INSPIRATIONAL WOMEN

GLORIA ALLRED

Gloria Allred, is an American Women's Rights Lawyer, whose legal career has spanned 42 years, from which she has won countless honours for her passionate defense of minoritiy groups, specialising in protecting women's rights and making the world a more just place for women everywhere. She was born in 1941 in Philadelphia, but lives and works in LA. The 76 year old legend of women's rights, shows no signs of stopping, having just won yet another landmark case, against Bill Cosby, and she as you would expect is also taking on Harvey Wynstein. 

Gloria has awards too numerous to mention, not only for her trailblazing wins in the courtroom, but also for her volunteer and philanthropic work . She was voted by her peers in 2004 as one of the best lawyers in America and in 1986 she won the Presidents Award for Outstanding Volunteerism, which was presented by President Reagan at the White House. She also won a Lifetime achievement award from the National Trial Lawyers, for her "trailblazing role in combating injustice and winning new rights, especially for women and minorities.

Despite all this, Gloria like most women has had her share of struggles. She was tragically raped at gunpoint and discovering she was pregnant, she got an illegal abortion. She has one daughter Lisa Bloom, to her first husband, who is also a lawyer and they practice together along with her granddaughter Sarah, also an attorney and her grandson Sam who is a paralegal. 

Gloria's love of tackling some of the most high profile and controversial cases has found her taking on the Boy Scout movement for what she described as 'gender apartheid'. She was also one of the only women activists who called for Bill Clinton to step down from office, after numerous women accused him of groping them and committing lewd acts in front of them (most others sided with the President).

Gloria is also the Author of two books, 'Fight back and win": My 30 Year Fight Against Injustice" and "How You Can Win Your Own Battles' by Gloria Allred and Deborah Caulfield Rybuk. Like so many multi talented women, Gloria is also a qualified Teacher, having taught for 6 years in the public school system and then as a lecturer at the University of Southern California for several years. 

Just when you think that a person could not fit anything more into their lives, we find out that Gloria is also an accomplished actress appearing in three movies; 'Rat Race' (2001); 'John Q' (2002) and 'Race' (2008). She also has three Emmy nominations for her commentaries on KABC TV in LA, as well as for her national syndicated TV show 'We The People, with Gloria Allred'. In 2018 Netflix launched a documentary they made about Ms Allred's life, to be viewed globally, which is a must watch for every women.

Gloria, we thank you for your lifetime of dedicated work for women, and for your amazing contribution towards a world where women are treated with respect and in an equitable way.  I will leave you with a quote from her book  'Fight Back and Win" which encapsulates what an amazing Wonderous Women Gloria really is.

"I start every day with the knowledge that helping people and fighting for injustice is my duty, and that nothing worthwhile comes without sacrifice, self-discipline and courage."

BEATRIX POTTER

Beatrix Potter, is one of the most loved children's Authors of all time, and despite being born in 1866 her legendary stories of Peter Rabbit and his friends are about to be launched as a movie this Easter in 2018! Beatrix was an English Writer, Illustrator, Natural Scientist and Conservationist, all at a time when women were told who they could marry and most did not ever expect to work or earn there own living.

She wrote and illustrated 28 books, which have been translated into 35 languages, selling over 100 Million copies! She spent a solidary childhood, with long holidays spent in the country which was were she made up her stories and characters, which she sketch for her own amusement. Refusing to marry the men her family had selected for her, she resigned herself to a life as a spinster. It was then that she decided to self publish her first book and in 1902 she co-published with Frederick Warne & Co who brought her stories to the world.

Frederick soon became the love of her life, but he left her heartbroken when he died only weeks after proposing to her. With her enormous fortune that she amassed from the sale of her books, she brought a Hill Top Farm in Cumbria in the Lake District, and continued writing more stories. In 1913, aged 47, she married William Heelis and started to focus her attention onto protecting the beautiful countryside that she adored. She did this by buying parcels of land which developers were planning to  carve up for housing.

When Beatrix died in 1943, she left much of her land holdings to the National Trust, to protect it from development and to preserve it for future generations. She left 14 farms and 4,000 acres of land. She had a particular interest in breeding flocks of Herdwick Sheep and today the Trust owns 91 hill farms and about 25,000 Herdwick sheep. Beatrix's love of the country, has preserved both for future generations to experience and enjoy.

Beatrix Potter was truly a Wonderous Women, intelligent, passionate, creative independent and indeed a change maker, bringing many opportunities for other women to become financially independent and explore their own uniqueness. It is only fitting that there is a 'The World of Beatrix Potter' Attraction in Bowness-on-Windermere in England and she has a wonderful movie made about her life. She did also leave a mystery when she died, being a journal written all in code. The code was finally cracked in 1966 and I was eventually published as 'The Journal of Beatrix Potter". 

Dr JOHANNA BUDWIG

KAYLA ITSINES

Kayla Itsines, is what she would describe as an unintentional multi- millionaire. Kayla has 6.6 Million followers on Instagram, 8.9 Million likes on Facebook and 383,000 followers on Twitter. This is even more amazing when you know that Kayla is only 26, starting her personal online training system when she was just 18! Kayla comes from Adelaide, South Australia. It is one of Australia's smaller capital cities, making her rise to huge internet fame worldwide, even more remarkable.

Kayla started with her Bikini Body Workouts, and runs what now is considered the worlds biggest female fitness community. Kayla is also an Author and Entrepreneur who was born 21st May 1991 and started out as a personal trainer at an Adelaide gym. It was here that she noticed that most of her clients just wanted to look good in their bikinis. So the idea to create the bikini body fitness workout and meal planning apps' was started.

 

She started by just posting her own workouts online and after a lot of comments and interest from readers, the response was so overwhelming she almost went crazy just trying to answer all of the comments. So she decided to write an e-book to answer the questions people had. Later her boyfriend Tobi, who was tech savvy, helped Kayla to get her program online, and the rest is history.

Today she is even followed by Victoria Secret model Candice Swanepoel and Australian Olympic Swimmer, Stephanie Rice. Kayla posts thousands of  before and after pictures of her clients , so everyone can see her program works. Her secret for international success is: 

"the combination of a solid program, focussing the business around fitness and not about 'Kayla' and of course, having a good social media plan."

Her workouts only go for 28 minutes, are high intensity and repetitive, but they don't need to be done in a gym ( they only require the space for you to lay down) and were over quite quickly, so everyday women could do it and then get on with their lives. This is obviously exactly what millions of women were searching for, because she is now worth a whopping 46 Million (Oct 2016),  and  Forbes Magazine named  Kayla as the world's top fitness influencer! As well as e-books, hardcover best sellers, she also has a hugely popular app "Sweat with Kayla", which was the most downloaded fitness app on both iOS and Google Play in 2016, and brought in 17 million in revenue alone.

Today Kayla has added stadium tours to her workload and in 2016 she did a multi-city US Sweat Tour, which was sold out in about half and hour! Kayla we are proud to call you an Australian 'Wonderous Women' and we love that through trying to help others to achieve their personal fitness goals, you have been able to create such an impressive empire and life for yourself. What an inspiration!!

Jackie French AM is an Author, Historian and Ecologist. Jackie was born on 29th November, 1953 in Sydney, but grew up in Queensland and is married to her husband Bryan. They live in the Avaluen Valley on the edge of the Devia Wilderness area in Queensland, which has been the inspiration for many of her books, including the iconic 'Dairy of a Wombat', which was awarded the 'ALA Notable Children's Book Award'; as well as her ecological work. Jackie is passionate about history, the environment, getting help for children with learning difficulties and the conservation of wildlife and the planet.

 

Jackie is a prolific Author having written over 170 books, in a variety of genre's,  both fiction and non fiction. Her career has spanned over 25 years and she has been a full time writer for over 20 years. She has won over 60 National and International Awards for her books, which are also published in over 36 different languages.

In 2014-2015, Jackie was the Australian Children's laureate and in 2015 she was awarded the 'Senior of the Year', in the Australian of the Year Awards. Jackie is a passionate Patron of literacy programmes across Australia, but as a dyslexic herself and despite selling millions of books worldwide, she claims she still can't spell. Jackie is "a passionate worker for literacy, the right of all children to be able to read and the power of books."

Jackie's book  Hitler's Daughter, spent a decade on most of Australia's kids choice award shortlists. It also won amongst other awards, the '2000 CBC Book of the Year for Younger Readers Award', the 'UK Wow! Award', a 'Semi Grand Prix Award' in Japan, as well as a 'blue ribbon award' in the USA. It was even made into a play by Monky Baa's, which won both the Helpman and Drover's Awards and which toured through the US in 2013. Jackie's passion for history and young readers lead her to write an 8 volume History of Australia for Younger readers called the 'Dinkum History Series'.

 

As a passionate ecologist and conservationist, Jackie has planted thousands of trees of which she harvests about 800 of them. For over 40 years, she has studied the species native to the area she lives, from which she has written books on theories and practices of pest & weed ecology, backyard self-sufficiency, wombat ecology and endangered species. Most of her property is a conservation Refuge, for many of the rare and endangered species of the area. Jackie and her husband also built their house from stone, a water wheel and solar power system. She is also a 'moral omnivore', and they produce on their property more than 272 kinds of fruit, showing how people can co-exist with nature and she also writes for the Canberra Times; Australian Woman's Weekly; Earthgarden Magazine; Australian Wellbeing and Gardening Australia.

"There are a million ways to share a story. Stories tell us who we are. They teach us empathy, so we understand who others are. They give us the power to imagine and create the future" by Jackie French

Jackie you are a 'Wonderous Women' and you are indeed an inspiration to everyone who reads Your Story! 

JACKIE FRENCH

Dr Johanna Budwig was an extremely intelligent lady, who used her study of science to find a cure for cancer known as the Budwig Protocol for Cancer, which also worked for 50 other diseases, including diabetes type 2! She was born in Germany on the 30th September 1908 and died aged 95, from complications due to a fall on the 19th May, 2003. Dr Budwig was the head Pharmacist for the German Government, and she also held a Doctorate in Chemistry and Physics, and she later gained a PhD in Natural Science, Naturopathy.

Dr Budwig was working for the German Government when she came up with the understanding and classifications of fats and oils. It was through this work that she was to come across her understanding of how to cure cancer.

"While researching the pathogenesis of disease and illness as a Biochemist in Germany, Dr Budwig observed that Quark (a soft fresh cheese like cottage cheese) contained the very same sulphydryl groups found in cancer treatment drugs."

She noticed that when flaxseed oil and cottage cheese (or quark as it is known in Europe) were combined and taken with organic foods, herbal and homeopathic formulas, exercise, fresh air and sunbathing (in a safe and controlled way), that people had good recovery, regeneration, and renewed energy; with some people improving within days! She developed the Budwig Protocol for Cancer, in 1952 and it is still recommended and used today. She treated over 2,500 people over a 10 year period with a 90% cure rate. Not being an advocate of chemotherapy or radiation as treatments for cancer, she was challenged in court twice, with the judge siding with her science in both instances.

Oncologist Dr Dan C. Roehm M.D, FACP wrote in a July 1990 Townsend Letter for Doctors (http://www.townsendletter.com)

"What she (Dr Johanna Budwig) has demonstrated to my initial disbelief but lately, to my complete satisfaction in my practice is: CANCER IS EASILY CURABLE, the treatment is dietary/lifestyle, the response is immediate; the cancer cell is weak and vulnerable; the precise biochemical breakdown point was identified by her in 1951 and is specifically correctable, in vitro (test tube) as well as in vivo (humans and animals)"

Numerous Independent clinical  studies have been carried out and published in major medical journals worldwide, which confirm her findings and prove that essential fatty acids are at the core of the solution to curing cancer. Dr Johanna Budwig also wrote many books and did over 200 lectures worldwide, especially in America. She was still actively doing research when she died, showing how clear and active she was well into her nineties.

"Hippocrates might be credited with saying "let food be thy medicine, and let medicine be thy food" but Biochemist Dr Johanna Budwig is known for making this belief a reality. ( DR David Jockers, DC, MS, CSCS from 'How the Budwig Diet Protocol for Cancer Works')

Dr Johanna Budwig, you are an inspiration and an amazing Wonderous Women. We honour your dedication to science, your strength and courage to stand up against big business and disbelievers, and to finding a cure for the scourge of cancer. It is our greatest hope that as people become more clear and open minded about their health, that they will embrace your diet fully and eradicate cancer from the earth completely.

REECE WITHERSPOON

Reece Witherspoon is an American Actress, Producer and Entrepreneur. She was born in New Orleans on the 22nd of March, 1976 and was  brought up in Tennessee. She is married to her second husband Jim Toth and has three children Ava, Tennessee and Deacon. Reece was a child actress, getting her first big role at age 15 in the movie "The man in the moon".

Reece attended Stanford University, where she was majoring in English, however she left when offered a role in two big pictures. Her star really started to shine, when in 2001 she got the role of Elle Woods, in Legally Blonde, which as a box office hit and  established her as one of Hollywood's top female actresses. She won an Oscar for her role as June Carter cash in 'Walk the Line', and received her star on Hollywood's Walk Of Fame in 2010. On considering her accomplishments, Reece was to later comment that: "It's funny that it all becomes about the clothes. It's bizarre. You work your butt off and then you win an award and it's all about your dress. You can't get away from it." Perhaps a sad indictment of most female accomplishments?

In 2014, Reece produced her first movie 'Gone Girl', followed by 'Wild' in which she also starred. She was once again nominated for an Oscar for her role as Cheryl Strayed. Reece has a very good attitude to her work, saying "I don't believe in perfection. I don't think there is such a thing. But the energy of wanting things to be great is a perfectionist energy". It is this perfectionist energy that drives her as a producer, to do the best she possibly can and somewhat unsurprisingly, her production company with Debra Siegal, is called 'Type A Films'.

Reece is naturally beautiful, and was named  in 'People Magazine' list of '25 Most Intriguing People of 2001', as well as in their list of the '50 Most beautiful people in the world in 2002'. To this type of hype Reece commented to Marie Claire, "I have cellulite. I have stretch marks. I feel intimidated by Victoria's secret. Hollywood is one of those endless competitions, but it's like running a race towards nothing. there's no winning. Your never going to win the pretty race. I just want to be the best version of myself that I can be."

Reece's performance as Tracy Flick in 'Election' (1999), is ranked as number 45 of the Greatest Performances of All Time (2006), by Premiere Magazine. The following year she was named the highest paid actress in Hollywood by 'The Hollywood Reporter'. Reece is one of only 13 actresses to have won an Academy award, BAFTA award, Critics Choice award, Golden Globe award and SAC award, for the same performance.

 

Clearly Reece is outstanding in her acting career, but it is her balanced and ethical stand as a role model for all women that Wonderous Women are most impressed with. I will leave you with a quote which I believes reflects this about Reece the most when talking about the movie business:

"The battles that we face in this business aren't financial, they are moral. I certainly think that the longer you can keep your values, and your morality in tact, and keep your head on your shoulders about what is important at the end of your day,; you can get the most out of this business and really emerge with something wonderful"

This year has been a big year for Serena Williams, the 2017 Women’s World Number 1 Tennis player. She reclaimed this position as number 1, after a brilliant Australian Open win in Melbourne Australia in January 2017, against her rival, best friend and sister Venus Williams. She won convincingly 6-4, 6-4. Serena, the highest ranked of the very family orientated William sisters, said leading into the match, that “one of the William sisters will have her hand on the trophy and that’s a win for the family!”

 

However for 35 year old Serena, this was a very important win, in what has been an outstanding year in her life. She had recently became engaged, to Reddit Co-Founder, Alexis Ohanian, and will be welcoming a new baby in the Spring! But from a tennis championship point of view, this was not just a victory for Serena, but also a record breaking win, putting women in the spotlight in the world of Grand Slam Tennis.

 

You see not only was this Serena’s 24th Grand Slam title, having won the Australian Open 7 times, the US Open 6 times, The French Open 3 times and Wimbledon 7 times; but this win made her the Greatest ever, most successful tennis player, MAN OR WOMEN of the Modern Era! She is only 1 Grand Slam win off Australian tennis player Margaret Courts record of 25 Grand Slam titles.

 

Serena comes from a Jehovah Witness family, and lives, trains and travels with her equally famous tennis champion sister, Venus Williams. Before any of the nine times when they have played in a Final against each other, they sit in the waiting room together, talking before the match. But when they hit the court, every point is played to win.

 

Together they are the greatest siblings in any sport and they are the most competitive sister duo ever! Together they have literally changed the game of female tennis in the world. Their father Richard Williams trained both of them from very little girls. He made the bold prediction to the worlds media, when the girls were just old enough to hold a racket, that Venus, just one year older than Serena  would be world number 1. He then turned to watch Serena playing tennis behind him, stating that she would be even better! I guess he knew something way back then, because he was 100% correct.

 

Richard trained them differently to anybody at the time, building their strength by throwing footballs like a quarterback, to build up their arm muscles. Venus has also won an impressive 7 grand slam titles, including 2 US Open titles and 5 Wimbledon titles. She did have to bow out of tennis in 2011 for sometime, while she battled Sjogren’s Syndrome, an autoimmune disease. For Venus to be back playing the Australian Open Grand Slam Finals, in 2017, was proof of a great comeback from a true champion. 

 

The Williams sisters are not just great athletes and tennis champions, they demonstrate everything Wonderous Women do. Serena has the Serena Williams Fund, whose goal is to create equity through education, it also assists victims of senseless violence; while Venus supports, AIDS and HIV, at risk and disadvantaged youth and children, the creative arts, education, health, sports and women. They have a very close and supportive family as seen by them travelling all over the world with their Mum, Dad and sister Esha, who share in their career highs and disappointments and their entire life. 

 

Serena is always optimistic, she hates to loose and she never looks back, only forward to achieving her next goal. To make her goals happen, she trains every single day!  To put Serena’s efforts into perspective, she was the first of the two sisters to win her first major title, as a 19 year old teenager. During the tournament in the Australian Open this year, Serena did not loose a set….NOT ONE! She said about her win:

“ I feel like my life is a fairytale and a dream.”

 

Stephie Graft, also a brilliant women’s tennis player by comparison, retired from her career at age 29, stating she was physically and emotionally done! Serena at 35, looking fit, positive and fabulous, took out her 24th Grand Slam tile, becoming the most successful tennis player of the modern era, and is engaged and is now expecting her first baby. What a fabulous sporting family and what an amazing pair of talented awe inspiring athletes.

 

But special congratulations must go to Serena Williams, who is an excellent role model for all women; for her hard work, dedication, positivity and focus. You are a Wonderous Women and then some!

SERENA WILLIAMS

DAYLE HADDEN

Dayle Hadden is an amazing women. It is like she has had two amazing careers in one lifetime! She was born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada in 1948 and her beauty lead her into a career of modelling and acting. By age 18, she was crowned Miss Montreal and this was the start of an illustrious modelling career, in which she has been the cover of over 100 magazines. 

 

Dayle has also represented some of the best beauty companies, including Max Factor, Revlon, Estee Lauder and Loreal. The later two companies signed Dayle at age 35, in an unheard of deal, shattering all previous age taboos for models; with Loreal signing her the day her Estee Lauder contract expired. 

 

In her early career, Dayle also appeared as an actress in a number of parts and also authored the book ‘Ageless Beauty - A Woman's Guide to Lifelong Beauty and Wellbeing”. She was named twice in Harper’s Bazaar’s ’10 Most Beautiful Women’ and she was also on the cover of Sports Illustrated, Swimsuit Issue in 1973. Such a fabulous career would be enough for any person, however in 2008, Dayle started her second lifetime career, when she took on the position of UNICEF Ambassador; a position she held for 12 years!

 

It is this career that I find the most inspiring, as it allowed Dayle to become the tireless humanitarian worker that she is today. Through her work in South Africa, Africa and the Middle East, she realised that quality education had the ability to give women a chance to escape poverty.  From here, Dayle founded the Not-for-Profit organisation ‘Women-One’, whose motto is ‘changing the world one women at a time’.

 

Through Women-One, she has partnered with ‘Free the children’ , an international charity to provide scholarships for girls education in Kenya. Through Women-One, Dayle has raised and donated more than $150,000 for one of the Free the Children’s all girls secondary schools.

Dayle said:

 

“More than 65 Million girls are out of school globally! When a girl is educated, she earns more and gives those earnings to her family and community….An educated mother will educate her children, and a mother who can read has more than a 50% chance that her child will survive beyond the age of 5. An educated girl will positively improve her life, that of her family and her community, and help lift them out of the cycle of poverty forever!”

 

Dayle saw how much money was made from women in the beauty industry being applied on them, and for them. She now asked these businesses and the women who used these products to feel as strongly about giving back to women in need as she did. She hoped that women could be given a 360 degree view of living, so their focus was not just on the physical. The reality is that the physical is a losing battle, as genetics and age take its course; so she asked them to take a more holistic way of viewing themselves. She stressed that ‘We need to add a spiritual component to our physical life, to be more complete”.

 

When asked in an interview by Carmen Busquets what was her proudest moment to date, Dayle replied:

 

“When you can give hope to people who have been through so much. When you can hold their hands, when you can wipe away their tears. When you have an answer for them. When you can simply say ’I can help you with this’. I am very proud of the girls themselves. No matter what they have been through, fleeing countries, some seeing their girlfriends shot or commit suicide; they know that with an education, they will have a voice. Working with them, you realise everything you do is worth it.”

 

It is this same voice that Wonderous Women is hoping to remind the women in the western world to join together and use, to make changes for women everywhere. Because we care and realise that if we look after our own sisters who are still suffering so much, just because they are women, we have no doubt that we need to do whatever we can to help them, because we can.

 

Thank you Dayle Hadden, you are a truly Wonderous Women and the world is lucky to have you.

        GRETEL KILLEEN

Gretel Killeen is a household name in Australia. She is an Australian media personality, a comedian, author, writer, MC and journalist. She a was the Primary host of the controversial ‘Big Brother’ in Australia, from the start of the show in 2001 till 2007. Gretel was born in February 1963 in Sydney Australia, and she has written more than 20 books and several international best sellers!

 

Gretel has also hosted the Logies, but she was so affected by the criticism she received from her peers, that she admitted later that it made her somewhat reclusive.  She is the mother of two young adult children, and like so many of us Mothers of this generation, she raised them alone. Gretel, said on the show ‘The Project’ in June 2017, after a lady had sent a letter in saying that she wished she knew how isolating and flat she felt after having her baby and being stuck out in the suburbs, bored and alone. But Gretel is a good lady who cares about children, and so she couldn’t let the discussion go by without adding:

 

“I just want to say to any kid out there watching, while it is hard raising a lot of you, raising my children was the happiest years of my life and I raised them as a single mum. It was really bloody hard, but I never regretted it, and I don’t want any children watching this, thinking that they are not bringing joy.”

 

The thing I love about Gretel Killeen, is that she is an intelligent lady with a great sense of humour, who tells it like it is. Her commentary is always witty and fun and yet honest and fair and always comes from a place of compassion and a social conscience. Her career started somewhat accidentally, when reading one of her serious poems in the 1980’s after dropping out from her law studies. Despite discovering her panache for comedy, she went on to win a Mo Award for her TV writing and presenting.

 

Gretel also wrote and directed a documentary on AIDS Orphans in Zambia. She was a Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF for 7 years, and travelled to Pakistan in 2015 for the Fred Hollows Foundation. She is currently also an Ambassador for Pink Ribbon (Breast Cancer) and is an Australia Day Ambassador. Gretel’s daughter directed her in a film, which she made for VBB in India and she has entertained Australian troops in the Middle East, the Solomon Islands, East Timor and Egypt.

 

You can hire Gretel as a keynote speaker where she is happy to talk about such topics as “who killed superwomen- whether it is possible to have it all (and still stay awake)”; “ The tall poppy syndrome that is cutting us all short”;  and “Why women wish they were men”; to name but a few. I love hearing Gretel’s comments when appearing on morning TV, as I always feel that she is open, honest, intelligent and yet always comes from a place of love for children and humanity. She is a Sydney woman who has made a life doing what she loves and excels in, and contributing in whatever ways she can to make the world a better place.

 

Gretel Killeen, you are a Wonderous Women, sometimes controversial, but always a straight shooter and I am proud to have you as an example of a strong women not afraid to step out of the traditional mould, in oder to make your mark on the world with courage, humour and determination.

Dr DOA EL-ANSARY

Dr Doa El-Ansary is a Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Science at the University of Melbourne. Doa was originally born in  Alexandria, Egypt, and moved with her parents and younger sister to Australia when she was a young child. 

 

Doa grew up in middle class Sydney and was one of the only Egyptians in her primary school and one of only a handful in her high school. Despite this, Doa is fondly remembered by all of her fellow students and teachers, as one of the friendliest, most outgoing students, who was not only extremely hardworking and studious, but also friends with everyone and genuinely interested in their lives. I know this because I went to school with Doa from year 7-12.

 

It came as no surprise that Doa would find an occupation which involved her intellectual and analytical mind, but also utilised her friendly and caring nature. During her career, Doa worked as a Physiotherapist in private practice, as well as in the public and private hospital systems. In addition Doa holds Honorary and teaching posts at the Australian Institute of Sport, The University of Sydney, The University of Canberra and Heart Support Australia. She also was part of the Inaugural Academic Team of the Master of Physiotherapy, at the University of Canberra. To top off an amazing career, Doa completed her PhD in 2008!

 

Doa was part of the team that developed the web-based “Heart Online”, which is a toolkit used for cardiovascular health and rehabilitation; an area that was soon to become an inspiration for Doa’s future research. She is currently the recipient of a Research Fellowship at Melbourne University and a keynote speaker at national and international scientific meetings.

 

In 2016, Doa was awarded ‘Best Research’ for a study she conducted on 'driving after heart surgery' at the European Cardiovascular Surgeons meeting in Australia, as well as the ‘Best Research” on 'upper limb movement after heart surgery', at the American Physical Therapy meeting in 2017. I know for a fact that fitting all of this research, as well as her ongoing lecturing role at the University of Melbourne as well as a family, into one person’s life is a huge physical and personal drain, and reflects Doa’s true level of dedication.

 

Doa is also a dedicated mother to two wonderful young men, one just still in senior high school; as well as a loving wife, daughter and sister. She is also a wonderful friend to everyone she knows and cares about, as well as a passionate advocate for equal treatment of women and an end to racism. 

 

Dr Doa El-Ansary is a truly Wonderous Women, as she is a fabulous combination of intelligence, compassion, dedication, love and integrity. She is also someone I am proud to call my very good friend.

IF YOU HAVE A FRIEND OR WORK COLLEAGUE WHO YOU THINK IS A WONDEROUS WOMEN WITH A STORY TO SHARE, THEN PLEASE PASS ON HER DETAILS ON THE FORM ON THE FRONT PAGE OF THE SITE, AND WE CAN SHARE HER STORY AND RECOGNISE HER AMAZING LIFE.

LISA VANDERPUMP

Lisa Vanderpump is a British born American, Restauranteur, Author, Actress and Television Personality. Lisa and her husband Ken Todd, have owned 26 restaurants, bars and clubs in London and Los Angeles and she is one of the ‘Housewives of Beverly Hills’. Lisa is not only an extremely beautiful, multi talented creative (she is also a designer), but she is a passionate animal rights activist. 

 

One of her true passions, is for the protection and rescue of dogs. She recently opened ‘The Vanderpump Dog Foundation and Rescue Centre’, in Los Angeles on March 1st, 2017. This centre serves as a rescue and adoption facility for homeless dogs and puppies in L.A. 

 

The proceeds of her designer dogs clothing range all go to benefit the Vanderpump Dog Foundation. The Foundation’s goal is not just to save dogs, but to make a proactive impact on global legislation, education and treatment of dogs worldwide. To this end, Lisa has been passionately outspoken about the Chinese Yulin Dog Meat Festival. This has resulted in bringing international awareness to the cruelty shown to man’s best friend in China, every June during this festival. Lisa begged her husband to get involved in making public this cruelty and slaughter of dogs, often family pets; when she told him they couldn’t sleep until they did. 

 

In her role saving homeless dogs in LA, who would otherwise face certain death because they were strays; her foundation would take them into her rescue centre and ‘Vanderpuff’ them. That means they would clean, de-flea, groom and ‘glam them up’, and then work to get them adopted. Todd said about Lisa’s efforts to help dogs 

“What is celebrity……if you  can’t put it to good use? What is the point of being a celebrity?”

 

Lisa is a celebrity who rarely appears on the red carpet (or anywhere else) solo, as she is always accompanied by her pet Pomeranian ‘Giggy'. He suffers from alopecia and must have his skin covered at all times, so he is always dressed in an equally glamorous outfit as his owner. Giggy was the inspiration for Lisa’s pet clothing range.

 

Lisa Vanderpump is a very talented, intelligent lady of substance, despite living the glamorous lifestyle of the rich and famous, she has not forgotten the importance of looking out for the animals she loves so much. She has been married to her husband for over 30 years, and started studying her acting craft as a 9 year old child. She has appeared in many films and television programs as an actor, long before her fame in the ‘Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’ and her latest spin off “Vanderpump Rules’.

 

In her activist role protecting dogs worldwide, she organised a protest march with Sharon Osborne in October 2015 against the Yulin Dog Meat Festival. They had a group of 4,000 people march from MacArthur Park in LA to the Chinese Consulate. Lisa is also a mother to two children and a stepmother to Warren Todd, son of her husband Ken.

 

Lisa is an example of the kind of celebrity who uses their position of influence and affluence to help make the world a better place, and we welcome her as a Wonderous Women.

RONNI KAHN

Shocked by the amount of food wasted in the hospitality industry, Ronni Kahn, then an Events Organiser, was propelled into an entirely new path as a Social Entrepreneur. She founded the food rescue charity, Oz Harvest in November 2004 and became its CEO. Oz Harvest is a not-for-profit organisation, which collects excess food from restaurants, hotels and other food outlets and delivers 60 million meals via 919 different charities.This process of repurposing unused or left over food to those who need it most, has resulted in 20,000 tonnes of good quality food being eaten and not wasted.

 

Ronni now 64 was originally from Johannesburg, South Africa, born to a Jewish family. She later moved to Israel with her boyfriend where she ended up living in a Kibbutz for almost 20 years.She eventually emigrated to Australia, with her then husband in 1988. Following a visit back to South Africa, Ronni had an epiphany, realising that she had to devote her work to doing something meaningful for people less fortunate than herself.

 

Ronni has been pivotal in having civil liability and health legislation changed in 4 states of Australia, starting in 2005. This was huge, as it opened the door for Oz Harvest to operate, as the old legislation had previously prevented food donors from giving away excess food to charities.

Ronni believes that:

“Oz Harvest purpose is to Nourish our country” and that “it is a magnet for magnificent people” 

and I would agree. She recognises the amazing passion of her staff members, based across the country, who are 100% committed to reduce food waste and help those in need.

 

Ronni Kahn has been recognised and given numerous awards over the years for her achievements, including “Australia’s Local Hero Award” in the 2010 Australian of the Year Awards. She also won the Ernst and Young Social Entrepreneur of the Year in 2012; as well as the Verve Clicquot Award, Business Women Tribute Award for Innovation, Entrepreneurial Skill and Contribution to the Community in 2012, to name but a few.

 

 Oz Harvest is also a part of the NEST Program - Nutrition, Education & Sustenance Training, which educates vulnerable Australians about healthy eating, nutrition and life skills in disadvantaged communities. Through Oz Harvest, Ronni Kahn has been able to partner with the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), working together on the ‘Think, Eat, Save Campaign’.

 

Wonderous Women are so proud to recognise the amazing contribution Ronni Kahn has made to feeding those in need, by avoiding food wastage and changing Australia, through new Legislation; to be a country where hunger is not being exacerbated though food waste, as a result of antiquated laws preventing us from caring for those who need our help most. Thank you and all the Oz Harvest members, who everyday make such a difference in making the world a better place for all.

NATALIE MASSENET

Natalie Massenet, formerly a fashion journalist, was the founder of Net-a-Porter, in 2000 from her London apartment. She spotted a gap in the fashion market, to sell luxury fashion goods online and never looked back. She was born in Los Angeles, California with her father an American journalist/publisher and her mother a British model with Chanel. It seems that Natalie was always destined to be involved in fashion magazines, fashion and in particular luxury fashion. 

 

In her early years, she worked as a fashion model and stylist in Japan, and at the Italian Magazine Moda, and later as a fashion journalist at a variety of fashion magazines. She started Net-a-Porter in 2000 in London from her flat in Chelsea after raising the start up cost of 1.2 Million pounds with her then husband. The online retail shopping experience was to take on a very  non traditional fashion magazine format. Initially designers found the idea of selling high fashion online unpalatable, but in 2001 Natalie persuaded Roland Mouret, to sell his first collection via Net-a-Porter! By 2004 the company was profitable and won the Best Fashion Shop Award, at the British Fashion Awards.

 

Natalie Massenet continued to expand into a new fashion discount site, ‘The Outnet' in 2009, and ‘Mr Porter’ in 2011, after selling Net-a-Porter to Richmond, a Swiss company, but staying on as Executive Chairman and Investor. By 2013, she employed 2,600 people in the UK, US, Hong Kong & China. Never one to not continue to be on the leading edge of innovation, Natalie in  2014  launched a print and digital magazine called ‘Porter’, as well as an App. She took over as Chairman of the British Fashion Council in 2013 and quickly established her position as its leader. 

 

Natalie was given a MBE for her service to the British Fashion Industry in 2009 and was bestowed  the title Dame, (DBE) in 2016, for amazing service to the Fashion and Retail Industries. She was made US Glamour Magazine’s ‘Women of the Year’ in 2013, and was also named as one of the 100 most influential people by Time Magazine in 2014. Natalie sold her shares in Net-a-Porter, valued at 100 Million pounds or $153 million, and promptly, although somewhat surprisingly to the public, resigned in September 2015.

 

At age 51, Natalie also a mother to one child and now divorced from her husband, has had an unbelievably successful career, that few have attained at such a young age. Natalie was the true pioneer of luxury fashion online sales, in the world. Her vision and unparalleled belief in her groundbreaking idea for the future of luxury fashion,  has forever changed the way people shop around the world, for designer fashion. She is obviously a truly amazing Wonderous Women and is an inspiration to every multi talented, creative woman everywhere.

DR ANNE ALY

Dr Anne Aly, is truly a Wondrous Women. I first heard about Dr Aly, when I saw her give a speech in Parliament (see below to listen to the full speech). She is the Labor Federal Member for Cowan, Western Australia. I was immediately captured by her honesty, compassion and willingness to share her personal life in Parliament, in an impassioned plea for a better understanding of the plight of women and their need for welfare assistance, during tough periods of their lives. She was originally born in Alexandria, Egypt, but moved with her parents, a Nurse and an Engineer, to Australia for a better life, at age two.

 

At 25 , Anne found herself in a violent marriage from which she was forced to flea, penniless with her two young sons (now adults). It was from this situation that she beautifully described the desperation that affects so many women, which drove her to the doors of Centrelink for some desperately needed social welfare. She aptly pointed out that a countries level of civilisation is seen in the way that they show assistance and compassion to those who are in the greatest need; and she needed some immediate help to feed herself and her children right then, not in a weeks time after processing. A staggering 82.3% of social welfare recipients in Australia today are women, probably reflecting many social issues and inequities that women face, including domestic violence, child support issues, lower rates of pay and fewer opportunities for women to gain higher renumerated positions of employment, to name a few.

 

She described the humiliation she felt by not being able to provide for her children and the overwhelm they were all feeling after such a traumatic experience. Her point was simple, that welfare recipients are rarely trying to deceive the government into getting something they shouldn’t. They are not cheats, trying to steal from the welfare system and should not be made to feel like one. A point which needed to be made loud and clear, when the majority of politicians passing the social security laws are men, who would have NEVER been put into this kind of situation in their lives. The only pity was that there were so few members of Parliament actually present to hear this speech.

 

Anne, went on to work as a single mother in government policy and then through hard work and unabated drive, she gained a host of amazing qualifications! These included a BA in English Literature (High Honours) from the American University in Cairo;  Graduate Diploma in Linguistics (1994); Doctor of Philosophy PhD (1996) and a PhD in Media and Culture (2008) all from Edith Cowan University in Perth, WA. She is now a Professor at Edith Cowan University and an Associate Professor at Curtain University ACT and a Member of Parliament! WOW!

 

Anne is an internationally renowned expert in Counter Terrorism and Counter Radicalisation. She is also the Founding Chairperson of 'PAVE', a not for profit organisation for People against Violent Extremism. In her spare time, she has also Authored a Book, 'Terrorism and Global Security: Historical and Contemporary Perspective' in 2011. She was also named in the 2013 list of 100 Women of Influence, compiled by The Financial Review and Westpac.

 

Dr Anne Aly is a brilliant example of the potential that a women has and of her resilience to not only survive but thrive, following great difficulties and hardships. Her obvious intelligence, drive and her ability to maintain her compassion in a world full of challenges, especially in her chosen field of expertise, is indeed amazing! We are so lucky as Australians to have such a brilliant women represented in our Parliament, and I hope to see her joined by equally talented and capable women in the future from all sides of politics, until we see a 50/50 balance of men to women in government! Then we will start to see some real progress in Australia and the world.

 

Dr Anne Aly is certainly a Wonderous Woman, worthy of our highest admiration.

GINA FIELDS

 

 

Gina Fields is the owner and Leader of Nepean Regional Security company, and on the 8th of March this year Gina was named 2017 NSW Business Women of the Year!  She won the award for owning the most awarded and respected security company in NSW, having won over 24 industry awards, an International award as well as countless personal awards and nominations as an outstanding business woman. She is also the President of the Penrith Valley Chamber of Commerce and her enthusiasm and energy are well known for advocating women in business, helping them to achieve their dreams.

 

Even more amazingly, she has managed to attain such outstanding results in a traditionally male dominated industry. She started out 19 years ago from scratch, and has built up her business to the enormous success it is today. Gina also goes out into the community, talking at schools to young girls, sharing her own inspirational story and encouraging them to not be afraid to venture into traditionally male dominated industries. Her business is diverse, ranging from providing security for wet cement drying, to security for major block buster movie sets, such as ‘Wolverine’. Her latest community efforts involve her talking about the need for security to house owners in the countless new housing estates in the West today.

 

Gina is a Wondrous Women, who stands as a great source of inspiration to every women who sees her outstanding results. Her example allows women to see that indeed success in any business they desire, is possible if you 100% commit to your dreams with energy, determination and hard work.

Nita McHugh- Managing Director of Rejuven8 Penrith Cosmetic Clinic ,Rejuven8                          Nelson Bay and Rejuven8 Body, NSW Australia.

Nita is a good friend of mine and so I can tell you with certainty that she is indeed a Wonderous Women! Nita has that certain something that others are drawn to. I believe it is her unique qualities, of intelligence, kindness, intuition, business accumen, determination and a hilarious sense of fun. She began her career as a registered nurse, then worked with children in an early intervention unit assessing developmental delays.

 

Following a difficult divorce, she decided to study to be a Paramedical Aesthetician & recreate herself, with nothing but total success as her goal. She worked alongside Dr Lim, for 9 years and then with his support, she set up and built the 'Rejuven8' business at Penrith, where she saw huge potential. Simultaneously she was bringing up her son and young daughter, with little help from their father, and coping with a child with ADD and depression.

 

Her tireless efforts to achieve, drove her to continue to study and gain a huge range of qualifications making her an expert in her field, as well as becoming a regular contributor to the local Penrith newspaper. This regular editorial, although adding yet another deadline to meet on an already hectic workload, allowed Nita and her business to be seen as the leading professional, in her local community. Never one to stop and rest, she started a second practice, in Nelson Bay as well as the Rejuven8 Body clinic.

 

Sadly her life was changed forever, when in 2015, her son was involved in a horrendous para gliding accident, crashing into a cliff wall and barely clinging to life. His injuries including loosing his leg and doing permanent damage to his remaining foot amongst many other things. Depsite this trauma and the life long implications of this accident, Nita partly out of necessity, but mostly out of true resilience, has managed to sell up her business.

 

She has stayed on as Managing Director for a year, and is now using her entreprenuerial eye to become a property developer and landlord, as she tries to slow down her busy life and smell the roses. Despite the incredible highs and lows that accompany so many of us Wonderous Women's lives, Nita is a lady who continues to be as compassionate as she is just plain good fun. This is an example of a Wonderous Women, not a millionaire, not a highly paid CEO or well know public figure, but an example of how truly Wonderous Women can be, given any set of circumstances to work with. 

NITA McHUGH
ROCHELLE COURTNEY

Founder of 'Share The Dignity' and Cosmopolitan's Humanitarian of the year 2016, Queensland Australia.

When faced with the realisation one day, that homeless women face huge difficulties, embarrassment and forced hibernation when they get their monthly periods, because they did not have the money to buy sanitary products; and she wondered why somebody didn't do something to help. It was then that she realised, that she was somebody, and that now confronted with the truth, she had to find a way to help.  'Share the Dignity' was then founded, and she became this group of initially volunteers, brave new leader. Since then, this  Mother of two, has extended her initial  help to those women in need, to include Sanitary vending machines which can be found in women's shelters and homeless shelters throughout Australia, distributing donated sanitary items free to those who need it.


Share The Dignity also pays for the funeral costs for any family whose Mother has been killed as a result of domestic violence, because she rightly acknowledges that children left, have already been through more trauma than any child should have to endure; without the stress of having to organise and pay for a funeral for their Mum, while their Dad is probably incarcerated. She also runs meeting programs called 'Activities 4 all', which is a place where children who have experienced long term exposure to domestic violence, can take part in fun activities, in an inclusive group planned activities.


I found out about this 'Mumpreneur' at Christmas, when I participated in 'It's in the Bag', yet another of Rochelle's initiatives, organised by 'Share The Dignity'. Women were asked to use a handbag they no longer wanted or to buy a new one as i did, and filled it with necessities and some luxuries that a women escaping domestic violence would not have had the time to gather when escaping, nor the money to purchase it for herself now.  These bags were dropped off at a collection location, and distributed by Share The Dignity Volunteers for Christmas. Each bag also including a card and note from one women to another, letting her know that somebody cares, and can see her divinity.


Rochelle, you are indeed a women of great empathy and you are an inspiration to Wonderous Women worldwide. Thank you for all that you do to help women where ever you can.

Anne Holland is the founder of 'Defib First' and not-for-profit 'Urban Lifesavers', Victoria Australia.

Anne is an educator, presenter, registered nurse, speaker and is the Author of the book 'Back in a Heart Beat". She is also a mother to five children!
Her passion for educating everyday people on how to use Automated External Defibrillators (AED). This started when she lost her husband Paul, due to a sudden and unexpected cardiac arrest. Had there been a Defib unit close at hand and somebody who new how to use it, he may still be alive today.

 

She aspired to see AED's included as key pieces of equipment in Emergency First Aid places, as well as all public spaces and workplaces throughout Australia. Ann was determined to raise awareness and to deliver training that empowered ordinary people, with or without prior first aid training. She wanted everyone to feel confident enough to safely apply a AED without fear or hesitation, to help a victim of cardiac arrest and give them a chance to survive.


She did this through a national awareness campaign, called 'Back in a Heart Beat'. She also held a cardiac arrest and defibrillation awareness gala event, held in Melbourne, in October 2016. Ann speaks regularly at functions, spreading awareness of the life saving procedure and letting people know how big a difference it can make, in the survival of all cardiac arrest victims.


Anne is a brilliant example of a Wonderous Women, who turned a time of great tragedy into an opportunity to do something amazing. Through her initiative, the result will be the saving of thousands and thousands of lives, previously lost in a heart beat to cardiac arrest.

ANNE HOLLAND

© 2017 Wonderous Women. All Rights Reserved.

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