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.
Josanne Falla: The Conceptualist
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.
I’m a curious soul who loves adventure and learning and have travelled the world for over 40 years, living on the Sunshine Coast as a business woman and entrepreneur for over 30 years. I’m a story teller, a conceptualist queen, a radio presenter and reiki master, but most of all, I love the women of the Sunshine Coast. I hope you too fall in love with them, their strength, intelligence and heart.
Jaya MacIntyre: The Photographer
Within minutes of meeting Jaya McIntyre, I was entranced. She floated through the crowd, a jade green kimono billowing behind her while in her small hands she cradled an ominously black, clunky camera with an obscenely phallic lens attached. It looked like something you’d hit an intruder over the head with if a cricket bat wasn’t readily available. But as she lifted the camera to her eyes and focussed on a moment across the room, fingers tapering along its edged lines, that black thing became soft and supple, a mechanical extension of Jaya herself, like a painter’s brush or a guitarist’s pick. Through that one motion, it was obvious this woman was founded upon the strength of tempered steel, but coated in gossamer like sheets of love, gentleness and joy.
Jaya has the ability to create elegance and beauty through a metal and glass lens, to allow all the jagged, carefully procured layers of those she is photographing fall away, capturing the exquisiteness of her many subjects: the women of the Sunshine Coast. There is clear natural talent behind the camera, but as with most success stories, her drive and commitment to produce something exceptional for each and every client is the driving force behind her successful photography business. As a fresh-faced graduate, Jaya’s first job application was an impassioned plea to join the team at Greenpeace, though she reveals with a grin, ‘I’m still waiting for the callback.’ Undeterred, the creation of Empire Art Photography has been an inspired action and evolved into a Sunshine Coast institution. This is not a clinical studio, where work colleagues line up for endless LinkedIn shots or where highly choreographed scenes are obvious throughout wedding albums: Jaya’s true passion and talent is in creating a lasting impression of and for her clients, so that their own, truly inspiring essence is revealed. Through her photography, Jaya altruistic objective is to compel her clients to understand the beauty the world sees in them: ‘I make women fall in love with themselves just a little bit more when they look at their images.’
Love is a particular theme in everything she holds dear. After a precarious two-year health journey with breast cancer, her outlook on life is a bright layer of that ethereal gossamer coat encasing this gentle lady. Jaya states that breast cancer was her, ‘greatest challenge… but the reward is feeling fabulous and doing what I love now!’ As a woman who has stared at the modern world’s most feared illness, her mission to encourage others to see themselves through a lens of joy and love is truly beautiful.
I spoke to Jaya at length about her love of and passion for photography that night and had the not-unnerving feeling that she was already working out the angles, colours and particular setting that might create photos for my own transparently joyful image. She laughed when I said as much, turned knowingly and without a trace of reticence, quietly said, ‘Maybe,’ before stepping away, lifting the camera and returning to her craft.
Melinda Uys: The Writer
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.
Every woman has a story of strength worth revealing. Know and be inspired by them.