Turia Pitt joins ranks of Women's Weekly cover stars
Because she is quite simply one of the most impressive women you will ever hope to meet, Turia Pitt makes her debut this month on the cover of Australia's biggest-selling magazine.
In a special, July edition of The Australian Women's Weekly, the mining engineer and inspirational burns survivor joins the judging panel of the magazine's annual Women of the Future scholarship awards.
Turia's fellow Women of the Future judges include habitual cover girls Jennifer Hawkins, Lisa Wilkinson and Rachel Griffiths – yet, according to Weekly editor-in-chief Helen McCabe, when it came time to decide which of the panel would take the coveted cover slot, there was never any doubt.
"For eighty years the Women's Weekly has been celebrating inspirational Australian women," said Helen. "When Turia was photographed as part of our Women of the Future judging panel among a group of similarly impressive Australian women, it was clear from the moment she sat in front of the camera that the July cover had to belong to her."
"Any attempt to describe the magic and beauty of Turia seems to get lost in platitudes or clichés. Yet I have never met a more remarkable person."
Three years ago, Turia, 26, was caught in a bushfire whilst running an ultra-marathon in The Kimberley, Western Australia, suffering burns to 64 per cent of her body. Though doctors initially gave her only the slimmest chance of surviving, she has since defied expectation and staged a recovery which has astonished all medical experts.
In the past six months alone she has ridden a bicycle from Sydney to Uluru for charity, swum a 20 kilometre race in Western Australia's Lake Argyle and walked the Great Wall of China – all to raise funds for the reconstructive surgery charity, Interplast.
"Being on the cover of The Australian Women's Weekly is a huge honour," says Turia. "I feel very humbled."
"For me, it sends the message that confidence equals beauty. There are a lot of women out there who are so beautiful but don’t have the confidence, and that's what gets you over the line."
In the magazine, Turia reflects on the past three years of her life – from surviving the bushfire that almost killed her, to the remarkable love of her partner, Michael Hoskin that did so much to underpin her recovery – and says she feels like "the luckiest girl in the world."
The Australian Women's Weekly Women of the Future scholarship program, now in its second year and sponsored by Qantas, aims to uncover the women leaders of tomorrow. This year's judging panel comprises Turia, Lisa Wilkinson, Jennifer Hawkins, Senator Penny Wong, Carnival Cruises CEO, Ann Sherry, journalist Jana Wendt, and actor Rachel Griffiths.
The finalists will be announced in September and the winners – who will share in $80,000 worth of prizes – will be announced in October.
Read more of this story in the July issue of The Australian Women's Weekly.