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Inspiring Women of PARC: Celebrating International Women’s Day 2020

International Women’s Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day focuses on accelerating gender parity and is all about unity, celebration, reflection, advocacy and action. International Women’s Day has been occurring for well over a century – and continues to grow from strength to strength.

At PARC we are surrounded by amazing women. 76% of our staff are female, with 50% of Senior Managers being women.

To celebrate International Women’s Day, we’re doing a series of stories on Inspiring Women of PARC in the lead up to Sunday, this year’s International Women’s Day.

Our Marketing Specialist Jess de Araugo caught up with one inspiring woman Melanie (Mel) Hartskeerl.

Mel wears many hats at PARC. She has been a Membership Sales Consultant since 2016, taking out the 2017 PARC Sales Consultant of the Year. Mel is also a Personal Trainer, and most recently was heading up the Group Exercise program while a colleague was on maternity leave. Mel is a qualified naturopath, and is passionate about sharing her knowledge with both colleagues and members. In fact, we are hosting a specific Women’s Health Seminar, that will shed light on how women’s hormones and cycle impacts energy levels, work outs and fitness goals. Learn more here. Let’s get to know this inspiring woman of PARC.

Meet Mel:

Tell us a bit about yourself.

Wow, where do I start? I am a single mum of 2 gorgeous children. They are 15 and 11 years old, both members of PARC, and both keep my on my toes.

I have a degree in Naturopathy, Nutrition and Western Herbal Medicine, and have my Certificate 4 in fitness so I divide my working time between these 2 passions. I work some of the time at PARC, as a Personal Trainer, Group Exercise Instructor and in Memberships, and the rest of my week I work for myself as a Naturopath / Nutritionist from a private practice in Seaford.

When I’m not at work, you’ll find me staying fit and being outdoors – running, stand up paddle boarding, at the beach, or gardening.

What was your dream job as a child and why?

Archaeologist. I was obsessed as a child, I just love ancient history!

What do you love about your work?

Helping people be a better version of themselves.

What’s something about you that most people wouldn’t know?

Well, I have a few hidden skills. I used to be an apprentice chef. But to be honest, I hated it because I love being around people and I found I couldn’t socialise. I am also a qualified bookkeeper. I got my Cert 4 in Accounting when the kids were just babies. I guess I just love learning new stuff and being challenged. I’m ever evolving!

What is the best and worst decision you’ve ever made?

Best: Definitely to go back and study as a mature age student, as a mum. The kids were 6 and 10, and it’s set us up for our life now.

Worst: I don’t think you can have a worst decision, because you can always learn… You will always get something out of every experience.

What’s on your bucket list?

Hmmm, I’m all about experiences!

  • Walk the Kokoda Track
  • Explore Egypt (yes, I’m not an archaeologist, but I still love my ancient history!)
  • New York, New York baby!

How do you balance work and life responsibilities?

My kid will always come first. But balance and structure are so important to me. Whatever I am doing, I try to work smart, not hard. I optimise the time I have available, and make the most of every minute.

You also just have to be super organised. I know what I am doing on any given day, and I love my hard copy diary! Plus, I don’t commit to things that I can’t give 100% to. Why do things half baked?

The theme for international Women’s Day this year is #EachforEqual – What does that mean to you?

Everyone should be treated equally. We are all equal.

What woman inspires you and why?

One of Australia’s most inspirational women is Turia Pitt. She is an ultramarathon fire survivor and her story is amazing. Everything she has gone through and the way she has overcome this challenge in her life is something we can all admire and learn from. She never gave up!

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