Our Mission Statement

To continue our 30 year commitment of networking, supporting and recognising women in business by connecting like-minded business owners, building meaningful relationships and knowledge-sharing. We endeavour to create networking opportunities where our members feel empowered, grow personally and professionally and we also focus on outreach initiatives to give back to our communities.

Our Vision Statement

To be a premier, professional organisation with rich history, character and distinct reputation for active, organised platforms to market and promote our businesses through various networking activities and offerings designed and created on the backdrop of the UWA slogan as our inspiration “to grow together through networking, sharing and enthusiasm”.

2023 President’s Report

Four standout events for me…

We had a positive membership renewal rate, and we welcomed new members to our networking group.

At our year-end soiree, we celebrated UWA’s 29th anniversary, saluted Beverley Murray for creating awareness, promoting and supporting our members during her reign as ’23 Achiever of the Year at all our networking events, and we crowned Senta Seele as the 2024 winner and Natasha Lee and Debbie Becker as runners-up.

Lastly, our committee had an exciting and fun time when we planned and completed the room makeover at Granny Griffs Sugar Shack, Dbn North into our very own UWA Boardroom.

Our networking activities were quite successful:

We hosted a few evening networking events to accommodate members and guests who were unable to attend the morning functions and these were all sold out which confirms the need for options;

  • a survey to retrieve feedback after our networking events was introduced in order for us to measure the success of each event, listen to our members and improve in areas where necessary;
  • the monthly coffee clubs were just as popular as our main event, but we found that the Saturday events were met with varied support so this year it will be hosted on Monday mornings as well as Saturday afternoons to accommodate everyone;
  • the introduction of the UWA Ads competition to our weekly WhatsApp Ads group was also received well and quite encouraging that towards the end of ’23 it picked up momentum and we hope this will be just a popular this year;
  • we ended the programme with Aritha Aleka being announced as the inaugural winner

    It is noted that there is room for improvement with regard to our book club as well as our monthly blood drives, Mandela, Winter and Christmas outreach initiatives.

Fire and Ice Year-end event

At our Fire & Ice year-end function held at Mt Edgecombe CC, our platform to celebrate each other and take stock of the year’s activities, we hosted close to 100 members and guests. It was a super evening with a jam-packed programme, great entertainment, delish menu, complimentary gin and wines, PLUS many were spoilt from the long list of prizes and gifts sponsored by members and external suppliers, which also enabled us to collectively raise funds for the year-end charity recipient.

Part of the programme included the President Awards, where recognition and thanks are extended to:
• Suppliers of the year
o Katia & (Nick) – Saders Kitchen
o Immortal Art Design
• Committee members of the year – Ray Till & Louise Davies
• Our founder – Helene Griffiths

We also recognised members who have been part of UWA for over 10 years:
Long Service Certificates
• Elna Bachman
• Esther Bishop
• Katia Papadopolous
• Natalie Burne
• Saysha Till
• Senta Seele
• Sue Davidson
• Tasha Jardim
• Tracey-lee Sydney

We ended the event with the announcement of our UWA Achiever of the Year winner and runners-up.

Overall, UWA’s presence on social media has been positive, regular, active and influential. During ’22 and ’23 we created Instagram and LinkedIn profiles and with these 2 platforms as well as our website and Facebook, we have been more visible than ever before.

There has been more focus on what we communicate and how we continue to connect and build relationships. We have continued with our monthly newsletters, have whatsapp groups for all our events with detailed event information to create a professional image of our organisation and I have personally reached out to members to connect outside of our networking functions.

We have met and developed a connection with a few journalists who gave support to UWA and provided free publicity which was as we know has come full circle for UWA.

At every networking event the support from our members who sponsored gifts was overwhelming. With their enthusiasm and our members commitment to supporting communities at large, we were able to support various charities in need. In addition, it was also a great platform to promote themselves as well as their businesses.

At the end of 2023, Helene Griffiths, founder of UWA, approached our committee to propose that we serve another year in office. The primary thinking behind this was for continuity as it is our 30th anniversary and we have synergy and effective processes and plans in place for all our activities.

Our UWA committee has been together for 2 years. We have a lovely team, each of us with our strengths and passion to lead our organisation! We have developed an understanding of each other of what is required and how to contribute towards our committee and our organisation which doesn’t develop overnight. Each person has contributed their time, hardwork, ideas/suggestions, humour/fun element, patience and without each of them being present in their own way, we would not have had the success and results that we can all gain from.

Thank You to each of our UWA committee members.

Thank You to our UWA members.

Thank You to our guests.

Here’s to 2024 – our 30th year of networking and supporting women in business!
Robyn Meloni