Ten debates and 12 years ago, Lisa Annese, now Diversity Council Australia (DCA) CEO, took to the stage in the very first DCA Annual Diversity Debate.
And Lisa bought her A-game (having been a debater herself and even a debating coach in school and university). Lisa took the arguably toughest, or perhaps the best, spot in the debate, the third speaker for the negative on the topic: Quotas: friend or foe for business?
Lisa took to the lectern to wind-up the debate after the Affirmative’s final speaker, Alan Kohler, wrapped up for his team.
Lisa remembers the night, “It was an important topic, and the speakers made terrific arguments, but the best bit about the event was that it was a whole lot of fun.”
People loved the first debate and it’s since become the highlight event for DCA members and those who work in the D&I space. Our topics across the decade of debates have been diverse (pun intended) – quotas, racism, flexible work, the merit of merit, bringing your whole self to work, and backlash.
Sixty speakers later
The list of speakers across the years includes:
- Annabel Crabb talking flexibility in 2013
- Patricia Karvelas arguing the merits of merit in 2014
- Anne Summers on the negative team in 2015 and argued about talk vs action on gender diversity
- In 2016 Clementine Ford and Benjamin Law talked about engaging men (or not) in struggles for gender equality
- Kumi Taguchi took on identity and diversity and inclusion in 2017
- In 2018 Mary Coustas (Effie) saying we should not bring our whole self to work
- And the last debate in 2019 Jan Fran batted for backlash being good for diversity.
Diversity Council Australia, in 2011 looked very different than it does today. In fact D&I in Australia looks very different than in 2011. We’ve made much progress, and we are having much more sophisticated conversations about D&I. What remains the same is that the work is important, it is complex, it is sometimes really hard, and we’ll have to keep at it.
The Annual #DCADebate, in 2022, like in 2011 is an opportunity to take on a serious topic, but also to have fun, and gather together to reflect on where we have been, where we are and where to next.
This year, for the 10th #DCADebate, we take it to the Sydney Town Hall on the topic “Is it time to move on from gender equality?” and we line up another fantastic group of speakers to including Carly Findlay, Mary Wooldridge and Sami Shah.
And Lisa? She’s not got a spot on the teams this time, but she’s sure ready to offer her coaching skills and debating tips – and cannot wait for the evening, and of course, the laughs.
For more information and to book your ticket click below: