SA Women and Leadership series launch

SA Women and Leadership series launch

Mar 28
CEDA remains committed to improving gender equality and continues to invite influential thought leaders to comment on the major policy issues confronting women in public and corporate life. 


Elaine Bensted, Chief Executive, Zoos SA
Donny Walford, Managing Director, DW Behind Closed Doors
Professor Marie Wilson, Pro Vice Chancellor Business and Law, University of South Australia Business School

Event overview

For this year’s Women and Leadership series CEDA will focus on the tools, programs and initiatives that can affect change in organisations to drive gender equality and diversity more broadly. The series will also explore how the changing nature of work provides opportunity to harness the disruption underway to challenge and transform the structures and thinking that perpetuate gender inequality in the workplace. 

CEDA welcomes Donny Walford and Elaine Bensted to kick off this important series. 

Event presentations

Donny Walford, Behind Closed Doors MP3

Elaine Bensted, Zoos SA MP3

Moderated discussion MP3

Delegate handout PDF

Meet the speakers

Elaine Bensted
Chief Executive, Zoos SA

Elaine Bensted is Chief Executive of Zoos SA which operates both Adelaide and Monarto Zoo and has been in this role since September 2012. Prior to her appointment as Chief Executive, Elaine held the position of Chief Executive for TAFE SA and preceding this held senior roles in both state and local government. Elaine has also worked in the private finance sector, within human resources and training management, operation and project management and bank branch manager roles. Elaine’s qualifications include an MBA and a Masters in Public Policy and Management. Elaine also holds qualifications in accounting and finance.

Donny Walford
Managing Director, DW Behind Closed Doors

The founder of two companies, Behind Closed Doors and Bottom Line, Donny Walford has achieved national success working with Boards, Executive and senior management across industry, government and the NGO sector. With an extensive background at Board level, CEO and Executive roles in banking, finance, business associations and government, Donny works at the Board and Executive level of management to drive major strategic change. 
Through her businesses Behind Closed Doors and Bottom Line, companies focused on professional development, peer coaching and mentoring networking and Executive Coaching, Donny assists organisations and individuals maximise their performance. Her Board Directorships include: The ABC, KeyInvest Ltd, SA Venture Capital Fund, NDA Law and Member of the Community, Government, Inclusion committee with Adelaide Crows Football Club. She is a  Founding Member of the International Women’s Forum, Australia.

Meet the chair

Professor Marie Wilson
Pro Vice Chancellor Business and Law, University of South Australia Business School

Professor Marie Wilson is Pro Vice Chancellor (Business and Law) of the University of South Australia Business School. Professor Wilson has a track record of delivering in both industry and university leadership, and under her direction the UniSA Business School is becoming nationally and internationally recognised as a leader in applied research and in the education of global professionals. Since gaining her initial degree in Science at Florida State University Professor Wilson has studied and worked across the globe and has been a senior manager in strategy and HRM for seven public companies, including one of the worlds largest IT firms.

Supported by CEDA members

Event series sponsors

Public event advice – Coronavirus

At CEDA we are proud to regularly convene and engage speakers and audiences as an essential element of our efforts to broaden discussion and debate of the most important policy issues facing Australia. In doing so, our first priority is always the safety and wellbeing of our guests and staff.

CEDA is currently delivering a digital program of public events, podcasts and virtual Trustee roundtable discussions; hybrid events with both a livestream and audience in attendance; and face-face events, where there is member demand and they can be delivered in accordance with government health advice for a specific state.

For face-to-face gatherings, CEDA is working closely with our hosts and venues to ensure that social distancing can be maintained and facilities and equipment have been properly sanitised. Attendance numbers will strictly adhere to government guidelines for each state.In line with government advice we request people that are unwell with cough or fever or other respiratory symptoms do not attend CEDA events. We also ask that you follow government advice and maintain social distancing by refraining from shaking hands or exchanging physical greetings, and wherever possible, staying at least 1.5 metres away from others.

CEDA will continue to closely monitor government advice regarding public gatherings and will follow all relevant health advice from the Australian government in relation to COVID-19.