Paying it forward

I gotta say, I wasn’t too keen on heading out to another work function last night.

Partying with the ethanol crowd wore me out on Wednesday.

It was also a drizzly, miserable afternoon and I was a bit frazzled by juggling work with running the eldest to the doctor for a medical certificate. They needed one to avoid failing year 9 art after missing the final exam due to being away from school for two weeks – at art camp, then battling a brutal case of the flu.

But some of my favourite business associates – who are part of the Women in Drinks Mentoring Program – were holding an end-of-year gathering at Coca-Cola Amatil, so I frocked up.

It was a good excuse to wear the bargain I just picked up at Myer – a Country Road skirt down from $160 to $40 .. go me! It’s elastic waisted, which is very welcome in my current voluptuous state.

It’s also the only photo you are going to get of me from the night, because I was feeling camera shy, despite everyone’s best efforts to get me in the group photo. Bless them!

The event was held in Coca-Cola Amatil’s new Exchange Bar, which has the most fabulous harbour views. I’ve cheated and used a pic of the view from a sunny day as my main shot.

One of the Women in Drinks councillors. Sally, gave a really inspiring speech. She recalled a moment four years ago that fundamentally changed her.

She attended a lunch with 12 women from organisations such as Qantas, Microsoft and McDonalds. Layne Beachley hosted the event and kicked it off by asking everyone around the table to reveal what they had done in the workplace to support other women around them.

“I froze and started sweating as I desperately tried to think of something I could contribute,” Sally recalled. “What was particularly alarming was that I could think of many examples of women and men who’d helped me out, yet I had given nothing back.

“It was a truly pivotal moment for me and I left that lunch with an ambition beyond just my own career. I’m now driven to contribute in any way I can to help those around me and pay it forward.”

Sally has since played a major role in Women in Drinks and been a mentor. She also introduced a school holiday program for the kids of staff at Amatil.

Sally concluded by saying: “So, as you head home tonight, ask yourselves what you are doing to support men and women around you.”

It got me thinking. I work in a small office, head down bum up most of the time. But I do love sharing the achievements of the people in my industry through the websites and social media channels I edit.

They are my new Jennifer Anistons and Brad Pitts – I get a lot of satisfaction out of cheering them on and giving them digital high-fives.

I hope that’s a small contribution on the paying it forward front.

I ended up feeling pretty glad I made the effort to go along last night. There was so much kindness and good will – and lots of hugs – in the room … not to mention some pretty delicious coconut daiquiris with that misty harbour view …

Have a great weekend! I’m looking forward to keeping things pretty low key. Let’s see how I go …

Song of the day: Rupert Holmes “Escape”


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