The PRWIRE Press Releases https:// 2019-06-13T20:27:29Z Hollywood Celebrity Designer To Lend Star Power To Miss World Australia State Finals 2019-06-13T20:27:29Z hollywood-celebrity-designer-to-lend-star-power-to-miss-world-australia-state-finals Hollywood celebrity fashion designer, Rocky Gathercole is lending his star power to the Miss World Australia New South Wales state finals with pageant finalists showcasing his brand new collection at a star-studded event at The Star Sydney in July. Internationally-renowned, Los Angeles based Rocky Gathercole is a favourite of big-name celebrities such as Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez, Britney Spears, Paris Hilton, Nicki Minaj, Katy Perry as well as Australia's own Sia, and recently showcased his avant-garde creations at Los Angeles, Miami and New York Fashion Weeks.The forthcoming spectacular fashion showcase is the brainchild of Marites Novis and William Lin, executive producers of Sydney-based MFN Productions, and will feature as part of the evening wear judging section of the Miss World Australia 2019 New South Wales state finals on the 7th of July.Ms Novis reached out to the famed designer after being exposed to his unique designs through social media, often adorned by the world’s biggest and brightest stars.Both Ms Novis and Mr Gathercole are Filipino born, and proud to celebrate their heritage and achievements around the world.“Rocky and I have become good friends, and now we are hand-in-hand in producing fashion shows that not only showcase his incredible avant-garde fashion designs, but also wave the flag of the Philippines worldwide,” said Ms Novis.Homeless from the age of 14 in the Philippines with limited support, Rocky moved to Saudi Arabia where he embarked on the journey of launching his eponymous label for which he is now famous the world over.“As a fellow Filipino, I couldn’t help but feel proud of his collections being recognised worldwide. So, with utter determination to help extend his international reach, I invited him to debut his collection at the Miss World Australia state finals in Sydney, and then we just clicked,” said Ms Novis.In this international exclusive two-part showcase, YouTube singing sensation, Jasmine Henry will be taking part in the fashion show portion of the evening, along with the Miss World Australia 2019 New South Wales state finalists who will be parading Rocky’s latest avant-garde creations, all with various motifs. “I can’t stress enough how thrilled I am for guests to witness his stunning collection. Even though I’ve only seen a sneak peek, I already can’t contain my excitement for this event,” said Ms Novis.Miss World Australia national director, Deborah Miller said she was excited that Mr Gathercole had chosen to align with the pageant, known the world over for its “beauty with a purpose” mantra.“We are really excited as an organisation to collaborate with such a highly-regarded and internationally-recognised fashion designer as Rocky, and appreciate his belief that there is room for all types of beauty,” said Ms Miller.“It’s really a perfect match as the Miss World Australia pageant is so passionate about championing and promoting diversity and inclusion in all its forms.”Finalists from across the country will compete for the coveted title of Miss World Australia 2019 at the gala crowning ceremony at Palazzo Versace on the Gold Coast on Friday, 19th of July, 2019.Tickets to the Miss World Australia 2019 New South Wales state finals on the 7th of July at The Star, Sydney can be purchased at the Ticketek website:  - ends -Rocky Gathercole is available for interview via live-cross from Hollywood, as well as phone/email interviews.Marites Novis is available for interview via live-cross or in studio from Sydney, as well as phone/email interviews.Miss World Australia 2019 NSW finalists are available for photo opportunities in Rocky Gathercole creations.For more information and/or photo/interview requests, please contact:Joanne RahnDirectorzanthii communicationsPhone: 0402 148 334Email: joanne@zanthii.comFacebook: MFN Productions' executive producer, Marites Novis (centre) flanked by models, all wearing avant-garde creations by Hollywood based celebrity fashion designer, Rocky Gathercole Groundbreaking Australian stage spectacular to make international debut in New Zealand next week 2019-05-27T09:52:03Z groundbreaking-australian-stage-spectacular-to-make-international-debut-in-new-zealand-next-week Groundbreaking Australian stage spectacular to make international debut in New Zealand next week Groundbreaking Australian theatre company, Wild Dreamer Productions is set to make its international debut with stage spectacular MEERA playing six shows in New Zealand next week. MEERA, the brainchild of creative director, Aarti Bajaj, is the ambitious first offering from Wild Dreamer Productions - a sumptuous stage show featuring drama, dance and music. “MEERA is a bold love story about a royal princess who believes in her forbidden love to such a degree that she is willing to go against the norms of society for her love,” said creative director, Aarti Bajaj. After MEERA’s success on the Gold Coast, selling out the 1,100 seat Arts Theatre at Home of the Arts, Ms Bajaj made the bold decision to take the production international to Auckland, New Zealand where she has been working closely with local talent ahead of MEERA’s run at the ASB Waterfront Theatre from the 31 May-2 June. MEERA has been more than 14 years in the making, with Ms Bajaj, who lives on the Gold Coast, balancing her career as a medical sonographer with her passion for the performing arts.  Ms Bajaj is the driving force behind the production, working with talented creatives throughout Australia and the world on everything from the choreography, narration, music, lighting, story, marketing and so much more. “In MEERA, there are eight dance forms; Indian classical, Indian contemporary, tap, jazz, ballet, African contemporary, aerial and pole. The Maori Haka will also feature in the New Zealand production." During the writing process, Ms Bajaj altered the interpretation of MEERA to fit a wider audience.  “I wanted to take all of the religious aspects out, and only focus on the pureness of love in the story,” said Ms Bajaj. “Love is common for every living being, we all can have different religions and beliefs, but we all have one common expression, and that is love. “Everyone can recognise this theme when they walk into the auditorium, no matter where they come from, or what they believe. Ms Bajaj bans the use of the words “white” and “brown” on set, as she aims to present actors, dancers, singers and composers a platform to showcase their talent, without being hindered by their ethnicity. “It simply means when someone’s selecting an artist for a role their colour shouldn’t matter, their ethnicity or where they come from shouldn’t matter, it should be more what their talent is and what they can offer,” said Ms Bajaj. “It is important to me to bring the inclusion and diversity together on stage and to ensure the story itself is more powerful than what colour or what background the actor or character is.” Another major motivation for Ms Bajaj is to create a platform where she can give different artists the opportunity where they don’t need a profile to share their talent - if they have talent she intends to bring the platform to them. "The primary vision and ethos of Wild Dreamer Productions is to bring local talent together wherever the production goes," said Ms Bajaj. “My ultimate goal is for MEERA to see all the beautiful stages and audiences across the globe, to sing out beautifully and loudly so everyone can get involved.” The stage spectacular will play six shows at the ASB Waterfront Theatre in Auckland on the 31st of May, 1st of June and 2nd of June. Learn more about this exclusive production here: Meera: Preview 2018 Gold Coast Production Meera: Interview with Aarti Bajaj (Creative Director) Wild Dreamer Productions Website Meera: Facebook - ends - For more information or photo/interview requests, please contact: Joanne Rahn Director zanthii communications Phone: 0402 148 334 Email: Facebook: Nutritionist warns: Don't let "The Body Positivity" movement affect your health 2019-05-27T09:46:47Z nutritionist-warns-don-t-let-the-body-positivity-movement-affect-your-health Nutritionist warns: Don't let "The Body Positivity" movement affect your health A leading Australian certified nutritionist has called out the growing “anti body shaming” and “body beautiful” trends as being detrimental to women leading healthy lifestyles.   Zhanna Gee, founder of holistic health and well-being company, Slim By Nature, has raised concerns that women have become too ashamed to go on a diet.   “I am worried that many women have become too ashamed to embrace a healthy lifestyle due to the growing “anti body shaming” and “body beautiful” movements,” said Ms Gee. “There are a number of women who will attempt some kind of diet without any form of education, or even support from family or friends.”   The body positivity phenomena recently prompted the founder of Greatist, a health and fitness site, to defensively write, “It’s O.K. to want to lose weight”, in response to criticism.   “Many people in the body positivity movement believe that the desire to lose weight is never legitimate, because it is an expression of the psychological toll of fat shaming,” said Ms Gee.   “So any public discussion of personal health or body size constitutes fat shaming.”   Mrs Gee’s interest in women’s health was born seven years ago after being involved in two separate car accidents resulting in a dependency on pain medication, crippling back pain, weight gain and the onset of depression.   "I started doing research on how to lose weight, which led me on a path to connecting with incredible naturopaths and nutritionists who I then worked with to develop and perfect a number of unique holistic formulas and eating plans," said Mrs Gee. "At the time I thought, ‘So many women could benefit from this’ and Slim By Nature was born from there.”   Mrs Gee said the Slim By Nature movement, which includes more than 30,000 women, aims to avoid the stigma associated with weight loss programs, and instead focuses on clean eating, detoxing and fat burning.   “The words ‘diet’ and ‘weight loss’ have such a bad name these days - as a company, we want to ensure that women feel safe, and are equipped with the right tools to aid their journeys to leading happier and healthier lives,” said Mrs Gee.   “We absolutely support the ‘No Body Shaming’ movement, but we also know too many women are depressed and will try anything to look and feel better.   “The detox and fat-burning programs are just the first step. My main goal for every client is to give them a healthy and happy lifestyle beyond the program. “I am driven by the passion and desire to nurture, educate, and not only support, but empower, women throughout their entire journey.”   - ends -   For more information or photo/interview requests, please contact: Joanne Rahn Director zanthii communications Phone: 0402 148 334 Email: Facebook: Revolutionary Women's Detox Program Taking The World By Storm 2019-05-22T20:42:39Z revolutionary-women-s-detox-program-taking-the-world-by-storm-1 Revolutionary Women's Detox Program Taking The World By Storm Opens Australia's First 'Detox House'A revolutionary women’s health and wellness company has opened Australia's first detox house on the Gold Coast.Slim By Nature, established by nutritionist, entrepreneur and mother of two, Zhanna Gee in 2012, is a holistic health and well-being company taking Australia, and the world, by storm.Mrs Gee created the concept when she herself was on a mission to detox and shed a few kilograms, and her exclusive programs have now helped more than 30,000 women around Australia detox, burn fat and live healthier lives."I started doing research on how to lose weight. I did some trials, different diets, lost some weight, and thought ‘so many women can benefit from this’,” said Mrs Gee.“I was concerned that many women were becoming too ashamed to embrace a healthy lifestyle due to the growing “anti body shaming” and “body beautiful” trends.“There are a number of women who will attempt some kind of diet without any form of education, or even support from family or friends.”The secret to Slim By Nature’s success is its exclusive all-natural “detox drops” used in conjunction with specially-tailored diet plans, and access to dedicated support and coaching from both the Slim By Nature team of experts, and the online community of devotees.The Slim By Nature detox drops, perfected over many years and manufactured in Australia, help to boost natural hormones which in turn cause the hypothalamus area of the brain to trigger a release of abnormal fat stores.“The detox drops are what brings the entire program together and actually makes the body lose unnecessary fat. By simply dieting, the brain goes into a starvation mindset, which in turn causes it to hold on to excess fat even more,” said Mrs Gee.The launch of Slim By Nature’s first detox house at Runaway Bay is the realisation of a vision Mrs Gee has had for many years.“Slim By Nature House is a welcoming space for both potential and existing clients to visit with Slim By Nature’s mindset coach, and each other, to discuss their progress and feel empowered and supported,” said Mrs Gee.“The detox and fat-burning programs are just the first step. My main goal for every client is to give them a healthy and happy lifestyle beyond the program.“I am driven by the passion and desire to nurture, educate, and not only support, but empower, women throughout their entire journey.”As well as their easy to follow 3-step detox programs, Slim By Nature also runs various ‘Body Transformation Challenges’ six to eight times per year.“Clients never compete against each other - we only empower and support one another, and ourselves,” said Mrs Gee.“We always give away crazy prizes like overseas holidays, Apple watches, getaways, Slim By Nature wellness hampers and many other incredible health and wellness gifts.”Slim By Nature also supports the community by offering a percentage of profits to notable women’s charitable organisations.“By doing so, we as a company hope to impact not only our clients positively, but also the wider and more global community,” said Mrs Gee.- ends -For more information, or interview/photo requests, please contact:Joanne RahnDirectorzanthii communicationsPhone: 0402 148 334Email: joanne@zanthii.comFacebook: Zhanna GeeNutritionist and Founder of Slim By NatureDriven by passion and a desire to nurture, educate and empower women on their journey to a healthier and happier life, Zhanna Gee is the founder and driving force behind Slim By Nature - the holistic health and well-being company taking Australia, and the world, by storm.Born-and-raised in Latvia, and educated across the world in Switzerland, Germany and Australia, Mrs Gee immigrated to Australia more than 20 years ago, with no knowledge of the English language whatsoever. Today, she is a multi-linguist - fluent in three languages.Mrs Gee is an international business school graduate, qualified accountant, holistic nutritionist and weight-loss expert. She is currently in the process of completing her Master Herbalist Diploma Course, and  constantly advancing her skills in a variety of fields to enhance the lives of the women she meets.A natural entrepreneur, Mrs Gee established Slim By Nature in 2012, which now has a rapidly growing community of more than 30,000 women. Her goal is to help and positively affect the lives of 1,000.000 women across the globe in the next five years.The secret to Slim By Nature’s success is its exclusive all-natural “detox drops” used in conjunction with specially-tailored diet plans, and access to dedicated support and coaching from both the Slim By Nature team of experts, and the online community of devotees.A finalist in the International Women’s Day Leadership Award Program 2019, and Gold Coast Bulletin/Harvey Norman Women of the Year 2019  nominee, Mrs Gee is a strong believer that each woman is unique, beautiful and has something to offer and share with the world.Through Slim By Nature, Mrs Gee also supports the community by donating a percentage of profits to notable women’s charitable organisations.A mother of two children, Mrs Gee is an entrepreneur, multi-linguist, nutritionist, and female advocate.Slim By Nature Facebook: By Nature Website: Rosie Batty confirmed as keynote speaker at Friends With Dignity High Tea With Friends Brisbane 2019-04-03T03:44:45Z rosie-batty-confirmed-as-keynote-speaker-at-friends-with-dignity-high-tea-with-friends-brisbane Former Australian of the Year, Rosie Batty has confirmed her attendance as the keynote speaker at the Friends With Dignity High Tea With Friends on Saturday, 18th of May in Brisbane. The domestic and family violence crusader was named as an official ambassador of the Gold Coast based, nationwide charity, Friends With Dignity in September last year. In her role as ambassador, Ms Batty intends to offer her direct support by attending fundraising events raising valuable dollars to assist the work of Friends With Dignity. “My goal is to help raise awareness and draw attention to the valuable work Friends With Dignity is doing to help support victims at the lowest points of their lives,” said Ms Batty. “I've always looked at ways to help with fundraising across Australia for those who are assisting victims in crisis. “I aim to smartly and effectively maximise fundraising and give my direct support in whatever way that I can to help Friends With Dignity to achieve their goals, which includes expanding their services to different states of Australia.” Friends With Dignity, named the Australian Charity of the Year 2018, is a 100% volunteer-driven model, totally self-funded and reliant on donations of new and pre-loved whitegoods, furniture and household items from the community. With these, they transform empty spaces in to welcoming homes called “Sanctuaries” for men, women and children leaving refuge to start a new life. “What I like about Friends With Dignity is that they have identified a gap and a need, and offer a very practical way to help support victims at a time in crisis," said Ms Batty. Rosie Batty will meet and greet guests during the event, and will be personally signing copies of her best selling book ‘A Mother’s Story’ - with all profits going directly to Friends With Dignity. Friends With Dignity Chief Operations Officer, Zoe Scharenguivel says the event promises to be an inspirational afternoon of entertainment, friendship and fun. "What a fabulous opportunity for guests to enjoy a fabulous afternoon with colleagues, friends and family, and support such a worthwhile cause at the same time!," said Ms Scharenguivel. "Admission to this wonderful afternoon with Friends includes a glass of bubbles on arrival, decadent high tea, guest speakers, live auction, raffles and a whole lot of fun!"The key note speaker for High Tea With Friends Gold Coast is the remarkable Vanessa Fowler - sister of the late Allison Baden-Clay, and chairwoman of the Allison Baden-Clay Foundation.High Tea With Friends Gold Coast will be held on Saturday, 11th of May, 2019 at the Southport Sharks Events Centre. Tickets to both events can be purchased at this link with special discounts for group bookings. -ends- For all interview requests, please contact: Joanne Rahn Director zanthii communications Phone: 0402 148 334 Email: Facebook: Local physiotherapy practice named official health partner of the Gold Coast Triathlon 2019-03-29T10:15:21Z local-physiotherapy-practice-named-official-health-partner-of-the-gold-coast-triathlon Family-operated Gold Coast based physiotherapy practice, PhysioFlex has been named the official health partner of the forthcoming Gold Coast Triathlon - Luke Harrop Memorial. The practice specialises in treating athletes competing in the three continuous and sequential endurance races, and will offer its services free-of-charge to 1800 triathletes (around one-third of whom are expected to be Gold Coast locals) competing in the triathlon being held over the weekend of 6-7 April, 2019. The annual event is the largest sprint distance triathlon in Australia with competitors ranging from children to elite athletes seeking qualification to compete in the World Championships. Sentimentally known as the “triathlon for triathletes”, the Gold Coast Triathlon is an iconic Gold Coast triathlon event celebrating the life and times of larger-than-life character, Luke Harrop – a former Gold Coast triathlete who lost his life in a motor vehicle incident while training. PhysioFlex founder, Ben Mack, a former triathlete and elite middle distance runner himself, knows first-hand the huge incidence of injuries that come with being an athlete, and the importance of physiotherapy support, pre- and post-race. “Both Ben’s and my husband Victor’s experience as triathletes have inspired our support for the Gold Coast Triathlon,” said PhysioFlex manager, Prudence Gracio. “Our five physios will be providing complimentary advice and treatment at the event, including mini assessments, massage, trigger point and myofascial release, strapping and compression recovery through a collaboration with NormaTec Pulse Leg Recovery System. “We want to encourage triathletes to visit us pre and post-race, and moving forward. Our mission is to bring our love of, expertise and personal involvement in triathlons to our valued clients.” “As physiotherapists, we support everyone from children to the elderly, to people who are involved in sport, and particularly triathlon. "Physiotherapy plays an integral role in preparing for best performance, and avoiding injury; and of course, when all-too-often injury occurs (particularly where there is inadequate preparation), recovering and rehabbing from injury; ultimately to maximise the life of their involvement in their sport." Not only will the PhysioFlex team be offering athletes complimentary services, but their involvement in the Gold Coast Triathlon – Luke Harrop Memorial, will open doors for aspiring physiotherapy students. A large team of student physiotherapists from Bond University will be on hand to assist the PhysioFlex team, and gain practical experience working with the athletes. “In order for us to have the manpower to attend to all the athletes, we have partnered with Bond University to offer students the opportunity to gain invaluable practical, hands-on experience working alongside PhysioFlex’s team of highly-experienced physiotherapists,” said Ms Gracio. PhysioFlex is a family affair with brother and sister team, Ben Mack and Prudence Gracio at the helm, mother Jenny in charge of administration, and Prudence’s husband, Victor a triathlete and PhysioFlex ambassador. “PhysioFlex was born almost 10 years ago, based initially from a spare bedroom. Through immense work, the practice grew from there to its current location in Southport,” said Ms Gracio. “What sets PhysioFlex apart from other physio practices is the fact that we are a family-based business. We are not a franchise or a large corporate; our clients are treated like family. - ends - For more information or interview requests, please contact: Joanne Rahn Director zanthii communications Phone: 0402 148 334 Email: Facebook: Australian beauty pageant scraps bikini section and 'awkward' onstage question, encourages male contestants 2019-03-13T05:16:47Z australian-beauty-pageant-scraps-bikini-section-and-awkward-onstage-question-encourages-male-contestants An Australian beauty pageant has bucked the trend by eliminating the 'awkward' onstage question and answer, and banning the bikini modelling section. Charlie and Morgan Mancini, the mother and daughter team behind Miss & Mr Diamond Australia, drew on their own personal experiences to eliminate the harsh stigma behind pageantry, and this is what they say sets their system apart from the pack. “We simply ask contestants onstage to name their chosen charity, and explain why they chose it - confidence building at its finest,” said Charlie. “The kids are able to answer as they know about their charities. “We have also banned the bikini section of the competition as there is no need for such a round within pageants, especially those which are not based on appearance.” The pageant directors also not only support, but actively encourage, contestants to compete in pageants outside of their own. “The Miss Grand International pageant system made waves recently by revoking the title of a former winner because she entered a competing pageant after the completion of her reign,” said Morgan. “We actively encourage people who want to seriously compete in pageants to come to us first, and to consider our system as a stepping stone to other pageants. “Our system empowers entrants to go on and compete in international pageants. We have had many contestants credit their wins at other pageants to what they learnt with us at Diamond.” Another big difference is rather than focusing on the beauty aspect, Miss & Mr Diamond Australia base their competition on contestant's community work and their potential as positive role models. “First and foremost, our charity concept means each finalist is empowered to choose a charity close to their heart,” said Morgan. “Many pageants force contestants to raise money for the pageant's charity, we don’t do this. “We also do not collect charity money on behalf of contestants, the contestants send all monies raised directly to their charities of choice, and provide us with a letter from the charity to show the funds have been received.” Morgan, who has entered multiple pageants herself, knew that she didn’t fit the 'cookie cutter' pageant mould, and wanted to start her own pageant that included everyone, regardless of height, weight, age or gender. “Our pageant has categories from age 6 for females and 16 for males with no upper age limit,” said Morgan. “Diamond is one of the very few pageants in the world to eliminate age restrictions. We celebrate the beauty and diversity of every individual. “Our current Miss Classic Diamond Australia, Analieze Newton is 50 years old and she says that prior to our pageant, she was a lost soul, a ghost. Miss Diamond Australia has changed her life, she now sits on the judging panel at pageants around Australia and the world, and is a bit of a celebrity.” Unseen in most pageants here in Australia, the unique system of Miss & Mr Diamond Australia encourages men from all walks of life to compete, even including “Mr” in their pageant name. “There is often a very one-sided view of pageantry, which we feel has impacted the interest of men entering pageants. However, they have just as much to gain and enjoy as the females do,” said Morgan. “We are excited to see who will fill the very large boots of our current Mr Diamond Australia, who has done amazing things during his reign and is now an ambassador for male pageantry.” It is clear the entrants of Miss & Mr Diamond Australia have only good things to say about the system and its directors, as Morgan Mancini has just been awarded “Best National Pageant Director” by the world's leading pageant website, Pageant Planet. “We were over the moon, Morgan won fourth place last year, and first place this year for Best National Pageant Director. The winners are determined by feedback received from contestants, with the Pageant Planet director, Steven Roddy making the final call,” said Charlie. “Pageant Planet receives thousands of entries from all over the world, including from all of the big American pageants, so it really is the highest accolade anyone can receive in the pageant industry.” Applications for Miss Diamond Australia 2019 are now closed, with the gala grand final crowning event taking place on Saturday, 13th of April, 2019 from 5PM at The Emporium Hotel South Bank, Brisbane. More information about the Miss & Mr Diamond Australia pageant can be found at the website: and the application form for Miss & Mr Diamond Australia 2020 hopefuls can be found here: -ends- For all interview/photo requests, please contact: Joanne Rahn Director zanthii communications Phone: 0402 148 334 Email: Facebook: First-time Australian author honoured with prestigious international women's award 2019-03-07T07:10:12Z first-time-australian-author-honoured-with-prestigious-international-women-s-award-5 First-time Australian author, Tracey Horton has taken out the highly-prestigious Exceptional Woman of Excellence Award at the Women Economic Forum in New Delhi, India. The Women Economic Forum is the largest global gathering of female entrepreneurs and leaders worldwide, and is held annually in India, with regional events throughout the year. Women Economic Forum events empower women to expand their business opportunities and increase their global influence through peer exchange and networking across borders with inspirational input from some of the world’s most successful authors and speakers. “To receive recognition for my work in the company of such exceptional women from all over the world at the Women Economic Forum was an incredible honour, and it is something that I will always treasure,” said Ms Horton. “My work in helping people improve their lives on a daily basis is a reward in itself, but to be recognised for it is one of the crowning accomplishments of my career.  I couldn’t be happier.”  A highly sort-after motivational speaker and life coach, Ms Horton's self-published first offering, “The Unhappy Smile” has achieved critical and commercial success internationally. The book is a confronting, yet inspiring and uplifting account of how Ms Horton overcame childhood abuse and hurt, emerging gracefully and lovingly on to calm waters after navigating unimaginable turbulence early on in life. Tracey has packed the book with deep insights into understanding one's self and others, with unashamed references to her own experiences with abuse and brokenness. “I have laid out my life in The Unhappy Smile, there is no room to hide after this,” said Ms Horton. “The book is an example of a simple, normal woman who found some answers. “It's a self-help book with my story woven through it, there are exercises at the end of every chapter to help readers work through their own challenges.” Not one to wallow in self-pity, Ms Horton has always had an unshakable compassion for others, and helping and inspiring people has long been a passion for this gifted communicator. “When I think of this book, I imagine people young and old, men and women - all reading it. I can see it on coffee tables and in airports. I can see teenagers talking to their parents over it, and I can see couples reconciling through it,” said Ms Horton. The Unhappy Smile is the first of three books to be released, and contains a strong thread guiding its readers toward becoming the very best versions of their authentic selves. The Unhappy Smile has already attracted a celebrity following, with country music star Adam Brand crediting the book, and Ms Horton herself, with changing his life. “I needed to read this book, you need to read this book, the whole world needs to read this book,” said Mr Brand. “As a speaker, Tracey has the ability to cut through the chatter of life and speak directly to your soul. She is brutally honest and fiercely passionate, meeting her will change your life.” For more information or to purchase The Unhappy Smile, please visit -ends- For all interview/photo requests, please contact: Joanne Rahn Director zanthii communications Phone: 0402 148 334 Email: Facebook: Some more information about Tracey Horton: Tracey Horton has a story to tell, one of brokenness and victory, a confronting story but only by virtue of what she has endured. Tracey Horton is an International award-winning speaker, author, and qualified life coach. She has worked alongside men and women for over 25 years helping to rebuild lives and allowing people to become the best versions of themselves. She has spent years helping people to create their own authentic journey. Tracey knows her community and the needs of people. Knowing what real brokenness is she has managed to build her life from that of an alcoholic, abused, poverty-stricken child to where she is today…a passionate, warm, caring and amazing woman. Her experiences have given her insight and wisdom that are today being used to help people create the life they could only dream of. Through books, seminars, retreats and life coaching, Tracey has a way of equipping people to practically reach their goal and live their life to their fullest potential. Tracey has a strong marriage of 30 years to Paul, she has four beautiful daughters, 9 grandkids and has called the Gold Coast home since 1995. There are not many people in this world that after just moments in their presence, you feel changed! Tracey is a gift and will help you find your way through the wreckage to the life you deserve and never thought possible. Tracey's story is about her 20-year journey and struggle moving from brokenness to becoming whole after years of abuse and putting on an unhappy smile. Up until now, Tracey has only shared this story with her closest friends, and sometimes not all of it, because it’s oftentimes too hard digging up the past. But that’s exactly what she has done in this, her first book. “The Unhappy Smile is an example of a simple, normal woman who found some answers,” she adds. “It’s a self-help book with my story woven through it, with some exercises at the end of every chapter to help you work through any of your own challenges.” Her story is confronting, but only by virtue of what she has endured. What makes it so special is not so much the story in itself, but rather how Tracey has worked through it, emerging gracefully and lovingly onto calm waters after navigating unimaginable turbulence early on in life. It’s Tracey’s heart that shines through in this book. Not one to wallow in self-pity, she’s always had an unshakable compassion for others, and helping and inspiring people has long been a passion for this gifted communicator. One cant shake the sense that The Unhappy Smile will have as profound an impact on its readers as it does for those who meet Tracey Horton in person. Manuela Whitford selected as a finalist for National Awards 2018-08-14T03:48:18Z manuela-whitford-selected-as-a-finalist-for-national-awards Manuela Whitford, CEO and Founder of Friends With Dignity has been selected as a finalist for the 2018 AusMumpreneur Awards in the category of Making a Difference - Non-Profit. The AusMumpreneur Awards presented by The AusMumpreneur Network celebrate and recognise Australian Mums in business achieving outstanding success in areas such as business excellence, product development, customer service and digital innovation. The awards are designed to recognise the growing number of women who successfully balance motherhood and business in a way that suits their life and family. Friends With Dignity is a national not-for-profit organisation providing practical support to men, women & children who have been displaced by domestic and family violence. Manuela Whitford along with Zoe Scharenguivel, Julia McKenna and their dedicated team of volunteers work with registered referral agencies to transform empty houses into welcoming sanctuaries for people escaping domestic and family violence. Friends with Dignity was formed in 2015 and now has more than 100 volunteers who have helped furnish more than 372 homes for families fleeing violence, often with nothing but the clothes on their backs. “We’ve got three programs that we focus on. A sanctuary program which is the setup of the homes once they leave refuge, and that takes about seven days to source everything to furnish the home. If we get an urgent request which could be something like getting new pyjamas… we try and see to it within 24 to 48 hours,” said Ms Whitford. “We then have a Little Friends program which is specific to children in refuge. That addresses their back to school needs, extracurricular activities, and buying school uniforms. For instance, we had a child that we helped go to a graduation ball by buying their dress. That was really nice to see.”Manuela was inspired to launch Friends With Dignity after her time working as a nurse in the women’s prison system where she discovered many of the female inmates had “escaped” to prison because they weren’t safe in their own homes. “Being selected as a finalist means a lot and is a true reflection of the commitment our volunteers have to make a difference to families they will never meet. This acknowledgement displays our value to their team work and the value they offer within their own community,” said Ms Whitford. Friends With Dignity has overcome challenges as a completely self-funded not-for-profit organisation but has also seen great success in expanding services to Western Australia this year. It can be challenging to run a successful not-for-profit organisation whilst raising a family and Manuela gives this advice for others thinking about starting their own enterprise: “I’m really blessed in having a great leadership team and a board that knows the direction and my vision, so we work really closely. I can’t be there all the time and do everything. My role is to run the programs, and oversee them, but if I can’t, I’ve got my team backing me up. There will be times when I’m thinking something, and then my directors are already doing it, because weare on the same level. It’s a great gift to have in a team.” Read more about the awards at The winners of the 2018 AusMumpreneur Awards will be announced at an Awards dinner at White Night Receptions in Melbourne on Friday, 31st of August, 2018. For more information on the AusMumpreneur Awards visit: or contact Peace Mitchell on 0431 615 107 or For more information about Friends With Dignity, please visit: – ENDS –For further information or interview request, please contact:Joanne RahnDirectorzanthii communicationsPhone: 0402 148 334Email: joanne@zanthii.comFacebook: There is more to Indian performing arts than Bollywood, says artistic director of new stage spectacular, MEERA 2018-06-27T19:42:54Z there-is-more-to-indian-performing-arts-than-bollywood-says-artistic-director-of-new-stage-spectacular-meera-1 One Gold Coast woman is on a mission to prove there is more to Indian performing arts than Bollywood. Aarti Bajaj is the owner and artistic director of Wild Dreamer Productions, a ground-breaking Gold Coast based production house committed to pushing boundaries beyond the social norm. Meera, the brainchild of Ms Bajaj, is the ambitious first offering from Wild Dreamer Productions. Boasting a 300-strong cast and crew, the new stage spectacular will premiere at HOTA on the 4th of November this year. “Meera is a bold love story from 16th century Northern India about a royal Princess who believes in her love for Krishna (a Hindu God) to such a degree that she is willing to go against the norms of society for her love,” said Ms Bajaj. “This is a story of love, passion, betrayal and every emotion of human experience to make or break a person - Meera has it all.” During the writing process Ms Bajaj altered the interpretation of Meera to fit the wider audience. “I wanted to take all of the religious aspects out, and only focus on the pureness of love in the story. “Love is common for every living being, we all can have different religions and beliefs, but we all have one common expression, and that is love. “Everyone can recognise this theme when they walk into the auditorium, no matter where they come from, or what they believe. Apart from creating Meera, the vision for Wild Dreamer Productions is to present multiple unsung or not very well known stories from around the world. “My goal is to break different boundaries using globalisation and modernisation, to shine a light on different cultures and art forms,” said Ms Bajaj. “There is so much more to Indian dance, it is not properly propagated or spread in the wider world. The Indian arts is more than just Bollywood. Being professionally trained with a degree in dance, I am really passionate to bring real colours out to the world. “In Meera, there are eight dance forms; Indian classical, Indian contemporary, tap, jazz, ballet, African contemporary, pole, and we are aiming to get aerial. You will see pole in a different light in this production.” In regards to other performing arts featured in Meera, there is drama, narration incorporating opera singing  and plans to feature 2D and 3D projection mapping. “The music has been created from scratch from music composers from four different countries, using multiple genres,” said Ms Bajaj. “Costumes and jewellery have all been custom-made for the cast. It is about the true story of Meera, written by myself and scripted by a professional script writer on the Gold Coast.” Another major motivation for Ms Bajaj is to create a platform where she can give different artists the opportunity where they don’t need a profile to share their talent - if they have talent she intends to bring the platform to them. “All of the performers in Meera are local amateurs from the Gold Coast and Brisbane communities, and this gives me great pride,” said Ms Bajaj.   “I train them for a year, lead them to the beautiful stage and I am beyond thrilled to see everyone applaud them. “My ultimate goal is for Meera to see all the beautiful stages and audiences across the globe, to sing out beautifully and loudly so everyone can get involved.” Meera plays one-night only at the HOTA – Home of the Arts Paradise Showroom on the 4th of November, 2018. Tickets are available now at:   Learn more about this exclusive production here: Meera: Sponsorship Video Meera: WebsiteMeera: Facebook Please take a look at this brand new video of Aarti Bajaj discussing the new Wild Dreamer stage spectacular, Meera - set to debut at HOTA on the 4th of November, 2018: -ends-  For interview/photo requests, please contact: Joanne Rahn Director zanthii communications Phone: 0402 148 334 Email: Facebook: Friends With Dignity endorsed by comedian Christian Hull in his latest viral video 2018-06-27T19:32:00Z friends-with-dignity-endorsed-by-comedian-christian-hull-in-his-latest-viral-video High-profile Australian comedian, Christian Hull has released a satirical video entitled, "How to be a woman, and still stay safe" endorsing the work of nationwide domestic and family violence charity, Friends With Dignity. The 3:30 minute video, triggered by the murder of 22-year-old Melbourne woman, Eurydice Dixon, has gone viral with 506K views, 16K likes and more than 8,000 shares at his Facebook page alone.Friends With Dignity Founder and CEO, Manuela Whitford is urging the community to channel its anger around the passing of Eurydice Dixon in to driving action. "The tragic circumstances surrounding the passing of Eurydice Dixon is just one example of the violence against men, women and children happening in Australia on a daily basis," said Manuela. "Emotions drive action, people need to channel their anger to those who hold power to effect change! Complacency is awful and when we stay quiet this certainly creeps in!" Manuela is no stranger to violence, having left South Africa in search of a life where she and her family no longer had to live in fear. "About two years before immigrating, leaving family, friends and the place I called home, I was assaulted by eight men. I was on my way to see a patient and never did I imagine I would become a victim that day," said Manuela. "There are so many forms of violence and as much as I’m helping men, women and children affected by domestic and family violence as that is what I saw as prevalent here in Australia, I will stand against any form of violence toward anyone!" "Violence of any form or manner is unacceptable, and I will not allow my experience to define me. I am committed to making a change to a behaviour that affects not only the victim but their family, friends, community and our society!" Manuela is grateful for celebrities such as comedian Christian Hull using their high-profiles to draw attention to the problem, and also highlighting the need for action and change.   "We need to be more proactive, put more pressure on Government and make them accountable for allowing perpetrators to run free. Sentencing must be more rigid and hold people accountable for their actions," said Manuela. "We can only change behaviours by example, we only need to make one person accountable to be the example for the next. "A big thank you to Christian for sharing the link to the Friends With Dignity MyCause page in his video and Facebook post, and donating $50 of his own money to go toward the work we do!" View the video here: -ends- For interview requests, please contact: Joanne Rahn Director zanthii communications Phone: 0402 148 334 Email: Facebook: Abuse Survivors Set to Smile Again Thanks to Doctor Beauty Queen 2018-05-22T23:17:49Z abuse-survivors-set-to-smile-again-thanks-to-doctor-beauty-queen Those who have suffered at the hands of domestic, family and sexual violence will soon have a reason to smile again, thanks to Dr Sonia Sonia.   A personal survivor of family violence herself, this dentist and reigning beauty queen is using her past experiences as the inspiration to start her own charity, ReStored, which will offer free dental treatments to those who have endured abuse, such as repairing broken teeth and jaws.   "Beyond the psychological and financial strain, the medical implications of physical abuse is one aspect often overlooked," said Dr Sonia.   Coming to Australia more than a decade ago with nothing but the desire to leave her abusive situation behind and find a new way of life, Dr Sonia Sonia is now a dentist with three successful dental surgeries, an entrepreneur, a well-known personality and speaker in women dental forums around Australia and New Zealand, a pilot in training for her recreational license, and a reigning beauty queen with two titles under her belt. And most importantly, a wife and mother to two young children!   Dr Sonia Sonia has never let her past experiences keep her down.   ”I pushed through and fought back with education as my weapon, and the ongoing dream to eventually escape keeping me going,” said Dr Sonia.   “I had little money and no English when I first arrived in Australia in 2007, but after what I had endured – there was no giving up and no going back.”   Working with various charity organisations and having personally supported many women over the years - from offering shelter in her own home, to going to court with them - Dr Sonia Sonia has helped survivors of abuse to regain confidence and secure jobs.   She found a gap in the health industry (especially those services not covered by Medicare) and, as she had seen victims regularly come into her clinics with broken jaws and teeth, decided that this was her chance to make a real difference to these survivor’s lives.   “People have said to me ‘Why don’t you just donate the money?’, but I think that, though the easiest thing to do is set up a direct debit to a charity, nothing is more valuable in this world than your time and support. That’s what ReStored is all about. We will give services to those who need them in the form of our valuable time and skills.   “Though I am still working on establishing ReStored, I already have 12 dentists onboard willing to donate services worth close to $100,000 to these survivors.”   By her own admission, she is here to change the way dentistry is perceived by people, and believes that by being authentic, honest, and knowledgeable, the rest will surely follow.   “If victims can start to see themselves as survivors and go on to live happy and healthy lives free of violence and abuse then that is all the legacy that I could ever ask for.  I want the whole world to stop using the word ‘victim’ and sympathising with them. They are ‘survivors’ and braver than we think or could ever imagine!”   -ends-   For interview/photo requests please contact:   Joanne Rahn Director zanthii communications Phone: 0402 148 334 Email: Facebook: Gold Coast author "saved" by orangutans 2018-05-09T02:10:41Z gold-coast-author-saved-by-orangutans A former Gold Coast gym owner and aerobics instructor who endured a debilitating back injury credits orangutans with saving her life. Sue Feenstra had dedicated her life to attaining and promoting health and fitness until she sustained a back injury so serious that she was told she would remain bedridden for an undetermined length of time, possibly indefinitely. With the only hope of recovery a complicated back surgery, Sue faced a difficult road ahead. Instead of giving up, Sue let her mind wander through the forests of Borneo and wrote the 38,000 word work of fiction "Pongo - Hands Through The Forest" entirely on her iPhone. Born in the "Year of the Monkey" and having always felt an affinity for our primate cousins, Sue has had the plight of the orangutans in the back of her mind for many years. She is genuinely perplexed as to why nobody has really delved into their world via a literary platform before now. “They are such a gentle species,” said Sue. “People have written stories featuring all kinds of animals, and I was waiting for someone to write one about orangutans, but it just never happened. "This is a story that was waiting to be told." Aimed at readers of all ages and set for release in June this year, Pongo is a fictional tale about a young orangutan named Pongo who enlightens the reader of the plight of deforestation threatening his species. A story set to educate and inspire those setting off on their own journeys into high school and beyond, Pongo encourages conservation and protection of our precious planet. Teaming with the Orangutan Foundation International Australia and its founder Kobe Steele, an inspiration and advocate herself, Sue has pledged 15% of all book sales to go directly toward bringing the orangutan back from the brink of extinction before it’s too late, and with the recent loss of Sudan, the last male white rhino in existence, this message of conservation could not come soon enough. Sue does not see herself as an activist or a conservationist; but an advocate. She genuinely wants to start a movement, and used what could have been the end of everything to kickstart a new beginning. Living proof that any situation can be turned into a positive with the right attitude, Sue believes that as we are the caretakers of the world, we must come together to protect those who cannot protect themselves. This is a sentiment shared by many, with even Her Majesty The Queen getting in on the act. In her recent ITV documentary with David Attenborough entitled "The Queen's Green Planet", Queen Elizabeth II expresses her love of the environment, and how she hopes that many generations to come will still be able to enjoy the flora and fauna of today. Pongo - Hands Through The Forest can be pre-ordered now, with copies being shipped on the launch date of 5th of June, 2018 to co-incide with World Environment Day! For more information about Pongo - Hands Through The Forest, or to pre-order, please visit: Friends With Dignity #steppingup to provide assistance to DV survivors in WA 2018-03-26T07:22:16Z friends-with-dignity-steppingup-to-provide-assistance-to-dv-survivors-in-wa Almost two in three assaults committed in Western Australia are due to domestic or family violence, making it the most concerning statistic in the nation. A recent study taking data from over 20 sources reveals startling figures on the prevalence of abuse being carried out by family members and partners across the country with the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report showing that Western Australia has amongst the highest proportion of assaults related to family or domestic violence nationwide. Western Australia was second only to the Northern Territory in terms of the rate of domestic violence in 2016, with 792 victims of assault by a partner or family member per 100,000 people – and those reported represent only around 20 per cent of what's going on out there. Social media has revolutionised the way nationwide domestic and family violence support charity, Friends With Dignity is addressing the needs of society’s most vulnerable by enabling the not-for-profit to connect with volunteers and supporters via Facebook, and collaborate with as many different services and organisations as possible to improve and extend their services to those who need it most. Friends With Dignity is spreading its reach into Western Australia and across Australia with the aim of helping as many survivors of domestic and family abuse as possible. With domestic violence estimated to cost the country upwards of $20 billion annually, it has become a hot topic for discussion relatively recently with many government initiatives and other bodies campaigning against and raising awareness of its severity, alarming commonplace and negative outcomes on individuals and the wider community. To properly address a problem of this magnitude, it must be tackled from many different fronts; it is not enough to simply be brought to people’s attention. Exiting an abusive situation is just the beginning, with many getting out of unhealthy situations with nothing but the clothes on their backs. A safe and secure home is something that most of us take for granted so, among other projects, one major initiative of Friends With Dignity is the “Sanctuary” program, which utilises social media to appeal to thousands of everyday Australians to donate what they can to transform empty shells into homes for escapees of domestic abuse to start their journey free from violence, in a safe space, and with dignity. “Without the power of the community, we could not achieve what we have,” said Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Friends with Dignity, Manuela Whitford, a clinical nurse who established the charity after witnessing desperate women getting themselves incarcerated in order to find a place of refuge. Many women in the prison system are seeking refuge from violence happening within their homes - a place associated with safety, warmth and love. These women are committing crimes to escape. Though victims are overwhelmingly female, with one in ten being under the age of 19 in Western Australia, this help is not limited to women and children, but extends to men and the LGBTIQ community too. Domestic violence doesn’t discriminate by age, gender, culture, religion or economic background, so neither must the assistance available. As of last year the National Domestic Violence Order Scheme saw restraining orders become automatically recognised and enforceable all around Australia, rather than on a State by State basis, also eliminating the need for court appearances by victims seeking assistance. Victims need real support, both moral, physical and financial, in order to find the strength to put the detrimental situation or abuser behind them forever, and start completely afresh. Friends With Dignity endeavour to do just that with the belief that the cycle must be severed completely if survivors of abuse are to truly escape the situation they have found themselves in, especially where children are involved - witnesses of domestic abuse at such an impressionable age are six times more likely to commit suicide or may even continue on in life to become an abuser themselves. Friends With Dignity work through their network of referring agencies to keep anonymity in order to ensure that their clients’ privacy is always protected. They do their part for victims of domestic violence with no judgement. Their only concern being to ensure that those in need feel that they have a friend in a time of turmoil, and to also feel that they are finally able to reclaim their dignity in order to leave toxic situations behind and move forward with lives free from violence and abuse for good. Friends With Dignity is hosting its very first “High Tea With Friends” event in Western Australia this May in support of Domestic and Family Violence Awareness month. The event will be held at the Swan Yacht Club in East Fremantle on Sunday, the 6th of May, 2018 at 12-3PM. Tickets are $69 each, and include a glass of bubbles on arrival, decadent high tea, powerful and motivating guest speakers, raffles and a whole lot of fun! Tickets can be purchased online at -ends- For interview/photo requests, please contact: Joanne Rahn Director zanthii communications Phone: 0402 148 334 Email: Facebook: Friends With Dignity & Jeunesse Kids launch scholarship program to help little friends in need 2018-01-15T07:27:16Z friends-with-dignity-amp-jeunesse-kids-launch-scholarship-program-to-help-little-friends-in-need Friends with Dignity has partnered with Jeunesse Kids to award bi-annual monetary scholarships to children throughout Australia who have faced domestic and family violence. Rachel McVinish, General Manager of Jeunesse (Australasia?), was introduced to national not-for-profit organisation, Friends With Dignity when seeking a charity assisting children in need with whom to partner. “I knew as soon as I spoke with Julia and Zoe at Friends With Dignity, and learnt of the incredible work they do, that this was the charity Jeunesse Kids should be associated with, and from there, the idea of the scholarship program was developed,” said Ms McVinish. Jeunesse Kids, the charity arm of direct-selling company Jeunesse Global, seeks to empower communities to give children a brighter future. "We envision a world where all children have the opportunity to grow and flourish and look forward to a happy, successful future," said Ms McVinish. The Little Friends Scholarship program, powered by Jeunesse Kids, was announced in March 2017 at the Jeunesse Australia/New Zealand annual conference in Sydney, with the first round of scholarships open in June 2017. A total of 10 educational and extra-curricular scholarships were awarded in July and August, 2017 to children aged between 5-17 years of age, in almost every state of Australia. The scholarships help to cover a variety of areas from helping kids attend camp and after-school activities with their peers, to providing uniforms to attend school after the family’s home was burnt down. According to the Childhood Domestic Violence Association, it is statistically proven that exposure to domestic violence has a huge impact on children. Experts say that exposure can lead to short- and long-term negative mental, behavioural, and social effects. Further, children who witness physical, emotional or verbal domestic violence growing up are twice as likely to abuse drugs, and six times more likely to die by suicide. "We established the Little Friends Scholarship program, powered by Jeunesse Kids, to ensure all children who are facing or have faced domestic violence have the ability to normalise their lives,” said Friends With Dignity Co-Director and Chief Financial Officer, Julia McKenna. “The scholarships are designed to help young domestic violence survivors re-build their confidence by finding something they are good at, and ensuring their education continues. Normally, all Friends With Dignity programs are on a referral basis from organisations and refuges, however, the Friends With Dignity Little Friends Scholarship program affords parents the opportunity to submit an application personally. “The Little Friends Scholarship program gives parents the opportunity to tell their children's stories, and how the scholarship will improve their lives,” said Ms McKenna. “The application still needs to be co-signed by a support worker, GP, school principal, school counsellor, or the like.” If you are interested to apply for the Little Friends Scholarship Program, please visit to download an application form. Applications are open now, and close on Thursday 15 February 2018. -ends-