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Danielle McAlpine Johnson's Answers to Thriving Interview

Updated: Nov 6, 2019

Interview with Danielle McAlpine Johnson
Answers to Thriving with Danielle McAlpine Johnson, Creator of Behind The Sash

Internationally published Writer, Director and Producer, mother-of-three, and Creator of Behind The Sash TV Documentary Series - Shining a light on Australia’s most influential women, women who are fighting for issues of injustice to create a better future. This series celebrates their strength and courage and reveals a new realm of women to idolise, women doing good.


The ‘Answers to Thriving' is an interview series that takes a look at the women who have created a life of self-success. We uncover key moments, lessons and habits that have influenced the life they lead today.


You can’t start the day without:

Coffee and Jesus! (Plus - Mini feet wrapped around my face and ribs, a big kiss from my hubby and a wet sniff and lick from our furry friend!)

A favourite quote is:

“We reap what we sow, more than we sow, later than we sow!" Charles F. Stanley

One wellness ritual you do regularly:

Gym, Worship, Massage, Prayer! Repeat :)


The last inspiring podcast you listened to and what makes it worth a listen:

Joyce Meyer - Relieving Stress. It is so important as a busy mum, wife, daughter and career woman to recognise we have choices. We can choose what we focus on, what and who we put time into, what we allow into our life, what we say yes to and what we say no to. We don't need to worry about tomorrow, it will take care of itself. Just focusing on the here and now and choosing what we put our attention into and making wise decisions on who we let into our world is vital to our mental, spiritual and physical health. Once we focus only on the things we are called to focus on for that very moment, that very day, we become a greater version of ourselves and a vessel to be used for goodness. This podcast has strategies to help us relieve stress and live the life we are destined for.

A recommended read for personal growth:

Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren - there is a reason it's a number 1 best selling book! Every human being on the planet has an incredible purpose for their life. They are destined for greatness. It's not until we all recognise who we are intended to be and walk out our purpose together at one time that we will see a significant shift across humanity for the greater good.

I have a fire in my belly to see the atmosphere shift across the planet and see our next generation rise up in their calling and I believe this book is a great turning point for many people when they read it.

How do you go about self-development?

I have tremendous mentors in my life, all much older and wiser. They are people who hold me accountable, who care about not only me, but my family and our mission and purpose. They challenge us to be the very best version of ourselves. I think when we have people we trust to speak into our life, check us when we get out of line and help us to continue walking the narrow path and pioneering in our destiny, then we become who we are created to be and can thrive in the midst of adversity.

Which business or person inspires you right now?

Rokk Ebony, who are actually our funding body for Behind The Sash inspire me. My business partner Tony and his sister Pina were 21 years old when they started Rokk Ebony and have pioneered and revolutionised hairdressing in Australia. They have expanded to multiple salons and are 17 times salon of the year. Pioneering in any industry isn't easy. It takes great tenacity, strength and determination. I believe that's why they have aligned with Behind The Sash.

Who has helped you progress in your career the most and what did they do to support you?

My husband is a creative also. He has the gift of singing and song writing yet is incredibly humble. He has taught me to never give up, to not let the world define who I am and constantly believes in me even in moments of self doubt. I also have had incredible mentors such Film Maker Belle Wolter and Author/Artist Mark Rusic who have challenged me. Iron sharpens iron and they have always challenged my craft and my ability to use it to serve others. Plus I have had an incredible Co-Producer on Behind The Sash Bessie Kay who has a great heart for humanity and to see goodness made fashionable in an industry that needs it most!

What has been the most defining moment in your career to date?

Channel 10 offering to sign Behind The Sash came 12 hours before my mother passed away from Cancer and although I didn't understand why it was all happening at the same time I trusted that there was a Divine plan at play. I have known all my life I was called to be a light in the arts and entertainment industry, but was crushed for a very long time. To be able to tell Mum just before she passed away that my dream was coming true was both bittersweet and an absolute turning point. I knew destiny was being birthed, lives would be changed and my Mum was my biggest cheer leader. Carrying Mum in my heart daily fuels my fire to see the social injustice landscape shift and to be able to use my passion and my pain to birth purpose in the lives of others is a true honour.

If I hadn't overcome the fear of speaking and listening to myself, I wouldn't be blessed with this incredible, impactful powerhouse of women around me. They are a gift.

What fear have you had to overcome to pursue your ambitions?

My voice! I can't stand the sound of my own voice. But I know it's a God given voice that can speak volumes into the lives of those around me. I have a women's mentor group called Sisters Keeper and many young ladies have been encouraged through the work we do. If I hadn't overcome the fear of speaking and listening to myself, I wouldn't be blessed with this incredible, impactful powerhouse of women around me. They are a gift.

Life/career advice you wish you’d been given in your early 20s?

Be unashamed of who you are and who you are destined to be. Be unapologetic about your indifferences, quirks and unique beauty. We were all created uniquely and with different abilities, gifts and skills.

For many years in my 20's I lost my way, was insecure and allowed people to take the best parts of me. I would encourage my 20 year old self to love unconditionally but also be wise in who she surrounded herself with. Recognise not everyone is for you, but the creator of the world is backing you. If He believes in you, then you can do anything!!!

If anyone is searching for their purpose a good place to start is where our passion meets our pain. Where those two worlds collide is where our purpose lies.

What advice would you give women who want to make a positive change in their lives?

Watch Behind The Sash! That's the reason why we have created it. To inspire our sisters to be the best version of themselves and to pursue their dreams and passions. If anyone is searching for their purpose a good place to start is where our passion meets our pain. Where those two worlds collide is where our purpose lies. It takes a lifetime for a destiny to unfold but a good place to start is finding your purpose.

What does thriving mean to you?

Thriving to me means living in complete freedom! Freedom from shame, condemnation, ridicule, jealously, envy, bitterness or guilt, and living with joy, peace, mastering long-suffering, loving others with no expectations or doubt and fulfilling the call upon your life. I think when we are living in this vein we can slay life and our babies can walk in our footstep into a better world!

Danielle McAlpine Johnson creator of Behind The Sash

Anything else you would like to share with the Thrivhers community?

I would love every woman who reads this to know they are not alone. They are cherished, loved and appreciated and can do anything they set their mind to. I'd love if they reached out or came along to a Sisters Keeper gathering and joined the fight for change with us in the social justice landscape and making this world a better place.

Behind The Sash airs every Saturday on Channel 10 Peach at 1:30pm with an encore at 8am Sunday on Channel 10.


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