"The woman who inspired me to change my life."



When you first start out in a career there’s the people who help you learn the ropes, the mentors you look up to, and then there’s the trailblazers who inspired you to pursue that career in the first place.

For me, that woman is Lisa Wilkinson.

For those of you who haven’t followed Lisa’s career trajectory, she became editor of Dolly magazine at 21. Four years later, thanks to a nod from Kerry Packer, she was offered the editorship of Cleo. Under her guidance, the magazine doubled it’s circulation and became the No. 1 selling lifestyle magazine per capita in the world.

Today she co-hosts Channel Nine’s breakfast television show and is considered one of Australia’s most respected journalists. She’s done so much in the Australian media landscape that the moniker ‘Media Maven’ gets resurrected every time she’s interviewed or profiled…oh.

Lisa also mentored and helped launch the careers of Miranda Kerr, Megan Gale, Nicole Kidman and our own publisher Mia Freedman.

Just as an FYI, you should know that this series of posts is sponsored by Pandora. But all opinions expressed by the author are 100 per cent authentic and written in their own words.

To me, having admiration for someone boils down to a physical reaction; the goose bumps on your arm or the spine-tingling sensation you get immediately after they’ve said something that deeply resonates with you.

And that’s exactly what happened to me listening to Lisa give The Andrew Olle Media Lecture. Not only was she the first female to give this lecture since Jana Wendt in 1997, not only did she use the opportunity to tackle sexism and misogyny – topics that haven’t been touched on before, not only did she move some of the audience to tears and received a standing ovation, but she dedicated a sizable chunk of her closing to praise her fellow female journalists.

Lisa Wilkinson presenting at the Andrew Olle Media Lecture.

You see, Lisa’s too classy to view her peers as a threat or competition. She’s too intelligent to entertain the thought that the work they’re doing is taking anything away from the work she’s doing. The desire for women to be more supportive of each other in the workforce is something she’s spoken about before.

“[There is a perception that] we are somehow in competition with other women. There’s plenty to go around and we’ve got to stop feeling that competition and be supportive of other women,” Lisa said in an interview late last year.


Lisa may not know it but the work ethics and support for the sisterhood she set up at Cleo, which in turn has been instilled by Mia here at Mamamia, affects me daily.

I don’t for a second take for granted the fiercely intelligent and incredibly talented young women I’m surrounded by at work, nor do I take for granted the supportive environment we operate in.

Because it wasn’t always this way. There was a time when I hated my job.

After more than five years of working in a job that was sucking the complete life out of me, I re-gathered, retrained, looked to inspiring women -like Lisa – in journalism, and luckily fell in to a workplace that was the complete antithesis of where I had come from.

It makes me proud to know that the women who walk through the doors of Mamamia won’t experience sexual harassment, workplace bullying, or discrimination. And it’s Mia, and her one time boss, mentor and friend Lisa Wilkinson that I’d like to thank for that.

Take a peek through this gallery of inspiring women in the media who Lisa gave the nod to in her Andrew Olley Media address:

The Pandora Essence collection ‘Passion’ charm. Lisa’s Andrew Olley speech sparked Nicky’s passion for supporting women in the media.

WIN a Pandora Essence charm and bracelet of your choice for you and the woman you nominate.

Share with us the woman who makes your world – the woman who inspires you or teaches you the things you haven’t figured out on your own. The woman whose wisdom or love or loyalty or courage – or whichever charm suits them the most – has changed your world.

Post an image or write a story to nominate the Woman who makes your world to go in to the running to WIN a Pandora Essence charm and bracelet for yourself AND the woman you nominate. .

Enter via the comments section on this post, or via Instagram and Facebook, but be sure to tag @mamamiaaus or @Mamamia respectively and use the tags #womanwhomakesmyworld and #mm. The competition will be run over the next four months, with one winner of a  Pandora Essence prize each month. From these four winners, a final major prize winner will WIN the chance to share their story of  ”The woman who makes your world” by writing their own post to be published on Mamamia.

Click here to view full terms and conditions. 


The Pandora ESSENCE Collection helps enable women to express their innermost self through 24 hand-finished sterling silver charms with key values such as joy, hope, love, loyalty, passion, balance, compassion and health, and crafted to exacting standards from symbolic materials.

The 24 meanings of the charms have been defined through an international survey with more than 7500 PANDORA Club members, who have rated the values in life most important to women. Despite cultural differences, the results showed that regardless of ancestry, religion, political attitudes and income, women all share fundamental values.