A decade on

A little bit of history and an enormous thank you from our fearless #girlbosses

Mel Hamilton, Director - Hamilton Taggart Partners and inaugural President of Gen Collective

In the early days of forming the network I never thought ahead so far as to one day we would be ten years old. I remember vividly sitting at a networking breakfast when I had the first conversation about forming a new network for women in professions and business, coincidentally with Jen Parkes, Clare Campbell and Gillian Lawrence  and we made a time to catch up later to talk more. One thing was for sure we were all keen to make it happen!

Initially, we all had some things in common, we wanted to build a professional/business network, it was part of our career progression to network and we had the support of our employers to do so.  

We had our first event on May 1, 2008  and over 60 women came to hear Lauren Miller Cilento  speak. As with anything relationships were the key to the success of the first event, supporters such as Meg Purser and Shivani Gupta rallied amongst their networks and invited our target audience to come along.

Following this first event we all had another thing in common, we all loved bringing speakers to inspire and support other women. I recall looking around the guests that day and seeing smiles and thinking wow I really love doing this

Jen Parkes, Partner - Hicksons Lawyers and current President

Clearly we still do  love this part of Gen Collective and that is why we keep organizing events month after month! Recently Mel and I caught up and we reflected on how far the network has come, how many events we have held and amazing speakers we have put before our members and guests. Mel, as the accountant, was the one more interested in the stats! Me? I still remember the first conversation with Mel and that passion to bring about a new way to get in touch with people in the professional and business community.

I know I speak for the entire Gen Collective committee that I feel proud of what we have all achieved, grateful for the contribution from every committee member we have had, absolutely thrilled that our supporters and mentors were willing to promote our vision and stick by us and super excited to celebrate our 10 years!

Mel and Jen: We both believe the key to our success has been having like-minded women involved, either at a committee level, sponsorship level or as members and guests. We both hear so many great stories of how relationships both professional and personal have happened because of meeting at a Gen Collective event.

We continue to connect with new people who are meeting for the first time, finding that spark of commonality and filling each other with confidence. We both believe very much that Gen Collective is more than just about networking, it is our community and we will be always very thankful for it!

Thank you for making Gen Collective the community it is today. We would love for you to celebrate this milestone with us on Friday August 3 with a night of luxe cocktails and fabulous food at 48 Watt Street. For more information about our anniversary event please visit out event page here.

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Invest in you

We would love to welcome you to Gen Collective's supportive, inspirational and welcoming community.


Gen Collective is now offering EARLY BIRD memberships for just $60 (+ booking fee). This special price will be available until 31 July 2018.

As Gen Collective member you will receive a great range of exclusive member benefits including:

  • An invitation to attend the AGM and to join our committee (held in September each year)
  • Discounted tickets
  • Member directory listing on the www.gencollective.com.au website
  • Invitation to submit articles and blog posts on our Facebook and LinkedIn pages (two per year)
  • Opportunity to promote your business on Gen Collective's social media sites (once per year)
  • Discounts and special promotions from our sponsors and partners

Full membership price is $70+ booking fee.

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The enduring legacy of a friendship for the McGrath Foundation

It’s been almost 13 years since you founded the McGrath Foundation with the late Jane McGrath, wife of then Australian fast bowler Glenn McGrath. When did you meet Jane?

In 1996, when she moved to Australia from the UK to be with Glenn. Although we were both from the UK, I lived in Manchester and she lived in the Midlands, so we didn’t know each other beforehand but became great friends from the moment we met.

 You were with Jane when she found a lump in her breast. When did the idea for the Foundation arise?

I was with Jane on an Ashes Tour in 1997 when she came to me [about] something concerning her. She took my hand, placed it on her breast and instantly I felt a lump. At 31 years old my friend was diagnosed with breast cancer. In 2000, when Jane wrote ‘Love for Life’, about her experience with breast cancer, they were looking to donate proceeds from the sale that Jane had the idea for the charity and asked me to get involved. At first we didn’t know what we were going to raise funds for.  It wasn’t until Jane was re-diagnosed in 2003 and she had the support of a breast care nurse that the mission for the McGrath Foundation was set.

This article originally appreared in the Newcastle Herald. Read the full interview with Tracy Bevan here.

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