Danica is a Public Relations and Strategic Communications professional. She has held a range of leadership roles in both government and the private/commercial sector managing public affairs, advocacy and advising on government relations.
To kick things off, could you tell us a bit about your background, how you’ve navigated your career path, and what you’re currently working on?
My name is Danica Bunch, I am a Public Relations and Strategic Communications professional with a passion for business strategy, crisis management, leadership support, and coaching. Building strong relationships is my forte, allowing me to effectively achieve outcomes for my clients as a skilled networker and influencer.
I started my business with the vision of creating something unique, a company that not only thrived in the competitive market but also embodied my values and aspirations. Having spent the last two decades working in highly regulated and disciplined industries, I yearned for a change that would allow me to unleash my creativity, leverage my strategic mind, and embrace my joy of being a mother.
I wanted to build a company and a lifestyle that perfectly blended these elements, where I could have it all – a successful business venture and a fulfilling personal life. As an outsider to the PR agency model, I approached it with a fresh perspective and a different lens. Through this perspective, I uncovered numerous opportunities to revolutionise the industry and do things differently.
By starting my own business, I aimed to challenge the status quo and create a new paradigm for success. I wanted to establish a company that embraced innovation, celebrated creativity, and prioritised work-life balance. I knew that by combining my experience, my strategic mindset, and my passion for motherhood, I could forge a path that not only achieved professional excellence but also nurtured personal fulfilment.
On a personal level, I am a mother of two, a former ballerina, and an enthusiast of spin classes. Recently, my life took an unexpected turn with a health crisis of my own. This experience has prompted me to pivot my business towards advocating for fundamental changes in women’s health.
In addition to my professional pursuits, I am also an author. I have poured my 20 years of training and expertise into my upcoming book, “She. Has Breast Cancer.” Through this book, I apply the same framework I have honed throughout my career to regain control, confront and comprehend the uncertainties, recognise the impact on identity, and ultimately cultivate strength and resilience.
Overall, I am dedicated to leveraging my expertise, both in public relations and personal experiences, to make a positive impact on women’s health and empower individuals facing similar challenges.
Our audience is always curious about how others structure their days. Would you mind walking us through a recent typical workday for you?
A recent typical workday for me begins with an early start, usually around 5.30a.m. I kick off my day by dedicating some time to self-care, which includes meditation, exercise, and a healthy breakfast to energise myself for the day ahead.
Once I’m ready, I dive into my work. I start by reviewing and responding to any urgent emails or messages, ensuring that I address pressing matters promptly. I then set my priorities for the day and outline my goals and tasks.
Throughout the day, my schedule is filled with a mix of activities. This includes strategic planning sessions, client meetings, brainstorming creative ideas, crafting communication strategies, and managing ongoing projects. I allocate specific time blocks for focused work, allowing me to dive deep into tasks that require concentration and attention to detail.
As a strong believer in work-life balance, I also make sure to take short breaks throughout the day to recharge and refresh my mind. This might involve going for a short walk, practising mindfulness, or simply stepping away from my desk for a few minutes.
Collaboration is an essential part of my work, so I dedicate time to connect with team members, clients, and industry contacts. This could involve virtual meetings, phone calls, or even attending networking events or conferences.
Towards the end of the day, I review my progress, ensuring that I have accomplished my key objectives for the day. I take some time to plan for the next day, setting priorities and organising my schedule to optimise productivity.
Finally, as the workday comes to a close, I make a conscious effort to disconnect from work and focus on my personal life. Spending quality time with my family, pursuing hobbies, and engaging in activities that bring me joy and relaxation is crucial for maintaining a healthy work-life balance.
Each workday may bring its unique challenges and opportunities, but by structuring my day with a blend of focus, collaboration, and self-care, I aim to maximise productivity while nurturing personal well-being.
The concept of work-life balance means different things to different people. How do you personally define it, and what strategies do you use to maintain a healthy balance in your life?
One aspect I cherish about my work-life balance is the rhythm I have with my children, family and pets living in a small village in regional Australia. It provides a serene backdrop where mindfulness permeates my surroundings.
When I am home, I immerse myself in the tranquillity and find solace in the simplicity of daily life. It’s a stark contrast to my travel schedule and the hustle and bustle of the business world, which I also enjoy. The dynamic mix of peaceful village life and the excitement of bustling city environments provides a well-rounded experience that fuels my creativity and keeps me inspired.
My health crisis served as a profound wake-up call, abruptly shifting my perspective and shedding light on what truly matters in life. It propelled me into a sudden understanding of the importance of prioritising my health, well-being, and relationships. This experience taught me that time and energy are precious resources that must be dedicated wisely. I learnt my worth and value.
Gone were the days of sweating the small stuff or being consumed by trivial matters. The crisis forced me to reevaluate my priorities and focus on what brings true fulfilment and happiness. It became clear that nurturing my physical and mental health, fostering meaningful connections with loved ones, and pursuing my passions were paramount.
I discovered the significance of self-care, carving out time for activities that replenish my energy and nourish my soul. I now understand the need to allocate energy towards these vital aspects of life.
This newfound perspective has guided my decision-making, prompting me to invest my energy in endeavours that align with my values and contribute to personal growth. I have learned to say no to commitments that drain my energy and yes to opportunities that align with my purpose.
Change is inevitable, and embracing it can lead to personal growth. Over the past year, have you made any significant lifestyle adjustments to enhance your work-life balance?
Understanding how to manage change with a framework has been instrumental in enhancing my work-life balance. Interestingly, the framework I have utilised for managing crises and change in business for over 20 years has proven equally valuable in my personal life.
By applying this framework to navigate personal change, I have gained a structured approach that promotes adaptability and growth. It involves assessing the situation, understanding the underlying factors, and developing a plan of action. This framework has allowed me to embrace change with confidence, making necessary adjustments to achieve a healthier work-life balance.
Drawing from my experience in managing business crises, I have learned to anticipate and prepare for potential challenges in my personal life. This proactive mindset has enabled me to identify potential stressors and implement preemptive strategies to mitigate their impact.
This framework has emphasised the importance of communication and seeking support. Just as I would rally a team during a business crisis, I have learned to lean on my support network during personal changes, seeking guidance, and nurturing relationships that provide encouragement and understanding.
The framework that has guided me through years of managing crises and change in the business world has proved invaluable in navigating personal transformations. It has equipped me with a structured and adaptable approach, enabling me to effectively manage change, maintain a healthy work-life balance, and foster personal growth.
Our audience loves discovering new resources that can help them in their quest for balance. Are there any books, podcasts, or newsletters you’ve found particularly helpful on your journey that you’d like to recommend?
Book Recommendation: The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. This timeless classic offers profound insights about life, love, and the pursuit of meaning. It reminds us of the importance of embracing our inner child, cherishing relationships, and seeing the world through a lens of wonder and curiosity. The whimsical storytelling of The Little Prince serves as a beautiful reminder to prioritise what truly matters in our quest for balance and fulfilment.
Podcast Recommendation: The Burnout by Dr. Jo Braid. Dr. Jo Braid is a dear friend and host of this insightful podcast. The Burnout explores topics related to stress, burnout, and mental well-being, providing expert advice and strategies for preventing and recovering from burnout. Dr. Jo’s empathetic approach and deep understanding of the subject make this podcast a valuable resource for those seeking to find balance and prioritise self-care.
Newsletter Recommendation: The Daily Shine by Shine. This daily newsletter offers empowering messages, self-care tips, and guided meditations to support your well-being and help you find balance in your daily life.
Self care box on a monthly subscription – What Mellie Did Next monthly box by Mellie, another dear friend. Mellie’s monthly subscription box, available at https://whatmelliedidnext.com.au, offers a curated collection of stories, insights, and practical tools delivered right to your doorstep.
Each month, the box provides a fresh dose of inspiration, guidance, and relatable experiences to support your personal growth, resilience, and pursuit of balance. Mellie’s warm storytelling and thoughtful curation make each box a delightful journey of self-discovery and empowerment. Whether you’re navigating career transitions, seeking work-life balance, or pursuing personal passions, the What Mellie Did Next box offers a monthly source of wisdom and practical advice to help you thrive.
Do you have any closing thoughts, advice, or insights about work, life, or finding balance that you’d like to share with our audience?
First and foremost, remember that finding balance is a continuous journey rather than a destination. It requires self-reflection, adaptability, and the willingness to make adjustments along the way.
Prioritise self-care and make it a non-negotiable part of your routine. Taking care of your physical, mental, and emotional well-being is essential for long-term success and happiness. Remember that self-care is not selfish; it’s an investment in your overall capacity to thrive in both work and life.
Additionally, learn to set boundaries and say no when necessary. It’s okay to prioritise your well-being and establish limits on your time and energy. Be selective about the commitments you take on and ensure they align with your values and goals.
Seek support and build a strong network of colleagues, friends, and family who can provide guidance, encouragement, and understanding. Surrounding yourself with positive influences can significantly impact your work-life balance and overall satisfaction.
Lastly, embrace flexibility and adaptability. Life is unpredictable, and circumstances may change. Approach challenges with resilience, view them as opportunities for growth, and be open to adjusting your plans when needed.
Remember, work-life balance is unique to each individual. It’s about finding a harmony that aligns with your values, priorities, and aspirations. Be kind to yourself, be patient, and continuously seek a balance that brings joy, fulfilment, and overall well-being.
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