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Second year success: PYLOB Residential Week ends - Prince's Trust Australia
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Second year success: PYLOB Residential Week ends

As part of The Prince’s Lead Your Own Business (PLYOB) program, participants attend a ‘Residential Week’ – an intensive study component that complements the online course work and incorporates hands-on training, networking and mentoring from established business leaders.

In late June, 20 participants from across Australia gathered at RMIT University in Melbourne to begin their week of intensive study.

Throughout the week, guest speakers delivered insightful and inspiring presentations, including Elise Gillespie from Baker’s Delight who shared her experience on franchising, and the story of the business started by her parents that has grown from a single bakery in Hawthorn to over 700 bakeries in Australia and internationally. Other ex-Defence members now running their own businesses, such as Scott Houston from Executive Risk Solutions, shared with participants how they can use their military experience to operate their business successfully.

A great endorsement of the program, 2015 participants Roy Mellon, who was recently crowned Western Australian Telstra New Business awardee, and Cherisa Bellis, founder of a professional organising business, returned to the Residential Week to speak and share their business journeys.

“It was a great privilege to be able to share my experience with my fellow ex-Defence members,” said Roy. “I was impressed by their business ideas and their dedication to getting their ideas off the ground.”

In celebration of the residential week, P.C.A. hosted a dinner together with corporate partner EY attended by PLYOB partners, sponsors, supporters and program participants. Emceed by Chief Executive Janine Kirk AM, the event featured a keynote address by Scott Houston, and a personal video message from His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales celebrating the entrepreneurial endeavours of our transitioning ADF.

The busy week concluded with a celebration dinner at RMIT University, where two participants were awarded The Prince’s Prize, a $2,500 grant to help them kick start their businesses. We congratulate Squadron Leader Cherie-Ann Borghouts and Musician Jason Mitchell, who received the prize in recognition of their dedication to the program, support of fellow participants and their entrepreneurial spirit.

“The highlight of the Residential Week was being introduced to a fantastic network of business people, including established ex-Defence business experts and fellow participants,” said Cherie Ann

The Prince’s Charities Australia invites all transitioning and recently transitioned ex-Defence members who are interested in starting their own enterprise apply to the program. For more information, click here or contact Program Manager, Aaron McNeilly, at