Date: 7 March 2024

Celebrating Women In The Spa And Wellness Industry 2024

Celebrating Women In Spa And Wellness

In recognition of International Women’s Day this year, we continue our list of women we admire and appreciate who play key roles in the spa and wellness industry in Australia and New Zealand.

Recognised nationally, and some internationally, for their in-depth knowledge in the spa and wellness industry, they are passionate about living healthier, happier and longer lives while in harmony with the world around us and they share this knowledge through their businesses and products to benefit us all. Thank you ladies!

Sharon Kolkka-WellnessIndustry

Sharon Kolkka

Wellness Presenter, Designer & Stress Resilience Mentor

Sharon Kolkka has become one of Australia’s leading voices in the field of wellness. She created Gwinganna Retreat’s philosophy and developed all the programs, seminars, and content for the retreat to help guests learn how to live more healthy and balanced lives.

Her experience in wellness retreats spans more than two decades and she has seen and been part of many changes in the Australian health retreat industry. Under Sharon’s guidance, Gwinganna has become an internationally recognised and highly awarded wellness destination.

Sharon’s expertise lies predominantly in women’s wellness, lifestyle balance, movement and stress management. She also presents keynotes at conferences, media and industry events. Advising thousands of people from all walks of life, her inspirational and practical words are highly sought after and both informative and relevant in today’s busy technology-driven world.

Melanie Gleeson_Endota

Melanie Gleeson

Founder endota spa

Melanie’s belief that something special happens when we actively nurture our health and happiness was the beginning of the endota story in 2000.

With a sustainable and environmental focus, endota develops COSMOS-certified and results-based skincare, performs treatments across 112 spas globally, educates beauty therapists through its certified wellness colleges and offers a digital wellness hub to its customers and members.

The values Melanie has built endota on (Intent, Connect, Truth and Balance) are reflected in all facets of the business, she is now nternationally recognised. By offering a diverse range of wellness experiences, endota aims to support each customer’s journey towards a greater sense of wellbeing – to help nourish and nurture mind, body and skin.

Melanie’s spark to ignite people’s potential is what drives her and endota, inspiring a commitment to conscious living and giving back, including a collaboration with a group of indigenous women in Fitzroy Crossing, WA, whose artwork appears on endota colour packaging and who have received a percentage of sales in return, since 2016.


Joelene Ranby_resolution retreats

Joelene Ranby

Founder Resolution Retreats

Joelene Ranby’s approach to health is a unique one. During her corporate career as a Financial Accountant for New Zealand’s largest port company, Joelene started running retreats as a weekend passion project, inspired to help other women feeling overwhelmed and disillusioned by the ever-increasing health trends, like she once was. Fast-forward more than 10 years and the multi-award winning Resolution Retreats, run from a 30 million dollar world-class Health & Wellness Resort, operates the most live-in health and wellness retreats for women in New Zealand.

Tucked away in a peaceful rural oasis bordered by horses, bush walks, lake and mountain views, the purpose built health resort encourages its guests to completely unwind and be taken care of by their supportive, friendly team of passionate wellness managers and facilitators. A holistic and clinical focus is supported by leading industry professionals, programs combine a pragmatic, and realistic approach to health and habits through education, workshops, daily movement sessions and nutritionist designed, nourishing food.



Trudi Jaye_beauty_Retreatment Botanics

Trudi Jaye

Co-Founder and Managing Director, Retreatment Botanics

Trudi has a vast range of expertise within the beauty, spa and wellness industry, co-founding the Australian-made phyto-active skincare range Retreatment Botanics with Olivia Newton-John. 

Trudi’s multifaceted skills have taken her around the world – working in Sydney, New York and now in the beautiful Byron Bay Hinterland where she has been the driving force behind the formulation, branding and fast-growing success of the skincare range. It is the first-ever science-backed, spa-quality skincare range in the world to be Certified Palm Oil Free, to protect endangered wildlife & ancient rainforest habitats.

Practising the daily philosophy ‘Beauty from the Inside Out’, Trudi’s greatest passion is combining her love and experience for all facets of wellbeing to give expert guidance on how to achieve healthy glowing skin and rejuvenating self-care rituals.


Theme Rains_Synthesis Organics

Theme Rains

CEO, Synthesis Organics

With 25 years experience in the Healing Arts across 5 continents, Theme Rains has an established reputation in the global wellness industry. Her Certified Organic skincare formulas have won International awards, garnered industry recognition and social proof, and the treatments she creates are offered in some of the world’s best wellness properties.

She is elevating the skin care industry by driving a new paradigm that offers a system of products, experiences and education that optimise greater physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual health, which naturally includes care for the Earth.

Theme also runs wellness and transformational retreats, formulates white-label retail products, designs spa treatments, and is a featured speaker at symposiums with other industry leaders. 

As three-time Australian Ambassador for Women’s Entrepreneurship Day, and chairperson for Oceania, Theme is raising awareness for the empowerment and support of women entrepreneurs throughout the world with a focus on sustainability.


Louise Laing_Marine Scientist_People4Ocean.

Dr. Louise Laing

Marine Scientist and co-founder People4Ocean.

Louise Laing co-founded People4Ocean in 2018 to provide a safe, performant and environmentally conscious alternative to chemical-laden sun protection. Her passion for the ocean began in Mauritius, and after obtaining her Bachelor’s of Biology in Paris, she studied Oceanography in the South of France and Spain.

After obtaining her master’s in marine sciences from James Cook University in 2013, visiting the barrier reef and meeting her husband and partner in passion, Austin, they moved to Seychelles for 3 years to coordinate the largest reef rehabilitation project in the Indian Ocean.

People4Ocean was developed after witnessing first-hand the toxicity of mainstream sunscreen formulations on marine ecosystems and coral reefs. Since its launch, People4Ocean has donated over $30k to community-led projects aiming to conserve and restore coral reefs in Australia, NZ, Fiji and the Indian Ocean, while committing to Australian sustainable manufacturing, clean ingredients and ethical practices in business.


Cassandra Casey & Karen Pathard_INU8

Cassandra Carey & Karen Pethard

Founders, INU8

Friends, Karen Pethard and Cassandra Carey launched Inu8 during a time when many women were feeling overwhelmed, disconnected and in search of something ‘more’. They felt that many activewear brands were focused on the needs of younger generations, so decided to take a more holistic approach that pays homage to the environment and wise women everywhere.

Cassandra and Karen are both passionate about holistic wellness and are united in their approach to supporting women wherever they are on their wellness journey.

Cassandra, a corporate lawyer-turned high-performance sportswear designer focuses on the ‘body’ with her experience in technical apparel construction, whilst Karen, a former marketer-turned botanical essences purveyor brings the ‘soul’.

Together, they share the belief that true wellness, including a sustainable approach, is a lifestyle to embrace, not simply a trend.



Read about more amazing women in the Spa & Wellness Industry HERE.
Want to nominate an amazing woman in the Spa & Wellness Awards 2024? Nominate HERE.

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