Join us for an evening of networking, appetisers, drinks and celebrating two Riverina women with the final two screenings of the 2018 Hear Them Roar Video Series.
Appetisers will be served during the networking at the commencement of the evening.
Drinks will be available for purchase at the bar (cash only).
Date: Tuesday 13th November 2018
Time: 6pm - 8.30pm
Location: Romano’s Hotel, 81 Fitzmaurice Street, Wagga Wagga
Tickets: $20 WiB Members | $30 Non-Members & Guests
Ticket Sales Close (RSVP): Monday 12th November 2018
Tickets are strictly not available at the door.
Dianna Somerville has packed more into her 36 years than most and things aren’t likely to slow down anytime soon, which is just the way the navy ship driver-turned-entrepreneur and champion for regional Australia likes it!
Over two weeks in February, Di travelled almost 16,500 kilometres around Australia from her home near Wagga Wagga, NSW, on a preparatory tour of the regional centres that will later this year host their state’s final of the first-ever national Australia Post Regional Pitchfest. And the speed at which this has come together has Di still pinching herself.
It began less than a year ago, after Di saw a lack of opportunities for regional people and their great ideas, to unearth and shine the light on local entrepreneurial talent, with the first Regional Pitchfest held in Wagga in June 2016. Now, with full support from Australia Post, her local bright idea is going national. Little did Di know that Australia Post representatives were in the audience of her Wagga event, scoping opportunities to support regional innovation. They were so blown away by what Di had pulled o that they jumped at the chance to support the development and expansion of her idea to bring it to every state and territory across Australia - the ultimate Pitchfest outcome!
But this speed and agility is what entrepreneurs thrive on according to Di, who credits the support of her family and focus on her career for literally saving her life. Born and bred in Wagga, Di’s life has come full circle since she moved away after high school to follow a dream to work in the armed forces. While she initially wanted to be a fire fighter, an Australian Defence Force Academy scholarship saw Di change course for the navy, where she quickly rose through the ranks and drove war ships for a living. Given Di’s love of the water, having grown up water skiing, she doesn’t call her navy life a job, it was a passion.
As there is no ocean around Wagga, Di thought she would never return. Ironically things quickly changed on a visit home when she bumped into Dane, a boy she had known since pre-school. Fast forward 11 years, Di is married to Dane and living on their sheep and cropping property at Collingullie, just 24km from Wagga, with their children Judd, 9, and Lacey, 7. A 10-year drought quickly destroyed any romantic notion that Di had of being a farmer’s wife, which she thought might be a little bit like the McLeod’s Daughters TV show. She had to find a job and she soon found herself struggling to come to terms with her professional identity. In particular, how to transfer the significant skills and abilities gained from her time in uniform into a civilian life.
Lack of promotional opportunity locally within the public sector made Di look elsewhere and when presented with the idea that people needed help putting tenders together she thought she’d “give it a crack”. As the saying goes ‘opportunity breeds success’, and after tapping into a start-up network in Wagga established by another entrepreneur Simone Elyes, of 365cups app fame, Di quickly saw how geography doesn’t have to be a career barrier. It was also a key driver for her Regional Pitchfest vision to give people in regional areas the vehicle and confidence to bring their burning ideas to life.
“Regional people are inherently innovative, they have to be! That is why our regions are full of such amazing ideas. It’s about time that we not only heard them but also celebrated them.”
Dr Mary Lotfi
Dr Mary Lotfi has built and operates a thriving business “Riverina Laser and Skin Clinic”, providing Cosmetic Skin Treatments to people living in Wagga Wagga and the broader region.
Being a new immigrant and from a non-English speaking background, the road to success for Mary was not straight forward at all. Mary is an overseas trained medical doctor who graduated from Tabriz University of Medical Sciences in Iran in 1999. After practicing medicine in her home town, Tabriz (the capital city of Eastern Azarbaijan State in Iran) for 12 years she moved to Wagga Wagga on a Skilled Sponsorship Visa.
Mary has always had a strong passion for Aesthetic and Cosmetic Skin Treatments even as a medical doctor back in Iran where she was providing skin and beauty advice and treatments to her clients.
After moving to Australia Mary followed her dream and passion and started to study Dermal Therapies course with the Australian Academy of Cosmetic Dermal Science (AACDS) which included training in Cosmetic Laser Devices. Even though Mary did her training and study in a different language and different country with different standards from where she used to live, she completed this course successfully in the minimal time and is one of the few in the area that hold Laser Safety Officer Certificate.
Considering the impact of cosmetic skin problems such as pigmentation, acne scarring or premature skin ageing and sun damage on individual self-esteem and mental health, these procedures are now considered as a necessity not a luxury and before Mary opened her clinic, most people used to travel a long distance to Canberra or Sydney to get access to these treatments.
Riverina Laser and Skin Clinic started operating on May 2015 providing a wide range of Advanced Cosmetic Laser and Skin treatments for Wagga Wagga and surrounding towns. Located in the central Wagga, Riverina Laser and Skin Clinic provides high quality cosmetic skin treatments through fully qualified and trained staff.
The services provided by Mary to growing population of Wagga Wagga and the region, is vital and helps many young adults to feel more confident with their body and remain healthy.
Since opening Riverina Laser and Skin Clinic has had a steady growth and more than 10000 successful cosmetic procedures have been performed in 3 years.
Mary is very passionate about what she does. Coming from a medical background she always takes a scientific and evidence-based approach towards all the treatments and advice she provides. She always keeps her knowledge up to date and offers scientifically proven treatment methods with best technologies available to her clients.
In less than three years of operation, the business has already won two nomination in Best New Business category in 2016 and 2017 WWBC Golden Crow Awards.
Several new services have been added to clinic’s menu after the addition of a new High Technology Laser Machine in 2016.
Laser Treatment for Spider Veins, Rosacea Treatment, Acne Scarring Reduction, Pigmentation treatments, Non-surgical mole/skin tag removal, Laser Skin Rejuvenation, Laser Snoring Reduction, Non-Surgical Facelift, Non-Surgical Eye lift, and Permanent Laser Hair Reduction are some examples of services available at Riverina Laser and Skin Clinic and the list continues to grow.
Mary makes a great role model for many women, showing that nothing can stop a strong woman from achieving her dreams.