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The Council of Australian Tour Operators (CATO) International Women’s Day luncheon was held on Wednesday 8th March 2023 at the L'Aqua Cockle Bay, Sydney, and hosted by CATO's Vice Chair, Lisa Pagotto and the incredible Julia Zaetta as emcee.

The day showcased the amazing talent within the CATO membership, to share stories and anecdotes from business owners to those who have worked their way through the ranks. Our fabulous panel shared the good, the bad, the unexpected to the packed audience. A huge thank you to Gai Tyrrell, Globus Family Brands. Ingrid Berthelsen, Evolution Travel Collective. Lou Tandy, APT. Sue Badyari, World Expeditions and Toni Ambler, The Travel Corporation.

Our beautiful keynote speaker, Hoda Alzubaidi, shared the the journey of a family seeking asylum, running from a Middle Eastern regime, fleeing from Lebanon to Syria with the search for a better life and finally arriving in Australia where life improved but challenges still persisted. Hoda’s story certainly had the audience hanging on very word and the word ‘impact’ has never been so understated.

The message was clear about the power of education through tourism and broadening people’s minds and horizons to understand other peoples journeys, cultures and beliefs. I couldn’t have been prouder to sit alongside Hoda as she shared her story publicly for the first time. It was raw, emotional and real.

"Inspiring innovative & sustainable travel"

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