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    TropicNow's list of Cairns women who are totally boss right now


    We know there are people from all walks of life doing amazing things in business, sports and the arts right across the Tropical North.

    But considering it's International Women's Day, TropicNow decided to compile a listicle of 8 awesome things going on in the world of these remarkable local women.

    Have we missed someone? Please drop us a line here and let us know who else should've made the list.



    1. Jodie Mlikota

    This young entrepreneur, social innovation devotee and CQUniversity staffer is currently in Paris pitching an idea for an app to a global audience.

    No biggie.

    Jodie is part of a crew who hope to launch Gathar, a peer-to-peer platform connecting people "who love to cook with people who love to entertain but hate the hard work".

    “Tapping into the sharing economy popularity, Gathar is all about making eating at home with loved ones more enjoyable, whilst giving people who love to cook an outlet to share their favourite dishes with the world,” Jodie said.

    We're hoping her pitch at the Grand Final of the Global Startup Weekend Women competition is a huge success. 


    2. Jenny Damon

    There are many words to describe local endurance runner Jenny Damon: crazy and tough being two of them.

    Incredible and inspiring are two other words we'd use, especially when you consider Jenny's latest running mission.

    To raise funds for Destiny Rescue, a global charity aimed at eliminating child sexual exploitation and slavery, Jenny will attempt to climb Walsh's Pyramid as many times as possible in a 24-hour period.

    "In 2016, I completed 5 laps in 13 hours and raised $1,400 thanks to the generous support from friends, family, and the mighty Manunda Hawks," Jenny writes. "Let's see if I can make 10 laps and double the funds raised!"

    To donate to Jenny's pyramid challenge, click here.

     

     


    3. Krista Watkins

    We're huge fans of Walkamin-based Natural Evolutions Food, and super excited to note co-founder and managing director Krista Watkins is a Queensland finalist in the 2018 AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award.

    The Award acknowledges the essential role that women play in developing rural industries, businesses and communities, providing support and inspiration for the next generation of female leaders across Australia.

    The winner of the Queensland final will be announced at a reception in Brisbane on March 22, and will take home a $10,000 bursary to support their project. 

    Krista is in with a real shot at progressing through to the national finals considering the remarkable growth and entrepreneurial spirit of Natural Evolutions Food and its banana flour product, pioneered with her partner in business and life Rob Watkins.


    4. Donna Corrie

    Apart from transforming the lives of Indigenous women, Donna Corrie has also just been named the Cairns Woman of the Year at Cairns Regional Council's annual awards.

    Donna has worked with Indigenous communities for most of working life, with her latest project aimed at building the confidence of Indigenous women and supporting them to identify and promote their strengths while achieving healthy lifestyles.

    According to Mayor Bob Manning, Donna "sees the true potential in others and helps them to see it in themselves.”


    5 + 6. Renee Amadio and Megs Walker

    The Cairns real estate industry is going through an interesting period right now as the local economy starts to heat up. 

    We're seeing a flurry of small, boutique agencies being launched, all of them led by young go-getters keen to make their own mark in the property scene.

    Two recent examples are Renee Amadio and Megs Walker.

    Renee recently launched Amadio Property Group, while Megs Walker is at the helm of The Industry Estate Agents.

    Both bring their own style and flair to what has been a fairly traditional industry - and we love their fresh approach.


    7. Renee Ker

    Apart from training triathletes to perform at their peak, Renee is also getting her hands dirty and doing amazing things for the environment.

    As part of the recent Clean Up Australia Day, Renee gathered around 30 people to pick up an incredible 600kg of rubbish over a three hour period.

    Renee, who runs TriMotivate Performance Triathlon Coaching, is using the experience to motivate other sporting groups and clubs to follow suit.

    “I’m trying to do a ­call-out to other clubs or sporting teams: if you’ve got a footy team and can get together 30-50 members, you can really make a difference,” she told News Corp.


    8. Henrietta Marrie

    Henrietta Marrie (nee Fourmile) is no doubt well-known to TropicNow readers, having worked her way onto the world stage over the years where she impacted global Indigenous laws and legislation in the areas of Copyright, Ownership, Bio-diversity and Intellectual Property. 

    But we'll get to see a more personal side of Henrietta when her life story is told through the magic of theatre with new play BUKAL.

    Premiering at the Cairns Indigenous Arts Festival in July in partnership with JUTE Theatre Company, BUKAL is directed by Rhoda Roberts and promises to be a story that will "inspire, entertain and educate".

    Keep an eye out for tickets here.


    9. Thelma Bryan

    If there was going to be a grand matriarch of this TropicNow list, it would almost certainly have to be Thelma Bryan.

    The 87-year-old former Cairns High teacher is also a master swimmer, having set more than 60 national and 300 state records in her relative age groups since 1983.

    Recently, Thelma was also recognised by FNQ Hospital Foundation for her service to the mental health unit at Cairns Hospital, where she volunteered as a yoga teacher for nearly 30 years.

    To cap it all off? Thelma will also be a baton bearer in the lead-up to the Commonwealth Games.

    What an absolute legend!


    10. Clinical researchers at Cairns Hospital

    More of a group listing than individual achievers, we think the work of the clinical research team at Cairns Hospital - most of whom are female - deserves broader recognition.

    Clinical Research Co-ordinator Sue Richmond has been overseeing clinical trials at the Cairns Hospital for more than 17 years and heads up the almost all-female unit.

    “We are currently involved in around 40 clinical trials covering oncology, respiratory, cardiology, renal and infectious diseases," Sue said.

    Medical Oncologist Doctor Megan Lyle has a particular interest in skin cancer, completing a clinical research fellowship at Melanoma Institute Australia prior to joining the Cairns Hospital.

    The Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service is now involved in several international multi-centre trials of immunotherapy agents.

    “For cancer, often a trial is the best possible treatment you can get, so having trials here locally in North Queensland I think is really critical, it means that our patients can access treatments that they wouldn’t be able to otherwise,” Dr Lyle said.