WEN Retreat 2022

The Women in Economics Network, part of the Economics Society of Australia, is hosting the 2022 Women in Economics Retreat as an in-person event, to be held on Thursday 17 and Friday 18 November at Mantra on Salt Beach, Kingscliff.

The Retreat will provide an opportunity for around 30 junior and 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 progression, career hacks and work/life balance (see preliminary program below). Participants will also receive training on communicating with influence from Annie O’Rourke of 89 Degrees East. 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.

The Economic Society of Australia and Retreat Sponsors will cover accommodation, meals and training at the Retreat. Participants are asked to make their own travel arrangements to and from Kingscliff. A bus will be available from Coolangatta (Gold Coast) Airport to the venue and will return at the conclusion of the Retreat. The Economics Society will assist in arranging carpooling for Brisbane-based participants.

Information on mentors and presenters is shown below.

Preliminary Program

Thursday 17 November 2022

11:00 – 12:30

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

12:30 – 13:30


13:30 – 15:00

Session 2 – Career, leadership and work-life balance: panel and group discussion with mentors

15:00 – 15:30

Afternoon tea

15:30 – 17:30

Session 3 – Annie O’Reilly – Communicating with influence

 Friday 18 November 2022

9:00 – 10:45

Session 4 – Small group mentoring session with mentors – discussion of participants’ career objective or challenge

10:45 – 11:15

Morning Tea

11:15 – 12:30

Session 5 – Career tips and tricks

12:30 – 13:30



Group photo and depart for airport

How to Apply

Applications for the 2022 Women in Economics Retreat are now open to WEN members and must be received by midnight on Monday 26 September.  Successful applicants will be notified by mid-October.

Applications Closed

With thanks to our Sponsors:
The Commonwealth Treasury
Deloitte Access Economics
The Department of Prime Minister & Cabinet
The Productivity Commission
The Reserve Bank of Australia


Laura Berger-Thomson, Commonwealth Treasury

Laura Berger-Thomson is a macroeconomist who has spent her career working in public policy. Laura is currently the First Assistant Secretary, Individuals and Indirect Tax Division at the Commonwealth Treasury. Laura has spent much of her career at the Reserve Bank of Australia and has worked in a broad range of roles analysing the domestic economy, international economies and financial markets.


Catie Bradbear, PC

Catie is an inquiry manager at the Productivity Commission, the Australian Government’s independent economic research and advice agency. Catie has worked on a diverse range of inquiries while at the Commission. Most recently she has led the inquiry into the Register of foreign-owned water entitlements. Other projects have included Resources Sector Regulation, the Economic Regulation of Airports, Horizontal Fiscal Equalisation, Consumer Law Administration and Enforcement, and Migrant Intake.


Natasha Doherty, Accenture

Natasha has 20 years of experience working in the public and private sectors in the areas of health and social policy. She led the Health Economics and Social Policy team in Deloitte Access Economics for several years, setting the strategy with the leadership team and mentoring team members. Natasha has worked across the areas of health, mental health, aged care, domestic and family violence, disability, child protection, and youth justice.  She has been recognised for her work in DFV, listed on the Qld Premiers honour roll.


Dr Karen Hooper, QLD Productivity Commissioner

Karen joined Queensland Treasury as Productivity Commissioner in June 2021 to support the Queensland Government’s productivity and regulatory reform agenda.  Karen was also the former Chair and Principal Commissioner of the Queensland Productivity Commission and presided over the Commission’s Inquiry into the National Disability Insurance Market in Queensland. 


Dr Angela Jackson, Impact Economics

Dr Angela Jackson is a health economist who has worked at the highest levels of Government. Starting her career as an economist at the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Angela has worked across tax, fiscal and social policy. As the then Finance Minister Lindsay Tanner’s Deputy Chief of Staff, Angela was responsible for providing policy advice across fiscal policy and all areas of social policy, including National Health Reform. Previously Lead Economist at Equity Economics, she authored a number of high profile reports on health, aged care, disability, housing and gender policy.


Annie O'Rourke (External Presenter), 89 Degrees East

Annie is the Founder and Chief Creative Officer of 89 Degrees East, a role she loves because “it allows me everyday to work alongside some of the brightest, creative and connected individuals in the country”.


Maria Racionero, ANU

Maria Racionero is Associate Professor at the Research School of Economics and was Associate Dean (HDR) at the College of Business and Economics of the Australian National University (ANU) 2017-2018. Maria obtained the First National Prize, awarded by the Spanish Ministry of Education, upon completion of her undergraduate studies. She pursued her doctoral studies at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona where she obtained a Master and a PhD degrees in Economics.


Melissa Wells, Prospera

Melissa is a development economist with 20 years of experience working internationally for government, multilateral institutions and the private sector. Melissa is currently based in Jakarta and is Deputy Director of Prospera, an economic policy program under Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Melissa has worked for the World Bank, Asian Development Bank and companies in the resources sector across Asia and the Pacific. Melissa holds a Masters in Economics (Development) from Oxford University.