Naomi Simson, Founder of RedBalloon
In 2001, Naomi Simson invested $25,000 to begin an online experience gift company called RedBalloon which she ran out of her house. Today she is one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the country, has released several books, and appears on the popular Network Ten program Shark Tank.
She won the 2008 National Telstra Business Women’s Awards for Innovation and the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award (Industry category) in 2011. Her company RedBalloon was voted as one of Australia’s Best Places to Work by BRW 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013. She has also been elected as a LinkedIn Influencer (now with more than 750,000 subscribers).
Naomi is also a mother, blogger, author and public speaker.
Michelle Bridges, Founder of 12WBT
Best known as the straight talking trainer of Channel Ten’s ratings heavyweight ‘The Biggest Loser’, Michelle Bridges is now Australia’s most influential personal trainer, the second most searched individual on Google (2013), voted #5 on the Mumbrella Most Eligible Industry Players for 2013 list.
She is the author of thirteen books, including her latest release ‘Make It Happen’, along with Powerful Living, Crunch Time, No Excuses Cookbook, Losing the Last Five Kilos, Your Best Body and Superfoods Cookbook, all of which are Best Sellers. Michelle also has an extensive range of e-books and DVDs.
Michelle’s online 12 Week Body Transformation (12WBT) program has stripped over 1.3 million kilos off participants and helped thousands enjoy a fitter, healthier lifestyle.
Michelle is an ambassador for The Australian Institute Of Fitness, and in 2012 launched her new clothing and workout equipment range with BIG W called MB Active. Following the launches amazing success, the range has expanded into kitchenware and an extensive exercise equipment range, amongst others.
Michelle is also a big supporter of various charities including the RSPCA, Black Dog Institute, and the Mother’s Day Classic.
Michelle is now a proud mother to son Axel born in December 2015 with partner Steve ‘Commando’ Wills.
Adam Goodes, Sydney Swans Player
Adam Goodes is a legendary Sydney Swans player and Australian of the Year in 2014.
Adam announced his retirement from professional football in September 2015. He played a total of 372 games in 17 seasons, won two Brownlow medals (2003 and 2006), and two premierships with the Swans in 2012 and 2005.
Adam is the co-founder of the Go Foundation and has been involved in campaigns for Recognise, Racism – It stops with me, White Ribbon, and Black Dog Institute.
An Emmy award winning singer, inductee in the Australian Music Hall of Fame and feature film actor including a starring role in the world’s most successful movie musical in history (Grease), there is not much that Olivia Newton-John hasn’t done.
Olivia has held many humanitarian and health causes close to her heart, particularly since the birth of her daughter Chloe in 1986 and her brush with breast cancer in the 90’s.
Olivia created a partnership with Austin Health to realise the Olivia Newton-John Cancer and Wellness Centre (ONJCWC) on the Austin Campus in her hometown of Melbourne, Australia and launched Liv Aid ®, a breast self-examination aid that assists women to exercise breast self-exams correctly. Olivia released her first book, LivWise: Easy Recipes For A Healthy, Happy Life (Murdoch Books) in Australia in 2011.
In February 2005, Olivia, with her business partners, opened the Gaia Retreat & Spa in Byron Bay, New South Wales, Australia, as an ideal place to renew, refresh and restore.
Lisa Wilkinson, Today Show Host
Lisa Wilkinson, co-host of the Nine Network’s TODAY Show, is one of Australia’s most admired and respected journalists and corporate presenters.
For the past two decades, she has successfully applied her journalistic talents to magazine publishing, television and radio. Her communication skills have also made her one of the country’s most sought-after corporate presenters and conference and event facilitators.
In recent years before her TODAY Show appointment, Lisa was co-host of the Seven Network’s top-rating Weekend Sunrise program where she was credited with attracting a new wave of viewers through her relaxed and informative presentation style.
Lisa’s media career got off to an astonishing start when she was appointed Editor of the National Women’s magazine Dolly at age 21.
Four years later, on the recommendation of the late Kerry Packer, Lisa was offered the editorship of Cleo. Over the next decade, she oversaw Cleo’s rapid circulation surge which resulted in a doubling of circulation and guiding it to the position of the No. 1 selling women’s lifestyle magazine per capita in the world. Later she became Cleo’s International Editor-in-Chief, running editions in NZ, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand.
Samantha Armytage’s wealth of television experience rewarded her with a career-defining role as co-host of the Network Seven’s award-winning breakfast show Sunrise in June 2013. In Samantha’s 15 years working as a journalist in the Australian media, she has covered some of our biggest, breaking news stories.
She’s reported from East Timor, Christmas Island, New Zealand, the United States and the UK. Samantha has reported on many of Australia’s national disasters from the QLD flood crisis in 2010, the northern-NSW floods in 2005, and the deadly Canberra bushfires in 2003.
Samantha graduated from Charles Sturt University, Bathurst with a major in Broadcast Journalism and minor in American Politics and Marketing. Sam started her career at WIN News in Canberra before moving to Sky News in the Parliament House Press Gallery as a political correspondent in 2002. She joined Channel Seven in Sydney in 2003.
When she’s not at work, Samantha loves travelling. She enjoys golf and tennis, is a keen skier and is passionate about horse racing. Samantha grew up in country NSW and is a huge supporter of rural Australia.
Georgie Gardner is a Perth-born journalist and Australian television personality. The Channel Nine newsreader is well known for her time on national breakfast television with the Nine Network’s Today Show.
Georgie started her career in television with Network 10 in 1997 after five years of radio news. She joined the Nine Network in July 2002 and was a Today Show presenter for seven years before stepping down to spend more time with her family.
In 2012 Georgie Gardner gave a revealing interview to Australian Women’s Weekly about her childhood and the turbulence her parents’ divorce created. She says as a result of her upbringing, cultivating close family relationships and protecting her children is a strong focus in her life.
Georgie Gardner’s interests include all things Italian, photography, tennis, golf and walking. She also supports several charities including The Malcolm Sargent Cancer Fund for Children, The Breast Cancer Foundation and Amnesty International.
Julia Morris, Comedian and Host of I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!
Julia Morris has graced our television screens since 1985 and tickled our funny bones on and off stage with her antics.
She has the dubious honour of having won two celebrity reality TV shows, but only recently broke into the big time with her role in Channel Nine drama House Husbands.
Coming from humble working-class beginnings, Julia’s modus operandi is, if you’re working you’re successful. Julia has studied drama in Los Angeles, lived in the UK while starring in a British sitcom, worked as a stand-up comedian and comedy gala host around the globe, and worked in TV and radio.
Back in Australia, Julia has raised money for Swags for Homeless and the National Breast Cancer Foundation for many years and was touched personally when her husband Dan was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2011.
She now balances her time, or tries to, working on House Husbands and also injecting humour on stage as a corporate entertainer. Later this year, she will host Australia’s Got Talent.
She has two girls whom she aims to inspire to awesomeness, and shares some great insights on achieving balance.
Judith Lucy is one of Australia’s most popular comedians. A best-selling author, her work in television and film and her sell-out national tours have made her a household name.
A standup comedian for over 20 years, she sprang to national prominence in 1993 when she joined the cast of ABC TV’sThe Late Show. Her television appearances since have been many and varied, but amazingly 2011’s Judith Lucy’s Spiritual Journey (ABC1) was her first solo TV project.
It is Judith’s distinctive stage shows that set her apart – painfully honest, sharply observed and with a joke rate second to none. It is no surprise that Judith’s live audiences have grown every year since her first solo show in 1995. She has sold out countless theatrical runs in Australia and has taken her shows to Montreal, Edinburgh and London’s West End.
Over the years Judith has also turned her hand to acting, having appeared in the feature films Crackerjack and Bad Eggs. Most recently she scored a role as a racist publican in the hit Aussie production The Sapphires, which made it to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival.
In 2015, Judith wrote, produced and starred in the series Judith Lucy Is All Woman. The show was a six part series for the ABC, where she looked at the role of women in modern Australia and whether they are better off than they were 50 years ago. The show was an incredible success, and has since been released as a DVD Box set.
2015 also saw Judith return to the stage with her first new solo show since 2012: Ask No Questions of the Moth, which went on to win Judith the prestigious 2015 Helpmann Award for Comedy.
Collette Dinnigan, Fashion Designer
Collette Dinnigan is one of the country’s most successful and celebrated fashion and interior designers.
Collette became the first Australian to mount a full-scale ready-to-wear collection in Paris in October 1995, and in 1996 was invited by the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture to show on the prestigious Paris Fashion Week schedule. In 2008, she was invited to join the esteemed executive board of the organization.
Collette was no overnight success. Hard work and passionate attention to detail have driven her to become Australia’s most lauded designer. Her list of awards is long. She won Australian Designer of the Year in 1996, and, most notably, the Louis Vuitton’s Business Award in 1997. She received the Award for Excellence from Fashion Group International in 1998. The same year she was appointed Chairperson of The New South Wales Small Business Development Corporation, having previously participated as an advisor to the South Australian Wool Board.
Jane Flemming is one of Australia’s best known sporting personalities.
During her sporting career, the dual Olympian won two Commonwealth Games Gold and two Silver medals, 13 national titles and broke hundreds of records over a period of 15 years in elite competition. Jane remains the Commonwealth Games Heptathlon record holder (set in 1990).
Jane retired from athletics in 1997 to concentrate on her media and commercial commitments including television, magazine and newspaper commentating.
She is the managing partner in a sponsorship and marketing company Flemming Promotions, and published a book Fast Track to Success. She also devotes a lot of her time to charity and has a busy family life with her husband Ian Purchas and twin boys James and Samuel.
Sarah Wilson, a successful journalist and TV presenter, had a high flying career in Sydney media scene but one day she walked away from it all.
Sarah is the former editor of Cosmopolitan magazine and was the host of the first series of MasterChef Australia, the highest rating show in Australian TV history. She’s also a commentator and fill-in host on Channel 7′s Sunday Night, The Morning Show and Sunrise, and The Ten Network’s Good News Week and The Project.
Shannon Bennett is a chef and owner of Vue de Monde in Melbourne, one of Australia’s most acclaimed restaurants. Having taken Vue de Monde from a small, 40-seat restaurant to a group of more than eight businesses, Shannon has been recognised nationally and globally for his culinary achievements. Vue de Monde has been awarded an unprecedented 19/20 by The Age Good Food Guide and has repeatedly been named Australian Restaurant of the Year.
Shannon was invited to be the first Australian member of the exclusive Jeunes Restaurateurs D’Europe and Le Grand Tables du Monde. He was also invited to be part of the 2007 StarChefs Congress in New York, securing his position as a leading chef on the global stage.
As well as being a celebrated chef, Shannon is a Miele brand ambassador for cooking appliances. Given his belief that a great meal is best achieved with excellent ingredients and quality equipment, his synergy with Miele is a natural one.
In his role as ambassador, Shannon has trained a team of Miele home economists, inspiring them with his cooking techniques, recipe suggestions and passion for quality.
Melissa Doyle is one of Australia’s most popular media personalities.
Melissa started her career as a television news reporter in Canberra and joined the Seven Network in 1995. Some of her most notable coverages include reporting at the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Catherine and the Inauguration of Barack Obama.
When Melissa is not reporting onscreen, she does a lot of charity work. She is the National Patron for Make A Wish and an ambassador for Westmead Children’s Hospital, World Vision, Children’s Cancer Institute and the National Breast Cancer Foundation.
Melissa also co-authored the Working Mothers Survival Guide in 2007 and she is a proud mother of two.
Jenny Brockie is one Australia’s most respected journalists, renowned for her skill and fairness.
Jenny’s career has spanned television, radio, print and film and is well known for hosting SBS TV’s Insight where she facilitates an always lively and thought-provoking discussion on a wide range of topics. Her work as a television journalist and documentary filmmaker earned her a coveted Gold Walkley, two AFI Awards, a Logie, a Human Rights Award, two Law Society Awards and another Walkley.
In 2006 and 2008, Jenny received a United Nations Association Media Peace award for her work on Insight.
Jessica Rowe is one of Australia’s best known television presenters. She began her career in 1993 and has held various positions including a decade as co- anchor of Network Ten’s First at Five News.
Jessica is co-host on Network Ten’s morning chat show, Studio 10, alongside Ita Buttrose, Sarah Harris and Joe Hildebrand. The Studio 10 show, marks Jessica return to Network Ten after eight years, where she was the news presenter on First At Five for ten years.
Prior to returning to Network Ten, Jessica was news anchor on Weekend Sunrise on the Seven Network and was co-host of The Today Show on the Nine Network.
On Australia Day 2015 Jessica was honoured to receive an Order of Australia for her work in mental health advocacy.
Jessica is also a regular columnist for Fairfax’s Sunday Life magazine and Vogue Australia. She has also put on her dancing shoes as a contestant on Dancing With The Stars in 2007 and has appeared on Can Of Worms.
Rebecca was born in New Zealand on December 14, 1964. At 19 she crossed the Tasman-sea and she is now one of Australia’s most appreciated actresses.
Before she decided to go into acting she worked as a model and had small jobs in New Zealand. Her breakthrough came in Australia with her role in the children’s program “The Zoo Family” and later got the part of Emma Plimpton in “The Flying Doctors”.
She has won several awards and been nominated for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Television Drama for “Halifax f.p”. The character Jane Halifax (“Halifax f.p”) was written especially for her and the series has been sold to more than 60 countries worldwide.
Recently, she appeared on our screens in the tv series ‘Wanted’.
Shaynna Blaze is an award-winning Interior Designer who has created stunning interiors in residential homes and commercial spaces for more than twenty years.
Armed with a vast portfolio of work in various fields of design, Shaynna is also a successful commissioned artist. Shaynna transforms commercial, private and retail premises from the most modest budgets to million dollar projects via her successful Interior Design business,‘blankcanvas INTERIORS’.
Rebecca Wilson served a cadetship at the Courier Mail before moving on to cover the Brisbane Commonwealth Games, the Seoul Olympics, and Rugby League, for Channel 10.
In 1992 Rebecca joined ABC Television hosting and reporting on Saturday Afternoon Sports before taking up the position of Super League Media Manager in 1995. She went on to join News Limited as General Manager of their Sydney Olympics Division and worked as project manager for the Rugby World Cup.
A first panelist on The Fat, Rebecca made her mark with her acerbic wit and her willingness to expose ‘gibberers,’ as well as her passion and knowledge of all things sporting.
Rebecca died tragically on the 7th of October after losing her fight against breast cancer.
Lee Holmes is our favourite nutritionist and foodie.
Lee Holmes is a holistic nutritionist, yoga teacher, wholefoods chef, and author of the bestselling Supercharged Food: Eat Your Way To Health, Supercharged Food: Eat Yourself Beautiful, and Eat Clean, Green and Vegetarian.
Founder of Supercharged Food and Nourished Life, Lee is a Holistic Food and Nutrition Coach (Adv. Cert. Food and Nutrition), a certified health and wellness coach and a qualified wholefoods chef.
Author of multiple cookbooks and an online course to help you “heal your gut”, Lee is a regular contributor and special guest on Balance. We share her favourite recipes and advice and are an affiliate for her courses and books.
She’s been Australia’s high priestess of pop, an award winning jazz singer, wears the hat of a fine artistic director and, above all that, Kate Ceberano is a songwriter with the talent to take a tune to the top of the charts.
2016 sees the release of the Kate Ceberano Anthology, her 24th album – three Disc, 53 Song celebration of the 30 year anniversary since the release of her 1st album “Bear Witness” with Kate fronting the band I’m Talking. Remarkably, she shows no sign of slowing down, let alone stopping.
In 2014 Ceberano became the first Australian woman to be inducted into the Australian Songwriters Association (ASA) Hall of Fame joining such luminaries as Don Walker, The Easybeats, LRB and The Angels.
Kate won Best Female Singer (1985) at the Australian Record Industry Association (ARIA) Awards. She uses her celebrity to support and bring awareness to many causes close to her heart and has been an Ambassador for the National Breast Cancer Foundation.
Matt Moran is a well-known Australian chef and restaurateur of a number of successful restaurants including ARIA Sydney, ARIA Brisbane, CHISWICK, Opera Bar, Riverbar & Kitchen, North Bondi Fish and CHISWICK at The Gallery.
In addition, he is the owner of ARIA Catering, an event company based in Sydney, Brisbane and exclusively at the Sydney Opera House. His restaurant business continues to grow with the recent announcement of an exciting new venue at Barangaroo on Sydney’s foreshore.
Matt’s restaurants consistently garner praise from the food industry, media and general public alike and although they are his main focus, his talents are diverse. His profile has been raised by his appearances on TV shows such as Chopping Block, Masterchef, My Restaurant Rules and more recently, his award winning TV show, Paddock to Plate.
Donna Guest, Blue Illusion Founder
Donna Guest is the co-founder and Creative Director of Blue Illusion, a niche clothing label that now has 115 concept stores globally. It has grown to include over 100 World Vision children, and stores hold events to support charities or local initiatives, ranging from local RSPCAs to garnering support for a local school. On a national level, Donna is passionate about six initiatives: World Vision, Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, Dress for Success, National Breast Cancer Foundation, Bali Life Foundation and Cool Australia.
Donna is particularly passionate about empowering mature-aged women. She is on the Executive Board for Dress for Success, offering training for women re-entering the workforce.