Influential Mums


Meet some of the women paving the way in our local Community!

Rochelle-Courtenay-Influential Mums

Rochelle Courtenay
Founder of Share the Dignity
Mum of 2

A local champion for preserving the dignity of homeless women and women experiencing domestic violence, Rochelle is an inspiration!

Only three short years ago the idea of Share the Dignity was conceived by Rochelle. In such a short timeframe she’s been able to provide sanitary items to countless women in need, as well as raise awareness within the Community of this urgent issue.

The idea came to her one day when she was reading an article about the number of women who were in the position of being homeless. She discovered that rather than purchasing sanitary items with the meager funds they had, they would prioritise feeding their kids.

She believes that she has arrived where she is today by surrounding herself with like-minded people. “People are willing to help”, she said.

Rochelle is the recipient of many awards, including Best Community Minded Mum.


Renee Walls
Owner of BOQ North Lakes
Mum of 2, Stepmum of 3

A well-known, friendly face in our local Community, Renee has been making a difference in the lives of locals with her drive and passion.

For the last ten years, Renee has worked alongside her husband, Jeff, in the North Lakes Branch of Bank of Queensland. She was the Treasurer of Mango Hill State School’s P&C and later became the Community Liason Officer for the school.

The day that they received the keys to the bank was Renee’s first day of maternity leave! Since then, they have provided employment to ten local families.

“You see customers everywhere in the Community”, Renee said. “Never underestimate how the people you already know can help you, it’s always great to draw on their knowledge!”

Already involved in local sporting groups, Renee saw a great opportunity to embed themselves in their community. Recently, Renee organised BOQ’s third annual charity golf day, with much success!


Ngaire Stirling
Founder of Brisbane Kids
Mum of 3

The Queen of kids events, Ngaire is looked up to by thousands of women for saving their sanity during school holidays!

Eight years ago, Ngaire started Brisbane Kids with $100 as start up capital. With three kids in tow, two of whom have specials needs, she has built an online empire with a staggering 160k Facebook following.

Ngaire believes there is no greater time to start a business than when you’re a mum. If you have a dream you’d like to fulfill, why not start yourself on the path while you’ve got a little free time. It doesn’t need to cost a lot of money to start a business.

She found the most difficult aspect was to find that ever elusive work/home life balance. “It’s very important to make sure you look after your mental health. I learnt that I could work non-stop and still not be able to get everything done, it was a hard lesson.”

As a passionate animal lover, in her spare time, Ngaire is an activist for local wildlife.

Julie-Greer-Influential Mums

Julie Greer
Mum of 2, Grandmother of 5

Our local Councillor for the past twelve years, Julie demonstrates how to get the job done whilst being a role model in our Community!

Unknown to many, Julie’s involvement with Council and the Community goes way back, before she even became our local Councillor. Prior to the amalgamation of Moreton Bay Regional Council, Julie worked for the Pine Rivers Council for fifteen years as the Events Coordinator!

Her love of meeting people and trying to help them was what prompted her to put her hand up and run for Council. “Everyone has a story,” she says all-knowingly.

Although she loves her job, she concedes that it is quite demanding and does take away from family life. “You need to find the balance,” she says. “You have to have your family behind you.”

In her downtime, Julie likes to take her Mustang for a drive with her partner, Gary.


Sarah Crawford
Founder of NLCP&B
Mum of 6

A pillar of our local Community, Sarah has been a support person to many, both in person and online. Her willingness to help strangers makes her one in a million.

For five and a half years Sarah poured her heart and soul into the incredibly popular Facebook page, North Lakes Community, Parents and Businesses. As the admin of the page, she created a welcoming hub for all members of the Community to come together and engage.

Towards the end of the pregnancy of her last child, she knew that the workload was becoming too much, so she made the decision to prioritise her family.

Sarah has since started a new business venture: Crawford Cleaning Care, which has given her the opportunity to work around her family commitments.

Sarah’s strong character saw her overcome a massive challenge for the benefit of her health, a weight loss of 40kg. “I hope I helped empower others not to give up on their dreams!”


Karen Johns
Mum of 4, Grandmother of 7

Valiant, big-hearted and strong-willed is the type of person every victim of domestic violence needs to support them, all of which Karen is.

Karen is no stranger to domestic violence, having once been a victim herself, which planted the seed for the idea of DARE to grow. She was previously a teacher and a Pastor, the knowledge from those two professions has benefitted her to help the women in our Community in need.

Her own experience taught her that there was a gap in connecting services to these women, who are often too afraid to seek help.

“I just want to give women the hope that there is a better life”, she said. On average, a victim returns seven times before permanently leaving and Karen is there to support them every time, in a non-judgemental way.

Due to her contributions to our Community, Karen saw herself awarded Moreton Bay Citizen of the Year 2018.


Influential-Mums-read-North-Lakes-NowTo read more great local stories, check out our magazine, North Lakes Now!

03/05/2018 |

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