Southern Business Women's Network

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Meet your committee

Learn a little about us and why we got involved in the SBWN ... maybe you'll be inspired to join the committee one day!

President - Christie Nelson

I am a busy Mum of two children and four step-children, work full time as a Licensed Real Estate Agent with Alex Scott & Staff and have a professional social networking business in the health and wellness industry. I have also been a regular contributor to the Gippsland Lifestyle Magazine for the last few years so it's very safe to say that life is very full but this also means that so is my cup. I have been a member of the Southern Business Women’s Network for over four years and I’m honoured to return as President for a second term and be able to represent such a beautiful and resilient community. I am looking forward to networking with the abundant number of talented business women we have in our area. I wish to extend my thanks to our committee and members for their continued support and welcome any new members and would love nothing more than to help them showcase their talents and skills amongst like-minded people.

Vice President - Nicole Thackray

I love connecting with all the amazing women in the Southern Business Women's Network.  

I am thrilled to have the continued opportunity to support and contribute operationally to SBWN as the Vice President and excited about what our passionate and diverse committee members will create together - with the added benefit of getting me out of my comfort zone!

I have a broad Financial and Operational management background.  Life has presented me with some wonderful opportunities over the last few years that has led to a life I LOVE... from my business (project management and system solutions) to my passion (Ishayas' Ascension) and of course living in beautiful Inverloch. 

Treasurer - Jane Coots

I have worked in South Gippsland for the past 5 years and see SBWN as a great way to meet other women in the business community. I ran a dairy farm business with my husband for 15 years whilst completing my CPA qualifications, and now work as a Finance Manager.

Secretary - Courtney Hill

Within an hour of meeting Courtney, she has probably invited you over for Wine. And Cheese. And more Wine.

After surviving 2 decades of property management in Metro Melbourne, she met her now husband (a Leongatha boy) whilst hosting an open for inspection.

She is the accidental co-founder of a small Leongatha vineyard, Tilson Hill (all the drinking, none of the pruning) which has since won quite a few awards, including best Pinot in Gippsland.

Courtney also owns a software support business and partners with the global prop-tech legends from InspectRealEstate, and in 2021 founded The Listing Collective, a business coaching & consulting company.

Making the move to Leongatha in 2020, she lives with her husband, 3 young boys, 4 chickens & an alarming number of wild rabbits – you will usually find Courtney quite happily re-watching the 2021 AFL grand final with a glass of Tilson Hill Chardy in hand.

    Publicity - Penni Elliot

    Another new committee member for 2022 is Penni Ellicott who takes up the position of Publicity officer. Penni grew up in Fish Creek and moved back to South Gippsland in 2003 after living many years throughout Australia. She now resides in Leongatha and works at South Gippsland Shire Council as the Coordinator Major Projects and Grants. Penni is extremely excited to join the SWBN committee and looks forward to connecting with the inspiring women across South Gippsland / Bass Coast and encourage new members to the network. Outside of her professional career, Penni is passionate about nature and you’ll find her hiking or hitting a rail trail in her spare time.

    Events - Denise (Dee) Renny

    In 2015, I moved to South Gippsland with my partner to grow our new business and start a family, after spending the better part of 15 years working in the aviation industry. I worked in a number of different commercial areas, including product development, marketing and ancillary revenue, developing product offers to passengers that would generate other income streams.

    Having spent most of my adult life living in Melbourne and regularly travelling for my work, moving to a part of the world that I had spent little time in felt both exciting and challenging.

    In March 2022, our business celebrates 7 years and, in some ways we feel like we’re just starting out. The days of being ‘Senior Management’ of anything are gone. Now I am business owner, nurserywoman and mother. I now call South Gippsland my home and I am well and truly in-love with everything that the environment and the community has offered me and, the joy it has allowed me to create for myself and my family.

    I’m thrilled to serve the business women of South Gippsland on the SBWN Committee. I feel like I have gained so much in the short time I have been here and, I’m really excited about contributing back to the community in a meaningful and connected way."

    Digital - Robyn Eva

    My name is Robyn Eva and have lived in Leongatha for over 20 years although my husband and I spent 7 years working in China. I've created my business, 4evatraining, delivering coaching, mentoring and training to leaders, educators and parents on emotional intelligence. EQ is a learnable, measurable skill that will help you create better relationships and make better work and life choices. Prior to moving I was a member of SBWN and am happy to rejoin to engage with the amazing women in Gippsland.

    General - Ashleigh Fleming

    My name is Ashleigh Fleming and I moved to Leongatha about 6 months ago to be with my partner. I grew up in Nar Nar Goon, so in a way I am getting back to my country roots. Over the past 15 years I have been working in the field of Organisational Psychology, where I have supported workplaces from a range of industries to improve mental health, productivity, and learning outcomes. People I work with would describe me as an 'out of the box' thinker, as I love to explore different ideas to achieve an outcome. Having a passion and skill for designing workshops, I have a depth of ideas and activities that might be useful for network events. I would love the opportunity to help support the committee to achieve their vision for 2022, build on the great work that has been done already, and increase a diverse membership base... and of course to have a laugh and some fun along the way.

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    Southern Business Women's Network Inc.

    Registration number: A0037531D

    All rights Reserved

    The Southern Business Women’s Network acknowledges the Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the first inhabitants of the nation and the Traditional Custodians of the lands where we live, learn and work.
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