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I love the New Year, it brings fresh goals, hopes and possibilities. It’s also terrific that Woman in Leadership is one of the hot trending topics in 2019.

One of my new year’s resolutions is to make bolder moves in my life, leadership and live for the possibilities, rather than the limitations of fear. So, if you feel like it’s also your year to stand up, step out and make some bold moves. By sharing my own experience with others I hope to support others in making 2019 a bold year. Three things that have helped me in my career so far have been; female role models, commitment to education, creating a model for success.

I have always been fortunate to have strong female’s role models around me. As the CEO and great niece of Ella Bache, from a young age I observed strong woman, working hard to bring their passion to life. Don’t get me wrong, my leadership journey has been filled with self-doubt at times, but I certainly was fortunate to have a belief system that woman can do anything that they put their mind too. Role models and mentors have always been an important part of my leadership journey. I stepped into the CEO role at Ella Bache when I was 32, so I was young and not your typical CEO. I also had to prove to the business and all stakeholders that my vision and strategy was the right one for this generation. One of the first things I did when I stepped into this role was seek out a mentor, just by asking around my network. I knew they needed to be female and in a CEO role now and in the past. I fortunately found a wonderful lady (who is still a good friend today) who I meet with once a month. It gave me a safe place to talk openly, check my thinking and strategies and provide feedback. Today,I love to collaborate through problems with someone else. I feel fortunate that leadership today means collaboration, working together and openness rather than dictatorship and power.

At the start of each year, I love to learn new things with the goal to open my mind, re-invent my thinking and get inspired. This year I’m of to Harvard to do a week’s intensive leadership course, which exposes you to new ways of leading, marketing, and business models. The business world is changing so fast, that if as a leader don’t change your thinking, you get left behind. So a continued commitment to learning is one of the key attributes to successful leadership today.

And lastly, understand your model for success. What is it you really want to achieve in 2019? Only you can design the life you want to lead. These three questions certainly help me.

  1. What’s your vision?
  2. Who needs to be on your team to achieve your vision
  3. What daily actions will you take?

Wishing you a bold and terrific 2019!


A massive thank you to you both for all your assistance from selecting to co-ordinating the speakers for our annual ProLoan conference. Feedback was that this year’s speakers where the best they had EVER heard at ANY event. So this is pretty amazing, because they do go to a lot of sessions like these.

Director of Network Relationships - Proloan (aust) pty ltd

Again this year you and your team have been fantastic and extremely helpful.  In regards to you Sharm, you have been an absolute star and phenomenal help with our speakers and presenters, a great communicator, wealth of knowledge and so prompt with responding and looking at ways to cater to our needs.

Event Manager Fitness Australia

I would recommend, without hesitation, the services of Jane Rowland Smith and Ovations. Jane answered a last minute call to arrange a guest speaker for our principals. Nothing was too much effort, all was arranged within hours, and went very smoothly. The guest speaker was exactly what we required and our brief was followed. Thank you Jane and the team at Ovations.

Executive Director of Schools Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta

All aspects of the process has always gone seamlessly with Ovations and we will continue to seek your assistance for the awards in the coming years.

Thank you again, your help has meant that our Awards are very professional and extremely well received by our members and guests.

Executive Assistant BSCAA NSW Division

Jane, I personally want to thank you for all of your support, advice, patience and all round kindness that you have given me over the last 3 or so years.  This event would not have been as successful without the valuable MC’s you have recommended and the support you provided me when it all just seemed too hard

Shona Dilley – Smart School Awards, Department of Education
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