Interview with Anne-Marie Elias, Red Heel Day MC!

In the lead-up to Red Heel Day, why not meet our speakers and learn about what makes these incredible women tick? We’re doing a series of interviews with them, starting with our illustrious MC, Anne-Marie Elias!


Anne-Marie Elias is a Social Change Connector, Strategist and Innovator, and a devotee of entrepreneurship, startup and tech. Her passion and enthusiasm for collaborative disruption is undeniable. Anne-Marie preaches the gospel of collaboration, innovation and collectivism, and provides others the tools to do the same and her following is growing exponentially because the world is ready for some serious disruption for social change.

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1. Describe what your typical week looks like.

My typical week is packed with meeting amazing people across sectors – corporate, NGO, Ministerial, government and start up. I speak at least once or twice a week at an event or workshop and I follow the holy grail of hackathons and start up and attend as many events I can so I know what’s happening.

I sit at UTS so I get access to amazing minds in design thinking at the Designing Out Crime and The Centre for Local Government. I also work out of Fishburners when I can to make sure Im up with the latest on tech and start up.

I love supporting internships and supervising students, so I usually have a few students sit with me at UTS and I take them on “excursions” like to Fishburners pitch events so they can learn from startup.

Its not unusual that some people think there are two of me because Im out and about a lot, Its what happens when you truly love your work, you’re having fun and its not an effort : )

2. What inspires you to get out of bed every day?

I get up every day because I know I can make a difference to the lives of others. My purpose is to disrupt the status quo for social change – I get up knowing that I can teach others to do the same, so we can tackle some of our big social problems like DV, Homelessness, and Unemployment through the power of innovation.

3. What key characteristics do you see a female leader having?

Courage, passion and persistence – these are the qualities of any leader! To be a visionary you have to disrupt and that comes with a lot of opposition, hence COURAGE is such an important attribute.

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Lots of people have great ideas, but few have the perseverance to see them through. At the end of the day the difference between you and someone else who is doing it is persistence.

And Passion is the driver of the other two. :)

I also think leadership is about recognising and supporting others to step up to the leadership plate. I hear and have experienced too many bad form stories about women not helping each other; or worse, getting in the way of other women. There’s enough sunshine for everyone, ladies! Be a leader and get on board the sisterhood or get out of the way!

4. What is the greatest learning you have had?

The the most valuable lesson I have learned is that everything is perfect – no need to push. A beautiful Aboriginal woman taught me not to rush so much. I had to understand that everything has its place and timing, and pushing can break things. She taught me to breath, and be more accepting of the rhythm of life itself.

I have also learned that when you are a change agent or disrupter, you have to get used to opposition, stay focused on your vision, know that you are on the right track and never let the bastards get you down!

5. Why are you excited about Red Heel Day?

I’m excited about Red Heel Day as a way to bring women together in an inspiring space to hear and share stories of leadership – and have fun, too! I am excited about the Leaders in Heels Manifesto promoting the key leadership traits of passion, creativity, innovation, confidence, determination and kindness.


If you found Anne-Marie inspiring, why not come along to Leaders in Heels’ Red Heel Day Sydney Event on October 15 2015? We have a very limited amount of tickets, so get in fast! You can read about our other speakers and buy tickets here!