Women in Leadership

This online activity will cover what leadership is, the qualities that make good leaders, and how women can step up into leadership positions.

Women in Leadership Podcast

It been 42 years since the phrase “glass ceiling” was used to describe barriers for women rising to the top. Many steps have been made to see more women in leadership roles, but progress remains slow.

Research has indicated there is a lack of noticeable role models and pathways for women in leadership. Women need to be role models for future generations. Reports have indicated that for women to thrive they need to see other women achieve and demonstration the possibilities that they all have. This webinar looks at the leadership journey of two of ESSA’s female leaders – President Kirsty Rawlings and CEO Anita Hobson-Powell.

This podcast will cover what leadership is, the qualities that make good leaders, and how women can step up into leadership positions. Both will also provide background to their transition into a leadership role. The highs, the lows and the obstacles in between. 

The podcast is designed to highlight there is not textbook journey to leadership, the unique skills sets that women have that allow them to succeed in leadership roles, and to inspire women to consider their leadership journey, no matter how big or small it is.

The recording is of a webinar presented by ESSA on 11 March 2020.

Presented by Mrs Anita Hobson-Powell, ESSA Chief Executive Officer and Ms Kirsty Rawlings, ESSA President

Anita Hobson-Powell is the Chief Executive Officer of Exercise & Sports Science Australia. She has been with the organisation since 2006. Anita holds a Bachelor of Human Movements, a Masters of Science and Masters of Business.  Through her role at ESSA, Anita seeks to improve the health outcomes of all Australian through participation in exercise or physical activity.  Anita has had previous roles working for the Australian Sports Commission and sitting as a board director for Gymnastics Qld and Gymnastics Australia.  Anita is a mother of two active kids, 15 and 11, who are involved in gymnastics, rugby and surf lifesaving.

Kirsty Rawlings is an Accredited Exercise Physiologist and is currently Head of Programs and Innovation at Council on the Ageing SA. She has extensive experience as an Exercise Physiologist within private practice, university and government settings, having practised as an Exercise Physiologist for the last 18 years, and being a full member and Accredited Exercise Physiologist with ESSA since 2002. She has led the SA ESSA Chapter as State President/Chair for four years, and also contributed her skills and experience to the ESSA Exercise Physiology Advisory Group for 3 years.

Kirsty has undertaken teaching, research and clinical roles with the University of SA, and a research role with Adelaide University. Kirsty has worked within South Australian and Australian Government in primary health care roles, managing the Primary Health Care and Workforce unit with Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing.

Through her most recent roles as Deputy CEO and CEO with CAHML and Executive Officer with Rural Doctors’ Association of SA, she has gained extensive experience in corporate and clinical governance, strategic planning and operationalisation, risk management and legal compliance, and stakeholder and member engagement. Kirsty currently has oversight of programs, business development, strategy, engagement, research and evaluation in her role as Head of Programs and Innovation with COTA SA.

Rates per person

ESSA Member   $30.00 
Non-Member   $50.00
ESSA Student Member   $15.00
Student Non-Member   $25.00 
Please see terms & conditions for registration type definitions.

Access to podcast

You will be provided all information to access this podcast within your registration confirmation email.

Target Audience

Any Accredited Exercise Scientist, Accredited Exercise Physiologist, Accredited Sports Scientist Level 1, Accredited Sports Scientist Level 2 and/or Accredited High Performance Manager


Successful completion of an assessment, within 60 days is required to earn applicable CPD Points


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* Upon registering to any ESSA professional development, you automatically agree to our terms & conditions


  • All accredited persons, regardless of any professional development completed/ attended must refer to their accreditation’s Scope of Practice/Standards, and only treat/practice within the same.  
  • ESSA confirms that at the date of release, this professional development meets the requirements of the ESSA Continuing Professional Development Points Guidelines. The information contained in this professional development is of a general nature only, and while every effort and care has been taken to ensure that all representations are accurate as at the date of its release, ESSA accepts no legal liability for any loss or damage suffered as a result of any information provided in this professional development. 
  • ESSA recommends that its members seek appropriate independent professional advice specific to their particular purposes and circumstances (including the provision of medical advice to patients) before relying on it. 
  • All Professional Development logistics are correct at time of publication. Subject to change at anytime without notice.
1/01/2023 - 12/05/2023 11:59 PM
E. Australia Standard Time
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