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Meet Entrepreneurs Maggie Beer and Marita Cheng for Lunch
Have you heard of Tonsley Park? If you haven't, you soon will. Tonsley is a 61-hectare site close to Marion and Flinders University. It has been described as a 'catalyst for industrial innovation', designed as an intelligent, interconnected precinct where major industries such as mining, energy, construction, clean technology and health can call upon the cream of South Australia's highly skilled and educated workforce. Flinders University and TAFE SA are both developing research and education links with Tonsley. Flinders is establishing its New Venture Institute here, which is pioneering the entrepreneurial educational program Venture Dorm. Venture Dorm's emphasis is on the practical rather than the theoretical, aiming to increase SA's economic growth and create jobs through supporting new company creation. The building is still in progress, but the ideas are already up and running.
An artist's impression of the new Flinders building at Tonsley Park, courtesy of Flinders Universtiy website
To promote its mission, the New Venture Institute is holding a series of events to be held at Flinders University's Adelaide Convention centre in Victoria Square, entitled 'Entrepreneurs in Conversation'. The second event in this series is this Friday, August 30, and features Maggie Beer and Marita Cheng.
These two extraordinary women have worked hard, taken risks, thought outside the box and overcome personal and professional obstacles to get where they are.
Maggie Beer, image courtesy of Wikipedia
Maggie, originally from Sydney, has had an amazing variety of jobs from a Lift Driver in a New Zealand department store to the Assistant to the Senior Geophysicist for British Petroleum in Libya. Long before becoming immersed in the world of food, she was employed in fields as diverse as light aircraft, Citizenship Law Clerk for the American Embassy and House Management at the Women's College of Sydney University.
Marita Cheng was awarded the 2012 Young Australian of the Year for demonstrating vision and leadership well beyond her years as the Founder and Executive Director of Robogals Global. Noticing the low number of girls in her engineering classes at the University of Melbourne, Marita rounded up her fellow engineering peers and they went to schools to teach girls robotics, as a way to encourage girls into engineering. In just 4 years, Robogals has grown to 17 chapters in 4 countries around the world, and taught over 8,000 girls robotics. The group runs robotics workshops, career talks and various other community activities to introduce young women to engineering.
There is a third mystery guest whose identity will presumably be disclosed closer to the event.
For more information about these events and the Flinders Centre at Victoria Square, see my previous article.