Meet Snezna. A powerhouse of a woman, Snezna started her career as a journalist, moved onto owning her own PR company, and then jumped straight into developing her own teen girl skincare range. After having worked in health and beauty, and with a daughter who was about to start her own skincare journey, Snezna found a gap in the market and quickly ran to fill it. Last year Snezna moved on to becoming Director of Health and Wellness at Edelman Australia-- a high intensity position, perfect for this dynamic and driven woman. Despite the success of her carreer, Snezna is very intentional about investing time into her family. With a daughter and husband, she admits that being successful in the corporate world can be demanding, however never lets the passion for her family be overtaken by her career. She is a Strong Woman.
Meet Kirbanu. Originally from Adelaide, South Australia, this singer/songwriter had no intention of venturing down a path of music or creative expression. After completing university degrees in zoology and environmental conservation, Kirbanu came to the end of her study and despite having the head of a scientist, found her heart simply wasn’t invested. Realising she was meant to be a musician, she picked up her guitar and started travelling. Several years and 33 countries later, today Kirbanu is based in Germany and concentrates on cultivating her unique musical identity. Acknowledging that money dictates a lot of the mainstream music industry, Kirbanu parades a refreshing opposite. Pushing honest music and authenticity, Kirbanu uses social media and conversation to build authentic connections, creating a loyal supporter base with the goal of building a sustainable, independent music career. Coming from the old Pahlavi language meaning “a lady of power, strength and fortune”, even Kirbanu’s name is a reflection of her passion-filled spirit. She is a Strong Woman.
Meet Susan. At fifteen years old, Susan was on a fishing trip with her parents and brother when their boat suddenly sank. After four hours of struggling through darkness and rough sea, Susan eventually made it to shore-- but her family did not. Such trauma took its toll on Susan, leading her down a path of self-destruction. Becoming a mother at 20, Susan’s life continued to test her, having to face domestic violence, single motherhood and cancer. In the years following, Susan started the healing process and used motorbike riding to do so. Whilst writing her book “The Girl Who Lived”, she rode her motorbike throughout South East Asia, immersing herself in the diverse cultures and learning more about herself along the way. Susan now puts her energy into WOW Motorcycle Tours, an organisation she started with her son that runs motorbike tours across Victoria, Australia. Susan encourages women to rediscover themselves and build confidence with just two wheels and an open road. In January 2017 Susan will be facing her fear of swimming, and taking part in the Lorne Pier to Pub-- hoping to raise $100,000 for the McAuley Community Services for Women. Despite trauma and grief, Susan continues to face life head-on and inspires countless others along the way. She is a Strong Woman.
Meet Anjuli. Born in Australia to two eccentric, musical and artistic parents, Anjuli grew up in Glastonbury, UK with her sister and mother, after her parents separated when she was 3. During her early childhood, they lived in a B&B attic room and attended nearly every festival in the land. Involved in countless community plays, dance performances, alternative events and celebrations for every reason possible, her upbringing was colourful and she had an amazing group of friends.
Despite this, life was burdened by an unhealthy relationship with her mother, which worsened into her late teens. Feeling emotionally burnt out and unmotivated to do University, Anjuli spent a few years travelling and working, to help find her purpose, and began a relationship with a life long friend. They later married and, after the birth of their daughter, migrated to Australia in 2008. Unfortunately a sense of displacement and depression took hold of her. Eager to shake it off and desperate for a creative outlet, Anjuli would make art, including painting their appliances. In 2013 she finally found and enrolled in an online surface pattern design course which has led to her starting her own business - JeliRAD Designs. Finding the balance between motherhood and designing, Anjuli continues to do what she loves and focuses on one day having her own homewares range, and also joining a design studio! She is a Strong Woman.
Meet Bryn. For as long as she can remember, Bryn has been fortunate enough to travel all over the world, visiting coconut plantations in both The Pacific and Asia. Spending time at government-funded coconut research centres, working on aid projects in Fiji and growing up with a family who runs Banaban Virgin Coconut Oil, it was no surprise when Bryn wanted to venture down the coconut path too. Soaking in as much as she could from people along the way, Bryn has fine-tuned her passion and now works with farmers and chemists to produce world first and innovative coconut products. Working at Banaban, Bryn is able to assist in empowering indigenous communities through education and scholarship programs. In her spare time, Bryn’s passion for coconuts continues, where she writes a food blog -coconuts of course- and is working on the completion of her book and app. Bryn spends every waking moment ‘going coconuts’ and inspiring people to pursue their passions. She is a Strong Woman.
Meet Carol. Growing up in a suburban middle-class home, horses were never a part of Carol’s family. However from a very young age, Carol developed a deep fascination. At the earliest possible opportunity, she started working with horses. Starting off with working for free as a pooper-scooper, Carol was determined to work with these beautiful animals. By fifteen, she had lay-byed her horse and paid it off over two years by collecting and selling bottles. Working her way up the professional ladder, Carol ended up grooming, riding, training horses-- even judging and commentating for equestrian events. With competing successfully at 34 Royal shows and then commentating for the past six years, she has made a successful name for herself. But when her only son was killed in a skiing accident in New Zealand, Carol’s career stood still. A way of dealing with this shock was through poetry; and this opened a door to a whole new adventure. Carol threw herself one hundred percent into poetry and through hard work, dedication and her outrageous talent, has emerged as the cream of Australian Bush Poetry today. From this, she has had the opportunity to travel all over Australia and internationally, performing and sharing the unique art of Bush Poetry. Carol believes that when life seems as though there is no light in the tunnel, we need to go in, find the switch and turn it on ourselves. She is a Strong Woman.
Meet Stacey. Growing up without her mother, Stacey was brought up in a housing commission, was a victim of child sexual abuse and ended up living in a shed at age 13. At 15 years old, she was pregnant and by 19 she was a mother of two - and homeless. By the time she was 21, Stacey had had three children but was in a toxic relationship, a victim of domestic violence. Now 36 years old, Stacey has five children and is supported by her loving partner. She is an author, an international speaker and CEO of Brand Print Australia. More recently, she has become the official Ambassador for the Lighthouse Foundation and Brave Hearts Inc., which led to her being nominated for the 2012 Pride of Australia Award. She is a Strong Woman.
Meet Priscilla. Born and raised in South Africa, Priscilla made the big decision to move with her husband and four children to Sydney, Australia in 1981, in search of a better life. Now Priscilla is a proud grandmother to nine children and a great-grandmother to two children-- her beautiful family thriving. In May 2014 Priscilla’s husband was involved in a terrible motorcycle accident, resulting in the amputation of his right leg -- above the knee. While battling with her own health issues, Priscilla supports her husband throughout his healing and rehabilitation. Despite her own setbacks, she continues to be a pillar of strength for her husband and family, and does so with a warm and loving smile. She is a Strong Woman.
Meet Catherine. Australian obstetrician-gynaecologist Dr Catherine Hamlin AC is the co-founder of the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital and the Hamlin College of Midwives. Catherine and her husband Reg initially went to Ethiopia in the late 1950s to train midwives, but they could not ignore the terrible plight of the obstetric fistula patients. Together the Hamlins perfected the modern technique for obstetric fistula surgery and their team has treated more than 43,000 women. Reg died in 1993 but Catherine continues their life’s work, living in a mud brick cottage at the hospital by the river. Catherine is a Companion of the Order of Australia, a National Living Treasure of Australia and a two-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee. Now in her 90s, Catherine continues to inspire a team of surgeons and her loyal Ethiopian staff, some of whom have been with her since 1959. She is a Strong Woman.
To find out more about Dr Catherine's work, visit Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia - Dr Catherine Hamlin orwww.hamlin.org.au
Meet Kim. Born in England and growing up in Australia, Kim lead an ordinary life but at the age of 22 decided she wanted more. She went on a five week vacation to Manila, Philippines and at the end of the vacation decided to sell her car, leave her job in finance and make the move toward a happier life. Shortly after moving, Kim became a host of Filipino television show ETCetera. Fast forward a few years and Kim is now a successful digital influencer and fashion icon. She dared to dream, followed that dream to another country and found success and happiness. She is a Strong Woman.
Meet thando. Moving from Zimbabwe to Australia with her family when she was 8 years old, Thando has always loved music. After finishing school, she moved from Canberra to Melbourne to study and pursue a music career. Working hard in an office by day and performing in bars, restaurants and cafes by night, Thando strives for success through hard work and persistence. In 2014, Thando was a contestant on The Voice Australia and toured the East Coast of Australia, promoting the release of her new EP. Exuding confidence and musical sass, she continues to run after her music dream with passion. She is a Strong Woman.
Meet Sofia. She is a full time student who came from New Zealand to study teaching and chaplaincy. She began her adventures at a young age, with an amazing mother who has a heart for travelling. Since Sofia was a girl, she has wanted to come to Australia to study, but always saw it as a far off dream. Though smart, she found school difficult. She is a self described creative, not academic. But she took a leap and overcame financial and personal barriers and moved to begin her studies at the start of this year. Sofia has a heart for people, and an ability to smile through anything. She a Strong Woman.
Meet Emily. Although born in Australia, Emily's first language was not English. When she was very young, her and her family moved abroad which saw Emily learning two languages first.
During her time abroad, Emily was forced to have her head shaved to make her look like a boy. This was for her own safety, as girls were in danger of being raped and murdered. Living in a house with security guards for her and her family's protection from local civil unrest and gangs, Emily was exposed to many disturbing situations.
Fast-forward a few years, and Emily moved with her family to Australia, giving her a new challenge of learning English on top of the two languages she already knew. From here, Emily discovered music as her escape and continued to grow in confidence and talent.
Being a contestant on The Voice Australia 2014, most days you will find this lovely lady singing her heart out in and around Sydney and Newcastle. With her perseverance, contagious smile and zest for life, Emily is a Strong Woman.