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Lisa Wilkinson has encouraged 350 of her biggest fans to ‘make mistakes’ and choose their friends wisely during a two-hour keynote speech behind closed doors at a pub.

Guests forked out $140 each to attend an exclusive business luncheon with the former Project host at Eatons Hill Hotel, north of Brisbane, last Friday – where they were treated to a two-course meal and flowing champagne.

The Channel 10 presenter was the main attraction and donned a suffragette white suit as she addressed a range of personal, social, and political issues – from homelessness to how she became the editor of Dolly magazine at 21 with no qualifications.

Her speech took a turn when she started talking about how kicking people out of your close circle can be a sign of personal growth.

Lisa Wilkinson is pictured, right, being interviewed during an International Women's Day event on Friday

Lisa Wilkinson is pictured, right, being interviewed during an International Women’s Day event on Friday

Lisa Wilkinson is pictured speaking at a luncheon for International Women's Day in Brisbane's northern suburbs

Lisa Wilkinson is pictured speaking at a luncheon for International Women’s Day in Brisbane’s northern suburbs

Guests were treated to a two-course lunch with flowing champagne. Lisa Wilkinson was the keynote speaker

Guests were treated to a two-course lunch with flowing champagne. Lisa Wilkinson was the keynote speaker

‘Choose your people wisely and it’s OK to edit the people you have in your life,’ she told the crowd, according to local newspaper, the Moreton Daily.

‘It’s a real sign of maturity when you figure (out) “I don’t quite think this person is on my team”.’ 

Wilkinson also urged the group not to shy away from making errors.  

‘Make mistakes – please, please make mistakes because often when you make mistakes that’s when you grow,’ she said.

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Her comments come just months after she stepped away from the limelight following a tumultuous 2022 that saw her slammed over her Logies acceptance speech for her interview with Brittany Higgins on The Project.

She was then banned from reporting on the rape trial against Bruce Lehrmann, Ms Higgins’ alleged attacker, in the ACT Supreme Court last year, and eventually stepped down as host of the program.

Wilkinson is now being sued for defamation by Mr Lehrmann over The Project interview. He has always strenuously denied sexually assaulting Ms Higgins in Parliament House in 2019.

His alleged rape trial was aborted and the case against him was eventually dropped altogether by ACT prosecutors.

Pictured: Brittany Higgins and Lisa Wilkinson at a Marie Claire event for International Women's Day last year

Pictured: Brittany Higgins and Lisa Wilkinson at a Marie Claire event for International Women’s Day last year

Bruce Lehrmann (pictured outside court last year) is suing Lisa Wilkinson for defamation

Bruce Lehrmann (pictured outside court last year) is suing Lisa Wilkinson for defamation 

However, the impending defamation case appeared to be far from the minds of fans who attended Wilkinson’s luncheon on Friday.

Social advice aside, the veteran journalist spoke about her former fight to get the same wage as Today host Karl Stefanovic, and argued that there are gender imbalances in superannuation.

Wilkinson also said she derives no greater satisfaction than watching young talent achieve big things in the workplace.

‘The thing that’s given me the greatest satisfaction is the opportunity to work with and encourage new young talent,’ she told the group.

‘For me, there’s no greater thrill as a boss than identifying young talent, teaching them the ropes and then watching them fly.’

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Guests were enamored with her speech.

Lisa Wilkinson wore along buttoned-up black dress which was teamed with white sneakers at the airport after the luncheon

Lisa Wilkinson wore along buttoned-up black dress which was teamed with white sneakers at the airport after the luncheon

‘Fun to dress up for an IWD (International Women’s Day) lunch today and hear Lisa Wilkinson share some of her story,’ one woman wrote, alongside a photo of Wilkinson addressing the room.

‘Always so uplifting to be around other woman changing the world.

Another said: ‘What better way to celebrate International Women’s Day than in room full of fabulous women listening to the amazing and inspiring Lisa Wilkinson sharing some gems of wisdom and anecdotes of her life and career.’

There was a networking event immediately after the lunch, but Wilkinson did not stay until the end. 

She quickly changed into a black smock and raced to Brisbane Airport to catch a flight back to Sydney. 

She was spotted rolling her suitcase through the terminal with her boarding pass in her hand while chatting on her phone with a serious expression on her face.

Wilkinson would have wandered past copies of her 2021 memoir, It Wasn’t Meant To Be This Way – which were on sale at the airport newsagent for 30 per cent off.

Lisa’s life lessons: Her advice to women 

Lisa Wilkinson dished out advice to hundreds of fans at the luncheon on Friday, including:

– ‘Just when you’re getting comfortable, stop and recalibrate, step outside your comfort zone

– ‘Make mistakes, please, please make mistakes because often when you make mistakes that’s when you grow.’

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– ‘Make sure you have your people.’

– ‘Choose your people wisely and it’s ok to edit the people you have in your life.’

– ‘It’s a real sign of maturity when you figure ‘I don’t quite think this person is on my team’.

– ‘When you do link arms with other women, it’s extraordinary the force it unleashes.

She also encouraged guests to challenge themselves and surround themselves with people who ‘lift you up’. 

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