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Like most of the country, I was absolutely stoked to see Michelle Payne win the Melbourne Cup earlier this month.

It was an important moment for women in sport – when the only woman to win the Melbourne Cup in its 155-year history (on a 100-1 horse, no less!) dismounts and immediately exposes the challenges for women in the industry, people are going to sit up and pay attention.

Not only is Michelle’s win an enormous achievement for women in the racing industry but it’s a moment to celebrate women kicking goals everywhere! And more than that, I believe it’s an important reminder that we can triumph over any adversity. From what I know of Michelle’s story, she’s triumphed against considerable tragedy and hardship.

To me, this is true success.

Success in any field never comes easy. It comes when people have guts and determination, and when they choose to stick out the rough parts.

You don’t succeed in spite of challenges, you succeed because of them.

There are so many incredible people out there, sticking with it, reaching beyond the things that test them, marking their success in myriads of ways. I take my hat off to each and every one of you doing the same.

On this point, I’m proud to say that I’ve been acknowledged as part of The Australian Financial Review and Westpac 100 Women of Influence for 2015.

It’s a huge honour to stand alongside women who are boldly defining the future of Australia, forming new standards of excellence and challenging how we view success in our everyday lives.

Women like Ann Sherry, the Overall Winner of the 100 Women of Influence Awards.

Ann became CEO of Carnival Australia in 2007, overhauling the group and its reputation, and boosting annual cruise numbers from 100,000 to over a million! Her influence in corporate Australia started at Westpac, where she helped make it the first private-sector bank to introduce paid maternity leave and started the Jawun project to connect corporate volunteers with Indigenous communities.

And women like Jenna Tregarthen, who won the Category for Young Leader. While studying for her PhD in Clinical Psychology, Jenna took a leave of absence to help a loved one living with an eating disorder. It led to her creating Recovery Record, a mobile health site that provides treatment for sufferers and timely clinical data for care teams. In three years it has grown to 300,000 users who have completed more than 10 million therapy sessions, and is the new standard of care for specialists and healthcare systems across eight continents.

These are just two of another 97 women on this list who are kicking serious goals every day. I recommend you check out the rest of these absolute champions. I’m so inspired by them, and I know you will be too.

For now, I’ll leave you with some of Ann Sherry’s advice:

“Try new things, grab opportunities. Be tenacious. The world will change, things will go wrong. Life is messy … and be yourself”.

Keep pushing the boundaries, champions, I’ll be right alongside you!

Turia xx

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