Annabelle Chaplain shares uplifting speech at Professional Women's Network breakfast

St Margaret’s hosted a reimagined Professional Women’s Network breakfast in a slightly different way this month, amid COVID-19.

A socially distanced group of 50 guests enjoyed an uplifting presentation from St Margaret’s Old Girl and Notable Annabelle Chaplain AM (’74) in which she spoke about the impact of COVID-19.

“I feel we should be optimistic about opportunities in a post COVID-19 world,” she said.

“For all the challenges that come with this pandemic, there isn’t a better time to think deeply about what is within your control, how you really want to spend your time and how you can develop that edge for success.”

Annabelle, whose 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, shared her thoughts on career opportunities and how best to position oneself for the future based on the impact COVID-19 has had on industries.

“Curiosity and a thirst for knowledge” were some of her tips for developing a professional edge.

“If nothing else, COVID-19 shows us that we have to adapt.

“Always look to develop yourself through gaining broad, commercial and life experience and educating yourself,” she said.

Annabelle said that COVID also offered a time for calibration and lateral thinking about your own value proposition when it comes to career pathways and encouraged the audience to “cultivate transferrable skills that could be put to use in different contexts”.

“Invest in yourself. Look for the thing that will allow you to carve out a competitive advantage and add complementary skills that will build a margin of safety,” she said.

Speaking from her own experience as 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, Annabelle also championed the power of networking.

Thank you to our 2020 Professional Women’s Network corporate sponsors Pitcher Partners, Programmed Property Services and supporting partners Downer, NAB and Clear Insurance.