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President, Min Swan, reflects on the past year and shares highlights at recent AGM

28 Jun 2022 1:26 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

As a purpose driven network that exists to empower and celebrate women to achieve in business, it is my absolute pleasure to conclude my first year in the role of President of this extraordinary network that has been the support infrastructure for predominantly business women of the Sunshine Coast, but I would also say has continually taken a leadership position amongst all.

Stepping into the very large shoes of Roz White last year was never going to feel anything other than daunting, but the smooth considered succession planning that Roz implemented resulted in the remaining committee maintain their positions and I took onboard Roz's wise words of "just make it your own Minnie." There is only one Roz White and there is only one Min Swan and so my challenge was to continue the formidable and solid foundation set by Roz and Michelle Hamer and yet inject my own energy and style to the role and ensure all of those around me - from executive committee to each and every member - felt incredibly comfortable and encouraged to do the same.

For day one it has been my intent to create a space for anyone who shares our purpose to find SCBWN as a welcoming and inclusive community that embraces diversity, differing personalities, wide ranging viewpoints, varying stages of life, qualifications and career plans whilst continually being the safety net that you need to be the very best version of yourself that you can possibly be. Our 2019 Outstanding Business Woman of the Year calls SCBWN her 'putty that fixes her leaky bucket' and this is an analogy that I believe will live long within the network as it is the truth for so many of us.

While the past twelve months have come and gone in what feels like a flash, much has been achieved and it is my absolute honour to represent the committee of 11 that volunteer their time to deliver for our members and the community at large. We are also supported by an outstanding team with Amanda Nathaniel, Membership Development Coordinator and Annika Lee-Jones, our Event and Marketing Coordinator. Together we are invested in making a difference and whilst each of us approach that differently, that is what make sus so unique - there just simply has to be one of us that you can relate to and find your 'person'.

I would like to take this moment to bring to your attention some of what has been achieved over the past twelve months:

  • We have continued to show our ability to adapt and change to an ever evolving and sometimes erratic environment. We commenced our year with a defined strategy and event plan, only to have COVID raise its ugly head again in January/February and school commencement date get pushed back. We understood the impact of that to our members and were able to start the year with an online February event before meeting for the first-time face to face at International Women's Day in March. We continue to find ways to work together and support our members.
  • Membership in March 2022 was 347, but we are more than numbers. The strength and engagement of our members is what is more important to us and something we are incredibly proud of. We have Members Only Facebook Group where 318 members go to interact, engage, promote and provide advice to each other - that is almost unheard of.
  • The demographics of our membership has also changed over the years and where we were once far stronger in our solopreneur members, now we are also strong in Corporate and Professional members also. This represents its own challenges as each member has a differing need from SCBWN and so we have adapted with new and different offerings, introducing our smaller coffee mornings hosted by a different committee member each time. Our aim is to keep those small and tight knit but they are already organically growing!
  • Our events now sell out month after month, growing over the years from 50-60 people arriving to easily 100-150 each event only being limited by venue size. This demonstrates the value attendees are obtaining from our event format.
  • We spent a great deal of our focus on the past year revisiting the purpose we play to our members first and foremost. We created a model base and developed a robust Professional Growth Program that saw us start our delivery of Strengths workshops. May and July with future depending on demand. This was the element that we identified as being the beacon of our success for 2022, helping our members know themselves better.
  • Our Community Program delivered our traditional 4 bursaries and thanks to Karen Neuendorf we are able to announce an additional bursary will be presented in December 2022. Our raffle sales raised $5960 and we have some exciting announcements about a new community program post AGM.
  • Delivering positive financial results is a goal of ours as we aim to benchmark best practice business practices as you will see from our Treasurers report. We also took a position this year that we wanted to make an investment into our members and subsidising the Strengths Workshop was an example of that. It was our intent to make big end of town tools available to all.
  • Under the guidance of our Secretary we streamlined our reporting to increase collaboration and adopt new technologies, yet maintaining the same high level of governance and process that was set for us.
  • 2021 Awards process and yet another year of outstanding finalists and award recipients', finalists for this year will be announced shortly. We have had a record number of entries this year.
  • We attracted new sponsorship and retained 100% of our existing sponsorship demonstrating that our sponsors love aligning with our brand and values and our membership. We look for practical, mutually beneficial benefits that suit all parties as evidenced by 5% corporate discount via Westfund Health Insurance - a direct financial benefit to our members and the promotion of Pathways to USC vis short courses and relationship.
  • We enjoy the over 10000 Facebook followers, 1500 Instagram followers and over the past year have seen a significant increase in engagement on LinkedIn, just under the 1000 mark.
  • Positive media coverage across print, online, TV and radio for our high profile events, awards, award winners and our involvement in the business community.

From my perspective it is that we continue to go from strength to strength. A united and committed volunteer committee with a common purpose in mind, combined with a wider network of dedicated, engaged and incredible membership base that allows us to each be the 'putty' needed to face the large, ambitious and ever-changing lives we have designed for ourselves, or can see in our vision and need just the step up and support SCBWN provides to make it a reality.

Thank you for your trusting us with your time, money and sometimes your heart. Nobody ever said that the roadless travelled had to be done solo.

We invite you to join a dynamic  & vibrant network of business partners, sponsors and members.



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