10 women making their ideas happen

Through our online magazine Ideas Hoist, we have been fortunate to interview lots of inspiring people with really amazing ideas.

So as part of International Women’s Day today we are highlighting ten fantastic women from our archives of interviews – all with ideas that are making a positive difference in the world right now.

#1 Hollie Gordon – Milaana

Hollie Gordon

Hollie Gordon is a young Australian working to increase community engagement through social enterprise. She developed her passion for social entrepreneurship and community engagement during her post-high school travel experiences, particularly in India.

During her final year of university Holly founded a social enterprise called Milaana, meaning “to connect people” in the Hindi language. Milaana does exactly that – connecting passionate individuals with community oriented organisations by promoting project-based, impact placement opportunities. It also exists to empower youth by increasing both their job readiness and their community engagement.

Milaana was selected as the winner of the “Education Pillar” in the 1776 Challenge Cup in Sydney – part of a global startup competition where she will contest the final in Washington DC this year. And Milaana was also a recipient of the Brisbane Lord Mayors Budding Entrepreneur Award Program. This Award provided a grant that funded Hollie’s attendance of the G20 YEA Summit as an Australian Delegate.

With so much already behind her, she is certainly a young change-maker to watch in the future!

For more on Hollie Gordon, read our interview here.

#2 Melanie Perkins – Canva

Melanie Perkins

Melanie Perkins is the CEO and co-founder of Canva, and is a bit of a rock star of the Australian start-up scene, having raised one of the biggest seed rounds (more than 3 million dollars) for an Australian start-up for her online design platform. Since launching less than two years ago, Canva has grown to well over 1 million users who have created more than 7 million designs.

With a background in graphic design and a serial entrepreneur, Melanie has been able to democratise design; Canva is opening up the world of graphic design to professionals and everyday people alike.The Canva platform makes it simple to create social media graphics, presentations, posters, blog graphics, invitations and much more. In the male dominated tech industry, Melanie is a beacon of light for women entrepreneurs, though her success is perhaps not so surprising given her incredible drive and highly adventurous spirit. Melanie is not just a tech entrepreneur but an intrepid traveller and adventurer.

Want to know more? Read our full interview with Melanie here.

#3 Phaemie Ng – Two Rags


Phaemie Ng is a social entrepreneur and founder of Two Rags, a modern underwear brand with heart. Her brand provides a tangible way for customers to give back and help others in need. Having been struck by images of poverty and inequality, she seized the opportunity to create something meaningful and worthwhile to make the world a better place.

Originally from Singapore, Phaemie attended college in the USA and afterwards lived and worked in New York City. She has worked in the digital and marketing space in both New York and Sydney – experience which came in very handy while building Two Rags. In August this year, Phaemie took the plunge to working on the development of Two Rags full-time in Sydney.

Read more about Phaemie and Two Rags in our interview here.

#4 Jane Martino – founder of Smiling Mind (amongst other things!)


Jane Martino is renowned for developing thriving businesses, having founded and one of Australia’s most renowned communications agencies, Undertow Media, and subsequently recognised as a finalist in the Telstra Young Business Women’s awards in 2005.

Based in Melbourne, Victoria, Jane is a published author, with 72,000 copies of her ‘Thank You’ books sold nationwide. She has combined her personal love of young people, giving back and meditation to create Smiling Mind, a not for profit, modern approach to meditation for young people – with a mission to create happier, healthier and more compassionate young people. She also co-founded and is CEO of Shout. – a micro-donation app.

Read more in our interview with Jane here. Continue reading

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