The Women Inspired team brings together decades of experience in leadership and creativity. Inspired by the incredible female mentors and muses who inform our own insights, ideas and businesses, our vision is to document a pictorial space for these extraordinary women. Their stories, whether they are of renowned and astonishing achievements or quiet feats of inner strength, must be shared with our community.
Every woman has a story worth revealing: it is this collective knowledge which allows us all to be inspired to rise to our greatest selves. We understand the importance of this feminine knowledge in informing our own directions and practices.
Jaya McIntyre: The Photographer 2021/22
As the owner and head photographer of Empire Art Photography, Jaya McIntyre not only has over 25 years of experience behind the camera, she knows just how important documenting life, all of it, can be. For her, photography is not simply about ‘getting the shot’: photography is about immersing her clients in an experience which is comfortable and documents that glorious point in time in beautiful photographic form. Making others feel good about the skin they’re in has become one of her superpowers.
Even in her late teens, when lofty aspirations of being the official Greenpeace photographer were quashed, Jaya never relinquished the innate need to be of service and do good. Honing her craft in photographic journalism, she knew she wanted to take a more personal approach, and made the transition to her own photography business on the Sunshine Coast in 2013. A battle with her health definitely slowed the inevitable progression to Empire Art Photography’s own studio (now located in Mooloolaba) and a burgeoning profile on the Sunshine Coast. However, her journey with breast cancer has given her even more valuable insight into just how important documenting life is at every stage. Couple this with a delightful human being who is passionate about delivering the best photograph and product to every single client, and you have one beautiful lady with a camera! Regardless of whether the shoot revolves around a personal branding, family, or boudoir shoot, Jaya is exceptional at ensuring even the most camera shy are at ease and 100% happy with the finished product.
As the owner and operator of the Sunshine Coast’s premier photography studio, Jaya has accumulated a wealth of knowledge around branding, business and standing out from her competitors. Always willing to assist and mentor others, she has also branched out to include full branding and mentoring packages to businesses and photographers via the Empire Art Photography website.
Ever community minded, Jaya is involved in a number of inspiring Sunshine Coast networks, charities and projects. She is a valued sponsor of the very influential Sunshine Coast Business Women’s Network, gives endlessly to charities focussed on cancer such as NBCF, Bloom hill and The Beautiful You cancer charity, is constantly nominated for business awards and has flexed her creative muscle in what she calls her ‘Covid Project’: Women Inspired: Sunshine Coast 2021. Showcasing 49 incredible Sunshine Coast women between its pages, Women Inspired is a high-quality coffee table book designed to document the strength and courage of local women whilst inspiring others through Jaya’s photographs and their stories. This collaborative project is a testament not only to the women presented, but to Jaya’s nuanced ability to capture the essence of her subjects whilst empowering them to revel in their own unique beauty.
Caring, focussed and passionate, Jaya is a beautiful soul who loves living on the Sunshine Coast. Restaurant hopping with friends (especially to Riceboi, conveniently located a short walk from the Empire Art studio) on week nights and cruising the Coast’s pristine beaches with her husband Terry on weekends makes for a very sweet life… and her camera is never far away, ready to capture every precious moment.
Megan Krolik : The Writer 2022
Megan started her writing career at the ripe old age of eight, writing A Country Practice fan fiction on her grandmother’s old Olympia typewriter. Even then, she knew she loved to boss characters around on the page, so whenever she was unhappy with the way an episode had been scripted, she would rewrite it to her satisfaction!
Before she graduated from high school, Megan had written hundreds of short stories, poems and several novellas. It was no surprise that she went on to study a Bachelor of Communications at the University of the Sunshine Coast, where she wrote and directed a film and took on a role as photojournalist with a fledgling music and arts street press, Tsunami Music Magazine. Tsunami Music Mag quickly become the Sunshine Coast’s premier entertainment publication of the early 2000’s and her role evolved to include event management – for a time, she was one of the creative directors of the infamous Blast Off music festivals and manager of the indie nightclub the Cave.
Rock’n’roll was fun, but Megan couldn’t shake the feeling there was something else out there for her. After her stint with the magazine, she flirted with the idea of pursuing a career as a foreign correspondent but a chance temp job in London led to her discovering her other passion: humanitarian aid and international development. Working in the Care International offices during the early days of the Indian Ocean tsunami response showed her that there was important work to be done building the resilience of communities around the world to the ongoing threat of hazards such as cyclones and earthquakes, and preparing for the increasingly significant impacts of climate change.
Returning home to Australia, Megan completed two master’s degrees in International Community Development and Hazard Emergency Management, and worked with several humanitarian agencies, including UNICEF, Caritas and Habitat for Humanity. This work has taken her around the world, with long term postings to Samoa, Fiji, Cambodia, and most recently the Federated States of Micronesia, and shorter term assignments in many other countries across Asia and the Pacific.
Working on remote islands in the Pacific and deep in the jungles of Asia has been a creative boon for Megan and these beautiful and intriguing places have inspired her to get serious about her creative writing once again – often becoming the backdrops to the adventurous, funny, romantic, and epic stories she writes. She recently completed her third novel ‘This is where we end’ and in 2021 won a place in the Queensland Writer’s Centre’s prestigious Scriptable program with her television screenplay, ‘I won the Pineapple’. In early 2022, her debut play ‘Babushka’, which she also directed, headlined the Buderim Arts Theatre’s theatrical showcase ‘The Power of a Cultured Woman’.
These days, Megan is finding inspiration for her creative writing back at home on the Sunshine Coast, where she works remotely for one of the world’s largest humanitarian organisations. In her spare time, you will find her kayaking at Cotton Tree, supporting volunteer sea turtle conservation programs on the beaches, and dreaming up fabulous characters as she sips a cocktail or two by her pool in Mooloolaba!
Melinda Uys: The Writer 2021
Melinda’s background in teaching English and History has given her a thirst for well placed, meaningful and beautiful words. As a content and ghost writer, her talent for capturing the essence and emotion of others, of painting their written story, is well documented across Sunshine Coast businesses, the state and abroad. She is also a fiction writer, keen travel writer and blogger. Melinda lives near Noosa with her family and Trixie, her co-working cat.
Josanne Falla: The Conceptualist 2021
My dream is to support, encourage and give voice to the women of our world.
The idea of creating a book as a centrepiece to showcase some of these amazing, intelligent, resilient and heart centred women emerged when, as the host of a weekly radio program, I began interviewing them. I saw a need to celebrate these courageous women, and share their stories in a way that was concrete and everlasting.
Every woman has a story of strength worth revealing. Know and be inspired by them.