'Riveting' and 'enthralling': Jacqueline Pascarl OAM wows WOB members


Riveting, enthralling and inspirational - these were just some of the words used by WOB members describe Women on Boards’ guest speaker Jacqueline Pascarl OAM who shared her story and insights at a networking event in Melbourne.


Awarded the UN Special Commendation for the International Year of the Family, and two recognition awards from the national Center for Missing and Exploited Children, USA, Jacqueline Pascarl is a writer, award-winning documentary maker and high profile lobbyist on human rights and refugee issues. She is also an experienced CEO and NED in the NGO/NFP sector consulting widely in the sphere of government and media relations, advocacy & leadership. She was appointed a Director of RSL Australia in March 2023 and Governing Board Member of International Social Service in Geneva in April.

It was a packed house at the WOBMeet event on Wednesday 16 August, hosted by McGrathNicol in Melbourne.  WOB Member Deborah Daly said she was almost moved to tears hearing Jacqueline speak.

“I am still reflecting on the many, many messages but also in awe of the breadth and depth of her activities and achievements on behalf of the vulnerable, the displaced, the overlooked. In fact, it still moves me to the brink of tears… just thinking about it. AAAAAAAMAZING!,” she wrote on LinkedIn

“A riveting hour of her work as a medic in emergency areas and war-torn conflict zones, her ongoing support and advocacy on behalf of veterans and, from what we all heard loud and clear, largely within the context of first having to overcome bias and constraints imposed by others through a lack of acceptance to more diverse thinking.”

“One of my favourite things is to hear from different people in different walks of life and what makes them tick…When I attend a Women on Boards event, I know that I am going to hear from some amazing women who share their generously from their experience, their insight and their motivations. I have learned something, in fact, many things from each and every event.”

Rym Kachouri said Jacqueline was a true inspiration to all leaders, all genders. "It’s always such a pleasure to network with like-minded women from different industries. I love how at these WOBMeet events, everyone tries to talk with anyone they don’t know yet. 

“And Jacqueline was truly exceptional and so inspirational. Normally, I have a lot of questions for the keynote speaker, but with Jacqueline I was speechless about all what she achieved so far, her energy and sincerity in sharing her journey. A true inspiration to all leaders – all genders."

“Thanks for yet another excellent night - WoB and McGrathNicol really knocked it out of the park,” said Karen Davies. “ These events never fail to impress with the high calibre of speakers and the excellent network of women that attend each event - the events truly are a pleasure and are fantastic value for money. 

“I found Jacqueline Pascarl highly enthralling in the way that she spoke and with the stories she told - the pictures were certainly an added bonus. It was wonderful to receive expert advice from someone so accomplished, not only that, but Jacqueline was also kind enough to share some personal insights too, which I found to be very valuable. Her strength and vulnerability were both admirable and awe inspiring.”

Zaharoula Harris said “inspired is an understatement” commenting on LinkedIn after the event

“An incredible event last night put together by WOB Women on Boards… I could have listened to her all night and then some. Her life is an extraordinary journey from ballet dancer, princess, author, TV personality, parents’ rights advocate, humanitarian aid worker and from listening to her last night so much more.  Inspired is an understatement.” 

About Jacqueline Pascarl OAM

Appointed by the Australian Government as National Vice Chair of the Australian Defence Force Reserves (making her the first woman on the Executive) Jacqueline also served as Chair of Clinical Research, Endocrinology (fundraising) at the Royal Children's Hospital, along with several other hospital & medical boards including the Alfred Hospital Prostate Cancer. She was asked by the Chief of Australia's Defence Forces to advise him on mental health & welfare for partners and spouses of all 10,000 Defence Members across Army, Air Force and Navy.

Jacqueline is recognised internationally as an expert on the Hague Convention and International Parental Child Abduction, and has lectured at the US State Department and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the European Union, UK and the International Congress on Family Law and the Rights of Children.

Nominated six times for Australian of the Year, she was awarded the Humanitarian Overseas Service Medal in 2012 by the Governor General of Australia for her work in conflict zones. 2011 saw her named as an Ambassador to His Holiness, The Dalai Lama.

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