Mel Wojtas of Hive Village Project has been nominated in the 2019 AusMumpreneur Awards. The AusMumpreneur Awards presented by The AusMumpreneur Network celebrate and recognize Australian mums in business achieving outstanding success in areas such as business excellence, product development, customer service and digital innovation. The awards are designed to recognize the growing number of women who successfully balance motherhood and business in a way that suits their life and family.
Mel is an engaging Speaker, Survivor-Advocate, start-up Founder and single mum of two from Sydney. After discovering her life’s purpose, following more than a decade in corporate office support roles, Mel has remained legacy-driven in utilising her lived expertise with varying forms of domestic and family abuse, violence and trauma as drivers to create social impact and positive changes for future survivors. Through professional development, Mel has become well-known for her advocacy in the community via guest speaking, consulting and contributing to policy reform in the community and welfare sector.
Mel has remained future focused to ensure no one else slips through the cracks, is left to ask strangers for necessities, face chronic poverty and/or homelessness. Fuelled by the injustice of current service gaps, Mel felt a strong sense of duty to create what needed to exist – safe and stable housing for people starting over after trauma. Once Mel’s youngest child was settled into childcare she changed careers by enrolling in TAFE, 16 years after leaving High School after Year 10 in 2001. Mel studied Community Services at Northern Sydney Institute of TAFE and was then accepted into a Bachelor of Social Science at University of Newcastle, Australia. With growing community interest in her project, Mel received a scholarship into the Women’s Business School Ignite program, a virtual incubator for female founders in Australia.
Upon discussing her vision with Domestic Violence specialist services and countless survivors, the overwhelming message has been nothing but a sense of hope and urgency, echoed throughout every networking or industry event Mel has attended,
It can be challenging to be a successful business woman whilst raising a family and Mel gives this advice for others thinking about starting their own enterprise. “If you can’t get the idea out of your head, there’s a reason it keeps appearing. Trust your intuition and you’ll notice when you are on the right track because opportunities, connections and events will align. Back yourself and your vision and stay focused on the legacy you’d like to leave behind. Joining the AusMumpreneur network has been a game changer for me in stepping into the shoes of the woman I was born to be. Shaking off any additional doubt (we all have them) and having like-minded female founders cheering each other on, has been exactly what I needed to level up and get things moving,” she said.
“I strongly believe that investing in yourself has a ripple effect through your own family and then out into the community. That’s something I’m role modelling to my children – use your interests, skills, knowledge and resources to give something back to others, no matter what adversity you’ve endured in the past, it doesn’t define you and can be channeled towards uplifting and empowering projects and social action – or in my case, a new housing solution”.
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