Alena Turley is a soulful parenting and ethical lifestyle educator and writer. For the last 11 years she’s been running SoulMamma, a blog that’s all about looking after the planet and ourselves. Alena’s a multi-passionate mother of three, a martial arts instructor and someone who builds community everywhere she goes.
“I really love bringing women together. I think it’s so powerful when we put our minds to something we believe in.” Alena says.
Alena is based on Sydney’s Northern Beaches and for a time lived in England where she founded Mums in Bath, an online community, which grew to have more than 6000 members.
“I’m a connector. That’s my massive driver.”
Alena is also socially focused.
“When lockdown happened, I realised the Asylum Seekers Centre would be under a lot of pressure. We live in a fairly affluent area and I wanted to educate people about the diversity of experiences. So I put a post online in a local group I created asking who would like to help out. Zali Steggall, our local MP, found out about it. And we eventually arranged several carloads of food to be delivered to the centre. It was a really organic process and more people got involved over time delivering their donations also.”
“I went to this amazing event that The City of Sydney ran. It was a panel-led discussion on climate change. I remember someone asking David Suzuki, a well-known Canadian academic and environmental activist who was on the panel, what the most impactful thing you could do for the planet was. He said, ‘invest your super ethically.’
So I did my research and saw that Verve was an ethical super fund for women only.”
At one point in Alena’s life, she was in debt and a single parent, so financial wellbeing is important to her.
“I was drawn to the ethical nature of the fund, the fact it is run by women and advocates for the financial independence of women. You are also underwritten by a credible fund. That’s important.”
“With financial security we have the power to choose. True agency can only happen with the stability that wealth provides. Once women experience stability and wealth a freedom to live out values and beliefs emerges. On a day to day basis it means time with my family, good food and adventures.”
Gladys Elphnick (1904-1988) was an Aboriginal woman known for her crucial role in Indigenous women’s rights and women’s rights in Australia and abroad. Affectionately known as Auntie Glad, Gladys lobbied for women’s rights and set up a women’s shelter in Adelaide, she led the formation of recreational clubs and empowered Indigenous women to learn English.
“The reason I would like to have dinner with her is that she sounds like a person who lived and breathed her beliefs in a time when that wouldn’t have been the easiest of pathways.”
Alena’s mum and grandmother instilled in her the importance of being generous of spirit, living from the heart and trusting herself.
“My grandmother particularly had a quiet dignity about her, and although there wasn’t any one particular saying she always held the attitude that no matter what, everything passes so we must always keep our eyes and hearts open, and our thoughts positive.”
“I aim to use the gifts I possess to the maximum benefit of those I care about and the wider world around me. What lights me up is when I find ways to apply myself to bigger picture ideals — caring for the earth, caring for ourselves and our children, and increasing understanding between people who see themselves as different to each other.
Helping people tune-in to what’s important to them and live in alignment with their ideals is so fulfilling. I love breaking that down into simple practical steps and helping mums work out how to get from A to B so they can feel better about themselves, their lives, and their roles as custodians of our planet. That has an awesome flow-on effect when children observe these things happening too.”