This has been and gone but was a great day!

Conference Information

Theme - Building Resilience & New Beginnings 

Girls With Hammers hosted our inaugural conference in Gippsland at the Warragul Reception & Conference Centre, Wednesday 24th October 2018.

We were thrilled to bits to have Jean Kittson as our keynote speaker.

Many will remember Jean as one of Australia's most loved comedians and TV & radio personalities. 

Along with Jean, our other wonderful speakers shared inspirational journeys that left our guests wanting to make an immediate start on creating an even better life. You can read more about the speakers below.

We feel so honoured that so many wonderful ladies put their trust in us for the day. Thank you!

We would also like to extend a huge thank you to all the businesses who chose to partner with us to help make this event happen. See our partners below.

We are very much looking forward to our next conference, so watch this space!

Jean Kittson - Keynote Speaker

Jean Kittson is a performer and scriptwriter for stage, television, radio, magazines and newspapers.

Jean came to national attention on 'The Big Gig'. Followed by Let the Blood Run Free, Kittson Fahey, Good News Week, the Glasshouse, Flat Chat, The Einstein Factor, Media Dimensions, Strictly Speaking, Talking ’Bout Your Generation, Studio Ten, the Today Show and she is also well known for her comedy debates for the ABC, Channel 9 and Channel ten. More recently featuring in the pilot comedy programme Bleak, for ABC TV.

She has been a regular columnist with New Weekly, Sunday Telegraph, the Sydney Morning Herald - Sydney Magazine, Inspire Magazine, the Readers Digest Health Smart magazine and The Hoopla. 

She is the author of Tongue Lashing, published by Penguin.

Her film credits include Hating Alison Ashley and The Nugget.

Theatre includes Mum’s the Word, Calendar Girls, Siren, A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

She is a regular panellist on ABC 702 radio drive programme, Thank God It’s Friday.

She has conversed on Conversations with Richard Fidler twice.

She was a founding Director of the National Cord Blood Bank, the inaugural Chair of the Australian Gynaecological Cancer Foundation (AGCF) and a founding Ambassador for Ovarian Cancer Australia. She is currently an Ambassador for The Macular Disease Foundation, Northcott Disability Services, The Raise Foundation, Taldumande Youth Services and the Australian Gynaecological Cancer Foundation. She is the Patron of Junction Works and most recently she has been appointed the Patron of Palliative Care Nurses Australia.

As an advocate for women’s health issues, she was invited to speak about her experiences of menopause at the National Press Club.

This lead to her recently published book, “You’re Still Hot To Me. The Joys of Menopause.” (Pan Macmillan) “Informative, accurate, funny and just so accessible. I love it and finally have the definitive book to recommend to my patients.” - Dr Penny Adams, GP and medical media advocate for women’s health.




Kerryn Vaughan

Kerryn Vaughan is a singer/songwriter, animal rights advocate, trainer, mentor, humanitarian and international author. Her award-winning book ‘Magnificent Kids!’ was the catalyst to her founding the global organisation One Planet Classrooms, which supports children and communities in Africa. Kerryn is also the co-founder of Girls With Hammers. Kerryn is a highly skilled inspirational speaker who has presented at numerous events and takes a 'no nonsense' approach when inspiring people to consider that anything is possible.




Sue Smethurst

Sue Smethurst is a journalist, award-winning author, media and communications strategist and company director. She is currently employed as a Senior Journalist with The Australian Women’s Weekly and serves on the Boards of The Australian Advertising Standards Bureau and Destination Gippsland. She is the author of eight non-fiction books. Sue has spent more than twenty years in media and her career has taken her around the globe interviewing a who's who of celebrities, newsmakers, colourful identities, sports stars and politicians.



Mel Neil

Mel Neil is an Australian positive psychology practitioner and consultant. Mel will present the Mind Insurance program 'Landscape for Flourishing' which consists of 5 domains: Attention & Awareness, Comprehension & Coping, Emotions, Goals & Habits, and Virtues & Relationships. 

This will give delegates an opportunity to question how healthy each of these domains are in their lives and how to improve each area to nourish into the future.



Leah Mether

Leah Mether is a Gippsland-based communications specialist, trainer, professional speaker and director of Methmac Communications. 

Leah’s direct and enthusiastic style will leave you energised and her presentation will equip you with practical tools you can implement immediately. 



Di O'Neil

Di O'Neil is an ordinary retired citizen who barracks for Geelong and has an ongoing interest in resilience and believes there is a hero in all people. Di studied social work at Melbourne University in the 1960s and has had 50 years experience as a social worker. She has significantly influenced the development of the Strengths Approach in Australia and is a co-author of two books Beyond Child Rescue and Promoting Family Change. In 2006 Di was awarded an OAM for services to social work, particularly in the field of child and family services. She is currently busy advocating for refugee children held in detention.


Photo - Rodolphe Villevieille

Kate Parker

Kate Parker has been a member of Sea Shepherd for nearly 4 years, starting off as an onshore volunteer and now heads up the Sea Shepherd Dive campaign. Kate joined Sea Shepherd because she was passionate about our oceans and felt she could no longer be a bystander, anxious about threats to marine habitats. Despite her fears of what may happen on campaign, and having never been to sea before, she wanted to take direct action against illegal poaching, and Sea Shepherd are one of the few organisations that do just that.

Photo - Rodolphe Villevieille


Thank you to our partners


Partnership Opportunities

If you are a business or organisation who would like to partner with us to support these events,  we would love to hear from you. Please connect with us via the contact form below. 

Thank you.


Drop us a line!

Girls With Hammers