Taking a leap – The Exchange

Guests were encouraged to make the most of the extra day in the 2024 calendar, when they gathered at The Press Tamworth on Thursday 29 February for The Exchange.

The Exchange is a free event for women at different stages of their career and business, and from across industries, to meet to exchange ideas and be inspired to take the next step in their career, business or community.

What better time to make plans for the year ahead, than with extra time at the beginning of a new calendar year.

Following lunch, CBM Industries CEO Maree Richards inspired the audience by sharing her experience in building a facilities management business that services properties across Australia and New Zealand from Peel Street.

Maree introduced her story as “A tale of resilience, passion and a profound belief that our role transcends merely delivering products and services, it’s about a team that delivers excellence”.

Maree also shared that the leap into entrepreneurship is undeniable daunting. Maree’s parents were business owners for 25 years and instilled in Maree the importance of customer service. Maree described her path as “leadership and learning from every experience”.

Adele Mazoudier, Isabella Spencer and Maree Richards

Similar sentiments of passion for excellence were shared by panellists, Isabella Spencer of Barraba and Adele Mazoudier of Tamworth.

Adele has enjoyed a long career dedicated to education in New South Wales. Adele shared the background to the formation of the Tamworth University Reference group and shared the benefit – when a group of individuals with a shared vision, come together and lead an initiative for the benefit of the wider community.

Isabella has leapt from a successful career in wholesale fashion and designing under her own label in Sydney (the career she always dreamed of) to a leap in contributing to transformations in her family’s agricultural enterprise, specifically diversification and drought proofing for the future. Time to consider these opportunities over the last few months has strengthened Isabella’s resolve to continue in the new direction after “falling into” the role.

At the conclusion of the formal discussion, panel host HealthWISE executive manager of strategy Sally Urquhart asked the room, what they needed, or who they needed to speak to in the region to make their next leap. Guests were also prompted to commit to paper their plan for the year. In the weeks following the event, these plans were returned to guests to reignite their enthusiasm to take a leap.

Over 500 rural and regional women have attended Exchange events in Queensland and New South Wales in recent years. Participants have revealed what barriers they have identified that prevent them ‘Taking a leap’. HealthWISE have developed a practical tool that can be used to take steps to addressing these personal barriers and take steps in leadership and personal development.

This tool is a free resource thanks to support from the Department of The Prime Minister and Cabinet’s Office for Women. To assist more regional women to reach their career, business and leadership goals the resource is also available to download from the link below, or scan to qr code to access.

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