2019 saw SCWIB hold, host and co-host with some very inspiring and informative local businesses that have led to business to business opportunities and friendships!

South Coast Women in Building and Construction are building a stronger format to support women in all aspects of the building and construction industry through providing networking opportunities with key businesses and trades in the region, to have relevant and up to date business forums and to seek opportunities to have a more interactive involvement with local businesses in the Illawarra & Shellharbour regions.

The events SCWIB held through 2019 were presented by the expertise of many local businesses.

December we had a great little get together for Christmas Cheers at Mr Crown in Wollongong, a great fun night with lots of laughs and friendships. Merry Christmas 2019!!

SCWIB's September Luncheon was pleased to have the expertise of HR with Ease to co-host and present at our September luncheon at The Fraternity Club Fairy Meadow. Yvonne Walker as always gave an very informative presentation with loads of information on women in building human resources with an open forum giving members the opportunity to interact and have their questions answered. welcome to raise them with Yvonne Walker on all things HR!

Our August luncheon SCWIB was please to hear a very inspiring and empowering talk from Fiona (Fi) Shewring of Supporting And Linking Tradeswomen Inc (SALT) a not-for- profit national body to support women in trades at Illawarra Leagues Club in Wollongong. Fi is the founder of SALT who is celebrating this year 10 years of SALT at the Australia Tradeswomen Conference in Sydney on 18th & 19 October at UTS Ultimo. See there website www.saltaustralia.org.au 

SCWIB's July luncheon we welcomed NAB at Fairy Meadow as our host with the topic "Women Build Super" which which was a very interactive and informative "not so dry" presentation on Super! We were very pleased with both Todd and Tanya's presentation along with the all their staff that contributed, it was terrific and great work space at NAB :) 

Now we know super can be stuck in the too hard basket for some independent contractors but it seriously is important for women to have some financial stability when they reach their golden years, even as an employee or employer understanding that every cent makes a difference, choice of investment strategies can see your balance fall or preferably rise!

Tanya Bennett - NAB Senior Business Banking Manager – NSW Property and her team hosted a terrific July event with Todd Conklin - Senior Financial Planner with his expertise on superannuation on why it is important to plan properly for super. 

His ethic - “I believe that we all need someone to turn to for advice. We need someone who's 'got our back'. We need someone who will ask the tough questions and who will challenge us to take the higher road. I try to be that person to my clients." Todd has been part of the NAB Financial Planning team since 2014. Todd is also a Affiliate member of the Financial Planning Association (FPA). Great job Todd!

Our June 2019 luncheon saw us back at Illawarra Leagues Club "garden room" SCWIB was pleased to have Bree Hoek Commercial Manager from Hutchinson Builders in Wollongong, who gave a very charismatic presentation!!

Her entire life changed from winning a competition on the radio for an all-expenses paid trip to Canada, as this gave her the impetus to quit her sales job she felt she was “stuck in”. On her return to Australia she moved into the construction industry, in an entry level Site Clerk Position at Westfield on Stage 1 of North Lakes Shopping Centre.

Bree had been in construction for 5 years, grabbing with both hands any chance to learn, up skill and advance before commencing with Hutchies as a Contracts Administrator in 2007.

Within the time Bree has been with Hutchies, she has been privileged to work with numerous extremely supportive men and women in varying roles, on a vast amount of different projects around the country. The encouragement in her current role has allowed her to continue advancing her career. - Fantastice Bree and thank you :)

May 2019 saw our event go to Shellharbour with Workways Australia! 

Our event partner was Workways Australia of Shellharbour "a charitable organisation established for the principal purpose of promoting the relief of poverty, distress, misfortune or disability of individuals who suffer from long-term unemployment and other significant social disadvantages by providing programs to assist them to obtain and retain employment or to proceed to further education and/or training".

Justine Leonard provided a very information presentation on back to work assistance programs,  Thank you to Workways Australia!

March 28th Thursday we had a Breakfast session at the Living Room in Wollongong for a morning of networking at our informal meet & greet, a casual meet-up that was enjoyed be all! :)

April we gave a miss because of school holidays, Easter and Anzac day lending people the opportunity to take a short break away :)

Our February luncheon at Illawarra Leagues Club SCWIB was pleased to have Altius Group of Wollongong host out first event for 2019. Their presentation by Matthew Counsel - National Manager Partnerships outlined the importance of Work Health & Safety and provided innovative solutions to protect employees and their future. Thank you for a very informative session from Altius Group Wollongong  & Jessica Green – Senior Rehabilitation Consultant for arranging!

We also held our first Walk & Talk in Wollongong and had a few more before winter hit! We will try again next year with it as unfortunately we didn't have too big a take up :( 

SCWIB has a new direction towards building a strong network group, for women in all aspects of the building and construction industry in the region, with the introduction of a new director - Tenielle Stevenson!

You will see some exciting and varied network events to build on the existing educative forums currently held, as well as some informal events to create an inclusive, fun and supportive network.  

An open forum on industry matters & gaining valuable knowledge, with business to business networking alongside women of all aspects of the building, construction and allied industries in your local area.

REGISTER your interest to attend an event, host, sponsor or present on our contacts page - or email maxine@scwib.com.au OR CONTACT Maxine Wiseman on 0417 372 997


In 2018 South Coast Women in Building & Construction was please to have Tenielle Stevenson come on board as a Director of SCWIB, Tenielle brings with her an enthusiastic drive for improving the opportunities for women and as pleased to be part of our team:

"I am passionate about providing opportunity for all, from education to a safe home and working environment, everyone deserves an opportunity and a fair go. I have spent majority of my working career except now being of the youngest on my team, company and usually one of very few women. It’s not uncommon to of been outnumbered by over a hundred males. I have worked on mine sites, constructions sites, small businesses and even a stint in a corporate environment. I completed my first Master’s Degree in Management by 25 and I have recently completed my second Masters in Project Management and I am currently completing a Diploma in Building and Construction with the girls at Hutchies. The more and more women I engage and communicate with there is a common theme, I am just…I am just doing the books for my husband, I am just an admin, I am just a receptionist, I am just the chick in the office, I am just the person who cooks and clean, I am just the mum or the wife. There is no I am just, every role is equally just as important as another. We Queens should be fixing each other’s crowns and uplifting each other to be our best version of ourselves. Coming on board as a Director at SCWIB I want to engage, inspire and connect you but most importantly I want to learn from you as I am firm believer in that everyone has something to teach another. We plan on the future direction of SCWIB to be one of growth" Tenielle Stevenson 2018 Director of SCWIB

Maxine Wiseman - SCWIB Founding Director :-

"Working in the building & construction area can be difficult & very rewarding, different challenges are faced each day and in the world of women working in the industry no matter in what field, can sometimes feel isolated. Through support networks in recent years has seen a slight rise of support for women in trades and allied industries as well as in education and learning. There are many fields of expertise that hold this industry together and women play a major role in that. That is where sharing your experiences and learning from each other, develops naturally strong mentoring situations. As women we can do this so naturally, it’s our mothering instincts, but with consistent embattlements to maintain our businesses, our family and ourselves we can get lost on a merry-go-round of life’s responsibilities. Instead of trying to jump off the Merry-go-round why not re-create a new one? How? By listening to those that have been there before, are on it now or are ready to “jump back on” such is the strength and durability of engaging in conversation. At SCWIB’s networking business forums, you have the opportunity to do this, don’t be afraid to come along and have a chat, we are here to support you and help you keep up-to-date to help you through. Hope to see you at the next SCWIB event, details on the website events page or Facebook page. Look forward to meeting/seeing you soon."

Previous Posts:-

To follow-up or Not to Follow - that is the question!!

Many businesses in the building industry depend on having their quotes accepted to win the job, it's a big process to market yourself, it' s a big process to gain requests for quotes and its an even bigger job to WIN the job.

During my years of experience in the building industry one of the contentious issues is, "do I follow-up, how often and when?"

After all, this could be the crucial element that puts your business on the forefront of your potential clients mind to help decide.

At one of our lunches with  SCWIB, I  shared with the group my strategy on how to:-

·         Mind-frame your approach follow-ups

·         Build your approach to set follow-up strategies

·         Techniques to how often, when & why

Working in both the housing & commercial building industries has instilled in the importance of this area that so often gets overlooked. Having directly influenced opportunities in the last 6 months for in commercial business, I showed how follow-ups are a positive aspect to include in your everyday quote strategies.

I have been involved in many supportive programs for women in building and construction, from facilitation to education and mentoring over the last (dare I say) 25 years! Also as a director of a design & build cottage company, working in industry associations and industry superannuation companies, a wealth of experience accumulated to share with you!!

We will also had the pleasure of Sueanne Rudens, Manager of MEND Services Wollongong Office.

Sueanne often deals with the impact that workplace accidents have on not only the individual, but also the effect on the business and colleagues of the injured.

With Friday 28th April being International Day of Mourning for countries around the world to pause & commemorate workers who have died as a result of a workplace incident or occupational disease, it was fitting to have a conversion about "What to do" in these circumstances and how to best manage it.

Mend is about managing your work place risk and achieving positive Return to Work outcomes and are about helping your organisation with the provision of a comprehensive range of workplace health, safety, rehabilitation and training solutions.

I hope to see you at our next SCWIB event, see our Events page :)

Previous Posts:

SCWIB & Illawarra ITeC were pleased to bring to our breakfast forum on Friday 17th February 2017 at Coniston

At the event we welcome guest speakers Yvonne Walker & Melinda Shobrook.

HR with Ease® Principle - Yvonne Walker

When Workplace Health & Safety overlaps with Human Resource. The significant overlap and interaction between HR and WHS is something business owners often struggle to manage well. Many businesses focus on WHS compliance and overlook the impact of employee relations. Yvonne Walker – BA (Psychology), CAHRI has 26 years of experience in human resources in heavy industry, spanning the Illawarra, Hunter, Sydney, Shoalhaven, Western Australia, Queensland and New Zealand.

We were pleased to also welcome Melinda Shobrook – social media specialist and founder of CyberTribes Social Media is a fabulous presenter and educator on all things social media. She is also creator of “Indigenous Rise” an international Facebook group that acknowledge the rise, resilience, & tenacity of Indigenous peoples around the world.

Both gave a brilliant presentation!

December 2016

As we round off another year, SCWIB would like to thank you for your support at our business forums and events throughout the year.

Your attendance and feedback is highly valued by SCWIB to continue in delivering the service to you to encourage, inspire and acknowledge the tremendous women that are the driver and strength in many of the varied roles that they play in the building and construction industry.

YOUR role is highly valued to continue to build a better industry, to support each other, to be informed is to be knowledgeable.

When you instil this into your business model, you are also setting a benchmark in improving the professionalism and delivery of your building & construction business as a Director, employer, sole trader or employee. Congratulations!!

We wish you a Merry Christmas and Safe New Year! See you in 2017 

Next event 17th February see event page for more details.

See our EoY Newsletter 2016


Friday 21st October 2016

Our special Guest speaker for October was very inspiring  sort after speaker, for both corporate and community groups. She is engaged regularly by businesses to inspire and educate their staff in key messages to aid and improve staff morale, productivity and efficiency. Dr Maria Zuschmann (Chiropractor & Health Coach) who graduated from Macquarie University in 2004, with a goal to help our greater community remove interference from their lives so they can reach their full potential. Her presentation was very relaxing and enlightening, a very interactive and well received presentation - thank you Maria :)

We were also pleased to welcome the founder of Inunison Financial Advice – Alexandra Simoes.

Her new all women finance organisation is built on her enthusiasm for women to gain financial independence by “Putting You First” as their motto and their creed, along with Nikayla Tolhopf  their presentation was a wealth of knowledge on educating on financial wellbeing. Thanks heaps ladies :)

Thursday 8th & Friday 9th August 2016 - Tradeswomen Australia Conference & Celebrating 100 years of women in trades - This was the most fantastic event with so much pride and professional presentations!! See conference page for gallery & highlights!

Friday 17th June 2016

We had a very informative and interactive lunch forum in June with Fair Work Building & Construction -

Dealing with workplace issues can get no harder than dealing with it in the building industry. This was a great opportunity to find out how the FWBC can help with these issues, be more informed about who the FWBC represents and their role in the national workplace relations system. 

Julie Siciliano – Fair Work Investigator since 1 October 2002, gave a very interesting insight to the many issues faced on building sites across NSW!! Julie has been employed with the Interim Building Industry Taskforce which is now evolved and named FWBC. She has worked on many building sites in NSW ensuring conditions of the Fair Work Act (2009) are not breached. 

Harry Feros – Fair Work Investigator has been an Investigator with ABCC/FWBC since 2002 and has 22 years of experience with both the federal and NSW governments in IR investigations and compliance. 

Their experience in dealing with the many levels of assessing workplace arrangements & disputes was intriguing to hear, attendees were better informed on who the FWBC represent. with discussions on:-

  • The history and role of Fair Work Building & Construction - FWBC
  • Freedom of Association – you can choose if you join or not
  • Dealing with workplace bullying
  • Right of Entry – what it means to your worksite
  • Unfair Dismissal – how is handled?

Looking forward to a future business forum with FWBC!

Friday 5h May 2016

We had a terrific presentation by Fair Trading with Allan Carter - Building Investigator & Norman Foster Manager Dispute Resolution giving a very informative update on Security of Payments, with many questions from the floor to engage in discussion on this topical issue of getting paid! A terrific breakfast was prepared with plenty of hot coffee flowing from our "barista" Virginia Wren!! Thank you to Illawarra ITeC for supporting SCWIB events!

Friday 26th February 2016

A lunch forum  held in February 2016 with Fiona Curdie–Evans, Managing Director of Mend Services. Fiona is a fabulous presenter with her passion for supporting SME’s. She helped to address those sensitive areas of Mental Health in the workplace as well as injury management & rehabilitation as a qualified occupational therapist for the building construction and associated industries. Mend has been operating for over 25 years. There was an enlightening and inspiring discussion as well as plenty of networking. A gorgeous lucky door prize was donated by Mend Services and nicely presented by Sueanne Rudens! Congratulations to our winners and thank you Mend for sponsoring this event.

Go to our events page for further details of the next SCWIB event and register to attend on the contact us page. Looking forward to seeing you there, register your interest on our "contact us" page

Past News Items:-

August 2015

Friday 21st August was a very inspiring morning for women that work in trades or were considering working in this rewarding and challenging career. This breakfast event  at Pioneer Sands Towradgi saw our special guest speaker Fi Shewring Painter & Decorator and TAFE teacher at Wollongong present her passion for training and developing women working in trades. Fi is also the founder and president of Supporting and Linking Tradeswomen (SALT) an organisation that travels to many schools, communities and education centres around the NSW giving hands-on workshops for women to build their skills.

What a great value to the community Fi Shewring from SALT is! A wonderful insight at the SCWIB breakfast forum, with a very educating & inspiring presentation on women in non-traditional trades!

Some previous events included:-

June 2015

June 17th 2015 business forum morning tea was held at Pioneer Sands, Quality Suites Towradgi NSW and was proudly sponsored by Long Service Corporation.

Thebusiness forums give you the opportunity to network in a casual and friendly environment amongst your industry colleagues, with presentations and discussion from our guest speakers & partners

Margaret Saprun was our June 17th speaker who has been with the Long Service Corporation for the last 12 years,  3 of which she has spent as an Inspector. Her role involves visiting employers within the ‘building and construction’ as well as the ‘cleaning’ schemes that the Corporation administers in an educational and auditing capacity, and undertake checks to ensure that correct levy payments have been made. 

Apart from holding other compliance auditing roles within the State government, Margaret has also held connections with the building industry through various roles from liaison with councils regarding their building and development approvals policies; sales and administration for a medium project home builder, and through her passion of building, renovating and landscaping (more recently trying her hand at concreting). She would love to get even more involved, but being a wife and mother to 3 means that those passions often get put on the backburner, and with the idyllic South Coast always beckoning, she steals a weekend when possible, with her family to escape the chaos.

April 2015

SCWIB was very pleased to have Karen Boyle from Back in Black Training partner and present at our lunch event on 22nd April at City Diggers Wollongong - Karen has a passion for helping business owners, her demonstration on the use of Xero and Receipt Bank was well received with her expert experience in the accounting industry and a love of cloud software & technology, Karen was very informative on it's applications.

Inspiring Insight to Women in Building & Construction profiled Di Buttenshaw from DiSIGNS, her experience getting into her chosen field working as a sign-writer, commencing and managing her own business, and her challenges and successes along the way was very professional and enlightening, we thank Di for your wonderful presentation.

February 2015

SCWIB had a very successful breakfast forum on Wednesday 18th February 2015 hosted by Illawarra ITeC Coniston NSW. Our guest speaker Lynelle Collins from Fair Trading gave us an update on the major changes to home building laws as well as an inspirational insight to women working in building and construction. Lynelle has a trade in fitting & machining and a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering. Her challenges and successes she encountered throughout her career were highly impressive and indeed inspiring!!

The Illawarra Mercury ran an article on SCWIB's focus for encouraging and supporting women in the industry to come along and network at these events. See attached article from 17th February 2015.

170215 Illawarra Mercury SCWIB.pdf 170215 Illawarra Mercury SCWIB.pdf
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