In 1999 an advertisement for a new event aimed at women appeared in the SGLBA’s newsletter and the Sydney Star Observer. The event was advertised to be held at 6pm, October 1, and the first Friday of every month thereafter.

The evening was called Lemons with a Twist, and it was to be held at Nova Cocktail Bar above Café 191 on Taylor Square. Interested women were asked to contact committee member Vicki Brackenreg.

The SGLBA invited all ‘women who work’ to Lemons with a Twist. The free nibbles and lucky door prize were thrown in as further enticement.

At the SGLBA’s 2011 AGM, Kate Semken was nominated and accepted as a Life Member of the SGLBA. She was nominated for her successful rejuvenation of Lemons with a Twist.

At the time Semken became director for Lemons, the SGLBA had been struggling to find someone to take it on. Lemons was reduced to 20 or so attendees per month and the event was not being given the attention it required to drive it forward.

Semken built up regular attendances in excess of 100 while still at the Oxford Hotel. Quickly outgrowing that venue, Semken engineered the Lemons move to Slide that began a long and fruitful association between the SGLBA and Slide, and raised the quality of the function.

It was at Slide and with a beefed-up marketing campaign Semken designed that attendance at Lemons with a Twist attendance boomed to a consistent 300 and, on occasions, 350 – 400 women and their male friends.

Today, Lemons is still held at Slide and remains a vital and fruitful event for the SGLBA.

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