Media Release

14/10/2014
Having it all – just not all at the same time
Can you have it all, all of the time? Is it possible to have a better work-life balance? How can businesses make their workplaces more flexible to attract and retain the best staff? The Hon Kristina Keneally, New South Wales’ first female Premier, will deliver the keynote address at the Business Excellence Series in the Tropics (‘best’) lunch on Tuesday the 21st of October in Townsville.

Having it all – just not all at the same time

Can you have it all, all of the time? Is it possible to have a better work-life balance? How can businesses make their workplaces more flexible to attract and retain the best staff?

The Hon Kristina Keneally, New South Wales’ first female Premier, will deliver the keynote address at the Business Excellence Series in the Tropics (‘best’) lunch on Tuesday the 21st of October in Townsville.

‘Best’ is a twice-yearly event presented by James Cook University’s College of Business, Law and Governance.

Kristina Keneally’s address, “Having it all – just not all at the same time”, will share the ups and downs of her journey to becoming NSW’s 42nd Premier, the importance of achieving a work-life balance, and her views on leadership.

Ms Keneally said her speech would focus on the need for flexibility in the workplace.

“One of the challenges for individual workers as well as for corporations is to understand that the nature of careers has changed. Flexibility is the name of the game.”

Kristina Keneally said these days, many people ‘dip’ in and out of the workforce, and it’s rare for people to stay with the same employer all of their career.

“I think a lot of companies are very nervous about being flexible, but the reality is most people don’t live structured and predictable lives anymore and most companies don’t operate in that way, but we still try to pursue that model,” she said.

“I want to talk about how you can create flexibility in your own life, and how employers can think about creating an environment which allows work to be more flexible. While it’s hard to plan for flexibility, the benefits to people and employers can be significant.”

The former NSW Premier and CEO of Basketball Australia will also draw from her experiences as a mother and full-time worker to discuss how to achieve a better work-life balance.

Kristina Keneally said she wants to use what she’s learnt to help employers support and retain talented women in their workforce.

“Women in particular, especially those who’ve grown up in the post-feminist era, have been taught the unrealistic notion that they can have it all - every day, all of the time. You can have it all, but it works a lot better if you’re flexible, and it occurs over a number of years.”

“You can have a successful career and spend more time with your family, but it requires flexibility, creativity and a bit of patience,” she added.

Kristina Keneally will also reflect upon some of the challenges - and some of the more lighthearted moments - of her journey to become New South Wales’ first female Premier, as well as discuss the need for leadership in times of adversity.

“Sometimes the most important moment for leadership is when the chips are down and the odds seem stacked against you, and that’s when real leadership needs to come to the fore.”

“No one necessarily wants to lead in adverse times but it’s often the most important and satisfying time to provide direction and a sense of mission to an organisation”.

Kristina Keneally’s visit to Townsville also has a personal significance. In 1912 her ancestors arrived in Townsville from Ireland. Her third great-grandfather, John Eustace is buried in the Pioneer Cemetery in Townsville.

“When John Eustace stepped off the boat in Townsville I doubt he could have imagined that one of his great-granddaughters would - via the United States - arrive back in Sydney and become the first female Premier of New South Wales.”

“I’m delighted to be visiting Townsville. For me there’s a sense of completing the circle in my family story.”

The ‘best’ lunch address will be held at the Grand Ballroom, Jupiters Townsville on the 21 st of October. Register for this event at: http://alumni.jcu.edu.au/best_keneally_2014 Registrations close on the 16 th of October.

For more information contact best@jcu.edu.au

Media contact: Richard Davis, JCU Head of Media and Communications

(07) 4781 4822 / 0413 451 475

richard.davis@jcu.edu.au