Saturday, January 25, 2014

Beautiful People: Marlene Longbottom

January 26 marks the celebration of Australia Day. Every year Aussies get out their Australian-flag beer stubbies and generally celebrate with a barbecue breakfast/lunch or at the beach if there is one close by. This holiday marks the day in 1788 when Captain Arthur Phillip, commander of the First Fleet of eleven convict ships from Great Britain and the first governor of New South Wales, arrived at Sydney Cove. 

Some Indigenous Australians find it hard to celebrate this day as it marks the start of what some would call 'Invasion Day'. I think it would be great to change the date of Australia day to mark another occasion in Australian history that both Indigenous and non-Indigenous people can celebrate wholeheartedly. Perhaps May 27th, to mark the referendum that demonstrated a shift in views and identified that 90% of the voting public supported the inclusion of Australian Aboriginals in the Australian constitution. 

All politics aside, I love Australia. I love that we are a diverse and beautiful country. I love that when people are sick, they are able to receive medical care. I am committed to helping the people of this nation with my God-given talent and abilities and no matter how far I travel, I have yet to find a place that I would trade it for. 

With this in mind, I wanted to take the opportunity to introduce you to Marlene Longbottom. She is the first person to be featured on Beautiful People and she is the perfect representation of the good in my country. 
The Beautiful People category was created to share worthy and inspiring stories and people that you should know about. We often get bombarded with so many images of what we should be and we forget how to walk a brave and honest journey. I hope these people inspire you because they have inspired me. 

Marlene Longbottom is a remarkable Aboriginal woman who has reignited her passion to live with integrity and honor through CrossFit and it's a change and process that has effected every element of her life and the way in which she lives it. Her CrossFit journey commenced in September 2012 and aside from racking up things like a 122 kg dead-lift, she has lost 30 kg and has managed to find herself amongst it all.

The single mother currently has a Masters in Tropical Medicine by research and is working towards her PHD. Marlene works as a researcher with the Institute of Urban Indigenous Health in Brisbane and when she's not there, you'll most likely find her training dirty at her local 'Box'. 

I was lucky enough to catch a few moments of time after a Waminda Aboriginal Women's Health well-being exercise class last Thursday. She was back in town for Sorry-Business (the funeral of her Grandmother) but was kind enough to give her time, if it meant she can help someone else. 

Describe a significant person to you in 7 words.
I'll have to describe my Crossfit Coaches Di and Brendan.
Committed, consistent, persistent, role-model, get shit done.

6 words that should be used daily.
Respect, love, persistence, honor, integrity, dignity.

5 words to sum you up at this point in time.
Tired, sore, but I love it.

4 things that everyone should experience.
Crossfit because it will change your life.

3 places you would like to visit.
USA but I will be heading over this coming July to watch the CrossFit Games and to visit a few boxes while I'm there. Rome and Hawaii.

2 goals you want to achieve.
To reach my goal weight (23 kg to go).
Represent my community in CrossFit.

Marlene's hands are looking pretty good now, but when they're torn from lifting, she wears them with pride.

1 piece of advice.
As women, we tend to put our families first and our health suffers. I was in a toxic relationship for a very long time and I was allowing someone to place value and worth on myself. Now I try to honor myself as a woman by knowing my value and what I'm working towards so it does not matter what other people say. 

Aim to be persistently consistent even if it hurts. I set aside at least an hour a day to get up and train and I'm connected to support communities and I encourage others on their journey. People often see the cosmetic changes in my appearance but they don't see the internal changes of my body and mind. I am growing stronger everyday and I'm not letting stress get to me. It's not about only doing CrossFit, but just to find your passion and to work towards it, that way you're living with integrity and working towards being the best person you can be. I ask myself, what legacy am I leaving behind for my son, my and community? What past of history am I changing? 

So what legacy are you leaving behind for your family and the world? 

Marlene is in the process of starting a blog, but you can follow her on instagram @marlenelongbottom

Big Love,

Falala Mele.

Friday, January 24, 2014


If you're a regular reader, you may recall that I've mentioned a desire to change a few things about Falala Mele. I initially started this blog to share my love for personal style but like most things; I've changed and so has my drive to share certain things. While I love clothes and individual style; it is just one creative outlet that I employ, so in an attempt to showcase all things beautiful I am going to share various features/posts under the following categories and I just wanted to let you know.

As always, thank you for reading and sharing and responding. I've been abundantly blessed by you all.

Big Love,

Falala Mele.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Beautiful things: Thrifted wedding look in Hawaii

Aloha lovely people. Just wanted to share my wedding look for Mary and Trevor's wedding held in the Kameamea School Oahu chapel. The setting was so pretty and  the church was perched high up in the mountain and gave a breathtaking view of Waikiki. I have more pics to come later as these ones are just off my phone.

So before I left Mildura I donated the majority of my belongings to the various opshops around town. I was in a hurry but I quickly had a look around and I found this floral vintage dress and I thought it would be perfect for the wedding. It's light, cool and the white and pastel colours give it that fresh spring feel. Winning wedding outfit for $8. I picked up the white shells from and ABC corner store for 90 cents. Paired them with White sandals from Big W. I would have preferred a pastel yellow for contrast but that's all I could rustle up before I left the country.

Wedding was beautiful.....but I'll fill you in on that later. Until then, aloha!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Beautiful places: Oahu, Hawaii

Aloha Falalas,

I hope the new year is treating you well. So far my trip to Oahu Hawaii has been surprisingly beautiful. Cliche perhaps, but I've been told by many that it's so built up and commercial; you can be forgiven for believing that you haven't left the mainland.

I however, feel as though Oahu has managed to preserve that 'local' feel even with the influx of tourists and their unapologetic aloha shirts. I love that shit, people flock here to relax and kick back with that 'aloha flow'.

I've been feasting on Hawaiian barbecue as well as those convenient ABC sambos when we are on the run. As soon as I left town, it felt like I was really in the islands. The coast, the surfers, front yard barbecues and sweet melodies decorating the air from those big ass trucks. Man, I love Hawaii. It really is a beautiful place and it's not just cause of the hypnotic blue waters but more so because I've felt so much aloha (love/heart) from the locals.

Our circle island tour guide Hanalei shared his sweet and spicy dried fish with this curious food-obsessed tourist (yeah man it was yummy....kinda like a fish jerky sad the Korean sauce made it!), we've had people get off the bus and physically lead us in the tight direction and today we bused it out to the west side to go visit Uncle George in a notorious part of town. A local man came up and asked my friends if they were tourists. 'Yes' they replied. 'Are you safe?' He questioned. 'Yes' replied my sister. They wandered over to the bus stop together and the man waited until the bus arrived. 'Bye' he waved as we piled onto the bus and off he went. He wasn't catching our bus like we originally thought, he was dropping the girls off to make sure they were okay.

Stuff like that is truly beautiful. Strangers chat and the younger always address older people with respect and love. 'Yes Aunty, that's what happened' she stated. Interactions so beautiful and honest, it just made me really happy and I was almost overwhelmed with respect for the cultural teachings and the emphasis on respect and family in my Polynesian culture.

Today is Saturday, my Sabbath. We had planned to visit Uncle George for our free Stand Up Paddle Boarding lessons, and then walk around to the local SDA church to fellowship with the locals, but fellowship found up. God's message was shared through the people he sent our way. It was a very special day today and it needs a post of it's own but it just made my aloha grow. I mean, I believe people are good but when it occurs consistently I'm still surprised.

I'll share a few photos from my phone but you can see most of my daily happenings on my Instagram account @mele2541

Iolani Palace

NYE feed BBQChicken 

Big aloha,

Falala Mele.