Blonde, sun-tanned, implants, bimbos… these are just a few of the words that were thrown around on a Facebook thread where we asked locals and tourists alike to describe their view of the women of the Gold Coast.
You don’t have to look much further than a central Gold Coast beach to find this aforementioned beach-bum style of lady, but many of us have tans and blonde hair and strive for amazing things. Our city is so much more than appearance. The GC is drenched in talented, intelligent, innovative and eager ladies, many of them doing amazing things.
Scratch beneath our sandy surface and you’ll uncover our real natural assets – our people. In this edition of Blank, we focus on the ladies of the Gold Coast. The ordinary women: daughters, mothers, sisters and lovers, doing extraordinary things for themselves, for their communities and for eachother. We profile them in the next pages.
But here are just a few women of the Gold Coast who have left this humble nest and are doing their bit to reinvent the image of a GC lady in the eyes of Australia and the rest of the world.
She may not be everyone’s favourite person but Anna Bligh has proved herself to be a strong politician and passionate women’s . Following from her teenage years at Miami State High School, Anna went on to become the first ever woman Premier of Queensland, and was widely commended for her leadership during the 2010-2011 Queensland floods. She is now CEO of the NSW YWCA, with a staff of 200 and a turnover of $17 million a year. The charity – one of Australia’s oldest – helps 30,000 vulnerable Australians every year.
One of Hollywood’s biggest stars grew up right here on the Gold Coast. After graduating from Somerset College in 2007, Margot moved to Melbourne where she was quickly cast in Aussie soapie Neighbours. Since then, she has been snapped up by Hollywood, most recently co-starring alongside Leonardo DiCaprio in the Martin Scorsese directed hit feature film The Wolf of Wall Street.
Believe it or not, the article of clothing most iconic to the Gold Coast was invented right here. While the bikini is generally credited to another designer, the truth is that Gold Coast local Paula Stafford brought the revealing two piece bikini to Gold Coast beaches back in the 1940’s. Still residing on the Gold Coast, Paula has won numerous awards for her iconic invention.
Since shooting to fame in the second season of Australian Idol, she’s become one of Australia’s most iconic female popstars and television personalities. A student of Southport State High School, Ricki-Lee has released 3 albums, with her hit Can’t Touch It featuring in the Hollywood blockbuster Sex and the City 2. It doesn’t get more girl power than that for a modest GC gal.
And there are hundreds more. Athletes, academics, activists, artists and acrobats. Too many to list here. Rather, we’ve picked just a handful of women, doing amazing things and shared their stories on the following pages.
Ana Marcela Regalado, Artist and Fashion Designer
Bree de Rome, Musician
Hayley Bateup, Ironwoman and Lifestyle Coach
Hussy Hicks (Julz Parker and Leesa Gentz)
Katrina Ellis, Naturopath
Marina Orpen, Organics Advocate
Michelle Merrifield, Yoga Teacher, Author and Businesswoman
Sarah Frank, Musician
Sue Porrett, Owner Aerial Angels