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HBWN September Networking Event

Ticket sales close today!

Hunter Business Women’s Network invites you to an evening of fine dining and networking at Noah’s on the Beach with our guest speaker, Julie Eldridge.

Julie Eldridge is the CEO of local charity, Youth Express. For 23 years Julie has worked with the local Hunter community to provide support for young people as they make the important transition from compulsory education into life as active and participatory community members. She is passionate about providing opportunities for young people to learn through experience.

Members and guests will enjoy a delicious 2-course meal and drink on arrival.

When: Wednesday 13 September 2017, registration from 5.45pm.

Where: Noah’s on the Beach, Cnr Shortland Esplanade & Zaara Street, Newcastle, NSW 2300


  • $55 for 2017 financial members (including booking fee)
  • $65 for non-members and guests (including booking fee)

We hope to see you there!




Capturing Confidence

The job market is competitive at the moment with organisations receiving hundreds of applications for each position – many from over qualified professionals.

So how do you stand out in a crowd? One local business believes those in the corporate world can learn from their contemporaries in the acting industry when it comes to exuding confidence.

Already a successful casting agency, Captured Communications is branching out to help women incorporate acting strategies into corporate communication.

“Getting work in any field is all about looking in control because you are in control. That means you know your strengths and you know how to market them,” says Captured Communications’ Tania Bunk, who is a multi-talented actor, recording artist, graphic designer and human resources consultant.

“I learned that when I was an actor, and I went through it again when I returned to paid work after having my sons.”

Tania said she faced a range of challenges unique to mothers returning to the workforce, and her confidence really took a beating.

“Some employers wouldn’t look at me because they assumed I’d need lots of time off to look after my kids. There was also what I call the ‘guilts and gaps’ that nearly every mum faces, guilt about not caring full time for my kids, and worrying about gaps in my CV. This affected my self-esteem and I thought I didn’t have what it takes due to a lack of skills.”

But Tania soon realised that the skills she’d learned from acting – looking confident on stage, and being confident at the audition – are the same skills you need to impress in a job interview and perform well in challenging work situations. She also discovered that being a mother taught her invaluable lessons about organisation and negotiation – key skills in any workplace.

“I focused on the things I knew I did well and promoted those. In my own time I worked on the areas I wasn’t so confident in and I was able to get back to work with the help of good advice from strong successful women and by using what I’d learned as an actor. Now I want to share what I’ve learned to help other women get into a career too.”

Tania says Captured Communications focuses on helping people present themselves to potential employers.

“We can help people understand what their strengths are and how to ensure they can sell that to a potential employer.  We do this by working on a skills analysis, helping people write their CV, respond to selection criteria and by running confidence building workshops.”

The workshops aim to help participants feel confident about what they are saying and presenting themselves with assurance – not assertiveness training or management and leadership techniques, but short, sharp tips based on acting theories.

“It’s about acting the part – with substance – playing the role that you may not feel is you, and easing yourself into it so you believe in yourself and others will too!” says Tania.

“There’s a huge number of skilled people who are struggling to sell themselves and their experience. We’re here to help them understand the skills they can bring to the workplace or how to get that role.”

Contact Tania:


It’s All About Connection

Grow Your Network

Hunter Business Women’s Network (HBWN) was established in 1995 by a group of enterprising local business women that wanted to support each other. Members represent a wide range of industry sectors including finance, law, retail and wholesale, professional services, hospitality, transport, communication, public relations, health, education, manufacturing and government organisations. A diverse group of women, our members range from brand new micro businesses, small to medium businesses, the corporate and government sector as well as not for profit. This combination of experience creates a varied and supportive environment allowing members to share knowledge and skills with each other so they can connect, inspire and grow. Members are encouraged to participate in activities that will raise the profile and improve the status of women throughout the Hunter Region.

If you are looking for advice to help make this year your best business one ever, then look no further than HBWN. The committee and members form part of a supportive network aimed at giving you access to great business opportunities with a chance to make new contacts.

HBWN regularly holds networking events to help you meet new people, make great connections and extend your business. They also host special events such as International Women’s Day and Regional Women Connect, which gives you access to inspiring and informative speakers.

Promote yourself and your business via:

  • The HBWN website
  • A ‘Minute on Your Business’ segment – 2 at each meeting – the chance to raise your profile
  • Reduced ticket prices at our events including subsidised Christmas party.
  • Sponsorship of events – become a sponsor to promote your business and help support HBWN and other members at the same time
  • The ability to promote your business at our monthly ‘Table Talk’ table

Corporate Memberships are also available for organisations wishing to have the flexibility to send different employees to our events at members prices. You get five memberships which can be used for any employee at any time throughout the year to access our great networking opportunities. This will also help to raise the profile of your business as constant attendance at events will allow you to meet and greet with others as well as improve on connections already in place.

If you have any enquiries regarding membership, please visit the HBWN site:
or email HBWN at


The Hula Hoop Syndrome

Lost your mojo or stuck in a rut?

You know that feeling. You’re comfortable staying right where you are and yet you often feel unfulfilled. Stuck within the bounds of your invisible hula hoop.

According to the State of the Service report on employee engagement in the APS, ‘An engaged workforce is likely to be more committed to organisational goals and (be) more productive.’ Employee engagement in the Australian Public Service, (APS), has remained consistent at 65% in both 2014 and 2015; but how does the APS classify engagement? Statistics don’t tell the full story when it comes to determining an individual’s personal engagement  in their APS role.

“One area of the statistical analysis is based on the intention to leave. This does not reflect the fact that employees may just be staying in their current role due to financial circumstances or maintaining a feeling of security”, says Tania Bunk, a trained Life Coach and Human Resources professional, from Captured Communications.

“Employees may actually be disengaged from their role and are staying due to fear based reasons. Physically they are listed as ‘engaged’, yet mentally and emotionally they are not fulfilled.”

“On average, APS staff are only 65% engaged with their job. This could be seen as being quite high in terms of retention, but are individuals satisfied with their job rather than simply being listed as engaged?”

Tania says she has spoken to many women who are currently disengaged with their current roles in both the public and private sectors.

“This is due to many varied reasons – lack of job satisfaction, not feeling valued, wanting to work less hours to spend more time with family or dreaming of expanding their undervalued skills to their own businesses to help others and to benefit directly from the rewards.”

“The aim of searching for your new purpose isn’t to tell you to quit everything right now and run. It’s about discovering what you are suited to and how you can make decisions and take action to start taking baby steps toward your new journey whilst still maintaining the security of your current situation.”

Tania says life coaching sessions are one of the best ways to shift current fears around change, as hope conquers fear and small steps toward change become easier.

“It’s often people who appear to have it all that struggle to focus on what they really want. A recent client, Lynne, had a well paid job, a loving family and husband, a lovely house filled with beautiful things, but she wasn’t happy within herself because she was living the life expected of her rather than the one she wanted.”

Tania helped Lynne discover what she could do to fill that void and become truly engaged, but it wasn’t about prescribing solutions.

“I didn’t tell Lynne exactly what she needed to do. To be honest I don’t do a lot of talking in the sessions. I pose a series of questions to the client,” says Tania.

“The starting point of the journey toward change is defining one’s big picture dream goal and then breaking it down into tangible achievable processes. It is so satisfying experiencing the engagement and excitement a client feels as they weave their way through the coaching journey.”

Lynne is now transitioning to a start-up business and a whole new exciting chapter of her life, having gained the confidence to make a complete jump from her comfort zone and self awareness around her strengths and capabilities.

Captured Communications also provides services in the areas of journey guidance, career & life coaching, résumé design, selection criteria, interview strategies, self-esteem validation, skills analysis, casting services and design management. Visit for more information.