More than 90 people from across the region celebrated the launch of the Women in Business and Regional Development’s new year. Hosted by WiBRD Board Member Toni Vorenas, the evening was held to welcome 2021 and acknowledge the group’s sponsorship partners for the coming year.
As part of the event, a panel of six local businesswomen – Toni Vorenas from Metro Bakery and Cafe, Kelsie Prowse from The Apple Farm, Ashlee Kalantarian from A’EL ESTE, Di Ind from Di Monty Training Solutions, Lisa Attard from Lima & Co and Jo Hodges from The Nourish Nook – shared their experiences from the previous 12 months as they all navigated COVD-19.
Board Chair Jacinta Jones said each of the women had an experience either personally or professionally as to how it had changed their business. “They all shared how they ‘pivoted’, to make quick decisions as they were faced with challenging situations,” she said. “They all feel they are coming out the other side stronger and, in some cases, with new and exciting directions for their business.
“Another feature was the importance of networks like WiBRD where you can go and interact with like-minded women. A strong support network was a common tip by all six women and they are all very proud to call Mount Gambier their home base as they thanked the community for the strong support, they have received over the last 12 months.”
Ms Jones, in her address, thanked the many partners that enabled the network to be viable. She then announced Flinders University, New Venture Institute as WiBRD’s continuing major partner in 2021, who was represented by Verity Kingsmill. “Verity’s address acknowledged the importance of having quality training opportunities for our young people and she looks forward to a positive relationship with WiBRD as we work towards fostering this,” she said.
“The last 12 months has seen us focus very strongly on our strategic direction and on our vision to champion regional women as leaders and change-makers. “With the continued implementation of our updated strategic direction going through to 2023 we maintain a strong focus on our mission, grow the potential of regional women and support them to create powerful legacies through building their leadership capacity and presenting a strong regional voice.”
Ms Jones also acknowledged the contribution of outgoing Executive Officer Lydia Mules, along with the efforts of the board. The group will host an International Women’s Day Breakfast at the Main Corner in Mount Gambier and at the Bordertown Convention Centre, on March 5, which will feature a live stream from the Adelaide International Women’s Day event to listen to Natasha Stott Despoja as the special guest speaker.