Gippsland News & Events

  • 30 Mar 2018 11:36 AM | Margaret Ornsby (Administrator)

    SBWN is proud to have sponsored Lizzie Harms, a Year 11 student at Leongatha Secondary College, for her empowering women event in March.

    The event was the result of a school project aimed at helping women and girls take their power back, realise tiny ways in which we give away our power, and challenged our thinking about "normal" behaviour.

    Lizzie told her personal story of why this simple school project had become bigger than herself, after being targeted at school. She featured Clementine Ford, a well known feminist thinker and columnist as her guest speaker.

    Clementine's talk demonstrated a wide variety of hate mail and online abuse. She dealt with the serious topic with humour, giving the audience actionable tips and strategies along the way.

    Lizzie also provided the audience with a range of resources for young women in difficult situations. While we cannot list them all here, we are pleased to provide links to the online resources:

    more about the event here: and

  • 27 Feb 2018 6:42 PM | Margaret Ornsby (Administrator)

    International Women's Day is celebrated on Thursday, the 8th of March.  Its a day to support, inspire and celebrate women in business, in whatever form their business takes. It is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. 

    There are a few breakfasts in the region:

    Bass Coast

    Where: The Cape Kitchen

    When: Thursday, 8 March 2018

    Time: 9.30am for 9.00am start

    Cost: $30

    For bookings, please contact The Cape Kitchen on (03) 5956 7200 - places are limited.

    more information

    Women in Gippsland

    EVENT// Making Big and Little Things Happen 

    Thursday, March 8 at 9:30 AM - 11:30 AM

    Tickets are $16.80 (including morning tea).

    Her Place - Women's Museum Australia

    Melbourne Museum has invited Her Place to participate in its week-long program to celebrate International Women’s Day. The Museum is focusing on Indigenous women for IWD 2018, so we are delighted to take this opportunity to celebrate three remarkable Indigenous women who have participated in our touring exhibitions: 

    1. Aunty Fay Carter, 
    2. Alma Thorpe and 
    3. Paola Balla. 

    From Mon 5 – Fri 9 March, their filmed interviews will be presented in the prominent area in front of the Forest Gallery at Melbourne Museum. 

    On International Women’s Day, Thursday 8 March, at 10 am, all are welcome to attend a floor talk at this site about Her Place and the women featured (standard museum entry fees apply). 

    If you have an event for IWD, let us know and we'll add it to the list!

    155 Burnt Store Road, Lardner, Victoria, Australia 3820

  • 21 Feb 2018 3:34 PM | Margaret Ornsby (Administrator)

    Dear Dana and the Southern Business Womens Network,

    On behalf of the South Coast Youth Clinic Partnership and the young people of Bass Coast and South Gippsland we would like to thank you for your kindness and generous donations to our Youth Clinics.

    The funds raised of $189.15 has been used to purchase further sanitary and hygiene items for our young people

    Many thanks again…..

    Kind regards,

    Kris Cousins
    Communications & Project Officer
    South Coast Primary Care Partnership

  • 12 Feb 2018 11:09 AM | Margaret Ornsby (Administrator)

    click to downloadRecently Victorian Small Business Commission have produced a fact sheet for small businesses to understand how they can access tools and resources to reduce their energy costs. This information includes comparing energy bills, accessing energy assessment grants, accessing discounts on energy efficient products and how to access services for complaints against energy providers. 

    Keeping overheads down is an important part of running a small business, and with the recent increase in energy prices, it is important to reduce energy costs where possible.

  • 12 Sep 2017 4:59 PM | Margaret Ornsby (Administrator)

    SBWN's community initiative for 2016/2017 has been a roaring success.

    This year SBWN has changed the community "give back" initiative. Instead of individual scholarships awarded to young women in the community, we embraced an opportunity to reach hundreds of young women and men around the region.

    We sponsored Rebecca Slavin, 2016 Bass Coast Young Citizen of the Year, to speak to secondary schools around the Gippsland region. The schools selected one or more year levels, ranging from year 9 to year 12, to attend her brutally raw and honest account of her recovery from Ice addiction.

    Her message hit home with many students, and Deanne Staley received many messages of thanks from both students and parents.

    The feedback was all positive, and it has been an honour to have helped Rebecca touch so many young lives. If we have helped save just one family from the heartache and heartbreak of Ice, we have succeeded.

    Schools Rebecca has shared her story with included:

    • Newhaven College, Phillip Island
    • Mary MacKillop Catholic Regional College, Leongatha
    • Korumburra Secondary College, Korumburra
    • Wonthaggi Secondary College, Wonthaggi
    • Mirboo North Secondary College
    • Foster Secondary College

    Rebecca at Wonthaggi Secondary College with a handful of students

    Rebecca with students from Korumburra Secondary College

    In the Press

    Extract from "The Mirror" after the Foster Secondary College talk:

    Ice talk made an impact

    Rebecca Slavin ( Bass Coast Young Citizen of the year 2016 ) visited the college last Wednesday to discuss her experiences with drugs and alcohol. Year 10 and Year 11 students were captivated by her story.

    Rebecca grew up locally and came from a close and loving family but at the age of fourteen began to experiment with alcohol. At the age of seventeen she had her first hit of the drug Ice, and it was not long before she descended into the hell of severe addiction. Rebecca was totally honest about how she lied, stole and manipulated in order to feed her need for the drug. Not only did it affect her relationships with her friends and family, but she also became a victim of domestic violence.

    Associating with other Ice users resulted in Rebecca frequently being beaten. At one stage she was kidnapped and at another had a gun held to her head. She was frequently hospitalised and her heart stopped for a short time - she had experienced death. However, the drug held such a fierce grip on her she went straight back onto it.

    As confronting as her story was, the important theme was the message of hope. Rebecca eventually attended over a year of rehabilitation and managed to fight her demons, re-learning the interpersonal skills most people take for granted and regaining a stronger sense of her own values and morality.

    Most impressive was the courage Rebecca showed in being able to share her experiences, including answering questions with candour that to others may have been invasive. The college would like to thank Deanne Staley and the Southern Women's Business Network for sponsoring this event. Thank-you to Rebecca for reaching out to our young students and teaching them that no matter what the situation, help is always available.

    Bronwyn Clifton
    Student Wellbeing Leader
    Foster Secondary College

    Pictured from left to right: Joshua Standfield, Deanne Staley, Bronwyn Clifton, Rebecca Slavin, Amy Tudor

    Other articles in the press:

    Read more about Rebecca Slavin here:

  • 27 Jun 2016 2:19 PM | Anonymous

    As a follow up to our June event on the subject of Superannuation with the amazing Natasha Williams of VicSuper - please find attached in PDF form, some useful tips to get you headed in the right direction...

    Boost your Super.pdf

    Source: The New Daily

  • 24 Feb 2016 8:01 PM | Anonymous

    SBWN ‘A day of Inspiration’ Grow, Educate, Connect

    The Southern Business Woman’s Network are proud to present a ‘Day of Inspiration’ where people have the opportunity to grow personally and professionally, be educated by some amazing speakers and connect with others from a broad range of industries, businesses and backgrounds.

    This initiative was born from the current committee's very first order of business: our ‘Strategic Plan’. SBWN's Mission Statement was also reviewed, we introduced a new ‘Vision Statement’ and set some great goals for the year. One of which was to develop a ‘seminar’ to bring some celebrated keynote speaker’s to our region.

    The name of our event, A Day of Inspiration, was coined during a working group brainstorming session along with the tagline Grow, Educate and Connect

    The event is set to attract some 150 to 200 male and female business owners and directors, plus a number of high level executives from the private and public sectors in South & West Gippsland and Bass Coast, as well as mums and dads, small business owners and everyone looking to uplift themselves, to grow, educate and connect with like minded people.

    Attendees will have access to four brilliant and powerful international keynote speakers, the likes of which we don’t have usually have access to in our region; this is a rare opportunity not to be missed. 

    Parictipants will come away feeling empowered, inspired and personally uplifted. The probability of these 4 speakers coming together again at any one time is highly unlikely.

    • Peter Thurin of ‘Black belt in Excellence’
    • Susan Barrett of ‘Everybody lives by selling something
    • Sadhana Smiles of ‘ CEO of Harcourt’s Victoria’ (Telstra Business Women of the Year – Vic 2013)
    • Chris Helder ‘Certified practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming specialising in advanced communication and behavioural modelling’

      ‘A Day of Inspiration will be held at the beautiful Leongatha Town Hall on the 9th April 2016. It's an all day event commencing at 8.30 am. This amazing day will certainly put our spectacular region on the map. 

      Catering is by Bret Sinclair, delicious foodie taste sensations are promised.

      We will be engaging sponsors for this event, so if you are interested, please contact Gillian Mertens or Julie Blackman on 5678 3388. 

      Our committee are extremely excited and proud to be associated with our network and in a position to present this special day, join in the celebrations and most of all get connected!

      We hope you will join us.

      We don't do these events every year, make sure you book your place now!

      Proudly supported by:

    • 20 Jan 2015 2:11 PM | Anonymous
      Thank you to Jane Benston for her fabulous presentation on Women in Leadership last month.

      Jane recommended several books during her talk and we promised to post the reading list for our members here:


      1. Stop Playing Safe – Margie Warrell 
      2. The 5 Levels of leadership – John Maxwell
      3. Developing the leader within You – John Maxwell 
      4. Thrive – Arianna Huffington 
      5. The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team - Patrick Lencioni 
      6. The 7 Habits of highly effective people – Stephen Covey 

        For Interested SBWN Members - Jane runs regular workshops in Melbourne, her February event is the 1 day Small Group Workshop for Women in Leadership

        In this Exclusive 1 day Small Group Workshop for women in Leadership, you will:

        • Clarify the unique gifts, talents and passions you bring to your role as a leader and learn how best to capitalise on these to get the recognition you deserve
        • Discover how to enhance your confidence, build your authentic leadership presence and develop a new level of results that has you being seen, heard and valued
        • Identify your true value and discover how to step fully into your identity as a leader
        • Overcome the roadblocks and barriers standing in your way as you navigate the complex corporate maze towards more success, enjoyment and fulfilment
        • PLUS we’ll dive into your specific career aspirations and help you to map out the next crucial steps to ensure momentum well into 2015
      1. 27 Oct 2014 5:39 PM | Anonymous

        Building confidence in public speaking is the ultimate stretch. Following on from her inspiring presentation earlier this month Jennifer Burrows is facilitating a 1 day highly experiential workshop essential for presenting and persuading with confidence, credibility and impact.

        • Detailed audience analysis to ensure what we say is as relevant and motivating as possible.
        • Defining our single, most important audience take out AKA asking for the business
        • Identification of Key Messages.
        • Fundamental structure of the presentation. 
        • Opening with confidence and Closing with conviction
        • Emphasising, adding impact and making memorable your Key Messages.
        • Establishing and maintaining your presence, credibility and authority in front of your audience.
        • Engaging and building rapport so that the audience wants to listen and ultimately have a relationship with you.
        • Exploring a range of presentation delivery tools and techniques to interact with and engage the audience including answering questions with confidence, using case studies, stories and anecdotes, involving the audience plus voice modulation, movement, pausing etc.
        You’ll also receive a workbook containing all the planning templates, linking language and steps to planning all your future presentations.

        This is a fun practical workshop involving on your feet exercises so you can maximize your ability as a presenter and public speaker in a safe, non-threatening environment. Plus Jen will step you through the 5 Minute Phobia Cure so you can kick your nerves to the kerb for good.

        Cost $197 pp Tickets for PERFECT YOUR PITCH AND GET PITCH PERFECT - or you can email Jen direct at

      2. 08 Jul 2014 10:12 AM | Anonymous

        Dear Ladies,

        We are so thrilled to update you that plans for our AGM and New Committee are coming along very positively.

        Our wonderful Secretary, Jess McAuliffe, is stepping down after serving two years on our Committee and so is our Treasurer, Joanne Denbrok. Both have done a great job supporting the committee and we give them our heartfelt thanks. We are still seeking expressions of interest for both of these positions. If you love what SBWN does and would like to contribute - we'd love to have you. No prior committee experience is necessary as you will be joining a very experienced and supportive team.

        I have decided to step down from the President's role as my availability is going to be more limited from now on but I am staying on as a general committee member to ensure a smooth transition for our new President.


        We are delighted that Megan Vuillermin of Your Small Business Mentor ( has nominated to be our President.

        Plus the following Nominations have also come in :
        • Gill Hardman - Vice President
        • Gill Mertens - re-nominating for Publicity
        • Patricia Hanrahan - re-nominating for Events
        • Kahren Richardson - re-nominating for Webmaster
        • Sharon Patullo - re-nominating for Membership Secretary
        • Margaret Denbrok - General Committee Member
        • Libby Thompson - General Committee Member
        • Deanne Stanley - General Committee Member

        We are only awaiting nominations for Secretary and Treasurer – so if you wish to nominate yourself, or you can think of someone that may be interested in nominating and joining a fabulous committee, please do let us know.

        From your President, Libby Thompson

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