Elaine Gallagher – Veteran and founder of Wellness Ignitor coffee
Born in Myanmar (formerly known as Burma), Elaine grew up in Perth, Western Australia, and joined the Australian Defence Force after an epiphany that she needed to turn her life around when she finished high school.
Elaine started her 13-year journey in the Army as a Clerk Technical with the Royal Army Ordnance Corps and later transferred to the Australian Intelligence. She deployed in East Timor and Bougainville then was medically discharged after being diagnosed with Stage 5 Cervical Cancer. Elaine went on to study her Masters of Occupational Health, Safety & Hygiene and had a successful career in the resource industry, working in oil and gas and mining.
Elaine is passionate about giving back and helping the veteran community. She now works with various ex-service organisations and was a Level 2 Welfare and Advocate within her RSL sub Branch. Elaine is an Enterprise Alumnus of The Prince’s Trust, a not-for-profit that inspires veterans and ADF families with the confidence, enterprise capabilities and the networks they need to explore entrepreneurship and prepare for the future of work.
Elaine started her own business ‘Wellness Ignitor’ which is all about coffee and social connection. The name was derived from Elaine’s own experiences in the military that have significance to her identity as a veteran.
Elaine said that she is passionate about “bringing communities together and finds it inspiring how a humble cup of coffee can powerfully connect people”.
The coffee that Elaine blends and its packaging represent strength, fighting an inner battle, overcoming adversity, and renewal. A snake represents the shedding of the skin, moving on, and renewing oneself. Finished off and packaged in white to signify moving forward accompanied by Mandela’s to signify peace and a breath of fresh air.
Elaine proudly provides coffee and connection to veterans and their families accompanied by a free chat and a portion of profits goes back into mental health support for veteran communities.
Elaine is training for her first half Ironman Triathlon in Melbourne next year. She acknowledges that exercise and fitness has helped her fight her inner battles.
Bearing many tattoos, Elaine is featured in the Australian War Memorial exhibition Ink in the Lines. Her tattoos, like many members and veterans of the Australian Defence Force, tell tales of her inner battles and her personal stories. Elaine’s tattoos start conversations, express her positive life decisions, and give a sense of protection and strength. Learn more on the history of tattoos in the ADF by visiting the online exhibition https://www.awm.gov.au/visit/exhibitions/ink-in-the-lines.
“Big plans, big dreams. All I can say is…watch this space!” – Elaine Gallagher
If you would like to connect with Elaine, send her a message via Facebook.