In celebrating International Women’s Day for 2022, we recognise some of the many inspiring and influential women who are continuing to excel within our tourism industry on the Mornington Peninsula.
Owner of the quaint and charming Arakoola Studio in Balnarring, Sharlene Brasher has never looked back on her dream to open a short-term rental business. The humble accommodation setting, nestled in the woodlands on the Mornington Peninsula, has become a sanctuary for couples to enjoy, a place to relax and breathe. Committed to excellence within the accommodation industry, Sharlene continues on her pursuit to create a warm and welcoming experience for her guests, and a business that ongoingly thrives.
“On International Women's Day, like most women, I will have 20 things to do. I’ll be juggling three things at once, and racing against the clock before the day is done. I’ll be flying the flag in Purple and Green…yes they should be seen! Purple for justice and dignity and green for hope. Throughout the day, I’ll find time for reflection to acknowledge all the wonderful women in our community and around the world.”
As the only sole female director in Australia to own and run a multi-office group, Holly Longmuir is inspired by her team at RT Edgar Mornington Peninsula. For more women to realise they can do it all - a career, a family and to enjoy life - is the central dream for Holly, as she celebrates over 30 years in the industry. On Tuesday 8th March, the women of RT Edgar MP will come together as a collective and attend their annual kickstart event with their whole team.
“When I started, women were mainly confined to ‘admin’ roles. I sit here now as a mother of three, loving wife and the leader of a multi-office group. Put your mind to something and it will happen.”
Sarah Jeffares, Head of Fulfillment at TWØBAYS Brewing Co
From training and working as a registered nurse after finishing school to now thriving within the new and rapidly growing TWØBAYS Brewing Co with her husband Richard and three young adult children by her side, Sarah Jeffares has experienced a career to twist and turn onto exciting pathways. On the topic of inspiring young women starting out in the industry, Sarah hopes for them to realise they can do anything they put their minds to, forming a life of work that can go in boundless directions. Looking ahead, the dream is to have TWØBAYS beers on offer in more venues across the country as they continue to expand their national distribution, providing gluten free taste sensations to all from the business’s quality brand.
“I will celebrate International Womens’ Day with a nice cold TWØBAYS beer! And reflect on how lucky we are, living in a country where women are freely able to follow their dreams...it all comes down to commitment and hard work!”
Giuliana Postregna, Owner at Talking Hens
A day in the life of Giuliana Postregna at Talking Hens is dynamic, diverse and abundant in opportunity. Between organising annual events and workshops to creating new natural hen care products, Giuliana has an overwhelming passion to make the business a leading educational destination on the Mornington Peninsula. Learning and growth have become powerful backbones to the success of Talking Hens, where wins for the team have also been accompanied with important challenges. Alongside her inspiring work as a business owner, Giuliana’s role as a mum brings momentous joy to her life, spending valuable time with her daughter after school activities.
“I know that with passion, hard work and a willingness to learn from those that have gone before you, great progress can be made. There will be many experiences both good and bad that provide real benefit and growth. It’s important to reflect at the end of each day to review what went well and what didn't.”
Jessica Wood, General Manager (Hospitality) at The Dunes Golf Links
Company culture and camaraderie; this is what Jessica Wood loves most about working at The Dunes Golf Links in Rye. When starting out in her current role, at a time in which there were no other female golf General Managers on the Mornington Peninsula, Jessica knew she would be pioneering an uncharted environment. Yet with an unwavering self belief and the surrounding presence of those who believed in her capabilities, success proved to come in waves. Currently undertaking a Masters of Accounting alongside her role at The Dunes, she hopes to broaden her skill sets for the workplace in addition to building her social and professional network. To volunteer her time as part of a board also represents a prominent goal, providing the potential to assist in the growth of women’s golf on an industry scale.
“This year I will be celebrating International Women’s Day by acknowledging all the special women in my life. I will be bringing in a morning tea to the office for the lovely ladies I have the pleasure of working with each and every day.”
Allison Hatton and Libbie Geason, Owners at Cycling Vine Tours
Born from a dual passion for the great outdoors as well as a love of leisurely cycling, good food and wine, Cycling Vine Tours has become a business to provide endless memorable experiences for those who pursue a pedaling adventure. For owners Allison Hatton and Libbie Geason, they share the common motivation to showcase the stunning Mornington Peninsula in all its glory, and to grow a business which supports other local industries around the region.
“For young women inspired to work in the tourism industry; follow your dreams, seek out support and advice from others in the industry, develop a business that you love and aligns with your values and dreams.”
Shelley Eastwood-Whitaker, Owner with Paul Whitaker at the Dromana 3 Drive-In
Originally from a teaching background, Shelley Eastwood-Whitaker has infused an abundance of creativity into her work at the Dromana 3 Drive-In, creating a space that was once considered old and outdated to be refreshed, revived and reflective of pure joy. As a mother of all boys and granddaughters, Shelley acutely understands the power of storytelling through the generations, and hopes her business will retain its force in the entertainment industry and social scene for future years to come. On International Women’s Day for 2022, there will be a moment of pause and reflection, a time to remind herself how lucky she is to do what she loves.
“Going to the movies allows us to step away from our everyday lives for a time, whether it's with family, your best friends or on your own. It brings us into a world of make believe, fantasy, action, comedy and drama. I always say, going to the drive-in is more than just a movie, it's an experience, an opportunity to create the best memories.”