About Creative Women's Circle

Creative Women's Circle (CWC) is a national association designed to support, champion and connect women working in creative industries and running their own businesses. We hold events, publish blogs, and maintain a Member database to inspire and engage with other creative women in the community and foster collaborative connections. CWC events are held throughout the year at various locations around Australia.

Designer Shannon Lamden speaks at one of the early CWC speaker events in 2009.

Designer Shannon Lamden speaks at one of the early CWC speaker events in 2009.

History of CWC

In late 2004, designer Dearne Mills brought together a small group of women working in creative industries and establishing small businesses, in order to share information, inspiration and ideas. Gatherings were held every few months  and attendees enjoyed hearing the experiences of many Melbourne-based creative women.

In early 2009, Tess McCabe (a regular CWC attendee) took over the organising of Creative Women's Circle events, expanding its membership and online presence, and began publishing books for and about creative Australian women.  In 2015, Tess changed CWC's business structure to become a national incorporated association (non-profit), steered by a Board based in Melbourne.

Artist Miranda Skoczek is guest speaker at an event in 2014.

Artist Miranda Skoczek is guest speaker at an event in 2014.

What we do now

Creative Women's Circle aims to support, champion and connect creative women all over Australia.

We hold events with guest speakers and panellists
We hold several events around Australia each year featuring a guest speakers and/or opportunities to connect with other creative women. Our events are friendly and informal, and always entertaining and inspiring.

We blog on a variety of topics relevant to creative women and creative business
Our blog is authored by a group of talented creative women from all around Australia, and features interviews, business advice, book reviews and creativity tips. 

We have a searchable database of women in creative businesses
The Circle Database aims to champion and promote the work of women from around Australia to the world and encourage collaboration and celebration of female creative talent. CWC Members have exclusive rights to publish a page in the database.

We connect and support our Members
We have a members-only Facebook group where CWC Members can discuss their own creative businesses and get advice from like-minded women.  We also host regular facilitated CWC Morning Teas where Members can seek support and advice in an informal setting. 


Our Board


Samantha Jayaweera
CWC President

Sam is a graphic & digital designer with experience in editorial layout design, typesetting, marketing digital design and production. As an avid learner of all things, Sam has embarked on further study in user experience design, surface pattern design and digital design. She is endlessly inspired by beautiful, thoughtful, innovative human-centred design across all creative industries and strives to imbue her work with the same love, devotion and meticulous attention to detail.
Website | Instagram


Anika Cook
CWC Treasurer

Anika is a designer, illustrator and collagist. She was the founder of fashion label The Gently Unfurling Sneak, which recently closed after twelve years in Melbourne and had a particular focus on intricate prints and the use of vintage imagery. Prior to starting her own business, Anika worked in the art and design sectors with Craft Victoria and freelance web design. Anika holds a Bachelor of Creative Arts from the University of Melbourne.


Jane Connory
CWC Vice President

Jane is a PhD candidate at Monash University, and is working towards a gender inclusive history of Australian graphic design. She has been a practising designer and illustrator in the advertising, branding and publishing sectors, in both London and Melbourne, since 1997. When she’s not teaching at Monash University you’ll find her being the National Head of Communications at the Design Institute of Australia.
Website | PodcastResearch


Liz Anderson
CWC Events

Liz leads a tour company specialising in the Trans-Siberian Railway, Mongolia and the Silk Road, Sundowners Overland. Her time spent living and working overseas, primarily in these regions as well as Japan and Central America, has led to a keen interest in the creative diversity, particularly in textiles, from around the world. With an arts degree, MBA and human centred design qualifications, Liz is delighted to bring a healthy appetite of curiosity to the team about all of the areas CWC members work in. Liz is sure her tenure will also inspire her to turn her creative ventures into more than just hobbies.


Fiona Brand
CWC Secretary

Fiona is a highly experienced designer with 20 years’ involvement in the design, advertising, web and interactive industries. Fiona’s strengths lie in her depth of knowledge across a variety of design areas: her understanding of interactive and accessibility issues on the web, knowing her way around printing processes, how to achieve a brilliant result within a tight budget, and a design style that adapts itself to every different client. In 2011 she founded Brand by Name, an award winning creative design studio, providing design expertise across branding, print and web communication.
Website | InstagramLinkedin