GREAT INITIATIVE: HerCastle founders Sarah McEwan (l) and Eliza Taylor (r). Picture: Stephen Bisset
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GIRLS TO THE FRONT: The foundations are strong for this HerCastle!

A desire to connect women across Newcastle and the Hunter Valley, has led to the creation of the new local online platform HerCastle.

The brainchild of Newcastle women Eliza Taylor and Sarah McEwan, the initiative aims to create a space for women, from all walks of life, to network and celebrate their accomplishments and just general awesomeness while also starting conversations about the various social issues that affect women both locally and nationally.

“HerCastle is a celebration of women and the amazing things they are doing,” Eliza told Newcastle Live.

“It’s a safe platform for women to connect, share stories, ideas, and experiences, with a focus on women in Newcastle and the Hunter region.

Eliza and Sarah, who both work in the music industry, were inspired to establish HerCastle after attending last year’s Bigsound Festival and Music Conference in Brisbane.

HOT TICKET: HerCastle’s International Women’s Day event with Clare Bowditch sold out at a rate of knots.

“One of the big things at last year’s Bigsound was a focus on women in the music and creative industries and we were inspired by that and wanted to see what we could do to celebrate amazing women, not just in these industries, but across the board.

While spaces do exist, both physical and online, that give women the opportunity to network and support each other, they are often more focussed (women in business groups for example), and Eliza said a goal of HerCastle was to give women a space to connect across many industries, disciplines, and lifestyles.

“It’s a safe platform for women to connect, share stories, ideas, and experiences, with a focus on women in Newcastle and the Hunter region.

Eliza Taylor – HerCastle

Aside from providing this space, which exists primarily on Facebook at this stage, with a website to follow in the coming months, HerCastle is also about staging events that showcase these achievements and the breadth of female talent we have not only here in Newcastle but across Australia.

Having only been established for two months, HerCastle is certainly hitting the ground running with their first two events, both being held this International Women’s Day, generating more than their fair share of interest.

The first, an afternoon with lauded musician, author and radio presenter Clare Bowditch at Babylon sold out at a rate of knots while the second, collaboration with Carrington-based female group fitness community Pineapple Fitness is also selling quite well, thank you very much.

In another tacit acknowledgment of the need for HerCastle in the community, the initiative was, this week, awarded $1000 by Awesome Newcastle – a local organisation that provides ‘no strings attached’ grants to community-based projects throughout the region.

“It’s great to have that recognition,” Eliza said of the win.

“It’s a real motivator to keep going and were planning on using the money to build our online community as well as merchandise and the planning of future events.”

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