Professional Women's Network

About St Margaret's Professional Women’s Network (PWN) 

The PWN Series
 has developed a strong and steady identity among Brisbane professionals, at varying stages of their career, as a place where they come to be inspired by our guest speakers, make new contacts, and build and develop positive business relationships.

Students from Years 10, 11 and 12 are also encouraged to attend. Immersing young women in an environment where they can build their networking capacity and be given the opportunity to foster relationships sits at the heart of St Margaret’s value in empowering young women through education.

Download our 2021 Sponsorship Proposal (PDF 529.5KB) to learn more about the series and how you can get involved! 


Ruth Drinkwater 

Ruth has had a diverse career with more than 20 years' experience in management, business development, marketing and commercialisation, investment in emerging technology companies and capital raising. She has been at the forefront of change in angel investment and start-up activity. As an experienced non-executive director, Ruth has sat on several boards and advisory panels. She is currently chair of Alkira Software Pty Ltd and Mrs Clucks Pty Ltd and a past CEO of Alkira Software, as well as a past director of a number of other quasi-Government, university and private company boards. She is a co-founder of Mrs Clucks, continues as a member of the Queensland Government's Advance Queensland grant assessment committee and is a long term member of Brisbane Angels. Ruth is interviewed by St Margaret's Chair of School Council Ms Debbie Smith. 


Nicole Hollows

Nicole is an experienced Senior Executive, with a career spanning over 20 years in the resources sector. Nicole provides a summary of her career progression starting out as a young Chartered Accountant in a small firm, to getting uncomfortable and out of her comfort zone in the male dominated resources and water industries, initially as a Chief Financial Officer and later as Chief Executive Officer. 


Jenny Stevens ('73)  

Jenny Stevens firmly believes in St Margaret's motto, Per Volar Sunata - Born to Fly Upwards, and all young women embracing their full potential. In this first breakfast event of 2021, Jenny spoke about how she fought her fear of failure, and how young women can live the lives they deserve to live. Jenny has grown Attune Hearing to over 65 clinics servicing the medical community across five states. She is an advocate for patient care and innovation, and has worked extensively on a number of fundraising committees for children with special needs. Jenny holds a Teaching Degree, a Bachelor and Master of Educational Studies, a Bachelor of Special Education and a Master of Audiological Studies from UQ. 






Annabelle Chaplain AM ('74): Annabelle's global career spans 25 years in investment banking and a wealth of experience in non-executive director roles across a range of industries including the fintech, education, resources and arts sectors. She is currently non-executive Chairman of MFF Capital Investments Ltd, a non-executive director of Seven Group Holdings Ltd, Super Retail Group Ltd, Chairman of Canstar Pty Ltd and a director of the Australian Ballet.


Listen to our 2019 PWN podcasts:

Susan McDonald: Susan is Managing Director of Super Butcher, a retail group of five stores and online butchers, serving 6,000 people a week in South East Queensland.With degrees in commerce and economics, and a registered CPA, Susan has over 20 years of experience in accountancy and business management and served as chief of staff to the Minister for Natural Resources and Mines in the Queensland Government.  Susan is a director of Beef Australia, a Queensland divisional councillor of the Retail and General Industry Group of Australian Meat Industry Council (AMIC) and is treasurer of the Queensland RNA.

Penny ('92) and Peter Wolff: Penny Wolff, the creative and educative mastermind behind the Wolff Coffee brand, and her husband Peter, who has been at the forefront of Australia’s coffee industry for more than 30 years, have crafted a niche in the realm of Specialty Coffee in Brisbane. Having recognized an opportunity to fill a void in the quality espresso market, Penny, a past academic with a strong arts background, and Peter, a coffee connoisseur instrumental in the evolution of coffee drinking in Brisbane, created three very distinct brands in the tea and retail coffee sector. Together they also built the Wolff College of Coffee, where many of Brisbane’s bearded, tattooed hipster baristas have learnt their trade from Master Roaster, Peter Wolff.

Julieanne Alroe: 
Julieanne is one of only a handful of women in the world to run a privatised airport, having retired as CEO and Managing Director from Brisbane Airport Corporation (BAC) in June 2018 after 10 years in the role. She is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a member of the Chief Executive Woman (CEW). Julieanne is a member of the University of Queensland Senate and a board member of ERM Power and Queensland Ballet. She is also a Member of the Council of Governors of the American Chamber of Commerce QLD (AMCHAM).

Trish Jackson (’79): Surviving against all odds, Trish Jackson uses her disability to educate the next generation; the key to ending bullying and discrimination. Trish is one of 10,000 babies born with several birth defects because her mother was given a sample packet of the drug Thalidomide, a supposedly ‘safe’ drug, during her pregnancy. After graduating, Trish’s second job was ironically in the health department in the pharmaceutical section – ironic for two reasons: she was the result of the greatest pharmaceutical disaster in the world and the government who had told her she ‘could not work’ ended up being her employer for over a decade. Today she is a guest speaker and agent for change – she is still campaigning for compensation after 57 years for the harm caused by the drug Thalidomide.

Listen to the PODcasts from our 2018 events!

Lavinia Codd: After a career as a Chartered Accountant at leading international firms, Dr Codd suffered a stroke at the age of 31. As part of her cognitive recovery, Dr  Codd resumed her Bachelor of Science degree, before completing her PhD at Queensland Brain Institute (QBI) in 2015. In 2018, Dr Codd was appointed as the Advancement Manager at QBI. She also established the QBI Stroke Advisory Board to raise awareness of, and funds to support, vital research into stroke.

Alison Quinn ('83): Alison Quinn is the Chief Executive Officer of RetireAustralia, the largest privately owned retirement village operator in Australia. As one of Australia’s most experienced property executives with an extensive track record of success, Alison has extensive development and investment experience in the seniors housing, property and constructions sector. A proud St Margaret’s Old Girl, Alison holds a degree in Commerce from The University of Queensland, and is currently the National President of the Retirement Living Council. 

Thank you to our 2021 PWN Corporate Sponsors


Pitcher Partners 2019


Programmed_Sub_Brands_Property_Services_Horizonal_Logo  Wolff Coffee Roasters



Westpac          Clear Insurance

O  Red Oak_Logo_horizontal