Meet the Inspire Authors
I have had what is termed a portfolio career. I’ve been (and still am) a performance-maker, writer, composer, academic researcher, teacher, emergency volunteer. This has allowed me fantastic opportunities to live a life that is stimulating, full of discovery, has room for great collaborations, and allows me to put back in to society.
I began my working life in the performing arts and many of my original works have been commissioned by major Australian companies. I received the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for services to the performing arts. I went back to study in my 40s, completed an MA then a PhD in Latin American Studies, and worked for universities in
Australia and overseas.
My work has been recognised with various awards; including the Victorian Premier’s Volunteer Leadership award, the National Emergency Medal and been named as ‘100 Women of Influence’ by the Australian Financial Review, but really the most important thing to me is that I can look at myself in the mirror and know I have done stuff that matters.
In the emergency services, I’ve been an operational first responder with the State Emergency Service for 17 years. I have mentored emerging leaders, increased diversity and inclusion, advocated for cultural change, and contributed to national emergency strategic planning and development, as President of the Victoria SES Volunteers Association and Vice Chair of the National SES Volunteers Association. My chapter is a story about my experience participating in disaster and emergency response exercises in Peru.
Michelle is a Career Management Professional and Executive Coach who works with individuals across a variety of sectors. These include not-for-profit, financial services, retail, technology, consumer products, and professional services. In a thought-provoking and creative process, she inspires clients to maximise their personal and professional potential.
Her strengths as a coach stem from her successful corporate career managing complex relationships and large-scale organisational change. Her strong background in people development, and her drive to help individuals achieve what matters most to them, led Michelle to refocus her own career on her passion for coaching as an independent Executive and Career Coach and as a consultant for leading Career Management consultancies.
Michelle’s solution and strength-based approach supports individuals to gain clarity, build pathways to navigate change, and identify chosen career paths. She then coaches her clients to achieve their chosen goal: to secure a fulfilling role aligned with their chosen direction, to start their own business, or to move away from full time work.
Outside of her professional life, Michelle is passionate about bringing positive, lasting change to communities and works as a volunteer job advisor for the Newtown Asylum Seekers Centre and as a volunteer youth mentor with the Raise Foundation.
Michelle holds formal qualifications in Executive Coaching, Leadership, HR, Project Management, Education, ICT, Mental Health First Aid and Training and Assessment. Her advanced interpersonal skills are built on credibility, trust, and openness which she utilises to facilitate highly effective coaching outcomes under often challenging circumstances.
Born into a loving family as the youngest of four girls Jolene was taught early on that gender was not important to pursuing your dreams, instead with a natural sense of curiosity and a love of learning Jolene learnt the value of hard work
and tenacity to chase your dreams.
Now, Jolene is a mother, a risk professional, a board member, an educator, a writer, a children’s author, and a public speaker. Through a process of constant change, she has discovered her purpose and whilst she is still on her journey, she has learnt some critical lessons along the way, including that progress is never a linear process.
Jolene is passionate about all of the endeavours she undertakes and has an underlying drive to make a positive contribution to the world. Things that are worth achieving take time, perseverance and as Jolene has learnt through her journey to date – selfcompassion. Life moves at a rapid pace and sometimes it is easy to forget that sometimes, something as simple as brushing your teeth can be an achievement for that day. We should celebrate the small successes just as much as the large ones.
In her spare time Jolene loves being close to nature with her family – hiking, bike riding or sitting by an open fire.
With an illustrious career of 20+ years in creative advertising and event management at Option 1 Live, Sheetal is now the COO of Option 1 Design Studio Australasia.
Sheetal’s an exemplar of visionary leadership and entrepreneurial prowess, especially in immersive tech and content fusion. She’s fostered meaningful connections across Asia and the East, driven by her creative ingenuity.
Sheetal’s mentorship and coaching are pivotal, focusing on empowering individuals, particularly women professionals.
Her unwavering guidance fuels their remarkable journeys. Noteworthy is her influential role on SAE UAE’s advisory board, shaping courses and nurturing student career paths.
With an unwavering passion for strategic planning and impactful communication, Sheetal’s influence is far-reaching across diverse sectors. Her impact extends to the wellness and fitness domain, creating an indelible legacy there as well.
Hello I am Clare Jobson and I’m originally from Adelaide. I have a diverse background, which includes transitioning from my prior nursing career to becoming a lawyer later in life. I now specialise in family law and parenting coordination.
Travelling around Australia as a Defence spouse, I have practiced in the Northern Territory, New South Wales, South Australia and Queensland. I have worked for Government, the Community legal sector and in private practice, prior to opening my own firm CJ Legal in 2015.
I didn’t feel like I belonged as a lawyer after I first graduated, because my nursing background provided me with a different perspective, but I am now actively leaning into all of my skills which enable me to provide holistic support to the parents and families I work with. I am proud that I am diverse and view life through a different lens. I am passionate about kindness and meeting humans where we find them. I apply a trauma informed approach to my work and am in the process of writing a book to provide parents with insight into how it feels to be children of separation sharing the experiences of the now adults I have interviewed so far. I intend to draw on both my nursing and legal backgrounds to tell
I have appeared on the Happy Lawyer Happy Life Podcast (episode 121) and the Military Wife Military Life Podcast (episode 49). I have contributed to Lawyer’s weekly articles and can be found on the College of Law Admission to practice Academy 2020 “Coming to Law later in life” online panel recording.
When I am not at work, I enjoy spending time with my partner Jason and our furbabies and being involved with the Marilyn Jetty Swim based in Adelaide fundraising for Cancer Council SA.
Toni Knight is a psychotherapist and hypnotherapist who specialises in preventing and treating anxiety, trauma and burnout. Although based in Newcastle, NSW, Toni teaches and empowers people from all over Australia through her bespoke programs and workshops, both online and in person.
After earning her degree in psychology and spending many years using standard cognitive therapies, Toni’s frustration with the slow pace of change led her to explore more effective ways to give people the practical tools and strategies that they need in order to achieve their goals and maintain their progress.
Toni is known for this very pragmatic approach, believing that a satisfying life is centred in flexibly living out your values, being able to use feelings as helpful signals, and optimising personal energy to enhance ‘assertive living’.
She helps people to stop self-sabotage, knowing that this maddening tendency to shoot yourself in the foot will reduce when you are focused on what is helpful and consistently doing the simple things that align with who you really are and what you really want.
Toni is a self-described ‘psychology nerd’ who loves good coffee, her friends, beaches, and her husband, daughter, cat and dog. Toni describes them as the perfect team for living a vibrant, satisfying life.
Hi my name is Leonie and I am a proud seafood woman living in a large regional town in Western Australia and part time on a remote windswept limestone rock 55 kilometres off the midwest coast.
I have three amazing daughters and two beautiful grandchildren who light up my world. and a family that always support and challenge each other what could be better.
I wasn’t sure what I should write to introduce myself but my life has been moulded by amazing strong women, grand mothers, aunts, and especially my mother who all made the lives around them better and worked so hard for their communities and families and who if born in a different time would have changed the world for the better.
It made me want to make my daughters lives one with memories that bring a smile at unexpected times and hopefully the work that I have been fortunate to be involved in made a difference to another women, so that was a good start I thought.
Memories, good memories are what makes the hard times easier, the memory of being in a dinghy squid fishing with my three girls laughing like lunatics as we got covered by ink that dripped from our hair onto our faces, covered our clothes and stained our skin was for me in that moment magical and for a moment in time life was perfect. Perfect moments
are worth reliving over and over and it doesn’t matter where I am or what I am doing those perfect moments make me smile.
I have been fortunate to be able to work in areas that allowed me to engage with humans that make a difference who spend their lives fighting for a better world, a more equal and visible world where all voices are heard and valued and I thank those strong resilient women in my life both now and then who continue to inspire me to be better do better and try harder.