Melissa Histon

Melissa Histon
Founder of Got Your Back Sista & 2017 Newcastle Woman of the Year
Melissa Histon wearing the purposeful organic cotton tee for International Women's Day



Tell us a little about your story and your purpose.

It was a trip to Nepal seven years ago to help make a documentary about the sex-trafficking of Nepali women and girls that changed my life forever and set me on this path. I returned to Australia with a renewed sense of purpose: empower women to thrive after leaving domestic violence, campaign to end domestic violence, and to give women a voice. Over the following six years, I went on to create The Sista Code community, Got Your Back Sista charity and Hey Soul Sista Podcast.

Who are the women that have made the biggest impact on you and your journey so far? And what have you learned from them?

1. Cady Coleman - Cady is a (retired) NASA Astronaut. I met her three years ago at a leadership retreat on Necker Island. She taught me about tenacity and to hold strong and confident when you working in a male-dominated environment.

2. Charlotte Thaarup – Charlotte is a world-renowned, clinical mindfulness consultant and educator. She has been my ‘mindfulness guru’ for the last 8 years and taught me to connect with my inner calm, my higher self and to harness my inner strength so I can best serve others.

What does International Women's Day mean to you?

Historically, women have struggled due to the gender-based power inequity in societies and cultures. It is many a brave and courageous woman who, throughout the years, has raised her voice and campaigned to rectify that power imbalance. We still have a way to go. To me, IWD celebrates those courageous women who have led the way to make change for other women in the world; it is a reminder of the power of solidarity and an opportunity to encourage us all to keep striving for an equitable, peaceful world.

What is your hope for women and girls in the future?

For women and girls to recognise the power of their own voice and find the courage to use it to create a greater society for all. I also hope for a world free of gender-based violence, and equal opportunity to a free education.

If you could have told your younger self anything, what would it have been?

Get quiet and trust your gut, trust yourself. You have what you need within you.