Shae Brown

CEO

Shae’s career so far has been a bit like a party bag of mixed lollies. A couple of bananas, some coke bottles in there… all different but equally as fun. She was a professional athlete for 15 years. She started a lifestyle business when she was 20, has completed a communications degree and is currently half way through a psychological sciences degree. Shae is a lover of learning and like many other classic overachievers, studies purely for the enjoyment of it.

More recently, Shae enjoyed working with the team at PAN leading the investment portfolio, whose vision is to empower people with passion to chase their dreams and change the world. Her job was to find great people all over the world, with great ideas. Hard gig! It’s there that Shae’s eyes were opened to unbelievable things happening in the world of start ups and she learnt more than she could’ve imagined from the people in PAN’s orbit. Shae was unknowingly starting to find her future CEO feet.

Wayne was one of those incredible people that PAN backed and she couldn’t help but feel the same intense passion about ending suicide in Australia as Wayne does. When it was time to take Puka Up to the next level it was a natural fit for Shae to take the reins and support Wayne in his vision.
She’s has another little start up in the form of a baby, Bowie John, born in April 2020 (Yep a little Covid baby). The P&L is looking sketchy, but it’s potential is ginormous.

Why Puka Up?

Puka Up’s mission speaks to my soul. I believe deeply in our work and the old adage of love what you do and you’ll never have to work a day in your life rings completely true for me.

Imagine a world where we all live in communities of wellbeing, where suicide has been completely eliminated. A place where it’s totally ok to be you. This is why I do what I do.

The best part of your job?

Working with Wayne (jokes). I love challenges. If this job wasn’t challenging I absolutely wouldn’t be doing it. We know our vision is audacious and we’re building a pathway towards it. The path is long and it’s going to take a lot of steps to get there but the challenge that poses for me gets my blood pumping.

When you're not working you're...

Not long ago, I might have answered this question with working. I absolutely could have been placed in the personality bracket of type A perfectionist. This job has really taught me so much about my own wellbeing journey. I had a Puka Up ‘aha!’ moment recently – sometimes doing nothing is the most productive thing I could be doing.

I’m currently in a jigsaw puzzle trance with my husband which started as a relaxing, mindful activity and quickly turned into an intense competition (you can take the bib off this ex netballer but…)

Otherwise there’s nothing I love more than family time. Close seconds are studying, reading, cycling, running or travelling.

How do you take care of your wellbeing?

Everyday is different. I used to have a checklist of wellbeing. Meditation… tick, run… tick, etc. Now it’s just giving myself the space to ask the question: what does my mind and body need from me today?

Quick fire:

What’s your happiness hack?
Diving into the ocean. If the ocean is inconvenient, a cold shower.

Perfect weekend?
Husband, dog, lots of nature. At least 1 social activity. But no more than 2 social activities (see below question).

Introvert or extravert?
Introvert

Morning person or night owl?
Very annoying morning person

Phone call or text?
Phone call

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