To bloom in the garden of adversity...

In the months prior to Leading Ladies I went through some pretty significant upheavals, adversity was starring directly into my eyes. Many personal challenges surrounding my family and life in general.

I was so proud of the event on Saturday, but instead of feeling elated, I was more relieved that I had survived, that I made it to the finish line.

A mentor and friend of mine pointed out to me when she asked how I was feeling about the event, and I said I could have done better. She said. ‘You are underestimating yourself, considering the personal challenges in your life the past few months’.


The tears rolled down my face. I nodded and said thank you ‘I needed to hear that’.   

I am one of those people who never think they are enough, always trying to be better then I was before.  And while there is something admirable in wanting to be better, the passion and purpose, thinking I am not enough is absolute BS.

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A trailblazer leading the way for all women...

JSP Founder Fallon Drewett sent Bella Management Chief Executive, author and speaker Chelsea Bonner 8 questions in the lead up to her visit to Mackay to attend JSP’s Leading Ladies event on August 17, where she will share her Body Image Warrior story and what it means to be a trailblazer. Here is Chelsea’s inspiring and funny answers….

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"How Very"..... Heathers The Musical Review

YOU never really forget what it is like to be a teenager.

The hormones.

The stress.

The want for inclusion.

The need to be invisible.

Waiting for the school bell and adult life.

Counting the zits and dreaming of your crush.

Weekend parties and week long study.

 Watching Heathers The Musical which opens tonight at the New Life Church, I was taken back to my days of high school, while some things stay the same, how so much changes.

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Fallon Drewett
The real revolution where we all can eat cake...

As women we feel the pressures to be perfect, to be more than we are.

Now is the time to disrupt to start the Real Revolution.

Time to redefine beauty, by not looking at our bodies but asking how does your body feel?

Our bodies are not decorations they are machines that are strong and powerful.

In a world where we spend more on beauty than education, now is the time to call out on the manipulation, perfect illusions, Facetune, photoshop and filter.

Covering up is not how we fix the problem, education is. Self-love and care is vital to changing the mindset and stereotypes ingrained in our culture.

Now it the time to be real. And by real I mean being you, what you feel deep within your skin- your truth, your purpose, your passion.

Forget the labels with the numbers on them the only label you need to love is the one called “MY SIZE.”

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It will take time for every leader in every country to embrace the full potential of women...

I’m surrounded by so many amazing women – I really do feel very blessed. My main role model though has always been my maternal grandmother. She was the most kind, caring, resilient woman, who just had the courage to face life front on.  She lived a simplistic life, appreciating all that she had. At times in my own life I have been grateful to have the family traits of courage, determination and resilience.  I have managed to succeed in times of adversity with the traits passed down to me by the amazing women who came before me. My existence is do or die.” - Belinda Hassan

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IWD 2019: Balance for better...

Today’s feature for our #balanceforbetter online campaign is Suzanne Brown, Director (Solicitor) and QLS Business Law Accredited Specialist from McKays Solicitors.

 Suzanne  believes International Women’s Day brings into focus, and gives an opportunity to celebrate some of the amazing and accomplished women in the Mackay region.

“Women are literally taking over the world! I feel like in a few years we will be having a conversation about how to re-engage men…and having an International Men’s Day!”

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One day is ceremonial, 364 days is revolutionary...

I support and encourage women to share their voices and stories, but why do we need one day to talk about the issues and rights of women?

Is it so we are quiet for the other 364 days of the year?

Respecting women, uplifting women, seeing women as equals, as leaders, as more than their sex, believing in us, appreciating who we are as HUMANS has to be the reality and making these changes every single day is how we move into the future.

One day is ceremonial, 364 days is revolutionary.

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Put your hand up and challenge the status quo...

Kylie Porter can’t wait for a time when we don’t need one day to highlight the role of women – that balance is just the everyday norm.

 “A controversial statement I know.”

 However, in saying that, Kylie believes International Women’s Day is a good opportunity to shine a spotlight on the many opportunities that exist for women in the world today.

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We need to recognise and acknowledge that gender is important...

Minds Aligned partner Nick Bennett said it is important to him that we recognise and acknowledge that gender is important and we need each other to play our roles in creating and improving society and community.

“It is not a matter of losing gender identity but claiming it and knowing what it means as a value and contribution to enhancing others existence, opportunities and lives,” he said.

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It is time to create conversations about the importance of balance...

You may know Jay Shipston as one half of Triple M’s Jay and Dave breakfast radio show but did you know he is a proud feminist? Well he is and when asked to be part of the JSP International Women’s Day (IWD) online campaign he embraced the idea with an open heart.

 After posting a sneak peek photo of our photoshoot for the #balanceforbetter on social media a few weeks back a comment was left on his post from a man who clearly wasn’t in support of the cause.

He said, “Women already have too much too say, don’t encourage them”.

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We all can be powerful influencers...

Rowena Hardy from Minds Aligned said It can be easy to feel isolated living in a regional area when it seems that everything happens in capital cities or larger regional centres, yet some of the most resilient and pioneering women live in these areas. 

“ I recognise that women are hungry for knowledge, information and support for how to improve their lives ,” she said.

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Education is the key to a gender-balanced world...

MAYOR Greg Williamson has never ironed one of his wife Annette’s dresses and she has never ironed one of his shirts.

In his words they “have attacked everything as a team”.

This year’s campaign theme for International Women’s Day on Friday March 8 is #balanceforbetter while celebrating women’s successes and calling for a more gender- balanced world.  

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Speaking up and stopping the cycle. Period.

WHEN is it okay to say to a woman, “Women have a scent when they are on their period. You can just smell them and you know you have to steer clear of them”. Yes, a man said this to my face. In fact, he said it to my sister as well while we were waiting for our lunch order. Let’s say it turned me off my food and got me pretty revved up. I was so mad by the following conversation it has taken me a week to actually think about how to write this blog.

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Once Upon A Female: Clare Desira making happiness a habit one top five at a time

CLARE Desira laughs through the phone; it is infectiously light and warm like a hug. Her happiness beams through her voice and her tone sounds at ease, content and connected with who she is. Clare believes that happiness is a habit and it is this belief that is the foundation of the Top Five Movement, she is the founder of. The Top Five Movement in essence is simple tools for a happier life.

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Once upon a female: The story of Alanna Bastin-Byrne from Femeconomy

Alanna Bastin-Byrne is resilient, extroverted, industrious, humorous and a planner. Like, most women living in today’s modern world, Alana is generous, supportive, courageous, tough and kind. Women like Alanna are the perfect combination of steel and cotton wool, able to be strong and feminine all at once. She believes women are tough in the modern world, but as the stories of women in history have shown, women have always had to be tough.

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Once upon a female: The story of Emily Somers from BraveryCo.

EMILY Somers is covered in tattoos. Not the inked version, but scars from radiotherapy, which she bravely wears. A week before her 27th birthday Emily was diagnosed with 2B Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, after she found a lump above her collar bone.  Her life went from parties, advertising, design and 24/7 fun to chemotherapy wards, oncology appointments and constant naps.

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Face forward on your flaws

“Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?”

The Queen from Snow White asked this question pretty regularly, hoping the mirror would say her name.

When I look in the mirror these days, I am fair, and by fair, I mean fairly certain I have seen better days. The other day I woke up and said to the mirror “good grief is that my face? “ And to quote my father, it looked a bit like a chewed caramel”.

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