Meet Sharon Murphy, a dedicated individual with a profound commitment to making a positive impact on society. As the CEO of Keeley’s Cause, Sharon spearheads an organization that focuses on supporting children with disabilities of low socioeconomic families with iPads to create inclusive and tailored educations and communication devices for highly anxious and non verbal children. With her visionary leadership, Sharon has steered the organization towards new heights, implementing innovative strategies that drive both awareness and meaningful change.
But Sharon’s journey doesn’t stop there. With over 16 years of experience as a welfare counsellor, she has played a vital role in supporting individuals through life’s challenges. Her empathetic and compassionate approach has helped countless individuals navigate difficult times, offering guidance and a listening ear when it’s needed most.
Sharon embodies the spirit of empowerment, using her combined expertise as a CEO and welfare counsellor to foster a brighter, more compassionate world. Her dedication to making a difference is an inspiration to many.
When did you start your business?
The inception of the business took place in June 2017.
What was the inspiration behind starting this business?
The inspiration behind starting this business was my daughter, who has Autism and a mild intellectual disability. Witnessing the injustices she faced and the lack of appropriate support for her education, particularly the absence of government funding for technology like iPads, compelled her to take action. Recognizing the need to bridge this gap and provide a solution, my daughter Keeley took the initiative at the young age of 13 in 2017 to create an organization that could make a difference. This endeavor has since evolved into a national charity that is dedicated to ensuring that children with disabilities receive the tailored education and opportunities they deserve. The driving force behind our business remains rooted in our commitment to making a positive impact and fostering inclusivity in education for all children.
What are you most excited about in your business?
I’m most excited about the profound impact we have on the lives of children living with disabilities. Witnessing the transformation and positive changes we bring to their lives is truly magical and heartwarming. Knowing that we’ve played a role in altering their trajectories and providing opportunities for tailored education fills me with immense joy. Every step we take towards empowering these children represents a brighter and more inclusive future, and it’s a privilege to be part of that journey.
What has been the most challenging thing about starting your business?
The most challenging aspect of starting my business has been navigating the uncertainty and unpredictability that comes with entrepreneurship. Building a business involves facing various obstacles, from financial uncertainties to operational challenges and market fluctuations. It requires adapting to changing circumstances, making tough decisions, and constantly problem-solving. Overcoming self-doubt and maintaining motivation during these challenging times can be tough, but it’s an essential part of the journey. Despite the difficulties, each hurdle I’ve faced has provided valuable lessons and opportunities for growth, ultimately contributing to the resilience and success of Keeley’s Cause.
What advice would you give to other women thinking about starting a business?
To other women considering starting a business, my advice would be to believe in yourself and your ideas. Embrace your unique strengths and experiences, as they will be your foundation for success. Surround yourself with a supportive network of mentors, peers, and resources that can guide you along the way. Be prepared for challenges, but view them as opportunities to learn and grow. Remember that every step, no matter how small, takes you closer to your goals. And most importantly, stay true to your passion and never underestimate the value of your contributions. Your journey as an entrepreneur will be a rewarding and transformative one, and the world is waiting to experience the impact of your vision.
Why did you enter the AusMumpreneur Awards?
I entered the AusMumpreneur Awards after being nominated by a business colleague. The nomination came as a complete surprise, and I felt deeply honored to have been recognized. It was a significant moment for me, especially considering that I had only received one prior award nomination. The nomination not only boosted my confidence but also encouraged me to seize the opportunity to showcase the work I’ve been doing with Keeley’s Cause. The AusMumpreneur Awards provided a platform to share our journey, connect with fellow entrepreneurs, and celebrate the incredible achievements of mothers in business.
What did you enjoy the most about being part of the awards?
Being part of the awards provided me with the unique opportunity to connect with and learn from other remarkable mums. Discovering the diverse businesses they’ve created and hearing about their successes was truly inspiring. It’s a powerful reminder that there’s a whole community of incredible mums out there, each with their own innovative ideas and fantastic products. The awards acted as a platform for these stories to come to light, shedding a spotlight on talents and endeavors that might have remained hidden otherwise. This experience enriched my perspective and reinforced the importance of supporting and celebrating the achievements of fellow moms in the entrepreneurial world.
What surprised you most about the awards?
What surprised me the most about the awards was the initial nomination itself. I was genuinely taken aback and incredibly excited to have been nominated for such a prestigious honor. As someone who doesn’t usually self-nominate, this unexpected recognition was a truly humbling experience, and I feel immensely grateful and honored to have received the nomination. Winning 2nd place in Non-Profit Excellence was another stunning surprise. I’ve grown accustomed to seeing Keeley, our founder , and the individuals we support win awards, so it never crossed my mind that I might personally win one.
However, this time was different—it was my moment, my achievement, and a chance for me to shine. The awards journey showed me that sometimes, the most unexpected and delightful surprises can come when you least anticipate them, reaffirming the value of our dedication and hard work in making a difference through Keeley’s Cause.
How did the awards help you in your business?
The awards had a significant impact on our business in several ways. Firstly, they played a crucial role in raising further awareness about our charity. Through the awards, we were able to showcase who we are, our mission, the individuals and families we support, and the tangible positive changes we bring to their lives. As a result, we saw an increase in people reaching out to us, either to offer assistance or to gather more information about our cause.
Beyond that, the awards also facilitated the creation of valuable connections. We formed friendships with like-minded individuals who share our commitment to making a difference. Additionally, the awards provided us with an opportunity to enhance our online presence, particularly on platforms like LinkedIn, and encouraged people to follow us on our social media channels.
Ultimately, the greatest benefit of the awards was the amplified awareness they generated. As we believe, awareness serves as the most powerful catalyst for change. We’re incredibly grateful for the chance to spread and share awareness about our charity, reaching more individuals who can contribute to and support our cause.
What advice would you give to other mums thinking about entering the awards?
To other mums considering entering the awards, my advice would be: Go for it!
You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Beyond the possibility of winning, the experience itself is invaluable.
You’ll have the chance to meet amazing people, hear their stories, and be inspired by their journeys. Plus, it’s an opportunity to expand your network of contacts and form connections that can support you on your business journey, no matter what kind of business you’ve created.
So take that step, embrace the opportunity, and watch as it adds new layers of growth and motivation to your entrepreneurial path.
What has been the best thing about starting your own business?
The best thing about starting my own business has been the incredible privilege of meeting the amazing families and children who touch our hearts. Being able to support others and witness them making positive changes to their lives is truly rewarding.
It’s a constant reminder that the work we do at Keeleys Cause goes beyond just a business venture; it’s about making a meaningful difference in the lives of those we serve. This journey has reaffirmed my belief in the power of compassion and the potential for positive change, and it’s an honor to be a part of each individual’s unique story of growth and transformation.
What’s happening next in your business?
Certainly! The next steps for our business involve continuing our mission to make a positive impact on the lives of children with disabilities. We are focused on further expanding our reach as a national charity, reaching more children in need and providing them with tailored education opportunities through technology. Additionally, we plan to strengthen our partnerships, increase awareness, and advocate for better support for children with disabilities in the educational sector. Our dedication to creating a brighter and more inclusive future for these children remains at the core of our upcoming endeavors.
What are your big plans for the future?
Our vision for the future encompasses a steadfast commitment to extending support to children with disabilities across Australia, including remote areas and First Nation communities. Beyond national borders, our ambition is to globalize Keeleys Cause, commencing with underprivileged regions in third-world countries. Our goal is to provide educational assistance to children who have limited or no access to learning opportunities. By embarking on this global journey, we aspire to enhance the lives of children, irrespective of their geographical location, ensuring they receive the educations they deserve.