This year the Sunshine Coast Business Women's Network (SCBWN) is celebrating a momentous 25 YEARS since the incorporation of the network under the name 'Women in the Workforce'.
To celebrate this great milestone we are recognising those that have put so much into the long-term sustainability of SCBWN. We are incredibly excited to share with you all the interviews of our devoted past presidents and share their stories of personal contribution and their legacy to SCBWN over the years!
Vickie Magic's remarkable impact during her presidency from 2015 to 2017 began with a simple desire to connect with like-minded women, seeking inspiration, advice, and a shared support system. Over time, this desire evolved into a presidential legacy, one deeply rooted in the mission to inspire women to acknowledge their equality and embrace their potential. Vickie's leadership was marked by her unwavering commitment to fostering collaboration, promoting understanding, and encouraging women to support one another.
Vickie, what brought you to the SCBWN?
“It started as a desire to connect with like-minded women, and so the Network seemed to be a place where there were lots of those. Initially I didn't know anybody, but to be honest, a lot of my friends that I still have to this day I did meet through the Network. So, originally it was to connect with women, to be inspired, to seek advice and to really support other women here on the Coast as well.”
What are your fondest memories of the SCBWN?
“I have to say that my fondest memory and probably my proudest moment as president was back in 2015 when I was successful in getting the current Australian of the Year, Rosie Batty here for International Women's Day. It was just amazing and I think it was a turning point for myself. I understood just how important it was for her voice to be heard on the Coast, and in Australia and in the world. It also brought some new members and more diversity in members to the Network. That was just incredible, and Rosie’s story was incredible, and she was just so inspirational… and I believe to this day still is.”
What did you always want to achieve? What was your legacy? What were you most proud of with the network or in business?
“One of my friends was the president of the Network prior to me and when she asked me to put my hand up to be a possible candidate to take over, I did have the thought that maybe I could actually inspire women to really see that we're all exactly the same. I wanted them to see that not one person on the planet is any better than any other person, and that we're all just running our own race. I wanted to encourage and entice and excite women to see that if we actually stop comparing ourselves to other people - which is what we constantly do these days through social media and all of that - and sit back and actually just support and encourage each other, they will see that we are all the same. There's no one lesser than, there's no one more than. We're just equal, and we're all just doing the absolute best that we can do in the moment that we're in, based on the knowledge that we have and where we've come from. We really have no idea what's happening in the world of the person in front of us, beside us, or next to us. So give them compassion and give them understanding. One of Stephen Covey’s seven habits is ‘seek first to understand’ and I think that a lot of women that I know, and knew as well, were quick to judge but we're not always as quick to seek to understand.”
What are your hopes for women in business, now and into the future?
“My hope for women, now and in the future, is to put themselves on a judgement detox. To sit back and use their hands to clap and support and complement each other. To give each other praise and help where needed. The biggest thing that I would love to encourage women to do is to seek to understand, and to put their hand up to help and support each other. Rather than competing we should be thinking “Yeah, I do the same as you, but let's talk about how we could both do that better”, rather than “Oh no, don't talk to her. She'll steal my secrets.” Rather than feeling that someone over the other side of the room is a competitor, we should be thinking about how we might collaborate in order to do what we both do better.”
What was your greatest challenge as a woman in business when you were president? What is the greatest challenge you believe faces women in business today?
“Then, before and now… I believe my biggest challenge was imposter syndrome. Even when I was president I would ask myself “Why would they choose me when there’s all these amazing women out there who could do such a better job than I could?” I think the biggest challenge was believing in myself and trusting I was the right person for this role and that I did have something to give and share… and this is something I believe a lot of women are challenged by, especially with social media these days. Women look at what it appears other people are doing or having or being, and they think that's real, but it isn't always. It's often actually just a facade or good marketing. I think that so many of us are actually challenged by this imposter syndrome, where we really do feel that other people could do or are doing better than us, and that we're not good enough to be on the pedestal. I think that that stands in the way of our business as well, because we are fearful that we're not good enough. We sit on the fence or we don't take the risk that we might have. So we sit back instead of stepping up.”
What would you like to see the Network do next?
“I think that the Network is on a great track. I think that Min is amazing. I think that she has really stepped into her own in this role as president, and she's been part of the Network for a really long time. I think that the whole committee and what they're doing is great. Personally, all I want to see the Network do is support each other more, help each other more, encourage each other more, excite each other more, and just more of the same… but just keep on being that stand for women to be in their power and to understand that we're all the same.”
What are your thoughts on business and the economy in the Sunshine Coast now and over the next decade?
“I think it's actually a really difficult time with the economy as it is with the interest rates rising and rents being off the chart.I think that in the future of business we have to look at how we can support local - how we can buy local, and how we can keep our money here on the Coast where possible. How can I use the skills and the brilliance that is right here on the Sunshine Coast? We have such a massive bank of talent here. I believe the one thing that could help us more is really making a decision to support local wherever possible.”
What are you up to now?
In the last few months, things have changed for me. I have just sold 'Matters Magazine' which has now been going for 17 years. I am so proud that the magazine will be able to continue on, even though I’m not able to do it myself because of health reasons.
I also used to be a beauty therapist with my own business for 11 years. I was booked out five weeks ahead constantly. I did all the treatments that beauty therapists did, but I always had this dream that it would be great if I could just focus on facials and nothing else… So nowadays that is exactly what I do, specialise in facials and all things for the face. About two years ago I started doing that a couple of days a week and it's quite therapeutic. Now that the magazine is finished, I do more days and I absolutely love it.
For the last 13 years, I have also run retreats for women three times a year. They’re mindfit, women empowerment retreats so they're all about this exact same stuff that we've been talking about here - supporting each other, helping to give each other confidence, encouraging each other, that sort of thing. So I keep myself a little bit busy. As we get older we realise that we actually can do what we want to do. It's like “Oh, if only I could just do facials, but I have to do it all” and I'm now like, "Well, hang on a minute, do I?"
Do you have a message of encouragement for women in business today?
“Back each other, support each other, encourage each other, be there for each other. We need to give each other a break and really understand that every single person on the planet is just doing the best they can with the tools that they have, and that’s also based on where they’re at currently and where they've come from. The message that I really want to get out there is that you have no clue what is going on for people, so support them. Give up the judgement and be curious. Think about what's happening in that person’s life for them to say what they did or act that way. Get curious, not furious. It's quite an impactful statement, isn't it? When we understand, we can actually support each other and have that compassion for each other.”