Members of Professional Women in Australian Pest Management celebrated International Women’s Day 2018 in style, says its founder Nicky Turner.

This year’s International Women’s Day was a focal point for our newly formed association, Professional Women in Australian Pest Management (PWAPM).

Created to represent professional women in our industry, PWAPM provides opportunities for women to connect and engage both online and face to face, through an active Facebook group and website, and through social events and professional workshops. At an industry level, PWAPM acts as the ‘voice’ of women in pest management.

The PWAPM International Women’s event was held on March 8 in Noosa on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. It was an opportunity for members to come together to support the globally celebrated event that keeps the spotlight on the issue of gender parity. New friendships were made, and it was wonderful to be able to talk to women in the same industry who face the same challenges that arise in our profession.

The sponsor for the event, Heads of Noosa Brewing Co., insisted that we be given the royal treatment, treating us to a taste of Japanese lager and a tour of the recently opened brewery. Apparently, women need a lot less training to get the same level of tasting as men! Attendees then enjoyed lunch at The Riverdeck Restaurant on the sparkling waters of Noosa River, where Debra Willis from Key Solutions Online delivered a hands-on workshop. She shared her valuable insights on customer-centric solutions for pest control businesses, focusing on Messenger Marketing.

The afternoon was made available for some free time to play tourist before members met up again for pre- performance drinks and canapés at one of Noosa’s authentic Italian restaurants. The highlight of the event was the variety performance show Stepping Out, celebrating International Women’s Day with a fabulous entertaining evening of inspiring and thought-provoking speakers. There was dancing, singing and even a variety of comedy throughout the show.

It was pleasing to see the success of the very first PWAPM event. The PWAPM committee is keen to host an annual International Women’s Day event, likely to be held in a different state next year.

More exciting times lie ahead for PWAPM, namely with our presence at this year’s Rapid EduCon conference, to be held at Royal Pines Resort on the Gold Coast, in August. PWAPM is hosting a champagne high tea and pamper session, sponsored by Sherwood Chemicals, on the Sunday morning of the conference on August 11. Rapid Solutions, a big supporter of PWAPM, is offering a 50% discount on the high tea event to PWAPM members.

We are thrilled to announce that a brand new award will be presented at the Pest Manager of the Year Awards. The PWAPM Excellence Award – sponsored by BASF, and with the support of AEPMA – will be presented at the gala dinner on the Friday night of the Rapid EduCON conference. The PWAPM award, which recognises women in pest management, is a first for Australia.

The PWAPM Excellence Award winner will be recognised as a woman in the pest control industry who has not only shown outstanding leadership, but has dedicated their time and energy to making notable contributions to the industry and encouraging development within others. The winner will receive a plaque and a $500 cheque. The judging panel, comprising both male and female judges, will consist of a PWAPM representative alongside a representative from BASF, AEPMA and two other industry experts.

This award is open to all women who are involved in the Australian pest management industry in any shape or form. Businesses can nominate an employee, or individuals may nominate themselves (it’s not necessary to be a PWAPM member to participate). Nominations can be made via the PWAPM website. For more information please email [email protected]. Nominations close on July 2 at 5pm.

To become a member of PWAPM and join us at future events, visit our website. Membership of PWAPM costs only $150 per business (covering all women within the business) or $90 per individual. It is open to all women who are associated with the industry.