Fearless Females Of Essendon Fields 2021

In celebration of International Women’s Day (IWD), we shine a spotlight on a few of the fearless females of our past and present.


In 1937, aviation pioneer Jean Burns became the first woman in Australia to perform a parachute jump from Essendon Aerodrome, at just 17 years of age! Having been inspired to start flying after a trip to the airport as a 10 year old, Jean joined the Royal Victorian Aero Club at the age of 14, was flying at 16 and gained her A class pilot’s licence at 17, making her Australia’s youngest ever female pilot.

In 2008 Burns Street within Essendon Fields was named in her honor.


Director of Veritas Recruitment in Essendon Fields, Carolyn Tarrant leads the charge of placing fearless females in their perfect role.

This year’s global IWD theme is ‘Women in Leadership: Achieving an Equal Future in a COVID-19 World’. A woman of many talents, Carolyn’s role has evolved lately into “whatever the team needs me to be. In the current market, flexibility and agility is key.”

Having been at Essendon Fields for 9 years, Carolyn has loved every minute of her time with Veritas and in the precinct surrounds. “I am very lucky to work with the best people first and foremost. Helping clients find the right talent for their business and finding people the right job. It’s very rewarding work.”

What advice does Carolyn have for the next generation of fearless females? “Work hard, be genuine, dress for success and make every encounter memorable. Recruitment is a great industry if you follow through on your commitments and promises.”


“I love being creative and watching my clients walk out the door with a new sense of confidence”. Owner of Lux Brows & Lashes in Essendon Fields, Kim leads a team of talented women in creating beautiful, natural looking brows and lashes for the fearless females of Melbourne.

“I can’t believe it I’ve been at Essendon Fields this July for 3 years! I’ve seen Essendon Fields grow so much in the last 3 years its been absolutely amazing,” said Kim. “I started Lux Brows and Lashes 7 years ago, coming up 8. It was purely a ’sliding door’ moment that made me jump and begin my very own business. I had no clue – I survived and grew on a demand and supply basis.”

Any advice or future generations of women looking to get into the beauty industry? “To survive any small business you need to be prepared to work 24/7. Beauty looks very glamorous from the outside, yet to create that ‘image’ there’s a lot of hard work that goes on behind the scenes. To build a business I believe in a constant and continual connection with clients. Small businesses don’t have big budgets for TV, print or influencer advertising, so social media can be a fantastic tool. Every day I’m learning something new.”


Chief Operating Officer of Matthews Steer, Catherine Duncan has worked at Essendon Fields for 13 years managing the firm’s operations and resources – executing strategic direction and driving performance.

“We have an incredibly diverse group of very clever people who each bring a different perspective to our thinking. The team challenge and inspire me every day. Our business continually evolves and grows which brings challenges and massive opportunities.  We also have great clients, who collaborate, network and become part of a bigger community together.  And of course, our location at Essendon Fields which is a wonderful environment, central to everything and part of the biggest growth corridor in Victoria”, said Ms Duncan.

Catherine also serves as a business coach and mentor to Matthews Steer clients, providing them with the tools and techniques they need to achieve success, and to help them enjoy their working lives with increased energy, clarity and certainty.  She’s passionate about creating strong leaders and developing high performance teams.

What advice does Catherine have for the next generation of fearless females? “Women have so much to bring to the table and that diversity of thinking creates effective and solid solutions. Spend time getting to know who you are, what makes you tick and what makes you perform at your best.  Find your voice and understand how to use it effectively.  There are plenty of great role models and mentors out there, don’t be afraid to reach out to them and surround yourself with the right people to support you on your journey.”


And lastly, aviation pioneer, Nancy-Bird Walton. Nancy was the first woman in Australia to get a job as a commercial pilot. In 1936 while flying for fun, Nancy had the fastest time of all starters for the Melbourne-to-Adelaide leg via Essendon Airport of a Brisbane-Adelaide air race.

International Women’s Day provides a perfect opportunity to fundraise for female-focused charities, help raise their visibility, and amplify their awareness raising efforts. For more information on some fantastic female-focused charities and to donate please visit www.internationalwomensday.com/Fundraising.