Lynette Palmen AM – WOMAN of ACTION™


A Celebration of Women™

is elated to Celebrate the Life of this superb example of tireless caring, determination, and perseverence. Devoting her life to the WOMEN of AUSTRALIA, this powerhouse has built the largest women’s networking organization across the continent, and has been gifted to title: ~ Australia’s Queen of Networking ~





Lynette Palmen AM

~ Australia’s Queen of Networking ~



Running a hugely successful, national company, flying from one Australian city to another, working tirelessly on numerous boards and committees, talking with political leaders and helping homeless women to have a better life… is there anything this single-mother of two can’t do? Lynette Palmen AM is the Founder and Managing Director of Women’s Network Australia (WNA), Australia’s leading networking organisation for working women.


In addition to WNA, Lynette has held the position of Deputy Chair of the Queensland Premier’s Council for Women advising on policy direction along with being a member of the Queensland Department of Industrial Relations Work and Family Task Force. She has also held the position as the co-chair of The CEO Challenge – Business Against Domestic Violence Initiative for Brisbane’s Lord Mayor.

Her other Board and Statutory Authority appointments have included: Queensland Institute of Medical Research, Griffith University Centre for Movement and Queensland University Business Advisory Board.With so many worthwhile positions and achievements to her credit it’s no wonder that Lynette appointed a Member in the General Division of the Order of Australia (AM) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for furthering women’s issues nationally. This was followed shortly after with her prestigious listing in Who’s Who of Women in Australia.
About Women’s Network Australia

Lynette’s business, Women’s Network Australia, began in 1990 with a select group of women – friends and associates – catching up to share business contacts, information and ideas for success.

As the network grew, Lynette’s focus was on providing a service offering the support and encouragement that she wished had been available for her during her corporate career in the ’80s and ’90s. Just three years later, WNA’s glossy Working Women’s Magazine was launched; a magazine that is now read exclusively by over 20,000 business women.

A membership-based organisation, WNA offers a range of activities, educational services and events, including networking luncheons, workshops, seminars and consulting services, aimed to empower and support women in their business success.

Regular WNA events are now held around the country with a 2012 expansion into the United States. Online services, promotional opportunities and the encouragement of trade between members are the organisation’s most valued features.

Some 21 years since WNA began, its member-base now exceeds 15,000, with over 40,000 business women benefiting from its events and services each year.
Managing a business and family

As if Lynette’s business and community achievements aren’t exhausting enough, add to this the fact that this inspirational and motivational woman is also a single mother of two.

When WNA was established Lynette had a two-year-old son, Blake. She has since had a second child, Maddison, who is now 14 and quite efficient at running the office! Maddison is a fighter who was born early at a mere 26 weeks. Through the elation, challenges and emotions this brought, Lynette continued to grow her business alongside one-hourly feeds of her new baby.

Shortly after Maddison’s arrival, Lynette was suddenly single, however she remained focused on her family and her developing business (it’s clear to see where Maddi gets her fighting spirit from!), and so the WNA Head Office found itself complete with a cot and all the accompaniments for a new baby.

With such a busy schedule, it’s no surprise that Lynette totally dismisses all theories of time boundaries – of setting specific times for ‘business’ and specific times for ‘family’ and keeping the two separate. For the Palmen household it has always been a matter of blending work and family, rather than trying to find that elusive ‘balance’.

It’s clearly evident that growing up alongside their Mum’s business has been highly beneficial for both of Lynette’s children. They have equally strong determination and drive to follow their passions and to create the life they want, regardless of the obstacles they will inevitably be faced with.

A typical day – Lynette Palmen style

WNA currently holds over 100 business networking events across Australia. Each month sees her flying to at least four different capital cities so her ‘typical’ day varies drastically depending on whether she’s at home in Brisbane or not. For example, Lynette’s schedule for the week after this interview was:

Tuesday: Fly from Brisbane to Melbourne, provide mentoring sessions and other meetings all day, followed by dinner with Members.

Wednesday: Mentoring in the morning, meet the luncheon’s guest speaker, host the luncheon, attend to follow-ups, then a flight to Sydney that night. Again, dinner with Members in Sydney.

Thursday: Much the same as Wednesday, but this time in Adelaide. Mentoring sessions in the afternoon/evening, then a late flight back to Brisbane.

While Lynette is away from home she makes sure she speaks with Maddison on the phone regularly and she always brings her home one of the sample bags off the chairs from each business luncheon, as Maddison enjoys going through the bag, asking about each of the businesses/people. What’s more, Maddison always checks that Lynette has tax invoices for everything she has spent! (Did I mention she already runs the office?) While Blake is now enjoying a well earned career of his own, Maddison still accompanies Lynette where possible.

Lynette believes that it’s all about involving the kids. That way the benefits for them are clearly evident and they are more understanding of the situation. When she’s in Brisbane, Lynette drives her daughter to and from school. She has worked hard to make sure there are systems in place to allow her to do that – staff, answering service, teaching her children how to behave. The end result then is that the kids know the limitations and boundaries; they have always known what is expected of them.

The challenges…

Lynette concedes that there can be several challenges when running a business. One of these, was the reason behind the inception of WNA all those years ago and that is ‘isolation’. Whether the isolation be gender or industry related, or because you work by yourself, getting out of that environment at least once a month to network with others can be a Godsend.


Pink Ribbon Day

Lynette’s leadership style is that everyone should be thinking of succession planning from day one. “A business is not a business if you can’t walk away and leave it for a while.” She firmly believes that every business owner should create that scenario without a catastrophe having to happen first. Aim to work ON your business, not IN your business.

Where do you see yourself and WNA 5 years from now?

Lynette Palmen will be the Founder and Managing Director of Women’s Network Australia – the nation’s premier networking organisation for business and professional women. With our online services rapidly expanding across all platforms no matter where women in business are geographically located, they will benefit from tapping into our services.

…and the rewards

When speaking with Lynette it is clear that WNA is most definitely a rewarding business for her. After 21 years, her eyes still light up with undeniable passion and spark for her business – an extension of her life.

As for the future for Lynette, well, there are clear plans in place for even more expansions throughout 2011- 2012 including the organisation’s expansion into the United States.

As for Lynette’s personal vision for her life – don’t ask her when she plans on retiring! As far as she’s concerned, she’s already retired.

“When you do what you love, you’re not working,”

states Lynette emphatically.


Lynette Palmen AM is the Founder and Managing Director, Women’s Network Australia. Established 21 years ago, the organisation is now Australia’s largest membership based network for business and professional women. For more information or to join visit or T: 1 800 052 476.


Some Facts about Women’s Network Australia

Industry Position:

WNA is the leading women’s networking organisation in Australia with over 40,000 women benefiting from its services and programs annually.

Working Women Magazine:

Four issues per year – glossy. Subscription based with a 20,000 readership.

WNA Face to Face:

Since 1990 over 136,000 women have attended WNA events and forums.

WNA Focus:

Business success and balanced life for Members through networking events, educational programs, consulting services, publications and a proactive online communications program.

Head Office |


Women’s Network Australia


Phone: +61 7 3272 8222 | Toll Free: 1800 052 476 | Fax: +61 7 3272 8111


Have you got your WNA Member eBadge?

For more information or to join visit or T: 1 800 052 476.

Connect with Women’s Network Australia



A Celebration of Women™


welcomes this powerhouse leader into our Alumni of WOMEN of ACTION™!



Brava Lynette!



A Celebration of Women


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