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Roberta Wright: The day my life turned upside down

Women on Boards I Making it Real

Release Date: 09/27/2021

Cultural Diversity and Inclusion - Panel discussion with Shirley Chowdhary, Claire Beattie and Claire Braund show art Cultural Diversity and Inclusion - Panel discussion with Shirley Chowdhary, Claire Beattie and Claire Braund

Women on Boards I Making it Real

Women on Boards marks UN World Day for Cultural Diversity with a panel discussion about cultural diversity and inclusion in board and leadership roles, with guests Shirley Chowdhary, AAP Board Member; and Women on Boards' Cultural Diversity Committee member and proud Yorta Yorta woman, Claire Beattie. Tune in to listen to this insightful and real conversation, as the panel discusses: The backgrounds and lived experiences of our guest Why cultural diversity in board and leadership roles matters What is cultural inclusion and psychological and cultural safety - How we can support culture &...

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Women on Boards I Making it Real

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As a special episode we have reproduced a webinar that Women on Boards co-hosted with the Governance Institute of Australia titled Diversity is half the circle. Culture, equity and inclusion are the other half. Moderated by Catherine Fox, Journalist and Author  Panel Members: Megan Motto FGIA, Chief Executive, Governance Institute of Australia Dr Marlene Kanga AM, Non-executive director, Sydney Water Corporation Claire Braund, Executive Director, Women on Boards Introduced by: Catherine Maxwell FGIA FCG, General Manager, Policy & Advocacy, Governance Institute of Australia

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More Episodes

Resilient and tenacious - no two words could better describe long-term Women on Boards member Roberta Wright.

Despite being left totally blind after an operation to remove a brain tumour then having to fight for the right to keep her adopted baby - on the back of losing her brother to a drug overdose and father to cancer - Roberta is always looking to the future.

As she tells Claire in this podcast, there are always problems but it is about finding solutions.

Born in Queensland “with a passport in one hand and a globe in the other” Roberta’s yearning for travel and adventure saw her graduate from Queensland Agricultural College with a Bachelor of Business in Hospitality Management before jetting off to the UK on a working holiday visa. 

Returning home when her father was diagnosed with lung cancer, Roberta went into computer programming, before returning to the UK for 13 years.

It was while living in London, working for a drug and alcohol support service and caring for her newly-adopted eight-month old baby that Roberta’s life turned upside down. 

Ten weeks after Sophie was placed with Roberta she noticed problems with her sight. Doctors discovered a meningioma tumour, so Roberta underwent an operation to remove it. 

She describes the terrifying moment waking up in hospital and realising she couldn’t see. “I came out to nothing.”

Little did she realise things were about to get much worse. A week after being discharged from hospital, Roberta was told her adopted baby was to be taken out of her care. What followed was a drawn-out legal battle which ended in the High Court, with the judge finding in Roberta’s favour. 

Now living back in Brisbane with her daughter, Roberta is an active WOB member and is looking for her first board role. In this podcast she talks to Claire about overcoming adversity, learning to adjust  - “losing your sight doesn’t make your hearing better, you just have to make better use of your hearing” - and the challenges of raising a child as a blind parent. 

LinkedIn: Roberta Wright | Claire Braund (host)

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