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How These Surfing Sisters Hope To Empower Young Aussie Women

Greene Sisters paddling out

Meet new surfing sensations Mikaela and Eliza Greene – the Western Australian sisters hoping to make a big splash in and out of the water.

While rising up the world rankings, the Western Australian-born siblings are also hoping to build their Greene Sisters’ brand along the way.

We caught up with the dynamic duo in a rare moment between carving up the sets.

What’s it like competing on the world surfing circuit with your sister?

It’s amazing to travel to so many places and experience various cultures with someone you’re so close to. However, when you’ve travelled for over 48 hours non stop and (Mikaela) accidentally leaves the only pre-paid cash card we have in an airport ATM in El Salvador, or when (Eliza) misplaces her passport AND our Chinese Visas the morning we were flying out, understandably things can get a little tense haha.

greene sisters surfing

How did your family upbringing influence your career as surfers?

Our nan was a junior professional swimmer (who competed – and won – against the likes of Dawn Fraser) and our dad (nan’s son) is an avid surfer so we were raised by the ocean. Surfing was an inevitable transition for us. Some of our earliest memories were of family camping/surfing holidays. Dad entered (Mikaela) in my first competition when I was 11 – the Inaugural National Taj’s Small Fries U16 womens event – and I placed 3rd. After that I was hooked on competing. Eliza started competing at 9 and she won the U12 RipCurl Gromsearch competition, and the rest is history!

Tell us about your brand ambassador roles.

The Greene Sisters are currently brand ambassadors for numerous international companies, such as;

  • GoPro – We are collaborating with GoPro in regards to documenting our International travels and we are releasing a series of webisodes as of early next year.
  • Super Advice – We are collaborating with the CEO of Super Advice services to find ways to encourage and empower women of our demographic to take control of their superannuation and plan ahead for their future retirement.
  • Empassion – We are the faces of this new up-and-coming Australian made, all natural skin care company. Empassion is launching globally in over 25 different countries as of early next year. We are handling all of their social media pages and media releases, as well as representing them on the global professional surfing circuit. Empassion is derived from the two words EMpowerment and comPASSION, and we are proud to be the international faces of a company that carries this ethos and gives back to the community with its various charity projects.
  • SDNF – A charter boat company by the name of Surf Dive N Fish is collaborating with us to host an All Girls 12 day surfing boat trip through the Mentawais in April next year. Surf Dive N Fish are working closely with us to provide an empowering adventure holiday to 10 women – who are competent surfers – where we will be island hopping and experiencing the wonderful culture of Indonesia. For more information on this please visit: http://surfdivenfish.com.au/other-adventures/greene-sisters-girls-surftriop-adventure/
  • CARVE – We are brand ambassadors for Carve Visionaries and represent them on the global world surfing circuit through promotion on our surfing equipment and interview acknowledgments.

How did you come up with the name the Greene Sisters?

Being our last name it seemed appropriate to incorporate it as the name of our brand. “Greene” is also such a versatile word as it ties in with the whole organic and health movement that has been documented through social media over the last couple of years. We lead a very healthy and active lifestyle, and it was an amazing coincidence that we have the ability to link our last name into that.

What is your health philosophy?

Balance… is chocolate in both hands 😉

On a serious note, we do fitness training 4 times a week and surf every single day – rain, hail or shine, so we need to fuel our bodies with a proper nutritious diet. (Mikaela) does all the cooking, and tries to incorporate a lot of fresh locally sourced meat, fruit and vegetables, as well as the occasional pasta dish and home made burgers. (Eliza) specialises in all the raw treats – cacao bliss balls, raw brownies etc so we don’t have “fat attacks” when we pass the confectionary aisle in the Super Market.

Mikaela and Eliza Greene

Can you share your tips for travelling ….. where has surfing taken you in the last two years?

So in the last two years we have travelled all around Australia, also to New Zealand, Spain, Portugal, France, China, California, El Salvador and Mexico. Our travel tips would be:

  • Buy a Navman and download the international maps. DO NOT WING IT! Trust us on this one haha.
  • Don’t over pack your suitcase before you leave, to be honest you won’t even wear half of the clothes you pack and you’ll need the extra space for all the trinkets you bring home from your travels.
  • Turn your mobile data OFF so you don’t get unexpected data roaming bills. This happened to a friend of ours and her bill was over $20 000
  • Always carry local currency on you before you arrive
  • Never convert your money at the airport (the conversion rates aren’t as good)
  • If you are travelling to a developing country, it’s wise to split the currency that you have in different places on your body (i.e. front pocket, back pocket, wallet etc) that way if you have to pay for a taxi etc you don’t pull out a huge bundle of cash and run the risk of being robbed.
  • Try to learn the local language, even download an app that doesn’t use data to help you. The locals really appreciate it and it adds to the experience!

You left home at 17 and 20 – was that scary? How do you support each other?

When we moved at the end of 2014, We honestly had no idea what we were in for. It was almost as if I (Mikaela) woke up one day and thought “I’m going to move to Manly!” Eliza was just about to graduate year 12 and even though she had never even been to Manly she still decided to invite herself haha. Being so naive definitely helped because by the time we realised how hard it was going to be we were too deep into the move and had too much pride to come home with nothing to show for it – even though we were completely broke at the time! So as far as mum and dad were concerned we had everything under control, when in reality we were living off $3 McCains pizzas from Coles. We definitely relied on each other pretty heavily financially. It always seemed to work out that if one of us was broke, the other sister had enough money to pull both of us through. For a good 8 months it felt as though we were drowning and just before we went under, there was always something that saved us and kept our heads just above the water. Eliza even sold her bed on gumtree so we could afford groceries for a month haha. Given the chance, we would do it again in a heartbeat – moving to the East coast was the best career move we could have possibly done, for both our surfing and our commercial Greene Sisters profile.

What does the future hold?

The Greene Sisters brand was only established eight months ago and we are proud of what we have achieved so far. 2017 holds a lot of exciting projects that we are currently working on – and will be released throughout the first few months of next year. Keep up to date with our journey through our @greene_sisters Instagram page

How do you help other young sporting women?

We have a number of young girls who follow our Instagram so we make sure that we promote ourselves as realistically and organically as possible – we aren’t trying to portray something that we’re not. All too often young women – not just in sports – feel the pressure of having to be over sexualised. We are trying to break down these ideologies by proving that you can lead a wholesome and happy life and embrace your femininity WITHOUT having to be objectified and over sexualised. As this movement gains more traction we hope to inspire more young women to embrace their individuality and be comfortable enough in their own skin.

Backside turn Greene Sisters

Who are your role models? Why?

A couple of years ago we saw Matthew McConaughey’s acceptance speech for Best Actor in Dallas Buyers Club and he said something that really resonated with both of us. When asked who his hero was, and he replied; “Myself in 10 years. Every week, month and every year of my life, my hero’s always 10 years away”. His reasoning behind this was that because his hero was himself in 10 years time, it was unattainable for him, so it gave him something to keep on chasing to better himself. This is a super powerful statement because in a world where everybody is constantly comparing themselves to others, its a nice reminder to find intrinsic motivation to better yourself and be the person you aspire to be instead of constantly coveting other peoples lives or success. So our role models are ourselves…In ten years time.

Written by Robyn Foyster

With over 30 years experience as a journalist and TV producer, Robyn Foyster is the owner and publisher of the lifestyle websites TheCarousel.com, GameChangers.com.au and WomenLoveTech.com.

Robyn was voted one of the 30 most powerful women in media at the 2015 B&T Women In Media Awards.

Previously, Robyn was the Publisher and Editor of Australia's three biggest flagship magazine brands - The Australian Women's Weekly, Woman's Day and New Idea.

Robyn won Editor of the Year at the 2007 Magazine of the Year Award and under her helm The Australian Women's Weekly won the inaugural 2008 Australian Magazine Award for Australia's best mass market magazine and New Idea won the MPA's coveted Magazine of the Year award.

She can be contacted on [email protected]

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