The woman lighting the match

Not just luck

When people recount the story of their lives, they often attribute great opportunities they’ve had along the way to ‘luck’. While luck certainly can have its part to play, I believe most of the time what really led to their most exciting opportunities was fire.


Fire has driven me since I was a teenager. A burning desire for challenge, experiences and learning took me from primary school debate teams to becoming the first Capricorn Coast Junior Council Mayor. From a scholarship to Bond University to graduating top of my degree in Business Communications. Through selection for the DDB Advertising Graduate Program, a position on their top account McDonald’s Australia, then McCann Erickson’s largest account (MasterCard Australia) and over to the UK.


There I experienced bouts of both flame extinguishing and fuelling: working on large communication projects that took me to Geneva, Dubai, Paris and Dublin for Nokia, Virgin and Visa, and then finally a jump head-first into filmmaking. For the past 10 years I have continued to juggle the production of feature films and commercials with providing Client Services for internationally renowned clients, and 2015 saw me take the position of Head of Production at a feature film company in Sydney.

Tanya Meessmann
Founder of FUEL

Fanning the girl-shaped flames


Along the way I have found myself mentoring young, ambitious women who were taking those nervous steps into worlds unknown, driven by the same burning desire. With hindsight, I can say that this has been by far my most rewarding role. The fulfillment I experienced through empowering girls as they discovered their own unique potential and strength was the catalyst for developing FUEL. These girls had fire within. I played my small part in fanning those flames, and the results were powerful and permanent.


I believe in the girls of Australia, and that they deserve investment, support and challenges to shape who they are to become and what they are capable of.