December 2013 Issue 89

Canberra Women in Business celebrates 21 years

B2B Editor3 December 2013

Cake, presents and diamonds – that was the scene at the National Press Club, where businessmen and businesswomen from across the region gathered to welcome the new face o Canberra Women in Business.

Canberra Women in Business (CWB) celebrated 21 years since their organisation founding. In celebration of their coming of age CWB hosted a lavish birthday party on Saturday 9th November.

Well-known businesspeople, as well as, past and present politicians came out to mark over 20 years of achievements for the volunteer run not-for-profit organisation. You would be forgiven for forgetting the night was about business as the event sported all the essentials of a true birthday festivity.

Launched in 1992 by Chief Minister Rosemary Follett, the focus of the CWB was to promote women in business and help them become more successful.

Formerly the Chamber of Women in Business, the organisation was formed when a group of local businesswomen saw need for a collective that would assist women with the challenges they faced at the time. The group set out to help women overcome the now widely acknowledged ‘glass ceiling’ and the lack of willingness by banks and financial institutions to offer funding to women.

Looking around a room filled with successful and inspiring businesswomen it was hard to imagine that two decades ago these obstacles prevented many from achieving their goals and dreams. However, thoughts of these hardships were lost amongst the crowd with joy and laughter generated by the hairstyles and fashion in photos from the CWB vault.

Conversations were more of what you would expect at a high school reunion, with most discussion conjuring up nostalgic memories for the many CWB past presidents and lifelong members.

Many of the guests had travelled from across the country be part of the CWB’s big moment. Two of those individuals were the guest speakers of the night, former CWB president Ilona Cipe Fraser and Kate Carnell, former Chief Minister and patron of the CWB. Ms Carnell shared personal and humorous tales of her experience of combining motherhood while starting her own business.

Claire Connelly, President of the CWB, announced the organisation’s new name and vision at the Women in Business Awards ceremony in August. The change in identity and direction was aimed at “bringing the CWB into the new millennium and to take the women out of the chamber”.

Having loyally kept the same logo and brand since its inception, a makeover was needed to give the CWB a fresh, modern image that better represented the organisation and their services. So for their birthday the CWB decided to treat themselves to a present -“a new look for the next 21 years”.
2013 has been a great year for the CWB. Membership has doubled and the group is attracting a younger demographic of businesswomen who are looking for opportunities to meet like-mind individuals in a friendly environment.

“We offer our members opportunities to learn new skills and share stories in an intimate and fun atmosphere,” said Ms Connelly. “Let’s be honest, networking is sometimes awkward and boring but it doesn’t have to be. We try to give our members something different at our networking events to make it easier for them to start a conversation with each other. Our members love the changes that we have made to the CWB. I believe that one of the reasons why we have seen such growth in numbers is because the word is getting out there that the CWB is an inclusive, fun and energetic organisation helping women in today’s business world.”
To join the CWB or for more information please visit or follow them on Facebook


I was proud to officially launch our new name – ‘Canberra Women in Business’ (CWB) and new logo at the 21st birthday celebration on November 9th held at the National Press Club. Champagne was flowing and there was a lovely joyous energy in the room as we heard about Kate Carnell’s experience of the CWB, and that of our life long member Ilona Cipe Fraser. Our 21 years of history has grown through vast change for women in the workforce, and it was evident that our organisation has played a very important role in the Canberra business arena in supporting and empowering our local women in business. An energetic board of like-minded women who share my mission to continue to grow this organisation to its fullest potential have embraced my vision for the CWB. Going forward I have faith that the CWB with our new name, new brand, increasing membership and board of devoted women will continue to serve our members to help their businesses grow, prosper and succeed.

Claire Connelly, President

Exhale: tailoring training to individual and group needs

According to Exhale Consulting Group Founder and Director, Antoinette Gomez, ‘The art of life balance begins with a deep breath’.

Exhale Consulting Group’s focus is to offer industry leading consultancy, coaching, group training, and Neuro-Linguistic Programming training to leaders, teams and individuals who wish to optimise their skill sets and build sustainable success.

All Exhale consultants are experts in their respective fields, and offer specialist services in:

* Management Training * Neuro-Linguistic Programming

* Communication * Cleaning & Facility Services

* Training Design, * Tender Writing

Development & Delivery * Tender Design

* Coaching Services * Performance Management

With 20 years’ experience in SME and large multi-national organisations Antoinette is just the person to assist you and your staff.

Our clients have varying requirements, so we partner with them to map and work towards common objectives,” Antoinette said.

Exhale works with clients across all sectors including private, not for profit and government.

“Our inclusive and relaxed approach to the delivery of all services encourages open and transparent relationships founded on trust and respect,” Antoinette explained.

Building on a very strong 2013, Exhale is adapting and extending their Professional Development for Managers – Group Training and Individual Coaching program for 2014.

“The program has been directed at groups of 10 or more staff but I have decided to open it up in 2014 to any number of staff and tailor the program to fit clients needs,” Antoinette outlined. The program consists of six 3.5-hour monthly group coaching sessions and six 1-hour individual coaching sessions per participant.

These sessions would cover topics in the following areas:

Communication Skills – including understanding behavioural styles and expressing empathy.

Management and Leadership Development – including how to contribute to company direction.

Corporate Welfare – including stress management and issue escalation.

Performance Management – including setting clear expectations and staff reviews.

Presentation and Meeting Skills – including managing anxiety and structuring and preparing a presentation.

Coaching Skills for Managers – including reflection and delegation.

The individual coaching sessions would cover areas including: leadership and management, personal growth, and career development.

“We are passionate, capable and bring a fresh approach to the business of management and leadership, motivating teams towards meeting organisational mission and vision; this is demonstrated through our dynamic client base and measurable results. The return on investment for all our clients is documented, measured and easily identifiable,” Antoinette concluded.


“As a business owner my philosophy and motivation is to provide personal development and skills training to team members in order for them to grow and prosper. The Exhale program we had delivered to our team managers provided them with new skills and the confidence to run their salons, engage positively with their teams and improve the productivity of their salons. Investment in training and providing opportunities for our teams has been rewarding and successful.”

Sonia Holgate, Owner, Just Cuts Canberra Centre, Gungahlin, Tuggeranong & Queanbeyan.

“Exhale provided a comprehensive program which effectively built up the skills of my managers. The combination of challenging monthly group work and personal coaching reinforced each other very well. After 6 months, the program had delivered for my management team and Northside, with sustained improvements in a range of high level skills, and enhanced confidence in exercising leadership.”

Northside Community Service CEO, Simon Rosenberg.

Antoniette Gomez



How can butterflies impact on your finances?

A butterfly flaps its wings in California and sets off a cyclone in Brisbane. This is the basis of the chaos theory, which uses ‘the butterfly effect’ to describe how a harmless incident can set in motion a much larger chain of events, with far- reaching and unpredictable consequences.

Put in financial terms, a financial plan that does not take into account all of a client’s needs, could have unforeseen and unfortunate consequences. For many of us, we devote our financial efforts towards our home loan, but give little consideration to our life insurance plan. Or, we buy an investment property to add to our investment in the family home, but don’t consider the planning needed to diversify and lower risk.

Alternatively, we hold assets in our own name that would be more tax effective in other structures such as superannuation. Worst of all, many of us don’t have, or fail to put in place, a properly constructed will. The result is that, upon your passing, your family is left with the difficult task of settling your estate as best they can, usually involving stress, disagreements and unwarranted costs.

For many of us this “hands off” approach to long term financial planning often creates a tangled web of ineffective investment, a lack of financial protection, and higher than necessary taxation.

Planning for the future is wise. Starting earlier rather than later is even wiser and often cheaper. A simple meeting with a financial adviser can help avoid all of the above mentioned financial pitfalls, and help set up a brighter future for you and your family.

At resi Canberra Southern we have a Financial Services team who can advise you on all your financial, superannuation, investment, estate planning, taxation and insurance needs. We have brought together a group of professionals that are experts in their respective fields. We work together to provide a holistic plan, encompassing your financial and lending requirements both now and in the future. Call Karen or Linden today on 136 126, 0406 377 866 or email [email protected] Resi Canberra Southern | 2/22 Strangways St, Curtin ACT 2605