Meet Maria. An only child to immigrant parents, growing up Maria was very close to her father. When she was just 22, Maria’s father died of lung cancer and although her family had been through trauma with her mum overcoming breast cancer 12 years earlier, nothing could’ve prepared them for the shock of his passing. During the time her father was ill, Maria spent months working and taking her mother to appointments, supporting her as English is her second language. Owning her own beauty business, Maria decided that her studies were more important and persued an Arts Degree then went back to study her Master of Journalism Communications. During her studies her mum was diagnosed with cancer again— this meant Maria was a full time student, full time carer, and worked part time. After her mum beat cancer for the second time, she was then diagnosed a third time, which again, called for Maria to support her through the stages of treatment and surgery. After four years in a job that was going nowhere, Maria realised that she has spent her entire life working in jobs to support her family. Now with her mother in good health, earlier this year Maria left her job to follow her dreams of being a writer. With a passion for travel and entertainment and after nearly two decades of putting herself last, Maria is well on her way to making that dream a reality. She is a Strong Woman.