Rochelle Courtenay, founder of charity Share the Dignity and nicknamed Australia’s ‘Pad Lady’, is a big believer in using the power of storytelling to inspire men and women to make a difference to the lives of women often fleeing from domestic violence or homelessness. She talks to Leaders in Heels about how she started Share the Dignity and what keeps her working tirelessly for women who don’t have a voice.

How did you inspire others to join you even though you didn’t have any prior experience?

Never having done anything like this before, I made things up as I went along. When I first collected sanitary items with other women in my local community, I didn’t even know I had to be a registered charity, have a board of directors, or even pay for permits in every state!

I used to ask myself (and still do!) ‘What’s the worst thing that could happen?’ All I wanted to do was make a difference. I started surrounding myself with people who had the right knowledge and strengths in furthering the cause.

In the beginning, how did you get the word out about the work you were doing?

I started telling people true stories about women using socks and newspapers during their periods. I couldn’t imagine another woman not being empathetic when she heard this. As soon as someone heard about it, they would ask how they could help.

I would never have managed to reach as many people as I did if social media hadn’t existed. I shared raw, uncut and powerful stories that got shared and talked about. One of the most powerful stories I shared was of a woman who worked as a petrol station assistant in the Northern Territory. She recalled a woman walking in at 10.30pm one night, who looked like she couldn’t even afford basic necessities let alone pads. This woman bled all over the floor, took some pads off the counter, went to the bathroom, cleaned herself up, then came back to return the rest of the pads.

I remember the woman telling me that she had no idea what to do or how to react. That story touched something deep inside me and I shared it on social media. People needed to know what was happening and sharing the power of storytelling was the best way to connect with them, so they would care too.

What inspires you and what’s the best part of your job?

I get so much strength from our volunteers, who are all so incredibly busy, but still give their time selflessly and generously to Share the Dignity. I think we have such committed volunteers because they can see directly the results of the work they are doing. We’ve made it simple for people to volunteer with us, including setting expectations and outcomes. People love it when they can see they have made a difference.

The best part of my job is dropping the donations off to a charity, meeting the women and seeing the smiles on their faces, especially during our Christmas appeal called It’s in the bag.

What’s the toughest part of your job?

I’m always worried that the donations won’t meet the need. In a post Covid world, the need to help women is so much greater than it was before and that’s where we come in. The impact of Covid and the lockdowns on the work we do has given me many stressful and sleepless nights.

What’s your advice to other women wanting to make a difference?

Surround yourself with amazing and incredible people because it’s when we are together that we can make a real difference. I never thought for a second I could ever do so much on my own. Also learn to delegate, delegate, and delegate!

 

About Rochelle Courtenay
Rochelle Courtenay uses her power of storytelling as the Founder and Managing Director of Share the Dignity, which works to make a real, on the ground difference in the lives of those experiencing homelessness, fleeing domestic violence, or doing it tough. We distribute period products to those in need and work to end period poverty here in Australia. We assist those in need through collecting thousands of period products each year through our collection drives and campaigns and distribute them directly to charities across Australia.

 

About the author
Rashida Tayabali is a copywriter specialising in writing clear, conversational copy for women in business to help them attract their dream clients. She’s also a features writer with articles published in leading Australian publications. She also volunteers with Share the Dignity as a copywriter.


Each year, Christmas always seems to sneak up on us and we adore this time of year. We especially love it because it’s the perfect excuse to recognise the women in your life and extend your gratitude for their support and care. However, sometimes finding the perfect Christmas presents sure can be daunting.

Luckily, we’ve got you! Here’s the perfect Christmas present for your:

Colleagues

Opt for something professional, classic and functional such as a Meeting Notebook or elegant rollerball pen.

Women who work from home

If you’ve got an entrepreneurial bestie, or someone who has recently started working from home, items such as wireless headphones, a membership to an industry group or a new print for their home office would surely be appreciated! ❤️

Inspirational friends

Do you have special women in your life that truly inspire you? Help them reach their goals with these 12-month planners that are full of practical features to help them pave their own paths!

Secret Santa/Kris Kringle (these are always the toughest Christmas presents to pick!)

Looking for a gift on a budget? Go beyond the usual chocolates with our Weekly Desk Planners, Sticky Notes or To-Do Lists. They’re small, classy and the perfect stocking filler.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Your friend who loves to learn

A Master Class or Linked In Learning (previously Lynda.com) subscription is the perfect gift for someone who loves to learn. They’ll get to watch content on thousands of different topics that relate to their professional or personal life and interests.

Someone extra special

Anything personalised! Whether it’s a custom illustration of their favourite group photo, an engraved piece of jewellery or one of our monogrammed products, going that extra step lets them know you’ve really thought about them.

What are your go-to ideas for Christmas presents? Let us know in the comments below!


At Leaders in Heels, self-care is something we not only recommend, but deem essential. As such, we have compiled a great selection of our favourite positive quotes about self-care! Use them as a reminder that you deserve and need to prioritise things that are good for your wellbeing.

PS – screenshot your favourite quote cards to an album on your phone and read them anytime you need a blast of motivation.

1. “When you say ‘yes’ to others make sure you are not saying ‘no’ to yourself.” – Paulo Coehlo

2. “The best health care plan is a self-care plan.” – Nina Leavins

3. “Taking care of yourself isn’t about trying to become perfect. It’s about realizing and honouring, in every moment, that you already are.” – Vironika Tugaleva

4. “Sometimes self-care is exercising and eating right. Sometimes it’s spending time with loved ones or taking a nap. And sometimes it’s watching an entire series of television in one weekend while you lounge around in your pyjamas. Whatever soothes your soul.”

5. “Self-care is not a luxury. Indeed not. It allows us to show up in this tumultuous world as the best versions of ourselves.”

6. “Rest and self-care are so important. When you take time to replenish your spirit, it allows you to serve others from the overflow. You cannot serve from an empty vessel.” – Eleanor Brownn

7. “Embrace the glorious mess that you are.” – Elizabeth Gilbert

8. “Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.” – Anne Lamott

9. “If you think taking care of yourself is selfish, change your mind. If you don’t, you’re simply ducking your responsibilities.” – Ann Richards

10. “Do not bring people in your life who weigh you down. And trust your instincts… good relationships feel good. They feel right. They don’t hurt. They’re not painful.” – Michelle Obama

What are your favourite positive quotes about self-care? Let us know in the comment section below.

Don’t forget to check out our Instagram for your daily dose of motivation!


Inhale, exhale, begin to quiet your mind. Beginning meditation can be as simple as that. So why are so many people intimidated by the thought of meditating? 

You don’t have to fully enlightened to meditate, and you don’t have to have a sacred space on top of a mountain. Meditation can be done anywhere and by anyone. And, let’s be honest, just about everyone has had an experience in their lives where they are out in public, and a quick meditation would be extremely helpful. 

So what exactly is meditation? According to Merriam Webster, to meditate is “ is to engage in mental exercise (such as concentration on one’s breathing or repetition of a mantra) to reaching a heightened level of spiritual awareness”, yep, it’s that simple. Meditation brings your attention the here and now and helps get rid of the distractions that you’re constantly bombarded with. By slowing down and focusing on your breathing, you can let the rest of the world just melt away. It helps you pull your attention inward and truly be and feel, which in turn brings forth a sense of calm and control of your emotions.

You can stop and focus on your breathing just about anywhere, right? So, you can meditate just about anywhere! 

There are lots of meditation tools you can use to help facilitate your practice as well including:

Counting: As you focus on your breath, begin to count to twenty, one count accompanies one breath. (Example: Inhale 1, Exhale 2, Inhale 3, Exhale 4) Once you reach twenty, count to forty and slow your breathing down, only counting with every other breath. (Example Inhale,  Exhale 1, Inhale, Exhale 2) The mental counting helps you concentrate on your breathing. 

Body Scan: Imagine your at your desk and your inbox is piling up and you start to panic. Soften your gaze and deepen your breath and begin to cue your body to relax. Start from your forehead and work down your face and jaw, then move down your arms, torso, and legs. By the end of this practice, you will feel completely relaxed.

Paint a Mental Picture: Visualization can be a great way to meditate. As you close your eyes, imagine you are painting a rainbow on a big white canvas. Take your time to picture your paintbrush dipping into each color and pulling the line across the canvas until you have a complete rainbow. 

Mantras: You don’t have to know fancy Sanskrit words to create a mantra. As you breathe, internally repeat a mantra that makes sense for you. For example, you could say I am on your inhale, at peace on your exhale, or I can on your inhale, do this on your exhale. 

These are all types of meditation that you can do anywhere anytime. You can meditate when you need a five-minute break from your kids, after you have parked your car before you head into work, when you feel uncertain before an interview, or before bed to calm your mind. Meditation is a powerful tool that helps you create your own internal calm and peaceful space. I like to think of it as a superpower that keeps me grounded, in control, and able to handle anything life throws at me. 

So go meditate! Meditate at home, meditate in a park, at your desk, in your bed, literally anywhere.

**Please don’t meditate while driving, and choose a safe space where you are aware of your surroundings for safety reasons.**

About the author

Cassidy Ricalde always found healing powers in the movement of the body. Growing up as a classical dancer, she found yoga and barre to be a way to tie together body and soul. She completed her 200-hour Yoga-Teacher certification at Flow Yoga in DC and did an apprenticeship with Ease Yoga in Alexandria. You can find out about Cassidy here


A champion mindset is an approach to thinking that enables your dreams to be attainable and approachable instead of overwhelming. Having a positive mindset leads to positive behaviours  Here is a “champion process” broken down into seven steps. 

Step 1: Awareness of Self

Having awareness of self comes first because it enables you to know what you truly want. To gain awareness of self, start meditating five minutes a day and focus on your breath and let go of everything else. 

Step 2: Beliefs

Gone are the days when we lived our lives thinking we had to see it to believe it. Now we’re moving into the quantum field where you have to believe it to see it. This is known as Quantum manifestation.

To understand this, be mindful of what you believe. Check that your beliefs are in line with your goals, rather than opposing them, as that way you will move towards them.

Step 3: Daily Consciousness

Daily consciousness practices keep you in your champion mindset and include practising gratitude, exercise, and asking yourself important questions like, “What one thing can I do today, that will make a massive difference to my life?” 

For example, a typical morning routine for me looks like this: 

  • Meditate and practice yoga. 
  • Take a walk while repeating ‘I am statements’ (who I declare myself to be), my gratitudes, my affirmations.
  • I always ask myself, “What one decision or action can I do today that will massively improve my life?” 

Other useful questions to ask yourself are: is this the best use of my time right now? Is this where my expertise lies? Is this what will drive my business forward? 

I love asking myself, “How can my life get any better?” As your subconscious mind will always try and answer it with a better way forward.

Step 4: Unlock and Transform Self-limiting Beliefs

Limiting beliefs are often deeply imprinted from our childhood. Get started by becoming aware of what yours are. For example, look at when something you’ve tried to achieve hasn’t worked out (in any area of your life). You might need to gain more awareness. 

It is useful to listen to your self-talk, as our limiting beliefs often show up there. Change this inner talk to be kind and supportive of your goals and self. You might need help, such as from a coach, or a counsellor. Once you pinpoint and transform your self-limiting beliefs, you are on your way to freedom!

Step 5: The One Percent Rule (Tiny Improvements Daily)

The Japanese principle of Kaizen is the philosophy and science of constant and never-ending improvement (CANI), or betterment or refinement. It’s the idea that nothing is ever finished or declared perfect; there is always room for improvement. Naturally, a series of small incremental improvements over time adds up in the long run. 

You just need to make the tiniest improvement that takes no effort. Ask yourself, “how can I improve what I’m doing by one percent?” John Wooden, who’s considered one of the greatest NCAA basketball head coaches of all time, got his players to do this, and they went on to win many of their championships!

For example, do just one more sit up, do your five minutes of meditation a day or listen to audiobooks in the car. If the dream seems big, chunk it down to five minutes a day, as this removes the overwhelm and makes it easier to achieve. Then start to see the transformations in your life.

Step 6: Raising the Bar to Ridiculous Heights

We are far more powerful than we imagine and because a champion mindset is not linear or logical, rather quantum and instant, we can raise the bar to immense heights. 

Often, we set the bar so low that we achieve it — rather than listening to our inner champion and reaching higher to a goal we perceived as big, when in fact it is just a series of moments.

I implore you to take small steps towards your big goals, regularly (five days a week); doing that one percent more; and remember to consciously harness the self-talk, tools, and beliefs of your champion self. 

As Muhammad Ali stated, “If my mind can conceive it, and my heart can believe it — then I can achieve it.”

About the author
Rhiannon Rees is a human behavior expert and international high-performance coach helping CEOs, businesses, elite athletes, coaches and celebrities to redefine their level of success. Rhiannon is a best-selling author, thriving entrepreneur and a global speaker, whose personal sufferings led her to search for answers and into a 30-year study of human behavior. Compelled to help others, she has continued to invest in education in the fields of self-development, neuroscience and business. Rhiannon is founder of the Conscious Coaching Collective and has demonstrated success in creating champions. An accomplished expert in her field, Rhiannon was awarded Global Visionary of the Year 2021 by IAOTP.


There are so many wonderful leaders, past and present, that we can learn from for our own journeys. As such, we have compiled a great selection of our favourite inspirational quotes for leaders like you! Use them when you need a little extra pep, you’re feeling unmotivated or you just need a friendly reminder that your goals are amazing and achievable.

PS – save your favourite quote cards to an album on your phone and read them anytime you need a blast of motivation.

1. “Take criticism seriously, but not personally. If there is truth or merit in the criticism, try to learn from it. Otherwise, let it roll right off you.” – Hillary Clinton

2. “If you can dream it, you can do it.” – Walt Disney

3. “A goal is a dream with a deadline.” – Napoleon Hill

4. “You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.” – John C. Maxwell

5. “You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead, pursue the things you love doing, and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off you.” – Maya Angelou

6. “Money never starts an idea: It’s the idea that starts the money.” – Mark Victor Hansen

7. “Great things never came from comfort zones.”

8. “All great things begin with a vision… a dream.” – Estee Lauder

9. “If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.” – Jim rohn

10. “Old ways won’t open new doors.”

11. “Always remember to fall asleep with a dream and wake up with a purpose.”

What are your favourite inspirational quotes for leaders? Let us know in the comment section below.

Don’t forget to check out our Instagram for your daily dose of motivation!