Pacific Paradise

Fifty fantastic Australians – DARE Fifty over 50 list honours one of GemLife’s own

Fifty fantastic Australians - DARE Fifty over 50 list honours one of GemLife’s own

The dare magazine fifty over 50 list, an inaugural list of fifty Australians making a difference, was revealed this month and features GemLife Pacific Paradise resident and trailblazing aviator Mary Earnshaw.

DARE, a magazine published by Australian Seniors, launched the list for the first time in 2022 with GemLife on board as sponsor.

Selected from more than 100 nominees, those listed are making a positive impact on our community and society or are flying the flag for a fulfilling and rewarding life over 50. To be considered in the list, candidates had to fall into one of the following five categories: The Influencers, The Quiet Achievers, The Thought Leaders, The High Performers and The Trailblazers. This list brings incredible stories to enlighten and inspire, of great Australians who have earned their stripes.

Many familiar names and faces appear in the list such as Australian culinary royalty, Maggie Beer, an advocate for the importance of good food for older Australians through the Maggie Beer Foundation. Nicole Kidman also features for her work in telling women’s stories both in front of and behind the camera. Another familiar name making the list, Nobel Prize winner Professor Peter Doherty, who as an immunologist, has achieved more than most, reinventing himself as a science commentator throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Another name to look out for is Stan Grant, a powerful voice for Indigenous people in Australia as one of the country’s most respected journalists.

GemLife Director and CEO Adrian Puljich said the annual list was a fantastic way to honour the valuable contribution made by Aussie over-50s to community, culture, business, and society.

“As an Australian company that caters to the over-50 demographic, I am thrilled for GemLife to support an initiative that recognises the unique and varied achievements of Aussies aged 50 plus,” he said.

“It’s great to see such a diverse range of people and achievements represented on the inaugural list, including one of our own trailblazing residents Mary Earnshaw, and we applaud all those who were nominated.”

Mary Earnshaw


Mary’s father built a life-size replica of a Tiger Moth in their Bunbury backyard in Western Australia for her brother, who dreamed of being a pilot. But it was Mary who fronted up to Bunbury Aero Club at age 20. “It was 1977 and women just didn’t learn to fly,” she tells DARE. “Back then women stayed home, had babies and learned to cook. I did none of the above. So, I started flying and it cost $26 an hour, which was 40% of my stenographer wage.”

Mary gained her Commercial Pilot’s Licence in 1982 and trained further to become Perth’s Chief Flying Instructor in 1987 – the first female in Australia to hold the title. By the time she retired from flying, she had 20 years of experience and had inspired a new generation of women to fly. She is still mentoring, and last year took to the skies in a seaplane to celebrate International Women’s Day.

The inaugural DARE Fifty over 50 list

The Influencers

Use their status or position to increase awareness on issues and advocate for change.

  • Maggie Beer
  • Nicole Kidman
  • Magda Szubanski
  • Tina Arena
  • Costa Georgiadis
  • Archie Roach
  • Muriel Halsted
  • Dr Norman Swan
  • Dr Jamal Rifi
  • Craig Foster

The Quiet Achievers

Committed to getting the job done without any fanfare or seeking accolades, they are the backbone of our communities and society.

  • Betty Taylor
  • Dr Mark Wenitong
  • Beverley Shuker
  • Mary Hanna
  • Michael ‘Mick’ Brosnan
  • Sister Christine Henry
  • Professor Jon Olley
  • Jane Edmanson
  • Pastor David Shrimpton
  • Ray Kelly

The Thought Leaders

Offer trusted, informed
opinions in their area of
expertise to educate and

  • Andrew Denton
  • Stan Grant
  • Dr Cassandra Goldie
  • Peter Stutchbury
  • Dina Petrakis
  • Rosie Batty
  • Professor Tim Flannery
  • Sam Mostyn
  • Andrea Mason
  • Neil Balnaves

The High Performers

Demonstrating perseverance, agility and resilience, they continue to reach new heights.

  • Dame Olivia Newton-John
  • Jacki Weaver
  • Paul Kelly
  • Bryan Brown
  • Judith Lucy
  • Ita Buttrose
  • Dick Smith
  • David Walsh
  • Judy Davis
  • Rob de Castella

The Trailblazers

Leaders in the field whose achievements have a direct impact of making our world a better place.

  • Professor Peter Doherty
  • Dermot O’Gorman
  • Mary Earnshaw
  • Dr Ray Shuey
  • Professor Martin Green
  • Dr Cathy Foley
  • Professor Susan Kurrle
  • Shemara Wikramanayake
  • Lindy Lee
  • Professor Ian Frazer

Read about each of the fabulous Fifty over 50 nominees at

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