The tables were turned on Friday for an Illawarra businesswoman who has spent 13 years connecting and recognising other business women in the region.
It occurred when Margaret Biggs stood took to the lectern at the Illawarra Women in Business networking lunch at the Novotel on Friday and said she was about to do something IWIB director Glenda Papac won’t like.
Always the one who prefers to stand back and provide opportunities for other women in the community to be showcased Mrs Papac has never sought recognition.
“This is a very humble friend of mine who for the last 13 years has been around Illawarra Women in Business and in the last 10 years has created the awards day recognising amazing women in our community,” Mrs Biggs said.
Mrs Papac was presented with an IWIB Network Champion of the Decade Award after Karen Meiring de Gonzalez, of Skin Correctives, decided it was time to do something about recognising the woman who has helped and showcased so many other businesswomen.
This is special to me because my journey in the region really started with Illawarra Women In Business. I just think every year when Glenda holds the awards that she should be winning an award. So we are going to present her with this trophy for Network Champion of the Decade.”
Mrs Papac was completely taken by surprise and didn’t know what to say. “When you love doing something it is not hard to do. And when you do it for so long it is even easier. It is just something I do. Bringing people together is what I really enjoy. And I like to help bring out the best in people which is why I started the awards day.”
Mrs Papac said bringing out the best was the journey businesswomen took when they sat down each year to do the entry.
“I feel very humbled. This is so unexpected. I can’t describe what I am feeling. I like giving presents not receiving them. As Margaret always says “just be kind”.
Federal MP Sharon Bird said it was fantastic to be at the lunch and witness such a special moment. She said it is wonderful what Mrs Papac and IWIB have done for so many women.
“I think women are so powerful in small business. But still one thing we don’t do enough is sing our own praises. To provide an avenue, as this group has done for 13 years, where you can come together because you are all supporting each other, so everyone else can actually give you a bit of promotion, is a really good way of women telling their stories.”
“Most women come here and say I’m here to support someone else just like Glenda has done. And through this group we are also hearing about fantastic success stories. Ones which may never be told without something like this. How great for us that we have Glenda to do this work in the community.”
Mrs Meiring de Gonzalez said Mrs Papac was a special person in the community who has uplifted so many other women. “She really is the mother of networking”.