The Brave Team

Sema Musson and Hester Leung live with their families in neighbouring suburbs of Sydney.

With their life and work experiences, Sema and Hester know that developing a personal tool kit helps to provide support in whatever girls choose to do in their lives. Sema and Hester are both passionate about their daughters growing up to be strong, confident and courageous women,
and this influences their story-telling.

If Sema and Hester were at the same pre-school (impossible because Sema was born in Western Australia and Hester in Hong Kong), they would definitely have begun their friendship then. Luckily for them, their daughters did attend the same pre-school and became the best of friends. Now they are the best of friends.

That’s how The Being Brave Girls started.

Sema Musson

Author and Co-Founder

When Sema is not writing, she leads a team of professionals improving governance and conduct in a leading financial services organisation.

Sema is known for transforming organisations with purpose and strategy. She is the deputy chair and director of KU Children Services one of Australia’s largest not-for-profit providers of childcare and early education services. Sema is also an executive coach on ethics.

Being Brave to Sema means having the courage to listen to your heart.

Hester Leung

Author and Co-Founder

Hester loves writing and communication in its many forms, which is why in Being Brave, you will see stories, emails, journal entries, letters, phone calls and the odd poem.

Hester also used to write legal advice and agreements on  corporate law when she practised as a lawyer for many years. But now Hester is involved in developing disability housing and is also on the governing body of a women and children’s shelter. In these roles, she collaborates with partners and communities to uphold values of respect, empowerment and the importance of having a place to call home. 

Being Brave to Hester means being true to yourself and taking that first step.

Jelena Sinik


Jelena Sinik is a talented, award-winning animated filmmaker, designer and illustrator from Sydney. In 2018, Jelena was commissioned by a Sydney studio as a 2D Character Animator for the award-winning Customs House projection show in VIVID 2018. She also teaches at the School of Arts Media at UNSW. Jelena has won several awards for her animated films and has been festival-screened internationally numerous times. She has most recently won the 2018 ATOM Award for Best Tertiary Animation in Australia for her UTS graduate film ‘On’. 

All the artwork on this site, social media and in Being Brave were illustrated by Jelena Sinik.

Being Brave to Jelena means being honest with yourself and letting that be what leads the choices you make about who you are and who you want to be.


Karen Comer


Karen is passionate about books – reading, writing, editing and discussing them! Karen works as a freelance writer and editor, and also teaches writing workshops to children and adults, and tutors students in English. Karen believes that communicating with purpose and passion is important in all walks of life, so she strives to help and inspire others to put their best selves on the page with their words. Karen’s job has lots of variety – she can teach narrative techniques to Grade six students, edit a novel for children, tutor a Yr 12 student in Shakespeare, proofread a business book and write her own middle-grade novel – all in one week.

Being Brave to Karen means showing up in an authentic manner every day, so she can be her best self and contribute in a meaningful way to her family, friends and community. It means taking risks, speaking her truth, daring to dream big.

Sophie Panigirakis

Social Media

Sophie has extensive business and marketing experience, having worked for large multinational companies in senior marketing roles and ultimately transitioning into leadership roles within in the corporate space. She began her career in education as a secondary teacher in media and is now a senior fellow of the Marketing Institute. Currently, she is helping the Indigenous Reading Project and operating her consultancy BeeStrategic, having overseen major strategic shifts for operational transformation. A digital native, Sophie is comfortable across all digital channels – SEO, PPC, social, mobile and video – and can develop programs, implement and report on cost per acquisition by channel. 

Sophie was a Westfield Local Hero winner in 2018 for her work with Bayside Women’s Shelter. 

The courage to face off with difficult situations is a fear of Sophie’s. Being brave is facing off with fear, taking risks or standing out in the crowd. Sophie believes she is brave and can do anything!

Nikki Malvar


Dedicated to telling artfully crafted branding stories, Nikki’s business Heist Creative exists to help catch the eyes of her clients’ audience, and inspire them with their message. She’s a creative for creatives. In a nutshell, she makes beautiful content for brands that cuts through the noise.

Unless otherwise credited, all the photography on this site and in Being Brave were taken by Nikki Mavlar of Heist Creative.