Our Story or The amazing people, mission and vision behind our community
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Who We Are
Mission, Vision and Passion
Our Vision is to foster intergenerational connections by creating a resilient community of women and nurturing them through the process of sustainable living.
Our Mission Is to exchange the skills and knowledge of our volunteers with women seeking to learn and share through creative skills development. Our community provides a safe and supportive environment for women and girls to interact and engage with one another, and gives them the opportunity to build confidence and relationships through our community projects.
We are Passionate about the empowerment of women and the importance of coming together to create a community space dedicated towards social wellbeing, support and shared love of craft.
Our journey began in early 2012, when our founders Roz Fenson and Jodie Behn were hosting Saturday afternoon group for their daughters friends called “The Craft Nest Project”, unknowingly sewing the seeds of The Nest Community.
Inspired by the power that the shared purpose of craft was having, as it created a community amongst the girls, providing them an outlet to express their concerns and a space to receive support and guidance from one another, the idea of a larger community dedicated to women of all ages began to grow.
By 2014, Roz had met with Rebecca Cason, founder of the Brisbane Brown Owls and together they realised that this dream suited an official association format. Later that year, this idea blossomed into a reality, as “The Nest Community” was officially founded, comprised of our 12 founding members ranging from 12 to 80 years of age.
By the year 2015 and with the support of local MP Tim Mander, they found a house and received a grant to cover their first year of rent, however their work was only just beginning. Working together, Rebecca and Roz facilitated over 100 workshops throughout the year in order to cover the overhead costs, eventually raising over $20,000 through their efforts to fund our community.
Now situated in our beautiful, heritage listed Queenslander home and driven by a passionate staff of volunteers, our community flourished, and so too did the networks of support and relationships that we had formed along the way.
Over the past five years, our organisation has grown immensely. We have now provided over 700 affordable workshops for our community, and the time dedicated by our volunteers and supporters has resulted in over 200,000 hours of social connection and the formation of a proud, inclusive and empowered network of women.
We now look forward to our bright future, as we continue to provide support and social connection for women, share the knowledge and skills of sustainable handmade living and build upon our resilient community.
Our Management Committee
Managing Director & Co-Founder
Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.
The backbone of our organisation is an extraordinary group of women who volunteer to work together to coordinate the massive machine that is required to manage our volunteer workforce. Their combined handmade living skills, leadership qualities and professional backgrounds make them essential leaders within our social enterprises and valuable facilitators in the delivery of our workshop programs. There are so many but here are just a few.
Volunteer Operation Coordinator
Cecilia Costa Gomez
Garden Group Coordinator
Haberdashery Shift Manager
Haberdashery Shift Manager
Haberdashery Shift Manager
Haberdashery Shift Manager & Workshop Facilitator
Workshop Facilitator, Vintage & Special Resource Advisor
Volunteer Haberdashery Leader
Social Media Coordinator and Workshop Facilitator
Managing Director & Co Founder
Volunteer Sew Coordinator and Workshop Facilitator
Volunteer Workshop Facilitator
Craft Stall Coordinator
Corporate and Charity Partners
A Circle of giving.
Thank you to our friends that have helped us through our journey so far. We value everyone’s contributions no matter how great or small. As a self-funded entity, we are extremely grateful for the support we have received through financial donations, resources and service provision from other associations, local businesses, councils and charities to support the continuation and growth of our organisation and our ability to deliver a place for women to connect.
Our impact since we opened the doors of our community home seven years ago, has been immeasurable for the 10,000 women who have been touched by our services or participated in the 700 workshops that we have delivered.
But our work has only just begun. In a world filled with so much pressure surrounding climate change and global warming and mental health vulnerability. We believe our three core values as an organisation: mentoring, sustainability and handmade living can help bridge the gap between generations and build resilient and connected communities.
One out of three young people today will grow up without a mentor. However, those young adults who do find mentors are 55% less likely to skip school, are 130% more likely to hold leadership roles, 78% are more likely to go on and volunteer, and even better still, 90% of them will go on to become a mentor themselves one day.
We need people power and financial commitment from those who have the vision to walk beside us. When individuals act together, social change can occur. This year we are launching our flagship program “The Exchange Project” If you are interested in supporting us through funding or pro bono services please contact our CEO Roz Fenson to discuss how we can make an impact together.
Joining The Nest in 2020, Toni has been instrumental in the significant growth of our Haberdashery Shop. Toni’s extensive and innate retailing knowledge from marketing and merchandising to systems and processes, combined with her acute financial analysis has contributed enormously to the development and immense financial success growth of the haberdashery shop. Originally more of a simple craft shop, the Haberdashery is now a major part of our social enterprise with customers travelling long distances to buy up craft and sewing treasures.
Toni has spent the majority of her life working in the fashion industry and in 2001 as a single mother of two, she founded Adorne, a leading women’s fashion wholesaler and retailer. Adorne encapsulates Toni’s passion for making women feel beautiful, individual and empowered.
As Chair of our Management committee, Toni leads with the same passion and acumen that helped build her own successful company. She is pivotal in driving The Nest’s business development strategy remaining critically focused on balancing the growth of financial resources with the delivery of affordable services to nurture and connect women in the community.
Meanwhile……Toni’s elderly mum also supports The Nest Community knitting all sorts of treasures for the craft stall.
Degree qualified in Built Environment and Industrial Design, with supplementary qualifications in clothing production, data analysis and interior design, Lisa makes an immense contribution to the growth and development of The Nest Community with her intelligent and informed strategic advice.
In particular, her career background in design and communications has played a large part in how The Nest has developed its brand and social media strategy and sourced opportunities for government grants and tenders. Lisa’s unique knowledge of the ‘how to’ and ‘where to’ in understanding the ramifications of government service opportunities has made a huge difference in how The Nest advances funding opportunities to diversify their services.
Lisa now works as an interior designer for Concepts Unlimited Design, a premium residential design company. Since 2016, she has worked tirelessly behind the scenes for the Nest Community balancing study, full time work and volunteering her time on weekends and late at night to deliver administration and marketing support.
As Secretary and the youngest serving member of our Nest management committee, Lisa’s dedication and contribution combined with her passion for sustainability contributes meaningfully to the diversity and knowledge of our management committee.
Lisa is also a keen craftswoman and lover of handmade living, with an ever-growing collection of beautiful handmade treasures.
Mary-Ann has a very impressive leadership and management career in the automotive, mining, civil construction and building industries. As Executive Director and Founder of Fleetcrew, a Brisbane based company supplying commercial vehicles & 4WD’s for short and long term hire, lease services and fleet maintenance solutions throughout Queensland, Mary-Ann is highly tuned and skilled in responding to economic and market changes, ensuring financial and organisational stability for her business.
With over 34 years business experience to her credit, Mary-Ann brings vast wisdom, knowledge, advice and sound counsel to the Nest Community management committee. The management committee are forever grateful to Mary-Ann for her single-handed achievement in navigating the application process to achieve our not-for-profit charity status and strengthening our organisation’s governance.
Mary-Ann has balanced a career with raising a family and is now a dedicated grandmother. She is a humble pocket rocket with a strong philanthropic philosophy to give back her time to several other community initiatives. In addition to working with our community, she is also the Chair of NOW Business Network Inc., the Chair of Everton Park State High School Council, a Committee Member of AWIC (Awesome Women in Construction), a member of Brisbane Women Connecting and a mentor to small business owners.
And, she is a regular customer at our craft stalls buying all her friends and family our handmade products as gifts, which she says are ‘priced ridiculously too low!’
Margot is a highly experienced and capable business consultant, with over twenty-five years in executive recruitment and business.
With original registered nurse qualifications, she went on to complete a B Commerce and set up Executive People, a boutique Brisbane based executive recruitment consultancy providing talent to the private, public and not for profit sector. In partnering with a truly diverse range of clients, she has been privy to observing how clever organisations grow and develop by engaging and creating positive work opportunities for their people.
As much as Margot feels very much ‘an individual’, it’s her absolute belief in the power of a group of like-minded people coming together which makes little ideas burst into big things happening… “Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much’ – Helen Keller.
It’s that inspiration for Margot which makes participating with the Nest management committee so enjoyable, enabling her to funnel her energies into volunteer recruitment and investigating further revenue opportunities.
At a personal level, Margot is about to take another career change to run a country pub, as well as attempt her 7th marathon and achieve her ’middle years ambition’ and finally stepping onto the winners podium.
Most importantly! Margo loves handmade clothes and has a sewing machine tucked away under her office desk and is currently (and ….patiently) passing her skills to her two daughters.
Along with 25 years business experience, both as a principal licensee for her own real estate brand, and now working with Ray White in The Gap, Trish is a natural fit with the Nest Community as she has a long-time history and innate understanding of fabrics and haberdashery having grown up and worked as director in the family textile and clothing businesses.
In her twenties, to gain knowledge of Asian markets to grow the family businesses she completed a degree in Asian Studies and International Trade, however global trading practices changed so she opened a retail fabric and haberdashery store in Ashgrove called The Fabric Merchant; named after ‘The Richest Man in Babylon’. The business proved a local community hub for costumes for pre-school children, mending and sewing projects.
Trish has always contributed to the community through volunteering, from hosting a programme on Radio 4EB called ‘The Women’s Profile’, helping migrant families adjust to life in Australia and running the Marist College uniform shop.
With additional studies in counselling and psychology Trish’s contribution to the Nest Community management committee is considerable. As treasurer she oversees and is hands on with the operational management of finances, contracts and relevant insurances comply and are in place. Additionally, her broad business knowledge, intuitive style and unflappable approach to issues contributes to important decision making as the Nest forges it’s future.
Trish is currently in love with long flowing skirts and is experimenting with patterns and contemplating launching a range.
Managing Director & Co Founder
Roz is one of the original founders of The Nest Community and has dedicated the last 10 years to fulfilling her vision of developing an organisation that is financially independent through community managed social enterprise.
She was instrumental in the development of two key initiatives – The Nest Haberdashery, which is now a thriving shop open six days per week, and The Nest Community’s affordable craft workshops, all 100% volunteer managed. This social enterprise plan has not only been instrumental in the community’s unique ability to grow without government funding, but also created an innovative, out-of-the box model within the provision of social networking services to the community.
Roz has a diverse background in the arts, entertainment and charity sectors, as well as experience in creating and growing her own art practice that supplied fashion jewellery accessories to major national and international art galleries. Roz brings insight, energy and creativity to The Nest along with her collaborative approach to leadership and management. She has a unique ability to share her artistic vision and ignite the imagination and creativity amongst those that work with her. The Nest volunteers and the management committee alike share in her capacity to inspire.
Under Roz’s strategic leadership, The Nest happily operates with a team of 60 volunteers rostered over 7 days each week to manage their haberdashery, workshop and garden programmes. Over the last 6 years, this equates to over 240,000 volunteer hours, and together they have touched the lives of over 10,000 women spanning postcodes from the Far North Queensland to the South.