Miriam Silva: Changing Culture with Faith, Instinct and Resilience 

Women on Boards was joined by experienced leader and board chair, director and leader Miriam Silva at two Melbourne events, who inspired WOB members with her strength, determination and resilience.

On Wednesday 25 June, WOB held two great events in Melbourne, with the Board Kick-starter workshop in the morning followed by a Boardroom Lunch with special guest Miriam.

At the Director Lunch, hosted by Clayton Utz, Miriam shared her eventful board and leadership journey, which has incorporated both her intellect and faith to change the way people think and behave - including how she broke down barriers at Elders.

Another story she shared was around how she was asked to Chair the board of a publicly-embattled Islamic school to save them from closure, which was literally hours away. While she initially said no, not being able to sleep at the prospect of the children and staff being left without a school, she accepted this risky role. She spoke of how she and the board worked together to keep the school running.

A journey guided by humility, intelligence and her faith, Miriam has steadily been surprising and expanding the perceptions of all who cross the path of this diminutive, hijab-wearing Muslim women.

"Softly spoken, you could have heard a pin drop in the room as we listened to her words of wisdom, corporate triumphs and life challenges," said Women on Boards COO, Nicole Donegan.

Miriam humbly attributes much of her success to her faith, being off the scale with her resilience and lifelong approach to learning. We look forward to hearing more about Miriam’s innovative new Young Directors program in the coming months.

Commenting on LinkedIn after the event, WOB member and Maree Davenport wrote: "Miriam Silva you inspired all with your strength and kindliness, determination and resilience. Well done Clayton Utz, Nicole Donegan and Women on Boards."

Women on Boards Cultural Diverstiy Committee member Sara Pantaleo wrote: "Thank you Women on Boards for an amazing intimate catch up. Miriam is an inspiration and trailblazer in breaking the norms and achieving great results with her intelligence, patience and care for others. Thank you Miriam for your generous sharing, I absolutely loved your story."

About Miriam Silva

Miriam Silva has more than 20 years’ experience managing large and geographically diverse teams across multiple industries including pharmaceuticals, banking and agriculture. Miriam has exceptional leadership and communication skills, strategic and operational skills and deep experience with change management.

Miriam is a skilled board chair and non executive director and has more than 10 years' board experience. Miriam holds a number of board positions including Chair InTouch Multicultural Centre Against Family Violence, Chair Contemporary Arts Precincts, SA Film Corporation, Crescent Finance, Crescent Institute and Malek Fahd Islamic School.

Miriam's work experience includes a/Chief Executive of TAFE SA, Chief Operating Officer at FleetPartners, GM Commercial Operations at Elders and various roles at ANZ including spending 2 years in Hong Kong.
Miriam volunteers with a number of organisations including Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and is Multicultural Patron for SA Police Training Academy.
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