Highlighting inspiring women is our bread and butter here at Wild Women HQ, so when we started talking about invisible women’s syndrome I thought we should showcase women who are anything but invisible.
These remarkable five women are not only leaders in their various fields, they have found a way to evolve, reinvent, upskill and – dare I say it – pivot.
There’s a reason we chose them to be Coastrek Ambassadors – they lead by example, give back to their communities and remain present, committed and very, very visible…
Tracey Spicer AM
A double Walkley Award winning journalist, Tracey has continually used her platform to advocate for social justice and women’s issues throughout her career. As Tracey wrote in 2017, there’s more statues of animals than women in Australia…. It’s no wonder we feel invisible!
In January this year, while training for Coastrek, Tracey tested positive to Covid-19 and experienced a brutal dose of the Delta variant. She is now suffering from the effects of Long Covid, a debilitating condition that has resulted in ongoing medical treatment with limited improvement.
Tracey’s determination to research, question, and advocate for more support for this condition has made her somewhat of an expert in a field she never asked or wished to be an expert in. This week, she spoke to Mamamia’s No Filter podcast recently about what she’s learnt from journey and her focus on getting treatment for Long Covid to be taken seriously.
“I know the medical profession are exhausted, they’ve been through hell with COVID, but there’s so many people who are suffering,” she said.
“My heart goes out to younger people or people who’ve had longer chronic conditions for decades, because it must be utterly debilitating and frustrating being gaslit by medical professionals all the time.”
LISTEN to Tracey’s interview on No Filter.
“Once you figure out what respect tastes like, it tastes better than attention.” — Pink
Julie McCrossin AM
Most Australians know Julie McCrossin from her 20-year career as a presenter with ABC Radio and ABC TV as the co-host of popular comedy show Good News Week.
In 2013, Julie was diagnosed with stage four, HPV-related oropharyngeal cancer (tonsils, tongue, and throat) and underwent years of treatment and recovery. Her experience inspired her to advocate for ongoing research and treatment for cancer sufferers and Julie’s tenacious nature means she has successfully done just that.
She now hosts the podcast series, The Thing About Cancer and The Thing About Advanced Cancer for Cancer Council NSW and she has co-produced and presented a range of educational videos in partnership with cancer clinicians and advocates. Julie is also a much in demand MC and moderator at cancer-related medical conferences and seminars and continues her advocacy work for the LGBTQI and Indigenous communities
LISTEN to Julie’s interview with ABC Radio Adelaide about her upcoming Coastrek walk on South Australia’s Fleurieu Peninsula
“You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.” – Maya Angelou
After a decade of the corporate grind, the implosion of a toxic relationship and a crippling bout of anxiety, Laura Waters decided to completely up-end her life and hike the length of New Zealand, which she documented in her memoir BeWILDered – leaving everything behind 3000km in the wilds of New Zealand.
In Laura’s words: “In the quiet days of hiking in the wilderness, far from the distractions of modern living, I found clarity, courage and the real me. I also discovered how much bliss can be found living simply with one bag of belongings on your back.”
Ironically, Laura has found the invisibility of solo hiking to be the most empowering, proving that when we find our authentic self we no longer need validation from others. Laura teaches us that visibility is less about being the subject of someone else’s gaze and more about being true to ourselves and living a life in alignment with our values.
So dedicated to spreading the word about the wonders of hiking in nature, Laura has just released her second book – Ultimate Walks & Hikes: Australia. Having hiked thousands of kilometres in research, Laura has well and truly closed the book on her old life and opened a new one in the outdoors.
Laura’s new book is due for release on 5 October. You can pre-order here.
“There is nothing stronger than a broken woman who has rebuilt herself.” – Hannah Gadsby
Libby Trickett OAM
We cheered her on through three Olympic Games, four gold medals and five world record breaking swims and fell in love with her infectious smile and engaging personality.
Post- swimming, however, Libby Trickett struggled with her mental health and spoke openly about the challenges of retiring from elite sport. She now hosts her own podcast “All That Glitters” and talks to other elite athletes about their transition out of competitive sport. As well as being a Coastrek ambassador, Libby is also an ambassador for Beyond Blue.
As the mother of three girls, it’s not surprising that Libby has launched a holistic health coaching business – Unlocking Her Potential – which offers a 28-day health program, retreats and live events, all focusing on empowering women to step into a vibrant healthy life.
She says, in her typical self-effacing way: “I’ve tried to throw myself at as many things as I possibly could to try and discover what my passion is outside of the pool and what I want to work on and… who I want to be when I grow up!”
LISTEN to Libby’s podcast, All That Glitters, here.
“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
Australia is home to one million single parent families, and of these, almost 80 per cent are led by a woman. Jacinta Tynan is one of them and in 2021 she published her book The Single Mother’s Social Club, a unique guide to not just surviving solo parenthood but also embracing it.
Jacinta writes: “I wanted this book to highlight the stunningly capable, big-hearted warriors taking on the role of their lives. Whether it was the plan or not.”
Speaking from experience, Jacinta’s goal is to reassure women that being a single parent is an emboldening life choice and will be the role of their lives!
Jacinta has also become a mentor with @raisefoundation – Australia’s leading youth mentoring organisation and continues to write her national column for Body & Soul, one of the most widely read health and wellbeing publications in Australia.
Buy Jacinta’s book, The Single Mother’s Social Club, here.
These inspiring women all remind us that true visibility means being true to yourself. They inspire us to lean in, step up and advocate for others. Because while the wolf whistles might slow down once you hit a certain age, wisdom, power and vitality continue to shine into middle age and beyond.
In the words of the iconic Helen Reddy; I am woman, hear (and see) me roar.