All Of The Highlights From marie claire’s International Women’s Day Lunch For 2024

See all the inspiring moments, here.

After Matilda’s mania captivated the nation and Taylor Swift‘s Era’s tour and the Barbie movie collectively saw women worldwide reclaiming their ‘girlhood’, 2023 was unofficially coined the year of the girl.


Now, as the dust (and glitter) settles in 2024 and the economy is reaping the rewards of female-led projects (The Barbie movie grossed $1.446 billion, the Eras tour brought in $1.04 billion and the Matildas and the Women’s World Cup banked $7.66 billion), the conversation is turning to ‘investing in women,’ as the United Nation’s official theme of this years International Women’s Day.


To celebrate International Women’s Day marie claire gathered a room of powerhouse women in Sydney’s Hinchcliff House for its annual IWD event, presented in partnership with Pandora and supported by Napoleon. Guests included Grace Tame, Tara Moss, Domenica Calarco, Chanel Contos, Aminata Conteh-Biger, Jessica Rowe, Jestina Franklin and Samantha Harris.

Writer and media personality, Melissa Leong, podcaster and author, Elizabeth Day, entrepreneur, Erin Deering and Federal MP Tanya Plibersek, alongside her daughter and Founder of The Survivor Hub, Anna Coutts-Trotter, all sat down with marie claire editor Georgie Abay to share their truths.

Samantha Harris
Model Samantha Harris.

Gunai woman, award-winning writer, artist and consultant Kirli Saunder’s set the tone of the day, opening the event with a selection of her powerful poetry.

Grace Tame
Activist and author, Grace Tame.

Kicking off the panel, Coutts-Trotter spoke about how she survived a domestic abuse relationship when she was just a teenager, and how this led her to form her own charity organisation, The Survivor Hub. Reflecting on what she’s learned from the experience, she shared, “It’s really important to let [survivors] tell their story in their own way, in their own time, and to support the choices they make.”

Federal MP Tanya Plibersek, alongside her daughter and Founder of The Survivor Hub, Anna Coutts-Trotter.

She added, “The best thing you can do is stick around and be available for them when they leave the relationship.”

Plibersek was also on hand to offer her perspective, saying watching her daughter endure the harrowing relationship compelled her to step away from work. “I knew for certain I wanted to be there, and I wanted to have the flexibility to be there for her,” she told Abay.

Concluding the inspiring exchange, Plibersek shared her hopes for the next generation of women: “Feminism means that you think every woman everywhere has the right to choose he own path in life. To make her own way, to make her own choice.”

Jesinta Franklin
Model Jesinta Franklin.

Triangl co-founder Erin Deering was next up, getting candid about her decision to step away from the immensely successful business she started with her former partner (a business that was once worth over USD$200 million), and how this also coincided with the end of their relationship (she was nine month’s pregnant with her second child when she walked away). Her biggest takeaway from the experience? “That happiness comes from within. And I didn’t believe that until I lived the other side,” she told Abay.

Chanel Contos
Founder of Teach Us Consent, Chanel Contos.

Then, Melissa Leong opened up about the importance of setting boundaries, whether that be limiting Instagram comments or turning down job opportunities. “‘No’, and understanding your power and your value is something that we need to continue to evolve, and to grown, and to own, and to celebrate,” she said.

marie claire editor Georgie Abay speaks to Elizabeth Day.

Concluding the day, Elizabeth Day touched on how, as her career has evolved, her measure of success has shifted. “Success for me now isn’t money based, it’s authenticity based… and showing up as myself in every single scenario.”

She added, “For a really long time, I felt pressure to put on a pretence of being better than I thought I was.”

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