Women leading and influencing

Laisani and Marguerite

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Laisani Macedru

Master of Commercial Law (alumni)
Monash University, VIC

 recently completed a Masters of Commercial Law at Monash University.

In 2010, Laisani changed from working as a lawyer at a private Fijian law firm to taking on a legal officer role at a statutory body. She assisted the body with its responsibilities towards land tenure and administering and leasing the lands of native landowners for residential, commercial, and tourism purposes. In this role, she learnt about educating native landowners on their legal and commercial rights and the importance of community legal awareness.

Laisani later accepted a role at Fiji's National Provident Fund (also Fiji's only provident fund). Upon completion of her degree, Laisani will return to her position in the investment division, which manages the Fund's investment portfolio through merger and acquisition deals, project management, real estate development, and offshore investments.

Laisani intends to use these diverse experiences to empower and support upcoming young women leaders. She would like to see more Fijian women represented in executive positions of organisations. From her experiences, she sees that professional women lack strong professional networks and opportunities to be mentored while also being very humble and playing down their strengths. In the next ten years, Laisani would like to hold a leadership position in a regional body, whether a banking institution or non-governmental organisation, and to support other women into leadership roles.


Dr Marguerite Evans-Galea

Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering, VIC

 is a scientist, executive and entrepreneur. She is the Executive Director of the Industry Mentoring Network in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) with the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering. She is also an Honorary Fellow at the Murdoch Children's Research Institute through the University of Melbourne.
Marguerite has led research programs in cell and gene therapy at world-leading organisations in the United States and Australia. Her research and leadership have been internationally recognised with numerous awards. Strongly committed to empowering early- and mid-career researchers, Marguerite actively mentors students, postdoctoral fellows and faculty.

As an internationally-recognised advocate for women in STEMM, Marguerite serves on the Science in Australia Gender Equity Expert Advisory Group and is co-founder and CEO of Women in STEMM Australia. She also serves on the inaugural Ministerial Council for Women's Equality in Victoria and is an Ambassador for the Victorian Honour Roll of Women. She has also represented Australia at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Women in STEMM meetings.

A strong advocate for STEMM research, education and innovation, Marguerite has served with advisory groups in State and Federal governments, and communicates regularly on a range of science- related topics via social and mainstream media.