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Member Profile

Julie Ockerby

CEO + Creative Director Meli Studio Professional services

Kirribilli (AU) New South Wales, AUSTR
Member Since Jul, 2015

"Failure is the mother of success"

( Disclaimer: I did not write this.......) Julie Ockerby is on a mission to reinvent the aged care space. By using interior design to improve quality of life for aged care residents and their visiting families she is shifting the nursing home stigma and honouring our older citizens. As CEO & Principal Creative Director of award winning interior architectural firm, Meli Studio Australia, Julie is an Australian leader and mentor in entrepreneurship, an advocate for the inclusive diversity including gender and age, a maverick in the development of spaces that are an extension of life for the world's ageing population, and a perfect example of what can be achieved through courage and tenacity as a professional designer, single mother of two, and director of 3 businesses. Julie has become a highly regarded thought leader and advisor in the seniors living design industry, where she has been recognised as a change agent. Julie is also an ardent voice for professional women and empowerment and mentors young women. Recipient of the International Business Awards Gold Stevie Award for the 2019 Entrepreneur of the Year - Professional Servicesand the Silver Stevie Award 2019 for Woman of the Year, plus Gold Stevie Award for Women in Business Female Entrepreneur of the Year, Australia, NZ, & Asia 2018, as well as the Trailblazer Award at the Asia Pacific Eldercare Innovation Awards 2018 and she is a quadruple finalist in the APAC Eldercare Innovation Awards and the Women in Construction Awards.

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My work life blend

Why are you a Business Chicks member?

The community and comaraderie.

What's been the biggest pinch-me moment of your career?

Oh, it has to be winning the Gold Stevie award in Dec 2018 for Entrepreneur of the Year. Besides the fact that the backdrop was New York took me a few moments to actually let it sink in that I was honoured with this award.

How do you deal with setbacks, failures and fear?

I let myself feel it, deal with it, learn from it, and move on from it.

What's the best piece of advice you have ever received?

"When you fall off the bike, jump straight back on". - which is ironic as I don't even ride bikes!

Which women inspire you and why?

My grandmother was a true inspiration - hardworking, tolerant, and kind. And then there are the women that are in my Power Player pack - true inspirations, real, genuine.

What's been the biggest challenge you have faced and how did it help shape who you are today?

The past 20 years have been the biggest learning curve. Biggest challenge has been juggling motherhood, starting a business, and going through a divorce. It proved to me how resilient I can be. But also had to let myself feel pain and learnt to recover.

What are you really good at? (We know this one's hard, you guys! As women, we tend to talk about what everyone else is good at. But now it's your turn.)

I am really good at thinking on my feet and building relationships. I like the social side of work and meeting new like-minded people.

What makes you happy?

Being surrounded by my trusted friends and crew, over a bucket of prawns and wine!

What's your definition of success, and how will you know when you've got there? (Go on, aim high!)

Oh gosh....I am way too humble to even know how to answer this question!

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