This is a tribute to the strong, courageous women of my family this International Women's Day in 2022 (and the amazing men who support them).
"On days I could not move it was women who came to water my feet until I was strong enough to stand it was women who nourished me back to life." - Rupi Kaur
To my great grandmother 'Nana Bish', who I am only just learning her stories now as I ask questions my nan. She lost her husband at a young age. I recently found out that she was in Balmain Hospital being treated for polio and saw the Sydney Harbour Bridge pieced together. Can you imagine that?
My nana, Hellen (her daughter), who started work as a talented seamstress and went on to run many successful businesses... she is an incredible gardener, golfer and continues today to help everyone around her. She is the most active and inspiring woman.
My other grandma Theresa (who sadly passed away last year) who ran a farm, raised 6 children and also lost her husband at a young age. The family were poor and made money by picking beans on other farms in Gympie and Cambooya. She fought for so many things. I'll never know strength and determination like yours.
My mumma Tracey, who dedicated her life to raising me and my brother, but later became a massage therapist to help my dad with his back problems (he was a diesel mechanic). Who helped many hurting people with a skill she never expected to grow into a business. Who showed me ways to be creative. Who could make anything with her hands. Who worked tirelessly in the 2011 floods when she and dad managed Auchenflower Gardens, who will drop everything to help me, who has picked and dusted herself off after 2 redundancies and is now a highly valued member of a brilliant team. You are my rock.
To all the women I've had as mentors across many jobs over the years, and the creative women in business that inspire me daily, you are the champions of my creative journey.
To my clients, thank you for supporting a women-led business. It's just me right now, but hopefully I'll employ and mentor other talented designers and artists one day. Thank you for believing in me and choosing me to bring your art and design dreams to life. You give me permission to shine bright and bring my best work into the world.
To my closest girlfriends, scattered across the world... who are so kind, compassionate, intelligent and thoughtful. Who are landscape architects, life coaches, photographers, diversity and inclusion managers, urban designers, social planners, traffic engineers, town planners, architects, teachers, admin ladies, psychologists... who contribute so much to the world and yet are so much more than their roles. You make life a joy and lift me up.
I love you xx