Thursday, August 24, 2023


Mackay and Whitsunday Life

International Women's Day

Embrace Equity

In the spirit of International Women's Day, we're proud to shine a light on the remarkable women of Mackay who have risen to the occasion and become the trailblazers of our community.

These women are our sisters, mothers, daughters, and friends who have each made a significant contribution in their own unique way. They've broken barriers, overcome challenges, and inspired us all to aim higher.

These women are just a small sample of the incredible talent and passion that exists within our community. They are the embodiment of what it means to embrace equity and fight for a more just and equitable world while dedicating countless hours to their passions and professions.

On this International Women's Day and every day beyond, let's celebrate the achievements of these remarkable women and commit ourselves to creating a future where every woman has the opportunity to succeed. Let's #EmbraceEquity and continue to build a better world for all.


Throughout history, women have played a pivotal role in driving progress, breaking barriers, and changing the world.

Marie Curie, the first woman to receive a Nobel Prize, transformed the field of science with her pioneering research in radioactivity. Eleanor Roosevelt, a political leader and activist, championed human rights and helped to draft the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Maya Angelou, an author and poet, used her powerful words to inspire and empower women around the world. Malala Yousafzai, a young activist, has become a global advocate for girls' education.

And we must not forget about Wangari Maathai, a Kenyan environmental and political activist, who was the first African woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. She founded the Green Belt Movement, an organisation focused on planting trees and promoting environmental conservation, while also advocating for democracy, women's rights, and social justice.

These women have shown us that with courage, determination, and perseverance, anything is possible. Their legacy continues to inspire and empower women today to pursue their dreams, challenge the status quo, and create a better world for all.

Shirlz Russell

Build Your F’empire

Shirlz Russell is a woman on a mission to help other women (and a few good men) build their empires, one property at a time. As the founder of Build Your F'empire, she has made it her ambition to mentor women from all over Australia in successful property investing.

As her way of giving back, Shirlz has created a private Facebook community where women in Mackay and the Whitsundays can support each other, both financially and emotionally.

"I love seeing women empower themselves by taking control of their finances. The confidence that comes from this is so gratifying and beautiful to witness," Shirlz explains.

What sets Shirlz apart is her unique approach to property investing. As a woman in a male-dominated industry, she offers a fresh perspective that many women appreciate.

"I help women to realize the retirement of their dreams through successful property investing," she says.

"I am passionate about inspiring other women to own their shit, the good, the bad and the ugly! Until they do, they won’t be able to move forward and build a healthy relationship with money."

Shirlz has always been inspired by strong women who have shown true resilience and determination to achieve great things. She cites Catherine the Great as someone she admires, respecting her ability to overthrow her husband and name herself Empress.

"She was also wildly insatiable and was clearly a woman that knew what she wanted. I like that!"

As we celebrate International Women's Day, Shirlz Russell serves as a reminder that women can achieve anything they set their minds to, but as a working mother, Shirlz also knows firsthand the struggle of the juggle.  

"If I start to feel the overwhelm set in, I just tap it out, take some deep deep breaths and get on with it."

She is proof that women can indeed build their own 'F'empire' and become successful property investors while also empowering and supporting others along the way.

Katie Fox

Gold Empire Tattoo Barber, FX Clinics and Gold Fox Promotions

Being the owner and operator of the only tattoo and barber shop in the Central Queensland region, Katie Fox says she’s proud of making it as far as she has in a male dominated industry. Katie is a qualified tattoo artist and runs Gold Empire Tattoo Barber on Wood Street, where the talented team of artists have all styles covered including realism, portraits, dark realism, Japanese, fine line, trad, anime, colour and script. Gold Empire has been described as a “very welcoming and professional shop always clean and well organised,” reads one review.

“The staff are always friendly and give off a real family and inviting vibe while remaining professional, some very talented people. Best shop in town I won’t go anywhere else for a tattoo or a fresh cut.”

Katie’s second business, FX Clinics, is one of only two rejuvenation clinics in Mackay offering full body medical grade infrared Red Light Therapy as well as laser tattoo removal, teeth whitening, scalp micro pigmentation and hydrodermabrasion. Lastly, she’s recently Gold Fox Promotions, a hospitality, waitressing and stripping agency.

“Helping people feel good about themselves and transform themselves is my favourite part of all businesses,” Katie said.

Katie has had a long and exciting career dotted with adventure. Before she was a tattoo artist, she lived in England and travelled the country working on world rally cars. She then returned to Australia, embarking on a boiler making apprenticeship before being offered her tattoo apprenticeship. Katie says she looks up to a number of successful business owners, thinking “if they can do it, she can”. She is a staunch believer of following one’s dreams and making it happen.

“Women empowerment to me is going after what you want, whether that’s business related or being a stay-at-home mum and raising a beautiful family,” she said. “It’s being strong enough to do what makes you happy regardless of what society thinks.”

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