Next >     

The Women in Economics Network, part of the Economics Society of Australia, is hosting the 2023 Women in Economics Retreat as an in-person event, to be held from Wednesday 1 to Friday 3 November at Haus, Hahndorf, South Australia.

The Retreat will provide an opportunity for around 30 mid-career women economists to develop their networks, receive mentoring and strengthen their leadership and career decision making. Participants will be drawn from academia, government and the private sector.

Sessions will focus on leadership and career development and work/life balance (a link to the preliminary program is below). The Retreat provides an opportunity for attendees to discuss issues as a group as well as participate in small group mentoring sessions with senior women from the same sector. Participants are asked to come to the Retreat with a career objective or challenge that they can work through with their mentor.

Retreat Sponsors will cover accommodation, meals and training at the Retreat. Participants are asked to make their own travel arrangements to and from Adelaide. A bus will be available from Adelaide airport to the venue and will return at the conclusion of the Retreat. The Economic Society will assist in arranging carpooling for Adelaide-based participants.

Details on how to apply are below.

Draft Program

Wednesday 1 November 2023

11:00 – 12:30

Session 1 – Welcome, introductions and get to know the mentors

12:30 – 13:30


13:30 – 15:00

Session 2 – Leadership

15:00 – 15:30

Afternoon tea

15:30 – 17:15

Session 3 – Small group discussions with mentors



 Thursday 2 November 2023

7:00 – 8:00

Informal walk and talk with mentor (small groups) or peer mentor

9:00 – 10:45

Session 4 – Guest presenter (TBC)

10:45 – 11:15

Morning Tea

11:15 – 12:30

Session 5 – Navigating challenges and tools for resilience

12:30 – 13:30


13:30 – 15:00

Session 6 – Wellbeing, and finding life-work balance

15:00 – 15:30

Afternoon tea

15:30 – 17:15

Session 7 - Small group discussions with mentors



Friday 3 November 2023

7:00 – 7:45

Informal walk and talk with mentor (small groups) or peer mentor

8:45 – 9:45

Session 8 – Career tips and tricks

9:45 – 10:00

Morning Tea

10:00 – 11:15

Fireside Chat with Her Excellency the Honourable Frances Adamson, Governor of SA

11:15 – 12:00

Session 9 – Retreat Closing Session

12:00 – 13:00



Group photo and depart for airport

With thanks to our generous sponsors

Department of Climate Change, Energy, and the Environment

Department of Finance

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Department of Industry, Science, and Resources

Deloitte Access Economics



Productivity Commission

Reserve Bank of Australia


How to Apply

Applications for the 2023 Women in Economics Retreat are now CLOSED.


Amy Auster, Chief Economist and Insights Officer, Scyne Advisory

Amy is Scyne Advisory’s Chief Economist & Insights Officer. An economics and finance professional by training, Amy combines expertise in applied quantitative analysis with senior executive experience in the public and private sectors to advise clients across the life cycle of policy strategy, development, implementation and evaluation.

Prior to joining Scyne (previously PwC), Amy served as as CEO, Infrastructure and Project Financing Agency and Chief Adviser, Commonwealth Treasury.  Previously, she was Deputy Secretary, Economic Division, at the Victorian Department of Treasury and Finance. Before joining the public service, Amy worked as a senior executive and subject matter expert at ANZ Banking Group in the International and Institutional Division where her roles included Global Head of Client Engagement, Head of Markets Strategy and Head of International Economics. She is a member of the Advisory Board to the APEC Study Centre at RMIT, a Research Fellow at Monash University Business School, outdoors enthusiast and the mother of three beautiful children. 

Rebecca Cassells, Assistant Secretary, Climate and Industry Modelling Branch, Treasury

Rebecca is an Assistant Secretary, Climate and Industry Modelling Branch at the Commonwealth Treasury.

Previously she was deputy director with the Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre and oversaw the Centre’s Research Impact and Engagement Strategy, focus on the States and Gender Equity research series. Prior to her role at BCEC, Rebecca worked as an independent consultant, working with state and federal government departments on a number of major economic evaluations. Rebecca previously spent many years with the National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling (NATSEM) where she led the Women, Children and Families team and managed the AMP.NATSEM report series.

Rebecca has a diverse research portfolio that deals both with research methods and policy evaluation. Her principal areas of research include: gender equality, poverty and disadvantage, social exclusion, wealth and superannuation; child wellbeing; education inequality; and the role of geography in influencing social and economic outcomes.

Professor Swee-Hoon Chuah, Director, Tasmanian Behaviour Lab, University of Tasmania

Swee-Hoon Chuah is a Professor of Behavioural Economics at the University of Tasmania, where she is the founding Director of the Tasmanian Behavioural Lab. She holds a PhD in economics from the University of Nottingham, U.K.  Her research focuses on cross-cultural experimental economics, in particular the impact of factors such as race, religion and social identity on economic behaviour. Swee-Hoon served a secondment to the Behavioural Economics Team of the Australian Government in Canberra in 2019, and remains particularly interested in the application of behavioural insights to public policy challenges. The policy-relevance of her work is evidenced by significant amounts of funding from governmental agencies, NGOs and research councils in the U.K, U.S.A. and Australia. 

Chirine Dada, Senior Advisor, Australian Energy Market Commission

Chirine is an economist and public policy strategist, with 15 years’ experience in senior advisory positions across economic regulation and economic policy, including at the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC), the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal of NSW, and in the NSW Government. 

She is a Senior Adviser at the AEMC where she is supporting the decarbonisation of the Australian energy sector through economic policy and regulatory analysis. Chirine has led the end-to-end delivery of complex and sensitive economic reforms across a range of policy portfolios in the NSW Government, including the introduction of a contestable market in the vocational education sector; economic assessments of innovative debt and equity products for businesses seeking to raise capital, and setting efficient water prices for customers in metro and regional New South Wales during a period of drought. Chirine is a natural advocate, the current WEN National Secretary, a former fellow of Senate at the University of Sydney and a mentor to university students in the Business School and School of Economics at the University of Sydney.

Dr Jenny Gordon, Nonresident Fellow, Lowy Institute Honorary Professor, Centre for Social Research and Methods, Australian National University

Dr Jenny Gordon is an Honorary Professor at the Centre for Social Research and Methods, at the Australian National University. She is also a non-resident fellow at the Lowy Institute, one of Australia’s leading think tanks on foreign policy. Jenny is a member of the Australian International Agricultural Research Centre’s Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Advisory Panel, on the Asian Development Bank Institute’s (ADBI) Advisory Committee, and a non-executive director with NCEconomics. She is recently was a co-chair for the taskforce on Peace, Stability and Governance for the T7, organised by the ADBI.

Jenny was the Chief Economist at DFAT from 2019 to 2021, tasked with setting up the Office of the Chief Economist to integrate development and trade and investment policy analysis. Jenny joined DFAT from Nous Group, where she was the inaugural Chief Economist. Her work at Nous included a report for APEC on the economic impact of investment in earth observation, understanding the motivations for and impediments to business investment in innovation for Science and Innovation Australia, and an assessment of Queensland’s innovation program. From 2007 Jenny spent 10 years with the Australian Productivity Commission as Principal Adviser (Research), where she worked on a wide range of policy reviews including regulation reform, aged care, childcare, the not-for-profit sector and migration. Joining in 1995, Jenny became a partner at the Centre for International Economics (TheCIE), where her work included financial market stabilization and development in Indonesia following the Asian Financial Crisis, economic policy development in a number of countries in the region, applying triple bottom line evaluation methods to agricultural and other research and development (R&D) investments, and strategic planning for R&D investment portfolios. Jenny has a PhD in Economics from Harvard University and started her professional career at the Reserve Bank of Australia.

Dr Alicia Mollaun, Project Lead, Australian Government Consulting

Dr Alicia Mollaun has over 17 years of experience in domestic and international public policy making, including in the federal government and as a consultant.

Her experience includes working at Equity Economics and Development Partners, the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (including as a diplomat in New Delhi), the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, the Hon Julia Gillard MP, and at the Australian National University. Alicia has worked and studied in India, Pakistan, Kenya, France and the United States. 

Alicia holds a PhD in Public Policy from the ANU. Her research examined elite perceptions of US foreign aid to Pakistan.  She also has a Master of Middle Eastern and Central Asian Studies from the ANU, a Master of International Economics and Finance from the University of Queensland, a Bachelor of Business (Economics) and a Bachelor of Arts (French) from Queensland University of Technology, as well as a Diploma of Sustainable Living and an Undergraduate Certificate in Applied Design from the University of Tasmania.

When not chasing after 3 young sons, Alicia loves to read and drink coffee in the sun (preferably all at the same time!), and is currently studying to be a meditation teacher.

Dr Leonora Risse, Senior Lecturer in Economics, RMIT

Dr Leonora Risse is an economist who specialises in gender equality.

She is a Senior Lecturer in Economics at RMIT University and a Research Fellow with the Women’s Leadership Institute Australia. She spent time in residence at Harvard University as a Research Fellow with the Women and Public Policy Program in the Kennedy School of Government.

Leonora is a co-founder of the Women in Economics Network (WEN) in Australia and served for three years as the WEN National Chair.

Leonora earned her PhD in Economics from the University of Queensland and brings public policy experience from her time working as a Senior Research Economist for the Australian Government Productivity Commission.

Leonora’s research focuses on understanding gender gaps in economic opportunities and outcomes, including the gender pay gap, women’s under-representation in leadership and the influence of gender norms.

She regularly engages with public audiences, government, industry and community groups on gender equality issues. This includes identifying evidence-based strategies to close gender gaps, applying a ‘gender lens’ to economic analysis and policy design, and navigating resistance to change.

Leonora’s economic expertise extends to labour economics, demographics, economic psychology, disadvantage and wellbeing. She engages regularly with the media to empower everyday audiences with a greater understanding of economic issues.

She was named as one of Apolitical’s 100 Most Influential People in Gender Policy in 2021.

In 2024, Leonora will take up a new role as Associate Professor at the University of Canberra. She has also been appointed as an Expert Panel Member on Gender Pay Equity for the Fair Work Commission.

Danielle Wood, CEO, Grattan Institute

Danielle Wood is CEO of the Grattan Institute where she heads a team of leading policy thinkers, researching and advocating policy to improve the lives of Australians.

Danielle also leads Grattan’s Budgets and Government Program and has published extensively on economic reform priorities, budgets, tax reform, women’s workforce participation, generational inequality and reforming political institutions. She is a sought-after media commentator and speaker on policy issues.

Danielle was previously Principal Economist and Director of Merger investigations at the ACCC, a Senior Economist at NERA Economic Consulting and Senior Research Economist the Productivity Commission. She holds an Honours degree in Economics from the University of Adelaide and two Masters degrees, one in Economics and one in Competition Law, from the University of Melbourne.

Danielle is a member of the Australian Government’s Women’s Economic Equality Taskforce, the Parliamentary Budget Office Expert Advisory Committee and the Commonwealth Bank CEO Advisory Council.

Danielle is an Honorary Fellow and former President of the Economic Society of Australia and a Research Fellow of the Women’s Leadership Institute. She is also a passionate advocate for women in economics and was the co-founder and first Chair of the Women in Economics Network.

Danielle was recently named as the next Chair of the Productivity Commission.  Her appointment is for a term of five years, and will become the first woman to lead the commission or any of its predecessor agencies that stretch back for more than a century.



Share this with your friends