The 2018 MAD Next Gen networking evening was a Melbourne based event for professionals who are committed to their careers and also want to make a difference to the lives of those in need!

In August 2018 our guests were treated to fine wines and canapes, and networked with other Melbourne professionals to help raise funds for the vital work of the MAD Foundation, as well as contributing to the Next Generation of MAD Foundation supporters.

Our speakers Patrick Nestel, ANZ Regional Manager of JD.Com and Lauren O’Hara,Chief Development Officer at Half the Sky Foundation shared some amazing insights into their career journeys followed by an open discussion from the floor.

About the speakers

Lauren O’Hara is the Chief Development Officer at Half the Sky Foundation Australia, a charity set up to join the global OneSky Foundation network in implementing development and aid projects inside Chinese government orphanages. The charity gets its name from the Chinese adage, ‘women hold up half the sky.’ Lauren’s career also began with an Arts degree, where she majored in Public Relations. Prior to Half the Sky, Lauren worked as Corporate Affairs Manager for Kmart during one of the biggest retail turnarounds in Australian history. Her role advised on communications strategies, public relations campaigns, ethical sourcing, compliance, internal communications and community engagement.


Patrick Nestel is the ANZ Regional Manager of JD.Com,and he began his career with a Bachelor of Arts at Melbourne University, followed by a law degree at Sydney University. He launched his own retail business importing products from around the world and selling them both online and through three of his own retail outlets, before moving to Coles where he held several roles throughout the business. In addition to hard work, Patrick’s current success derives from courage – he took his idea for directly to the company, described his plan to grow the business, and was given the job.


Our friends and guests

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