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Seize opportunities offered: Davenport

“NEVER knock back a business opportunity,” is Liz Davenport’s advice to up-and-coming young female executives.

“You may think you are too busy, overworked or overcommited to take on a new assignment but if you don’t your competition certainly will,” she said.

Ms Davenport said there were a lot more women in the upper echelons of management today than there were ten years ago.

“I used to be invited to seminars and lunches and be almost the only woman there,” she said. “There were Miss Maud, myself and sometimes Diana Newman.

“Now you see far greater numbers of females at such events and they’re getting younger.”

Her daughter Katie obtained her law degree and Masters of Accounting by the age of twenty, then used those skills to assist her mother’s business.

She now has her own fashion label Made In Heaven with a store in Chappel St, Melbourne. A store in Sydney’s Oxford St opens soon.

Ms Davenport’s other daughter Jane has been designing her own label for ten years after training at the Paris/American Fashion Academy. Now into her fourth year running the London Liz Davenport store, Jane assists with photography and marketing.

The fate of Australia’s wool industry is close to Ms Davenport’s heart.

“Instead of moving into a modern era, creating fantastic new fabrics and moving forward, the marketing powers stood still and forgot India was ‘woollenising’ synthetics.

“Now, the wool industry is going to have to spend an enormous amount of money in research and development – virtually creating new products – to bring itself back up.”

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