Pivoting To Find Your Passion-Driven Career – with Dimity Smith

Listen to the full episode here

In this episode, Shonelle Gleeson-Willey talks with Dimity Smith about a career pivot and using your STEM skills to try new and wonderful things in different industries. 

 Our guest, Dimity has done exactly that. She studied psychology then went to work in the work health and safety industry, before pivoting to events management, and empowering country women with the launch of Savvy Birds and then Gro Events Group.

 We explore how Dimity’s roots in psychology have helped her to adapt to her career changes and add that extra sparkle to what she delivers as an events director and engagement psychologist advocating for rural and regional women, and now board director of Dairy New South Wales

Dimity shares her personal experience in the importance of finding your passion and engaging in a career that fill your cup, as well as the importance of work-life balance and being mindful of burnout.

She shares how her involvement in local board roles helped her to land a board-level position with Dairy New South Wales and shares some top tips on how anyone that dreams of joining a board can take actionable steps towards that goal.

Dimity also speaks about her involvement with STEM Q through the University of New England – a one-of-its-kind program that is bringing awareness of the many opportunities in STEM careers to young people in regional NSW and improving the diversity of skill retention in rural areas.

Finally, Dimity and Shonelle discuss her venture to bring networking events to women in rural areas, and to overcome the main obstacle women in regional areas often face – feeling isolated. She shares how her diverse career has equipped her to give women the perfect excuse to get out and quench their need for face-to-face connections.

 Links and socials:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/smithdimity

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dimity-smith-gro/

Website: https://www.groevents.com.au/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/groeventsgroup/ 

Shonelle Gleeson-Willey 00:00
In this episode, we’re talking about a career pivot, and using your STEM skills to try new and wonderful things in different industries. Our guest, Dimity Smith, has done exactly that. Dimity studied psychology then went to work in the work health and safety industry, before pivoting to events management, and empowering country women with the launch of Savvy Birds and then Gro Events Group. We explore how Dimity’s roots in psychology has helped her to adapt to her career changes and add that extra sparkle to what she delivers as an events director and engagement psychologist advocating for rural and regional women, and now board director of dairy New South Wales.

Intro 00:44
Hi, and welcome. Buckle up for a new episode of Beyond The Green Line, the only podcast hooking you up for a virtual coffee date with some of the leading changemakers industry experts and everyday activists in environmental and agricultural sciences. So pop in your headphones, go for a walk and get ready for inspiration, ideas, insights and real life stories beyond the green line we balance along.

Shonelle Gleeson-Willey 01:18
Hi, and welcome to the episode of Beyond The Green Line. I’m your host Shonelle Gleeson-Willey. And I’m very pleased to welcome Dimity Smith into our podcast here today. Hi, Dim .

Dimity Smith 01:29
Hi, Shonelle. Thank you for having me. What a lovely introduction.

Shonelle Gleeson-Willey 01:32
No worries, I’m really glad to have you here today. So we’re going to start right back at the beginning, after school you studied in the field of psychology. What drew you to this degree initially?

Dimity Smith 01:44
So I think now I look back. And I think I probably just lacked to help my friends talk through their issues that was probably just a drama queen. But no, I had always been someone who loved to have people share their vulnerabilities and be very comfortable talking with me. And I always thought that I was to be a problem solver. And so naturally, that led me to the interest in psychology. And I have always been someone that if I want to do something, I set my mind to it and go for it. And so I didn’t really consider many other options. And I thought, No, I’m just doing psychology. So I applied for it as part of the university applications process and think I had to get at 87.05 in my HSE and I got at 87.15. So I just made the cut and ended up going to Macquarie University to study

Shonelle Gleeson-Willey 02:35
Seems to be a very common story that you set yourself a goal for a certain amount in your UAI, and you just achieve it or just surpass it. We seem to be self limiting that way sometimes

Dimity Smith 02:45
Look at me though, that was I think the opposite. I never in my wildest dreams, thought that I would get a UAI of 87 point anything like I, you know, had grown up in Scone and this is probably part of my story too. But, you know, being told by teachers, I remember my mom being told, you just have to accept she’s just not very smart. And that was an I was in the room for that. And I thought to myself, oh my god, like I need to I need to push this. And so, you know, I was I was extremely happy to get a B seven, because it was not something that I’d ever thought I could get.

Shonelle Gleeson-Willey 03:21
Yeah, that’s amazing. Definitely. And then you went to work, work health and safety. So how do you feel that your psych degree helped you in that? It’s I guess it’s obvious. It’s another area where you’re helping people, but how do you see it as helping?

Dimity Smith 03:34
Yeah, so I was in an industry called occupational rehabilitation. So injury management or return to work, which forms part of work health and safety. And as part of that, and particularly, it’s it shifted so much when I first started, we’d probably get one psychological claim. So, for instance, someone has an injury in the workplace, for instance, someone who might have had an electric shock, which, you know, gave them some form of post traumatic stress disorder, or long term bullying by a manager or long term stress that lead to burnout. And then they would submit a claim through the workers compensation system. And then the insurer would then pick that up and need some assistance face to face in the local community, to return that person to work to give them support to work with a doctor, make sure they’ve got support. So I really acted almost like a project manager or coordinator or what they called a rehabilitation consultant. But my specialization was in psych injuries. And so when I first started back in 2009/2010, we would get maybe one psych claim every three months roundabout. And as my time continued to, to build in that industry, and I sort of moved up to Team Leader and managing the time with psych, we would be getting one or two a week. So that continued to grow and, and I think yeah, my psychology degree, I had done quite a bit of my postgraduate around organizational psychology and that led into that, that sort of discipline. And I think, you know, having that science based background, being able to critically evaluate things, and then being able to work on an outcome based goal oriented program with someone that really led into exactly the type of work that we needed to do as rehabilitation consultants.

Shonelle Gleeson-Willey 05:16
And I guess my first thought of you working in this field was that you must be so passionate about helping people and you touched on that, at the very beginning of our conversation with wanting people to feel comfortable talking to you. And opening up, I guess you’re a bit of a problem solver. So your lady creed does highlight this too. Do you feel that your rehabilitation component of your career was a passion for you that you pursued for that reason?

Dimity Smith 05:43
It’s really interesting, I think probably what I followed, and when I first started, it was really hard to get an internship. So that was the first sort of industry I went into, and I never quite, I did try and do some private practice work. But I never quite connected on that level. And I think probably what I got from it was, I’m a really outcome driven person. And I think that’s probably where that rehabilitation consulting skill set has probably then enabled me to do well in events, marketing, communications, because, you know, in that industry, it’s very much a billing environment. So your billing, like an accountant or solicitor would in five minute increments throughout the day. So time management has to be really, really good to get your work done and billed out. But I think my passion was really more about getting outcomes. It wasn’t and I don’t want that to sound like I’m cold hearted. But, you know, it’s amazing to see people succeeding functionally after they had experienced times of real hardship. That was one component, but I also loved the problem solving component with employers. So that that working with employers who were trying to engage someone to come back to work nine times out of 10, they wanted that person back in the workplace, and they wanted to do everything that they could and my ability to coordinate all of that was something that was probably more the driver for me. And I think that’s where as time went on, I realized that psychology wasn’t the right fit. It was actually the coordination and the delivery of projects and programs and, and getting outcomes that was more the right fit for me. It just took me a few years to figure that out.

Shonelle Gleeson-Willey 07:22
It’s good that you did because you have moved on and done some amazing things since uh, not that that wasn’t amazing to begin with. But I guess I guess a bit of a fan girl. I do love your I do think that your career has been quite spectacular. And you’ve been recently involved in a huge number of life and career changes, moving, a new board role, starting a new business in events, management, and now your role with UNE STEM cube. What’s prompted you to take the jump and change careers other than I guess you’ve already touched on the fact that you saw that that area wasn’t a great fit for you in psychology. But was there anything else that prompted you to take that jump?

Dimity Smith 08:07
Yeah, actually, it was an it’s really quite funny. When I reflect on this, there was this moment where I was in hospital in Tamworth, sitting in emergency department I had had now I know what it was is a vestibular migraine and I couldn’t see properly. And that would get vertigo spins, and I couldn’t figure out what was wrong. And I would shake all the time, and I was constantly anxious. But it was almost like that analogy of we talk about the frog that’s in the cold water and it gradually gets turned up. And you know, the frog doesn’t realize that it’s boiling, and it needs to get out. And I think probably that environment of feeling so drained, I was burnt out, you know, there’s limited resources. It wasn’t ticking my boxes in having to give, give and give. And with any client work. And, you know, case management, it’s ongoing, and you can’t sometimes get to that outcome to tick that off and move forward. And I think that’s where my burnout, it really and I worked with someone on that to look at my DISC profile and and to look at my personality traits to go “Why am I feeling so burnt out in this. So I did a lot of work and spoke to psychologists about it and to try and navigate that and, and throughout that time, my friend, Michelle Morgan, who is from Tamworth as well who had been my boss in rehabilitation. She and I were with driving one day out to a client meeting and and that said, you know, I’m going to business chicks for these events in Sydney. And it’s so expensive. Why don’t we have anything like this out here? And she was like, “Oh my God, I know.” She said, I want a mentor. It’s so hard to find women that are in leadership at a rural location. And that was sort of I mean, six, eight years ago when Chell and I started talking about it. So things have changed a lot since then. But that was really the start of the pivot and and I think I I started to think about when I was doing it. “Oh my god this fills up my cup. I don’t feel heavy. When I’m doing this work, this is enjoyable”. And I was like, “Oh, my God, this is what it feels like to like your job. This is crazy”. And I think for so long, you know, like I said, I, you know, set my mind on something and I want to do it. But I think I’ve probably realized over the past few years that for me, it’s actually finding things that give me balance and fill up my cup rather than draining from me. So that that’s sustainable. And, and yeah, and so basically what happened was, I made the first step to work for the smart region incubator at UNE which was amazing. And I approached Lou, who’s the director there, and I said, I’m wanting to pivot from psychology, I’ve had this business Savvy Birds with my friend, is there an opportunity as a community manager, and she said, we have a role. And so that was the first step. And I’m forever thankful for Lou for giving me that that opportunity, because that then set me on a pathway where I could actually do events and communications and marketing. And you know, combined with that, then, obviously, the move to Moree with my ex partner now and then I’ve moved back. And when I was out there, noticing that there weren’t any events. And I also worked with the DPI in that time, but then got made redundant because of COVID. And it’s been a few years, but I think what I’ve probably learned so much is that if I can find the things that are naturally fitting in my personality, that can align nicely with my work. No longer is being a control freak a bad thing. It actually is perfect for someone who’s in events.

Shonelle Gleeson-Willey 11:30
That would have been life altering too, as you said, to find that thing that really makes you love what you do. I guess that’s a precious thing to have realized. And, and lucky that you that you made that jump so quickly, and didn’t just try to I guess keep going along that that initial road and going no, I’ll make this work, I’ll make this work.

Dimity Smith 11:51
And I did I did for so long. And I think I really did a few years ago, we had an event in Tamworth for International Women’s Day with a range of speakers, it was at the Powerhouse when I was with Savvy Birds and Marina Go was a speaker and she’s someone who I look up to I just think she’s amazing. She’s a mentor of mine now, and, and she said you have to treat your career like a business, you have to project and forecast where you want to get to and think about it strategically. And so I really started to think back then, okay, if I want to be in a senior marketing or an executive marketing, communications and events role, particularly marketing and comms, where do I have to be in five years? And so I’ve worked strategically and again, that’s probably my psych brain that critically evaluating the process and, you know, looking at goals and outcomes, what are the steps that I need to take to get there? And I’ve been pretty, I don’t wanna say, calculated that sounds a bit psycho. But, but I’ve tried really hard to work across that. And you know, now I know, it was almost I use the analogy, I had to, you know, the old telephones with the cords on them that they used to get so wound up and you’d have to spend hours trying to pull them apart. Well, I feel Yeah, that was me. I was so wound up as like a telephone cord in an absolute mess. And I only feel like in the past 12 months that I’ve really started to unwind properly, and I’m feeling much better.

Shonelle Gleeson-Willey 13:10
So you’re now also a director on the board for Dairy New South Wales. I do you believe that there’s many young professional women, both I guess, regionally and also in the city who are interested in gaining their first board role. And congratulations on the appointment by the way. It is an amazing achievement, especially at such a young age. So tell me how you got involved with Dairy New South Wales and with this role, and what do you feel what you bring to the table?

Dimity Smith 13:38
Yeah, so I am for a bit of context, I’m from a dairy farm in Scones, I’m actually here recording from my mum and dad’s farm, here in Scone, and they’ve been dairy farmers for gosh, all of my adult life. And even my dad, you know, grew up on a dairy farm. So, you know, they’re, they’ve been here on this farm for I think, 33 years. So quite a long time. You know, it’s a pretty big operation. And I’ve learned so much over the years and, and I’m pretty passionate about the industry, particularly when, you know, there’s a lot of people that that say harsh things about that the treatment of cows and calves, you know, I spent yesterday afternoon over at the dairy hanging out with a little calves on their freshly made shavings on their little bed in their little area. And, and they’re very well looked after, and very, very happy little calves. So, you know, I think I’ve always had that passion, particularly, I mean, from an animal welfare perspective. I really, really do. And I think sometimes people think that if you’re on a farm, you don’t have that passion about the industry, but I really do and anyway, so the board role with Dairy New South Wales, it’s not my first board role, actually, I was previously on the board of directors at the Tamworth Jockey Club. And that was something that I was super excited to do as my first board role. And I got some really great experience there. And yeah, I got contacted by some people that I know through the industry who have worked as my parents had seen what I’d been doing around events, marketing communications, And I’m pretty, I guess, vocal about my passion for the industry on my LinkedIn and on social media, and particularly about promoting the dairy industry and the benefits and the people and the whole community of wonderful people. And so they said to me, would you consider applying? And I said, “Absolutely, I would love to apply”. And, and so I think, from their perspective, I guess what I’ve been bringing to the role is that I do have a pretty different background, like I come from, obviously being on a dairy farm, but I’m joining as a professional board director, so not as a dairy farmer. And using I have a real passion about comms and marketing around their dairy industry, and how can we change perspectives? And how can we increase opportunities to get more labor, because staff shortages is a major issue within the industry. And I think of industry marketing campaigns, like the Got Milk campaign that was in the US in the 90s. And so popular, and I think that’s what I want to create and help create as a board, leading to the team being able to deliver really great marketing campaigns to help boost the industry. So yeah, so that’s really I think the skill set that they were interested in bringing me on board for was the fact that I am quite different. And then also to obviously, talking about work, health and safety comes into the role a lot, and particularly managing farm safety. So there’s a few different elements of my involvement with it. But it’s awesome people. There’s such a fantastic board and mostly male, but there there’s to another female that’s on there with me. And she’s amazing. And yeah, the guys on the board, they’re so good, so supportive, and they just all they want to do is give us opportunities to learn and develop. So I’m very fortunate.

Shonelle Gleeson-Willey 16:44
Do you have any advice for anybody wanting to make that jump onto a board as to how they can go about doing that?

Dimity Smith 16:51
Yeah, well, I think really the the thing that they told me because there are a few candidates that applied for the Dairy New South Wales board role. And they said it was the fact that I’d had board experience at the Tamworth Jockey Club that got me through. So I think realistically, the more you can do at a local level, to build your startup, I’m so fortunate that I have that board role with with the Jockey Club, because it was a great introduction to board governance. There are a few solicitors on there who loved doing everything by the book. And so they taught me so much. So I think anybody who’s interested, particularly as a female, it’s committees and groups and societies and associations. And you know, places like the Tamworth Jockey Club, you find something that you’re interested in, I’m a huge lover of racing and race going. So that was a really natural fit for me. And so I think, you know, if you’re really passionate about archery, if it’s a local Archery Club, and you have the opportunity to be, you know, the Treasurer, on the board, or secretary, you know, anything that you can do to build up your experience and understanding of board governance, I think is the perfect way to start. And then you just sort of gradually build your way up from there.

Shonelle Gleeson-Willey 17:57
Thank you. Now, the second part of your role that you’re currently doing is called STEM Q, and it’s with the University of New England. What’s your role with STEM Q? And how do you see that it’s going to benefit our region,

Dimity Smith 18:11
I was very fortunate to get the role of communications and engagement specialists in the UNE STEM Q team last year in June. And I work with an amazing project director, Naomi Nielson, who is wonderful, and in amongst a team that that form part of the vice chancellor’s office at the UNE University of New England. So in that role, my task is essentially to support the project director and the team members to get messages out there about A) what is STEMQ, and B) And how do we engage the community to have them think about opportunities for projects and infrastructure, so that the university can support that. So over the past few months, I have managed our what’s called bang the table. So it’s our community engagement platform. So managing the setup of that through to reviewing responses and looking at statistics behind it. And to identify any areas that the original work by Deloitte, it had been done to identify areas for opportunity with STEM across the region and identified healthcare, enabling STEM infrastructure, digital capabilities, and sorry, digital intelligence, and agriculture. So they were the four main areas. And so my role was to look at the consultation when it went out to the community. And we asked for feedback, like “What do you think about this? Where some ideas what are we missing? What should we know about what’s really important?” And, yeah, and to analyze that and to say, “Okay, are we on the right track here?” And that finished up about a month ago, and so really, now it’s managing the podcast. So stories of STEM Q podcasts, which we’re looking after, we’re up to episode four of that, and then social media posts, managing any comms to go out. So and what else do I do anything related to STEM communication so you know, notifiying people across the university, you know, lots of different things. But I think it’s a really exciting time because of the fact that I mean, this week, there was the announcement of funding for university in Tamworth at the campus to go ahead, which is fantastic. But I think some of the key points that have been raised with this STEM Q research and then project is that there’s so much opportunity across our region to continue to grow and develop, but there is a skills shortage. And what’s happening is people are based in the regions or they’re going away to the city, they’re not coming back. And that’s, you know, we’re getting this brain drain where it’s, it’s just not coming back. And people from regions are coming back to the regions. And, and there’s so many big businesses that want to grow and develop and build the regional economy. But they haven’t got the staff for it. And so the STEM Q project, I guess it aims to build this little precinct without walls where people are connected across the whole region. And it’s called STEM Q, it’s STEM Quarter, and it’s about quarter of New South Wales. And the goal is to try and engage as many people as possible to educate them on STEM. So let them know what is science, technology, engineering, and maths or STEAM, if you want to add agricultural, or STREAAM if you want to add arts and agriculture, there’s so many different definitions. But I think there’s such a big opportunity across the region to have people from a young age, understand what these disciplines are, and encourage them to go to university and stay here with STEM Q. So I think it’s a really exciting project and not something that I’ve necessarily worked across before. But in terms of opportunity, they’re the projects that I love to work on. So it’s a super exciting time.

Shonelle Gleeson-Willey 21:43
It really is, I’m very excited for the program as well. And I think, from the University’s perspective, it’s such a mammoth task for them to take on. They’re obviously a, you know, educational institution and a business themselves. And to this is like a groundbreaking work really, for somebody for an educational institution and trying to change an entire region, or multiple regions, actually is quite an amazing undertaking.

Dimity Smith 22:11
Yeah, I think that’s the, that’s the key thing is that there’s so much already that’s going on, you know, you think of agriculture, and teaching and nursing as some of the biggest disciplines that come out of UNE, but, you know, thinking about Moree and Narribri and their precision agriculture work that they’re doing and working with ag tech in so many different fields. It does exist out there. It’s just about connecting back to that stage of university and school, and from a young age to know that there’s this pipeline for opportunity. It’s, it’s how do we connect that and I think the stats and I’m, I’ve got to double check this stat. But I know I read somewhere recently that the students that would leave only 20% of them in Tamworth would go to university, whereas in Armidale, because it’s a university town, I think it was like 70, or 80%. So looking at the difference, and I’m not someone to advocate that university is the only way like, I’m a big supporter of trades. And people finding what they love, it does not have to be a university is the only way kind of approach. But I think where there’s opportunity for things like civil engineering, or specific qualifications relating to AG tech or, or science related careers, I think there’s definitely an opportunity to help diversify what we have going on in the region, which is a very trade heavy agricultural, heavy farming heavy industry. So there’s yeah, there’s some cool stuff that I think will really come out of it.

Shonelle Gleeson-Willey 23:41
So now let’s talk about the other thing you spend your time on the Gro Event crew. I don’t know where you get the time! So Gro focuses on rural events and marketing for regional and rural Australia. what initially drew you to this particular venture?

Dimity Smith 24:04
Yeah, so when I was in Moree, I was living there for two years, my ex partner and, and I, I had done events in Tamworth with Michelle for a long time. And when we’d finished Savvy Birds, because she’d had three kids, I was juggling so much, I was moving to Moree. And we just didn’t quite have the model, right? It was just, there’s just not enough women in the region. And it probably wasn’t where it’s at now, where women’s networking is becoming such a pivotal thing and such a common thing. And we just couldn’t get the model, right. And so I think we just we just made the active decision to consciously uncouple and decided to finish Savvy Birds. And anyway, and I took we’ll probably a year off and I’m saying something, I’m really missing it. And I realized that that was my element. And that was my thing. And anyway, so I got to Moree and I sort of thought God I wish I could do something for International Women’s Day like there’s nothing that happens out here in Moree for women. And so I thought all “Look, stuff it. I’m just gonna do it”. I thought to myself, like, “what’s a good business idea” and I couldn’t find anything. Anyway, my friend Dane Graystone said what about Gro, just GRO means grow in Latin. And I was like, ah, that is perfect. I decided to start Gro and and I did an International Women’s Day breakfast, I only had the business live on social media for like three days, and I put it on sale. And all tickets sold out like 50 tickets sold out within a few hours, or it must have been no, it was 24 hours. And I was like, oh, gosh, there’s a market for this out here. I didn’t realize and, and the feedback was so positive. And I think it was something that hadn’t been done up there. And anyway, and what I’d taken from the time, with Savvy Birds was that there needs to be multiple streams of revenue, I can’t purely rely on events, there’s just not the population density. And I have to be able to scale this. And so that’s where I started, you know, working with connections and contacts that I’ve had over the years. And I started to pick up additional work in everything from brands or rebranding to email communications to web design, and then other events for clients. And, and so I started to make those connections. And so I’ve been doing work with Australian women agriculture, with agrifutures, doing some work on a honeybee project with them. And then some other smaller clients along the way like BMW rural and Joplin lawyers, and Philly designs and lots of different, you know, clients and, and I think it’s just continued to grow from there. So it’s really gone from last year being a side hustle. I mean, look, it still is technically a side hustle, because I’m not full time in the role. And I’d started realistically from end of financial year, last year, doing two days a week on that, which I’ve continued to do alongside my three days a week at UNE so it’s so fun

Shonelle Gleeson-Willey 26:49
It certainly looks at and I must say your website looks fun, as well, whoever did your website did a great job.

Dimity Smith 26:54
Oh thanks that Sam, he’s our creative director. And, and that’s the thing, like I have a contractor model with how I work. And so I’ll do things for him. I’ll do media releases for him when he’s got clients that are launching things, and then and review, you know, contents of things. And then I’ll, you know, bring in clients, and then he’ll bring me in for things. And he’s awesome. He’s down at Central Coast Coast, but originally from Armidale. And then I’ve also got Elizabeth, who is a UNE graduate who works Armidale as well. And then also a girl named Chelsea, who is just starting some work for me casually in Tamworth. So it’s been really good to build up this team of really different people from all over the place. It’s just I don’t know, yeah, the website by Sam is so fun. And I was like, Oh, this just reflects what the business is. Feeling is, is that it is fun. Like, it’s really hard. And I was thinking about your question before about how psych has kind of led me and given me skills to work in this. And I think it’s probably actually a result of the career in occupational rehab, rather than the psych degree itself. But my skill set that came from that professional career in around science and, and technology, you know, I think those two key components have, have really shaped how I deliver, grow. And probably I think, you know, that billing environment, that structured environment, account management experience, budgeting, I’m still not great at Shonelle, I’m not great, but I’m getting better. But I think you know, all of those things that came from that career in psychology have really, and I’m still registered, like, I’m still registered psych, I’m still doing my CPD, I’m still doing, you know, training as much as I can. Because I haven’t quite decided I want to give it away yet.

Shonelle Gleeson-Willey 27:44
And your I guess your title for Gro Events is twofold in that you’re obviously the founder, CEO, and the marketing director, but you’re also the engagement psychologist. Yeah, I’m interested to know more about that. What how do you define that role,

Dimity Smith 28:47
You can basically call yourself whatever you want these days. And really the way that I tend to do marketing and communications is I use my psych background, or use my psychology background to engage with people. It’s really I like to think that it’s really thoughtful, you know, everything that goes out from our emails, or for a client email or for an event, I have thought about the psychological engagement that comes with that, or the thought process that goes with that. So everything down to when people walk into my event, it’s how do we make them feel welcome? How do we make people from every walk of life feel comfortable? How do we be inclusive and ensure that we have a focus on diversity? And and I think that’s the theme that I would like to think is our unique value proposition or competitive advantages that we lead with with a thoughtful approach. It’s it’s a psychological approach to the way that we do marketing communications, because I like to think that it’s really thought through properly it’s not just slap these colors with this color because it looks great, well, let’s think about what are the feelings that you want someone to, to get when they attend an event or look at branding for, for an event. I mean, it’s, it’s just, I don’t know, I just like to think that there’s a deeper thought process for the way that I do things and also to working with clients that are, you know, maybe lacking confidence or not wanting to take their business to the next level, whether that’s because they’re not comfortable with their story, or, or whatever that might be, you know, I’m constantly using my psychic skills in the background to kind of pull out of them. Okay, well, why are you feeling like that? What is that experience that you’re getting? Where do you want to be? And so I like to think that that’s how that name came that engagement psychologist now, it came from me delivering engagement activities, using my psychology background.

Shonelle Gleeson-Willey 30:52
And this leads me on to my final question, then. So what do you see is the biggest need with rural women, the ones that you advocate for?

Dimity Smith 31:00
Isolation remains the biggest issue. You know, I’ve got friends that that are, you know, financially doing fine, they can buy things that they want, or, you know, they’ve got a lovely home, or, you know, it’s not necessarily that they’re being coercively controlled or anything like that. They’re isolated. And they’re stuck in these rural, regional, remote, more likely locations, and they’re craving connection. And I think that’s the biggest challenge. And that’s where I just, I love the fact that with my events, it’s an excuse. It’s an excuse to have connection. And I think just, I think of moms that are on their own, with newborns, and they might have the most wonderful partner, but they can’t go and have a vent to that girlfriend over coffee, because it’s an hour and a half to get there. And sometimes you just need to be able to sit with your girlfriend and go, “Oh, my God, my husband was an absolute tool on the weekend, and I’m so mad at him. I still love him dearly. But he drives me up the wall”. Or, “My two year old was feral on the weekend. And I just want to throttle her”, you know. And I think without that connection, that face to face, physical connection, zoom, and podcast can do so much. That is the biggest issue is isolation. And I think it was great on the panel. Last week, someone said, you know, because I had a question about what how do we get more women in leadership, and she said, some women don’t want to be leaders, they want to be at home and run the household and love that life. And, and I was like, that’s such a good point. Like, you actually don’t have to if you’re thriving and you’re loving your home scenario, if that’s what you want to be, you’re the, you’re the head of the board there. If that’s your thing, then that’s so good. But I think, to feel able to cope, and to be able to live your best life I think really that face to face, whole, warm, trustworthy, honest connections, is, I think the biggest challenge for rural women that if I can do a few events a year to bring them to town to make new connections and have that face to face contact, and this be an excuse to do it, then I’m really happy with that.

Shonelle Gleeson-Willey 33:14
That’s wonderful. And I totally agree that nothing replaces you know, human contact, or Dimity. You are an inspiring woman with such a passion for our regional communities and businesses. Yours is a career full of unusual twists and exciting changes filled with passion for what you love, which is regional Australia and connections. Thank you so much for sharing your story with us today.

Dimity Smith 33:38
Thank you so much for having me. It was an absolute pleasure. It’s so nice when you do these things because you don’t think about them all. It’s such a nice reflection. So thanks so much for asking me.

Shonelle Gleeson-Willey 33:46
Join us for our next episode for more inspirational stories, actionable tips and unleashing the eco-warrior inside you. Until next time, this has been Shonelle Gleeson-Willey for the Beyond The Green Line podcast.

Outro 33:59
Thanks for listening to this episode of Beyond The Green Line brought to you by Moss Environmental. Subscribe to our podcast for your weekly invitation to join the conversation. Until next time, keep thinking green

About The Host

Shonelle Gleeson-Willey

Shonelle Gleeson-Willey

Shonelle Gleeson-Willey is the highly credentialed Director of Moss Environmental. With over fifteen years’ experience working in the environmental sector as a Contaminated Lands Consultant and Environmental Manager on medium to large construction projects across Australia, Shonelle specialises in climate change risk assessments, contaminated land management, construction environmental management and sustainability.

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