Lifeline Canberra’s 2018 Rising Women of Spirit Award has gone to Clare Sheehan, who empowers people to “love the skin they’re in”. She runs a business providing life coaching programs to groups and individuals, as well as running successful “self-love events” for both men and women.
“I think it’s natural that sometimes we question if we are doing enough for others and the community, so it’s an incredible honour and privilege to be Lifeline’s 2018 Rising Woman of Spirit,” Ms Sheehan says.
After being subjected to sexual abuse as a child, her mental and emotional wellbeing, confidence and self-esteem was deeply affected by the trauma, as at age 17 she began the process of holding her abuser to account.
“I’m hopeful that people reading my story and what I’m doing gives hope to people who are struggling or have experienced something traumatic can see that your story doesn’t have to define you,” Ms Sheehan says.
She hopes to continue her work through both her coaching business and her day job working with victims of domestic and family violence.
“I’m hoping I can help and reach more people in my coaching business with my programs and I will continue the work I do in my day job on the front line which is supporting victims of domestic violence … both of these jobs bring me so much joy and fulfilment. I would love to run more events and continue to support people to create new and empowering choices for themselves.”
Ms Sheehan says receiving the Rising Women of Spirit Award is “pretty surreal”, and she is grateful to have been nominated by Canberra business woman and domestic violence advocate, Camille Aniversario.
“I was in tears because here is a woman who does so much for the community and someone I look up to greatly and she was choosing to nominate me. Winning the award has been a bonus – because to even just be recognised for what I’m doing is wonderful in itself.
“It is honestly so hard to put into words what this means to me because I’m truly blown away by the generosity of Lifeline and all the beautiful words I have received from the community since winning the award.”
Each year, the awards recognise women who have triumphed over adversity, who give back to the community and inspire others to do the same.