Tourism & Travel
My Connection Statement
I provide women 45+, without a travel partner, with safe, escorted small groups of women- only tours, to help them create lasting friendships and memories while exploring fabulous destinations.
About Me - My Biography
I am a Sociologist by background and also have a Master of Policy degree. I have worked at senior levels in five industries – community services, local government, education, industrial advocacy and the public sector.
Some year ago, while still working for other organisations I holidayed in Queensland with 3 ‘sisters’ of mine and the idea for Wandering Women was born. It wasn’t until late 2017 however that I started working on the idea full time and since then I have been working on turning my idea into a reality. My photo is from our pesto making class on our 2019 Italy tour.
My experience in running other organisations has given me solid grounding for the business side of the organisation and my experience in managing a heritage listed Aboriginal site in western NSW prompted me to train as a tour guide and travel agent. My need to learn about doing things on my own is high and I have already experienced some of what I have been missing in my short time in HerBusiness.
What inspired me to start the business is my passion for travel, which really is about understanding people’s differences. I think the world would be a better place if we tried to put ourselves in other people’s shoes and it is easier to do that if you experience the way people live outside of your own circles. Plus it’s great fun to experience all that the world has to offer.
I have been travelling since I was 16 years old, been around the world several times, been to all the places I take tours to many times and have established connections with local tour operators, tour guides and accommodation operators. I don’t use chain hotels often, preferring smaller boutique, sometimes quirky, but always quality family owned hotels. We stay in great neighbourhoods, usually close to city centres so that during down times women can wander and explore on their own in safety and with plenty to see.
The operators I work with can get us where we want to be in comfort and style, show us local points of interest and are really showing us their homes/lives. Where I use local tour guides they are people with expertise, for example, a Professor of Art History in Florence, a Gallery Owner in Venice, one of the foremost bookshops/music venues in Paris. I work with women’s organisations in Cuba who will delight you with their Cuban enthusiasm and astonish with their political savvy. So my expertise is my networks, my travel expertise and my Sociological research which prepared me and now my tours for a great experience wherever we go.
In Australia the tours are from my lived experiences and again my networks. I lived in Tasmania for 5 years on 7 acres in the SW wilderness, spent 3 years living and travelling Western Australia and the south coast is my home.
I love to travel, have been doing it since I was 16 when I left my hometown on the south coast (too small) to go to Byron Bay on the north coast (also small but not my home town!) I lived in a tent on the beach (also a passion of mine – the beach that is) and determined that I would visit beaches around the world which I have done.
I love Cuba, the people and the politics. I love Barbados- the people and the parties! I am a self confessed Francophile and Paris is my favourite city in the world. C’est magnifique!
I love where I live (back in my small hometown which is not so small any longer), my grown up son who is yet to grow up, my family and friends. I love managing and leading, having done both as well as growing organisations.
I am passionate about social justice and fair play and about women being equal to men – a feminist for many years. I enjoy the company of men but depend on my women friends for nurture and support which I like to think I provide in equal measure in return.
I am a keen beach goer, swimmer and kayaker and am in the water a couple of times a week on average. I try and walk in our gorgeous surroundings but could do more and will. My mother was a librarian and I grew up in a country library. I am a keen reader and I use libraries every week, sometimes more than twice. I love them and campaigned strongly against the public sector library cuts when they came up.
I campaign for climate change measures to be taken now by our federal, state and local government as well as for measures to rid ourselves from domestic violence. I am a political animal and long time activist for social justice and progressive causes but my work history has also made me a pragmatic person when needs must.
I am on the Executive Committee of our Strata so have become quite familiar with strata information and like making sure our block looks good and serves us (owners and tenants) well.
I love taking women with me on my travels now. When i was younger I didn’t mind travelling on my own as it gave me a certain freedom. Now I want to share that with other women and I don’t mind what age they are.
How I Can Help Other Members
I am a former investigator of organisations for government so have organisational audit capabilities, governance background, taught at University and TAFE and developed courses at both, have ten years industrial advocacy experience and lots of negotiation capacity as well.
Have an industrial relations/human resources background so can assist there, in the community services industry worked at senior levels in drug and alcohol abuse/prevention, ran and managed refuges for domestic violence survivors, set up centres for young women who had been abused, worked with young homeless people, provided Secretariat support for 16 Aboriginal groups from Broken Hill to Collarenebri, and worked with 3 Aboriginal communities sin western NSW. Also worked with various migrant communities across a number of areas.
Why I Became a HerBusiness Member
Accidentally – I came across a FB post advertising the summit and as it was free and coming up soon, after looking at the content I thought it might be interesting. I have a commitment to life long learning and I thought I might learn something!
I got more than i thought I would. I have learned from the first contact. HerBusiness provided an example of what I think a business should be – including mine and I know I have a long way to go. I thought that if they could do it then there was a good chance that they could show me how and so it has been.
What exactly is that – you may ask. Professional while being friendly, delivering on promises and on time, sharing and encouraging in ways that I thought were long past, making me step up to the plate without forcing me to- the list is endless. I wouldn’t share this with every woman I meet but I share this with every woman who is interested in achieving a better result n her work life and in doing that with great women around.
My Member to Member Offer(s)
I am offering a $250 discount on any tour that is booked by a HerBusiness member using HBNMO1. I extend that offer to September 2020 only for any HerBusiness Network client using HBNCO2. If there is a group of 8 clients they will also receive a facial on tour on Wandering Women.