NIKKI WILLIAMS, 39
"When I met my husband at a party 20 years ago, it was love at first sight – even though I don’t really believe in that. We’ve spent half our lives together, travelled and had three kids. We really are partners in life and I think it’s rare to find something so special. This pic is my surprise to him on our anniversary.’’
DEB MORRISON, 37, AND ALFIE
“In May this year, I became one of only five per cent of female founders in tech to be backed by an investor. After a year of negotiations with the investor, he backed my app PetCloud – the Airbnb for pets. I’m still pinching myself.”
MASSILIA AILI, 19
"In June I directed a charity week at my university. It was the first time it had been held at the uni, so it was hard trying to get people involved. In the end, we raised $9000 to help orphans and it was the most satisfied I have ever been. I genuinely felt that I made a difference to their lives."
LEOLA ROSE SMALL, 35
“When I was made redundant from my marketing job in August, I was devastated. But I realised hitting the bottom means you can climb up. These past few months, I’ve been able to concentrate on myself … and figure out what I want. The best is yet to come.”
ANIA KEBABJIAN, 27
“I am Armenian, [was] born in Syria and came to Australia in December 2016, after fleeing the war. When I arrived, everything was different: the weather, the people, the food. It took me a while to get used to Aussie slang – I’m still practising how to say “mate” – but this year, I finally felt settled. I feel safe here – that’s the best thing.”
ROBYN RUSSELL, 54
"My sisters both have Huntington’s Dis- ease, so this year I cut my work back to four days per week. Now I get to spend Mondays with them. Sometimes we spend the day going to doctor’s appointments, but the best Mondays are when we just pretend Huntington’s doesn’t exist and walk the dog or sit on the lounge and catch up with family news. That time is precious to me."
SAMANTHA LOW, 25
“I wanted a fresh start in 2017. I was in quite a negative relationship last year and my self esteem was low. I decided to take up Muay Thai boxing and even though I nearly fainted in my first class, I’ve been training all year. Needless to say, punching and kicking someone is a good way to let my frustrations out, but it’s also built my confidence. I get stronger every week.”