Welcoming our National Evolve Cohort

Welcoming our National Evolve Cohort

Last week we kicked off our second Evolve program for 2021. This National program brings together founders from across the country. Once again, we have a supremely talented group of eleven women representing nine diverse businesses.

We are very excited to be supporting these founders as they develop and grow their businesses.

Dr Fariba Behnia-Willison
FBW Gynaecology Plus
Dr Fariba Behnia-Willison is a fully accredited Gynaecologist, an advocate of women’s health and specialises in female pelvic medicine, reconstructive surgery, and single incision/advanced laparoscopy. She is the founder of FBW Gynaecology Plus in Adelaide, Australia. She provides a women-centred approach to care, alongside a team of dedicated and skilled medical professionals. Dr Behnia-Willison is understanding and approachable during her consultations, opening the conversation on challenging health topics, and in doing so encourage women to feel comfortable discussing their health concerns. She is fluent in German, Persian (Farsi) and Dari and is an active member of numerous charity and community groups. She is also the founder of Desert Flower Australia, which supports victims of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). Her innate passion is not only treating women but also working towards a quality of life and empowerment. Dr Fariba Behnia-Willison completed her medical degree in Germany then Obstetrics and Gynaecology training in Sydney. She obtained a Masters degree in minimally invasive surgery (MIS) at the University of Adelaide and has a special interest in pelvic floor disorders and advanced laparoscopy. Dr Behnia-Willison’s holistic approach to a woman’s well-being goes beyond treatment and extends to improving quality of life to empower women. With this in mind, Dr Behnia-Willison offers many innovative regenerative treatments in areas of pelvic floor disorders and abnormal genitalia including working to treat female genital mutilation.

Dr Tran Nguyen
FBW Gynaecology Plus
Dr Tran Nguyen specialises in minimal access surgery, pelvic floor dysfunction, and fertility. Dr Tran Nguyen is a South Australian gynaecologist with a special interest in minimal access surgery, pelvic floor dysfunction, and fertility. She completed her medical training at Flinders University and specialised in Obstetrics and Gynaecology (FRANZCOG) where she was recognised as an advanced laparoscopic surgeon after completing her AGES Fellowship. Dr Tran Nguyen is an O&G staff specialist at the Lyell McEwin Hospital and Modbury Hospital. She has an academic appointment as an honorary clinical lecturer at the University of Adelaide. She has experience establishing a surgical hospital in Houston, Texas after completing a master’s degree in health administration (MHA). Dr Tran Nguyen has a special interest in clinical research and is working with Dr Behnia-Willison on regenerative medicine studies. She is also involved with Desert Flower Australia, which is a not-for-profit organisation to help women affected by female genital mutilation. She is passionate about improving women’s health locally and abroad.

Betty Fotofilli

Pixadoo is a customized children's e book making platform that entertains and educates children responsibly and inclusively. Betty's super power is bringing people together and leading them successfully to a common goal with a smile. With her 20 year career as an Assistant Director in the Film and TV Industry she has been able to flourish her natural talent in Australia as well as New Zealand, Asia and Europe. As the film industry is so dynamic and uncertain this has set Betty up in good stead for her entrepreneurial journey with Pixadoo.

Gabriela Georges
The Grief Cocoon

Gabriela Georges is an independent writer, performer, facilitator, and founder of The Grief Cocoon. Gabriela’s creative work often explores love, loss, grief and nature, while her superpower as a facilitator is holding space for challenging (and often uncomfortable) conversations. She holds a Master of Arts and Community Practice from the University of Melbourne (2017) where she received first class Honours for her thesis researching the impact of poetry and performance on the experience of grief and loss. Professionally, she has been performing and facilitating community events and workshops for over 7 years at events including Melbourne Writers Festival, Emerging Writers Festival Women of the World Melbourne, Midsumma Festival, and Sydney Fringe Festival. Gabriela is determined to see a world where people are more supportive, and in turn, better supported through grief and loss.

The Grief Cocoon is an online community platform that provides grief support and education through an open forum to those who are experiencing loss, particularly the death of a loved one. The Grief Cocoon holds monthly social events, talks/seminars, and creative workshops in both corporate and social enterprise sectors. The platform brings together Gabriela's personal lived experience of grief and loss complimented with her formal education and experience as a performer, community development worker, and facilitator. The Grief Cocoon was created on the firm belief that through story-telling and sharing with others, one can begin the process of healing and feel assured that they are not alone.

Natalie Herscu 
The Daily Routine

Entrepreneurial at heart and passionate about driving positive change, Natalie Herscu is the co-founder of The Daily Routine, a personal care brand that is on a mission to reduce single-use plastic. A creative thinker and known for her colourful and bold ideas, Natalie is committed to enabling others to build a sustainable way of life.

With over 10 years experience in digital marketing Natalie naturally transforms the way brands interact with the outside world. Outside of The Daily Routine, Natalie is a killer tennis player and loves to cuddle her blind and deaf dog, Louis.

 Ruby Rodin
The Daily Routine

Ruby has a background in operations and product development at one of Australia’s fastest growing food retail groups. She’s passionate about the planet and co-founded The Daily Routine, a for-purpose business that aims to reduce single use plastic.

Constantly seeking new ways to inspire people to reduce waste, Ruby is dedicated to propelling The Daily Routine to be in every household in Australia. In her spare time, you’ll find Ruby in the kitchen cooking up a feast or taking her skateboard for a ride.

The Daily Routine is a personal care brand that is on a mission to reduce single-use plastic through water-soluble pods. Each pod is filled with products such as shampoo, body wash and hand wash. The technology is designed to break down fast so once dropped in our never-throw-away bottle of water, the plant-based pod is then ready to be enjoyed. The Daily Routine was founded on the belief that we shouldn't have to sacrifice clean skin for a clean planet.

Stephanie Kean
Your Sistas

I’m Steph living in Melbourne’s inner north and the proud founder of Your Sistas. A bachelors in communication, and over 10 years working within non-profit, corporate and small business, sparked a desire in me to apply all that I had learnt (and knew I still needed to learn) to go out on my own and solve a problem I had experienced first hand. I decided if I was experiencing these challenges, surely other women were too. After a fair bit of procrastination, I got started on creating a place that would make it easier to find new friends but more than that, a place where women felt supported to be themselves, could engage in very light to heavy discussions, and could ultimately form those deep connections they’d always desired but never been able to locate.

Your Sistas, a place for women to find their sister hood, form meaningful friendships with other women, engage in honest & raw conversations, and explore new ideas, social causes, and have fun. There’s no swiping left or right, you’re connected with a small group of like minded women, we create options for how you like to communicate and provide venues and times for how you can organise your first catch up. 

Your Sistas also empowers female owned or co owned businesses to partner with us, showcasing their services to host a Your Sistas event, volunteer options or simple low key catch up.

Annie Major
Global Thinking

Global Thinking’s founder and Director, Annie Major, has 20 years of international development experience across the Asia Pacific. She is a monitoring and program management consultant, bringing exceptional technical understanding on the assessment of development impact and experience implementing a range of M&E methodologies. Annie has created forward-looking analytical solutions for complex programs and is excited about building knowledge and capability to create lasting impact. Annie brings experience ranging from private sector development, agriculture, governance, health and nutrition, micro-finance and the legal and justice sector throughout South East Asia and the Pacific. Her client experience includes the Australian government (through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade), New Zealand government (through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade), multi-lateral agencies as well as philanthropic agencies. She has extensive experience working with contracting companies, governments and not-for-profits.

Global Thinking was established to support international development programs and agencies develop frameworks and systems to measure their impact. The aid industry has a culture of monitoring and evaluating (M&E) the effectiveness of their work but often lack either the planning and frameworks (or skills) to do this strategically and/or are not leveraging new technologies to efficiently analyse their data.  This means gaining an understanding of program impact is either delayed or insufficient to support decision making. The company was established in April 2019 to provide bespoke services to the aid industry, bridging the gap between development practitioners, data analysts and technologist to generate timely analysis and insights and help increase impact where it is needed most.

Ella Presse

Ella was working as a financial analyst, studying full time while also running her own tutoring business teaching one-on-one students and classes. This became a whirlwind to manage and she realised she needed a product to do it for her which lead to the creation of Tutorpillar. She was inspired to connect students with tutors (as well as help tutors manage their income) in a genuine way as she understands the importance of a tutor-student connection for a student to succeed.

Tutorpillar is a tutoring business management platform and community, for professional tutors, teachers and University students. 

Rosie Purdue
Healthy Pregnancy 

I am Rosie, the founder of Healthy Pregnancy. I am a highly qualified physiotherapist and a mum. I am one of the only health professionals in Australia with post-graduate qualifications in both Sport Medicine and Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy. This put me in an ideal position to work with women who want the best for themselves and their babies. I am passionate about women’s health and providing high quality, evidence-based care. I am a representative on the Australian Physiotherapy Association committee to advocate for better women’s health.

Healthy Pregnancy is a health centre for women who are planning a family, pregnant women and new mums. Healthy Pregnancy provides clients with a point of difference by providing evidence-based practise and offering Melbourne’s first tailored clinical exercise classes and treatment collaboration between physiotherapists, midwives, dieticians, psychologists and massage therapists. When you think of medical and health centres, the vision that comes to mind is an ugly waiting room with sterile, dated furniture. Healthy Pregnancy is a beautiful, stylish and nurturing space that women really want to spend time. Here, women feel empowered to make healthy choices. Our mission is to help women thrive, our vision is to be the leader in pregnancy allied-health across Australia and our values are nurturing, excellence and ethical.

Emma Rutherford-Ward
Vee Underwear

Emma Rutherford-Ward was working in the advertising industry for 5+ years before she was ignited by her passion for building a underwear brand that could lead the conversation and end the stigmatisation around femme health. This purpose was fuelled by the lack of education, functionality and diversity Emma saw in the lingerie industry, along with her personal need for healthier underwear.

Vee Underwear is an trendy bamboo underwear label that uses an unapologetic voice to reach progressive women. We make our customers feel confident by enabling them to keep their hoo-ha healthy and happy, through wearing hygienic bamboo underwear.

Learn more about the SBE Evolve Program here.