Posts by Sharon Hunneybell

The Four Attributes of Effective Ecosystem Leaders

It’s been 10 years since I first googled the term #startup. I was working as an IT business analyst for a company in Sydney when the software developer I was working with mentioned his cousin had got into Startmate. We were on the final sprint of a software release and were working late into the night. We stopped for a pizza break and he pulled up the pitch videos from the first Startmate cohort. As I watched, I felt this strange stirring inside me. “This is what we need to… Read More

Old City Wisdom

As I walk the streets of a city built thousands of years ago,My imagination wanders to the souls it used to know. The hands that lay stone in walls that have stood the test of time,The battles fought and soldiers armed to defend the long coastline. The houses and their occupants over many centuries,What were their dreams?How did they live?What was their place in history? These cobbled streets and bowed stone walls,whisper wisdom as I pause to listen,“slow down and tread with purpose, build for futures beyond your vision.” Inspired… Read More

The key to a thriving startup community is YOU

“Are you above or below the line?” There is a well known method of challenging behaviours and encouraging personal accountability in business leadership referred to as ‘above or below the line’. The model is simple. Picture a horizontal line.  At any moment in time a person is metaphorically either above the line or below the line.  A leader operating above the line, is open, curious and committed to learning. When they fall below the line, they’re closed, defensive and insistent on being right. A conscious leader should, at any moment be… Read More

A tour of the Gold Coast Startup Ecosystem

A city known for sunshine, sand and surf is fast becoming an Australian innovation leader known for digital export, ecommerce and space exploration. Ask any Australian to describe the Gold Coast and you can be pretty sure that the scene that they will share will be one of holidays and nightlife, theme parks, long beaches and rolling waves but for those of us that call the Gold Coast home the city has been through a transformation over the last few years. Adding to our beaches and incredible lifestyle, the Gold Coast… Read More

Postcards from tomorrow

Right now you are sitting in the deepest depths of shame.  You feel like you have thrown away every privilege that your parents worked so hard to provide for you.  You feel foolish, heartbroken and beaten by the world.  You have dropped out of university, you are a teenage mother, you have your first failed marriage under your belt (yes…first…there will be more!) and you have just moved back to your parent’s house, penniless.  You can barely look at yourself in the mirror you are so disappointed in the person reflected back to you.

But this will change.  One day soon you will look in that mirror and instead of seeing a reflection of every mistake you have made so far, you will see the girl behind those mistakes, a girl that just 2 years earlier had the world at her feet.  It is then that you will realise that you are not broken, you are in fact stronger than you ever believed you were.  With the wisdom of experience from every poor choice you have made and the knowledge that you can hit rock bottom and survive – your life is about to take you to places you never even dreamed you would go.

The above is an excerpt from my contribution to ‘Postcards from Tomorrow’.

In recognition of International Womens Day 2020, I was invited to contribute to an awesome project in which 270+ fabulous women have written letters to our 21 year old selves to create a moving, powerful and inspiring new book. My fellow contributors encompass a wide and varied pool of women, there are Australian and international luminaries from the worlds of comedy, theatre, TV and dance;  there are adventurers and Olympic champions, broadcasters and journalists, activists and philanthropists, politicians, business leaders, innovators and instigators.

All proceeds from book sales go to Lou’s Place, a daytime drop in centre for female victims of domestic violence that has been operating for 21 years. When you purchase a copy of Postcards From Tomorrow, you are sharing your spirit and support with Lou’s and enabling its team to continue their incredibly important work. 

The book is available from Amazon and is a great gift for young women in your life: Postcards from Tomorrow: A Collection of Letters From Inspirational Women to Their 21 Year Old Selves

My favourite way to kickstart the day

As an English lass, I’ve always been one for a nice cup of tea and there is no more soothing and delightful cup of tea than the first one poured in the morning. ‘It’s the best way to start my day’ I used to think to myself as I crawled back under the bed covers at 6am with the newspaper and a cup of Twinings English Breakfast. That all changed 6 weeks ago, when I attended my first ever silent meditation retreat. I went to the retreat to give my… Read More

5 books to shift your thinking

I love to read, but finding time in a busy week to curl up on the sofa or to lay out on a beach towel with a good book isn’t always easy to do. With a growing pile of books on my bedside table, mid last year I decided to do something different. I swapped out my spotify playlist for an audiobook on my way to and from work each day. 20 minutes each way of learning about life, work and relationships rather than learning the lyrics to the current… Read More


As I run my hands across the bolts, In my mind I see, A dozen new creations, That this fabric soon could be. The sight and touch of every thread, Is a chance to bring to being, The incredible potential, That only I am seeing. I wait for the slideshow in my mind to pause, One image steals the show, Now to bring this sight to life, Through pure creative flow.

Necessity Entrepreneurs

When Creating a Business Is Your Only Choice As a supporter and driver of the innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem I’ve spent a long time advocating for entrepreneurship to be recognised and supported as a career path in the same way that the traditional ‘get a qualification and get a job’ career path has always been. I’ve worked hard to help people of all ages, from 8 to 80, that have an idea that they are passionate or excited about to bring that idea into reality and ‘create their own career’…. Read More

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Some friendships provide comfort A cup of tea, A slice of cake Words to soothe and warm you When life seems hard to take Some friendships foster adventure Countries and cities to explore Wild nights that last forever Laughter and movement on the dancefloor Some friendships carry memories And take you back in time To childhood games and family traditions Storybooks and rhymes Some friendships form on the battlefield Through trust and solidarity We bear the same inner scars That no one else can see Some friendships deliver honesty With… Read More

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