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Elevate and celebrate…

Tamieka Preston, Donna Vanzetti and Carol Redford

It’s easy to forget the size of the Wheatbelt when you hover on the western fringe as we do here in the Northern Valleys. Heading to York last Friday to join the Wheatbelt Business Network’s ‘Elevate and Celebrate’ Women’s luncheon was a healthy reminder of the depth and diversity in business and innovation happening in the greater region, and I was inspired to learn about the amazing achievements of so many regional women, operating in so many different fields, as I joined the 50-strong group for a delicious lunch prepared by Gather York.

You’ve probably already heard the name Caroline Robinson, the founder and former CEO of WBN has a rather impressive resume, including being awarded the Agrifutures National and WA Rural Woman of the Year in 2011 and Narembeen Citizen of the Year in 2018. Now a director and company secretary WA of SEGRA, a not-for profit public company whose objective is to advance rural, remote and regional Australia, Caroline also runs her own consulting business 150 Squared, and she set the theme of juggling farm life, children, passions and business pursuits which continued through the afternoon, by sharing some the proudest moments of her career so far.

Managing Director of ProcessWorx, a human resource consulting agency, Danielle McNamee was also a speaker, alerting business owners to recent changes to employment and safety laws particularly in relation to farms and rural businesses. Her company’s soon-to-be released app which assists small to medium enterprises with workplace safety and compliance with HR and WHS laws is work checking out you own a business with employees. Visit their website: https://processworx.com.au/

The Shire of York’s new Tourism and Economic Development co-ordinator Rebecca Atkinson also took to the podium to introduce herself to the many York and Northam local business owners in the room and share her enthusiasm about her new role. Rebecca had emotions flowing as she asked all the women in the room to genuinely celebrate their personal successes as she shared her own – and reminded us how important it is to also celebrate and elevate the successful women around us.

TV and Film producer Bec Bignell, whose TV series Homespun has just been picked up by steaming channel Stan, travelled all the way from Kojonup with her two small children on board to round out the speaking talent with a creative voice. Bec runs film production business Cockatoo Co.Lab which focuses on telling authentic regional stories.

She candidly shared her struggles to handle her role as a mother with continuing to develop her creative work and stay in touch with the fast-moving film industry while based in a regional town in WA. Her passionately told stories had us all heading to Stan to download Homespun, Googling the comedy 600 Bottles of Wine, as well as following her podcast You moved where?? on Apple.

Many thanks to WBN for bringing together such an inspiring line up to help us Celebrate and Elevate the achievements of so many clever and creative women.