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MEDIA RELEASE - Meet 'the new kids in town' at Business Networking Evening

4 September 2018

Holistic health and lifestyle coach Jo Hodges is headlining Glenelg Shire Council’s business networking evening on Thursday 20 September.

Meet ‘the new kids in town’ and be inspired by their innovative start-up stories this Spring at a business networking evening hosted by Glenelg Shire Council.

Holistic health and lifestyle coach, and published author, Jo Hodges, of Farmer Wants a Wife fame, is headlining the evening on Thursday 20 September at the Portland Football Netball Club, which will highlight the stories behind the shire’s latest business offerings.

Ms Hodges became a fan favourite on the popular Channel 9 reality TV series as love blossomed in Mt Gambier with her now husband Rob Hodges, a beef farmer.

Little did the public know during this period, Ms Hodges was overcoming a personal journey through depression, bulimia, self-harm and obsessive compulsive behaviours which she detailed in her popular book ‘Out of the Blue’.

Today Ms Hodges is a successful photographer, mother-of-three and owner of new lifestyle business The Nourish Nook, a space where movement, nutrition, mindset, lifestyle and education come together.

Glenelg Shire Mayor Cr Anita Rank said Ms Hodges had an “inspirational story to tell”.

“Jo is a woman who has turned her life around to become one of the region’s start-up success stories. She said goodbye to her inner-city Melbourne lifestyle for a new life on the farm and in doing so has created a business success story, overcoming many personal hurdles which she has credited on her new country lifestyle,” Cr Rank said.

“Jo will share the stage with some of our local new businesses, many of whom have been attracted by the shire’s buoyant economy and vast lifestyle opportunities.”

Sharing the stage is Margaret and Agnes co-owners Mark Mitchell and Anthony Vecchio who travelled from Warrnambool to start-up the popular new Portland café while Goodman Group lawyers executive manager Kathryn Oswald will share her story of relocating from the city to start a country legal career.

Also among the featured businesses is Reject Shop area manager Andrew Swallow who will explain why the multinational chose Portland for its latest store offering while North Melbourne publican Julie Phillips will share her story of relocating to Casterton for a tree-change, managing the recently restored Albion Hotel.

Cr Rank said the networking evening was in replacement of council’s Business and Tourism Awards which are now held biennially.

“This is an opportunity to share an evening with likeminded business owners, sharing stories, celebrating successes and collaborating ideas to further grow our business economy,” Cr Rank said.

“Our business community is thriving, bucking the trend of many other regional communities who are seeing a slowdown in retail trade. There is more than $257 million worth of projects in our investment pipeline with further growth forecast in the short term.

“It is an extremely exciting time to be doing business in our shire and we want to celebrate these successes at this industry evening.”

To secure a ticket email council’s tourism and events officer Jodie Vaughan on or call 5522 2171.

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