Last month, it was revealed Hollywood superstar Reese Witherspoon would be coming to Australia for her first ever speaking tour.
And Jacqueline Nagle, the Queensland mother who persuaded Reese to travel Down Under, told Sunrise on Wednesday why the Legally Blonde star was chosen to headline her $2,000-a-head event for women in leadership, titled the Simpatico Conference Series.
‘What I wanted was somebody who brings everything to the table,’ Jacqueline said of the 40-year-old actress-turned-producer, who will serve as keynote speaker for the events scheduled for Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne in July.
Sunrise co-host Samantha Armytage asked how she expected an Oscar-winning star like Reese to ‘be inspirational to the average, everyday working Aussie woman.’
Jacqueline, who’s career has spanned several industries, replied: ‘If I just wanted a Hollywood superstar, there are hundreds we could have chosen.
‘But what I wanted was someone who brings everything to the table. So it’s about being an Oscar- winning actress, absolutely.
‘But it’s also about the fact she has her own production company, she has her own retail business, she is a working mum.
‘And she’s a philanthropist,’ continued Jacqueline. ‘She’s involved in advocacy for women and children and has been since her early 20s.’
Meanwhile in an video package for Sunrise, Reese also debuted her new lifestyle brand Draper James, which is inspired by her upbringing in the southern United States.
Jacqueline began putting together Simpatico as a forum for women to discuss their achievements in life and business around 18 months ago.
And when it came to deciding upon a suitable – and headline-grabbing – keynote speaker, the ‘multi-dimensional’ Reese was a natural choice given her success as a performer and film producer.
She explained in a Facebook video posted last month: ‘I wanted somebody to come to bring a unique experience. So somebody who wasn’t necessarily available to us everyday here in Australia.
‘I wanted somebody who was iconic within their own industry and who had created and achieved great things within their career,’ Jacqueline added.
‘It was critically important that they be multi-dimensional, so more than just a Hollywood name, for example.
‘And I also wanted somebody who had never spoken in Australia before so that we could ensure that the experience for those of you who choose to join us in the room would be truly unique.’
She continued: ‘I’m really thrilled to have confirmed in this last couple of weeks that that person in Reese Witherspoon.
‘The reason I’m thrilled for it though is because she is an Oscar-winning actress, she is incredibly talented, she is intelligent, she is passionate, she is driven.
‘She has created her own production company Pacific Standard with Australian partner Bruna Papandrea, simply to create and to ensure the creation of strong female leads.
‘But not only did she go and create that production company, in her first 12 months she produced two Oscar-nominated films with Gone Girl and Wild.
‘And further than that, Gone Girl went on to generate more than $360m in sales at the box office. A phenomenal effort.
‘She’s always been involved in children and women advocacy roles within the U.S and also globally. She is giving her voice now to the fact that women in business just make sense.’