The Women You Had To Meet. We’ve Rounded Up Our Favourite Quotes From Our Stella Women In 2021

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We’re so happy we met you all, we heard stories of heartbreak and elation, we shone a light on the other pandemic Australia is facing – Domestic Violence.

We practiced breath-work with KAAIAA and took a ride with the CEO and founder of the all-female ride-share Shebah.

We glowed up with a life coach, and #drovelikeagirl with our resident motoring expert, we talked money and shone a light on the harmful gender stereotypes that wreak havoc on women’s financial confidence.

We climbed high with the first women to ever conquer Everest and chatted with a community leader, businesswoman and the founder the Robert Conner Dawes foundation, which raises money and gives hope to other children and families globally who are also in the fight of their lives just like her son Conner who tragically lost his life to the disease in 2011 at just age 17.

We focused on body positivity with an Australian model who has been an advocate for women’s rights and Black Lives Matter.

Looking back at the last year as a brand and as a vessel to be able to amplify the voices of these incredible women, we sit back in awe.

We have loved making this series and we hope that you have been able to join the journey with us, one of hope, love and drive.

We’ve rounded up the best quotes from these awe-inspiring women and relinked their interviews in case you missed them.

We want to thank the women from this serious who have given their time to share their stories, inner thinking, and their skills with us to ultimately make us either take notice of the injustices women face on a daily basis and to teach us the ways that we can overcome inequality.

We hope our Stella Women series has inspired our community as much as it has us here at Stella HQ.

So, from the bottom of our hearts. Thank you.

Jessica Vander Leahy on the importance of women’s equality

“I read somewhere recently a message that said, “Self-love and sisterhood will save the world.” I think it’s true. If history teaches us anything it’s that we need to embrace our inner nurturers, our inner carers and our inner lovers to transform the world into a kinder compassionate place where we can all thrive. Clearly, we need empowered Queens to do this”. – Jessica Vander Leahy


Liz Dawes on why she launched the Robert Connor Dawes Foundation

“Shortly after Connor passed away, we knew we wanted to do something to keep his spirit alive. Connor had such a great personality and promising life ahead of him – and we wanted to do something in his name, to celebrate him and also, to change the odds for paediatric brain cancer. We didn’t know at the time, that paediatric brain cancer is the number one disease killer of young people in Australia – and we’re determined in Connor’s memory to change those odds.

We founded the Robert Connor Dawes (RCD) Foundation in 2013, just a few months after Connor died. Our Foundation has now raised over eight million dollars. We started with, what is now, our signature event Connor’s Run, which we are now in the process of planning our ninth iteration of. This event is now the largest event in Australia for paediatric brain cancer, where we have 5000 people participating on one day.” – Liz Dawes

Lydia Brady on being the first women to ever climbed Everest only to have her team mates dispute her claim.


“My climb was ‘dissed’ on an international level; I was commonly asked why the men I climbed with part of the way to Everest would claim I didn’t summit when in fact I did and my reaction would always be ‘because they could’. It was a classic bullying situation and a classic #meetoo situation. So, to go back to your question, If I was a man would this have happened to me? Possibly not, unless I was the type of man that threatened their manhood. The good comes out of it in time, and that is the beautiful thing about growing older, time is more precious. We become better at managing our losses because we know that they are growth…” – Lydia Bradey

Ladies Talk Money on why money is such a taboo subject for women.

Traditionally, society has told women that money; the business of earning it, investing it, being in charge of it, and mastering it, is the domain of men. From investing to super, negotiating fair remuneration packages to simply talking about money, the world hasn’t acknowledged that women play an important part in financial conversations. In our society money = power and, right now, women all around the world don’t have enough of either.

– Ladies Talk Money

Elise Elliott on being a female in the very male dominated world of motoring journalism

‘I’m always staggered how under-represented women are in motoring journalism — despite the fact fifty per cent of drivers are women, and they are involved in up to eighty per cent of car buying decisions.’ – Elise Elliott

Liv Phyland on the importance of having a life coach

“Being a human is bloody hard sometimes. We have so many external stressors, expectations, and pressures…. then yay, chuck some raging hormones and internal negative dialogues along the way, and we wonder why we sometimes feel burnt out, overwhelmed or unhappy. But being a human can also be the most liberating, exhilarating, effortless and rewarding experience. I want to help women find that natural ebb and flow in life… to sit with the negative emotions, have the strength and confidence to find their way out, and the zest to acknowledge, celebrate and enjoy all the wonderful moments, feelings and things that come with this messy, beautiful thing called ‘life’.” – Liv Phyland

George McEncore on launching Australia’s first all-female ride share Shebah

“Creating equality and equity in rideshare, like any industry, is multifaceted. We need safe communities and careful procedures to keep women safe while working. We need to champion the needs of families and kids. But solving the problem doesn’t stop there. Our whole world was built for men. One example people might not think of is there is a real challenge for drivers to meet safety standards while driving in CBDs. To find a safe place to stop a car that gets the women and or children close to their destination can be challenging for drivers. They need to meet standards of road safety and community safety. That becomes even more challenging when we think of getting a child or baby out of a car seat in the middle of the city. There are so many ways women need to navigate systems that just were not built for them.” – George McEncore



Leah Simmons on how her program KAAIAA came to fruition

“There has been a long-held belief that “fitness” was solely based on how you looked or performed physically and, well… as time went on (even though I was in the industry “talking the talk”), something just didn’t feel right to me. There was a fundamental piece missing. In all the years I spent training my body… the hours in the gym… granted, I achieved an incredible physique… but was I happy? Were my relationships firing? Was I making good decisions? Was I feeling amazing??” The answer was no, not by a long shot.

– Leah Simmons

Nicole Liu on launching Kin, a fertility empowerment platform that gives online medical support with qualified fertility experts


“In a nutshell, at Kin, we essentially want to empower women to really take control of the decisions that impact their reproductive health and their fertility, and their bodies. I think the big thing for us was that, you know, this journey, we spend most of our lives trying not to get pregnant, and then, for a lot of people that sort of shifts, and we potentially think about getting pregnant and it becomes very overwhelming and very all-consuming. And that journey is not always straight forward, and I don’t think we’re really set up for knowing that all the time. What Kin’s trying to do is trying to be a partner and a guide throughout that whole journey, no matter which part you’re in.” – Nicole Liu

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