We are community revitalisation experts with a passion for small business.


G'day there,

I'm Vanessa and I hope this finds you well. A note about why we're here.

At 4:40 pm on 4th of September 2017, I was on my way home from work earlier than usual. The weather closed in, just as I passed the tiny town on Pyalong in Central Victoria. Suddenly, the person in front of me braked, swerving to the side of the road. I was totally unprepared and tried to do the same.

But my brakes didn't work. As I skidded over black ice, in nil visibility, all I could think about was the $600 excess for hitting the car in front. 

Except, I didn't. Yanking my handbrake, I stopped on grass, abruptly but safely. Thanking my lucky stars, I looked up, just as the weather started to clear.

If I was unprepared for black ice, then I was completely more so, for what I saw - and touched.

You see, a person lost her life, and another was seriously injured. There was very little I could do, so I made a promise. To live life to the full, and to use my skills fully.

I developed Spark Rural in large part because of this event. But really, it was the catalyst to pushing me toward the work I want to do: writing, speaking / facilitation and community engagement. That's what Spark Rural offers; we work primarily with government and small businesses to breathe life back in to their country towns.

Thank you for being here and I look forward to potentially meeting.

My best,



Vanessa Wiltshire
Director, Spark Rural
Small Business Development & Community Engagement

95a High Street [we are located inside Todd Property]
Heathcote, VIC 3523