Business Women in Western Sydney Panel Members and Moderators
The Potential Entrepreneur
Dr Raji Ambikairajah
Growing Your Business
Sophie Musumeci is a mum of 2 from Sydney, as well as a leadership and business strategist who’s partnered with top Aussie companies for over 15 years. Over the past 3 years her real passion has been helping 1000’s of entrepreneur women grow their business. Sophie was named Inside Small Business ‘Top 50 Business Leaders in 2018’ plus was an Optus My Business finalist, and has been mentioned in national parliament several times for her work with entrepreneur women.
Sophie is the CEO and founder of Real Entrepreneur Women, a real deal in person and online master-mind networking community, that’s inspiring and backing entrepreneur women to go after their dreams and smash their goals. Sophie believes that we are the sum of the 5 people we spend the most time with so you need to choose wisely and she’s just not ok that there are women out there growing their business in isolation, frustration and without support.
Kelly-Anne Cummings is a local Western Sydney hero. She has studied Human Excellence from the age of 16 years. 25 years later she has continued to dedicate her life to learning from the best in her industry. 10 years ago she founded Work Life Balance Academy a support agency for Women in Leadership roles. Her unique and life altering trainings are greatly sort after by Mothers and their Daughters, Leaders and Entrepreneurs who love their teams and want to see them flourish and thrive both personally and professionally.
Her reputation has recently opened doors into the education system where her work can commence at an influential time in young girls lives. Having grown up in Western Sydney she has been heartbroken by how many good families have broken down due to a lack of accessing simple communication and conflict resolution tools.
For many years she trained both Life and Business Coaches with these life changing skills until it occurred to her that it would be faster and more effective to equip women of influence with these skills and tools directly.
Dr Raji Ambikairajah
Dr Raji Ambikairajah holds a PhD in electrical engineering and spent most of her career in the technology start-up and venture capital sectors. She was the Chief Executive Officer of the tech start-up Folo, leading the launch of a new technology ecommerce platform which attracted 3,000 users. In 12 months, Raji led Folo to deploy $19,170 in donations to 65 charities, generated from an online spend of $565,000 at 531 online retailers.
Prior to this, Raji was the Chief Operating Officer of Women in Banking and Finance where she accelerated the organisation's growth over a 24-month period to span four cities in Australia, achieving a 32 per cent increase in annual revenue and impacted over 2000 Australian women through the new opportunities she curated for the business.
Raji is an Ambassador for Room to Read, a global non-profit organisation that provides children in low-income communities with access to education. Before this, Raji was Room to Read's Sydney Chapter Leader for seven years. Under her leadership, the chapter reached 116,480 children, grew to be the biggest in the world in terms of number of volunteers and was in the top five for fundraising.
Raji is also an experienced board director and is currently a non-executive director of the Sydney School of Entrepreneurship. In 2018, Raji was awarded the NSW Women of the Year Award in the Community Hero category.
Gina Field is a shining example of a woman determined to break down gender barriers and not only succeed but to become the best in a male-dominated industry. Starting her own security company 21 years ago as a home-based business with only one employee, Nepean Regional Security is now one of the most recognised and awarded security companies in the State.
Winning over 26 industry awards including an International business award and the NSW Business Woman of the Year, Gina has featured on TV business programs, radio, newspapers, magazines and is a regular column writer for Nepean News.
Now employing over 50 fulltime personnel, the business has been successful in Local, State and Federal Government Tenders, recently gaining the contract with NSW Trust contract covering Western Sydney Parklands, Parramatta Parkland, former Olympic venues and the Western Sydney Airport contract.
As well as running her 24/7 365 day a year business, Gina has just completed her tenure as the President of the Penrith Valley Chamber of Commerce after serving on the board for 17 years.
Melissa Browne is an author, financial advisor, accountant and financial wellness advocate. She is CEO of the award-winning accounting and advisory firm A&TA (Accounting & Taxation Advantage), CEO of the financial planning business, The Money Barre, for 28-48 year olds who want to financially grow up and Director of Business at the long-day Preschool, Thinkers.inq. Three very different businesses that all are pushing the boundaries in their fields, questioning what is possible and disrupting their industry in order to create the best possible results for their communities.
Melissa also uses her unique, sometimes irreverent but always inspiring voice to speak and write about all things numbers, business, play with purpose and strategy. Her first book is the illustrated business book More Money for Shoes which compares building a business to building a wardrobe and shows you how to build a profitable, successful business. Her second book, Fabulous but Broke, is another illustrated book and uses financial fairy tales to challenge money messages that readers may have and question the notion that you need a fairy godmother or knight in shining armour to save you. Her latest book is all about showing Gen X & Gen Y how to resolve their finance issues, develop financial resilience and ultimately embrace financial wellness.
Melissa also writes a fortnightly column for the Money Section in the Sydney Morning Herald and Melbourne’s The Age and has also been a regular contributor to CEO Magazine, Latte Magazine and Gloss Magazine. She makes regular TV and radio appearances including the Today Show, Weekend Sunrise, Weekend Today, Sky Business, Triple J and The Daily Edition. She has also been featured in or written articles for Cosmopolitan, Who, Vogue, Elle, The Collective, Harpers Bazaar, Rendezvous, Madison and more. In 2013 was featured as one of Australia’s 100 most inspiring women in Madison magazine and in 2016 was named one of The Financial Review’s 100 Women of Influence.
Yvonne is the CEO of Early Childhood Intervention Australia, the founding Chairperson of The Sanctuary – The Hills Women’s Shelter, and the Deputy Chair of the Endeavour Foundation. Yvonne has also formerly served as the Mayor of the Hills Shire and a Director of the Board of Local Government NSW.
Yvonne started her career as an award-winning TV Producer, and went on to found several successful brands and charitable organisations including: SugarBaby Cosmetics (1997), Hear the Children (2009) and most recently, The Sanctuary (2015). Yvonne has enjoyed a successful media career as a TV presenter, where she was known as the "Pocket Rocket" alongside co-host Michael Caton on “Hot Property” (Seven Network). Yvonne also wrote regular magazine columns for both New Idea and Handyman magazine.
For her work with the vulnerable in NSW Yvonne has been awarded numerous accolades including 2016 NSW Local Government Woman of the Year and a 2013 University of Western Sydney Woman of the West award. In 2012, Yvonne was named NSW Woman of the Year (People’s Choice) by the Premier of NSW. Recently, Yvonne led a team of committed community leaders and partners to establish The Sanctuary – The Hills Women’s Shelter, which has swiftly become a benchmark shelter in NSW, achieving extraordinary outcomes for women and children experiencing domestic and family violence.
BBA (Mktg & Psych), MComm, GradCertEduLead
As one of the most influential people on LinkedIn, Amanda Rose (#BossLady) is quoted as an “internet winning blogger” by TIME.com Amanda has been awarded a LinkedIn Power Profile which means Amanda has a Top 50 profile out of 7 Million. Amanda is passionate about facillitating women in business and regularly contributes to ABC The Drum, HuffingtonPost, Sydney Morning Herald, AFR & SkyBusiness.
The Jenerator! Jen is an international speaker, best-selling author & entrepreneur, International Business Speaker and CSP. As a recognised business speaker Jen can touch and inspire an audience to think differently about business and create positive change. Her signature topics are: The Art of Networking, The Greatness Principle, Successful Sales, Lead Generation, The Confident Woman and Business Fundamentals for Business Owners. As a small Business expert Jen has worked with over a thousand business owners and executives throughout Australia, as well as New Zealand, South Africa, China, USA, Thailand and Indonesia to create tangible business results. She is a certified business coach and an award winning business planning consultant.
Jen is also the founder & CEO of a new business that launched January 2018 called The Happy Hair Brush. Jens hair brushes solves the problem of hair brushing for women and kids, debunking the hair brushing industry which for years has purposely confused the consumer. Jen’s business is picking up momentum as the Happy Hair Brush becomes a widespread trusted household brand.
As a business author, Jen has written three books:
The Art of Networking - a practical guide to personal networking and self-promotion;
How to get the Job U Want –a practical guide to job hunting using networks, and
The Greatness Principle™- how to build support networks around you to create great results in any area of life.
In 2015 Jen was names Business Person of the Year for the North Shore of Sydney and in 2014 her company, The Jenerator was named Most Outstanding Professional Services Business. Jen has experience and results with her clients and also for her own business. She walks the talk! Jen has been a judge in the business and venture capital industries reviewing business planning, venture funding and new business projects. Jen was International Business Judge for the Middle Eastern Business Excellence Awards in Dubai for 2007, 2008 and 2009.
In 2009 Jen was awarded the prestigious award Future Leader of Australia Award from the Australian Davos Connection recognising Jen and 28 others as Australia’s future leaders in their respected disciplines.