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Success is not determined by gender, rather by hard work and commitment

08/03/2021

Today is all about celebrating what women can achieve as we mark International Women’s Day. 

Three incredibly talented, courageous and successful local women entrepreneurs took centre stage in Georges River on International Women’s Day. 

Sarah Cummings, Principal at Sarah Cummings Consulting and Co-Founder of Teach Ted early education story series, Philippa Aslanis, Executive Director at Intimo lifestyle brand and Katherine Blizard, local café owner turned Business Consultant, shared their personal stories in developing intriguing business ideas and building successful business models whilst managing family life in our beautiful and supportive local community.  

140 representatives from the local peak business bodies and government sector gathered in Hurstville to explore insights on how Georges River’s healthy business ecosystem could help successful startups grow and discover how to tap into bigger markets.  

What is even more remarkable is that nearly $3,000 worth of ticket sales will be donated to the first and only women’s crisis accommodation centre in the Georges River area. The accommodation crisis centre is a place where vulnerable women can find support and feel safe. 

Georges River Council’s General Manager Ms Gail Connolly said that it is an extremely proud day for us to showcase our local women’s success. 

“I come from a family where my mother in the 1950’s was told that she could not continue with her study at year nine. When she asked her father why she could not study like her brother, she was told that it was because she was a woman, she was set to look for a job until such time she can marry. 

“From that point onwards, my mother was determined that her own daughters would have equal opportunity to access higher education and could become who they wanted to be when they grew up. 

“There are women in Georges River, Sydney, even around the world who share similar experiences to mine, who are determined to build their own career and business; and through the strengths of their own attitude, they are who they are today. 

“Georges River is a place for women to thrive. 

“Our Local Government Area is home to more than 16,000 businesses, providing approximately 55,000 local jobs, of which 37% also live in Georges River and 54.1% are female. 

“Women make up more than 40% of the Council’s workforce, occupying 65% of the Executive and Management positions. 
 
“Today, I am extremely proud that we can mark this year’s theme for International Women’s Day #ChoosetoChallenge because we can showcase our local women’s success. 

International Women’s Day 2021 provides Sydney’s women in business a day to reflect, influence and inspire their careers while balancing many aspects of their lives. Georges River supports that balance by offering government support, close-knit community bonds and a vibrant economic ecosystem. 

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian delivered a virtual address at this breakfast, Mr Mark Coure MP and Georges River Mayor Kevin Greene also attended the breakfast. 

For more information on Georges River Council, please visit www.georgesriver.nsw.gov.au or call 9330 6400. 

Panel included:
 
  • Sarah Cummings, Principal at Sarah Cummings Consulting and Co-Founder of Teach Ted early education story series.
 
Sarah juggles many balls, including her busy consultancy service, Sarah Cummings Consulting, as well as cofounding start-up business Teach Ted. This important childhood educational project is designed to build confidence and encourage emotional expression in sick children during admission to hospital and while receiving various medical procedures. Through storytelling, parents and children are empowered to share their feelings using the voice of the character ‘Ted’ as they undergo medical treatments.
 
This successful initiative is now used by several peak medical institutions including Westmead Hospital and the Royal Flying Doctors Service and has resulted the reduction in time spent taking blood tests in sick children by half.
 
“Our goal is to have Ted’s story on every single Royal Flying Doctor’s planes and clinics throughout the nation.”
 
  • Philippa Aslanis, Executive Director at Intimo lifestyle brand
 
Philippa left the corporate world to indulge herself in what she called a side hustle with Intimo lifestyle brand. Philippa managed to turn her side hustle into a multi-million-dollar business.
 
“I worked in both local government and corporate worlds, but it is Intimo’s values and the sense of women’s community that really resonates with me.
 
  • I am extremely grateful every day to those women who believed in me and my business vision.
 
“Twenty-two years later, it is still going strong and continues to grow. My passion is to empower and inspire women to look and feel their best 24/7 from inside out.”
 
  • Katherine Blizard established and built a highly profitable café and bookstore from scratch, then turned her focus to help other small business owners succeed. As a business advisor, Katherine shares her knowledge and experience with other small businesses and aspiring café owners all over Sydney.
 
“I am very purpose driven. I listen to customers and use my intuition to create a product and service that makes them want to keep coming back. I treat everyone with care and familiarity, looking after their needs and knowing every customer by name.
 
“It took time to build business confidence on targeting the market, but I learnt important lessons from the errors I made along the way.
 
“I have lived in Georges River all my life. What has made this area a success for businesswomen is the local community. I am never short of helping hands from the neighbourhood to balance my work and family life.”


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