When a local businesswoman wins three finalist spots in the Business Excellence Awards in this year’s categories, you know you have discovered a rare breed. Kim Cahill is a much admired and recognised local identity both in Toowoomba and on her homeground of Highfields. Her life has been one centred around family and her energy and commitment has grown from the principles of family, serving the community and building her business modelled by her parents, Bernie and Lyn Carney.
One of six children in a family where hard work in the family businesses was a given, Kim considers herself a country girl at heart. Her understanding of the life and loves of hard-working, hard-living country folk has permeated her life’s decisions, and is what drives her to serve the community through supporting the sole traders and micro mum and dad businesses.
It is not just her distinctive hair or her ready-for-everyone smile that you remember about her, as Kim has the knack of listening intently to your conversation, and being able to grasp the essence of the dreams and goals of each and every person with whom she connects.
She thrives on giving. Her instincts to help others have been practised in her roles as a mother and doting grandmother; her unstinting volunteering while her children Clayton and Naomi were at school; supporting her husband, Bill, in his Councillor campaigns and roles; to establishing free posts and profiles for thousands of local businesses via her Toowoomba&Darling Downs website, Facebook and Instagram platforms and providing a business model to sustain these initial investments in local growth. Her genuine concern for these smaller entities lead to Kim co-founding the Highfields Business Development group which has now matured in to its own Chamber of Commerce. Kim sees a need and is willing to offer her support and services to meet the need.
Nothing epitomises this more than her leading role in 2021 in bringing the plight of the regional Wedding Industry to the Toowoomba Community, where she and her team were instrumental in the support of peak industry body ABIA Weddings motivating the local vendors to move towards making Toowoomba a top national Wedding Destination.
Not content with this major achievement, Kim offered social media sponsorship support to the launch of Word Fest 2022. This vibrant program bringing more prominence to Toowoomba’s depth of writers, book sellers, illustrators, wordsmiths and readers in 2022 will also highlight Toowoomba as a diverse destination experience, bringing many visitors to the region Kim loves. As MC on the day of the launch, Kim delighted the more than 25 authors and organisers represented there with her offer of ongoing social media sponsorship for the year ahead. Such a community leader!
Kim is a giver first and foremost, and so very many of us, including myself, have been the recipients of her generosity of time, clothes (living the principles of Zero Waste she shares in that FB group she developed), support of community charities such as Project School Formal, volunteering her services as a speaker or MC at fundraisers or the coffees and chats she loves to share.
Despite 2020 and 2021 throwing up significant medical and work challenges, Kim has not only met them with grace, dignity and realism, but she has taken on new pathways, continued building her networks, business skills and acumen, and guided many along the way. I am privileged to know the person ‘behind the scenes’.
There are not many people who genuinely support those who could be potential competitors in this tough pandemic world, but Kim Cahill is that rare breed – an open-hearted community champion. On behalf of the region and the lives you have touched, Kim – THANK YOU!