Stephanie (Stevie) Russell-Farnham volunteers supporting survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault in the Cairns community. Her support includes helping women escape, working with women’s support groups and crisis shelters and fundraising. Stevie founded Global Sisters United (GSU) an online support group for 300+ women, and has trained extensively in first aid, lifesaving and mental health courses and suicide intervention.
Stevie’s personal experience of having to rebuild her life after a car accident only intensified her desire to help others find their voice and rebuild their confidence and self esteem.
Stevie was recently awarded the 2019 International Women’s Day Scholarship from the Cairns Regional Council for making a significant contribution to supporting women in her community. She is putting these funds towards editing and publishing her book of inspiring women’s stories. Stevie has been interviewing women who have experienced mental or physical illness, domestic violence, addiction and other challenges. With this book Stevie hopes to inspire other women facing similar challenges, and provide them with a wealth of useful self care strategies.
MOST PROUD OF
Saving lives! Teaching empowerment skills to women and girls and witnessing the positive ripple effect this has in the community. I’ve helped women leave abusive relationships, rewritten resumes, practised interviews and advocated with banks on women’s behalves. I have taught women financial literacy so they can take back financial control of their lives.
I am also a founding donor of the Hope Medical Clinic in Chibolya, Zambia. The clinic sees over 500 patients a day and has dramatically reduced maternal and infant mortality in the area.
WHY I LOVE QUEENSLAND
I love the progressive, forward thinking vision for Cairns and the innovation, drive and commitment for social change. I’m impressed with the calibre of professional, executive and business women in Cairns. And how women support each other by way of leadership, mentorship, and sharing of resources.
I adore spending time in the beautiful wild outdoors. With the beaches, rivers, mountains, rainforest and tablelands, Cairns offers a unique environment to explore and to share with visitors.
MY VISION FOR QUEENSLAND
To help educate, inspire and empower more women and girls in Cairns. I’m committed to teaching skills in building emotional resilience, leadership, goal setting and financial literacy. Including providing free workshops for women in Cairns.
To reduce the incidence of sexual assault and domestic abuse in the Cairns community, I have been working on a community safety initiative to ensure that any young girl or woman can access reliable, prompt and safe transport should she find herself in an uncomfortable or unsafe situation. The impetus was the sexual assault and murder last October of Toyah. A bright, talented and much-loved young woman of Cairns. SafeHer Together will provide a network of women drivers that women can call on if they are in unsafe or uncomfortable situations.
ADVICE FOR QUEENSLAND WOMEN
“Dream, dare, do!” and “Never give up!” I have always believed that anything is possible. A car accident left me so incapacitated that my specialists didn’t know if I would ever walk, work or volunteer again. Let alone learn to fly a plane, host international empowerment retreats or represent Queensland at the 2018 Australian DanceSport Championship where I placed 10th in the country. An impressive effort for someone living with a brain injury and chronic pain.
FEMECONOMY HAS PARTNERED WITH THE QUEENSLAND GOVERNMENT’S OFFICE FOR WOMEN TO SHOWCASE QUEENSLAND WOMEN WHO ARE STRIVING TO CREATE GENDER EQUALITY.
Queensland is built by amazing Queenslanders. Every day women in Queensland are taking action to make Queensland safer for women, to help women’s health and wellbeing, to build women’s economic security and to increase women’s participation in the workforce and female leadership. Femeconomy is showcasing 20 women from across Queensland that are delivering the Queensland Government’s Women’s Strategy.