Mums Making a Difference

Being a mum is by far the most rewarding and challenging role you will ever take on. It is one that requires you to put someone else before you, to keep your head up, even when your motivation is down, and to unleash superhero powers that you didn’t even know you had (like being able to chase away monsters under the bed and heal a wound with a simple kiss).

Like all mums out there, our featured Mackay mums go above and beyond every single day. Not only are they raising children, but they are also making a positive impact on the Mackay community. Come and meet our Mackay mums who are making a difference.

In less than six months, Leanne Druery went from a real estate agent selling houses to a widower and single mum of two.
Leanne started with Gardian Real Estate four years ago as a personal assistant. However, she quickly moved into sales and excelled in the new role. When her husband of 18 years was diagnosed with cancer she took time off to be his personal carer.

Tony lost his battle with cancer in December 2016 and Leanne made an impulse decision to apply for the Elite Agent competition that would inevitably boost her to new heights. She was selected as one of just six agents around Australia to be nominated for the 2017 Elite Agent of the Year and is now busy raising her two teenagers (Max and Grace) all the while juggling a career and focusing on the future.

Tell us a little about being an Elite Agent.
I was at a really low point in my life and Transform provided me with Elite Performance Coaches and Trainers. It helped to motivate me to be a great role model for my two teenagers and to those experiencing a tough time in their lives.

What’s your favourite thing about living in Mackay?
There are so many great things about living in Mackay but I love working with the people of Mackay. When Tony was diagnosed with metastatic pancreatic cancer last year, it became very evident that we live in a really caring and compassionate community. Our family and friends rallied around us, but I also had complete strangers offering all sorts of support. You don’t get that community spirit just anywhere.

Any exciting plans for the future?
Our family has always loved to camp and travel. We had planned to travel to New Zealand last September, but due to Tony’s diagnosis in August we had to cancel the holiday. The kids and I have decided to go this year and we have Tony’s brother and his family travelling with us. It’s time to create some new memories and to keep family traditions.

After giving birth to her son, Fallon, like so many mums, felt as if she had lost her sense of self. As a former print journalist, it was only natural for Fallon to start writing down her thoughts.

What started out as a blog and Facebook page quickly spiralled into a successful business known as the Just Saying Project – a company which aims to create events that connect, empower and motivate women from all walks of life.

Fallon lives in West Mackay with her husband, Steve and their two children – Archie, 3 and Daisy, 1.

What’s your favourite thing about living in Mackay?
The flow of our region; it is uniquely paced with its relaxed living. The people are the soul of the city. There is such a generosity of spirit which makes it such an inviting place to stay and it is a creative hive of exciting activity in both the business and cultural sectors, which shows we have what it takes to push the envelope.

Tell us about the Just Saying Project:
The Just Saying Project provides women with bespoke events that empower them to believe in who they are, open their minds to new ways of thinking and give them a space to unwind and reconnect with themselves, friends and other like-minded women.

We host our Just Be You events every Saturday afternoon and our recent 50 Fabulous Faces exhibition was a big success. We are now focused on our first Just For Girls event, for young women 12 to 17 years old, being held in July, as well as another Fabulous Project similar to our 50 Fabulous Faces.

For more information visit The Just Saying Project.

Who is the person you look up to the most and why?
I am surrounded by some of the most amazing people in my life who are creative, generous and kind. They are the people I look up to, the people who are willing to give you a
helping hand, show you compassion and are there to create a life full of hope and wonder.

What is your favourite thing to do with the kids?
We just love to hang out at home where we read, do puzzles and play with the kids in the backyard. It is simple in essence, but to us it is significant to make time for our children and include them in our day-to-day activities.

Not only is Jess a busy mum of four boys, but she is also a primary school teacher at Mackay Christian College as well as the facilitator of Faith THEN Food and Fitness online community and an advocate for Destiny Rescue.

Last year she was awarded the Soroptimist International Mackay Region 2016 Woman Achiever of the Year for her achievements in helping to improve the lives and status of women and girls through education, empowerment and enabling opportunities at a local and global level.

Not only is Jess an active member of the community and the C3 Church Mackay, but she has also travelled to Thailand and Cambodia to help free very young girls from sexual slavery and human trafficking through the organisation Destiny Rescue.

How did it feel winning the Soroptimist International Mackay Region Woman Achiever of the Year for 2016?
Soroptimist International is a global organisation that works to transform the lives of women and girls. It’s quite a large organisation, operating in 133 countries.

When I received the award I was in complete shock! I am such a humble person; I am happy to talk about the organisations I advocate for but to receive an award for myself was very overwhelming.

Tell us about your work with Destiny Rescue.
I first became involved with Destiny Rescue in 2010 and I went on my first mission trip to Thailand with them in 2013. This experience completely broke my heart and changed my life!

I saw girls, young girls the same age as my niece, in grotty, disgusting Thailand brothels. I witnessed the life transformations of these girls as they were rescued, counselled
and loved by the wonderful volunteers of Destiny Rescue.

This experience forever changed my heart and my focus. I have been on three trips to Thailand and Cambodia for Destiny Rescue and speak at events, hold fundraising events (funding rescues, or funding needs within Destiny Rescue), obtain sponsorships for Rescue Homes, and sell their wonderful handmade Rescue Jewellery.

What do you and the family like to do to unwind?
On the weekends, we (Jess has four sons – Braydon, Donavan, Codey and William with husband, Paul) will light the fire pit at night and sit around it just talking, I don’t know if it’s their favourite thing to do but it sure is mine. It’s so good to be able to talk away from the distractions of technology.