Live Love Work celebrates the inspiring women of Southbank and Montague

Kaylah Joelle Baker

In the lead-up to International Women’s Day on March 8, community group Live Love Work Port Phillip took to their socials to share the stories of 25 inspiring women who live, work and run businesses in the area.

Founded in 2019 by three local business women, including remaining founders Vesna Grdjan and Alison McDowell, Live Love Work Port Phillip exists to build business and social connections within the community.

And each International Women’s Day, a campaign is run to celebrate the hearts, souls, smarts and entrepreneurial spirits of the women who shine a light on Port Phillip.

“International Women’s Day is such an important celebration of the achievements and contributions of women around the world,” Ms Grdjan said.

“We’re excited to use this opportunity to highlight the incredible women of Port Phillip, share their stories, and shine a light on Port Phillip as a great place to live, love, work and run a business.”

Among the women recognised for their commitment and connection to Montague and Southbank are:


Patient Wolf’s Marilena Christoforou

Upon moving to Melbourne from the United Kingdom, Marilena went from being a qualified maths and science teacher to a passionate floor and events manager at Patient Wolf gin distillery. Sharing her love of gin and mixology with all.


The Incubator’s Alison Rentoul and Sophie Hanlon

As head of strategy at The Incubator, Alison is able to use her studies in behavioural psychology and her natural instinct for business development to design effective advertising campaigns and enterprise growth strategies, from the big to the small.


As a born designer, Sophie is a graphic designer, illustrator and copywriter, and the work of herself and The Incubator is also to thank for this year’s IWD designs.


Starward’s Carlie Dyer

Starting out as a master in wine and in a role as a winery technician, Carlie soon fell in love with working with whisky, and now her role as a blender involves daily sensory analysis, blending, quality control and new product development.


Photography Studies College’s Julie Moss

Dedication to photography and creative arts education has seen Julie highly recognised and awarded, and she continues to be a proud and passionate CEO and managing director of PSC.


Wynne Digital’s Maddie Crow

Working between client services and digital specialist, Maddie is equipped with a number of skills that are fine tuned to reach her continual goal of understanding a client’s business needs and delivering a service that aligns with this.


City of Port Phillip’s Mayor Heather Consolo

Passionate about the role of a council being to work with residents, businesses and organisations to achieve successful outcomes, small business owner Heather brings valuable insight into her role as Mayor of the City of Port Phillip.


All of the women selected for this year’s IWD boast a number of skills and achievements across a range of fields and workplaces, and Live Love Work Port Phillip is encouraging people to help celebrate the great women who make the area what it is.

“We founded Live Love Work Port Phillip with the goal of building connections and celebrating the diversity of our community,” Ms McDowell said.


Sharing the stories of these inspiring women for International Women’s Day and shining a light on Port Phillip and our people is a great way to do just that.


To award the efforts and success of all the women selected, including the seven who have a connection to Montague and Southbank, Live Love Work has provided write-ups of their achievements on both its socials and website, for all to read.

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