Speakers to discuss leadership and change

August 16, 2017

Greater Shepparton Lighthouse Project chief executive Lisa McKenzie will speak at the Transition Tatura Film Festival.

Greater Shepparton City Councillor Seema Abdullah will speak at Transition Tatura about women creating change in their communities.

Strathbogie Shire councillor Kate Stothers will speak at Transition Tatura about community participation and positive change.

Transition Tatura will present its fourth annual communities shaping the future film festival this weekend.

The theme of the event, leadership, local community, environment: women and transition initiatives, will showcase local women guest speakers delivering inspiring speeches about their leadership roles in the community.

Held at the Gallery Cafe at 115 Hogan St on Saturday, August 19, guest speakers include Shire of Strathbogie councillor Kate Stothers, Greater Shepparton Lighthouse Project chief executive officer Lisa McKenzie, Greater Shepparton City Council councillor Seema Abdullah and Greater Shepparton City Council waste officer Jean Young.

Just Eat It, a film about food waste and rescue, is this year’s keynote film and will be played alongside more than 10 other short films.

The day will begin with registrations and morning tea from 8.45am and will continue until 4.30pm.

â– Lunch, tea and coffee are included in the entry ticket, which can be purchased from for $35 per person.


Seema looking to bridge the gaps

Seema Abdullah grew up in Pakistan and migrated to Australia about 12 years ago.

She is a certified project management professional and her qualifications include a Master of Business Administration and a Master of Science in Information Systems, from London School of Economics.

Moving to Shepparton about eight years ago, she was elected to the Greater Shepparton City Council last year.

While on council, some of her goals are to build a greener Greater Shepparton and to bridge gaps between the council and the community.

Seema is also a member of the Women’s Charter Advisory Committee.

At the film festival, Seema will present a collage of shorts focusing on women as agents of change, and Pakistani women’s leadership journeys and what this transition means to them and to society.

She will also discuss Pakistani women in rural areas who are contributing through community sustainability projects.

Seema will talk about women leading the change, how society benefits from this transition, barriers and challenges and how women in leadership positions help in prioritising social issues, such as child care, domestic violence, education and women’s health.


Accomplished in many positions

Lisa McKenzie is a change leader committed to improving equity, access and opportunity in her community and has been at the forefront of many collaborative initiatives in the Goulburn Valley.

Lisa lives in Shepparton with her husband, David.

They have taken on many leadership roles, the most important being the raising of their now grown-up children Alex and Edward.

Raised on a farm at Lancaster, Lisa began her career as a cadet journalist at the Kyabram Free Press before working as a journalist at the Geelong Advertiser, The Weekly Times and as editor of the Country News.

She went on to create Impress, a public relations and communications business working with many of the region’s major organisations, such as Goulburn Broken CMA, Goulburn-Murray Water and Goulburn Valley Health.

Pursuing her passion for community, Lisa moved to the not-for-profit sector as executive officer of Fairley Leadership and executive officer of the Community Fund GV before she took on the new role of executive officer of the Greater Shepparton Lighthouse Project in 2014.

Lisa has served as a committee member and chair of many local organisations and played a key role in establishing RiverConnect; Shepparton Foodshare; the Sampson Leadership Trust; and the Lift-Off Scholarship fund as well as the Lighthouse Project.

She is chair of the Lift Off Scholarship Advisory Committee and a member of the La Trobe University Regional Advisory Board.


Supporter of positive 

Kate Stothers grew up in Gippsland, Victoria.

After attending university in Melbourne, and spending about 10 years there, she moved to Upotipotpon with her partner, Lance Williams, in 2001.

With a background in farming and studies in science — Environmental Science and Zoology — the big issues she spends a lot of time thinking about are how we manage our land and how we connect to our landscape.

She has worked in private land conservation, catchment management, environmental training delivery and biodiversity conservation with government and non-government organisations for 20 years.

Always a willing community volunteer (she won Australia Day Citizen of the Year for Violet Town this year), after she left paid full-time employment in 2014, she soon explored her other big interest — community democracy.

Inspired by Voices for Indi, Kate was a key leader in launching Strathbogie Voices and has been on this ‘‘sometimes-nerve-racking ride’’ from 2014 until she stood for and got elected to the Strathbogie Shire Council as councillor for the Honeysuckle Creek ward in November last year.

She is a strong believer in community participation and a supporter of positive change.

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