Everything you missed at 9 to Thrive Summit in Sydney!

Everything you missed at 9 to Thrive Summit in Sydney!

We asked one of our Premium members to recap her experience

BY Sarah Megginson, 11 min READ

We’re taking the Summit to Melbourne in November, grab your ticket here. Wait until you see what we have in store for you, Melbs!

From the fairground to the main stage, 9 to Thrive Summit was one massive celebration!

We asked one of our Premium members to recap her experience at 9 to Thrive Summit this year, Sarah Megginson writes… 

8am-9am: More than 2000 excited and (quite literally) well-heeled ladies begin snaking into the summit. We’re greeted by the brekky bar, stocked by Freedom Foods, offering all kinds of combos of muesli, granola, fruit and yoghurt.

Immediately on entry, we notice: there is a ball bit. A giant ball pit. One for grown women to frolic in, dive into and stage perfect Boomerangs. Thanks to Lime and Tonic, some of the balls contain prizes like day spa vouchers to the Langham in Sydney. It perfectly sets the tone for what’s to come, which is a day of fun and unexpected surprises.

9am: The crowd mingles through the stands and heads to the main stage for an intro with MC Shelly Horton, and a moving Welcome to Country with Yvonne Weldon, Chairperson, Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Council.

Shelly, as per tradition, gets the crowd warmed up with a quick dance party and the first of many giveaways: a $500 Kora Organics voucher!

9.30am: Things kick off with supermodel-turned-entrepreneur Miranda Kerr. She beams in via video conference to share the challenges and wins behind the concept of “clean skincare” and her pioneering beauty brand, Kora Organics.

“It’s so important to reach out for advice and support,” she urges entrepreneurs. “I used to struggle because it felt like I was ‘intruding’ or putting someone out, but people like to help and give advice. And one day, you’ll pay it forward to someone else.”

10am: Thanks to Gwinganna, we enjoy a mindful meditation on the main stage – which kept us all feeling zen.

10.15: Adam Jacobs, co-founder of The Iconic and Hatch, steps to the main stage and talks all the gritty, dirty, raw details of building The Iconic from the ground up in 2011. They started out logging orders on excel spreadsheets, and now their range is bigger than Myer and David Jones put together, four times over. He also chats about his new app Hatch, which is a paid marketplace for meaningful work for young people.

On the other stage, Bella Zanesco, entrepreneur in Residence at Slingshot Accelerator, leads a masterclass to help you elevate to the top 5% of performers in your industry; decide your career goals; and how to avoid costly career mistakes.

10.45am: We pause for a short break, where we can wind our way through the stands and snack on complimentary Byron Bay cookies, stock up on free coffee in our Business Chicks Keep Cups, and browse the stands of food, fun and fashion.

11:20am: Time for the Money Talks panel, where we have a super important discussion about – in panellist and financial advisor Mel Browne’s own words – “unf*cking our finances”. Alongside other panellists Emma Isaacs and Christina Hobbs, CEO of Verve Super (the first super fund by women, for women), Mel joined moderator Effie Zahos for a frank chat about investing and making your money work for you.

In the workshop room, another equally as important but completely different discussion was taking place: we went back to Instagram Stories School, learning the best and latest ways to use Instastories for your business, co-facilitated by Facebook’s Liz Harper and Heather Porter.

Midday: We get the pleasure of hearing the keynote from author, motivational speaker and life-coach Kemi Nekvapil, who is not only whip smart, but really bloody funny too. She has the audience in stitches as she shares ways we can put ourselves back on top of our own to-do lists and truly thrive, not just survive.

She led us through some trust exercises that forced us to become REALLY close with the person in the seat next to us…


Meanwhile on the fairground stage, Heather Cran Mantell from Amazon Web Services explored the evolution of womens’ roles in technology, how innovation is defining jobs of the future – and why women are set to be the next generation of Chief Customer Officers (CCOs).


It was our (much-needed) time to refuel! As well as sneaking in a feed, this was the time to do the rounds and snap a new headshot, get your hair and makeup touched up, get expert help on your resume, book in 1:1 with the Facebook crew, pirouette in a ball pit, recharge your phone, and generally have a ball.

1.30pm: New ABC Chair and all-round media superwoman, Ita Buttrose AO OBE, took to the main stage to share titbits, lessons and high-points from her career.

2pm: Kemi jumps back on stage along with Dr. Nikki Stamp, Dr. Libby Weaver and Talitha Cummins for a panel called “Overworked and overwhelmed”. After airing their own “red flags” – the one’s the suggest that all is not well and something’s gotta give, Talitha shares her strategy to get back on track:

“Something I discovered in recovery was the idea of contrary actions – where you do the exact opposite of what you feel like doing. If you’re in a slump and you just want to give up or sleep in or mope, I’ll go and exercise, get out of the house, catch up with a friend. Ninety-nine percent of the time, it makes me feel better.”

Over in the fairground, Bella Zanesco is also back on stage delivering another workshop on how to love Mondays again.

3.20pm: After a quick afternoon break to refresh, grab a coffee, and hit the loo, we return to the main stage for Miki Agrawal – a literal powerhouse of energy and vitality (despite having just landed after a 24-hour journey from Brooklyn) who wants to inspire us to innovate.

“88% of Fortune 500 companies from 1955, like Blockbuster Video and Kodak are now gone. Everyone needs to iterate and innovate. Constantly. Endlessly,” she shares, adding, “Fearlessness is not the absence of fear. It’s how you take action even when you’re rooted in fear.”

Those at the workshop enjoy another refresh on how to nail your Instagram stories, as we prepare for the final sessions of the day…

3.50pm: Dom Price from billion-dollar startup Atlassian says we own our own future – but we need to understand how to navigate it well. You can read more on Dom’s session here. 

dom price


Dom Price’s Future of Work session presented by Carlton & United Breweries

“We’re mobile now – but just because we can be always on, doesn’t mean we should be always on. So how do we build flexibility into the way we work?” His 5-point plan blows us away, while on the fairground workshop stage, Brittany Rinker, Amazon’s Senior Program Manager in Australia, offers tips and tricks to set your business up to thrive on Amazon.

4.25pm: To wrap things up, Turia Pitt takes to the stage for a chat about how to get through hard times, and how to reframe the story you tell yourself. She is certainly walking the walk, quite literally, as she not only re-learnt to walk after her terrible accident – but she even competed in an iron man recently, what a phenomenal woman!

5.15pm: The summit ends with the WeWork happy hour, meaning we finish this glorious stretch of motivation and inspiration with a glass of champers (or two). It couldn’t have been a more perfect end to the day. But if you missed out…never fear. we’re are doing it all again in Melbourne on November 25. Hope to see you then!

Sarah Megginson is a Business Chicks premium member. She has edited and ghost-written more than 20 books, working with clients such as Lorna Jane Clarkson, and the ThankYou group’s Daniel Flynn. Connect with her here. 

A huge thanks to all our brand partners for making this epic event possible!


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