If you buy into the idea that all you need to succeed is to work hard with a pocket full of dreams, then Hon Gladys Berejiklian MP, and 45th Premier of New South Wales, just may be your new hero.
Born in Sydney to Armenian migrant parents, Berejiklian started her first day of school unable to speak a word of English. Far from stunting her education, this simply pushed her to work harder, with her mother’s words always at the back of her mind, “Gladys, even if you don’t understand the teacher, just put your hand up and have a go”. It may sound cliché, albeit very Aussie, but ‘Have a go’ and ‘work hard’ have become the hallmark of her success, “I was never the best, or the most talented, but I always worked hard”.
Now with a strong command of the English language, the promising student, was both Captain and Dux of her high school. But if you think she was a wall-flower goody-two-shoes, allow the tale of her sit-in in the Principals office to dash that illusion… When her beloved high school was earmarked to be closed down, Berejiklian used people power to stage a peaceful protest. She rallied her peers and stirred up a campaign amongst her community. The high school remained open and the notion of a career in politics was awakened in a young Berejiklian.
But if being only the second female Premier of NSW tells you anything, it’s that being a woman in a male dominated world (particularly with a last name many can’t pronounce) doesn’t come without its challenges - “I was too different. Because of my gender and my background, I always felt I had to do more to prove myself”. And prove herself she did, by quietly and unassumingly working away in the background.
Her debut into politics began in 2003 when she ran for Member for Willoughby, where despite being discouraged from having her eleven-letter last name on her campaign signage, she won by a tiny 144 votes. With a head-down-bum-up work ethic, Berejiklian’s resume was soon increasing each year. By 2011 she was named Federal Transport minister, where one of her biggest achievements was pushing through the Opal Card.
Her biggest gig to date though, would arrive just last year over a coffee and catch up with the NSW Premier of the time, Mike Baird. Over a quiet java, it was confirmed that Mike was packing it in and felt that Gladys was the right person to take up the job. And at that, the Hon Gladys Bererjiklian MP, Premier of NSW was sworn in.
Twelve months into the states top job, we are so looking forward to hearing from the 45th NSW Premier as she takes the stage at our Pathfinders Business Breakfast.
Upcoming Breakfast Details
Location: The Ivy Ballroom
Date: Friday, July 27th 2018
Time: 7:00 - 8:30am. We suggest arrival from 6:45am so you have plenty of time to collect your name tag and find your seat!
Cost: $80 for Single Registration & $750 for Table Registration. Includes breakfast!