Well it’s only a week til I board the plane and head off to Africa to participate in the Business Chicks Immersion & Leadership Program.
Yesterday saw me in ‘freak out’ mode with a missing passport and cancelled flights, but all’s well that ends well. Passport found including Uganda visa and yellow fever certificate, flights rebooked and all back on track.
A lovely little parcel arrived today too with a handmade notebook by the village partners to use as our journal on our trip along with the details of our Immersion Program and introductions to all the gorgeous girls who will accompany me on our adventure.
Business Chicks, like those going on this trip, and The Hunger Project believe that by supporting developing women leaders and creating a space for them to connect and stretch, they can make a difference in the world. Empowering women to be leaders in turn can help solve one of the biggest humanitarian issues of our time, hunger.
Hunger isn’t just a problem for those suffering from it, but a global issue that requires new ideas, thinking, partnership and ways to solve the underlying issues.
I’m so looking forward to being part of this journey, lending a hand and learning from each other, being part of something bigger, and finding a place where it’s safe to give anything a go!
I’m sure I’m going to learn so much more than I can possibly bring to the table on this trip.
Bring it on!
It was lovely to be invited along to cheer on the fabulous Amelia Lee who spoke at the Commonwealth Bank Flagship store in Brisbane on her journey with The Hunger Project and how it had been a life changing event for her personally. She’s vowed no more living with excuses, but to step up and live the dream – inspired by the hard working women she met in Uganda who are changing mind sets of generations of hopelessness, to believe that quite simply, they can make a difference.
Fleur Davidson, manager of the CBA Flagship store, hosted the high tea with all arranged by the very competent Angela Muller. A room of 30 women all enjoyed a late lunch of mini quiches, pancakes and sandwiches, washed down with copious amounts of latte and cappuccinos!
Former trippers were in attendance and there was great support for Skye Anderton of Ruby Olive, and I (the two Qld trippers heading to Uganda this year) with a raffle held. The generous crowd came up with $860 for us to share and commit towards our fundraising efforts.
This started the ball rolling for Skye and took me to nearly the $8,000 mark in my journey.
If you’d also like to assist me in reaching my ambitious goal of $25,000 please head to http://tinyurl.com/pd5c8y6
Well another great Business Chicks event has been and gone and when a couple hundred great girls got together for a Gold Coast event, I just had to grab my sister and join in too.
So, a not-so-quiet lunch with the usual fabulous spread put on by QT Hotels had us all eagerly awaiting our guest speaker… after the incredible desserts were devoured of course!
Naomi Simson is often known as ‘the lady in red’ from starting the fabulous company Red Balloon, to her latest stint on Shark Tank.
And as always, it’s a great time to catch up with gorgeous connections made through BC and the lovely crew themselves. All the best to lovely Emma Isaccs too, with only three weeks to go for bub number four!!
I joined this fabulous Australia wide group of top chicks in June 2011 when actively looking specifically for a women’s networking group, but it wasn’t until August 2012 that I finally took myself off to my first event.
I booked some work in Brisbane, checked into the Sofitel for the evening and the next morning took myself off to breakfast in the ballroom featuring the amazing Doctor Catherine Hamlin. I’d never before experienced The Business Chicks buzz or the magic of quite such a treasure of a guest speaker and came away a little awed, knowing no-one, but having definitely had a lovely start to the day. (And picking up a signed copy of the book Catherine’s Gift.)
In December of the same year, Sir Richard Branson was touring and I took myself and a colleague (#businessbloke) off to that event in Brisbane as well. Ummm… Wow! Rockstar entrance at that event! (For Sir Richard, not me…)
By then, I was fairly hooked. I’ve since travelled to Melbourne to see the incredible Brene Brown, Seth Godin and Arianna Huffington; to Canberra for Deborah-Lee Furness; Adelaide for Michelle Bridges and Sydney for Todd Sampson. Locally, Dr Lois Frankl and Ita Buttrose have graced the Gold Coast stage, soon to be followed by Naomi Simpson and Sir Bob Geldof. Not forgetting Rachel Zoe and Bobbi Brown in Brisbane.
And that doesn’t cover the guests I’ve missed! You don’t get a speaker line-up like that from too many organisations! And I will knock Perth off my To-Do List! And New York…. San Fransisco…. LA…. Did I also see reserved Hong Kong and UK accounts on Instagram? Global BC Domination on the way!
I’ve also managed to accidentally wangle my last couple of ‘Anniversary of Birth’ days with the BC crew (turning 39 each time) and guess I know where I’ll be around the start of August this year… when turning 39 again. Someone will let me know when I can’t pull it off anymore, right?
Social media is a fabulous medium for making connections and I’ve made some gorgeous friends through the BC Community both local and interstate, of BC members and the team itself. It’s always great to catch up with these friends at Premium Member nights, Networking events and their big events of course.
The wonderful Gwinganna experience opened up a great new bunch of connections and friendships (and was so close to home!)
This year I’m partnering with other BC Trippers and heading to Uganda in May with a The Hunger Project. There’s an opportunity that doesn’t come along every day! I’ve never done fundraising before so this is a whole new and confronting world for me! Perfect chance for a plug here, so if you’d like to support my fundraising efforts, please head to www.tinyurl.com/c4e
I’d finally decided however, that I shouldn’t keep all the fun to myself and as my daughter is starting her a Diploma in Specialised Make-Up next month, I wanted to introduce her too, to the BC family. Bobbi Brown was the perfect place to start, and although at 16, she thought it was all a bit overwhelming, she did love the music, the food, the speaker and got to clock up an extra one hour forty in drive time for her log book, before heading to a babysitting job, then coming home to check out the contents of her first ever goody bag!
A big thrill for me over the coming months is to share my journey with The Hunger Project, in partnership with Business Chicks, culminating in a trip to Ethiopia next May.
I’ve committed to raising $25,000 for this very worthy cause, and just having heard first-hand how well the system works, based on Navali’s story from Rajasthan, am really looking forward to this.
To hear how a 20 year old girl from a rural village was educated and became an elected official in her village and has made such a difference to her community, establishing schools, stopping the abduction of a 14 year old girl in her village and even the wedding of another child in a different area is testament to how THP works at such a grass roots level. There’s no stopping this girl and her dreams are only just starting to become a reality.
So, a little on who and what The Hunger Project is all about.
Their Vision is to ensure a world where every woman, man and child lives a healthy, fulfilling life of self-reliance and dignity. Sounds fair to me.
Their Vision is simply to end hunger and poverty by pioneering sustainable, grassroots, women centred strategies and advocating for their widespread adoption in countries throughout the world.
To date, THP has reached 24 million people in Africa, India, Bangladesh and Latin America across 15,000 villages.
There’s now over 395,000 locally trained volunteers leading change in their communities. Ten partner countries are leading the change to empower 12 countries involved in the programmes.
The three pillars are to:
- Start with Women: Studies show that when women are supported and empowered, all of society benefits. This is why we focus on building the capacity of women.
- Mobilise everyone: They build people’s knowledge, skills and leadership, so they can take action to improve their own communities; and
- Engage Government: by empowering people to communicate their needs to local government to ensure they are effective and accountable.
Living in a country like Australia where our lifestyles are so generous and free means we often don’t give a thought to those less fortunate than ourselves. And if we do, the confront can make us squirm, and be a little hard to deal with. Time for me to meet that head-on and try and make my little difference.
Please, if you can join me on this journey and give something to ‘give back’ any donation would be gratefully and graciously accepted. Please go to my page for your pledge here: Amanda’s THP Ethiopian Adventure
Poverty can drain human dignity, and financial aid without collaboration can actually make systemic hunger worse. Who knew?? Through their integrated and wholistic approach, THP assists people, believing they can end their own hunger.
Thank you in advance for any support provided which assists women, children and entire villages to become self-reliant, eliminating hunger and poverty. Donations of $2 or more are tax deductible.
Learning to Thrive, Arianna Huffington, The Huffington Post, Business Chicks Event, Melbourne
Well what a gorgeous lady, and what a privilege to see Arianna Huffington on her whirlwind trip to Oz.
The Peninsula room in Docklands was decorated beautifully, with incredibly low and flattering lighting, and the thousand (mostly) women in attendance were ready. The Business Chicks vibe was out and proud. And with 6 events in 36 hours it was awesome to be there for this one.
Nicky Buckley was our gorgeous MC and did a fabulous job introducing Arianna, possibly echoing all our thoughts by the end, that we ‘just wanted her to be our best friend.’
And, from the moment she opened her mouth on stage and we heard that gorgeous Greek accent, I think we were all in love.
But even more important, than her charm, wit and elegance, was her message, in learning to digital detox, reduce stress and starting to thrive.
I devoured her book Thrive some time ago, and it was great to hear those important messages once again.
In a culture that ‘men have broken’ we’re expected to view sleep deprivation as a badge of honour, and stress and burnout as a natural progression in our working lives. Its the illness of our civilisation and it’s up to us to change that. It’s interesting to note how many of our poorest decisions are based on lack of sleep and being too tired to best evaluate what we should do.
Arianna’s brush with burnout is set to serve as a wake up call to all to get our eight hours sleep each night, remove devices from bedside, and take a day to digital detox each week (if God could rest after 6 days of hard work, so should we!) We need to start adding a third metric when defining success in our lives, beyond money and power, by learning the magic of ‘Wellbeing, Wonder, Wisdom, and Giving.’
Business Chicks have a culture of women who want to give back, and not just turn up to take, which fits perfectly with an ethic of giving and creating a happier life. As Arianna’s wonderfully wise mother put it, ‘a giving attitude can transform our lives from struggle to grace.’
There were so many key takeouts from her story.
One tip she shared with Oprah was that we are more magnificent than our jobs.
Another is that ‘No’ is a complete sentence. Who knew?
Learn to make eye contact again and connect with our children and friends when they speak with us.
Start looking up!
For inspiration on how others have taken up the challenge, check out the #HowIThrive hashtag and join the Thrive revolution!