International Women’s Day Breakfast

A large gathering of Santa Maria mums and daughters celebrated International Women’s Day at the College on Tuesday.

The mums and daughters were up early to enjoy breakfast together in the Community Room with its magnificent views. They also enjoyed a presentation by Natalie Wallace.

Natalie graduated from Santa Maria with the Class of 1988. Since then she has enjoyed a successful career in chemical engineering. However, it has not been without its challenges, not least because engineering is such a male-dominated industry.

Natalie completed a Bachelor of Engineering at Curtin University, then started her career in Adelaide as part of the Refinery-based Graduate Program with Mobil. She then went on to study a Masters of Business in Marketing at RMIT in Melbourne.

She has worked with companies such as ExxonMobil, Santos, Quadrant Energy and Kleenheat. These companies have given Natalie opportunities to develop great skills in collaboration, operations coordination and relationship management. She is particularly talented in problem solving and negotiation which makes her an excellent project manager.

Although Natalie has not experienced direct sexism in her work, she has had to call it out on behalf of other women in engineering. She was very clear that we have an obligation to stand up for colleagues who are unfairly perceived and treated.

Natalie promoted the study of STEM subjects to the students at the breakfast. She sees these subjects as a strong foundation for future occupations. She also emphasised the fact that even though engineering is male-dominated, that does not mean it is inaccessible to women. Women can achieve great things in the industry.

Outside of work, Natalie is a mum and committed to growing happy, healthy, fulfilled kids. Her daughter, Erin, is in Year 6 at Santa Maria.

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