Identifying the Potential – 2014 RWA finalist Maree Gooch


“It really is possible to create the future you want. It may not be easy, but with a clear vision, dedication and commitment it really can happen. I am living proof”.

Maree Gooch’s 2014 Rural Women’s Award Project ProposalIdentifying the Potential” was to run a pilot program for a group of women in a rural area to enable participants to develop individual talents and career pathways. At the same time, it sought to develop self-awareness and confidence, combined with new skills in communication, negotiation and public speaking.

The project was aimed at two age groups – young women at the beginning of their careers, aged between 18 – 35 and women over 35 who may have already completed various kinds of professional development but were looking for more personal growth or considering a new horizon for business or career.

“For some people considering ‘creating the future you want’ might seem a pipe dream, and so far away from their current situation and therefore unachievable, however for me it actually became real  – all you have to do is dream” says Maree.

Fast forward five years and Value Creators was born. Maree joined forces with long-time colleague Ann Maree O’Callaghan combining their talents to support people and business, by developing and delivering programs to learn how to manage change, develop resilience and transform business. They have worked with more than 1000 SME businesses (including agriculture supply chain, transport and logistics, aviation, hospitality and tourism industries) plus mentored hundreds of people both informally and through formal mentoring programs during their business careers.

Value Creators have developed an ‘X Factor”. That is, a clever and innovative approach, upskilling of people to cope and manage change as well as implementing strategies for business transformation and turnaround. Such skills are vital any time, and more than ever in this unprecedented time of COVID19. More importantly, Maree’s business provides the necessary tools and support to develop the most vital but often intangible link between people and business success.

“One of my most exciting and meaningful projects ever is Value Creators. It is the culmination of several ideas and pilot projects, one of which was my RWA project proposal from 2014 which was to really about developing individual talents in rural women. For me, the most meaningful thing I have done is helping people discover what they do well. Said Maree

She added “Imagine knowing and focussing on what you are good at and playing to your strengths? You really feel alive because your personal energy is going into the areas where you can achieve and even shine – and it almost feels effortless which is an amazing feeling.

Maree’s team of dedicated professionals in response to COVD-19 are now delivering virtual on-line courses.  These courses are designed to help individuals and businesses to thrive and emerge from the current situation with resilience by adopting new and vibrant approaches.   As a serial entrepreneur working across regional WA, Maree knows it takes sheer grit, determination and perseverance to plan, build and grow a successful business, notwithstanding the curve balls that are dealt by external forces. Developing resilience and focusing on how to recover is vital.

Maree commented about resilience and recovery having lived it several times during her varied career. “There I – s no way I could have done any of the things I have done on my own. One thing I have learnt is to work with clever people as we will achieve more and  we are stronger together. Work with others who will support you and be there if things might get a bit wobbly because invariably they will.

 A little about Maree

Maree has dedicated much of her life and a successful 30-year career to developing legacy projects in regional WA. Such as, being the Chair of the RRR Network for two years, resulting in the WA State Government contributing $1 million in funding to the RRR Network and also the Chair of CRISP Wireless who provides fast and reliable internet across more than 20,000 square kilometres in 12 regional shires in WA. She has used her skills and networks with big picture thinking and a dash of tenacity. Maree completed her Executive MBA in 2010 and became a Graduate Member and Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors in 2004. She has been married to husband Neil for 30 wonderful years and has three amazing grown children, who all keep her very grounded.