The Malaysian Australian Alumni Council (MAAC) supported the Inspiring Orchid Women Empowerment Conference on Saturday 28th May, 2016 at the Istana Hotel in Kuala Lumpur. The conference, organised by Curtin University alumna Nadia Ismadi and her team of passionate women, welcomed both men and women. It aimed to educate young people about female empowerment and to form a community that encourages women to step out of their comfort zones. The program featured an exciting array of speakers, including corporate leaders with the likes of Aireen Omar of Air Asia; entrepreneurs, social activists, media power houses, government officials and designers, sharing their experiences and secrets to success.
The first session kicked off with “Thrive like Orchid: Corporate Glass Ceiling, is it a Myth or is it Real” had speakers Rejina Rahim, Managing Director of Nomura Asset Management; social activist Nusrat Perveen and Abir Rahim, Co-Founder/ Director of Asia Women Circle, sharing their thoughts on being strong in male dominant industries and achieving respect amongst their peers.
The second session featured Malaysian media greats with the likes of Dato Hans Isaac, Low Ngai Yuen and Kudsia Kahar, with their segment entitled “Women in Media: The Status of the Mainstream Media in Malaysia as a Developing Country”. They spoke of how everyone plays a part. While the directors and producers do their part to come up with better content, they appealed to the audience to support movies that empower women instead of feature oppressing or playing women in unfavourable lights.
Next up was Nazrudin Rahman, actor and television personality who shared his insight on bi-racial marriage, the importance of respecting women and their choices; followed by “Fashion Forum: Designing the Social Fabric” featuring designers Diana Rikasari, Alia Bastamam and Tengku Chanela Jamidah.
Freda Liu, producer and presenter on BFM 89.9 took the last segment with her very honest display and sharing entitled “Wake Up: What will it Take to Wake You Up”.
The day also included various entertainment, ranging from stand-up comedy, to fashion shows and, musical and dance.
In the sea of audience were Australian alumni and cancer survivors of Keep Able, an organisation founded by Associate Professor Dr Loh Siew Yim, currently with the Department of Rehabilitation, Faculty of Medicine, University Malaya, and a fellow alumna of Curtin University.