Sue Woodall, Founder, LiveWorkCancer
Topic: CancerKind Workplaces: Navigating Work and Careers & Return to Work with Compassion
Cancer, a multifaceted disease with over 200 variations, affects approximately 1 million Australians today, a number projected to double by 2040. Recognising cancer as a disability under the Commonwealth Disability Discrimination Act, employers are required by the Fair Work Act to provide reasonable adjustments for employees facing this challenge.
Literature estimates that 40% of those living with cancer are of working age. As this cohort grows, the potential impact of HR professionals, leaders, colleagues, and friends on work participation and career outcomes becomes profoundly evident.
Based on research and lived experience, it is clear that both employers and employees share interconnected responsibilities when it comes to facilitating a smooth return to work after a cancer diagnosis (or any long-term illness). In this session, Sue Woodall, the Founder of LiveWorkCancer, will share insights into how leaders, line managers, and colleagues can provide compassionate support, empowering individuals to remain in the workforce and achieve their professional aspirations despite their diagnosis.
Sue Woodall is an accomplished leader with over three decades of experience in executive roles across diverse sectors such as procurement, consulting, operations, technology, and government. After returning from Singapore in 2017, Sue established her own consulting business.
In 2020, at the pinnacle of her career and just 18 months into her role, Sue was confronted the life-altering challenges of intensive breast cancer treatment. At the time, Sue held the role of Chief Procurement Officer at the NSW Government, influencing expenditure exceeding $30 billion. Sue also led NSW's Small Business Commission during the initial stages of COVID-19.
Despite a supportive team and manager, she encountered unanticipated hurdles that impeded her job and career. Ultimately, 15 months after her diagnosis, her contract was mutually terminated. Sue’s cancer journey prompted her to ponder: 'If I were the line manager of an individual diagnosed with cancer, would I be equipped with the resources and knowledge to facilitate a more favourable work/career trajectory for my colleague?'
Join us as Sue shares her lived experience and expertise, guiding us towards creating workplaces that embrace compassion and empowerment, enhancing the journey of those navigating careers alongside cancer. Sue calls this a CancerKind workplace.