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Take an empowering journey with Hunter Business Women’s Network


The Hunter Business Women’s Network (HBWN) is set to host an Empowering Journey this month, headed by a couple of special guests.

At the function, to take place at Noah’s at the Beach on Wednesday 13 September, the organisation will also acknowledge the Hunter Medical Research Institute’s (HMRI) 25th anniversary.

But, as always, the highlights are the incredible speakers.

HMRI senior philanthropy manager Catherine Raftos will share the institute’s story and some of the inspiring, seed-funded research programs that have led to medical breakthroughs, improving the quality of life for millions of people around the world.

Then Professor Doan Ngo is scheduled to address the audience with a captivating tale of perseverance, resilience and academic excellence.

“We’re thrilled to welcome both women this month,” HBWN president Kristina Bircsak said.

“Professor Ngo’s remarkable journey began when she was just 11 years old, fleeing communist Vietnam as a refugee, and spending and two in a refugee camp in Thailand before eventually making it to Australia.

“Her determination and strength in the face of adversity were the catalyst for an awe-inspiring odyssey that led her to become a world-renowned professor of cardio oncology at the esteemed Hunter Medical Research Institute.

“A natural mentor and leader, Professor Ngo has actively trained and supervised numerous vocational, honours and PhD students throughout her career.

“Her commitment to excellence has resulted in more than 70 publications, garnering over 2,000 citations, with three active patents.

“In her current role at the HMRI’s School of Biomedical Sciences and Pharmacy, Professor Ngo co-leads the cardiometabolic and cardio-oncology research groups.

“Her focus lies in an integrative multidisciplinary approach, combining cardiology, oncology, pharmacy, and pharmacology to improve cardiovascular outcomes in cancer patients.

“I’m sure her story will inspire and motivate us all to embrace challenges, pursue knowledge and make a meaningful impact on the world.”

Ms Bircsak said the Hunter Women’s Business Network would reveal its “extraordinary speaker” for its 2024 International Women’s Day soiree, too.

“We’re very excited by this [announcement],” she explained.

“She’s a household name who has conquered challenges and achieved remarkable success.

“So, mark your calendars and get ready to celebrate #InternationalWomensDay in style – at NEX Newcastle on 6 March.

“Together, let’s make 2024 a year of empowerment and inspiration.”

Tickets to the 13 September event include a two-course dinner and drink on arrival.

For more details, visit https://hbwn.org.au/

Hunter Business Women’s Network’s Empowering Journey

  • When: 5.30pm Wednesday 13 September
  • Where: Noah’s on the Beach
  • Cost: $70 for 2023 members, $80 for guests plus booking fee

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