on the development and delivery of preventative strategies which allow all people to be healthy and safe at work.

Helen Woodall
Manager, International Research Training, Deakin University

During Helen’s working career she has worked as the Manager – International Research Training, Higher Degrees by Research Support Coordinator, Partnerships Coordinator, Events Manager, Office Manager, Executive/Personal Assistant and in various administration roles.

Within her most recent roles she has been responsible for the pastoral care of PhD students, has a high understanding of working with international students and partners and enjoys working within teams. She also enjoys taking time out to take care of herself whether it is making quilts, running or enjoying time with family and friends.

Before looking at taking on a Mentorship role, Helen has also been a mentee and found the process very rewarding and of great assistance in developing not just her career but also in assisting in prioritising both her private and public life.

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Alice Di Pasquale
Faculty General Manager, Deakin University

Alice Di Pasquale is General Manager in the Faculty of Health at Deakin University and has been working in Higher Education for nearly 25 years. Alice completed a Bachelor of Commerce at Deakin and went on to become a Certifying Practising Accountant. In 2015, Alice completed her MBA with a focus on Human Resource Management. Alice has held the position of General Manager in the Health Faculty for 3 years and prior to this held a similar role in the Faculty of Arts and Education. Alice has held other roles such as Finance Manager, Business Manager and prior to this in the central Finance Division, Accountant, Insurance and Risk roles. Alice is the elected staff representative on University Council and is often called upon to participate in and lead review panels. In the General Manager roles Alice has held, Alice has successfully led formal change processes and is focused on building relationships with staff to ensure effective outcomes.