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Women to Watch: Kylie Travers

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“I am not what happened to me. I am what I choose to become.”

The night that Kylie Travers was robbed of everything she owned—right down to her underwear— she sat down and wrote a gratitude list, outlining the positives that could come from losing everything. Her favourite quote is from Carl Jung: “I am not what happened to me. I am what I choose to become.” And that attitude shines through her story.

Single mum to two young daughters, author, business owner, award-winning blogger and finalist in the 2015 ACT Young Australian of the Year award, Kylie is no stranger to success. She was approached by publisher Wiley Australia to write 365 Ways to Make Money and this kickstarted an international speaking career, with her first event in Chicago. She won Best International Personal Finance Blog in 2012 and 2013 and established her company the following year.

But these successes are less defining for Kylie than her response to being violently assaulted by her ex-husband in 2012. Kylie’s experiences following this assault—of burglary, rape, stalking and homelessness—changed her completely. “Instead of my focus being on finances and blogging, it became about everyone else, raising awareness, being open about my experiences and using my websites and online presence to speak publicly about domestic violence and homelessness. I am really grateful I went through what I did, because I absolutely love my life now.”

“Ultimately,” Kylie says, “I want to help change people’s perceptions of homelessness and domestic violence, show others how we can help, how we can end this, empower people living in or coming out of those situations and create a better future for our children.” She is doing this through her blogs and business, though two upcoming books and hopefully a documentary.

Of Canberra, Kylie speaks most highly about the community feel. “It’s friendly, vibrant and there is so much support here. Plenty of opportunity for everything from sports to business—as there is in most capital cities, but we’re like a big country town with the community spirit.”

It’s two of Canberra’s most well-known icons that Kylie loves most: “When I was trying desperately to move back here with my daughters I would drive down here as often as possible and two iconic landmarks really stood out—Parliament House and Telstra Tower. While I don’t go to them a lot, I still smile every time I see them.”

Canberra has changed a lot since Kylie first lived here as a teenager. “It was a real ‘government’ city, pretty boring and not a lot to do. In the last decade Canberra has grown rapidly and changed. There are many more businesses growing, cafes, a nightlife, attractions and so much more to do. It’s no longer just the place for politicians and the government. We have grown beyond that to become the best city in the world to live in.”

At the end of the day, it’s not Kylie’s own resilience and success that make her most proud. “It’s my daughters,” she says. “They are so precious and have overcome a lot as well. I see so much of myself in them but they also have a lot of confidence and are true to themselves.”

How lucky are these girls to have a mum like Kylie leading the way.

Discover the rest of our 15 Women to Watch in 2015 here.

Read about Nellie PeoplesMeegan FitzharrisZoya PatelBelinda Neame, Tegan McAuleyLouisa de SmetHeidi StratfordDr Sudha RaoCarla & Emma PapasTara CheyneSally MoylanKylie TraversKaleidJulie OkelyMichelle Melbourne and Joanna Allebone.

Home page image by Lori Cicchini of Loriana Fotografia . Make up by Ali Price Makeup. Hair by Angela Pavlovic of Kosa Studio. Clothing from Canberra Centre.

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