Business / ANZ CWL

AUSNZ National Summit 2022 in Canberra

Image source: Canva

Join AUSNZ- Croatian Women in Leadership for this 3-day event in Canberra, from the 25th to the 27th of February, as they celebrate the amazing success stories of women across Australia, New Zealand and Croatia sharing their journey whilst they educate, motivate and inspire. 

Keynote speaker and panellists

Keynote speaker and special guest will be Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, the 4th President of the Republic of Croatia. With a broad national and international experience in politics, diplomacy and defence studies, during her career as an elected official and in national and international civil service, she was elected a member of the Croatian Parliament (2003) and served as Croatia’s first female Minister of Foreign Affairs (2003-2008). Later on, she served as an Ambassador to the United States, Mexico, Panama and the Organisation of American States (2008-2011), and was the first female Assistant Secretary-General and member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) Senior Leadership (2011-2014).


Friday night Welcome Cocktail Reception at The Parliament House Canberra includes drinks and light refreshments. 

Saturday Day conference at The Realm Hotel includes lunch and morning tea.

Saturday night celebration dinner at The Realm Hotel includes dinner and drinks.

Sunday brunch at The Embassy of the Republic of Croatia Canberra includes brunch. 

Betty Domazet | Mariana Rudan | Julie Stevanja | Katarina Veljaca | Nevenka Tadic | Carmen Pavlovic | Kristina Zanic | Angela Jeffery | Jasna Novak Milic | Tania Tandara | Mary Kovacevic | Tanja Polegubic | Marianne Perkovic | Elizabeth McKinnon

Carmen Pavlovic is the CEO of Global Creatures, an Australian live entertainment company she founded with Gerry Ryan OAM. Global Creatures creates original works and produces the internationally acclaimed Moulin Rouge! The Musical, which was honoured with 10 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, a history-making result for an Australian company. Carmen is the first Australian producer and the only Australian female to win Best Musical. Moulin Rouge! The Musical is now playing on Broadway, the West End and in Melbourne, Australia. A North American tour will commence in 2022 and further productions have been announced for Cologne, Germany (2022) and Tokyo, Japan (2023).

Kristina Zanic Consultants, from Dubai, but originally from Adelaide, has spent the past ten years working in the Middle East, headquartered in Dubai, with offices in Bangkok and Riyadh. Kristina has also received a number of prestigious international and regional interior design awards. She was recently voted as Leader of the Year at the Index Dubai awards and selected as one of the top four most influential designers in the Middle East by Commercial Interior Design magazine.

Elizabeth McKinnon, Criminal Defence Lawyer (VIC) is a barrister who has specialised in criminal defence law for 16 years. She is known to be a tough advocate for her clients, always fighting to achieve the best results through her legal representation. Elizabeth frequently appears in the County Court, Supreme Court and Court of Appeal, and has also appeared in the High Court of Australia.

As the Project Director for the Sydney Metro – Western Sydney Airport Project, Angela Jeffery is responsible for the delivery and construction of the multi-billion dollar city-shaping infrastructure project. The new metro service will form the transport spine for Greater Western Sydney, connecting travellers with the new Western Sydney Airport and the growing region, and will create thousands of jobs for the NSW and national economies.

In 2012, Julie Stevanja (NSW-SA) co-founded online activewear destination, Stylerunner. Bringing to market a global first – specialty women’s activewear brands retailed like Premium fashion. The concept disrupted and reinvigorated the sportswear scene globally, with highlights including becoming the first online retailer to sell Adidas by Stella McCartney, securing distribution of scarce, limited edition ranges from global powerhouse Nike, and winning a Global Retail Award. Stylerunner was acquired by the Australian retail group Accent in 2018, with 20 stores opened by the end of 2021. In 2021, Julie launched a new venture – Her Black Book – with her twin sister and Stylerunner cofounder, Sali Sasi. Having partnered with over 500 brands including FerFetch, Sephora, PE Nation and more, the sisters aspire to bring savvy female shoppers better value for money. 

Katarina Veljaca is the Head of Planning & Development at BHP (SA) and has been working in the mining and minerals processing industry since graduating with a double degree in Chemical Engineering & Science from the University of Adelaide. 

Katarina started her STEM career as a metallurgist working in Smelter operations at the Olympic Dam mine in outback South Australia for BHP. She worked on the project to develop the new Carrapateena mine for OZ Minerals in South Australia, helping to shape the technology strategy for the modern mine. She returned to BHP working in technology improvement and operational readiness for remote operations for the Olympic Dam and over the past 3 years has been a leader in the global BHP Operating System transformation program. Katarina has a passion for operational and technical improvement projects and is currently acting Head of Planning & Development for the BHP Operating System.

Jasna Novak Milic, Lecturer and Director (NSW) is a linguist currently appointed as Lecturer and Director of Croatian Studies at Macquarie University. Prior to moving to Australia with her Australian-Croatian husband and two sons, she held the position of a tenured professor at the University of Zagreb where she taught Swedish and linguistics and was involved with the Summer School of Croatian Language and Culture, one of the first programs to cater to the linguistic needs of the Croatian diaspora. As a recipient of the Fulbright Foundation fellowship, she also lectured at Indiana University (USA). Additionally, she has worked as a radio producer at SBS Croatian and is the writer and voice behind the podcast ‘Easy Croatian’, intended for speakers of Croatian as a heritage language.

Mariana Rudan, Media & Public Relations (NSW) is a Storyteller with two decades of combined experience in Broadcast Journalism, Public Relations, and Event Management. Best known for her work at SBS Television as a Presenter and Reporter across Sport and News, covering three FIFA world cups, hundreds of news bulletins and many feature stories over an eight-year period. Mariana is currently involved in the production of a bi-lingual short film and a television pilot about a compelling Croatian-Australian story. In her spare time she writes songs in English, Italian, and Croatian and is on the second draft of a fiction novel, based on her experience of living in the city of Milano in Italy for five exciting years.

Betty Domazet, is a Senior Emergency Specialist Physician working at the Canberra Hospital with a front line role in all aspects of medicine and trauma. She’s also on the Board of Directions Health, a drug and alcohol harm minimisation organisation, and she is also a member of the Mental Health Working Group for the Australasian College of Emergency Medicine. For this conference, she will represent Doma, the family company started by her father Ivan. Doma has been a significant participant in the property industry across residential, commercial, retail, and hospitality sectors in varying roles including development, construction, investment and operation for over 40 years. Doma has very large property footprints in Canberra and more recently in Newcastle, and hotels now extending into the Sydney and Newcastle domains.

Tania Tandora is a Digital Director at Tennis Australia (VIC), with over 13 years’ experience in developing sustainable growth for global and national high-profile brands. Experienced in improving business performance through digital transformation, bringing offline products and services online, diversification, and effective marketing, she is passionate about empowering teams to thrive through transparency, trust, and a clear strategic vision.

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