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My Ode to the Awesome Doers in My World

Have you ever sat back and asked yourself about the biggest ‘influencers’ in your life? 

  • Who are they? 
  • Why are they influential to you?
  • What’ve they done that is so great?
  • How did you come across them?
  • When did their influence really impact your life? 
  • Where did they learn to be so fricken awesome?!
  • What are the attributes that shine from them?

Often when you ask a Kiwi fella this question, more often than not an immediate answer is Richie McCaw. 

Now, I respect the hell out of Richie, but I always ask why

And again, I am met with an immediate answer of, ‘Cos... he’s a fucking legend!’

Straight up, no arguments here! I don’t disagree, he really fucking is!

But, what makes him a legend

What are his strongest attributes? 

How have his actions, leadership or approach to life influenced you?

More often than not it is here where the story and conviction of the answer starts to break down (nice wee rugby analogy there…).


And in all honesty, there are some people I admire simply because they are the bloody coolest, I don’t know all that much about them, but surface value, they’re seemingly bloody choice! 

And again if I am honest, it is generally those ones that tend to eventually let me down (not their fault, totally mine).


So this blog, is what I would like to call:

“My Ode to the Awesome Doers in My World”

(sorry it isn’t catchier)


The get up, stand up, kick it in the ass, smash it out the gate kind of awesome doers.

The “I will not sit here and put up with this shit for one more minute” awesome doers.

The “I don’t care if you think I am crazy” awesome doers. 

The “I have a lot on my plate, but more needs to be done” awesome doers.

The “relentlessly optimistic, hard to derail, passionate, resilient” awesome doers.

The “I will stand for something, even if I stand alone” awesome doers.


Because THESE awesome doers.

Have directly impacted my life. 

Have shared their time with me.

Have showcased to me time and time again what an epic human is.

And in turn, influenced me.

Not to go buy the latest “it” product that has just launched.

But to lift my game on the daily. 

To not stand by and let the world be something I don’t want it to be. 

To get in behind myself and know that the path I choose, I am meant to be on, no second guessing.


So, who are these undercover heroes in my world

Well, to be honest, there are many.

Each for their own different reasons. 

Today I have chosen to write about five of them.

And I could literally write a blog about each of these people without any kind of writer's block, but today you are getting an overview… which is actually WAY harder to write!


Tara Lorigan MNZM

The kind of cheerleader every single woman should have in their lives!

I was lucky enough to have Tara as my Business Growth Mentor for 3 months in 2020 and for 12 weeks my Friday mornings were filled with empowerment, challenge, encouragement, knowledge sharing and uncovering skills I didn’t know I had!

My resilience and confidence in myself grew immeasurably and I can hand on heart say Hey Mama Movement going online wouldn’t have happened without her.   

Tara is an exceptional coach, with strong intuition and a focused drive to ensure others around her thrive to be the best they can be and not be deterred by obstacles.


Sacha Coburn

The only woman I know who would walk into a room of strangers who were a bit quiet/flat and skip around the room singing “let’s get it started...” to lift their energy!

It goes without saying (both because of my love of music and my uncoordinated dancing ability) that this lady really tickled my fancy from the outset!!

From Sacha I have learnt about being aware of what needs to be right in my own world for me to perform at my best, to be agile both in thinking and in action and to always wear ‘perspectacles’ (I share this gem with a lot of people).   

Sacha is a call it how it is, take no shit, activating, problem solving force of nature! 


Catherine van der Meulen

With Catherine I had imposter syndrome when she first contacted me! I read about her and thought she must have meant to message a different Dairne Burns (haha).  

I have had my thinking opened and challenged, been introduced to so many amazing humans, been supported and been invited on a path to continue learning and developing myself. 

Catherine is genuinely thoughtful, curious, a connector, a deep thinker and focused on making the world a better place.


Casey Kopua

The legend who stands out in a crowd (because of the legacy she carries and because of her height! 😉).  Her achievements are incredible, her passion for what she does is unquestionable and her genuine care for children to have the best lives possible is authentic.

I got to talk to Casey just before the final trial for the Silver Ferns team to be named to go to the World Cup in England, she had a fire in her eyes I had never seen before and after a korero she looked me straight in the eye and said “we’re going to win”.  Now, for the record, a lot of stupid people had counted NZ out of gold medal contention, but sitting on the couch watching that final, I had no nerves, even when the game was tight, I just had a certainty, that Casey, Laura and the Silver Ferns were going to win, there was no plan B.   

Casey is fierce, competitive, determined, kind, has a great sense of humour and is relentless in the face of a challenge. 


Monica Leggat MNZM

Mons, a voice I have known since I was 7 years old, at my first ever game of netball. If you know netball in the Waikato and in New Zealand, you would have encountered the beautiful, passionate and hardworking Monica. 

She was the Manager of the World Cup Winning Silver Ferns Team in 1987 and the stories told of the lengths she went to ensuring the team had everything they needed with minimal disruption is legendary. She received many prestigious awards, but her legacy is in the time she gave to others, to help them, support them and lift them - and I am so grateful for the time she shared with me, she believed in me and encouraged me in all my netball endeavours and her pride when I began managing netball was something I will never forget “you were meant to do this, I am so proud of you”.     

Monica was selfless, caring, competitive, crafty, determined, giving, thoughtful, passionate and committed. 

Monica passed away in March 2019 but the netball world will never forget the impact she had on it.  


Now if I pull on just the strengths of theirs that I have listed above that have shone the brightest to me (and we know that this list is far from exhaustive!) 

You have got some serious super powers.

From a serious list of awesomely successful female New Zealand doers.  


  • Coach
  • Intuitive 
  • Focused on others thriving 
  • Honest 
  • Knowledgeable
  • Authentic 
  • Activator 
  • Problem solver
  • Thoughtful
  • Curious
  • Connector
  • Generous
  • Deep thinker 
  • Focused on making the world a better place.
  • Fierce
  • Competitive
  • Determined
  • Modest
  • Kind
  • Great sense of humour 
  • Relentless
  • Selfless
  • Caring
  • Crafty
  • Giving
  • Passionate 
  • Committed 


Now what I can 100% guarantee you is that it is not easy to let those attributes shine all the time.

We all have our off days, even our superheroes (I’m sorry if I just burst some bubbles there). 

No one is perfect. 

No one can shine bright like a diamond all the time without getting a little tired.

But what I can also guarantee you is that these women take the time to reflect, rebuild and get back to being an awesome doer.

They don’t give up.

Even when their world feels unbalanced or overwhelming.

They are in hot pursuit of doing the doing that they do best.

Because that is what Awesome Doer’s do!


And so here, “My Ode to Awesome Doers In My World” comes to a close. 

I urge you to look into your world.

Find your Awesome Doers.

Take note of what makes them shine.

See what you can learn.

Ask them questions.

Spend time with them.

And also remember to be generous with your time for others. 


And be super aware of the fact that you are influencing others around you too!