Women in Leadership Melbourne Symposium

Course Location

Ridley College, 170 The Avenue Parkville


2 days


18-19 March 2022

Join us for a varied and engaging program that will encourage and develop your leadership, promote your networks and grow your impact in whatever leadership role you engage.

The inaugural Ridley Centre for Leadership Women in Leadership Symposium is a two-day program that promotes the impact of women in Christian and secular workplaces.
Keynote speakers, Kylie Butler and Merissa Forsyth will share their personal experiences and wisdom on leading in professional contexts.
Workshops led by other leading women include:

  • Building an intentional leadership pathway
  • Championing other women
  • Reframing disability
  • Coaching
  • Why you should care about your personal finances.

The Gala Dinner is a key networking event and a great opportunity to meet and encourage other women.

Run by the Ridley Centre for Leadership, the symposium will provide a unique opportunity to meet with other women in leadership in Christian, non-profit and secular contexts and be transformed in the ways that you lead and influence others.

Event Details 

Date 18-19 March 2022
Time 9:30 am – 4:00 pm (Friday and Saturday)
Plus Gala Dinner on Friday, 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Location Ridley College Campus
170 The Avenue, Parkville, VIC
Ticket Price Standard Ticket  Price:

  • $180 full ticket price (two days + gala dinner)
  • $145 partial (one day + gala dinner)
  • $60 gala dinner only

Student Price (for any Ridley Student or full-time students at any other institution):

  • $90 full program (two days + gala dinner)
  • $75 partial (one day + gala dinner)
  • $45 gala dinner only
Speakers Kylie Butler and Merissa Forsyth


Event Program

Friday day
  • Morning session including worship and a keynote address from Kylie Butler
  • Late morning and afternoon sessions: Choose two of six workshops run by leading women
  • Morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea provided
Friday night Gala dinner
  • Three-course dinner
  • Keynote address from Merissa Forsyth
Saturday day
  • Morning session including worship and a keynote address from Merissa Forsyth
  • Late morning session: Choose one of three workshops run by leading women
  • Afternoon panel discussion
  • Morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea provided

Limited bursary funds are available for women who wish to attend but are in financial hardship. If you are not a student but cannot afford the full ticket price, please contact the organisers.

Kylie Butler 
Managing Director of Christian Coaching Institute, Executive Leaders Program Director with Arrow Leadership Australia
Kylie is a vibrant communicator, leader, facilitator and coach who thrives on helping leaders take the next step – both personally and professionally. Kylie has served as pastor, leader and coach with many organisations. Kylie’s passion is to help people take the next step.

Kylie is currently the Managing Director of Christian Coaching Institute and Executive Leaders Program Director with Arrow Leadership Australia. She also does some contract work as a business coach/consultant with Sodia.

Kylie has extensive experience in leadership development, coaching, communications, transitions and team building. She has served as CEO, pastor, manager and coach with many organisations. Kylie has studied Business at Monash University, Theology at ACOM, Coaching through the Christian Coaching Institute and completed her Masters at Eastern College Australia. She is credentialed by the International Coach Federation, is a Professional Certified Coach and has logged over 4000+ professional coaching hours.

Kylie is married to Adam, and they have two children, Toby and Lily. They live on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria.

Merissa Forsyth
CEO & Founder, Pretty Foundation
Merissa Forsyth is the CEO & Founder of Pretty Foundation, a not-for-profit dedicated to instilling body confidence in young girls aged 2-6. Envisioning a world where all females are comfortable in their bodies, confident in themselves, and conquering in their endeavours, Merissa founded the Pretty Foundation in 2016.

The journey of Pretty Foundation began in 2012 when Merissa heard a word from God to walk away from her marketing career and create a campaign called ‘Make up free me’. Merissa quit her job and launched the campaign in 2013, and it encouraged everyday and high-profile participants to go make-up free for a day to generate conversation about adverse body image.

After running the campaign for a couple of years, Merissa sensed a common thread throughout these conversations. She realised there were already several reputable organisations doing life-changing work for those severely impacted by negative body image. Still, no one was speaking to young girls in the early years of their life.

With her fast-moving corporate career on hold, Merissa discovered 38 per cent of 4-year-old girls are dissatisfied with their bodies, and 34 per cent of 5-year-old girls intend to diet. Horrified by these statistics, Merissa couldn’t find any organisations or resources for early education of body image for young girls, and it was then Pretty Foundation was born.