Congratulations to Penelope O’Sullivan (2009) who is a Victorian Finalist of the Telstra Young Businesswomen’s Awards!
After reading shocking statistics on violence against women and also sadly experiencing it in a previous relationship, Penelope decided to apply her skills in event consultancy to bring about social change.
Penelope runs Ultimate Women’s Weekend Expo, a showcase of up to 130 small and medium businesses, offering seminars and classes to the general public. The expo travels around Australia, with 100% of profits donated to local domestic violence charities and shelters.
To date, the show has provided over $15,000 in support to local communities including non-for-profits dealing with domestic violence, women’s refuges and impacted individuals who need help.
“I found myself Googling what the prevalence of domestic violence was,” Penelope says. “I was shocked by statistics in Australia which include one in three women experiencing Physical violence since the age of 15, and one in four experiencing Emotional abuse, and I realised that a third of the women who attend my show would have experienced this. It occurred to me that I could use my organisation to help and create an embowering sisterhood.”
Penelope’s business now has a permanent staff of 8, as well as some casual staff during the events.
“Diversity is our greatest asset. We have individuals of mixed genders, races, religion, stay at home mums, workers with disabilities and so forth. It is something which has been so beneficial to the business, helping it grow so significantly.
“As a community, we need to collectively stand together to eradicate domestic Violence, support victims, and provide education and support as well for the perpetrators so they can change their behaviour to be kind, and full of love.”
Penelope was one of 600 competitors to be an Award Finalist, with winners announced at the annual gala dinner in late November.
It is truly fantastic to see such hard work and determination rewarded. Congratulations on your achievements, Penelope!