Photo credit: Kirsten Cunningham.

Left to right: Lynda Smart, Rachel Chippendale, Nicole Morris, David Coe, Jessica Hickman and Amy Van de Ven.


Newcrest Mining’s Cadia Valley Operations (Cadia) has announced local women’s initiative, Central West Inspired Women (CWIW), is the recipient of funding under its Cadia Cares Program.

CWIW was established under Regional Development Australia Central West in November 2022, bringing together local women in business, industry, and local government to ‘connect for success’ – learning from guest speakers and each other in an environment that fosters positivity, connection, inclusiveness and growth in line with four key themes; connect, inspire, learn and share.

The initiative aims to fill a capacity-building and self-empowerment opportunity gap for regional women, delivering metropolitan quality events that attendees usually must travel to Sydney to attend.

RDA Central West Acting Director, Lynda Smart, said the community enthusiasm for the initiative has thus far been overwhelmingly positive.

“We have delivered two successful sold-out events and the initiative’s social media and newsletter subscribership is growing every day. This just proves that what we’ve developed truly meets a need in this community,” she said.

Cadia Acting General Manager, Mick Dewar, said Cadia is looking forward to seeing the program develop over the next 12 months.

“We are pleased to support CWIW by providing $20,000 in funding towards this valuable initiative.  CWIW is going to build the capacity of women in business, industry and local government, while fostering a strong network of female leaders in our community.”

The CWIW committee is made up of author and motivational speaker Jessica Hickman, Quest Orange Hotel owner Amy Van de Ven, RDA Central West Acting Director Lynda Smart, Communications and Events Officer Rachel Chippendale and Board Member Christine Weston. Ms. Van de Ven said she envisages the initiative will grow to offer its own fellowship and mentoring opportunities.

“I was previously chair of a similar initiative in Albury Wodonga which grew to offer members a structured mentoring program and the chance to pitch for funding to elevate business ideas. When I arrived in Orange four years ago there was no networking or education opportunities for women in business. CWIW will now have the platform to connect and collaborate with so many amazing regional women and their businesses,” said Ms Van de Ven.

Ms. Chippendale said the planned events and guest speakers are something women across all industries can gain value from.

“We have so many amazing women living in our community, and I saw such a huge demand for connection and education around trending topics for career women. We are preparing to bring some very special guest speakers to Orange, on topics such as women’s financial health, capacity building for ‘do it yourself’ social media, personal branding, return to work for career break women and so much more.”

The next scheduled event is a personal branding masterclass, with the 60-woman event to take place on Friday 2 June at The Greenhouse Function Room. Tickets are available via Eventbrite.

Cadia Cares provides support to community groups within Blayney, Cabonne and Orange Local Government Areas to support the economic development of the community.  Minor funding of up to $5,000 is available for short-term projects, while funding of up to $20,000 is available for projects which can demonstrate long-term benefit to the community.

For more information on Cadia Cares grants visit www.cadiavalley.com.au. Follow Central West Inspired Women on Instagram @cwinspiredwomen and subscribe to their newsletter via www.rdacentralwest.org.au