Introducing our new W100 Executives

We are super excited to announce that the lovely Natasha (Tash) Gill and Kate Aldred will be taking over as W100 National Executive Co-Chairs! Tash and Kate have been active members of the W100 Leadership Team for a long time and have the experience, skills, and outlook that will help the W100 thrive in the coming years. For a glimpse into their shining personalities, please read on for a fun Q&A!

Getting to know your next National Executive panel
Q&A with Tash and Kate

Did you ever imagine that you would be doing what you are now when you were 10 years old? If yes, why? If no, what did you think you would be doing?

Tash: I definitely didn’t! Ten years ago, my future and adulthood seemed so far away, and I didn’t even know that what I now do and love was even a possibility. I had all the big dreams of a ten-year-old – I wanted to be an author, then I wanted to be a doctor. I think the interests that led to me wanting to pursue those dreams persisted, because I’m still fascinated by healthcare and I still love the craft that goes into writing and storytelling, but I’ve found new ways to keep those interests alive.

Kate: Definitely not! When I was 10, I had no idea what public policy was and thought talking about the government was super boring. I thought I would be a scientist, teacher or doctor!

If you could switch bodies with anyone in the world, who would it be and why?

Kate: I don’t think I would switch bodies with anyone else, I would just like to fix up my stiff neck and creaky knees! However, I would really love to temporarily switch minds with some of the great contemporary political philosophers, such as Martha Nussbaum or Amartya Sen, to further understand how they see the world and the thought processes that shape their writings.

What motivates you to get up in the morning and tackle the world?

Tash: Facing the world can be difficult some days, but I try to see each day as an opportunity to do better than I did the day before. ‘Better’ is subjective – my best each day varies because I’m only human, but in order to even think about doing better, I need to do, and the first thing I need to do is get out of bed. Also, the promise of good coffee.

Kate: Working with great people to help others. It doesn’t really matter what the task or topic is, I just love working with wonderful people to make a difference in the world! At the moment, the two big issues at the forefront of my mind are how government can support universities to provide quality education and a great student experience during the pandemic, and how I can best support Westpac scholars to make a difference and achieve their goals!

What is something you wish you’d known 5 years ago?

Tash: I wish I’d known how good authenticity can feel. I’m more confident in who I am as an individual, and as a result I’m more driven, ambitious and ready to be challenged. Understanding myself and what I want, need and am capable of has been really important in creating my path forward, and being able to recognise that and not be afraid or unaccepting of it is key.

Kate: Trust your gut and don’t be afraid to change course if something doesn’t feel right.

What do you enjoy spending your time on?

Tash: I love to bake, and I particularly love a challenge – I’ve taken on breads of all kinds, macarons, French pastry and home-made ice creams! I’m inspired by the likes of J Kenji Lopez-Alt, Claire Saffitz and Katherine Sabbath for inventive takes on old classics and favourites, and it’s so rewarding to bring something intricate together.

Kate: For me, it’s not about what I spend my time on, but who I spend it with. I love spending time at the park with my dog, cooking up a storm with my partner, helping out in the veggie patch with my family, or having a laugh with friends.

Tell us about your favourite moment in the W100!

Tash: My favourite moment in the W100 has to be last year’s WA Scholar Spark session – it was my first time MCing an event for the W100, so a major step up for me! As part of that, I had the awesome opportunity to facilitate a Q&A with Professor Peter Richmond, a leading expert in vaccine trials and paediatric immunology at the Telethon Kids Institute. Our scholars had such fantastic and insightful questions about the future of health in WA and Australia, and I was so lucky to be able to lead that conversation.

Kate: It would have to be the virtual ‘speed mentoring’ session I ran in March 2021. Trying to coordinate 6 Zoom rooms with mentors switching in and out every 3-5 minutes was hectic, hilarious and great fun! It was really wonderful to see the interaction and connection between scholars, and it was super rewarding to see some of the mentorships that resulted from those sessions flourish!