After reading a recent spate of most influential/ powerful/ popular women of 2015 lists, I decided I would like to put together my own list of Inspirational Women.
Warning, there are no actresses on my list.
These Melbourne women excel in other areas of influence, because getting on with making a difference in every day life, is actually very powerful.
Dr Jacqui Stanford
Being a Mum who works full time is a tough gig. It takes dedication and commitment. So I would like to nominate my lovely friend Dr Jacqui Stanford, who works like a boss, because she is a boss. Smart and hard working, she has a learnt a whole raft of new skills that go along with being a business owner and she excels in her area of professional practice.
Jacqui helps people with chronic plain issues and she is endlessly enthusiastic and interested in her area of speciality. She works as a Health Psychologist over at Empower Rehab in Melbourne.
Jacqui has been working as a pain specialist her entire career. The secret to her success probably lies in the fact that she has worked hard, long and fast for many years.
Katrina, Carolyn, Merren and more.
Being a Mum who works part time is a tough gig. It takes dedication and commitment. So I would like to nominate Katrina, Carolyn, Merren and more who juggle life like a well trained pack of performing artists, even though there is no circus tent.
These chicks keep smiling, keep working, keep going, keep trying even when life is frayed at both ends. They stay late and leave early and they get stronger as they go.
When things are falling apart you will find them standing in the middle, holding all the threads together and smiling as they do it. I can’t guarantee the smile won’t be slightly maniacal though.
This is my crew and I am inspired by their stories. I just wish we heard a little more from them.
Being a stay at home Mum is a tough gig. It takes dedication and commitment. I would like to nominate my gorgeous sister Helen H who inspires me daily with her hard work, love, kindness, and unwavering dedication to her crew. Because everyone loves a Mum who is there for them, whose shop is open 24 hours a day, and whose fierce commitment and mean skills lifts provides a little safe haven.
Committing yourself to life as a stay at home Mum takes infinite patience and a long term game plan. It also comes with the dual blessing of boredom and intense enjoyment as you are there to witness all the little miracles in your little miracle.
Struggling to overcome your troubles is a tough gig. So I would like to nominate the amazing Carly Findlay who has struggled through the muddy waters and come out shining. Carly is a great example to us all on how to find our own path to happiness and then run, swim, crawl and trawl toward it. You can read some of her story here.
Your struggle story might be different to hers. Perhaps you live with anxiety, depression, ill health, unhappiness, loneliness, or something else. Whatever it is, take heed, take inspiration and do not give up living each day as if you own it.
I don’t actually know Maggie Beer, although I did meet her cardboard cut out earlier in the year. But she is the cook part of the Cook and the Chef and also she is Australia’s darling of the TV cooking world. I love the way she does not make a fuss about her cooking, although she does make an intricate effort. She also focuses her recipes around seasonal produce and life on the farm and she has been cooking this way for a long time. Longer than the Chef at your local gastropub.
She inspires me to cook good food, well. She also seems really nice.
I visited Maggies farm in the Barossa ten years ago and it was beautiful and amazing and full of good mana.
Plus I just had to chose one food person and who better I ask?
“A creative life is an amplified life. It’s a bigger life, a happier life, an expanded life, and a hell of a lot more interesting life. Living in this manner—continually and stubbornly bringing forth the jewels that are hidden within you—is a fine art, in and of itself.”
― Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear
Living a creative life is a great profession and encouraging it in others is surely noble. Pip Lincolne is a writer, blogger, author and crafter from Melbourne and you can find her at Meet me at Mikes.
She also has a merry band of creative followers who she regularly encourages in their creative efforts through her blog school. She has frequently been called the nicest person on the internet.
She does a little bit of a lot, nearly all of it focused on craft, creativity and culture. Her blog byline, Good Stuff For Nice People probably sums up her schtick quite nicely. I have met Pip IRL- not just the cardboard version either, and she is funny, gently and kind.
I cheated a bit on this one sorry, could not chose one ace teacher out of all the great teachers I know.
I think we all know that teacher though, who goes the extra mile, who really takes an interest, who makes a difference because of their commitment or kindness or attention. That teacher can lift you up out of your quick sand and show you new horizons. That teacher can actually help you build the bridge that will take you to your hope, stone upon stone (because surely such a bridge is made of ancient, grey sandstone).
That teacher is a life changing miracle maker and that teacher is putting in a lot of hard work, concentration, time, effort and energy to do their thing. But that teacher, is little miracle maker.
You can find Bek over at Act Justly, Love Mercy, Walk Humbly where Bek talks about buying ethically, supporting those in need, loving refugees, crafting for charity and more. Basically Bek lives her life by the mantra “As one person I cannot change the world, but I can change the world of one person.”
She won the Fairtrade Supporter of the Year Award in 2013, she advocates tirelessly for Compassion Australia and most importantly of all, she inspires and encourages every one around her to make a difference to those less fortunate by just doing one thing.
Bek is also a great friend and she lives the quiet moments in her life exactly as she lives the public ones.
There it is. My list of most inspirational women for 2015.
I could actually go on with more which makes me realise I have met some pretty cool people this year. It is so important to have people around us who spur us on and encourage us to live our best lives.
Take a look around, I better there are some people doing pretty amazing things in your life too.
Who would you put on your list for 2015?
Want more? How about
Tanja Burmeister who supports her community by running the local Cockatoo Country Market.
Sam Michelle Painter who supports and encourages local artists in Casey, including myself.
Julie Watson of Five Fairies and a Fella who writes with humour, grace and tenderness about living her life with a terminal cancer diagnosis.
Chantelle and Hannah who help run Food is Free South East Melbourne.