Regional women in business from throughout the state gathered in Victor Harbor on Friday, December 6, for the inaugural Women in Business Regional Network Christmas dinner.
More than 90 people were in attendance with women travelling from as far away as Port Germein, Port Pirie, Gladstone and Mannum to be part of the celebration.
The women were sympathetic to the Minister for Human Services and the Status of Women Michelle Lensink, who was unable to attend due to the heavy workload and many late night and early morning sittings of the Upper House this month. Delivering an address at short notice was the Member for Finniss David Basham.
A moving highlight was local Ngarrindjeri elder Leonie McCallum's rendition of Amazing Grace, accompanied by spontaneous singing from the crowd when it came to the English part, and also her first public performance of Silent Night in language.
The audience was captivated by the Q&A session involving four successful regional women in business Kelly Baker-Jamieson of Edible Blooms, Cindy Westphalen from Cindy's Classic Gourmet, Moira Were AM from Chooks SA and Melissa Ardern from Venyu.com.au who were very open in sharing the challenges and lessons of their business experiences.
A monster raffle comprising 19 prizes totalling $1600 from network members raised more than $1200 to be donated to the Royal Flying Doctor Service.
Network founder Carolyn Jeffrey said the event was energising and set the scene for an exciting 2020 for not only the network, but also women in business in regional areas throughout the state who left talking about their plans for the new year.
"An emphasis on the night was to encourage the women to find connections and collaboration opportunities, particularly from those outside their chapter and I believe that was achieved in spades," Carolyn said.
The network is now in recess until the end of January when events will recommence with a dinner at McLaren Vale on Tuesday, January 28, and a lunch at Victor Harbor on January 29.