The Mirror News

Great food, great women, great conversations

• MC Jessica Bell, Speaker Amelia Bright, SBWN President Dana Hughes and Speaker Sally Ruljancich at the highly successful event held at Meeniyan Hall

AS Dolly Parton said, “If your actions create a legacy that inspires others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, then, you are an excellent leader.”

The Southern Business Women’s Network does all that and more.

“We have 150 members and another 150 on our email,” said President Dana Hughes.

“You can be an employee, self employed, be retired from work, looking for work, planning a business or on leave from your business or place of work,” she added.

“We welcome people who are open minded with a sense of fun, adventure and a desire to try new things, women who look outside the square and who are keen to share their knowledge and experience with others.”

SBWN hosted an evening on Thursday October 19 at the Meeniyan Hall that saw 77 women come together to hear speakers Sally Ruljancich and Amelia Bright from the Prom Coast Food Collective speak about their inspiring venture.

The MC for the night was Jessica Bell from Elders Financial Planning who did a fabulous job.

Apart from keeping the show running, Jessica provided a valuable insight into how her business can help with financial planning for unforeseen circumstances, and life in general.

One of the benefits of membership is the opportunity to MC an event and showcase your business.

The night was all about food and Brent Sinclair Catering took care of everything. Brent along with his staff prepared a literal smorgasbord of delectable food that was enjoyed by all. From melt in your mouth lamb, beef and chicken dishes through to exquisite baked spinach and cheese tart and the freshest of vegetables followed by desserts to die for.

Sally and Amelia shared their stories of their own farms, and how the Prom Coast Food Collective came into existence in just a few short months.

They said they have seen a change in consumer habits and how, as small business owners, we can take advantage of these changing markets and do so without infrastructure or funding, and with community and collaboration at the fore.

In an effort to support small local farmers, producers and makers, tweak the habits of eaters and make local, ethically raised produce available to all, the Prom Coast Food Collective was born in April of 2017.

Sally is a true modern day farmer using an online subscription and Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) model to exclusively sell her and husband Colin’s organic lamb and beef from their property in Dollar. There is currently a 15-year waiting list for CSA shares. Sally is passionate about sharing how to best utilise online selling methods and solidarity economies to maximise returns and take control of the supply chain. She is the former President of the Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance.

Amelia runs the “hogs” part of her family’s “hogs and logs” farming enterprise, and has, over the years, seriously skewed the average age at farmers markets in the area, starting at the age of 24. Winners of a Bank of Melbourne regional small business grant of $10,000, Amber Creek is a closed-loop, regenerative and pasture-based farm, selling pork and smallgoods strictly locally. Amelia was recently featured in the pilot programme of the wonderful Invisible Farmers project and is a strong advocate for viable small-scale farming enterprises and proper stewardship of the land.

The Prom Coast Food Collective is open for business on the 1st of each month, with orders collected on the 3rd Sunday of each month. For notifications on the next order cycle opening, please subscribe to the mailing list at – www.promcoastfoodcollective.com.au.

There are over 24 producers and over 300 products to choose from and this is growing every month. Shoppers simply browse, select, make one payment and then collect their goods on the 3rd Sunday of each month at Dumbalk’s Blue Tree Honey Farm between 3:00pm-4.30pm.

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