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Lisa Messenger to host Canberra Collective

Laura Peppas

Lisa Messenger’s life story to date reads a bit like a movie.

Girl grows up riding horses and making mud pies in Coolah, Central Western New South Wales. Girl decides to start a national magazine in 2013, Collective Hub, with no background in media, no money and a team of three all under the age of 25. Within 18 months the magazine features in 37 countries and the girl becomes so highly sought-after, she ends up speaking alongside the likes of Sir Richard Branson and Anna Wintour.

It’s often described as an “unlikely” scenario, but Lisa has always been a strong believer that there’s a plethora of untapped potential in rural areas. That’s exactly why, after announcing the closure of her flagship magazine The Collective earlier this year, Lisa decided to launch a tour of 12 regional towns—including Canberra—to share her wealth of entrepreneurial knowledge with areas that are often overlooked.

Lisa says the tour has been on the cards for “a long time.”

“When I closed the print mag, one of the first things I committed to doing was getting out and about into the community and covering as much territory as I can,” Lisa says.

“I think a lot of people assume success stories have to come from the capital cities like Melbourne or Sydney, but we’re seeing an extraordinary number of start-ups and entrepreneurs from regional areas, so it’s important to get out there and support them. The thing is, with these non-capital cities, everyone’s passionate and down to earth and they all want to lift each other higher.”

Over a two-week period, Lisa will visit towns including Tamworth, Yass, Wagga Wagga and Dubbo, offering a combination of intimate lunches, large scale highly-interactive evening events and one-on-one mentoring sessions.

“I’ve never actually spoken in Canberra before, so I’m really looking forward to that as I love it there and there’s so many extraordinary creative people,” she says.

“I’m an open book, and I wear my heart on my sleeve, so people can come along and ask me anything, I want to help in any way I can.”

Lisa says she is keen to impart the lessons she’s learned along the way as an entrepreneur and reveal the tools and know-how that led to her dream career.

“Hopefully this tour will inspire people to take risks, and be unafraid to chase their dreams and realise that anything is possible, it doesn’t matter who or where you are,” she says.

“I was told ‘no’ a million times. I knocked on so many doors before someone said they would support my idea. And that’s such a common story with so many start-ups—so I’ll be talking about how you can build up that tenacity and unwavering self-belief to keep going when you’re on to something.

“I think all with technology these days all you really need is a dream. I really want to support people and motivate them and inspire them, to say if I can do it, anyone can do it. I also want to share any failures I encountered along the way, and how others can avoid them.”

Lisa says she has a few start-ups and projects on the cards now that The Collective has wrapped, but for now, this tour is her way of “giving back” to her beloved country roots.

“I’m especially lucky—I’ve had a foot in both worlds; I grew up with horses, cattle and a carefree station life and throughout my incredible journey and all the bumps in the road, my country ties have kept me grounded,” she says.

“In the last six months, I’ve realised that what is important to me is spending time with the thriving start-up and entrepreneurial community that is literally at our back door. This is my year of giving back to those communities.”

the essentials

What: Live in conversation with Lisa Messenger
When: 21 May 2018, 6pm – 8pm
Where: QT Canberra
How much: Tickets from $105.53




Laura Peppas

Laura Peppas is HerCanberra's senior journalist and communications manager and is the Editor of Unveiled, HerCanberra's wedding magazine. She is enjoying uncovering all that Canberra has to offer, meeting some intriguing locals and working with a pretty awesome bunch of women. Laura has lived in Canberra for most of her life and when she's not writing fervently she enjoys pursuing her passion for travel, reading, online shopping and chai tea. More about the Author