Successful AGM for WiBRD

Women in Business and Regional Development held their Annual General Meeting on Monday 25th October, they were excited to confirm the casual appointments of two board members, Cindy Cross & Brittany Shelton. They both bring a wealth of diversity and knowledge to assist with WiBRD’s vision to champion regional women as leaders and change-makers throughout the Limestone Coast.

The current Board consists of Jacinta Jones, Managing Director of Blue Lake Homes who will continue in her role as Chair, and as a first for WiBRD they were excited to announce the appointment of joint deputy chairs with Harriet Keatley of Nutrien Keatley and Toni Vorenas of Metro Bakery & Café.  Nicole Reschke of Koonara Wines is Treasurer and our other committee members are Cathy Beckman of Salts of the Earth Mt Gambier, Ebony Cunningham of Brite Legal, Danielle England of AgInnovate and Black Island Produce, Cindy Bunt of The Post & Rail & Brittany Shelton of District Council of Grant.

WiBRD also acknowledged Cathy Beckman’s commitment over the last 3 years as Deputy Chair, her support to the organisation is invaluable, they look forward to her continuing in a mentoring role on the Board.

In her chairman’s address, Jacinta Jones, reflected that while the 2020/21 year has certainly had its challenges, we have had many highlights and it is exciting to see the numerous achievements we as a network have achieved.  While the year hasn’t been without its challenges the WiBRD Board has continued to be clear on our purpose of championing regional women as leaders and change makers. We feel the need for organisations such as ourselves is more important than ever. In a climate where connection has become such a precious commodity, we feel that our continued emphasis on support, growth & connection has benefited our community.

She went on to say, “too many women in our community do not see their place at the table, they don’t see the importance they bring, and we want to support changing this mindset. Women in our region are truly inspirational and we will continue to be the voice that supports them in recognising this and encouraging them to grow, lead and connect. Helen Keller said “Alone we can do so little together, together we can do so much!” and this is the backbone of WiBRD”.

As part of the evening WiBRD held a successful round table with their partners, they heard via video from Verity Kingsmill, Interim director Flinders university New Venture Institute. This was followed by another link from Dr Chad Renando, who is working with Flinders university New Venture Institute, he shared some of the preliminary findings from the mapping of the innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem.

Kylie Boston, Executive Officer, then read a short message from Jason Seidel, Partner at Galpins who says the region has plenty to offer and would like to see diversification to other sectors such as health, education, to grow our population, this will also help bring diversity to the local culture and adds a vibrancy that we go to Adelaide or Melbourne to experience.

It was a privilege for WiBRD to then welcome Ian Mackay from UniSA to provide his thoughts on working within our community, and UniSA plans for the region, it is exciting for everyone in the Limestone Coast. He highlighted the importance of supporting our local businesses including the UniSA that are based in the region.

The evening concluded with groups discussing the future and what their partners would like WiBRD do and where they see the future direction of the organisation.  Along with announcing that WiBRD are going out to tender for their Major Partnership, this will close on the 6th December.

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