The Power of Meaningful Relationships

Posted: 19 May 2022

The Connecting Women Lunch hosted on Friday 13th May 2022 marked its 12th anniversary. It was an honour to be back this year as a guest and see women celebrated for their achievements within the Victorian biotechnology sector. BioMelbourne Network facilitated discussions of celebrating the people within the larger medical ecosystem, sharing stories of support and perseverance, and how the diversity of experience within these sectors brings us closer together.

CSL showcased three Everyday Trailblazers, highlighting what drives and inspires them. Simone Ruedin, Genevieve Martin-Roussety and Jill Allen are individuals seen as pioneers who take calculated risks to create a new path and encourage future leaders to follow in their footsteps. These women are also ‘everyday’ people, using their passions to fuel their creative minds and innovate with a patient-focused attitude. As a CSL employee, I am inspired by these Trailblazers and am proud to work with such incredible talent.

The keynote speaker of the afternoon was Dr Ranjana Srivastava OAM, an award-winning oncologist and avid writer. She discussed how essential human connection is, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr Ranjana recounted a powerful story of a relationship that left a permanent mark on both her personal and professional life. She talked of the importance of relationships and how they have the power to leave a remarkable impression on people. That no matter how prestigious a professional title, the ability to make time for people is a true gift. Dr Ranjana’s concluding thought was that ambition can coexist with humility, and that being present can heal more than a few simple words. Her speech was moving, heartfelt and inspirational.

Dr Emma Ball, George Kenley and Jill Allen joined the ‘On the Couch’ segment. Moderated by Dr Kerry Hegarty, each woman shared their individual stories with the same resounding message: to take advantage of every opportunity presented and aspire to achieve greatness.

I left the Connecting Women lunch thinking of Dr Ranjana Srivastava’s parting notes: ‘Go forth with something to do, someone to love, and something to look forward to in the future.’


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