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Celebrating Incredible Women of The Tweed!

08 March, 2021

It’s not just on International Women’s Day that the incredible talents, passion and contributions of the Tweed’s wonderful women is celebrated – we love what they do 365 days a year!

But we wanted to acknowledge this day of global female recognition by introducing you to just some of the women in the Tweed’s travel space that you may well meet on your next holiday our way.

You’ll find our fabulous female leaders in the local food and drink scene, creating and curating works of art and working hard to make all your holiday dreams come true.

Read on for inspiration aplenty!

Zeta Grealy – Zeta’s Coffee & Origin House

Driven by the passion of its eponymous owner, Zeta’s Coffee aims (and achieves if we might say so!) to produce one of the finest single origin coffees in the world from its stunning plantation set high in the green hills of Carool. Zeta Grealy is a powerhouse, fuelled (by coffee!) and her focus on growing a product that reflects the terroir of the Northern Rivers. Not content to just grow, harvest and supply her beans to specialty roasters, such as Campos Coffee, Zeta also recently added Zeta’s Coffee Origin House to the plantation, inviting visitors to stay overnight and literally wake up and smell the coffee – with sunrise views over her sustainably grown plantation.

Tania Usher – Blue Ginger Picnics

Creating beautiful picnics is just one string in Tania Usher’s bow – this marketing strategist, editor, author and entrepeneur is passionate about supporting local food producers and driving a sustainable future through her company Blue Ginger Picnics. With swoon-worthy picnic settings and stylings, including her new Picnics on Water with Tweed Escapes, Tania has worked hard to create gorgeous al fresco moments that serve 100% local Tweed produce with no single use plastic. Her picnics are loved by couples romancing, families reconnecting, gal pals on a day out and anyone seeking a special way to celebrate. All this hard work was rewarded in 2020 when Blue Ginger Picnics won Gold at the Australian Tourism Awards.

Allira Cornell – The Regent Cinema

What do you get when you pair a 1947 Art Deco movie theatre with a creative new owner who grew up on film sets and is herself a passionate film buff and theatre lover? A wondrous refurbishment and packed movie program, thanks to the talents and vision of Allira Cornell. The Regent Cinema is part of the M|Arts Precinct in Murwillumbah and, since taking over the space in mid 2020, Allira has refreshed the space and re-opened the doors with arthouse films and new releases, live music performances and special film events. And with the Regent’s beautiful balcony bar back open, we’re totally ready for our close up!

Cassie Potts – M|Arts Precinct

With an upbeat vibe and catchy job title – Stylist, Designer, Maker, Feeder, Booze-Slinger – it’s clear Cassie Potts is a creative dynamo. Her eclectic touches are found in Brisbane’s 100% vegan bar, her own Fitz&Potts, and also throughout Murwillumbah’s M|Arts Precinct, a combination arts hub that’s home to a gallery, resident creatives, art stores and more. Cassie’s passion projects at M|Arts, Murbar and Pink Bar, are opening in 2021 and she’s also bringing a retro vegan food van to the space. Living a rainforest dream in the small locale of Dum Dum with a menagerie of animals including a pet 300kg pig, even Cassie’s home reflects her artistic approach to lifestyle design, featured recently in the interiors journal SPACES and Frankie magazine.

Kristy Mason – Photographer, Publisher, Event Manager

Kristy Mason is one of those rare marvels that exudes an aura of serene calm all while managing multiple businesses of her own, plus co-owning a number of others. Living life with partner James and two children in Casuarina Beach, Kristy combines her passions for photography, the Tweed region and weddings to capture, create and share beautiful moments and memories for people. You’ll find her snapping at Kristy Mason Photography, keeping readers up-to-date at Tweed Coast Guide and helping couples plan their perfect day at Tweed Coast Weddings. She also created the annual Tweed Coast Wedding Trail, showcasing over 150 venues and local suppliers to around 1800 attendees.

Christine Manfield – Chef, Author, Gastronomic Traveller

Christine Manfield, one of Australia’s most celebrated chefs, an award-winning author, gastronomic tour host and champion for sustainable tourism and immersive food experiences, is also a Tweed local, relocating here in early 2020. From a professional culinary life with ground breaking restaurants in Sydney and London to books that have spiced up the lives of keen cooks around the world, Christine has contributed much to the Tweed food scene – connecting with and promoting our farmers and producers, hosting pop-up events at the Tweed Artisan Food Weekend and launching her Tweed Coast Food Adventures, small group tours that uncover the myriad tastes of the region. She’s also a generous supporter of charities ranging from indigenous literacy to cultural diversity and organisations helping women and children in need.

Susi Muddiman OAM – Gallery Director, Tweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre

There are many reasons why the Tweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre is heralded as one of Australia’s leading art spaces – and a key reason is the passion, expertise and hard work of its Director, Susi Muddiman OAM. Originally from Lismore, Susi took her skills to the Grafton and Wagga Wagga regional galleries before returning home to the Tweed Regional Gallery. As Director, she managed the development of the Gallery’s prestigious Margaret Olley Art Centre, has hosted three regional tours of the Archibald Prize and created opportunities for regional and visiting artists alike to reach new audiences. Susi was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia in 2015 for her remarkable contribution to the arts.

Michele Stephens – Farm & Co

Owner and energetic force behind Farm & Co in Kingscliff, Michele Stephens spent her early years growing vegetables and learning to manage cattle, horses, sheep and pigs. Following a career in health, she came back to this foundation with the realisation that good health starts from the ground up, literally. She bought an avocado farm, studied Biological and Organic Farming and set off on her passion for healthy living via sustainable farming practices. The stunning result is Farm & Co, with abundant vegetable crops, seasonal sunflower fields, a host of much-loved farm animals, well-stocked fresh produce store and a seasonal plant based cafe featuring just-picked goodness, all a healthy testament to Michele’s incredible vision and paddock to plate philosophy.

Helen Otway – Mist Gallery

A thong flip or two from the hallowed sands of Cabarita Beach, you’ll find Helen Otway’s marvellous Mist Gallery, surely named for the soft sea-mist that perfumes this beautiful, art-filled space. Opened by Helen in 2020 to offer affordable art reflective of Australian life, Mist Gallery showcases the work of talented local artists, including Helen’s own beautiful pieces, with regularly changing exhibitions of paintings, works on paper, sculpture, glass, ceramics and even handcrafted jewellery. With majors in Art and Film and a career in arts education, Helen is a keen art collector and Foundation Member of the Tweed Regional Gallery with an altruistic aim to connect people with art that nourishes the soul.

Sue Beckinsale – Murwillumbah Farmers Market Manager

A dream for locavores, slow food advocates and farm-to-plate purveyors, the must-visit Murwillumbah Farmers Market owes much of its goodness to Sue Beckinsale who has been its driving force for 8 years. Every Wednesday morning, rain or shine, Sue works with the Tweed’s farmers, artisan producers and providores to serve up a vast food bowl, from seasonal fruit and veg, nuts and berries to bread, cheese, honey, olives and basket-loads more. Right now, Sue’s also busily preparing a party to celebrate the Market’s 10 year anniversary (on Wednesday 14 April), an incredible reflection of her dedication to good food and community spirit.

Keri Algar – Cabarita Spirits

Take a wandering spirit, a passion for the romance of rum and an unquenchable thirst for learning and you’ll get Keri Algar and her delicious Soltera small batch, single origin rum, made right here in the Tweed. Captivated by the swarthy sip under starry Caribbean skies, Keri set about bringing her rum dreams to the Tweed, where plentiful sugarcane fields – a key ingredient in the making – can be found. She got busy learning about rum and its distilling secrets, developing her own style and methods and launched Soltera in 2020, producing small batches from local molasses, bringing to life the terroir of the Tweed. We love that Soltera translates from the Spanish as a self-driven woman – unbound, released, free – capturing the intrepid spirit of Keri in a taste-filled bottle.

Joan van Lieshout – Olley Apartments

Well-known to long-time locals as a former Mayor and Tweed Shire Councillor, Joan van Lieshout continues to advocate for the many charms of the region, most notably its distinguished arts scene. A passionate supporter of the Tweed Regional Gallery and its remarkable Margaret Olley Art Centre, Joan took to remaking and remodelling her 1930s Art Deco home in Murwillumbah to authentically embody the essence of Olley’s creative life and time – the result is a stunning must-stay for art-lovers to the Tweed – the Olley Apartments in Murwillumbah. Joan has also contributed her time and expertise to projects ranging from support for disadvantaged women to sustainable food solutions.