Rural Women in Business – Millthorpe

Bathurst Little Learning Centre 02

To start, things were considerably tricky for Emma and her family. With unforeseen changes happening in their careers such as a redundancy and unexpected pregnancy, Emma and her husband looked for an alternative that would suit their financial goals and family life.

This is when they found the shell in an old building for sale, they would later turn into @millthorpellc. Standing as a little residential cottage, in 2018 Emma and her handy husband, their friends and family set to commit to opening as a small early childhood service.

After months of tight budgets, another pregnancy and completing the build, Emma hired her team. And lucky she had, as the centre grew from 40% to 100%, which what seemed like overnight, as the other local service in town closed down.

Now in the swing of things, Emma and her team invested in a positive work culture right from the beginning. They saw Brene Brown live, studied leadership, and from then on committed to working towards practicing their heart centered philosophy.

Throughout the Covid period, Emma purchased another child care service in Bathurst, just 30 minutes from Millthorpe, sprinkling her good values over to a then closed centre that needed some love.

After hiring a team to run the Bathurst centre, Emma has now fallen into a role of support, as Emma had been directing but, for the moment, sees her role as going back and forth between the centres helping out with such things as project management, a mentor role and floating in between when low on staff, or utilised as a sound board for the current directors.

Emma has worked really hard to build nurturing spaces for both children, families and staff alike. When asked what her vision was, Emma says she is working towards her centres reflecting a Reggio Emilia inspired space, where people, families and educators are invited to come, to learn the best practices and be inspired, and network. After listening to this, I wanted to bring images to the table where it would emulate the beautiful, eco friendly resources Emma and her directors honour. Emma and her teams learning spaces are inspired from an interest based curriculum, facilitating authentic interactions.

Lastly, best advice Emma has had? “To view your business more like a machine, rather than a baby. It takes away the emotional decisions and reassures you, you are keeping decisions in check, basing them on what’s right for your business”

Emma is an inspiring leader in this field. And certainly after visiting her regional child care centres, you can see they cater to the country family and community.


You’ll find me regularly travelling the trail from regional New South Wales down to country Victoria. I am based in Bathurst but no matter where I am, you’ll find me busy supporting rural business, mentoring clients, delivering photoshoots as a Rural Business and Family Photographer. I love to travel and meet people to learn their stories. As I learn more about them, I am finding I am learning more about myself. Funny that haha.

Know you can always connect with me via socials, the phone, zoom or in person. I can’t wait to work with you x

Fee May
Hamlet and Fields
📸 Rural Travelling Photographer
🍇 Agri Business + Tourism Specialist
📝 Marketing + Content Curator