Celebrating UNSUNG heroes

November 16, 2022 BY

We are a network dedicated to championing regional women in business. We are a not-for-profit organisation based in the Limestone Coast that strives to connect, support, and inspire business women far and wide. Through our networking, events, membership, mentoring programs and partnerships we aim to grow the potential of regional women and support them to create powerful legacies.

That is the mission of the Limestone Coast Women in Business and Regional Development – in their own words – and more than two decades into striving to achieve those goals the group took time out of their busy schedules to celebrate, honouring five champions of the cause with induction into the organisation’s Hall of Fame.

Five strong supporters of the network and its cause were recognised in an emotional night that also saw a unique photographic project also unveiled – a collaboration with freelance talent Kate Hill titled Extraordinary in the seemingly Ordinary. This time six individuals were reluctantly thrust into the spotlight for their behind-the-scenes heavy lifting to make this community a better place to live.





Most of the community would recognise Maria (below) on sight but few would know she is so much more than the matriarch of Caffe Belgiorno. A passionate supporter of Women in Business and Regional Development since 2010, she was absolutely a driving force behind creating that iconic Mount Gambier restaurant but also gyms in Italy and a boutique fashion store.

An incredibly successful and astute businesswoman, Maria has not just built her own empire but made sure she has paid it forward by being a mentor, role model and simply a friend, to many emerging business women in this region.


She is generous with her time, expertise, experience and resources and current board members have been beneficiaries of her wise counsel.

Maria has over the years encouraged women to not only be a part of the network but to step into leadership roles with Di Ind a prime example of someone who, based on Maria’s encouragement and belief took on the chair role of the network. She has also walked new business owners through the treacherous early moments of building a dream and creating a vision and Metro Bakery and Café owner Toni Vorenas falls into that category.

“I’m not sure I would have survived my first six months in business without her mentorship

– casual drop ins, gentle nudges, direct challenges – and just straight up hospitality advice,” Toni said.

Maria has been a sponsor and board member of the network and been front and centre of the culture of the group being established – encouraging women and advocating on their behalf with a focus on building relationships, embodying harmony, trust and respect.




When you think Nadine DiGiorgio (below), you think communication and organisation and it is those skills she has brought in spades to develop the Women in Business and Regional Development to the strong, thriving network it is today.

Nadine joined the board in 2004 to coordinate a two year, federally funded project Building Business.

The project’s key objectives was to provide opportunities for women to access training and mentoring assistance from an experienced business person and to build supportive networks. This was the start of remarkable growth period for the network. It was a project tailor made for Nadine’s skillset and long after that two year period expired, it was Nadine’s leadership in the time management and attention to detail space that saw the training and mentoring philosophies of the network come to fruition.

She held a leadership role for eight years, until 2011, including project manager, project coordinator, committee member, executive officer and event coordinator. And Nadine was not just about developing business leaders, she was about recognising those achievements, instigating the Influential Women in Business Awards, which started in 2009 and are hand out bi-annually, to shine a light on the successful business women in the region.

Based in Naracoorte, Nadine’s involvement also helped ensure the network was embraced across the Limestone Coast.

No greater praise could come than from network founder and fellow Hall of Famer Elaine Pollock.

“I have worked with many amazing and passionate women and Nadine forever has my admiration for her commitment to deliver above and beyond anyone’s expectations. I feel humbled that she considered me as a mentor – I learnt more from her that she ever gained from me.”