Margie’s a champ

Whitsunday Times - - FRONT PAGE -

HON­OURED: Margie Mur­phy has been recog­nised for her on­go­ing com­mit­ments to the peo­ple of the Whit­sun­days with the 2015 Whit­sun­day Busi­ness Women's Awards’ com­mu­nity cham­pion award.

WITH­OUT Margie Mur­phy, one of the Whit­sun­days’ big­gest events just wouldn’t be the same and New Year’s Eve fire­works wouldn’t light up the Air­lie Beach night sky.

For the past six years, the 46-year-old mother of two has given tire­lessly in her role as com­mit­tee mem­ber and now chair­woman of the Whit­sun­day Reef Fes­ti­val com­mit­tee.

Last week she was re­warded for that ef­fort with the Whit­sun­day Busi­ness Women’s Air­lie Beach com­mu­nity cham­pion award.

Nom­i­nated by friend and fel­low Reef Fes­ti­val com­mit­tee mem­ber Lisa Stockow, Ms Mur­phy de­scribed her­self as “pretty over­whelmed” by the ac­co­lade.

“I felt proud but I was sur- prised to win be­cause there are a lot of women – and it is mostly women – who do com­mu­nity work,” she said.

Orig­i­nally from Sydney, Margie Mur­phy and her hus­band, Tim, ar­rived in Air­lie Beach in 1998 in a camper­van.

“Peo­ple had said ‘you’ll love it’ and they were right,” she said.

When Ms Mur­phy fell preg­nant with the couple’s first child, Mia, they moved out of the camper­van and haven’t looked back.

Less than three years later, their sec­ond daugh­ter Alana was born and it was then Ms Mur­phy be­gan to take on com­mu­nity work, first through the kinder­garten events com­mit­tee and then co-or­di­nat­ing lo­cal net­ball.

Ms Mur­phy joined the Whit­sun­day Reef Fes­ti­val com­mit­tee about six years ago as sec­re­tary and soon found her­self the event spokes­woman, be­com­ing chair­woman in 2012.

Through the years, she has worked hard to grow the fes­ti­val, de­scrib­ing her great­est achieve­ments as se­cur­ing more spon­sor­ship, cre­at­ing new events, over­com­ing the red tape in­volved in clos­ing Air­lie Beach main street, and bring­ing top-class acts such as Tim-O-Matic and Gau­tier to Air­lie Beach.

“It’s al­ways a jug­gle of what you can af­ford to what you can put on,” she said.

“But hav­ing a busi­ness back­ground (through the fam­ily busi­ness TM Mur­phy Con­struc­tions) helps.”

Go­ing for­ward, it is still Ms Mur­phy’s aim to keep making the fes­ti­val big­ger and bet­ter than ever be­fore, with a Tourism and Events Queens­land grant se­cured for 2016 and plans for “street eats” to be added, along with an art in­stal­la­tion on the theme of reef to shore.

As for why she does it all: “It’s work­ing with the amaz­ing peo­ple and making life­long friend­ships with like­minded women (also on the com­mit­tee),” she said. “Ob­vi­ously it’s a lot of sat­is­fac­tion and with the team of pre­dom­i­nantly women we have at the mo­ment, it’s amaz­ing what we can achieve.”

LEAD­ER­SHIP, courage, op­por­tu­nity, pas­sion – th­ese were all words that res­onated with the 80-strong au­di­ence at last week’s Whit­sun­day Busi­ness Women’s Awards, held to recog­nise lo­cal women mak- ing their mark in busi­ness.

“Small busi­ness un­der­pins all our in­dus­tries and the lo­cal econ­omy,” Denise Kreym­borg from Whit­sun­days Mar­ket­ing and De­vel­op­ment Ltd, who or­gan­ised the awards scheme and the cel­e­bra­tion break­fast at The Palm House on Thurs­day, said.

“But we need to be pro­vid­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for th­ese busi­nesses, a lot of whom are strug­gling... and that’s what to­day’s about – to­day is about sup­port­ing all of you.”

While the au­di­ence feasted on a gourmet break­fast pro­vided by the Fat Frog Café, they also lis­tened to two in­spi­ra­tional speak­ers, who have both made it to the top in the busi­ness world.

Danielle Duell is founder of Peo­ple with Pur­pose, which creates, promotes and ac­ti­vates pur­pose­ful peo­ple, projects and causes around the world.

Ms Duell, whose projects in­clude the Story Bridge Ad­ven­ture Climb, in Brisbane, and the cre­ation of Aus­tralian Har­vard Women for Aus­tralian fe­male grad­u­ates of Har­vard Busi­ness School, told the au­di­ence she was not just a busi­ness­woman but a mother, wife, provider and home­maker.

“Suc­cess does not run in a straight line – some­times op­por­tu­ni­ties come from nowhere – it’s what we do with op­por­tu­ni­ties that makes all the dif­fer­ence.

“If you are pre­pared, you will make the most of them,” she said.

Kerry Brocks, founder and CEO of the In­sti­tute for Learn­ing Pro­fes­sion­als (ILP) agreed, say­ing there were al­ways rea­sons to keep putting off your dreams but at some point, you have to “stop talk­ing and start do­ing”.

“Be de­ter­mined, there will al­ways be doubters, in­clud­ing your­self.

“Also, stay ded­i­cated and turn your dream into a burn­ing de­sire,” she said, us­ing the awards cer­e­mony as an op­por­tu­nity to launch the Whit­sun­days branch of the ILP.

The last word went to Mayor Jen­nifer Whit­ney, who said to be a true leader you had to “dare to be coura­geous, not pop­u­lar”.

“Women play a sig­nif­i­cant role in Aus­tralian busi­ness, es­pe­cially small busi­ness,” she said.

“The con­tri­bu­tion that each and ev­ery one of you here to­day makes, is enor­mous, but we all have chal­lenges.

“When you dare to be coura­geous, you are tak­ing your busi­ness for­ward and lead­ing from the front.”

WON­DER­FUL WOMEN: Karen Vloed­mans, Margie Mur­phy, Noelene Spur­way, Denise Kreym­borg, Christina della Valle, Leanne Ford­ham and Tanya Bandow at the Whit­sun­day Busi­ness Women's Awards last week.

IN­SPI­RA­TIONAL: Danielle Duell ad­dress­ing at­ten­dees at the Whit­sun­day Busi­ness Women's Awards.

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