Our Theme and Panel!
Some of the “Men of Influence” who attend and support our events came up with the idea of encouraging more men to enjoy WOI events. We welcome the idea and open our arms to the men in our community!
WOI events are known as a “loungeroom style” where you can connect with like-minded businesspeople, learn new things, and have an enjoyable time.
By welcoming the men in our lives to join us for this event we can connect, learn and grow together!
Emily Jade O’Keefe will lead a spirited, honest, and entertaining discussion on Friday 11th November.
Meet our panel members!
Zhalin Cecil - Top Blokes
“An important message that I love to share is that it is easier to raise strong boys than it is to fix broken men,”
As a young boy, Zhalin thought extreme violence was “normal”. The New Zealand-born man, now 31, grew up with 17 siblings and sadly, it meant he was left in the care of his auntie, who physically abused him. Zhalin says his childhood – marred by abuse and cruelty – severely impacted how he dealt with his own relationships as an adult.
As he got older, Zhalin struggled to regulate his own emotions and would respond to conflict the only way he knew how: with violence. Upon the birth of his own son Zhalin knew he needed to change. It pained him to think his son would grow up with the idea violence was okay and so with help from a mentor Zhalin worked to break the cycle of violence.
Zhalin is determined to not only protect his own son’s innocence, but to help raise a new generation of young men that have the knowledge and skills to create and maintain respectful and healthy relationships. Zhalin is now a mentor and youth worker with Top Blokes Foundation, which aims to end domestic violence in Australia by improving young male health and well-being.
Kathleen Simpson - DV Lawyer
“What a passionate person, woman, supporter and lawyer Kathleen is. I had her as my lawyer and I found her to be all of the above and so much more. She is a truly wonderful person to have on your side.”
Kathleen Simpson is the Principal Domestic Violence and Family Lawyer of DV LAWYER, one of the only specialist DFV law firms in Australia. She is passionate about keeping vulnerable people safe and holding perpetrators accountable.
A strong solicitor and advocate for her clients in court, a champion of legislative change, Kathleen’s efforts in advocating domestic violence cases has been recognised with the Queensland Government’s Honour Roll for both as an individual and for DV LAWYER and as a finalist in the Dame Quentin Bryce DV Prevention Awards.
She has previously been awarded a finalist in the GC “Young Entrepreneur of the Year” awards as nominated by her peers. Kathleen & DV Lawyers have been long time supporters and sponsors of WOI!
Dr Dinesh Palipana OAM
Award-winning doctor, co-founder of Doctors with Disabilities Australia, disability advocate, researcher, and lawyer.
Dr Dinesh is a senior resident doctor at Gold Coast University Hospital. Despite facing numerous barriers, he became the first quadriplegic medical graduate and medical intern in Queensland. He was recently admitted as a lawyer. As co-founder of Doctors With Disabilities Australia, Dinesh has worked with the Australian Medical Association to create first-of-kind national policies for inclusivity in medical education and employment. Dinesh is a doctor for the Gold Coast Titans physical disability rugby league team. He is also a member of multiple committees for disability advocacy and has spoken in world-renowned forums such as TEDx. Through COVID-19, he advocated for equitable treatment for people with disabilities, including as a witness to the Disability Royal Commission. Dinesh has also contributed significantly to scientific advances in treating spinal cord injury and restoring function to people with paralysis. His national and global impact has been recognised with numerous awards, including Junior Doctor of the Year and the Order of Australia.