Toni Duka grew up on a farming property that ran sheep on Kangaroo Island. She now lives in Millicent, enjoys living in an agricultural community and still works with the sector. “While I’m not involved in growing or production anymore, I love that sense of community that we have in the rural sector.”

Toni’s connection with WoTL goes back some years, when she heard about the Stepping in to Leadership program from some colleagues and a mentor. “The timing was perfect. I was ready to be re-inspired in my leadership journey. It gave me confidence in who I am and made me re-see my skills, and the networks I formed during the program were fantastic. The shared experiences with the other women, and now being part of the alumni is just amazing.”

Toni says she felt safe that WoTL provided a confidential environment, which allowed her and the group the opportunity to really open up. “That is absolutely the setting that is brought to the table in this program. And you get to engage with women from a broad range of sectors with a broad range of life experiences, and everybody got something different out of the program, and equally benefited.”

Since the program finished, Toni has become even more involved with WoTL. “Things have come at me very fast. I’ve been involved with the organising committee for the Thriving Women Conference 2020, which is exciting. And while I was already on (my children’s) school board, I’m hoping to step up and take the role of Chair soon.”

Toni set a precedent for others, when she found out she was the first person to buy a ticket for the inaugural TWC in 2018. “Yes! And I was not disappointed. I was rapt with the content of last year’s conference, and now I’m on the committee, so I think that speaks for itself.”

Toni is active in encouraging other women who may be considering applying to SITL. “Do it. Don’t wait. You will meet an amazing network of women. You’ll be mentored and led, and no matter where you are in your leadership journey, you’ll find some treasures in that program. It’s fantastic.”