Be Bold, Be Brave, Be an Inspiration

Welcome to ‘Grab that Grant’, a monthly column brought to you by local grants guru, Carolyn McCall. Carolyn is the founder of the Little Project Management Company, and has a wealth of knowledge and an insight into the industry. This month Carolyn met with charity director and local business woman, Tanya Allan to find out what makes this incredible lady tick and to discover more about her extraordinary story .

Carolyn McCall

It was this moment, during my recent chat with Tanya Allan—founder of Little Big Swim School, Tanya Allan Storyteller and, the charity The Bravery Box—that really got me thinking. 

‘I always wanted to leave the place better than when I found it.’

This was her response to my question about why she started The Bravery Box, a charity that supports children and teens to find their inner strength in the toughest of circumstances, including childhood cancer.

Recently, I have been thinking about why many people wait to create a business they are passionate about. I work mostly with women, and many believe that they should be the only one doing what they do or that they have to be the best or the expert in their field before they start. But here before me was Tanya, a woman who was following her passion to the absolute fullest and who had started and was running two businesses and a charity!

The truth is that you do not have to be ‘The One’ in your field or the only person who provides a particular service. There is space for everyone. What matters is having your own unique voice and using it to shed light on what you truly believe in. Sometimes, the hardest thing to get right when creating a for-purpose business is your mindset. We are already good enough and ready as we are. 

Tanya told me that she knew she had to use her voice to stand up for what she was truly passionate about. But she doesn’t do it alone. She has the support of her cheerleaders, her family and friends, who hold a space for her in good and hard times. 

Tanya is mum to the incredible Lara—a survivor of Leukaemia, who showed incredible strength and bravery during her 800 long days of chemotherapy and treatment. Tanya started The Bravery Box with inspiration from Lara’s gorgeous oncology nurses, who had been collecting donations at the hospital to help children practice recovery from often-traumatic procedures. Over time, Tanya’s toy drives turned into The Bravery Box.

Lara ringing the bell for end of treatment

Tanya really embodies bravery and fun. It shows up at The Bravery Box, it shows up at her Little Big Swim School, and it shows up in her writing as Tanya Allan Storyteller. There is something beautiful about having the courage to step outside your comfort zone and do something that fills you with joy. Tanya has been able to find joy on her journey, even in those harder moments, and regularly takes the time to celebrate her wins.

In 2021, I will use Tanya’s words as a reminder that we are all ready as we are, and we can use the bravery we have inside of us to follow our passion. And if you have a passion for leaving our community better than when you found it, then I can’t wait to see what you create this year.

If you would like to have a chat with me, please email me on 

The women in our community are a constant source of inspiration for me. The most valuable time I spend each month is meeting up with female for-purpose founders who are passionate about what they do. 

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