Hall of fame honour

Hall of fame honour

Local businesspeople were celebrated at the Women in Business and Regional Development’s (WiBRD) Hall of Fame event in Mount Gambier.

The new WiBRD Hall of Fame inductees included Maria Gentile, Lydia Mules, Nadine Di Giorgio, Judy McKay and Duncan Redman.

WiBRD executive officer Kylie Boston said the evening was a resounding success with more than 75 people in attendance to celebrate the new inductees.

“It was wonderful to see our old Hall of Famers present and networking with our newest members,” Ms Boston said.

WiBRD co-deputy chair Toni Vorenas was full of praise for the newest members of the group’s Hall of Fame.

“Maria (Gentile) is a wonderful mentor to many of us as she quietly nudged us in the right direction,” Ms Vorenas said.

“She would ask questions to make us rethink and showed she truly cares.

“Maria is the woman who just gets things done.”

Ms Vorenas said Ms DiGiorgio joined the WiBRD board in 2004 to coordinate Building Business, a two-year project supported with Federal Government funding.

“Many other women helped over the years, however it was Nadine’s exceptional organisational and communication skills, excellent time management and meticulous attention to detail that helped so many innovations across the Limestone Coast region and Victoria,” she said.

Ms Vorenas said Mr Redman had been a generous supporter of the network financially and services in-kind.

“Duncan has a wealth of experience in his professional field and life experience and he willingly shares it with those within our network who seek him out,” she said.

“Duncan, thank you for always believing in our network and helping us all make a difference with our businesses.”

WiBRD co-deputy chair Harriet Keatley said Ms Mules had incredible event management skills and changed how the Influential Woman Awards (IWA) event was presented to reach a peak attendance of more than 550 people in 2017.

“Lydia was recruited for the executive officer position in 2015 and was one of the best recruitment decisions the board made,” Ms Keatley said.

“She was an absolute true professional in work output and provided incredible in-kind services and skills to consolidate our systems and processes as an organisation.”

Ms Keatley said Ms McKay held a board member position for five years from 2012 to 2017 and continued to support their network in every way possible.

“Her no-fuss attitude ensured there were no dramas, if you asked Judy to do something she went above and beyond every single time to ensure our events were flawless,” she said.

“Her ability to remain disciplined and focused meant everyone wanted to work with Judy.”

Attendees then heard from Sarah Brokensha, who shared her experiences and wisdom, honouring her mother.

“Sarah spoke about the importance of building blocks that shaped her along her different journeys, and the importance of a community to nurture and provide these building block moments,” Ms Boston said.

Kate Hill’s collaborative photography project was also launched, ‘Extraordinary in the seemingly ordinary,’ an exhibition showcasing women in the region.

“I nicknamed this the ‘Extraordinary Women’ series and it was a lot of fun to photograph and also, to work with Toni Vorenas on this one,” Ms Hill said.

“She gave me a simple brief – it had to be bold and inspiring and fun.”

The women involved in the exhibition included disability advocate Tessa Deak, director of kitchen affairs Grace Letizia, actress Sarah Brokensha, fungi farm founder Feresh Pizarro, health campaigner Maureen Klintberg and prime lamb producer Faye Buckley.

“WIBRD did not have to look very far to find six amazing women to photograph, who, by the way, all told us that what they do is not special,” Ms Vorenas said.

“Kate Hill did not have to look very hard to capture their ‘extraordinary’ through her lens.”

The exhibition will be on display in Metro until December 7.

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