Borneo-born, Adelaide raised and some even Melbourne living, Jo, Anne and Lou share a supportive and special bond unique to being sisters. These three ladies sat down with us to tell us what grounds them together despite their interstate distance, as well as the wisdoms they’ve learnt throughout the years and how they find beauty in life’s simple moments.
Tell us a little about yourselves.
JO: I was born in a city in Borneo, Indonesia, where my mum was from. My Dad’s job meant we were fortunate enough to move around and we lived in Jakarta and Singapore too. Finally we settled down in my Dad’s home town – Adelaide, where I completed my high school and university degree. Flew the coop and made the move to Melbourne in May this year and am working as a Digital Graphic Designer.
ANNE: I live in Adelaide, South Australia. For fun I like to sing in my room and occasionally make covers (many that don’t get uploaded). For a living? I work as a physiotherapist.
LOU: I was born in Borneo (a giant island in Southeast Asia) where my sisters and I grew up before moving to Australia. I currently study full time and am in my first year doing a Bachelor of Social Work and working casually at a lolly shop by the beach.
What’s one characteristic you all share being sisters?
ANNE: I think our strength and our shared compassion to marginalised groups of society.
LOU: We grew up in household that practiced strong morals and social justice values that we have carried throughout our lives and has shaped our individual paths. Although we are three very different individuals, I think our hearts and our beliefs are all very strongly aligned.
My sisters are both older than me and have definitely taken a maternal role in my life, and as sisters, no matter what we are doing and how far away we are from each other we can always rely on each other to be there.
JO: And probably our deep, deep, deep love and obsession for our sassy black pug, Gus.
What’s your favourite ordinary moment?
JO: Probably when any of my plants get a new leaf. Honestly makes me such a proud plant mum.
ANNE: Walking down the beach with my dog and my Nanna or just grabbing a coffee with my nearest and dearest.
LOU: Unplanned events and circumstances with my friends that turn out to be moments of pure bliss and true, childlike giddiness. Homemade dinners, movie nights in (rather than a night out), car rides, impromptu art sessions are all simple moments that can birth some of the most authentically blissful moments. They are my favourite because they are unexpected and entirely natural.
What’s a positive mantra you tell yourself to stay motivated?
JO: When I’m scared to take the leap I try and remember a quote I read somewhere that read “Great people do things before they’re ready”.
Usually I scroll the @subliming.jpg Instagram page when I need a dose of motivation. My recent favourite is: “If something is for you, all you have to be is you to receive it”
ANNE: You’ve made it this far, keep going girl!
LOU: As someone who can lose focus easily, having a mantra helps me to keep me on track with life tasks and goals. I constantly ask myself the question “What is my purpose?” – I find that by asking myself WHY I need to do something, it helps me by putting things into perspective and recognizing the steps I need to take to complete an overarching goal.
Purpose is something so simple that can be a huge motivation. When I remember why I am doing something it reminds me of the great I am able to accomplish if I try.
Jo & Lou
What do you do to unwind?
JO: Netflix marathon and chamomile tea.
ANNE: I’m a firm believer that a warm shower and a good book or movie can fix many bad days.
LOU: To unwind I spend my time either writing, crafting or watching The Office! I find these activities are the most successful to lift my mood as well as keep me relaxed. Each of these things tend to fit into my typical day as I find it important to take time out of each day to relax, unwind and take some me time. Another thing I do that helps me unwind every time without fail is playing with our doggy, Gus!
What’s a change you’d like to see happen for 2019?
JO: I think I’m always looking forward to more action and less talking. Hope people become more empathetic. I think a little bit of empathy can go a long way.
ANNE: To stop the detainment and mistreatment of refugees. I know this is unlikely to be resolved in a year but I definitely hope in the next couple of years there’ll be a more humane response.
LOU: I know big changes don’t happen in a day, there are a lot of things that can be improved with simple steps. I think within myself I would like to see further steps in self-care and patience. Often, we get overwhelmed by the massive issues in today’s society that we do not realise sometimes all it takes is growth and improvement in one’s self to impact the bigger picture.
In other words, I would like to see people helping themselves, so that we can as a collective, help each other
Do you feel the pressure to fit into a construct of perfection?
JO: I feel the pressure to be physically perfect less and less. The older I get, the more comfortable in my skin I become, and the more I come into my own. I think I’m also seeing more people who look like me reflected back on my Instagram feed, on TV and in the movies I watch. Representation has definitely helped with this.
Aside from physical perfection, I do think the people put too much pressure on looking like they have it ‘together’. I think that’s overrated.
ANNE: Of course I do! It would be crazy hard not to. But I find hanging out with those that love me for who I am and not what society tells you to be like, helps a lot.
LOU: I can say confidently that I do feel the pressure to fit into a construct of perfection. Especially In the online world of Instagram and social media you can so easily get wrapped into a fake reality -where there is no room for the flaws and negative aspects that come naturally in everyday life. As social beings we do seek approval, inclusion and validation. Therefore, I think it’s less about not caring about what others think and more about embracing and celebrating individualism and what makes us happy.
What artists are in your go-to feel good playlist?
JO: Lizzo for sure. Other artists that always make me feel good are Prince and ABBA. If I listen to Feeling Good by Nina Simone and Got to Be Real by Cheryl Lynn… it’s a recipe for a great day.
ANNE: Beyonce, Leon bridges and J. Balvin!
LOU: Music has a huge impact on my mood for the day, so it’s important to me to have feel good-music in my playlist so that I can start my days right. My go-to artists are Jhene Aiko, Kevin Abstract, Dominic Fike and Rejjie Snow. Songs by these artists always provide me with that calm, free and mellow energy that I carry with me throughout the day.
What does BE THAT GIRL mean to you?
JO: BE THAT GIRL means anything you want it to mean. Women, girls, female identifying people, can be anything they want to be. It’s 2019, we don’t have to be defined by stereotypes or categories or labels. The opportunities are limitless.
ANNE: I think it means being your authentic self and owning it. I think it means going after your dreams and being kind and vulnerable and real above all else .
LOU: BE THAT GIRL to me represents embracing and expressing individuality. It’s about the beauty that can be found in each and every unique path, lifestyle, mind and body. It’s about recognising our uniqueness and flaunting it rather than hiding our differences.
I love the entire idea of this campaign because it essentially celebrates being 100% true to you whilst also being the best version of yourself.
Enjoy the journey and celebrate the Extraordinary. Watch the full film here.