Introducing Sue Karzis

Sue Karzis

CEO of State Schools’ Relief

Sue Karzis is the CEO of State Schools’ Relief, a Victorian-based not for profit organisation that supports the needs of financially disadvantaged government school students. Since her appointment, Sue has propelled the charity to record numbers of impact.

The ‘Power of Women’ Series Interview Questions

Women are not to speak up and promote themselves and many women feel like their value should be evident in the workplace, without having to go out of their way to talk about their achievements whereas men seem to be much more comfortable with self-promotion. The research bears this out in terms of men putting themselves forward for roles even if they don’t meet all the criteria whereas women will not.

When an opportunity presents itself, take a deep breath and just go for it. Real growth comes with stepping out of your comfort zone and taking on new and exciting challenges.
It is such an empowering feeling to step into your power and realise that the challenge that you thought was beyond you, was not, and that you not only achieved it but surpassed your own expectations of success.


My advice is far more practical than ideological. Picture yourself working for the next 30-40 years and picture how you would like your life to look. To have a fulfilling career you need to have a career that brings fulfillment – what that fulfillment looks like will depend on your own values. It will be easier to succeed if you feel passionate about what you are doing but to work this out, you will need to work out what your top values are and then ensure that your career reflects your values.

Being a powerful woman means I have the confidence to back myself, and make decisions that I feel comfortable with even if others don’t necessarily agree with them. It also means accepting that not everyone is going to like you, and that is ok. Being a powerful woman means standing up for what is right, even when that feels uncomfortable. It also means being kind to others, and modelling leadership which is authentic and may look different to the traditional brand. I am comfortable now being vulnerable and I know that it does not take away my power, in fact it augments it, as it shows a level of confidence that I did not possess in my youth.

I have been inspired by Jacinda Ardern’s style of leadership – she led the country as a new mother and showed that you can be a strong leader and still be kind and empathetic. Other female leaders who have been an inspiration include Michelle Obama and Kamala Harris, for their inspirational leadership and resilience.

“Do what you feel in your heart to be right - for you’ll be criticized anyway.”
- Eleanor Roosevelt (Former First Lady of the United States)