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40 Under 40 winner of the day: Kristy Schirmer

People

A passion for health promotion and education helped Kristy Schirmer make the leap from public servant to business owner.

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Schirmer launched Zockmelon Health Promotion and Social Media Consulting in 2013 after a decade working in public health in London and South Australia across a range of areas including blood-borne viruses, obesity, youth health, mental health, and tobacco.

Zockmelon Consulting aims to bridge the gap between social media and health promotion. Its services include social media strategy sessions, workshops and online courses for organisations with a health promotion focus.

Last month, Schirmer was named a winner at InDaily’s inaugural 40 Under 40 Awards.

We asked the 37-year-old some more about doing business in South Australia.

What do you believe are the strengths of doing business in South Australia?

South Australians seem to love home-grown success stories and we support our own. There is a sense that no one is truly unapproachable, and mentors and leaders are willing to make introductions that might not be as possible in a bigger city. In social media, there is a thriving and supportive online community that is ready to answer questions and provide support.

What do you believe are the weak points of conducting business in South Australia?

Reliable, fast internet is an issue, though admittedly this is not a uniquely South Australian concern.  I can work on my laptop from anywhere – home, cafe or co-working space – so Wi-Fi is an essential resource which is patchy in rural and metro areas of the state.

The cost of flights to other cities has meant I have been unsuccessful in winning work interstate.

Do you see your future in South Australia?

Without a doubt, I will continue to be based in South Australia. It’s also where I’m raising my family so it’s not just about business, but the whole lifestyle. There are no advantages in moving anywhere else.

How can the state encourage more of its young leaders to stay?

There needs to be leadership and growth opportunities across all industries, not just mining and defence, which South Australia is known for.  In the 1980s and ’90s South Australia was a global leader in health promotion and primary health care with many leaders emerging from the state. After disinvestment in the sector, our talented and dedicated workforce had to look elsewhere for opportunities.

More about 40 Under 40

An assessment panel representing the South Australian business community judged hundreds of nominees for the inaugural 40 Under 40 awards, which aim to identify and promote a new generation of local leaders under the age of 40.

The final 40 includes a hugely varied collection of South Australian talents, who are making a mark in fields such as health, technology, the media, property, social innovation, agriculture, finance, the law, and much more.

For the full list of 40 Under 40 winners go here.

40 Under 40 is an InDaily initiative supported by the following partners:

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