Kelly is the President of the Hastings Business Women’s Network, which since 1999 has been supporting & promoting the achievements of its members. Kelly shares details about the exciting year ahead for HBWN, its enthusiastic committee and membership.
I’m sure many people will find your face familiar. Have you been involved with the community in a number of different roles?
I took on the role of President of the Hastings Business Women’s Network last year and have been involved with a number of community committees and events, but most people recognise me from my days as Bank Manager at Westpac here in Port Macquarie.
Can you give us an insight into what the HBWN is all about?
The HBWN is an organisation of more than 150 local women who come together to exchange ideas, information and inspiration, while striving for business success.
The Network was founded in 1999 and has a proud history of encouraging, empowering and educating women in business in Port Macquarie and surrounding regions.
The HBWN’s regular activities, such as networking events and professional development courses, provide a real sense of belonging to our warm and welcoming business community.
We also see our role as supporting and promoting the achievements of our skilled and talented members, and thereby raising awareness of the contribution of business women to the local economy and community.
The HBWN has a bold new look. What prompted the rebranding?
The HBWN started life 13 years ago and has had the same logo ever since.
A lot has changed in that time, and we wanted a new symbol that would reflect the level of professionalism of our members, have wide appeal and take us into the future.
What is the significance of the poppy flower for the Network?
The HBWN is all about growing tall poppies.
The red poppy flower has been the recognisable symbol of the HBWN since its inception, so we wanted to retain that.
We believe it is the right of every business woman to hold her head high and, like the tall poppy, stand out from the crowd.
The Network has a big year ahead. Tell us what’s on the radar for the HBWN in 2012?
Our recently launched Calendar of Events features 22 different functions throughout the year – that’s almost two a month!
The HBWN is shaking up its networking events this year. We kicked things off with an upbeat cocktail event at Mykonos Tavern and will continue varying the times and venues of our functions, to ensure as many people as possible can come along and join the fun.
We’ll also be running a series of personal and professional development courses, which will tap into the extensive knowledge base of our membership to benefit everyone.
What other changes are in the wind?
We’ve been looking at clever ways for our members to get the most out of the Network, engage with each other and leverage exciting new opportunities to promote their businesses.
The HBWN is also aiming to resurrect its annual awards program, which recognises some of the region’s leading ladies and highlights their success stories.
While there are a lot of exciting changes, some things will stay the same – such as our commitment to inspiring members to achieve their goals, providing a sense of belonging and remaining relevant to the needs of our Network and the community.
Does the HBWN have a new look in the online world as well?
We’ve just launched our sleek new website www.hbwn.com.au, which now provides a range of interactive options for members to refer business and provide exclusive offers.
Our Facebook page is also live, and members are already enjoying the ability to share photos, swap business ideas and stay connected with each other.
How did the new look and new focus come together?
It simply wouldn’t have come together without the amazing support of a number of members, who generously donated their time and services.
Special thanks to all our official Committee members, who put in a great deal of work, as well as Caron and Tracy at Snap Printing, Zoe Pogonowski at XYZ Support, Kylie Biltris at Childish Photography, Linda McCully at Social Sense and Public Relations Consultant, Michelle Newman.
With International Women’s Day just around the corner, what does the HBWN have planned?
We will be celebrating International Women’s Day with a fundraising cocktail event for the Hastings Women and Children’s Refuge on 8 March 2012 at the Glasshouse. The evening will feature inspiring stories of local women who have made a lasting impression on our community.
Making a meaningful contribution to local services and celebrating our local heroines are some of the HBWN’s core values.
How can people find out more about getting involved in the Network in 2012?
The HBWN always welcomes new members, and I’m sure that anyone interested would find, as I have, that being a member is rewarding and enjoyable, both personally and professionally.