Enterprising People


Peta Fielding – Burleigh Brewing, Gold Coast, QLD


Peta started her career as a corporate lawyer, went to do an MBA in Hawaii and there she met her husband, Brennan, a brewer. In order to bring him back to Queensland to settle on the Gold Coast, Peta brewed up a plan to create a boutique beer company harking back to the traditions of the local inn, where her husband would be the chief brewer. She wrote the business plan, organised the funding and investment, launched Burleigh Brewing in 2006 and they are enjoying big success as the local brewer on the Gold Coast. It's boutique, they are passionate and among the lagers and ales are such titles as "My Wife's Bitter", "28 Pale Ale" and "FigJam".



Penny Hanan – 1803 Artisan Deer Design


Penny built a successful marketing career in financial services in Sydney, but always yearned to return to life in Orange where her family has farmed deer for 30 years. However as marriage and children kept her in the city, Penny decided to connect her city reality and country aspirations by starting an online business, 1803 Artisan Deer Design. Penny sources deer hide and antlers from her brother's Mandagery Creek venison operation. The family ethos is to embrace the nose-to-tail philosophy, while producing products which are natural, authentic and sophisticated.Penny spent a huge amount of time and money to bring the 1803 idea to fruition - curating a group of artisans to produce gorgeous hand-forged knives, suede scarves and throws, handbags, hair-on hides and antler candelabras.



Fiona Hulme – Candle Bark Creations


Fiona Hulme grew up in a household that encouraged art and craft, but did not realise how useful those skills would be until, short of money about 16 years ago, she decided to make greeting cards and sell them at the Balmain markets. Demand for her cheerful, creative designs grew and by 2013 Fiona supplies her Candle Bark Creations greeting cards to more than 300 newsagencies across Australia, and gift shops and specialty stores at shopping centres near you! Fiona was predicting sales of up to 1 million cards for this Christmas/New Year season. All designed and produced by Fiona and her team at her Candle Bark Creations studio in Sydney.



Chris Tourgelis – Opus Design – Gift Guru


OPUS is one of the landmark, 'go-to' stores on Oxford Street, Paddington, opened by Tass and Christine Tourgelis in 1978 and transformed over the years into one of Australia's leading gift businesses. Their son, Chris, joined the business in 1996 and with his unlimited energy and drive, has grown the business substantially. In spite of the worst retail downturn that Paddington has ever faced, Chris boldly opened a second shop on Oxford Street, Opus Design, in 2012. It not only survived but has flourished and brought new retail options to the strip. To fortify his business further, Chris launched the OPUS website this year. OPUS is living proof, he says, that retail is far from dead!



Jodie Fox – Shoes of Prey


Jodie Fox is one of the three co-founders of Shoes of Prey, a website where women can design their perfect pair of shoes. In true pioneering style, Shoes of Prey team recently combined clicks 'n' mortar with a kiosk in David Jones' Sydney city store, where prospective shoe buyers can touch and feel the leather, see the shoe shape and even try them on, before buying online. Jodie manages the product research & development and communications for Shoes of Prey - making the most of her experience as a lawyer first with Blake Dawson and thereafter in marketing with The Campaign Palace before her passion for shoes shifted the focus!



Lesley Gordon – Lelbys


Lesley Gordon had always loved the expat lifestyle, since she left Adelaide in the nineties to work in Hong Kong. But she always dreamed of setting up a business which she could run from home when she returned to Australia, married with two young children. Her first attempt failed because she didn't keep an eye on the quality. She cried a bit, then picked herself up, sourced quality fabrics and factories in Indonesia, and created Lelbys – her growing online business selling contemporary children's bean chairs and throw rugs to enhance adult living spaces. Lelbys designs and produces the goods, in textiles or faux fur and distribution is from Lesley's garage in Sydney! Her next big goal is international distribution.



Louise Curtis – founder of Lollypotz


Lollypotz is the online and award-winning supplier of beautiful chocolate bouquets, hampers, baskets & gifts. Mother of two sons, based in Canberra, Louise Curtis won the Telstra 2013 ACT Business Owner of the year award and describes her business as a "Chocolate Florist". Innovative and judicious use of online and digital marketing strategies, means customers can order online, over the phone or by visiting one of her many Lollypotz stores. With 10,000 fans on Facebook and 27 franchises across Australia and NZ, Lollypotz delivered about 250,000 gifts last year, for individual and corporate clients. In recent years, Louise has won the Franchise Council of Australia's Franchise Woman of the Year Award.



Bonnie Senior – Pets Palace


Bonnie Senior is the owner and Managing Director of Pets Palace – an award winning pet accessory store in Newtown, Sydney. Now in its fourth year of operation, Pets Palace started as an online business before opening its first retail store three years ago.


Growing year on year, the business' positioning provides a huge range of quality and innovative products at great prices. With a foundation in retail, Bonnie attributes her success to wearing many hats, rolling up her sleeves and doing all it takes, and states being her own boss is her most rewarding achievement to date.


A proud supporter of multiple animal rescue organisations, Bonnie made the conscious decision not to sell live animals to boost profits, but rather opting instead to offer quality products with well trained and educated staff to assist customers. Pets Palace is striving to be a new breed of pet store in the Australian market. petspalace.com.au



Diane Costa - Marketing and advertising specialist


Diane Costa, is the founder and MD of Marketing Mechanics who has more than 15 years' experience helping small businesses grow. Diane will share ideas, tips, tricks and advice on marketing, advertising and social media for business success. Her agency won the 2013 Small Business of the Year for NSW in the Telstra Business Awards. Diane has also appeared on Kochie's Business Builders as the marketing expert and has contributed many articles for newspapers, magazines, business publications and blogs. Diane grew up in the Penrith area and is a keen supporter of local enterprises.



Fiona Scott, MHR, Liberal Member for Lindsay, NSW


Fiona Scott won the western Sydney seat of Lindsay for the Liberal party in the September 2013 election. Born and raised in the Nepean Valley area, she completed a Bachelor of Business at the University of Western Sydney. Fiona holds an MBA from the Australian Graduate School of Management. She ran her own small business as a marketing consultant, and knows very well the challenges faced by many thousands of Enterprising Australians not only in her electorate, but across the small to medium enterprise community.


This will be one of her first official events, in support of SMEs, after being officially declared the Federal MHR for Lindsay on Thursday 26 September 2103.



Neil Gibbins - From Corporate Banking to Small Business franchising


Neil Gibbins spent the first 20 years of his business life working for Citibank and travelling all over Australia and South-East Asia. He has since turned his expert banking skills to small business. He bought a Hire-A-Hubby franchise, delivered the sort of service he expected at the highest levels of banking and has built a huge and award-winning business. At the recent Hire-A-Hubby national conference held in Melbourne he won Most Valuable Hire-A-Hubby Franchisee in NSW, the second year in a row. He has also won the state and national franchisee of the year award many times. These are judged on business skills and results and, as Neil says, they are good to win and hard to win, as they should be.



Bernard Fehon - Success in business, brings success to the community


Bernie is a prominent member of the Western Sydney business community and very active with the Penrith Valley Chamber of Commerce. At the helm of Tactical Solutions, he is a respected and qualified financial planner with a long history of engagement with the SME community.


With a strong sense of community, Bernie was the driving force behind the launch of the Vinnie's CEO Sleepout, which began as a local community initiative in Parramatta in 2006. Over the years it has raised more than $13million dollars.



Suzie Hoitink


Suzie Hoitink suffered acne as a young woman and even after she became a highly-qualified nurse she still could not find treatments to clear up her complexion. So she decided to offer a medical approach to skin conditions such as acne, sun damage, scarring and rosacea. At her Clear Complexions Clinics, launched in the ACT in 2005, she employs only qualified nurses using the latest non-invasive technology. Treatments and skincare are tailored to individual needs. These days Hoitink has four clinics in Canberra with one due to open in Sydney and national expansion planned.


Alex Hoitink, her husband, is a big part of the Clear Complexions story. He sold his plumbing business to join the skin care business and run the operations, business development and marketing.



Pia Vogel


Pia Vogel trained in psychology and rose to highly-paid executive levels in the world of corporate PR agencies. She worked with some of the biggest names in advertising, on big corporate accounts. Then she followed a dream to create her own business. Research had revealed a service gap in the market for homeowners, so Vogel created an insurance business she describes as 'like roadside assist for your home.' She sold her house, went into debt and changed her life for her HomeSource business. It took six years for Vogel and her partner Guy McGrath to finally turn a profit!



Gina Field


Gina Field is a pioneer in the field of security and believes it is a worthy vocation for women.


She is the first female owner of a security firm in NSW. Nepean Regional Security is a business she loves and describes as 24/7, 365 days a year. Field left her job in a hardware store at 19 and went on the road with security patrols, mostly on her own, to learn every aspect of the business. She now holds a government contract for NSW Dept of Sports & Recreation venues and has delivered specialised security services for the film industry, including for Baz Luhrmann's blockbuster The Great Gatsby. Her NRS is one of Western Sydney's most recognised and awarded businesses.



The Hon Pru Goward - NSW Government - Minister for Family and Community Services and the Minister for Women.


A trained economist, Ms Goward had a successsful career in broadcasting, tutored at University, became a consultant and published author. She has an Honorary Doctorate of Business from Charles Sturt University. Ms Goward supports the spirit of enterprise.


Erica Stewart : Co Founder, hardtofind.com.au


An online marketer, Erica and her partner created a one-stop online business for gorgeous gifts and homewares. They now connect their growing number of customers to cool products worldwide and their recipe as an online marketing hub is proving to be a big success. If you are a small retailer her hardtofind.com.au website could be just the vehicle to extend your shop.

Tammy May : Founder, MyBudget.com.au


Tammy began her career with a legal firm in Adelaide, where she saw the pain of financial stress among many of her clients but felt the frustration of not being able to help them manage their household budgets. Simple premise, stunning success. Her booming MyBudget business now manages the household budgets of thousands of clients in at least three states with ambitions to grow across the country. The total under management was around $20 million last year.


Jane Cay : Founder, birdsnest.com.au


Jane is the entrepreneurial example and proof that you don't have to be in the big smoke to make the big bucks! She is the self-titled 'Big Bird' of the growing Birdsnest enterprise, an online clothing retailer. Her business is based in Cooma, New South Wales. Retail therapy is her passion - online and instore. Whilst about 90% of her revenue is driven by online sales, she has also pioneered a new instore shopping experience where you go online, select the clothes you want to try and the pieces are waiting for you in the changeroom.


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