JustMums Most Inspiring Women

Katie Barillaro
By: Katie Barillaro
Category: Inspiring Working Mum Series

In honour of all women who inspire us this International Women’s Day, the team at JustMums Recruitment have chosen a woman that is an inspiration to each of us (second to our mum’s of course!).

Rachel’s choice

Connie Johnson OAM

Connie, an amazing mum of two boys, founded the Love Your Sister charity in 2012 aiming to raise $10 million for cancer research. At age 11 she was diagnosed with bone cancer and at 22 was told she had uterine cancer – both of which were successfully treated. Unfortunately in 2010 Connie was diagnosed with breast cancer and was given 12 months to live. In the face of a terminal diagnosis Connie came up with the bold idea to send her brother Samuel Johnson around Australia on a unicycle to raise funds for LYS reminding every mum in the country to “check their boobs”. She was passionate, selfless, real and brave. Connie was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia on 7 September 2017 and passed away the following day, aged 40. I had the pleasure of meeting Connie on a few occasions – always smiling and always positive – an incredible and inspiring woman.

You can learn about Love Your Sister and make a donation here


Erin’s choice

Rosie Batty

Rosie faced every parents worst nightmare when her son Luke was killed by her violent ex-partner in 2014, but drew upon her tragedy to become a domestic violence campaigner and raise public awareness and advocate for social change. She established the Luke Batty Foundation in 2014 to assist women and children affected by domestic violence and was awarded Australian of the Year in 2015. Her strength, resilience and ability to influence to create change was both heartbreaking and inspirational.

You can learn about the Luke Batty Foundation and make a donation here


Natalie’s choice

Ellen DeGenres

Ellen DeGeneres is truly inspirational to me, using her fame as a platform to support charities across the globe and to encourage acceptance. She is courageous and compassionate and reminds us to “Be kind to one another”.


Melanie’s choice

Danielle (Melanie’s close friend)

Danielle is a single mother to a 11 year old boy. She works full time as a legal secretary and is the sole income earner for her family. Danielle never complains and takes her work life and family life in her stride. She is a true inspiration to everyone who knows her and most of all is a genuine friend who can you always rely on.


Katie’s choice

Rochelle Courtenay

Rochelle is the founder and Managing Director of the charity Share the Dignity. She is an inspiration to me as a strong advocate for change in our society and for her passion and compassion for disadvantaged girls and women. Share The Dignity kicked off in February 2015 after Rochelle read an article online that said there were 44,000 homeless women living in Australia. After the success of the her first donation drive for pads and tampons within her local community, Rochelle’s friend from a domestic violence shelter asked if she’d do another collection of sanitary items. Rochelle was happy to help and set up a Facebook page to spread the word, and from there, things went viral. Now over 1.5 million pads and tampons have been donated. Share the Dignity also have a number of other initiatives to support women.

You can learn about the Share the Dignity and make a donation here


Katie Barillaro
About Katie Barillaro
Katie joined JustMums in July 2018 as our Marketing Consultant and brings more than 20 years traditional and digital marketing experience to the team. Katie has previously worked for large recruitment brands and is a busy working mother balancing career and family.

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