Rishna Gunness

Risha Gunness from A Pot of Courage wearing The Purposeful Tee


1. What is your story and purpose?
I moved to Australia from Mauritius in 2009 and fell in love with the food scene in Melbourne. This was when I decided to pursue becoming a chef. Growing up mum and dad had a restaurant and mum was the only cook there. I inherited the passion for cooking and love for food from her.
My purpose is to push people to try different flavours of food from different parts of the world. Everyone is so scared to use spices and chillies in their cooking, but those are my favourite ingredients when preparing anything flavoursome. 
2. What has been your biggest challenge to date?
My biggest challenge to date has been keeping my business Children of the Corn running through the pandemic. I am currently studying, working at A Pot of Courage and running my business at the same time. It can and does get overwhelming, but kudos to my partner who always supports me and helps as much as he can.
3. Who are the women that have made the biggest impact on you and your journey so far? And what have you learned from them?
The two women who have made the biggest impact on me through my journey would have to be my mother, Devina and my older sister, Dheema. 
My mum has always guided me in the right direction since I was a kid. She always treated me as an equal and we always shared a very open and honest relationship. My sister Dheema supported me financially and emotionally when I first came to Australia. She introduced me to this new life here, where I could be who I wanted to be, she never judged me and allowed me to make decisions for myself.
My sister has achieved so much in her life in Australia and that is all through hard work and perseverance. In my eyes, she is an inspiration for any immigrant women who have moved to this country on their own and are trying their hardest to succeed. We both share the same love for food and she definitely has a big hand behind my ever growing love for trying different cuisines.
4. What is your hope for women and girls in the future?
My hope for women and girls in the future is that you keep pushing yourself against the odds and thrive for more. To be kind and compassionate and to speak out when you do not agree with someone or something. We should all be treated equally and given the same opportunities, I hope that becomes the norm soon. Most importantly love and support women in your life because we all go through similar experiences, so please be compassionate towards one another.
Growing up as a woman you get pushed to be the home maker, carer, the cleaner, or cook in relationships. This should never be the case, you are an equal, all duties should be shared equally however small. It seems like a very silly thing to write but respect and equality starts with small things, it starts at home.
5. If you could have told your younger self anything, what would it have been?
I  would have told myself to love myself more and be kinder to myself, to do more things for me. To never let a man make me feel insecure about myself and learn how to drive!
You can support our charity give-back "The Purposeful Tee Campaign" here