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I’m Melissa

An entrepreneur, creative director, and eternal optimist dedicated to helping you use your crisis to become the person you most want to be.

A born and raised Adelaidian with nothing more than a weirdly creative brain and a dream, I’m proud to have created a socially conscious empire to change the way people experience cancer, their cancer businesses and get people on track to discover their biggest ‘why’ to build ethically profitable businesses.

Through The Cancer Confidence Movement, The Cancer Confidence Matrix, and Beyond ‘Why’, I help people like you use the power of crisis, to start ethical businesses and curate new lives.

One of the things I’m often asked is “How on earth did you get started in all of this?”

For as long as I can remember I have been in the business of building confidence and human potential. I wanted to learn everything about confidence and how to use it to make people genuinely happy and connected. Why do some people struggle and get stuck in their trauma and why do some people level up in even the most unspeakable crisis or adversity?

I was also passionate about what seemed like a disconnected bunch of qualities: writing, musical theater, psychology, spirituality, altruism, creativity, entrepreneurship, dance and yoga, just to name a few.

After several attempts at dancing professionally, I didn’t enjoy the process of auditioning and performing. I landed a job coordinating a dance program for a school and making story dances for young people. This dance business turned over a million dollars a year and it was the second time I was using the breadth of my skills to build businesses for other people.

Having taught more than 20,000 dancers, created more than 60 award winning story-dance and musical theatre works, I knew it was time.


I gave up the security of having a wage, and took the savings I had to build a coaching business from the ground up. Then I got cancer in 2014 and had used all my savings, so I relied on others to support me. Then my partner left in 2018. I was homeless and then houseless and if it wasn’t for the generosity of my parents, and my connection to my mother and cousin, I don’t know where I would be now.


I started building the infrastructure of the Cancer Confidence Movement — because my own cancer experience was isolating and fraught with fear. Not because I thought I was going to die, but because of how people spoke to me, with zero consideration for how their words would land in my ears.  I later coined the term Cancerlight in an effort to diffuse the labels and language that drive us to see cancer as a fight that needs to be won.

I believe you have to deal with your trauma head on if you want to show up and be emotionally wealthy.

From the non-stop frenzy of couch hopping and living in cheap accommodation to try and build this movement, I finally decided to go to Italy to get connected with my culture and live with a cousin who was going to help me with my book. I ended up grounded in Adelaide (covid) with family, the place of both my peace and my pain.

I spent four years re-writing my book, building infrastructure and dealing with my childhood trauma. I had escaped the trauma for more than 25 years while living in Sydney, but nothing prepared me for the onslaught of emotions and going no contact with family members to protect myself. Narcisstic abuse therapists; sexual abuse therapists; Systemic Constellation; 12 step programs; an eating disorder psychologist, and specialist coaching in trauma recovery were just some of the ways in which I healed my pain. I did more work in three years from 2020 - 2023, than I had done my whole life. It was the best investment in my mental health ever.

I had to learn how to ask for help, over and over again.

I am undeniable proof that you can go from crisis to homeless, to houseless and break all the stereotypes of doing the ‘bare minimum’ just to survive. Not everyone is going to have the same opportunities I had. I have a mum that has entirely got my back and a couple of relatives who I can trust, but not without extensive work on my part to learn how to trust again. The closest people to me in my work and my dearest friends are my lifeblood. They believe in me and this work but most importantly — I learned how to ask for help. Every single day I learned how to use money to make more money. I didn’t get handouts. I worked for every penny I invested into my organization. I worked in-kind with more than 100 people, exchanging my coaching and creative skills, and learning everything I could about neuroscience, energetics, coaching psychology and spiritual philosophy so that the foundation of my work was sound.

I believe you have to bring your true self to the table if you want to be happy, confident and ethically successful.

That includes your truest identity. The person you were born to be, but as a result of life, you can become the roles others want you to be. It includes knowing how to self-reflect, not just learning a bunch of skills but looking back and taking responsibility for your part in a combusting situation. It also includes Multipotentiality — your unique set of gifts. These qualities are the foundation of the reinvention of yourself and your life and only after can you act altruistically. Acting to improve the welfare of others through philanthropy and partnering with social justice groups.

This philosophy is a stupid amount of hard work and focus and a massive lesson in ego reduction and humility. I have not had anyone invest money into me. I have had people invest time, education and love into me. I don’t have a partner supporting me and I used money from my Nonna to build something to make money so I could keep doing this, and the money helps, but unless you are driven and focused — money will just slip through your fingers like it did mine for the first year. 


Yes, I had help, but I also sacrificed a lot.

And if I can do this at 50, so can you.

And now I am here with you.

I am here to be of service to you. I’ve had more than a million dollars of in-kind service invested in me and I believe in you. My company is built on love, truth and transparency. I am passionate about putting a stop to homelessness for women whose partners leave after cancer treatment. We are here to make a difference. Change the cancer landscape and change the quality of the lived experience. There is plenty of research saying that if we can reduce and diffuse trauma, we can reduce and diffuse illness.

Yes, this is a business. Yes, we need to sell things to make money, but we are not taking the easy and unethical way out. We consciously chose to be a social enterprise and have resisted becoming a charity. That means we don’t get grants like other cancer organisations.

I do not have all the answers and I can’t cure cancer, but I can cure the problems around cancer and number one is the level of low self-worth from people who are devastated by the cancer image, who are paying out hundreds of thousands of dollars for cancer treatment because it is not supported by the government. Most importantly — we can stop the cancer war so that we can reduce fear and overwhelm through the whole cancer experience, in the acute phase and later in life, when the memory of cancer still lingers.

If you have read this far, thank you. I hope this is just the beginning for us. I want to know more about you. What you do and how crisis, adversity or cancer has changed your life and if it hasn’t, and you want it to… I am here for you.

Let’s play together. Life is too short.


Melissa has been a speaker and performer for 35 years.

Download her Press Kit for more information.


Melissa is ready to take this movement to the next level. A trained stage, radio and media professional, Melissa is ready to chat with you.


Can’t wait to work with a speaker who transfixes an audience? Or need more information about all the fabulous things?



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