August Webinar Wednesday was a hit!

What a fantastic guest for our second Webinar Wednesday! Melissa Drummond-Anderson was interviewed live by our very own CEO Robyn Forester.

Melissa is a mother and entrepreneur, originally from Townsville. Melissa is the eldest sister of four younger brothers and her formative years were challenging to say the least.

After Melissa’s grandparents passed away, her mother was adopted by the great Neville Bonner, Australia’s first Aboriginal politician and was raised in Ipswich. Melissa said that she learnt from her mother and her mother’s life working in forced labour and the life of her Uncle Neville Bonner. Melissa said she adapted the lessons she was taught and what her family demonstrated to her - into her life. Michelle said that she was committed to changing her life for the better.

I was born into poverty and I knew I did not want to continue that cycle for my children

Melissa Drummond-Anderson

Melissa believes that education is the key and when she was in year 10, she sat for the public service exam and passed. Melissa and her siblings had moved frequently when she was a child and a teenager, and she was used to changing and adapting to different environments.  She felt that the public service presented an opportunity to get out of her current environment. Melissa says she learnt from the many colleagues and managers she had in the public service and more broadly throughout her career.

A turning point for Melissa was being the victim of an abusive partner. At that point Melissa  knew she had to leave "I knew I deserved more - watching my sisters and aunties going through the same thing. I felt that I needed to do something to make a difference".

Melissa formed Blaq Diamond's Women Empowerment that works to inspire, empower and support First Nations women towards identifying their true worth. Melissa drew on her lived experience to work toward changing the landscape of what is available to women who are victims and survivors of violence. "What gives to my soul is witnessing a sister transform her life for the better, and working to make the best version of herself"

If you missed the webinar you can watch it here 


Introducing September's Webinar Wednesday guest, Benny Eggmolesse

Benny Eggmolesse is a Murri fulla from Queensland. His mother's people are the Kurawali from the Diamantina River and his father's people are the Mbarbaram west of the Atherton Tablelands. Benny is a Business owner, entrepreneur, AILC board member and comedian.

And Benny will be delivering our next Webinar Wednesday event, at 1:00pm on the 9th of September!

Benny’s background is in human resources specialising in Aboriginal workforce development. He has a wide range of experience with diversity workforce development programs, Aboriginal culture competency frameworks, community engagement consultation and small business development and ventures. He's also notched up quite a few awards for his comedy performances including 2016 and 2017 Deadly Funny National Finalist and 2018 runner up ACT Raw Comedy.

He'll be bringing all this experience, and humour, to the AILC webinar on the 9th, so mark it in your diary and don't miss out!