Engage is about bringing together and raising up Christian women for public engagement.
Engage with professional development for more effective and imaginative public engagement
Engage with ideas from leading Christian thinkers, creatives and professionals
Engage into a space for deep theological reflection, robust discussion and genuine community
We welcome all women to join us! Scroll below for upcoming events.
To receive information about upcoming events in the ADM newsletter:
Enquiries: email Annette Pierdziwol, Director of Public Engagement
Our city is full of incredible women doing incredible things! Join us on the first Thursday of the month for Engage Evening Sessions – a fun, low-key opportunity for Christian women to come together and cheer each other on.
At Engage Evening Sessions you’ll hear four speakers from across a variety of spheres of work, culture and ministry. They’ll share stories about their current projects, ideas, actions or future plans.
This is a space to share knowledge and skills. And, as you hear stories from other women, it’s a space to be inspired and to dream big! This is a community where it’s perfectly OK to fail… and to try again, as you seek to discern the ways in which God is calling you to engage and impact the world for Him.
Meet peers, mentors and friends to journey with. Enjoy food and good fun on a Thursday night. Our evening sessions are open to all interested women from any field, age or background – and we especially welcome newcomers. Come join us!
If you would like to present a story at one of our Engage Evening sessions, please email an expression of interest.
ENGAGE | Masterclass: Presenting with Impact
Date/Time: Sat 22 Sep 2018, 10am – 3PM
Your voice is the most powerful tool you have for communicating. It is through your voice that you connect with an audience. Your voice can influence and inspire, or work against you, weakening your message, and blocking you from having the impact you were hoping for. Do you feel as though your voice lacks power and gravitas when it matters most? Would you like to feel more confident when speaking in public? Do you want to be able to communicate your ideas easily and effectively? This workshop is an opportunity for you to up skill in the vital art of communication.
This practical workshop will use theatre-based techniques to enhance your voice and presentation skills for greater impact. Actors are experts at engaging an audience; when mastering their craft they learn how to use their voice to influence any audience. These skills are transferable and can be used by anyone. Jess Chambers will draw on her experience in coaching actors for major theatre performances to help you learn to express yourself with confidence. You will learn strategies to enhance physical and vocal presence and improve your vocal delivery so that your words will resonate and have an impact on your audience.
Jess Chambers works internationally as a voice and dialect coach. She coaches actors in the spoken voice: helping them to be heard and understood, and to create believable and engaging performances. She is currently coaching the cast of Jersey Boys, which will open in Sydney in September. She is the voice coach at Bell Shakespeare, where she has recently coached productions of Julius Caesar, Antony and Cleopatra, The Merchant of Venice, and Richard 3, and she was Voice and Dialect Coach on Matilda the Musical in Australia and on the West End. Her other credits include numerous productions at Sydney Theatre Company, at the Shaw Festival Theatre in Canada, and at theatres across London. Jess regularly uses her experience with actors to train other professionals who rely on their voices to engage and persuade, including lawyers, teachers, and sales representatives. She trained at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, London.
ENGAGE | Dinner: ‘Finding your voice for public engagement’
Date/Time: Mon 27 Aug 2018, 6:30pm – 8:30PM
At this ENGAGE Dinner our guest speaker will be Rev Dr Michael Jensen. Michael is a regular commentator in both religious and secular forums, including ABC's The Drum. He will share with us from his many years’ experience engaging publicly as a Christian. Dr Michael Jensen is the rector at St Mark's Anglican Church, Darling Point and was previously a Lecturer at Moore Theological College. He has written a number of books including 'Is Forgiveness Really Free?' and 'My God, My God – Is it possible to believe anymore?'.
ENGAGE Masterclass. ‘Money matters for women: Understanding the basics’
date / time: SAT 23 JUN 2018, 9:30AM – 11:30AM
Talking about money can be both awkward and uncouth. But it’s a big part of life, and especially important for women to manage well. Did you know, for example, that women over 55 are the fastest growing group of homeless people in Australia? This is in part because women retire on average with half the amount of Superannuation that men do, as a result of the gender pay gap and because what is traditionally consider ‘women’s work’ is not as highly valued as ‘men’s work’.
So, how can we be better informed in our attempts to steward our financial resources?
How are you going with managing your money? Do you have a budget and know how much you should be spending discretionarily? Do you know what a good loan rate is? Or, how to charge for your freelance work? Or, how to salary sacrifice? How are you going with finding financially sustainable paths to pursue your vocation (in the most expensive city in the world no less!) and in provisioning for your future?
This ENGAGE Masterclass is designed to give women a basic introduction to a range of practical information and tools regarding: budgeting, investing, getting paid appropriately for your freelance work, salary sacrificing into Super and provisioning for your future. Our guest Presenter, Rachel Cole will take us through these financial issues commenting on practical tips and on key statistics that are particularly relevant to women and our financial outcomes.
Rachel Cole is qualified Property Investment Advisor who has long had a passion for understanding and managing her money. She started as a novice investor, working hard after finishing University to pull together her first home deposit in under 5 years, and now has a large portfolio of investments. Writing about her passion in this area, Rachel says: “There is no magic. It is strategy and commitment. What helped me is sound money management, intimately knowing your market and always remembering the ultimate goal… To me as a young woman, [it] represents the choice to work when I want to, freedom to be generous and travel and a strong sense of independence.”
Rachel’s approach to sound money management is also informed by her career in the Arts and her acquaintance with the financial pressures that exist for those working in less secure forms of work. When she’s not thinking about money, you’ll find Rachel on a stage! She is a 2011 graduate of ED5 International in Sydney. Most recently, she played The Acrobat in the Original Australian cast of Matilda the Musical, where she understudied Miss Honey, Mrs Wormwood and Mrs Phelps (Royal Shakespeare Company/ LWA). Rachel has numerous credits in musical theatre, for Opera Australia and as a session singer and recording backing vocalist.
ENGAGE Breakfast: ‘Board Search – How to find and gain a board appointment’
Date/time: TUE 22 MAY 2018,
7:00 – 8:30AM
This Engage Breakfast is for women who are curious about the benefits of a board directorship or who are actively seeking a board appointment and want to know how board appointments are made. The session will be led by David Schwarz – Australia’s leading board recruitment expert and the CEO of Board Direction. David writes that “Board Appointments are potentially life and career changing. However, gaining the first or a subsequent board directorship is highly competitive and can therefore be arduous and time-consuming - even more so if you don’t understand the way board appointments are made or how to circumnavigate these ‘rules’.” Utilising knowledge gained over 15 years of board recruitment experience and recruiting thousands of board directors, David will present to us the information you need to understand this journey, help you separate yourself from your competitors and to 'dare them not to appoint you.'
Specifically, at the Engage Breakfast 'Board Search', topics covered will include:
What sort of board would appoint you
Where to find board opportunities
What Chairs look for in successful candidates
How to write applications that separate you from your competitors
How long it will take to get appointed
What you could get paid
Flourishing in the Academy & the Church
Mentoring Dinner with Lynn Cohick (women only)
date / time: Mon 22 Jan 2018
6pm – 8pm
Lynn Cohick (Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania) is Interim Dean of Humanities and Theological Studies and Professor of New Testament at Wheaton College. Prior to commencing at Wheaton College in 2000, Lynn taught for three years at Nairobi Evangelical Graduate School of Theology in Nairobi, Kenya. Her research focuses on the ways Jews and Christians lived out their faith in the ancient settings of Hellenism and the Roman Empire, and how Jews and Christians today can better appreciate and understand each other. Lynn also explores women’s lives in the ancient world, most recently focusing on Christian women in the early church. She enjoys studying the Apostle Paul and his epistles within their larger Jewish and Greco-Roman contexts. Her publications include Christian Women in the Patristic World: Their Influence, Authority, and Legacy in the Second through the Fifth Centuries (co-authored with Amy Brown Hughes, Baker Academic, 2017); Philippians in the Story of God Commentary (Zondervan, 2013); Ephesians in New Covenant Commentary (Eugene, OR: Cascade Books, 2010); Women in the World of the Earliest Christians (Baker Academic, 2009).
ENGAGE Teen Masterclass: How to be a Film & TV Critic
Speaker: Alissa Wilkinson,
ADM Visiting Fellow
date/time: Sat 14 October 2017 2pm – 5pm
Do you love watching TV and movies … and giving your opinion on them?
Imagine if that was your job and you got to travel to film festivals around the world. Sound like a dream?
Well, that’s what Alissa Wilkinson does for a living!
Join Alissa – a New York writer, critic and scholar – for a special masterclass designed just for you.
At the masterclass, you will:
• Hear amazing stories about Alissa’s job as a critic
• Learn how she sees the relationship between her work and her Christian faith
• Pick up key tips for how you can write about film and TV
• Try writing your own piece of criticism during the class
• Workshop your writing in a fun, creative and supportive environment
This masterclass is for girls only, in school years 9-12.
ENGAGE Masterclass: How to write so anyone can read it
Speaker: Alissa Wilkinson (2017 ADM Visiting Fellow)
Date/Time: Sat 14 October 2017
Join us for an Engage masterclass for women with our 2017 ADM Visiting Fellow, Alissa Wilkinson. Alissa will share practical advice and skills from her extensive experience as a prolific writer, scholar and critic.
In the class, Alissa will discuss some or all of the following topics, depending on interests of the group:
How to come up with an idea
How to approach an editor about it
What to do one your pitch has been accepted
Using the web and social media to your advantage
Networking with others (even at a distance)
Alissa Wilkinson is a staff writer and critic at Vox.com, covering film, culture, and, sometimes, religion. She is also Associate Professor of English and Humanities at The King’s College in New York City, where she teaches courses on criticism and cultural theory. Until September 2016, she was the critic at large at Christianity Today and has regularly contributed criticism and features at a number of publications, including Rolling Stone, Vulture, RogerEbert.com, Pacific Standard, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, The Los Angeles Review of Books, Books & Culture, and others. Alissa’s book How to Survive the Apocalypse: Zombies, Cylons, and Politics at the End of the World, co-written with Robert Joustra, was published by Eerdmans in May 2016.
Christian ethics and public engagement: the current euthanasia debate
SPEAKER: DR MEGAN BEST (UNIVERSITY OF SYDNEY AND INSTITUTE FOR ETHICS & SOCIETY, UNIVERSITY OF NOTRE DAME AUSTRALIA)
DATE/TIME: MON 14 AUGUST 2017
12.30 – 2PM
Dr Megan Best is a researcher, bioethicist and palliative care doctor. She currently works in the psycho-oncology department at the University of Sydney and at the Institute for Ethics & Society at The University of Notre Dame Australia. She has worked in health ethics for over 20 years and is passionate about encouraging the Christian public to live out their faith in the choices they make in medical care.
At this Engage lunch, Megan will share with us her knowledge and experience in Christian ethics and public engagement, focussing in particular on the example of the current euthanasia debate. Even though the majority of the public are supportive of a change in the law to permit euthanasia, the majority of palliative care workers are opposed. During this discussion, Megan will discuss end of life care in Australia and explore reasons for this mismatch in opinions. She will then talk about a Biblical response to supporting those people who are suffering at the end of life.
Flourishing in Public Life: Navigating the challenges of academia, gender and work-life balance
SPEAKER: DR ERIN WILSON
(UNIVERSITY OF GRONINGEN)
DATE/TIME: FRI 11 AUGUST 2017
10.30AM – 12PM
Our speaker will be Dr. Erin Wilson, who is the Director of the Centre for Religion, Conflict, and the Public Domain, and Associate Professor Politics and Religion at the University of Groningen. Erin has published on religion and global justice, globalisation, active citizenship and the politics of asylum. She has most recently edited the volume, “The Refugee Crisis and Religion” (2017). Her expertise is in the area of religion and politics, secularism, refugees and forced migration, human rights, development, global justice, globalisation.
Getting Read: Writing for publication
SPEAKER: DR WENDY NOBLE (APPLIED LINGUIST & DIRECTOR OF NOBLE ACADEMIC WRITING)
DATE/TIME: SAT 29 JULY 2017
9AM – 4PM
This workshop is particularly targeting participants who are working on a potentially publishable piece of writing, and will be limited to 20 participants. During this retreat, we will practise the strategies of highly productive writers, discuss challenges to your writing, strategies you have found useful, and also your specific writing goals. The day will consist of writing blocks punctuated by short input sessions and opportunities for small group feedback.
Booklet and a catered lunch is provided. This Engage Retreat will be held at ADM’s Sydney offices.
ENGAGE Lunch: To write or not to write? Public Christianity and ‘tone’
Speaker: Natasha Moore (Research Fellow, Centre for Public Christianity)
Monday, 17 July 2017
A roundtable lunch with our guest speaker, Dr Natasha Moore. At this Engage lunch, Natasha will talk about how to choose our battles when speaking into a polarised public square. She’ll help us think about ‘tone’ – how we come across to others and what to consider when weighing in on public debate. Participants are encouraged to bring some ideas about how their own work and expertise might feed into the public conversation, and we will spend some time talking informally about some of those ideas.
About Natasha Moore
Natasha is a Research Fellow at the Centre for Public Christianity (CPX). She studied languages at the University of Sydney, then completed a PhD in English Literature at the University of Cambridge. She is the author of ‘Victorian Poetry and Modern Life: The Unpoetical Age’, and editor of ‘10 Tips for Atheists ... and other conversations in faith and culture’. She has worked at CPX for 3 years and has written for the mainstream media on topics that include books, movies, politics, food, domestic violence, Scripture in schools, war, Thanksgiving, and freedom of speech.
ENGAGE Lunch: Lean In - a discussion of women, work and leadership
SPEAKER: MELISSA LIPSETT (GROUP COO, BIBLE SOCIETY AUSTRALIA)
Wednesday, June 28, 2017
A roundtable lunch with our guest speaker, Melissa Lipsett. At this Engage lunch, Melissa will share with us some ideas from Sheryl Sandberg’s famous book Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead, which “offers practical advice to help women achieve their goals”. Join us for what is sure to be a lively time of conversation and debate, as Melissa helps us explore these ideas as Christian women.
About Melissa Lipsett
Melissa is the Chief Operations Officer of Bible Society Group, which includes Bible Society Australia, Centre for Public Christianity, Eternity News, and Koorong Christian bookshops. Prior to serving with Bible Society she was the Executive Minister of a large evangelical church on the Gold Coast. Melissa loves to encourage women to use the very real gifts God has given them.
ENGAGE Masterclass: Social Media - How to become an expert in your field
SPEAKER: KIRRYN ZERNA
Tuesday, 30 May, 2017
A two-hour Engage Masterclass on social media, presented by Kirryn Zerna. Kirryn will give us an intensive crash course in 'How to become an expert in your field'.
Social media proves the perfect tool to position your brand as an expert in your field so that people trust you, want to work with you and in time, to rave about you.
In this session we’ll go through simple steps that you can apply immediately.
What you’ll learn:
- What three pieces of content will help you stand out in the crowd
- Doing this one thing makes your branding more memorable
- How to set up a system to keep you here for the long game
About Kirryn Zerna
Kirryn Zerna has worked with small and large businesses to create remarkable brand communications for over a decade, and now she builds that capability into the organisations that she works with. She combines her deep experience in corporate communications and copy writing with the latest research of social media management in order to deliver a tailored approach for her clients. Kirryn was recently awarded the 2017 Kerrie Nairn Scholarship by Professional Speakers Australia to assist the development of an emerging speaker to become an outstanding professional leader.
Back to the Reformation
Speaker: Kara Martin (Project Leader, Seed & Lecturer, MAC)
Join us on 27 April 2017 for a roundtable lunch with our guest speaker, Kara Martin.
At this Engage lunch, Kara will provoke us to consider whether we should head “Back to the Reformation” when it comes to our thinking on vocation. She writes that “Luther saw every job as sacred, and no divide between spiritual acts and everyday activities. We need to recapture
this biblical truth which graced every believer with dignity and the opportunity to participate in God's work.” A good half of our time with Kara will be dedicated to discussion, allowing us to workshop what she suggests as a model for thinking about our own work and public engagement. A catered lunch will be provided. RSVP is essential.
About Kara Martin
Kara is Project Leader with Seed, lecturer with Mary Andrews College, and was formerly Associate Dean of the Marketplace Institute at Ridley College in Melbourne. She has worked in media and communications, human resources, business analysis and policy development roles, in a variety of organisations, and as a consultant. Kara is currently under contract to write a two-volume exploration of Workship: How to Use Your Work to Worship God.
Good News: The Character of Christian Witness in a Media-Saturated Age
Speaker: Scott Stephens (Editor, ABC Religion & Ethics)
Join us on 29 March 2017 for a roundtable lunch with our guest speaker, Scott Stephens.
At this Engage lunch, Scott will offer theological and moral reflection on the state of public discourse, and make some specific suggestions about the distinctive character and quality that Christian public engagement ought to have in our media-saturated age. A catered lunch will be provided. RSVP is essential.
About Scott Stephens
Scott is Editor of the ABC’s Religion and Ethics website, and specialist commentator on religion and ethics for ABC radio and television. Before coming to the ABC, Scott taught theology, ethics and Semitic studies for many years. He has published widely on moral philosophy, theology and political theory, and is currently writing a book on whether public ethics can survive in a media age.
Being Heard: Media Training Masterclass
Speaker: Elizabeth Oldfield (Director, Theos)
Join us on 4 August 2016 for an intimate masterclass event with our 2016 ADM Visiting fellow, Elizabeth Oldfield.
Liz will share practical advice and skills from her experience. A light supper will be provided. RSVP is essential.
About Elizabeth Oldfield
Elizabeth is the Director of Theos, the UK's leading religion and society think tank. Before joining Theos in August 2011, she worked for the BBC in both television and radio, and also for the Church and Media Network. She has an MA in Theology from King's College London.