Growing from Pain to Purpose – our latest breakfast forum

IPAR and Medilaw breakfast forum

Lauren Pearson, Lucy Allen, Dr Jessica Gallagher, Kate Munari and Kylie Gould

Resilience describes our innate ability to recover from significant challenge. Yet in times of trauma, our resilience faces its greatest challenge. How can we access our unique psychological and physical fortitude to ensure that we continue to move forward?

This was the question posed at the IPAR and Medilaw breakfast forum held in Canberra in March. Hosted by Lucy Allen from The Graceful Collective, attendees heard from two remarkable Australian women – Kate Munari and Dr Jessica Gallagher – who have experienced the horror of illness, injury and war to rise stronger and shift crises into growth, pain into purpose.

Kate Munari is a Navy helicopter pilot and public speaker. Kate joined the Royal Australian Navy at the age of 18 through the Australian Defence Force Academy and completed a Bachelor of Science degree. Qualifying as a helicopter pilot in 2006, her skill and dedication to flying led to her being selected for a four and a half year posting to the Royal Navy, UK. There, Kate flew as part of Commando Helicopter Force (CHF) who fly in support of the Royal Marine Commandos. Kate served in Afghanistan three times as part of CHF, flying day and night, in all weather conditions as aircraft captain and formation commander. She led teams in some of the toughest conditions any workplace can present. By sharing her experiences with others, Kate inspires and motivates audiences to overcome challenges and achieve their goals.

Dr Jessica Gallagher is an Osteopath in private practice, Board Director and global ambassador for Vision 2020 Australia, and ambassador for Vision Australia and Seeing Eye Dogs Australia. She is also a high performance athlete, representing Australia in athletics, alpine skiing and track cycling. Jessica is the first Australian to have medalled at a summer and winter Paralympics, the first Australian woman to medal at a winter Paralympics, a World Champion and has numerous World Championship and World Cup medals. She is also legally blind, meaning she places her trust in someone else when she skis a mountain at 100km/hr or rides a tandem bike at 68km/hr. Jessica’s experiences challenge audiences to think differently and see your world from a whole new perspective.

Thank you to all attendees, it was wonderful to be in person with you. And thank you to Lucy, Kate and Jessica for sharing their remarkable stories with us.