Maree Davenport Book as a speaker/entertainer for your next event
Key Points for Maree Davenport
- Maree Davenport is a veteran of politics and the building industry. She has lived, firsthand, the need for fundamental cultural change in respect for women, intersectional bias and masculanised systems. She works with Indigenous Employment Partners to develop leaders to enable them to make impactful change for themselves, their families and community.
- Maree first stood for Parliament aged 24 and was elected at 28 in 1996 with a toddler, having her second baby while serving two terms in the Victorian Parliament. She is a committed advocate for gender equality in primary care giving.
- She has earned a Master of Leadership specialising in Gender Equality, in 2022. She wrote her thesis on the introduction of the Building Equality Policy in Victoria, which establishes mandatory targets for employment, training and retaining of females in the building and construction industry for companies working on government funded projects.
- In 2022, Maree was invited to join Chief Executive Women (CEW) to advance its purpose - Women Leaders enabling Women Leaders.
- Maree serves on the Board of Endometriosis Australia, supporting the 9% of women sufferers of pain, career disruption and fertility challenges. She serves on the Board of Tradeswomen Australia, which aims to attract, recruit, train and retain women in trades across masculanised industries.
- Maree is a Member of Women on Boards, National Association of Women in Construction, Victorian Women’s Trust, Gender Equity Victoria, Australian Institute of Company Directors, Governance Institute of Australia, Mediation Institute, Resolution Institute and an Ambassador for Carlton Football Club.
- She has been a keynote speaker, panellist, mentor, dispute resolution specialist and team building facilitator for over 30 years. She seeks to empower, ignite and drive change for individuals, organisations and society as a whole.
Topics for Maree Davenport
- Women and politics
Maree Davenport is passionate about getting more women into Parliament. She understands that respect for and equal representation of women is fundamental to the progress of Australia’s economic and societal success. She believes there is also parallel ethical consideration about unfairness and inequity affecting half the population as a direct result of gender. “One thing is for certain. Men and women need to work together. Government and industry need to model gender equality in leadership and use levers to achieve fairness and equity for all people.”
- Normalising an inclusive workplace culture
Maree Davenport advocates using a gender lens to normalise an inclusive workplace culture. Modelling strong, authentic female leadership in the Not-for-Profit, for purpose, government and private sectors is fundamental to sustainable change in gender equality across masculanised industries. “Going through the motions of Workplace Gender Audits and Gender Equality Action Plans ‘ticking boxes’ is disrespectful.”
- Women’s health in the workplace - endometriosis, infertility treatment, pregnancy loss and neonatal death
Maree Davenport has lived the life changing impacts of Endometriosis through her daughter, who has suffered symptoms since her early teens. Early diagnosis, advice and physical therapy is crucial. Maree joined the Board of Endometriosis Australia to help support the 9% of women who suffer from this disease, which causes enormous pain, impacts fertility and contributes to an estimated productivity loss to Australian society of $9.7 billion annually. Two thirds of this cost is attributed to a loss in productivity in the workplace. “Employers who support women to manage symptoms of endometriosis reap the financial benefits, with empirical evidence that flexibility and increased ability to self-manage their worktime leads to increased productivity.”
Maree has been supporting women through the loss of a much wanted baby and infertility since experiencing her own challenges. “Supporting women through their most personal challenges or bereavement in the workplace is fundamental to their personal healing and is the ultimate measure of a compassionate organisation.”
- Attracting and retaining girls and women in male dominated industries
Maree Davenport seeks to engender cultural change in traditionally masculanised industries through her work on the Board of Tradeswomen Australia, which engages with school career counsellors and the community to generate awareness of trade and non-trade options for girls and women in masculanised industries. She outlines practical steps to reduce barriers to apprenticeships and training opportunities and works with employer bodies and unions to make the culture inclusive, respectful and supportive in on-site settings. “Promoting skilled trades as a career pathway to schoolgirls as well as mature aged workers is the key to ensuring their financial security and independence.”
- Mediation and dispute resolution
Maree Davenport is an NMAS Accredited Mediator and navigates an impartial and facilitative process in a neutral environment to optimise the opportunity for settlement and resolution, aimed at lasting success to fulfil the needs of parties in dispute. “Mediation assists parties to understand their own and each other’s perspective, issues, motivations and intentions, facilitating conversations and genuine participation in the process. Mediated agreements can be comprehensive and customised to include non-monetary and ‘in kind’ solutions that meet the needs of the parties, along with Individual Flexibility Arrangements (IFAs) in single, multi-enterprise and greenfield Enterprise Agreements.
- Social procurement frameworks, building equality policies and corporate social responsibilities
Maree Davenport specialises in Social Procurement Framework (SPF), Building Equality Policy and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), which are increasingly required by government, regulators, procurement managers, clients and customers. Giving a helping hand up to those less advantaged is a shared responsibility. It is also good business. Genuinely delivering on and demonstrating commitment to more than the 'bottom line' is not just 'ticking a box'. “I work with Indigenous Employment Partners to develop leadership programs to open doors for first nations people, I facilitate partnerships between businesses and Not-for-Profit, for purpose organisations who support individuals living with disability, women facing homelessness, victims of family violence, women and girls through gender equity, safety and respect for all people regardless of gender identification, sustainability of our environment and resources.”
Testimonials for Maree Davenport
Maree Davenport is one of the most positive, energetic, and driven people I know. Her energy and enthusiasm is infectious! In the time I have known her she has overcome hurdles, both personal and professional, that would have knocked most other people flat. She has an unending positive mindset. She has inspired me, motivated, and encouraged me and supported me in a professional and personal capacity. Maree is one of the smartest people I know. She is a clear, logical thinker and problem solver. She has the ability to look at a problem from all angles and see the opportunities rather than the roadblocks. If there are challenges, she works out a way to deal with them, resolve them or change direction. She works effectively with and relates to people from all walks of life and is just as comfortable working with MPs, the Lord Mayor as she is with one of our rooming house tenants or the family of a young child who died through unintentional injury. She has always given back to her community. She has a strong sense of social justice, fairness and equity for everyone, no matter the person’s gender, religion, cultural background.
President of Kidsafe
Director of Inclusion@work
Board Member, Women’s Housing Ltd.
Maree Davenport is an engaging speaker with a unique perspective from a government, peak body, charity and community perspective. I have known her for over 25 years. I served with her on the Building Advisory Council from 2013 until its completion in 2020. In this role, Maree provided strong leadership and collaboration between a large group of appointed representatives on the Council. She understands stakeholders’ perspectives and intuitively draws the conversation on panels to a point where each is well represented. Maree is outcomes focused and always ensures clear goals and outcomes are established from the outset.
Housing Industry Association (Vic)
The ‘Talking science with business, government and the public’ was very informative and helpful. I was peppered with lots of great feedback – the only constructive criticism was that they wished it was longer!
Head of Fundraising and Communications
Hudson Institute of Medical Research
Maree Davenport is committed to empowering first nations people and has personally supported me through career transition. She is developing leadership and mentoring programs to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women in their career, professional life and governance development. She is a motivational, engaging and inspiring keynote speaker and would enhance any panel.
Director, Aboriginal Economic Development, Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions
Board Member, Former CEO of Indigenous Employment Partners
Maree Davenport has solid and effective communication skills as evident by her work promoting a positive culture particularly around her charity work and has empowered members others so to achieve their goals and strategic Her critical thinking and problem solving skills provide solutions. She has a strong entrepreneurial spirit. I endorse her 'take charge' leadership qualities without hesitation and am fortunate to have worked with her and hope to work with her again in the near future.
Rivers Economic Consulting
Maree Davenport has worked with Women’s Housing Ltd for over 15 years and organised our highly successful Women’s Futures Conference, the National Housing Conference with the Community Housing Federation and has MC’d, ‘s facilitated sessions and taken part in panels. I cannot speak more highly of Maree’s professionalism and strategic management.
Women’s Housing Ltd