In Australia there are only three of us at the moment; Harry and Penny, who manage both the Australian and the Indian businesses, and Julia, our tireless volunteer worker. Interactions with our partner designers, those interested in manufacturing in the workshop in India, and the lovely retailers who stock our Zenana label are all conducted by this little team. We’re all located in the Hunter Valley of NSW.

The Team in Australia

  • Penny and Harry Cantle

    Penny and Harry Cantle
    Zenana Women (the business) is the product of a wonderful journey being taken by Harry and Penny Cantle. In 2005 Penny followed Harry to live in India, where he had a 2-year assignment as Team Leader of a large Aid project.
    What a nice wifely thing to do (little did Harry know what was to befall him)! Read more about how the business began here.
    Harry’s background is in civil engineering, and he made a transition into management consulting in the 90s. His dream for some time had been to work in developing countries, so when a contract on an Aid project in India came his way in 2001, he grabbed it, Penny came along for the ride and a love affair with India began.
    Penny, a teacher, was inspired by the professional Indian women she met on that first project. They were working to empower slum women, and Penny decided to pursue a career in development, to work alongside Harry as a Gender Specialist. By the time they left for their 2-year sojourn in 2005 she had completed a Master’s degree in Development, and learned an awful lot about women in developing countries, especially India. The Gender Specialist thing never happened: Zenana Women did.
    With the advent of Zenana Women, Harry and Penny divided the workload between them. In addition to funding the development of the business through further Aid work in India and Kyrgyzstan, Harry has become accountant, website developer, technical support and general asker of the hard questions. Penny manages the workshop in India on a day-to-day basis by email and Skype, as well as being designer, marketing manager, PR officer and dreamer of things to come. It’s a busy life!


  • Julia

    Julia is our most hard-working volunteer. She works quietly in the background doing whatever is needed on the day; helping run market stalls, coming along on road trips to meet new stockists, packing up and sending off stock, pretty much anything.
    In 2011 Julia came along on the annual visit to the workshop in Lucknow, because she wanted to see for herself how it all works, and to meet everyone there. Team India just loved her and lined up to have photos taken with her. Meeting the workers and hearing their stories is a moving experience, and Julia returned even more dedicated than before to giving her time to help make their jobs secure and promising. Thankyou, Jewel.


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