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Real Women Raw Stories - 2023

Michelle Emery

Michelle Emery

My journey from wheels to walking

Mother of 4 and wife, sharing my love of dance and fitness through my business, Funkdafied Dance Club. 

My passion lies in connecting, empowering and inspiring women and children through my love of dance and fitness

10yrs ago I started dance classes for women @hotmamasdance and have built a community of fun and friendship
After surviving a traumatic injury I was told I wouldn't be able to dance again.


This is my journey from wheels to walking and the beautiful women who helped me get there.

Fariya Naseem

Fariya Naseem

My journey to discover myself

Fariya’s journey is built on courage, resilience and self-believe. She was born in India and came alone to New Zealand to pursue a professional degree, leaving behind a six-year-old child and a supportive husband. Away from stereotypes, expectations and flaunt, she dreamt of a different world for her son to live in.

Surviving against all odds and being able to create a life she loves; she talks about her transformation.

Fariya is a Physicist, educator, motivational speaker, certified mindset and leadership coach, life-long learner and above all a mother.

Di Foster

Di Foster

My journey to living

Di is that girl next door, that from the age of 13 knew what she wanted in life and career.  Affectionately known as PLAN-A.  At 31 her life hit a wobble when she was diagnosed with breast cancer, then at 38 terminal secondary cancer. 


Di switched focus and PLAN-B was devised, learning how to live life differently than she had intended.  Following her three whispers of the heart, she set out to live the best 365 days. 


She did a good job as 13 years later, she is still here and loving life.  Having experienced a radical remission (with no medical intervention her body healed), she now shares her story and the lessons learned on the way, so maybe you don’t have to.


Di Foster is a Mind-Shifter, Business-Simplifier and just so happens to have an Epic-Story.

Lotta Dann

Lotta Dann

My journey to sobriety

Lotta Dann drank alcohol steadily and heavily from the age of 15 to the age of 39. She got sober in 2011 with the help of the anonymous blog called ‘Mrs D is Going Without’.


In 2014 she published her bestselling memoir named after her blog and later partnered with the New Zealand Drug Foundation, Te Hiringa Hauora Health Promotion Agency and Matua Raki to launch ‘Living Sober’, a community website for people to manage their relationship with alcohol.


In 2021 alone, Living Sober reached more than 25,000 people. She has published two further books, including ‘The Wine O’Clock Myth’ (2020) exploring the impacts of alcohol on women and New Zealand society. Lotta is currently the Project Lead at Blueprint for Learning for the Addiction 101 workshop, designed to increase awareness and reduce stigma associated with addiction.

Sponsors - 2023






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