Think HBR

Networking groups

Hunter Business Women’s Network

Conferences, networking dinners, Christmas dinner events, charity fundraisers... all activities on offer to members of the Hunter Business Women’s Network (HBWN). Established in 1995 by a group of enterprising women who wanted to support and learn from each other, HBWN’s members represent a wide range of industry sectors including finance, law, retail and wholesale, professional services, hospitality, transport, communication, public relations, health, education, manufacturing and government organisations. The network is open to women in any area of business, from new micro-business, small to medium enterprises, and the corporate, government and not-for-profit sectors. There are currently around 200 members who are encouraged to participate in activities that raise the profile and improve the status of women throughout the Hunter Region. The network runs monthly dinner meetings, an annual conference and other events that enable members and guests to hear speakers and panel discussions on current issues that they wouldn’t normally have access to.

Gen Collective

Formerly known as genXwomen, the Gen Collective is designed to provide a dynamic avenue to establish alliances and build relationships in the Hunter business community. Operating in the Hunter since 2008, the network launched its new identify, Gen Collective, in September 2016 as part of an overall mission to ensure the network continues to offer both inspiring and diverse development opportunities for members and guests of all ages, backgrounds and business sectors. Its core focus – to be a welcoming and supportive community for professionals – has not changed. Gen Collective’s vision is for its members and guests to form genuine and sustainable business relationships and friendships, which will enrich their careers and business journeys. These relationships are formed by attending its diverse range of professional development opportunities through the Gen Collective annual series of keynote speaker and social events as well as workshops. These events bring together women from a broad range of backgrounds, industries and experiences in a relaxed environment each month. Each event is shaped to appeal to members’ common interests such as work-life balance, business and career building, communication, finance and wealth management, health, fashion and beauty. The Gen Collective committee, a team of 14 passionate volunteers, drives these events. They are Jennifer Parkes (president), Emily Gallagher (vice president), Mel Hamilton (founder), Nicole Esplin (secretary), Lauren Fancey (treasurer), Stephanie Airlie-Noe, Elle Buyers, Kim-Cherie Davidson, Kylie Diehm, Amy King, Hanneke Niesten, Charmaine Piper, Kim Sills and Donna Spillane. To find out more about Gen Collective or to become a member go to or email

Port Stephens Women in Business 

Networking and mentoring group Port Stephens Women in Business offer women a chance to network, make friends and promote their business at monthly meetings and special events. Guest speakers with information to support women in business are often invited to attend the monthly meetings, and online newsletters help keep the members connected with up-to-date information. The group was started in 2009 by a small group of women in the Port Stephens area who identified a need for a networking group for likeminded women in their local area. The group now comprises over 50 women and the needs of individuals guides the direction the group takes. A feature of the group is the mentoring existing members offer to new members or those who are interesting in starting their own business. Members also mentor and offer work experience to young people in the area. For further information visit

Presence & Purpose

Presence & Purpose is a networking group established by Katie Ryan who runs her own counselling practice. For years Katie Ryan, had tried networking, but more often than not, walked away from events disappointed. “I knew [networking] was valuable but I wasn’t getting anything out of it. Many of my colleagues felt the same way” she said. And so Katie took action and established Presence & Purpose, a networking group based in Warner’s Bay with an aim to bring together friendly, helpful and focused business women in a non-threatening environment where they would be comfortable to share their wisdom, meet new friends and learn how to take their business further. “The kind of networking event that my fellow business women and myself would be excited to attend. I wanted it to feel like you’re sitting in a comfy lounge room chatting with friends over a cup of tea, ” said Katie. The response to Presence & Purpose meetings has been overwhelmingly positive, assuring Katie she’s on the right track. Presence and Purpose is open to all women, whether you’ve been in business for five minutes or 50 years, whether you work for yourself or are part of a bigger enterprise. Meetings are held monthly from 6.45 to 9pm.
For further information visit

Women in Building & Associated Services

Women in Building & Associated Services (WIBAS) promotes women in the construction industry. WIBAS provides an environment for networking with colleagues, exchanging ideas, experiences, mentoring and being mentored. Members gain access to unique industry events and site visits whilst obtaining relevant, industry specific information. Supported by the Master Builders Association, we present an Annual Award for recognition of women in industry and hold 4-5 breakfast forums throughout the year. For further information, see their Facebook page:

Lake Macquarie Women in Business Network

The Lake Macquarie Women in Business Network was conceived by the Business Growth Centre to provide women of Lake Macquarie with a comfortable and supportive network to develop and grow both personally and professionally. The Lake Macquarie Women in Business Network events run on the third Wednesday of the month from February to November. These monthly events not only provide an opportunity for attendees to connect with like-minded business people, but the women who come along will also be inspired by the personal stories and journeys of other successful business women. Each month a guest speaker will talk about their involvement in business, their journey, their successes and lessons learnt, what inspires and motivates them, and their plans for the future. The Business Growth Centre believes that these stories resonate with the attendees and offers them something inspiring and real to take away from the event, and perhaps implement in their own business.