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What stands in your way for leadership? According to DWLP Graduate, Diane Avice, the biggest obstacle to overcome on your leadership journey can be yourself.

“Once I discovered my own power and strength, I became unstoppable. I aspire to be the female role model I didn’t have growing up. I will use my voice to speak up for the women and children experiencing Domestic and Family violence; until they find theirs. I am a cycle breaker, domestic violence stops with me.”

Once you get out of your comfort zone and start showing up, there’s an endless amount of opportunity for you to give back to the community and become an advocate for change.

Meet Diane

I am blessed to have given life to two amazing children. I am also a daughter, sister, friend and tribe member to a powerful group of strong women. I love being surrounded by positive feminine energy and am convinced that women have so much to bring to this world.

Tell us about a project/cause/organisation you’re involved with and what you’ve learnt about creating positive change?

I recently joined Women of Colour as a volunteer in the People and Culture team. I feel empowered to be amongst some of the most inspirational Australian women of this generation, who are committed to advocating for Women of Culture across all spheres of our society.

What was the first step you took to build your leadership or create change?

It started with a yes. I realised that there was nothing else in the way of my leadership but myself. I decided to step out of my comfort zone and show up. I have successfully joined a Board of Directors team for a Disability Provider. This is a way for me to give back to the community, and support the most vulnerable Western Australians.

What is an important leadership lesson you’ve learnt along the way?

Women need to give themselves permission! Too often we use gender-based roles society has constructed, as an excuse for not advancing our careers. Women are as capable as men in the workplace and on the global scene. We will truly advance as a society once we harness the power of women in leadership positions.

Tell us about a mistake or a failure that’s helped you understand something about leadership or making an impact?

In behavioural science, heuristics are mental shortcuts that the brain uses in decision making. My heuristic behaviour is to think for others and offer solutions in an attempt to resolve their problems. True leadership is the ability to find the potential in people, is to be the catalyst for their growth and make space for their very own, authentic and powerful problem-solving. This is the leader I aspire to be.

Tell us about a moment where you were really brave and why. What do you learn?

Following my leadership journey, I was invited to tell my story. This was to mark the 16 days of activism against gender-based violence. Never have I felt so vulnerable, however, I somehow found the strength. This was a significant and meaningful achievement to me. I was able to do this because my drive to stand up against Violence was much more powerful than my fear of being vulnerable. It was the most invigorating moment and it changed me forever.

What reflective practices help you stay resilient?

I journal a lot, constantly. It is such a powerful exercise. I am reminded of my mantras which ground me. I know myself better than anyone. I know when I need quiet, company, fresh air or simply to allow the little girl in me to express herself.

Tell us about a leader who inspires you and why?

I am in awe of women in positions of influence. I could name a few however there is one woman who has captured my heart; Viola Davis. I love what she stands for and what she believes in. She is a powerhouse.

What habits, mindsets or behaviours help you be the best person you can be?

I love a challenge, I love an adventure, I love life! I am living a full life now after I have conquered my fears. I have had a difficult but beautiful journey of recovery after abuse. I spent a lot of time with myself; reflecting on my own patterns of behaviour, habits and more importantly, I reflected on what are the things which no longer have a place in my life. My faith has carried me through the most difficult time of my life.

How do you take care of yourself?

I take time alone, I exercise when I can; nothing beats a walk down the beach and the Western Australian sunset. I love a good book, music is fuel for my soul and so is spending time with the people who matter the most to me.

What’s next for you?

I am a work in progress. I want to explore how I can give back to the community and do more work in the space of Domestic and Family Violence.