Mandy is a social entrepreneur who is fiercely passionate about human rights, eradicating poverty and empowering women which led her to establishing Global Sisters in 2014.
Mandy’ s diverse career path over the past 20 years has spanned the commercial and not-for-profit sectors where she has worked internationally on government business incubation programs in Botswana, New Zealand as well as high profile charities including the Hamlin Fistula Hospitals in Ethiopia and locally as National Marketing Manager for the RSPCA.
More recently, Mandy has worked with Social Ventures Australia, establishing the ACT Social Enterprise Hub and as the Director for Place Based Philanthropy with the Sydney Community Foundation. She is currently completing a Masters in Human Rights Law.
Heather is Global Sisters’ Chief Operating Officer, Trustee of the McLean Foundation and Ambassador for Opportunity International Australia. Heather is a microfinance and community development specialist, committed to microfinance being delivered in a way that empowers women and brings families out of poverty permanently.
Heather has 15 years’ experience in microfinance, having worked with the global microfinance organisation, Opportunity International throughout Asia. Locally, she worked on the establishment of Many Rivers Microfinance and prepared research for the government on the state of microfinance in Australia.
Heather has run her own consultancy and worked with various government and not-for-profit organisations to develop frameworks for capacity building, impact measurement and donor management programs.
Sharon is a senior finance leader with a wealth of experience in all aspects of operational finance, including technical accounting and statutory reporting, financial analysis and planning, audit and project management. She has managed numerous process improvement initiatives, delivering a step change in financial management and procedures wherever she goes. Sharon is a proponent of the value that a high functioning and insightful finance function can bring to any organisation to drive innovation and create positive change.
She is a US Certified Public Accountant and started her career with PricewaterhouseCoopers in Washington, DC before moving to London where she worked for a range of start-ups, multinationals, and listed companies. Now calling Sydney home, she also serves on the Board of Autism Community Network as Treasurer.
Travel and motherhood has impressed upon Sharon that opportunities are not given equally to all people. She is excited to be a part of helping to empower women who wouldn’t otherwise have the chance to become financially independent.
Simone loves strategic and marketing partnerships because of their capacity to make the impossible possible.
Drawing on nearly 20 years experience in partnerships for businesses of all sizes from banks and airlines to micro and start ups, she joins Global Sisters as head of corporate partnerships. Coming from corporate and credit card loyalty programs she believes anyone can make the switch to being the change they want to see in the world, and she particularly loves working with big businesses who are committed to achieving genuine environmental and social impact.
She believes big companies (often fairly) have to endure a lot of cynicism about their intentions even when they are trying hard to do better and her particular passion is helping make this happen. She believes it’s important that big employees and influencers do what they can to make a difference. It also gives smaller businesses the opportunity to both supply and service bigger businesses, thereby creating genuinely meaningful partnerships.
Tara brings over 25 years of diverse experience to the Global Sisters team, including 8 years as CEO of a national not-for-profit; Chairman and Director on regional boards; Non-executive Director of a national NGO; and a short stint in the corporate world.
Tara is a serial entrepreneur having created and scaled global eHealth solutions in the mother & baby and ‘carer’ sectors. Through partnerships, tenacity and the ability to pivot, she has secured significant global partnerships with pharmacy groups, retailers and online businesses.
Tara says her greatest joy now, after many years of mentoring women on their start-up business journeys, is enabling, supporting and celebrating the successes of women as they uncover and grow into their unique zone of genius.
Lisa Edinburg brings with her a wealth of experience in both the corporate and community sectors. Lisa started her career as a management consultant with Capgemini Australia, supporting large firms with customer experience and supply chain transformations before moving to Social Ventures Australia where she advised social entrepreneurs, non-profits and philanthropic funders on business strategy, social impact growth and measurement. Lisa has led programs around the country including cutting edge initiatives with remote Indigenous Communities and thought leadership on impact measurement.
Whilst living in Canada, Lisa helped to pioneer venture philanthropy into the Canadian market and returned to Australia to embark on her own entrepreneurial dalliance.
Gabrielle spent over 15 years working in senior roles in strategic sales, sponsorship and business development, across TV, digital and print platforms, for Australia’s leading media organisations. Including, nine entertainment co and Bauer Media. While taking some leave from her corporate career, to support her growing family, Gabrielle studied at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, graduating in 2014. Currently, along with her coaching and consulting business, Gabrielle is studying Counselling at the Australian College of Applied Psychology. Gabrielle has combined her business expertise, holistic wellness education and passion for empowering women, to create programs that support positive change during the transitional phases of parental leave, career advancement and business development. She specialises in coaching women. At Global Sisters, Gabrielle will focus on developing a coaching strategy that ensures our Sisters are effectively and efficiently supported throughout their entrepreneurial journey. By aligning the right support at the right time, our Sisters will be best placed to achieve their desired goals on their path to success. Gabrielle is a mother of five children, ranging in ages from 2 to 19 years. She loves to support women in awakening their full potential as they navigate the delicate balance of motherhood, family care and careers.
As a key member of our team in the Hume Region of Victoria, Mary-Anne Scully gets to do what she loves – working with and supporting businesses, government agencies and NGOs that are striving to make a positive difference in regional Australia.
Initially trained as a broadcast journalist, Mary-Anne’s background means she is particularly adept at identifying and communicating great stories, understanding what drives business success, and pursuing social change.
She later opted to study environmental management because she wanted to help businesses translate complex technical information into terms that could motivate people to care for, manage and protect the natural environment.
Throughout her career since, Mary-Anne has drawn upon these combined skills to develop campaign and communication resources for many sectors, including agriculture, vocational education and public health.
In her work with Global Sisters, Mary-Anne is encouraging entrepreneurship in regional Victoria, and is also developing social impact assessment skills to help businesses and organisations better understand the strategic value and outcomes of their work.
Sandra Lloyd has worked in delivering training, mentoring and community capacity building in the non-profit sector for over 11 years with an additional 2 years as a social change researcher in the education and law faculties. She has an Anthropology Honours degree from UWA and more recently a Masters in International Community Development from Deakin University.
Sandra’s passion has always been working to change the lives of women from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. She is a Community Development Project Leader at Companion House in Canberra – Assisting Survivors of Torture and Trauma and has during this time begun facilitating a variety of refugee social enterprises. Drawn to the recovery potential that meaningful enterprise facilitation can bring to refugee women and their families, she became a Sister School Facilitator with Global Sisters and has been excited to watch women take-up their new learnings in the business education program.
Sandra looks forward to keep using her Community Development approaches in Global Sisters and weaving a supportive network around new Sisters that are determined to have a go at a new journey in enterprise.
With over a decade of conscious work in and across small business, hospitality, health promotion, women’s advocacy and workshop/event facilitation, this experiential career has culminated in Asja’s creation of ‘The Grounded Way’. This project is a socially responsible well-being hub, inspiring skill acquisition and inspiration to encourage women to build kitchen confidence and nutritional literacy and embrace a slower way of living to reap more happiness and productivity.
Asja is a resourceful mentor, successfully bridging real life experience with actionable strategy and meticulous planning to bring small business and entrepreneurial dreams to life. With an accountable, creative, and compassionate approach she works closely with teams to work on scalable growth and facilitating change management to create more social impact.
Passionate about empowerment through financial independence, Asja relishes the opportunity to support Sisters in forging entrepreneurial solutions for themselves, their communities and future generations.
Christine is a Business and Life Strategy Coach, Podcast Host and Workshop facilitator who has worked across multiple industries from small businesses to large corporations throughout her life. She began her career in Hairdressing, working from top Melbourne salons to all over the world, on luxury 7 star cruise liners, before settling back in Australia and working in a range of different roles varying from travel consulting, sales consulting, and business management.
Learning to build relationships, trust and loyalty with clients is her specialty and mindset and positive Psychology are her passion. Understanding human behaviour, buying strategies, sales success habits, marketing and business development are things she has learnt & studied continuously her whole career.
After furthering her studies in Neuro-Linguistic Programming, Leadership & Executive Coaching and Human Behaviour profiling, Christine founded her company, Periscope Coaching in 2017 and has been working with small business owners to overcome their limitations, challenges and fears, to reach their business goals and truly ignite their potential for success.
Victoria comes to Global Sisters with extensive business management experience across the corporate and not for profit sectors, having formerly been the CEO of Stillbirth Foundation Australia, along with a genuine understanding of self-employment through her own creative business ventures.
Having been a single mother of two gorgeous girls, Victoria knows all too well the responsibility, and often difficult struggle, that comes with supporting a family both economically and emotionally, and is committed to helping women navigate this.
With a strong belief that “we cannot solve a problem with the same thinking with which it was created”, she is passionate about supporting the Sisters in developing innovative entrepreneurial solutions to becoming financially independent.
Giselle is a dreamer of bold ideas and has an appetite for finding better ways to frame problems which lead to her becoming a management consultant and workshop facilitator. She has a keen interest in exploring the intersections between business, community building and social and economic justice. Giselle believes that the economic empowerment of women is crucial for a just and fair society. She loves applying creative approaches to a problem and encourages those she works with to imagine new possibilities. As an Accelerator Lead, Giselle encourages Sisters to aspire high and leverage their strengths and is passionate about building the business ecosystem that supports our Sisters’ enterprises.
Before joining Global Sisters Giselle was a management consultant and workshop facilitator with Right Lane Consulting, Australia’s first BCorp certified strategy consulting firm. She worked ‘helping organisations that do good do better’ in the not for profit, government, philanthropy, tech and not for profit superannuation sectors working with them to solve challenges on strategy, innovation and organisational development. Prior to consulting Giselle spent many years working and volunteering in the human rights and social justice space including: project manager for the United Nations Association of Australia, paralegal with the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre’s human rights law program and researcher in international criminal law at various Hague based courts and institutions.
When she is not working for Global Sisters, Giselle is running her own consultancy and workshop facilitation practice. She sits on the board of the performing arts company Play On and is a co-founder of Either / Oar an urban transformation project in the shape of a boat bar (she’s not joking about the boat bar).
Sugandha Chapman (Sig) is a certified Holistic Health + Mindset coach through the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, writer, speaker, workshop facilitator, aspiring yogi and mama to two cheeky kids, who helps enterprising women reclaim their glow, stop chasing their lives and start leading them. Sig is the founder of The Glow Revolution; built on the belief that if you want to give light to others you must first find the glow within yourself.
Her passion is helping smart, busy women flourish and get off their hamster wheel of overload and overwhelm by assisting them with unique core growth and development fundamental strategies. Sig blends together various therapies to provide women with a unique and highly transformative experience. Her easy-going, love-infused approach inspires women to shift their mindset and show them how to nourish themselves from the inside out to create more freedom, joy and success to their health, lives and businesses.
Sig has been spotlighted on and contributed to various media outlets such as The Huffington Post, Do You Yoga, I Quit Sugar, Inspired Coach magazine, Medium and Fit Approach.
Sig combines her experience from almost a decade in the corporate world and then in the not for profit sector, holistic wellness and life coaching, running two successful businesses and passion for women’s advocacy and social justice to support Sisters at all stages of business through the Global Sisters program.
She is also a soon to be certified Life Coach through the Beautiful You Coaching Academy and a leader with doTERRA essential oils combining the power of aromatherapy with science to teach and empower women, mothers and families and business owners about natural solutions for low-tox living, how to support their emotional wellbeing for success and go from surviving to thriving.
Corina is a proud Yorta Yorta woman, mother, nature protector, artist, campaigner and founder of Amber Days, an ethical children’s wear label.
Corina is very passionate about Indigenous rights, Climate Justice, Social justice and Gender equality, and we’re thrilled to have her on the Global Sisters team as Accelerator Coordinator for Aboriginal Women in the North East Region of Victoria. She believes that the core values that drive Aboriginal businesses can not only create positive change for the individual but also benefit the community and have a ripple effect nationally and globally.
Investing in women, particularly Aboriginal women, is key to a more just and sustainable future for all.
Lauren is the Administration Lead/Corporate PA for Global Sisters. Her career experience covers over 15 years in Administration, Client & Office Management.
Lauren’s career path has spanned across multiple platforms. She spent many years assisting with the administration and publicity work for Dog’s Life Magazine. Lauren then spent the next 11 years managing clients and the production process on a number of home titles. She also assisted with the general running and co-ordination of a small office. Lauren is also an animal lover who cares deeply about animal welfare; this inspired her to start up a small at home pet minding business.
Having two daughters of her own, Lauren is very passionate about helping women become financially independent and the social impact this can have on their families and communities. Lauren is excited to combine her passion and skills with Global Sisters.
Fragrance aficionado Nicole Eckels launched Glasshouse Fragrances in 2006 from a spark of imagination and a belief in the power of fragrance to transform the everyday. Since its launch nearly a decade ago, Glasshouse Fragrances has quickly grown to become a leading brand in the Australian fragrance market.
Born and raised in New York, Nicole got her start as a Makeup Artist at SACS Fifth Avenue. After a stint in San Francisco in Corporate Business and Sales, Nicole recognised she needed a new challenge and flew to the sunny shores of Australia with her son, looking for a sea change. It was in Australia that Nicole says she found her true calling.
While shopping in David Jones to replace a beloved candle purchased in New York City, Nicole couldn’t find what she was looking for. Noting both the high end brands from Europe, and non-fragranced low-end brands, Nicole saw a clear gap in the market and out of that moment, Glasshouse Fragrances was born.
Glasshouse Fragrances is now the leading fragrance brand in David Jones and has grown to become a local and international favourite. More recently, the Sapphire Group extended their brand portfolio with the launch of Circa Home, continuing Nicole’s quest to meet the needs of every consumer.
To this day, Nicole remains passionate about self-belief and determination, and it’s her mission to assist those who believe in themselves to reach their potential by sharing practical advice and experience. She advises entrepreneurs to remember starting a business is a marathon, not a sprint: sustained hard effort and work over time equal results.
When she needs a little extra inspiration, Nicole remembers her favourite quote: Figure out what you love doing, and then dream up a way to make a living doing it.
Find out more at www.glasshousefragrances.com.
Pearl Chan has a vision – a healthy home for everyone. When she had this initial vision, Pearl believed that a total redesign of basic home care was needed in order to improve the wellbeing of our health, community and planet.
Pearl created a solution in the form of Resparkle, a 100% natural, safe and effective organic cleaning range that is made affordable by reducing packaging. Resparkle goes beyond mere home care products, Pearl’s ethos for her business is that it is a way of empowering people through the opportunity to make small but positive change to their everyday lives.
Pearl’s favourite things about running her own business are being able to pursue something she truly believes in, making choices that are in line with her values and using the business for greater good. On the flip side, what’s the most challenging? Keeping the faith when things get tough, she says. It can be a lonely journey that takes up your entire emotional and mental space.
Her number one piece of business advice is, Know your “Why”. You have to believe in yourself and your vision. Know why you’re doing what you’re doing as this will take you through the tough times. Never ever give up!
Originally from Singapore, Pearl’s family continue to be extremely supportive to her while she runs the business. Her husband is her sounding board for when things go wrong and when there is success to be celebrated!
Pearl was inspired to support Global Sisters as she has had her own experience of starting a business from scratch. She is honored to impart some of her knowledge and inspire less advantaged women to pursue their dreams and gain financial independence.
Find out more at resparkle.com.au2
Alex Riggs has always loved working in design and with colour and fabrics. Her background in screen printing and product development for major brands helped to set her up with core skills for her career, but she always felt driven to use her personal creativity to start her own business.
12 years ago in Sydney, Alex launched Oobi, the boutique childrenswear and accessories label. It all started when Alex took a pitch at Glebe market with a small design range for children. The range was an instant sell out and that was the spark for bigger things to come.
For Alex, the great thing about being her own boss is steering the business and her staff in a direction that supports her ethical position. This has allowed her to dedicate significant time, resources and creative input to supporting charitable works, NGOs and special needs kids. It is this ethos which led Alex to become a Global Sisters Ambassador.
Feeling part of a world beyond the brand and their customers is an integral part of driving Oobi for Alex and her staff. The Oobi ethos is about making people happy and this is reflected in their fun and happy designs, great customer service, events and the community.
In her spare time, Alex loves to travel and her trips overseas inspire much of her creativity, such as trips to flea markets where she finds retro clothing and design books.
Her favourite inspirational quote is ‘I Have a Dream’ by Martin Luther King,
Find out more at oobi.com.au
Mirabai Winford has always been inspired by nature, believing the natural environment is one of our greatest treasures and nurtures our health and wellbeing. When her first child was born, Mirabai’s value for nature deepened; she searched for clothing that was organic and gentle for her newborn’s sensitive skin but was unable to find many options. She discovered other parents on the same search and so she was inspired to find a solution – Purebaby was born.
For Mirabai, one of the greatest challenges of running her own business is keeping the balance between her work and home life. But despite the long hours, one of the best things is being able to have a sustainable and ethical business practice where she knows her staff, working in India, are treated well and love what they do.
Her top piece of advice for another woman starting a business? Trust your instincts, do your research and make sure you have as much information as possible to plan and execute.
Outside the Purebaby office, Mirabai is a dedicated wife to Sanjay and mum to Samara (15) and Oliver (8). Her family are a constant source of support and she hopes her children will adopt the dedicated work ethic she has tried hard to instil in them!
Mirabai feels passionately about supporting Global Sisters; being able to share all her business learnings with socioeconomically disadvantaged women, to help accelerate their business ideas and dreams. She believes that to come from a position of disadvantage but have the courage and passion to pursue the dream of running a business and achieve financial independence, is incredible.
Find out more at purebaby.com.au
Kate Sutton has always been a creative person, but it was a serious health issue that took her from her previous career path to where she is now: designing jewellery as the head of her own jewellery label, Uberkate.
Kate was enjoying a successful career in television when a stroke revealed a benign brain tumour. While surgery was successful, she had to consider lifestyle choices carefully for the future. Kate designed jewellery as a much loved hobby and decided to sign up to an evening class, making earring hooks. Earring hooks! She says it sounds so simple yet is very complex. And from that moment, she was hooked on metal.
With no commercial training, Kate has created a successful business and much loved brand which has been running for more than 10 years.
Kate says she designs with passion and with heart, and that’s what every person shows when they ask for bespoke pendants, key chains and cuff links. Kate is driven to make everything as beautiful as she can for her clients. As her clients show love for special people in buying her product, Kate ensures that love is returned, not only in the piece, but in the packaging and the chain, the finish – everything.
Kate is honoured to be a Global Sister Ambassador and to support, nurture and evolve her mentee, Yasmin. She is passionate about making grassroots change to the lives of Australian women who may not have the opportunities that she has been fortunate enough to receive. Seeing and supporting other women in business, bringing out their inner creative is her inspiration – she can’t wait to see what Yasmin does next!
Find out more at uberkate.com.au
The Cristina Re range boasts over 500 products of the highest quality which are sold to over 1000 stores around Australia and the world. Her company has sold in excess of $5o million in product sales over the last two decades.
Cristina Re is an impressive combination of artist, stylist, author, TV presenter, photographer, motivational speaker and entrepreneur. Cristina has appeared on a variety of TV shows presenting her products and showcasing her talents. Her strong business acumen has enabled her to successfully grow her company from its small beginnings to market leader for 20 years. Design aficionados, stylists, an established celebrity clientele and lovers of all things beautiful seek her unique and beautiful designs.
Cristina has a mission to educate woman on the importance of nurturing our wellbeing, mentally, psychically and spiritually by indulging and surrounding ourselves in beautiful things that make us happy. She has been asked to speak about her unique and inspiring success story to thousands of women at large scale corporate and charity events over the years, and she has succeeded in influencing, motivating and manifesting change which has become her life mission.
Cristina continues to support numerous charities, especially when it comes to helping woman, children and animals, and is seen as a mentor to many for her kind and generous nature and willingness to help others.
Diem Fuggersberger is a Vietnamese businesswoman who has experienced the true highs and lows of running a business. Her unique story is inspirational and a testament to Diem’s strength, skill and spirit which has seen her go from losing a $27million business to bouncing back to launch a specialist food business, Berger Ingredients. All the while bringing up two children!
Diem and her husband lead Berger Ingredients’ team to deliver innovative food ingredients and nutritious children’s meals.
Leaving Vietnam as a refugee when she was seven years old, Diem and her family came to Australia with nothing; not even a word of English. But her parents instilled ‘old fashioned family values’ and a positive work ethic in Diem and encouraged her to be determined and take risks.
Diem has been faced with numerous challenges in her life that have made her grow as a person. She compares the loss of her business to becoming a refugee again; starting from scratch. Diem has a steadfast belief that having faith and working hard will ultimately lead to positive karma and reward.
Her favourite things about running her own business are putting her passion into practice, being able to work with her family every day and giving back. She believes that everyone should be treated equally in life and at work and this is integral to who she is as a person.
Diem’s top piece of business advice? If you believe in something and there is a mountain to climb in order to reach success – keep going, be determined and follow your heart.
Diem is honoured to be supporting Global Sisters as the work is close to her heart and reminds her of her own life journey. She wants to offer all the advice and mentorship she can to those who need it.
A passion to unearth the best designs on the planet and share them with a wider audience led Terri Winter to establish top3 by design nearly 15 years ago.
Born out of the frustration of not being able to access a good range of innovative international design products in Australia, Terri took matters into her own hands to deliver this and she now owns five stores (Sydney, Melbourne and online) with 45,000 members.
Despite the long hours involved in retail, Terri loves what she does. She cites her biggest business challenge as balancing the emotional ties with the commercial realities. Her favourite part of running her own business is the flexibility to make her own decisions and knowing the losses and gains are down to her and her leadership team.
Terri’s top piece of advice for someone thinking about starting their own business? Surround yourself with people that are better than you are and remember that delegating is not necessarily about not doing all the jobs you don’t like to do – it is knowing when your skills are better utilised in certain areas.
When Terri isn’t sourcing the best design products from around the globe, Terri is a dedicated Mum to Jay (15) and Zac (12) and wife to Bernd. Whilst work plays a big role in their lives, Terri ensures family time is always a priority.
Terri is supporting Global Sisters as an Ambassador as she wants to offer her support and advice to those women who may not have the same opportunities or backing that she has been fortunate to have.
Find out more at top3.com.au
A childhood spent exploring the Australian bush and an affinity with the healing powers of the earth helped Jo Dampney to develop her successful skin care business, Skin Juice, which has been thriving for more than 17 years.
A proud country girl at heart, Jo has fond memories of growing up on her family property, adoring being close to Mother Nature. As a child, Jo would experiment with mineral-rich clays from the land in her playtime laboratory. She would collect and mix the purifying clays and bottle them as gifts to family and school friends, to be used for face and body painting as well as skin treatments.
As she grew up, Jo continued to expand her knowledge and fascination with the natural healing powers of the earth. For eight years, Jo owned and operated a successful salon with rituals and treatments that focused on holistic and natural choices. At the same time, she struggled to find products that reflected the ethos of her life and her business. So she gradually combined her aromatherapy knowledge with her fascination for plant oils and their therapeutic effects and Skin Juice was born.
Jo’s innovative concept, breaking all the ‘rules’ of skincare with cleansing oils instead of soapy formulas, and night oils in place of night creams, received tremendous support. The success of her business allows her to do what she loves and to share more of her time and energy with her husband Dion and children, Lila and Artie.
Find out more at skinjuice.com.au
Deanne is a globally recognised leader, strategist and communicator, with a deep interest in how new forms of media affect business and society.
Deanne chairs the boards of two private companies in which her company WeirAnderson.com is a significant investor: Hoodlum, an Emmy and BAFTA award winning production company, and Ai-Media, a technology and social innovation company.
Michelle Dixon is a partner and the Chief Executive Officer of Maddocks, an Australian law firm with offices in Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra. Michelle was appointed as CEO of Maddocks in 2014 after 13 years as a partner and 8 years as leader of the firm’s commercial disputes team.
Michelle’s leadership has seen the firm continue to grow and to lead the way on issues such as gender equality and diversity. During her time as CEO, Maddocks has been recognised as an Employer of Choice for Gender Equality by the Workplace Gender Equity Agency (WGEA). Her leadership led Michelle to be named one of the Australian Financial Review’s 100 Women of Influence in 2015.
In 2016, Michelle was awarded the Victorian Award for Excellence in Women’s Leadership, an initiative by Women and Leadership Australia that recognises the contribution of a woman in elevating the visibility and importance of Australian women receiving equitable access to higher levels of leadership. She was also named Executive of the Year at the Lawyers Weekly Women in Law Awards in 2016.
She is an ambassador for the WGEA ‘In Your Hands’ initiative for pay equity, a Patron of Professional Mums and is a champion of the Maddocks Women initiative, set up to help the firm’s female employees with their professional development and to promote the firm as an innovative and responsive employer for women.
Michelle is a member of The Nature Conservancy Australia’s Advisory Board. She is married to Chris, a mum to two young children and foster mum to a 22 year old (which makes her feel old).
Caitlin Iles (Cait) has been described by Sir Richard Branson as “a game-changer and force to be reckoned with”.
Experienced in venture capital, an angel investor, advisor to a range of businesses small and large, and a serial entrepreneur, Cait has helped to raise close to $100m and establish what is now Australia’s largest and most active venture capital portfolio at Artesian Venture Partners.
Today Cait is focussed on the launch of a sister fund called Capital xx that will invest in up to 500 female founded, early-stage, globally scalable businesses in Australia, Asia and the USA. Capital xx is set to provide vital funding to female founders (in 2017 female founders received 2% of global VC funding) and allow investors to capitalise on the fact that female founders have been shown to consistently outperform their male counterparts in VC portfolios. Cait (like Boston Consulting Group) recognises that women represent the “greatest commercial opportunity of our lifetime”.
Starting her career in psychology, assisting with the rehabilitation of drug dependent persons, Cait has gone on to work across a wide variety of industry sectors (advertising, advisory and enterprise). She’s established businesses in the Middle East (Dubai – UAE), Europe (Amsterdam – Netherlands) and in Australia. Currently her time is shared between Australia, China and the USA. Cait has worked with some of the world’s most respected companies, delivering disruptive projects that have revolutionised how complete industries operate (e.g. GE delivering mobile water solutions to the UAE).
Cait describes herself simply as a “dyslexic disruptor”, who is passionate about unlocking human potential through entrepreneurship and investing in underutilised, high potential and high value talent, in order to create a better world for all (and industry leading returns for investors).
Cait sits on the advisory board of both RMIT’s (one of Australia’s most respected Universities) startup program, RMIT Activator and it’s investment committee. She is an international keynote speaker and speaker of choice for large organisations and Universities such as Harvard.
Nick joined Clemenger BBDO Melbourne in October 2015, and in January 2018 took on the national role of CEO for Clemenger BBDO in Australia.
Since joining the agency, Nick’s partnership with, James McGrath, Creative Chairman, has seen the agency go from strength to strength, by building on its foundation of a strong creative & strategic reputation while adding capability and significantly evolving the agency model.
In 2017 Clemenger BBDO Melbourne was ranked the #1 Creative Agency in the World by the Cannes Lions and D & AD and domestically awarded Australian Agency of the Year for Campaign Brief, AdNews and Mumbrella, and are the most effective agency in the Asia Pacific according to the APAC
Prior to joining Clemenger, Nick spent five years leading the team at Colenso BBDO in New Zealand, where the agency jumped from being the 33rd ranked creative agency globally to being the only agency in the world to be ranked in the top ﬁve, four years in a row, and the number one creative agency in the world in 2013 & 2016. In 2014 WARC ranked Colenso as the Smartest Agency in the World for coming top in the global effectiveness index.
Before joining the BBDO network Nick had a mixture of local and regional roles based in London, Sydney, Los Angeles and New York, working across some of the world’s largest and most effective businesses – Mars, Apple, Sony PlayStation, Adidas, Absolut Vodka and Anheuser-Busch.
Kylie has a background in the travel industry but when her husbands job moved them over seas she became a trailing spouse raising her kids in the Pacific and Asia. The combination of not being able to work whilst living overseas as well as the passion to document her children as they grew and changed drove her to purchase her first camera in 2014.
This new found hobby quickly became an obsession as she strived to understand all things technical and emotional in the photographic realm, enrolling in an online course and devouring anything photography related. This in addition to hours of ‘practice’ on hers and her friends kids allowed her style to evolve and grow as one that aims to capture authentic images that evoke an emotion.
‘As a photographer I aim to capture an emotion and a feeling in my images – I don’t want people to just look at one of my images I want them to feel, smile and wonder when viewing them’.
Kylie now captures our beautiful sisters across Australia
Mel Harwin is a Social Impact specialist and lover of stories. A community development professional, who has worked with organisations across Asia, The Pacific, The Middle East, Africa and Australia. Mel is passionate about capturing and telling dignifying stories to show and measure social change and communicate impact to a wide audience. She was previously responsible for the strategy and implementation of an Australian based International Aid and Development organisation’s largest privately funded program. Operating across eight countries, and numerous locations.
Mel has substantial experience in rights-based participatory Program design, monitoring, evaluation, learning and research. She aims for efficient, effective and sustainable outcomes that are measurable, achievable, and relevant across a range of stakeholders. Mel has natural people management skills that drive change to promote team ownership, innovation and collaborative experiences. She has thrived in cross-cultural settings taking on the challenge of making people laugh and finding a connection beyond language or cultural barriers. A curious and continuous learner, she is never short of a question. She brings to Global Sisters a fierce passion for building community connections, engaging with stakeholders in a meaningful and sustainable way to create change.
Gershon has a decade of experience working in advocacy, policy and research centred on issues of social justice. He has been the creator and lead author of the Ethical Fashion Report and the Ethical Electronics Guide, world leading research that examined the practices of corporations around the world to mitigate the risk of slavery and exploitation; he has led and grown grass roots movements to campaign against poverty and labour rights violations; he has worked with many of Australia’s largest companies to improve labour rights in their supply chains; and he has authored policy reports on child and maternal health, water and sanitation and Australia’s contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals.
Gershon is passionate about seeing the vulnerable empowered, and seeing people and communities mobilised to end injustice. He has degrees in Business and Commerce, and a Masters in Social Change and Development (with Merit) from the University of Newcastle.