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Wellington Local News:
Women In Business The Focus Of New Streetlife Program

Encouraging greater business-to-business networking within regions

By Karen Gregory - 18th June 2002 - Back to News

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Women in existing and start-up businesses will be the focus of a new StreetLife Program for central Gippsland.


The ‘Women in Business Network’ Project is a joint initiative of the Victorian Government StreetLife Program and Latrobe City Council and Wellington Shire Council.


The project, funded under the 2001-2003 State Government StreetLife Program has received financial and in-kind support from the Councils of Latrobe City and Wellington Shire, where it will operate.


Wellington Council’s Business Development Officer Sharon Fowler, said that the combined input of the two councils was a first for the StreetLife Program in central Gippsland and was pivotal to the funding of the project.


"The 2001-2003 StreetLife Program is designed to encourage greater business-to-business networking within regions with a view to developing sustainable solutions and outcomes for regions across Victoria," said Sharon.


"The Network will generate professional camaraderie between women in business throughout Central Gippsland," she added.


"The project has been specifically designed to assist the Network in becoming self-sustaining to a position where it is managed by the participants.


"At the end of the initial 12 month Project, the Women in Business Network will be officially incorporated."


The project will be managed by Latrobe City Council, which contributed $10,000 to the project, alongside in-kind contributions.  In addition, cash and in-kind contributions have been provided by:


  • Gippsland ACC,
  • Wellington Shire Council,
  • GippsTAFE and
  • Gippsland Women’s Health Service.


A StreetLife Management Committee has been established incorporating:


Leo Billington, Latrobe City Council;

Sharon Fowler, Business Development Officer-Wellington Shire Council;

Alison Turner, Small Business Assistance Officer, Gippsland ACC;

Phillip Milbourne, Business Development Officer, Department of Innovation, Industry and Regional Development;

Rob Warren, GippsTAFE,

Dr Rowena Barrett, Monash University and

Allan Gurr, StreetLife Project Officer, Melbourne.


A project facilitator will be appointed in July. The facilitator will liaise extensively with existing networks and business operators in Latrobe City and Wellington Shire to develop project awareness. 


Further, the facilitator will focus on the core components of the project including: 

  •  identification of business mentors for women in business and the creation of a Mentoring Register;
  • coordination of networking sessions and forums across the two municipalities; 
  • coordination of workshops tailored to meet the needs of women in business in conjunction with government and other agencies; 
  • formation of a Personal Development Committee to assist women with self esteem and confidence issues; 
  • production of good news stories about women in business and
  • liaison with government agencies and other small business assistance providers to raise awareness about local forms of assistance available to women in business.


For more information on the ‘Women in Business’ StreetLife Project, please contact Sharon Fowler at Wellington Shire Council on 5142 3327.


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