The Weekend Series: five inspirational Queensland women who should be on your radar
Folks, it’s been a cracker of a year in regards to women’s equality. As always the fight is never over and there is still a whole heap that can be done to level the playing field, but global movements like #TimesUp and #MeToo have seen important conversations taking place on a scale (and at a volume) like never before. One of the biggest examples that things are changing is the increased female representation in industries where men often get centre stage. In honour of International Women’s Day on Thursday March 8, we’ve decided to highlight five amazing Queensland ladies who are absolutely killing it in their respective fields. Ladies, we salute you!
The world of hip-hop is a notoriously male dominated and misogynistic space, which is what makes Miss Blanks such a force to be reckoned with. The Brisbane native (also known as Sian Vandermuelen) has been shaking up the landscape of Australian music since she burst onto the scene via youth broadcaster Triple J in 2017, catching attention with her killer attitude, inclusive message and absolutely knockout delivery. Miss Blanks has fast become a voice for change, using her music and media platform to educate audiences on racial and gender diversity. As well as being a positive and empowering role model as a person, her music happens to absolutely slay, which is a bonus.
When it comes to the Gold Coast food scene, we have a hell of a lot to thank Morgan Walsh for. Since moving over from New Zealand more than 12 years ago, Morgan has gone from working in the kitchens and on the floor to opening some of the Coast’s coolest establishments. Her passion, drive and humility have never faded on her journey from staff to boss – and since 2015 these qualities have seen her successfully open Bonita Bonita, BonBon Bar, Poké Poké and the ultra-cool FuFu. Morgan’s venues have gone from strength to strength, becoming adored by locals and visitors alike due to their unique and genre-bending offering.
Anyone who lives by the philosophy of eating doughnuts for breakfast is a dead-set legend in our books, which is just one of the reasons that Kate has made our list. Kate is the founder of nodo, the Newstead business that has grown from a humble gluten-free doughnut bakery to a fully-fledged haven of deliciousness for those with dietary requirements. Back in 2014, Kate launched the brand with the intention of spreading happiness through beautifully baked goods that could be enjoyed by everyone. Since then, Kate has grown her business into an empire of wholesome and healthy eats for all diets.
When it comes to women helping out other women, they don’t get much more prolific than Rochelle Courtenay. She is the manager and founding director of Share the Dignity, a women’s charity focused on distributing sanitary items to homeless women. Affectionately nicknamed the ‘Pad Lady’, Rochelle began her charity back in 2015 by collecting sanitary items within her community for distribution to local shelters. These days, she runs a charity that brings dignity to homeless, at-risk and women experiencing domestic violence all around the country by providing free sanitary items and funerals for victims of domestic violence.
The AFL Women’s League is finally getting at least a smidge of the attention that it deserves, and one woman who has been instrumental in this shift is Sam Riley. Known as an all-around sporting legend and Australia’s first indigenous Olympic medallist, Sam has used her platform to work with various Australian charities and to advocate for women, sport and the community. In her time involved in the AFL, Sam has been a key player in securing the brand-new Gold Coast SUNS AFLW team for 2020, as well as assisting in the SUNS Inaugural Reconciliation Action Plan.
Happy International Women’s Day to one and all – may we never stop supporting, uplifting and encouraging each other!