Seizing the day with Genevieve Theseira-Haese

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We are surrounded by inspiring women, and sometimes, we aren’t always clear on our purpose. So we want to speak with incredible women about their journey, how they have found their purpose – why they do what they do and what lights their soul on fire.

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Genevieve Theseira-Haese is a passionate and driven entrepreneur who also happens to be Adelaide’s Lady Mayoress, the proud wife of Lord Mayor Martin Haese. She’s a woman who’s determined to do good in this world and it’s impossible not to be inspired by her generous, pioneering spirit. She gives a voice to the voiceless and strength to the powerless and lives by the motto, Carpe Diem.

She can also pinpoint the exact moment she discovered her life’s purpose.

When my father died of cancer in 2000, I changed. I turned my back on advertising and questioned my authenticity.

“When my father died of cancer in 2000, I changed. I turned my back on advertising and questioned my authenticity. My father was a powerful influencer and I felt I had to contribute as he had done. I grew up, took responsibility for my life and began to value the little time we all have on this earth.”

Since then, Genevieve has become an expert at jumping “two feet in” on any project – and there have been many. After spending years in the fast-paced world of advertising in the heart of London, she realised her true gift lay in her ability to see a very clear, creative solution for a product, brand or organisation. She has since put those skills to good use when building the brand of Martin Haese in his campaign for Mayor of Adelaide.

“When the community encouraged Martin to run for Council in 2014, I saw a clear need for a person who understood business, but was not a career bureaucrat, to build his profile, along with that of Adelaide. I seized the opportunity to drive our life’s purpose with meaning and authenticity.”

I seized the opportunity to drive our life’s purpose with meaning and authenticity.

With an attitude like that, it’s not surprising the duo came up trumps. Today Genevieve relishes the growing impact she can make via her position in the public eye – by giving a voice to local charities such as MOSH (Minimisation of Suicide Harm), Amicus Global and The Magdalene Centre, among others.

But one of her most inspiring projects came about when she went in search of inspiration herself.

“As Lady Mayoress, I was keen to learn more about those who had been before me, but quickly realised that there was no archive or history of former Lady Mayoresses – this was not right and I felt compelled to learn about their contributions to inform the future.”

And so, in 2015, HerStory was born – a project that strives to recognise and celebrate the lives and achievements of women’s work in South Australia.

“I saw it as the first step towards recognising the invaluable efforts of those women who built and continue to build Adelaide – Australia’s only capital city to be named after a woman, Queen Adelaide. We were incredibly confident in 1836 about change. But history too often forgets these strong women and their work, but these stories bring them back from behind the veils of time, gives them back their identities and presents them with the recognition they deserve.”

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The stories Genevieve has uncovered proof that you can succeed in making change even when faced with adversity. That’s something that Genevieve, too, has experienced.

“After my father’s passing, I realised I needed to arm myself with the right tools to help process my grief. I felt if this was something I could draw strength from, then surely others would too – that’s when I established my wellbeing portal, BreathingSpace.”

BreathingSpace is a holistic healing arts portal that boasts yoga and wellness sessions, workshops and retreats via facilitators all over the world. It teaches stress management modalities and processes such as Hoffman Quadrinity. Ultimately, it’s Genevieve’s way of offering people a safe space to breath, reflect and decide what steps to take next.

That’s a thing of beauty, driven by passion, courage and creativity – the three words Genevieve uses to describe herself.

Passion gives me purpose, courage gets me going, creativity gets me out of trouble.

Wise words from a wonderfully wise woman.