On a sunny Winters day in the heart of the Currumbin Valley, the GCM team found themselves preparing to shoot a feature story, the likes of which have never before graced the pages of our magazine. We spent the day with five beautiful, inspiring women who taught us a thing or two about following our dreams and stockman Wayne Cox who kindly allowed us to shoot with his stunning horses, Bob and Alberta. The result are breathtaking, we’d love to hear what you think so please connect with us on our Facebook page here.
Photography: Jess McDonald from aleeceyoung.com Make Up and Hair: Brie Stevenson from aleeceyoung.com Stylist: Arabella Louise Words: Aimee Ley Location: Currumbin Valley
Sonya wears Moonstone Georgette Cravat Halter $339 and Lapis Crepe Long Line Tuxedo Jacket $729 from Carla Zampatti Marina Mirage, 07 5591 6728. Stylists own jodhpurs, boots and velvet riding cap.
The diagnosis of a melanoma can be accredited to the development of Australia’s first certified organic tanning lotion, Eco Tan. When Eco Tan founder Sonya Driver’s sister had a skin cancer removed at the age of 30 something changed for the Gold Coast mother of two. Her sister was left not only with a newly found fear of sunbaking but also an ugly scar where the melanoma once grew and a flagging self-esteem. Spray tans became her sister’s new best friend however Sonya became concerned about the chemicals applied to achieve the healthy glow.
“I started researching what was in the spray tan products and I was horrified,” says Sonya. “Especially since my sister had just had a skin cancer removed, I had a new found appreciation for how sensitive our bodies are and the way chemicals can interact with us. I wanted to find something safe.”
Sonya’s research into skin care products only increased her concern so she took it upon herself to develop her own product. After countless failed batches and months spent developing the product in her home kitchen, Sonya finally produced a product that she was happy with, the first certified organic tanning product, Invisible Tan.
Since developing the initial product, Sonya has gone on to extend her range with the addition of Winter Skin, a gradual tanner perfect for the cooler months. Sonya’s products are proudly certified organic by the Organic Food Chain, accredited by Choose Cruelty Free and produced here on the Gold Coast.
Professor Lyn Griffiths
Lyn wears her own shirt.
Geneticist Lyn Griffiths knew from a young age that she would work in medical research to help prevent and treat disease. After a lengthy career in the lab, Lyn is now the director of the Griffith Health Institute for Griffith University, overseeing over 600 people undertaking researching to prevent and treat disorders such as cancer, cardiovascular disease and mental health. An avid researcher herself, Lyn has her own lab where she is currently researching the final stages of a project she has been working on for the past 15 years, identifying the genes that play a role in migraines.
“We have identified a number of genes but one in particular we have worked out what has gone wrong with that gene and how to overcome it. We have come up with a new treatment and we have gone through two large clinical trials and we are now going to the final stage which is a big stage three trial. If that works we will have a new treatment out there that acts as a prophylactic which means it reduces the frequency, severity and pain associated with migraines in about 20 percent of migraine sufferers. That is the most exciting thing to be able to translate something, to take it from the lab out to make a difference to peoples health.”
Marea wears Colourful Oxford Shirt $189 from GANT Marina Mirage, 07 5531 2811. Stylists own jacket and her own pants and boots.
As a midwife and lactation consultant Marea Ryan is only too aware of the many benefits of breast milk for newborn babies. Through her work, Marea was constantly working with mother’s who were unable to feed their newborns while other new mum’s were tipping their excess breastmilk down the drain. In 2005 Marea founded Mother’s Milk Bank, a voluntary, not-for-profit organisation that supplies screened, pasteurized mother’s milk to sick, pre-term babies and other babies whose nutritional needs are not being met. The Mother’s Milk Bank is one of two of its kind in Australia and to this day does not receive government funding. Marea’s entire team consists of volunteers and all equipment has been purchased using money sourced through Marea’s tireless sponsorship and fundraising efforts.
It is Marea’s dream for every baby to be fed breastmilk up until the age of six months and with the support of our local community she believes this goal can easily become a reality.
Anna wears The Knot Shirt $249 from GANT Marina Mirage, 07 5531 2811 and photographers own skirt.
Through her art and photography Anna Carey connects our sundrenched coastal culture with the architecture and history of the region. She painstakingly builds tiny, intricate models of the candy-coloured architecture and fibro beach shacks found on the Coast then photographs the model and finally sketches in details on the resulting print. The result is a series of fragments that make up an important historical reminder of the culture that resides here on the Coast.
Anna’s art beautifully connects the memories and mixed emotions many residents have about the redevelopment and abolishment of these historically important structures. Amazingly, Anna creates the structures in her work using memory recall and therefore the feelings she felt when visiting the properties often transcends into the final design.
Anna’s unique overlapping of photography and sculpture has earned her several acknowledgements since graduating from Griffith University with a Bachelor of Digital Media majoring in Fine Art and Art Theory. She is a finalist in the Queensland Regional Art Awards which is currently touring through the State and you can also find her work at Artereal Gallery in Sydney. The Gold Coast City Gallery recognised the cultural significance of her 2009 pieces which they purchased for their collection. After receiving a grant from the Australian Council for the Arts Anna is embarking on her next artistic journey, video work. You can see this new piece later in the year at Comb Art Space, Coolangatta.
Amanda wears Lapis Lace and Georgette Iris Dress $799 from Carla Zampatti Marina Mirage, 07 5591 6728. Jacket, boots and pearls, Amanda’s own.
Amanda Clarkson and her husband Matthew didn’t have a clue about ebay seven years ago when they took a chance on an online business. Today they are considered ebay experts, international seminar presenters and best-selling authors.
The couple started their ebay business with a $50,000 credit card loan from the bank and within six months they were earning $50,000 a month, every month. The business was taking just two hours a day to run, so with too much free time on their hands, Amanda and Matt wrote a program outlining how they grew their business called ebay Magic. Just months later they were invited on stage to speak for the first time and have since become full time speakers with their company Bidding Buzz which takes them all over the world mentoring people about starting an online business with ebay.
“People love the freedom of being able to generate a fulltime income from their home,” says Amanda. “We have people like stay at home parent, retires, people who want to top up their income, full time students and disabled people who can’t work average jobs and also entrepreneurs. People can live their life on their own terms.”
After having to rebuild their business after the 2011 floods, Amanda and Matt have come back stronger than ever.
“The business was five years old at the time and it was my everything so I was devastated but I wanted to prove to our students that ebay is a way to make money no matter what. I see that this has been a blessing because it has made us better mentors. I am grateful that we went through that experience to help other people see that there is hope where there is no hope. While I love my ebay business, teaching, mentoring and inspiring is what drives us and that is our purpose now.”