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WOW P RO P E RT Y WO M E N

CELEBRATE your wins!

WOW Property Women founder Lorna Willis is most definitely a woman who loves to celebrate her wins and she’s had many. She is one incredibly inspiring woman. Lorna is a mother, grandmother, friend and mentor. Just add a dash of ‘passion for property,’ and you will find an amazing woman who has created a community for like-minded women.

Standing for Women Owning our Wins, WOW Property Women are truly passionate about all things property. The ‘WOW Group’ ladies come from far and wide. They are homeowners, investors and developers, all thriving on discussing anything to do with property, from interior design to land subdivision and much more, all in a safe and encouraging environment. They support each other by sharing knowledge, experience and wisdom and through ensuring they celebrate their own and each other’s wins by including lots of fun activities in their program. Lorna and the WOW Property Women care deeply about their community too and keep themselves humble by helping the homeless. Just before Christmas last year, they took on a mammoth task of transforming one of the empty and messy houses on the future Lowanna site in Buddina, into a home to accommodate a homeless woman, who not only got a roof over her head, but also beds, lounge and cutlery, complete with food in the fridge and cupboards. Lorna was thrilled to 56 ISSUE 100

hand over the keys to her so she could move in by Christmas Eve. It was a massive, but ever so fulfilling task.

land at just 18 years of age for a whopping $4,000 with a dream to build a home that she could be proud of.

Let’s take a step back in time. Lorna fell in love with creating homely spaces at a very early age, building cubby houses in the haystack on the family sheep, potato and cattle farm in the hills of Gippsland, Victoria.

Having moved to the Sunshine Coast in 2013, she was helping a girlfriend to understand ‘property language’- things such as LVR, Equity, Leverage, Flip, Widow Block… and she invited her to bring some of her friends to sit around the kitchen table and share her knowledge and experience.

There was no power, no fridge, no hot water. They had to bring water up from the river and put it into an old copper boiler with a wood fire under it in order to heat water for the family’s weekly bath. The family cat would fall through the gaps between the walls and the floor and possums lived in the roof. Couple that with poisonous snakes in the yard and the picture begins to be painted as to how this lady learned resilience from a very early age. She learnt how to drive a tractor, back up a truck and ride a motorbike as well as hold her own amongst groups of men. She learnt to become self-reliant and quick-acting to solve problems before they could escalate.

Her upbringing eventually became a real gift in versatility, adaptability, creativity and gratefulness. It also gave her the vision and the passion to design something beautiful for herself one day. Lorna purchased her very first block of

From there, it just grew. More and more people would join in each month, first into her dining room, then her lounge, until finally she had to set it up with an outside venue for the monthly events. Having pioneered and endured the struggles in a male-dominated industry (and still doing so), Lorna loves inspiring and encouraging women to create their own financial independence using property as a vehicle. It wasn’t until she turned 30 that she realised what she wanted to do in life. After physically designing and building the family’s first two homes with her then husband, alongside growing their family of four beautiful daughters, she decided to go back to school to study Architectural Design and Interior Design. After six years of study while working parttime and raising a family, she stepped out to start her own Architectural Design business. This grew rapidly to three offices in different locations with a team of eight. Lorna found herself being all things to all people, but not the designer she wanted to be.