• 23 Jun 2023 11:45 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    This year the Sunshine Coast Business Women's Network (SCBWN) is celebrating a momentous 25 YEARS since the incorporation of the network after its humble beginnings as 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!

    Bebe Mawer is the driving force behind what is now known as the very successful Sunshine Coast Business Women’s Network. Like many of our good ideas, she was sitting around a kitchen table with a bottle of red wine and two other women (Marilyn Manning and Sheryl Wendt), working out how to plan a women’s networking club. From here, Women in the Workforce was born in 1992.

    Bebe, what was your drive for starting the network?

    “There was a need for working women to network with other working women. It was about helping business women with their ideas to grow their business, achieve their goals, and focus individually and collectively on their strengths, hopes and dreams for the future rather than sit there and focus on their problems and weaknesses. We wanted to offer encouragement and support, give them purpose and build a community around connection and networking. We also wanted to encourage leadership in women and provide mentorship. In those days there weren't many women in leadership positions and there was no such thing as mentorship.”

    What are your fondest memories?

    “Definitely at the beginning when I was sitting around Marilyn Manning’s kitchen table with a bottle of red while we were working out how to plan a business women’s networking club and what our goals were. We had a couple of local speakers to kick it off, and I have to say having six people at that first meeting, we thought ‘wow we got 6 different women’ - it was quite a big deal. When it started to grow, I suppose the biggest coo of the time was getting Flo Bjelke-Peterson as a speaker who was very much into the development of women. Our second big speaker after that was Lisa Wilkinson, so we got a couple of big speakers one after the other then it grew from about 10 members to about 70 members.”


    What did you want to achieve/your legacy/most proud moment within the network?

    “What I wanted was to be successful. My message was lead by example, work hard and share the journey with other women. I like to foster talent, see opportunities and unlock those opportunities and give a helping hand. Through networking  and mentoring we were able to inspire and encourage women by showing them that there are diverse opportunities beyond traditional roles like waitressing or working in retail stores. We wanted to show them there was an opportunity for them to run their own business or even be a CEO one day.”

    What are your hopes for women in business now and into the future?

    “I’d like to see a stronger representation of women in leadership roles. I know it’s growing but it’s still very much an issue. Women in leadership positions bring a unique set of skills and as women gain more power and influence in business, they bring with them fresh ideas and innovation, across a whole range of industries. I suppose women offer what they call a higher value of softer skills and emotional intelligence than men, so their competencies in those areas, statistically are much better at conflict management, teamwork, interacting with change, and fostering diversity. I’m hoping in the future to see more women dreaming big and aspiring to leadership positions. I was brought up with six brothers, I was the only girl and I’ve never thought of men and women, or boys and girls, I alway believed I was equal and knew that I had to play better football than my brothers and be quicker than my brothers and smarter than my brothers. Not because they were boys and I was a girl, it was just what I brought up to do, compete with them and make sure I was an equal with them. I pulled a lot of strength from my brothers.”

    What was the greatest challenge as a woman in business when you were president?

    “I think the greatest problem back then was navigating the harmful social norms and stereotypes that permeated society at the time. Challenging the status quo was not an easy task. Women were often perceived as ‘junior players’ and there was and underlying fear among men when confronted with successful women in their industries. If they weren’t completely ignorant, they would recognise that the woman had more to contribute rather than their appearance. One of the significant challenges I encountered was being the only female in the room during meetings with male counterparts. That can be really overwhelming. However, by exuding confidence and showing my strength and knowledge, I managed to rise above thise circumstances and gain acceptance from my male colleagues. So in the future I’m hoping that girls and women will embrtace self-confidence, pursue their ambitions, and acquire a deep understanding of their fields so that they can demonstrate their expertise - equal to or even surpassing their male counterparts. It is crucial for them to showcase their capabilities and be recognised for their competence in all areas traditionally dominated by men.”

    What would you like to see the network do next?

    “In my opinion it’s challenging to provide an informed perspective due to my limited involvement.  However, I believe it’s time to foster gender integration within the network. Maintaining separate men’s and women’s clubs perpetuates outdated practices from the past. To cultivate respect and understanding we should aim for integrated networking that enables men and women to interact and appreciate each other’s unique strengths. Although this may be a significant shift, I firmly believe it is the direction we should embrace moving forward.”

    What are your thoughts on business and economy on the Sunshine Coast now and looking over the next decade?

    “I believe the Sunshine Coast offers a competitive business environment along with a high value economy. I think innovation and technology have emerged as strong drivers of growth in the region. The upcoming Olympics are expected to have a positive impact on property markets, job opportunities and the tourism sector which will likely continue to grow. However there is room for improvement in terms of implementing stricter practices in best tourist industry to enhance its overall quality. I think the Sunshine Coast has always lagged a little bit and they need to sharpen their tools. The region is attracrting a significant influx of immigrants, indicating a promising future for the Sunshine Coast for job opportunities, economic growth, and business prospects. While it may have taken some time for the Sunshine Coast to fully thrive, it is steadily progressing towards its potential.”

    Do you have a message of encouragement for women in business today?

    “I think it’s important to create an active work-life blend. Everyone talks about a healthy work life balance, but I think it’s about finding a blend that works for you. It’s essential to intergrate your  work, family, and personal life in a way that promotes overall well-being. It may be challenging but with determination and effective time management, you can master your schedule. Today, we have the advantage of flexibility with options like remote work, office work, or part-time arrangements. By setting strategic and realistic goals for both your career and personal life, you can create a healthy lifestyle that harmonises your various responsibilities and aspirations. Remember, you have the power to shape your own path and find fulfillment in all aspects of your life.”

    Bebe Mawer remained at the helm of Women in the Workforce up until 1994. She is currently the General Manager of the Caravan Industry Association of Australia - the national peak body that oversees all the states.

  • 31 May 2023 8:59 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    This year the Sunshine Coast Business Women's Network (SCBWN) is celebrating a momentous 25 YEARS since the incorporation of the network after its humble beginnings as Women in the Workforce.

    That's 25 years of successfully running a not-for-profit organisation where hundreds of women from diverse backgrounds and industries can connect, support each other, share experiences and empower each other to succeed in their careers and reach their full potential.

    The success of SCBWN is a testament to the power of community and the importance of supporting and uplifting one another. The past 25 years could not have been possible without our dedicated group of volunteers who make up our executive committee, and the amazing members who volunteer their time in support of the network.

    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!

    We will be sharing these interviews from now until the end of the year through blogs and social media, and by doing this we hope to provide our members with valuable insights to help them grow personally and professionally. We encourage our members both past and present to join us in this journey by sharing their own SCBWN memories and achievements on their social channels and tagging #scbwn25

    Our current president Min Swan shared her pride for the ambitious leadership of the SCBWN over the years which has contributed immensely to the network's growth.

    "The success of the network is attributed to the vision and dedication of our past presidents as each leader has brought a unique perspective and skillset to the role, shaping the direction of the group and building on the work of those who came before them.

    "Through their leadership, these phenomenal women have helped to establish our mission, values, and culture, and have fostered an environment where women can celebrate, connect, learn and grow," she said.

    We're excited to take you on this journey and honour the women who founded SCBWN, as well as all those who have contributed to its success over the past 25 years!

  • 29 May 2023 12:26 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    In an exciting development in the Sunshine Coast legal profession, Garland Waddington Solicitors recently merged with Pacific Law, creating one of the largest law firms on the Coast.

    Many of you will know Ken Waddington as a longstanding supporter of Sunshine Coast Business Women’s Network, having been involved since 2002 as a friend, sponsor and judge of the annual awards.  We are pleased to confirm that Ken and Pacific Law are delighted to take the opportunity to continue the close relationship with SCBWN as we move into the 2023 awards.

    Ken says, ‘It has been a privilege to be trusted as a judge of the awards for numerous years and I’ve found sitting in that role a fulfilling and rewarding experience. Applicants share their lives and experiences with the judges, and it has been an honour to assist so many dynamic women reflect on their lives and businesses and meet and assist likeminded women to raise the standard of businesses on the Coast.’

    Pacific Law was launched by Calvin Kong, Derek Sky and David Netherton in 2012 and is now a long established law firm specialising in business law, property development, conveyancing and wills and estates across the Sunshine Coast. Ken Waddington, the former principal of Garland Waddington, has been well-known on the Coast for more than 40 years, being one of the Coast’s longest standing and most respected lawyers.

    Pacific Law acts for a diverse range of clients, including first home buyers, investors, high net-worth individuals, local and international business owners, property developers and organisations.

    From helping local mums and dads to buy their home or to update their wills, to acting for some of Australia’s largest property developers, Pacific Law provides tailored legal services with a focus on achieving the best possible outcomes in a responsive, professional and efficient manner.

    The Pacific Law team, including Ken, are thrilled to continue to support SCBWN from their new offices in the heart of Maroochydore CBD on Plaza Parade.

    Welcome to Pacific Law | Pacific Law | Conveyancing & Business Law 

  • 13 Jan 2023 6:37 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Have you ever watched and wondered how some women do it? How do they run their businesses, how do they juggle family and work life, how do they come up with incredible ideas, how do they manage to never miss an event or birthday, how do they get such publicity, how do they manage fast and large-scale growth, how do they overcome tragic circumstances, how do they leave corporate life and start something new?

    Hosted by SCBWN President Min Swan and SCBWN Advocacy and PR Chair Lizzie Henebery, the podcast aims to go behind the scenes with businesswomen, getting deep on life and business, revealing secrets, triumphs, and challenges, and helping listeners to believe that anything is possible.

    Episode one saw Lizzie reveal what went on behind the scenes to enable what appeared to be the overnight success of her marketing and PR company while also processing and recovering from the loss of a child. 

    Next up for episode two Min shares the behind-the-scenes life of an event manager, SCBWN president, and single mum of 2 kids with plenty of challenges and curve balls thrown in along the journey including a close brush with death

    Listen to episode 2, Mins story here.

    We also invite you to nominate who you’d like to hear from in future episodes of the podcast - who has you wondering ‘How does she do it’?  Nominate someone, whether it’s a fellow business woman, your neighbour or a celebrity - we believe everyone is inspiring in their own lives and has a fascinating story to share, so please let us know who we should approach for an upcoming episode.

    Click here to fill in the nomination form.

  • 12 Dec 2022 9:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Have you ever watched and wondered how some women do it? How do they run their businesses, how do they juggle family and work life, how do they come up with incredible ideas, how do they manage to never miss an event or birthday, how do they get such publicity, how do they manage fast and large scale growth, how do they overcome tragic circumstances, how do they leave corporate life and start something new? 

    There are so many things that other women do and have achieved that have us scratching our heads wondering how it’s at all possible. So with this brand new podcast by the Sunshine Coast Business Women’s Network we hope to uncover the mysteries and help empower others through the honest stories of real women. 

    Hosted by SCBWN President Min Swan and SCBWN Advocacy and PR Chair Lizzie Henebery, the podcast aims to go behind the scenes with business women, getting deep on life and business, revealing secrets, triumphs and challenges, and helping listeners to believe that anything is possible.

    To kick-start the podcast series Min and Lizzie have recorded two episodes that place each of them in the hot seat to first answer questions posed by one another and share their own personal stories baring all when it comes to business and life, success and tragedy. 

    We’re sure you’ll learn a lot that you wouldn’t previously have known about these two as they reveal deeply personal insights that have not been shared before. So we invite you to listen in and  understand more about the behind the scenes lives of two of your SCBWN committee members. 

    Listen to episode 1, Lizzie’s story here.

    Trigger warning: this episode discusses stillbirth, death and trauma. 

    Sneak peek: Lizzie reveals what went on behind the scenes to enable what appeared to be overnight success of her marketing and PR company while also processing and recovering from the loss of a child. 

    Coming up in January 2023 -  Episode 2 - Min’s story

    Sneak peek: Min shares the behind the scenes life of an event manager, SCBWN president and single mum of 2 kids with plenty of challenges and curve balls thrown in along the journey including a close brush with death!

    We also invite you to nominate who you’d like to hear from in future episodes of the podcast - who has you wondering ‘How does she do it’?  Nominate someone, whether it’s a fellow business woman, your neighbour or a celebrity - we believe everyone is inspiring in their own lives and has a fascinating story to share, so please let us know who we should approach for an upcoming episode.

    Click here to fill in the nomination form.

  • 4 Oct 2022 8:32 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    There is much to talk about 2022 being over with the Christmas countdown well and truly started, but there is still time to make an impact this year. If this is the gentle reminder (or slightly more forceful push) you need to stop and think about what you want to achieve before the 31st December deadline of 2022, than I am happy to oblige.

    Three months to go, so let's ask ourselves:

    • Is there a game changing project that you keep putting off, because of lack of time, that you could you make a priority?
    • Have you stopped and looked at the goals or intentions you started the year with and worked out if any of them need a boost; or, just as powerfully, deleted from the list and/or moved to next year?
    • Have you acknowledged how far you have come and whether you can in fact take your foot off the pedal a little and create space elsewhere in your world?
    • Do you actually need to take a holiday now to rejuvenate before a big end of year, or retail/hospitality season? Or schedule some holidays for something to look forward to?
    • In fact, has life totally and completely changed for you and you hadn't noticed that your world needs a complete redefinition?
    • Have you met your personal or professional growth goals, or is there a course, coach or book that you could make happen before end of year that will tick that box for you?

    Let's not waste and precious time limping into the end of the year, and instead lets make it count!

    I have been reflecting on my relationship with 'time' lately after feeling like it was mastering me versus the other way around. I have been reminded by people close to me having life changing circumstances that made time stand still, that it is so incredibly precious and yet for some reason many of us don't treat it the way we could. Last week I took stock of this and made my world stop by escaping with my 9 year old and 5 year old to the beaches of Northern NSW. For a whole delicious 5 days' time was slower and I realised how important that was for me to be the best version of me possible. I absolutely love being  business owner and having a full and fulfilling schedule. I am proud of the juggling act I play and I wouldn't change a thing. And sometimes, I realise how empowering it is to stop, take a breath and turn time into currency that I trade for the things that are most important to me in any given moment.

    So my invitation for you, is to work out how the investment of your time could be game changing for you leading into 2023.

    As a network we are so incredibly grateful for the investment of time our members make in us. From attending our large monthly events, guest speaking at our events, joining us for coffee morning, hearing from our 2022 award recipients at the new Sunset Stories and Social events, to engaging on our social platforms and supporting other members through their trials, tribulations and successes - all of it is so appreciated. And to all those that took the time to enter the 2022 Sunshine Coast Business Woman of the Year Awards - thank you! We know the time investment is immense and we truly hope you found the return commensurate. Congratulations to all of those that were nominated, entered and became finalists. Of course I would also like to welcome our 2022 award recipients to the SCBWN family - Kate, Kellie, Bronte, Paula, Tanya and Susan - we are excited to share your stories over the coming year.

    With a huge line-up of events, soirees, and celebrations on the horizon, I truly look forward to seeing you before the year is out and please let me know if you have decided to make a different investment of your time because of this ever so gentle prod.

    In celebration,

    Min Swan


  • 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.

  • 26 Jun 2022 3:26 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Over the years as an employee in a diverse range of professions and an even more diverse group of employers, what has become evident to me is the difference in not only how well staff are valued but also in how that’s communicated to them.

    You may think that financial rewards are all staff want, and while that is a driving force for us all, that’s not only what staff need.

    Some of the Don'ts

    I once worked at a firm where the staff were treated to a host of ‘extras’, yet many staff often felt undervalued and unappreciated. In the mind of the owner, large sums were being spent on trying to keep the staff happy, but the sad fact was the owner still saw high staff dissatisfaction and was honestly confused by what he perceived as the lack of appreciation for what he expended on their behalf.

    The reality was that while staff appreciated the ‘extras’, many felt that they weren’t recognised in more basic ways. If a staff member wanted to leave early for an appointment or take a day off without accessing leave, the owner was harshly resistant – despite many hours in excess of their contracted hours being performed on a weekly basis. Other staff felt that they were invisible, spoken to only when something was needed but not recognised for their efforts on an individual basis. Still others felt underpaid, seeing what they perceived as earnt wages being spent on the extras but never in their pocket. The mistake wasn’t in offering lunches out or social events, it was in assuming that these extras met the needs of his employees.

    Workplaces seeing see high turnover of staff is often due to the berating and belittling of staff on a regular basis. Talented staff are often lost because they feel unappreciated or untrusted.

    Additionally, the tendency to give with one hand and take with the other can also lead to your staff seeking greener pastures. Don’t offer your staff a lunch out and then expect them to make up the time, or organise your required work functions on weekends when staff want to be with their families.

    Don’t assume that the way it’s always been done is the best way. Multiple studies in recent years have shown that productivity, efficiency, and well-being of workers can be increased by implementing a reduction in working hours. Don’t resist change when the potential for benefit is within your grasp.

    Some of the do’s

    The first way to show appreciation for your staff is always the most obvious – pay them what they’re worth. Nothing is more guaranteed to cause your driven, hardworking, and loyal staff to leave than under paying them. Be aware of what other firms are offering and be prepared to be competitive.

    Set up a culture of flexibility. It can be more difficult to manage but can reap great rewards with staff not turning themselves inside out to satisfy the needs of their health or family.

    Pay attention to the hours your staff work. If you have staff that frequently come in early, cut short breaks or stay late, then allow them the dignity of being able to go to health appointments, leave to care for their children and restructure their hours if required and possible.

    Consider what other ‘extras’ your staff actually want. Don’t assume – ask them. If they want social interaction – try and facilitate that. If they want lunches or gifts, or more morning teas or RDO’s – then do what you can to try and make that work. It doesn’t have to be expensive to be meaningful.

    Ensure your staff feel appreciated as individuals. Tell them when they’re doing well, applaud their efforts, celebrate their successes. Be constructive and measured with your criticism.

    Most importantly – get to know who your staff are on a one-on-one basis. Take the time to chat. Ask them how they’re feeling. Let them lead the conversations, learn about their lives and then, simply, care. Care about their individual needs, goals and challenges and do the best you can to help each and every one to achieve their goals and overcome their challenges.

    And that’s the point, we need to appreciate our staff, not just for the work they do, but for who they are.

    • Appreciate the willingness of staff who sacrifice personal time to meet a deadline.
    • Appreciate the difficulty involved for a staff member who has health issues to work a full day.
    • Appreciate the burden of remaining positive for a staff member who is experiencing loss or grief.
    • Appreciate the staff member who’s managing more than their fair share to be a good team player.
    • Appreciate the effort involved for parents of small children to manage the dual burdens of parenthood and work.

    You can implement a host of changes and make an enormous effort to support your staff, and sadly there will always be those who remain dissatisfied, who want more than you can give and who won’t appreciate your efforts. But past those few, you’ll find that most staff will be more loyal and willing to go the extra mile, and a happier, more relaxed, workplace.

    It’s up to owners and managers to create the culture they want in their office and to show their staff that the grass really can be greenest where they currently are.

    Written by Caroline Fougere - Garland Waddington Solicitors, Sunshine Coast

  • 6 May 2021 3:46 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    After 3-and-a-half years as the fearsome and ambitious President of the Sunshine Coast Business Women’s Network, Roz White has decided to step down from her role at their upcoming 2021 AGM to let ‘new ideas flourish’.

    Roz White, Co-owner of White’s Grocers and visionary businesswoman, has been the SCBWN President since 2018 and has paved the way forward for others with some incredible movements for women in business. Under Roz White’s presidency, the Sunshine Coast Business Women’s Network has:

    • Developed and delivered a first of its kind accelerated MBA program in partnership with the University of the Sunshine Coast for businesswomen looking to formalise their lived experience qualifications.
    • Upgraded SCBWN technological assets and an online platform to facilitate the awards program.
    • Delivered a series of educational and inspirational sessions and workshops both online and face-to-face to empower women in business to succeed.
    • Showcased Sunshine Coast businesswomen culminating in a celebration of 21 years of awards and success.
    • Rebuilt and developed the SCBWN organisational structure and governance platforms.
    • Created an advocacy focus to provide a strong voice for women.
    • Improved the financial viability of the SCBWN to ensure its longevity to empower and celebrate women to achieve.

    As a passionate advocate for workplace gender parity, Mrs White explains that much has been gained on this front but there is still work to be done.

    “Corporate Australia has a focus to end workplace gender disproportion, so while there is still work to be done, the SCBWN stands firm to support women in business and provide a platform of encouragement to others.”
    Mrs White says it has been a pleasure to serve as president for the past 3 ½ years and lead the network to uplift, encourage, mentor, inform, inspire and applaud women in business.

    “My experience working with like-minded, purpose driven women and men who support each other has been an honour and privilege. It is also time for my tenure as president to come to a close, to step aside and allow new ideas to flourish.

    “I have been provided with the ultimate backing and unwavering support from my executive management committee over the past 3 1/2 years. This group of competent, savvy, professional and experienced business women are purpose driven, true to their values and committed to making a difference. I value their friendship, and respect the camaraderie we share,” Mrs White said.

    Mrs White says the upcoming AGM in June provides a new opportunity for SCBWN members to advance and uplift the business community, and although she is stepping down from her role she will continue to be involved as a member and immediate past president.

    “Members are invited to consider taking an active role by nominating to join the management committee. The network has developed a firm focus and is in a very strong position to influence the professional and fiscal development of Sunshine Coast businesses.

    “Continuity is as important as creating a fresh perspective and so I look forward to providing my support to the new executive management committee as they take the banner forward into a new era,” Mrs White said.

    As she prepares to release her role, Mrs White thanks all of the network’s members, volunteers, and sponsors for their enduring support.

    “Your influence and investment to support women in business is to be applauded and is certainly appreciated. I look forward to seeing you all again soon,” Mrs White said.

  • 14 Apr 2021 2:08 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    With the 2021 Sunshine Coast Business Women’s Network Awards Program now underway, SCBWN President Roz White acknowledges the 21 years of the awards history, and encourages the business community to nominate and celebrate outstanding business women they know.  

    “The Awards form a large part in delivering on the Sunshine Coast Business Women’s Network’s purpose to empower and celebrate women to achieve in business. Through these awards we recognise and celebrate those excelling, trailblazing, and making a difference in our community and across the globe, and we encourage others to step into their potential,” explained Roz White. 

    The Sunshine Coast Business Women's Network Awards program is noted for its professionalism and recognised as one of the most respected Award events on the Sunshine Coast. Many of the past winners have gone on to become finalists of, and even as far as to win the State and National Telstra Business Awards.

    The Award Categories for 2021 are:

    ●      Outstanding Business Woman of the Year

    ●      Corporate Business Woman of the Year

    ●      Professional Business Woman of the Year

    ●      Young Business Woman of the Year

    ●      Micro/Small Business Woman of the Year

    ●      Sustainable Business Woman of the Year

    Roz White also excitedly shared that the 2021 Awards Judging Chair is Michelle Hamer who has long been a great supporter of the SCBWN with her involvement in the Network starting in 1998. Under the presidency of Celena Ross, the very first Sunshine Coast Business Women’s Awards were created and managed by Michelle in the role of Judging Chair. 

    In March 2000, Michelle became SCBWN President until February 2003, then took on the role as the Awards Judging Chair from 2003 to 2012. In June 2018, Michelle re-joined the SCBWN executive management committee as Secretary, continuing her stalwart support to the Network.  Effective 31st March 2021, Michelle resigned as Secretary of the Network but has returned to the role of Judging Chair to see the 21st SCBWN Awards identify, interview and present the next round of outstanding Sunshine Coast businesswomen. 

    “Michelle has made an outstanding contribution to empower and celebrate women in business and will continue to do so in her role as Awards Judging Chair.  We are thrilled Michelle has been appointed to guide the awards process and maintain the integrity, credibility and prestige of these awards for all past, current and future award recipients,” shared Roz White.  

    “On a personal note, I am deeply grateful for the friendship and support Michelle has afforded me through my term as President.  I value her expertise and knowledge and respect and admire the contribution she has made in so many ways over so many years to empower and celebrate women in business to succeed. Congratulations and well done, Michelle,” added Roz White. 

    Michelle Hamer will be available to answer any questions the award nominees may have regarding the submission and interview process and will assist all nominees and finalists throughout this exciting and rewarding process. She is contactable via email:

    Nominations are now open for the 21st SCBWN Awards via with the closing date being Friday 23rd April 2021. From then, nomination notifications and submission details will be provided to all nominees. The gala presentation night is set for August 2021 with more details to follow.


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