A VASE of lucky bamboo sits atop a timber dining table in the home of Wodonga businesswoman Bernadette Torresan.
The houseplant symbolises the wish for a strong life filled with prosperity.
Yet as a survivor of domestic violence, cervical cancer, divorce and workplace bullying, it's soon beyond doubt that Ms Torresan already has strength in spades.
Growing up on a Griffith orchard, Ms Torresan was often exposed to her father's violent fits of rage.
She said the last straw came when he retaliated against her for protecting her mother from him.
"The next day he made a point of showing who was the authority in the household and he chased me with an axe," she said.
"(Mum and I) We literally packed the car up with school books and whatever and left and never went back.
"There was just that moment of 'oh my god' we're homeless."
Having studied journalism, radio and TV production, Ms Torresan launched GO (Griffith's Own) Magazine nearly two decades ago.
Though her marriage broke down on the Border, it also produced the love of her life, son Jye, now 9.
"I threw my job in, I was divorced, broken, paying off solicitors' fees," Ms Torresan said.
"It was a really difficult time with a three-year-old and no family here."
Ms Torresan said sometimes when you hit rock bottom, the only way was up.
"I like to use the analogy of the Phoenix where they have to crash and burn to be reborn," she said.
"We often look at hard times in our lives as the catalyst to break ourselves and give up ... I don't see it like that at all. I see it as another opportunity to grow."
In 2016 Ms Torresan launched Go Local Magazine, which since has been placed in Qantas Business Lounges Australia-wide.
A new biannual magazine Go Australia will be launched next year while a seasonal magazine to replace Go Local will be launched next month.
Ms Torresan was recently named as a finalist in three categories of the 2019 AusMumpreneur Awards: Business Excellence Victoria; People's Choice Awards: Influencer; and People's Choice Awards: Making A Difference (Business).
The awards will be announced in Melbourne on September 6.
Having made peace with her dad, Ms Torresan fulfilled his dying wish when she returned his ashes to Italy a year ago this week.
She said she didn't harbour any resentment.
"The biggest lesson was to have faith in myself, also to trust my instincts; to follow my heart and dreams.
"Then everything else started to unfold."
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