Women’s Surfest event more than just great sport.

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By Melanie Hamilton         

This week I have met and spoken with a number of the world’s best female surfers. While I have been impressed by their tireless commitment to their professional and personal results, what has captivated me is their genuine respect for others.

Late last year Taggart Business Advisors was drawn from a line-up of 73 local businesses and was named the sponsor of the Women’s Pro – an honour and an opportunity far in excess of our expectations going into the crowd funding initiative.

One of these opportunities has been attending a number of events where elite athletes have spoken about Surfest and what it provides them as professional sportspeople. But what has been really enlightening is their support of each other and the sport for young women attempting to make the cut.

When Stephanie Gilmore, Sally Fitzgibbons, Tatiana Weston-Webb and Phillipa Anderson were asked by the MC at the Crowd Funding celebration who they each expected to see in the final of the Women’s Pro, without a second thought each of them talked of others.

In an era when ‘ego’ is not a dirty word and younger generations are encouraged to be confident in their own abilities, I was impressed at the levels of humility and cooperation of these young women. Each considered the others’ abilities with supreme professionalism and genuine respect.

As part of Surfest, our mates at local insolvency firm Jirsch Sutherland are bringing three young women from Vanuatu. Stewart Free and the team at Jirsch Sutherland have been pivotal in supporting the Vanuatu Surfing Association. The organisation sources and provides educational material to enhance school engagement. If the young people do well at school then they can earn surfboards, leg ropes and much more.

For the past three years a group of young men have travelled to watch Surfest and for some compete with some with success.  This year young women will join the young men as part of a program to encourage confidence and empower them to challenge themselves, lead and have fun.

It is no secret that sport is a powerful tool for business, networking and collaboration, but for me, as we also move toward International Women’s Day, surfing as a sport is an important example of reverence and acceptance.

With Love,

Mel xx

Melanie Hamilton is an Associate of Taggart Partners and the Founder and Vice President of the genXwomen network.


Melissa Histon

Photographer, philanthropist, adventurer, blogger, avid permitter and social changer, Melissa Histon is a woman on a mission to make a real difference to the lives of women globally. Melissa spent 10 years working in the corporate world before leaving to establish a successful photography business. After experiencing a number of life-altering events, Melissa created The Sista Code in May 2014 with a dream to see women empowered, happy and connected. Whether it's building a house for the homeless in Nepal, interviewing inspiring women from around the globe, or creating events and campaigns to support sistas escaping domestic violence, Melissa knows that true change can only happen when we all stand together and boost each other.

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