Summer Edwards, Founder and CEO
Summer is a community development practitioner and social entrepreneur specialising in gender empowerment, diversity, and qualitative evaluation of social impact programs. Summer’s career has focused on overcoming social marginalisation in society, which stems from her childhood experience with the welfare system and as a family mental health carer.
Lead Mama Lead was born of Summer’s frustrations with (and eventual triumphs in) her career as a working mother, and her desire to apply her expertise to solve the problems faced by working mothers who are battling for meaningful work and time for family. Summer is the mother of two young boys, and has worked hard to develop a meaningful career with the flexibility she desires. She divides her work time between Lead Mama Lead, her consulting work with social impact programs, and her successful sustainable fashion and lifestyle blog.
Summer holds a Masters of Applied Anthropology and Participatory Development, and combined Bachelor of Asian Studies (Chinese)/Bachelor of Commerce from the Australian National University. An avid linguist, Summer speaks Mandarin and French, and a smattering of Thai, Japanese and German.
Kristin Blume, Director of Communications
Kristin has been a senior public servant in local government for the past 12 years working in transport, planning, environment, smart city and other fascinating policy areas. She has two young kids and is living the dream of an interesting, fulfilling job with time for the kids (provided nothing tips the balance!).
Kristin has worked as a volunteer teacher in a dirt-floored room in Cusco, Peru (World Youth International), as a home tutor with the Adult Migrant English Program, and as a convener of the Jessie Street National Women’s Library Canberra speaker series.
Kristin is passionate about making work, career and leadership easier for women, and working mums in particular.
Clare Conroy, Director of Events and Community Building
Clare’s signature strength is a love of learning. She’s excited by the energy generated by people coming together to learn and share ideas. A master at herding people, juggling to-dos, and keeping a handle on moving parts, Clare has produced highly successful events that get people connecting and thinking such as TEDxCanberra and the YWCA of Canberra’s She Leads Conference. Never satisfied to accept things because they’ve ‘always been done that way’, she’s constantly asking ‘what if?’ to improve experiences and outcomes.
Melody Simenic, Workshop Facilitator and Writer
During her 20 years’ experience in the APS, in both regional Australia and Canberra, Melody has enjoyed taking on challenges. With extensive experience in service delivery in difficult environments, she exceeds stakeholders’ expectations and transforms their experiences.
Melody is passionate about reducing our impact on the environment – and believes that even small changes can make a difference. As well as talking to anyone who will listen about ways to reduce waste, she is a member of the board at the ACT Environment Centre.
With three children, Melody understands the difficult balance between meaningful work and a family. She believes that every woman deserves the right to both.
Ruth Nicholls, Evaluation Advisor