Meet Some of Our Leadership Team

President - Dana Hughes

Being part of the Southern Business Women’s Network is a wonderful way to extend and expand as an individual and as a business through connecting with such a variety of women from so many different businesses.

My day job is a people development specialist where I work with companies to grow their most important asset – their people. I do this through training programs, culture assessments and coaching.

As President of the network I chair meetings, represent the Network at events, assist with sourcing guest speakers and working behind the scene to make sure events happen.

Vice President - Karen Raabe

Since joining the SBWN and putting my hand up for the Vice-President position in 2018, I've been in awe of the diversity of business expertise and life experience across our membership and committee. Organising and promoting a monthly event calendar with an annual Gala Dinner and a few professional development workshops thrown into the mix is no small feat. My role involves supporting the President and helping out behind the scenes and at our events.

For a living, I work with government, corporate and not-for-profit organisations providing them with strategic communications, public relations, stakeholder and community engagement advice. I've worked across a range of sectors including arts, tourism, health, major infrastructure projects, natural resource management, and most recently with a regional Traditional Owner corporation. I also run a beef farm in Loch, with my partner David and a little help from Jessie, our black and tan Kelpie.

Secretary - Chelsie Taylorchelsie taylor

Chelsea Taylor is a multi-passionate business woman, Expense Management Specialist, Consultant and Coach, with over 20 years’ experience in the Payments industry. Chelsea has held positions and major contacts with Visa, NAB, Bank of New Zealand and Westpac and worked with hundreds of corporate clients and dozens of banks across the Asia-Pacific region. Proving that a remote location is no barrier to career success, during the last decade, Chelsea successfully managed Visa’s two key expense management platform migrations for the Australian and New Zealand market whilst working from her home office in Walkerville, South Gippsland.

Chelsea is passionate about healthy living and has a sideline business teaching the benefits of probiotic nutrition, having recently released her “Fabulous Fermentation video series, which teaches how to make probiotic foods the safe and easy way. Chelsea also enjoys writing original poetry and has authored a poetry e-book and audio collection, written in accessible language to encourage and inspire, available from

Chelsea is a dedicated mother to two children and has recently returned from an around-Australia caravan adventure with her family.

  • Bachelor of Business (Marketing) Graduated with Distinction
  • Body Ecology Health Coach Certification
  • ICF Certified Life Coaching Certification

Treasurer - Jessica BellJessica Bell

Jessica began her role as treasurer of the SBWN in 2018 after attending many dinners and events over the last seven years. She is proud to be part of such a dynamic, diverse, intelligent and driven group of local women.

Jess’ day job is as a small business owner at “Elders Financial Planning – South Gippsland” where she specialises in providing advice to families and business owners in the area of life insurance and income protection cover.

In between this Jess is also a busy wife and mother to three young children and one friendly Golden Retriever. She is also attempting to learn how to stand up paddle board in her spare time.

Publicity Officer - Carol Christensen

For over 18 months I have been attending SBWN events and hope totally enjoyed meeting a varied group of women in business.

My day job is with The South Gippsland Sentinel Times, working both in Production of the paper and advertising sales, with a previous history of graphic design.

My aim to help promote SBWN and its members to as many women in business across Bass Coast and South Gippsland. I love meeting new people of finding out their stories.

Aside from work I love nothing more than walking my schnauzer each night to the beach or getting out and enjoying our wonderful local area.

Membership Secretary - Sharon ExtonSharon Exton

Hi my name is Sharon,

I have recently moved back to the region after my "city stint" (five years) where I was Senior Executive at a large Not For Profit Organisation. With a background in Education, Government and Community Development, I have branched out with two amazing business partners to develop OMAR, a Client Information Management System for the NDIS and new Quality and Safeguards Commission. I am also providing Support Coordination services to people living with a disability as an NDIS provider.

I joined the SBWN in search of connection, inspiration and ongoing learning. I am so excited to join Dana and the team this year. I look forward to meeting and connecting with other members of SBWN.

Digital Media - Margaret Ornsby

I have spent the latter part of my career delving into the depths of the Internet, gaining experience in areas such as Google My Business, Websites & SEO, and Social Media - particularly how they relate to promoting local businesses. 

While helping local businesses get found online is my "day job", I also volunteer in a couple of areas. One with SBWN, helping keep the website up and running. The other main service is as a Top Contributor for the Google My Business forums. There I help hundreds of business owners from around the world with problems with their online presence. 

After hours I'm incredibly busy with two young men, a cockatiel & budgie, 6 chickens, 3 guinea pigs, 6 sheep, and a stupidly happy dog. My interests include "food as medicine" (healthy food & healthy gut), human consciousness, and Pokemon Go (is that tragic?)

General Committee - Sue CarmodySue Carmody

I joined the SBWN several years ago after moving to the South Gippsland region from Canada where I lived for nearly 2 decades. I was looking to restart my photography business and connect with other women in the community and in business.

I now work as a freelance photographer and film maker for small – medium size businesses, the education sector and Not For Profit organisations. Being part of the SBWN has grown my network of friends and business connections which in turn has helped me to settle in to the wonderful region. I joined the committee to give back to the supportive environment I find we have here and look forward to getting to know more members as I become more involved.

catherine eldridge

General Committee - Catherine Eldridge

I used to lead a more exciting life in far off and exotic places but am now living graciously and having a nice time in hippy-hip-shake Wonthaggi, running my own bookkeeping business from home, keeping bees, knitting socks and growing vegetables.

I first joined the SBWN five years ago and have been a fairly regular attendee at the monthly dinners. Having met lots of interesting women, heard dozens of good speakers on a range of topics, and been very impressed by the committee’s hard work over that time, I put up my hand at the last AGM and volunteered to help.

The Southern Business Women's Network acknowledges the traditional Aboriginal owners of land on which we meet and pays respect to them, their culture and their Elders past, present and future.

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