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Shar Moore

Shar Moore (image supplied)
Shar Moore (image supplied)

Did you know that in Australia, women in their 50s and 60s are considered the fastest-growing homeless age group. To combat this ongoing community issue, a new TV show named ‘The Girlfriend Hour’ has been created by multi-international award-winning Gold Coast TedX speaker/CEO & founder of Sharanis Publishing House, Shar Moore. With live filming underway at Helensvale Community Centre and Library between June 13 to 15, we got to know Shar before the launch of her new TV show.

Tell us a bit about yourself.
In a nutshell, I am feverishly committed to helping women shine. It’s a good thing that I have created a publishing and media company, as this provides the platform for the women we work with to truly stand out. As a mum of 3 adult children, 2 grandchildren, my hubby and I work from our beautiful home and have created the perfect work-life balance. I’m excited about helping women take their stand and through our Feminessence® movement, we profile women through our magazines and books. I’m pretty darn excited about the upcoming TV Show ‘The Girlfriend Hour’ as it’s going to be a refreshing approach to modern-day life.

How long have you been a Gold Coast local?
We have been on the Gold Coast for five years now.

The Girlfriend Hour TV Show will take Australia by storm (image supplied)
The Girlfriend Hour TV Show will take Australia by storm (image supplied)

What do you love the most about the Gold Coast?
The vibe of the Gold Coast captured my heart from the moment we relocated from Brisbane. The particular feel is unmatched by any city in Australia and continues to grow in terms of stature as a city on the rise, as well as provide a home to a wide range of nationalities all seeking a location to be proud of. Oh, and there are some gorgeous boutiques!

Tell us about The Girlfriend Hour TV Show you have coming up.
The Girlfriend Hour® brings a whole new approach to live TV. We aim to shine a light on the subjects people discuss quietly amongst themselves. The Girlfriend Hour, truly is a dream come true for me. Bringing together a stellar lineup of influential, seasoned and powerful women (and men) to inspire and empower others. This has been my purpose, my vision and my dream and the reason for launching Feminessence® magazine and now The Girlfriend Hour®. Women’s voices, our stories and our experiences matter. By sharing our stories, we lift each other up, we inspire action and we help each other to rise to the occasion. The full production of GFH has already been accepted on Binge TV to an audience of 60 million viewers.

Can the women of the Gold Coast be part of the live studio audience?
Yes! We have invested in a venue with space for 150 people to join us live during filming each day. See what happens behind the scenes during production, the good, the bad and the better, as we bring to light positive, heartwarming content with the experience of over 300 live events both here in Australia and abroad. Tickets are available now and are definitely worth wagging work for!

Shar Moore with friend (image supplied)
Shar Moore with friend (image supplied)

What’s the importance of spreading awareness about ongoing community issues like homelessness amongst Aussie women?
If we fail to continuously raise the awareness of the underrepresented, their needs simply become buried in the mountain of new issues that present themselves year in, and year out. What appears in the media often reigns supreme over long-term issues, as they draw the current attention of those in power to effect change. We just can’t leave the longer-term problems behind in favor of the new trend. 

Being an entrepreneur, what has been the biggest challenge(s) you have faced?
Multi-tasking. When you run a bustling publishing company, you have many balls to juggle and it can be challenging carving out time for yourself, your partner, your family and then your friends. I can’t say I’ve figured it out completely, but on a Friday afternoon, you will find me wagging with a girlfriend somewhere on the Coast.

Shar Moore (image supplied)
Shar Moore (image supplied)

What does a typical day in the life of you look like?
My day starts around 6am with a scan of my activity on Social Media before entering our Operating Systems to ensure all tasks are being attended to. The calendar is next in line to see what appointments I have for the day before touching base with the team, who are now based in four different countries. My first break for breakfast is at around 8.30am before my first scheduled calls begin around 9am. 

An update on strategies being employed across the business in Femiessence Magazine and the Girlfriend Hour, reviewing the Program, as well as progress on Magazine issue deadlines, takes me through to lunch at around 1pm. More scheduled calls in the afternoon whilst updating the team on outstanding tasks. Production updates usually follow in the later afternoon before a break for dinner. At 7pm further reviews of Social Media to gain an understanding of the activity of the day before closing off round 8.30pm. Oh and in amongst that, I take my puppy for 2 walks around the block.

Tell us the best piece of advice someone has ever given you and why you consider it the best?
The best advice I have ever been given is “to go an inch wide with your area of focus whilst maintaining a mile deep concentration”.

Shar Moore with Gold Coast skyline (image supplied)
Shar Moore with Gold Coast skyline (image supplied)

What are you looking forward to the most in the next 12 months?
Honestly? I’m excited to film the TV shows. It’s been a dream for 10 years or more and I just know that it will become the best friend to so many around the world. And personally, meeting my newest grandchild in August.

What are your Gold Coast favourites…
Café: Cafe Catalina, Broadwater Parklands
Coffee spot: Pearl & Ash, Brickworks Southport
Restaurant: Mr Kojima, Chevron Island

How do you each choose to spend your days off?
Family time on the weekends gains my foremost attention. Boating, travel and time with my 3 children and 3, soon-to-be 4 grandchildren. This fills my tank week in and week out. Of course, I also love time out with my girlfriends just relaxing without any time restraints.  

Briony Benjamin

Briony Benjamin (image by Anne-Carolien Köhler of Chasing Studio)
Briony Benjamin (image by Anne-Carolien Köhler of Chasing Studio)

I think we can all say that lately, while we try to live our day to day lives as normal as can be, life has been tough – COVID has certainly sent the world into a tizzy. One book that we could all take a page from is ‘Life Is Tough But So Are You’, written by Briony Benjamin. Aside from being the author of this book and a Gold Coast local, she has a long resume of achievements particularly in the viral video space at Mamamia. Add to this, Briony is a Stage 4 Lymphoma survivor. We found out a bit more about Briony ahead of her official book launch (Tuesday 3rd August 2021), and what exactly she loves about the Gold Coast.

How long have you been a Gold Coast local?
My family moved to the Coast when I was one and has been based on the Coast for the past 34 years. I’ve loved growing up in the hinterland of the Gold Coast, it’s a magical place to be a kid. Our family ran a local vet hospital in Mudgeeraba so I worked there growing up. It was always a lot of fun and we would collect a lot of orphan animals in the process. A child’s dream.

Life Is Tough, But So Are You book (image by Anne-Carolien Köhler of Chasing Studio)
Life Is Tough, But So Are You book (image by Anne-Carolien Köhler of Chasing Studio)

Tell us a bit about yourself.
After going to school on the Gold Coast, I ventured overseas for my ‘gap year.’ I worked and lived in a place called Giggleswick, England and worked at the Giggleswick School, it was the most fantastic year (it was basically Hogwarts). Then I came back and completed a Commerce Degree, decided I didn’t want to be an accountant and so enrolled instead in a Film Degree. After the three year degree, I moved to the big smoke to embark on a career in that industry and haven’t looked back. I loved creating short-form video that has an important message at it’s core and has the power to connect with people all over the world. That became my number one passion.

What do you love the most about being a Viral Video Producer?
There is nothing like the thrill of watching a video go viral. It’s seriously fun creating something that goes out into the world and touches millions of people. Whether it gives them a laugh, makes them feel something, helps them to feel less alone, or gets an important message through in an engaging and entertaining way. I just love it.

Can you tell us why you decided to turn the camera on yourself to document your life changing experience?
When I was first diagnosed with Stage 4 Lymphoma I didn’t know what was going to happen to me, I certainly hoped I’d survive and come out the other side, but I suppose you just don’t know. Encouraged by some friends, I started filming the journey. It was a nice distraction from what I was going through and in a way meant I could still ‘work.’ It was also quite therapeutic to get my thoughts down on video as I went and it helped me navigate the whole wild time.

Briony Benjamin (image by Anne-Carolien Köhler of Chasing Studio)
Briony Benjamin (image by Anne-Carolien Köhler of Chasing Studio)

So ahead of the launch of your first ever book, can you explain how it went from an idea to a published book?
I created a video out of my experience called ‘Life Is Tough But So Are You.’ When it went out into the world, it went viral and touched so many people. I had some amazing comments from people who said it had moved them and touched them in so many ways. One lady said she’d reached out to her mother who she hadn’t spoken to in years because it made her see how futile and petty their fight had been and this is the one life she gets. Other cancer patients reached out and said how it had given them such a lift and reminded them to just keep going. One of the people that saw this video was my publisher at Murdoch Books. They reached out and were interested to turn the heart and soul of the video into a helpful guidebook for anyone navigating a tough time.

If you could give anyone one bit of advice, what would it be?
It’s so hard to boil it down into one piece of advice, but if I had to, I would say that this is your one precious crack at this life. We spend so much time consumed in trivial, unimportant things like what we look like and what people think of us and none of it really matters. You need to live a life of which you are proud. So don’t wait, start now. Be bold with your life, enjoy each day, surround yourself with excellent energy; the people who love you and lift you up and find something to do with your life that really matters.

Briony Benjamin (image supplied)
Briony Benjamin (image supplied)

How can someone grab a copy of ‘Life Is Tough But So Are You’?
You can find my book at all good booksellers if you have a favourite local bookstore try to support them, as they are doing it tough right now in COVID.

What are your Gold Coast favourites…
Café: If you’re looking for something in the hinterland, I love the Tea Topia Tea salon in a beautiful old Queenslander. And if I’m near the Coast, I adore Tarte in Burleigh – those pastries… wow!
Coffee spot: Millers Espresso in Mudgeeraba do a fantastic coffee!
Restaurant: The Wine Barrel in Mudgeeraba – this little restaurant punches well above it’s weight and I love going on the night they have a live harpist. Dreamy.

How do you choose to spend your weekends?
I love doing the Burleigh headland walk on a Saturday morning, I feel so grateful to whoever had the vision to set aside that land and create a National Park. It’s one of the most stunning parts of the Coast to me. I then love to go to Tarte, wandering up James St and browsing some of the beautiful little shops. Then coming back to Mudgeeraba, sitting in the garden and reading the paper, that is a Saturday morning well spent for me! I also love a wander through 19 Karen Gallery in Miami and The Borrowed Nursery for some more plants or pots to add to my collection. The Coast really has so much to offer and it’s been amazing to watch the transition having lived here all my life. We certainly didn’t have the amazing array of coffee shops and restaurants in the 90’s that we have now!

Emily Jade O’Keeffe

Emily Jade O'Keeffe as Tanya in Mamma Mia! The Musical (image supplied)
Emily Jade O'Keeffe as Tanya in Mamma Mia! The Musical (image supplied)

She is a force to be reckoned with and she is the female voice behind Gold Coast’s number one radio Breakfast Show on 1029 Hot Tomato. Add to that, she is the newly appointed ‘Tanya’ in the upcoming Gold Coast production of MAMMA MIA! The Musical (produced by GC Local Matt Ward). Emily Jade O’Keeffe is a woman of many talents, so it was only fitting that we interviewed the Gold Coast sweetheart ahead of her taking to The Star Gold Coast’s stage from Saturday 19th June this year. We chat about her career, her loves of the Gold Coast and what it will be like preparing for her new role!

How long have you been a Gold Coast local?
I’ve lived here on and off for 18 years now, the last stint has been for the last 9 years.

Tell us a bit about your career to date.
I’ve been working in the media for the last 25 years. I started in Tasmania in radio and moved all around the country for work; from Tassie to Townsville and everywhere in between. My highlights have been launching 1029 Hot Tomato and having a number one Breakfast Show – Galey, Emily Jade and Christo – here for 7 years now. I also launched Nova in Brisbane and was No 1 for 4 years there. Earlier on, I was working on Mornings with Kerri-Anne and with Channel 9 for 5 years. I also wrote during that time for the Courier Mail for a number of years both in print and being one of their first bloggers (when blogging became a big thing) as ‘Emily Everywhere’ which became their most-read blog.

What career achievement are you most proud of?
I don’t have one I’m most proud of, I’ve been happy with every stage and what they all led to each time. My career has kept me busy and happy and fulfilled at every step. I feel really blessed to have been able to evolve and change and grab each opportunity as it came.

Wake up to Galey, Emily Jade and Christo - 1029 Hot Tomato (image supplied)
Wake up to Galey, Emily Jade and Christo - 1029 Hot Tomato (image supplied)

Growing up you performed in a variety of musicals and have been described as a self-confessed ‘drama nerd’, what initially drew you to the stage?
Both my grandfathers were performers. My grandad on my mum’s side was very musical and in bands and my grandad on my dad’s side was an amateur actor. That trickled down to both my Dad and Mum. I watched Dad act in local theatre and Mum play piano daily, so I was always around music and drama and I guess it was both nature and nurture in my family. I then continued the tradition but monetised it in the end by making it my full-time career.

What are you looking forward to most about your upcoming role as ‘Tanya’ in the Gold Coast production of MAMMA MIA! The Musical?
It’s come at a time where I needed some healing and fun after a marriage breakdown and as I get used to a new normal and new family dynamic, I really was searching for some light at the end of the tunnel. This gives me a chance to laugh and have fun with new amazing people and do what I love best, which is perform and make people smile.

What is your all-time favourite ABBA song and why?
That’s like asking who is your favourite child – I can’t answer that one. I love them all! ABBA Gold was the first CD I ever got. I got it for Christmas and if CDs could wear out, that one nearly did.

How much preparation goes into playing your part as ‘Tanya’?
I think Tanya is a lot like me, so some parts will come naturally, she’s cheeky, fun but loving and a fierce friend and that’s me. I just need to nail the dance moves and singing, rehearsals start soon so I’ll let you know.

Emily Jade O'Keeffe (image supplied)
Emily Jade O'Keeffe (image supplied)

What are your Gold Coast favourites…
Café: Double Barrel Benowa
Coffee spot: Randy Warhol Southport
Restaurant: Kiyomi at The Star
Bar or pub for a drink: Nineteen at The Star

How do you choose to spend your weekends?
I just love keeping it low key with lots of family time with the kids, parents and friends of my kids which involve good cheese and wine in friends backyards or my backyard while the kids play in the pool or run around having adventures, while we chill and chat.


Mamma Mia! The Musical opens on Saturday 19th June 2021 at The Star Gold Coast, grab your tickets here.

Kate McKay

She’s the local musician making herself known on the Gold Coast music scene and make no mistake, Kate McKay is only just getting started.

We sat down for a chat with the woman behind the spine-tingling voice about teaching herself the guitar and why she owes it all to her Dad.

How long have you been a Gold Coast local?
I moved to the Coast just over a year ago, in January 2017.

What do you love most about living here?
It’s hard to choose one thing I love most when I love everything about living on the Gold Coast. I really love being minutes away from the beach and I have also met so many amazing people since I’ve been living on the Coast. If I had to narrow it down, I think those would be my favourite things.

Tell us about your career as a musician… how did you get to where you are today?
I have been gigging on and off since I was 17 years old. I definitely wouldn’t be where I am today without my Dad. He sort of threw me in the deep end by booking my first gig for me when I felt like I wasn’t ready for it. That’s when it all began.

How did you know music was the thing you wanted to do?
I got a pretty late start into music, I didn’t know I could sing at all until I was about 13. I later taught myself guitar when I was 15. I think it was through high school that I realised I wanted to be a musician. It was so nice seeing how happy I made other people when I performed and that feeling is still the thing I enjoy most about playing music.

Where do you find inspiration for your music?
I always find myself so inspired after watching other people play live music. That electric atmosphere always makes me want to get into writing.

Have there been any highlights throughout your career?
I’ve done lots of cool things so far but I still think my biggest highlight was when I got to quit my day job a couple of years ago.

Do you have a favourite local spot to play?
I love playing at Nightjar in Burleigh Heads. I never know what to expect from the crowd!

What’s in the works for the rest of 2018 for you?
As well as still playing a few gigs a week, I’m really focusing on writing and my original music. I’m hoping to get into the studio and have some songs to debut at the start of 2019.

What’s the best piece of life advice you’ve ever received?
Another mention to my Dad, he’s going to love this. My father has always said to me ‘bite off more than you can chew and chew like hell’.

Tell us your favourites on the Coast…
Beach: Tally Creek
Cafe: Canvas in Nobbys
Restaurant: Hideaway Kitchen and Bar
How does your weekend usually look: My weekend is usually filled with 3-5 gigs and definitely more than 3-5 beers.

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