What a year! It’s been filled with trials, tribulations, and triumphs of a seriously epic nature. Even for a life lived in construction, which usually means every day is an adventure.

It started with a drive to Melbourne to collect not one, but two monsters. They look like Rhodesian Ridgebacks but they are monsters. They turned one year old in October, but in January, they were small(ish), and cute, and cuddly. Puppy cuddles are the best thing ever. And while I was dealing with that, it was announced I was awarded one of the Top Ten Women to Watch, for YMag, in 2019.

Baby Monsters

I could say I was consumed with adoration for my new baby puppies, which is still true, but I was also… Uncertain how to deal with this.

I’d won a truckload of awards previously, but always within my industry, my workplace, my comfort zone. This was not. It was public, judged by women, and made me sound… Amazing. Not something I am used to. In my world being amazing was how I operated every day and was expected. It wasn’t celebrated. Maybe applauded on occasion.

So I kind of ignored it. I told people, and I was excited, but that was about it. Next, I was invited to talk in India at an incredible conference and everything was booked. Going to see the Taj Mahal has been a goal for my engineering heart forever…. Yes, I’m nerdy that way. Love a well designed and constructed building. And then… You could see that coming right? Less than a week out from the flight, I was rushed to emergency and has my gall bladder and a few floating stones removed. 7mm in size – I don’t do anything by halves! No wonder it hurt. So that plan got squished and I had 6 weeks to do very little but think and recover. Not great for someone who lives life at full tilt.

I am trying to offer my experience and skills as a mentor and coach to other women, because I really want to show women they don’t have to let circumstances of their life rule their outcomes, and so I took the opportunity to be featured in the next two YMag releases, one of which was as a cover girl (, another very weird episode in this year’s adventures. Again, not something that I fully realised would be so confronting until I saw my face all over social media… Again and again and again…!

I was mentoring a wonderful and successful businesswoman as part of my NAWIC contributions and she also happens to be the VP of the Australian chapter. She felt I should apply for the Qld awards for all my efforts in the Industry, and gave me pause for thought.

What better way to reach the women I want to mentor, to showcase the potential of a career in construction, to lead by example than to be recognised by my peers. I did enter and that led me to be awarded the Crystal Vision trophy against a field of very worthy fellow finalists. I was so proud of this award because I felt I had earned this one many times over in 30 years of service and shit shoveling.

Life was pretty good, and I had another speaking engagement for the YFactor experience and so of course, life punched down. The day before my baby girl, my not-quite-one-year-old doggo nearly died from an allergic reaction. I got her to the vets just in time, and don’t ask me any more details as the speeds were highly illegal and dangerous) but then had to make the decision to leave her brother with her at the vets all weekend for monitoring while I prepared myself to wow women with wondrous words on stage. While experiencing mum guilt for the first time ever in my life. How any women gets past the crippling guilt of leaving their child (and mine was four-legged, not like I’d personally popped this one myself) and doing anything in the world is truly award-worthy!

By now I was getting used to the “social leverage” of this kind of event, so I did make some waves about the Crystal Vision Award and embraced being fabulous just a little more.

And then… Less than a few weeks ago, I won another award. This one was even further outside of my experience again, and the category was one that received the highest amount of nominees, so you imagine my pleasure at being in the top five. You can imagine my surprise when it was my name that was read out as gold, winner. First. Fearless Educator.

And I feel like that truly sums me up. Fearless. Educator. It goes to my brand of #GladiatHER, the warrior women who go after what they want, who live out loud, who make noise, make waves, and take no shit. Who holds out a hand to another woman and lifts them up because they know what it is like to be alone, to be a forerunner, to be a disruptor, to not have support.

So now I am roaring my success and making it all about you next year. I have been told by friends they plan to beat my record in 2020. I hope so. I want them to.

And I will offer my guidance, experience, my multi-award- winning knowledge, to support them in any way. To make sure they exceed my achievement. Because if I can do it, so can they. I believe in them, probably even more than I have believed in me sometimes. And I believe in me pretty strongly. After all, I have a trio of triumph from this year to remind me how seriously amazingly awesome I have become. A trilogy of trophies. A triplet of testimonials. A triumph of tenacity. A true testament to overcoming trials.

And 2020 is going to huge for me. This is just the beginning of me making sure the world knows I am ready to be louder, bigger, brighter, bolder, and even more successful. Because what else is it all for but to inspire you to do your best?

Becky Paroz

Because what else is it all for but to inspire you to do your best?