Arriving to have a cup of tea and a chat with Melissa Histon, we are greeted by two bounding pups – Carlos and Jadie. It’s 3pm and school children are lining up to give their favourite neighbourhood pups a pat and a scratch through the decorative iron fence.
“Carlos and Jadey are a bit famous around here!” Melissa says as she lets us in. “A lady from the neighbourhood found Carlos when he escaped one day, she brought him home of course, but not before taking him out to lunch!”
We are welcomed inside Melissa’s gorgeous home at The Junction and she tells us that taking her dogs for a walk up to Bar Beach is one of her favourite things to do when she isn’t blogging, coordinating and event planning for her business – The Sista Code.
Another of her favourite things to do is to travel. “I love to immerse myself in other cultures – really get to feel their way of life,” she tells us. “I just got back from an amazing trip around the UK.”
Although Melissa travels extensively, she has been a Novocastrian at heart ever since she moved from Canberra to Newcastle when she was 10 years old.
Melissa was operating a successful photography business in Newcastle when her passion for travel and culture led to an opportunity with 3 Angels Nepal, a human trafficking rescue program.
Working as the stills photographer on location for a documentary, Melissa was to embark on a photographic and personal journey, documenting the harsh realities of life for women and girls in Nepal.
When Melissa returned to Newcastle from this particular trip to Nepal however, she admits it was hard to forget about what she had witnessed and to continue on ‘life as normal’ back home in Australia.
“I knew I had to do something – I had to do my part to start helping lift up the women of Australia and the women of the world.”
This is when she started The Sista Code, a growing community with a mission to make a difference.
Melissa made it her mission to nourish the community and help create a healthy environment to heal and grow in.
The code is simple:
- Support and uplift other women
- Celebrate the wins and successes of other women
- Lead the way – inspire other women and be inspired by other women
- Love you and love others
- Have fun and enjoy your life
- Laugh often and heartily
- Be happy – strive to raise your baseline level of happiness
- Pay-it-forward as often as you can
- Be open-minded
- Let your beautiful self shine without apology
And Melissa is certainly living up to the code – from organising local fundraisers, to furnishing women’s refuges, to building houses in Nepal with Habitat for Humanity.
The Sista Code raises funds through it’s own charity arm Got Your Back Sista, which primarily focuses on helping women and children become emancipated from domestic violence situations, and from there helping them to be nurtured and healed.
It’s not hard to be inspired by Melissa’s work and passion. If you are reading this and thinking about what you can do to be a rainbow in someone else’s cloud – we have a suggestion:
Melissa is currently rallying the Villagers of Newcastle and the Hunter Valley to join her at the upcoming 1000 People 1 Voice Event on September 3, 2016 at Hunter Stadium.
“Its going to be a great day! Great entertainment for families, a kit full of vouchers, a shirt and a drink bottle – things like that,” Melissa tells us. “It’s a real community event and best of all the proceeds all go toward furnishing two new local crisis centres for women and children.”
“It’s all about being the best person you can be – uplifting, inspiring other sistas and sharing the love!”