International Women’s Day symbolizes the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women globally. It’s a day of celebration, but it’s also a day to reinforce our push for a world where women are not disadvantaged within their homes, in education, at work and in politics.
Let’s meet 8 fantastic young Australian women spreading positive vibes throughout our communities and who will inspire you to reach your full potential!
1. Drisana Levitzke-Gray
Drisana Levitzke-Gray comes from a strong line of deaf women. The fifth woman in her family to be born deaf, Drisana is dedicated to advocating and advancing the human rights of deaf people. Drisana has worked with communities around the world to expand leadership capacity and understanding of youths affected by deafness. She raises awareness for the right of deaf children in Australia to access Auslan (Australian Sign Language) from birth.
Deaf children need sign language | Drisana Levitzke-Gray | TEDxSouthBank
2. Karlie Noon
Karlie Noon a proud Kamilaroi woman, was the first Indigenous person on the east coast of Australia to attain a double major in pure maths and science. Karlie uses her love for science to correlate scientific and Indigenous knowledge of astronomy. She strives to make STEM subjects accessible to people of all different backgrounds and mentors students studying STEM subjects, particularly students from a low socio-economic and Indigenous background.
Indigenous Astronomer: Karlie Noon - The Feed
3. Yarrie Bangura
Yarrie Bangura is named after her great-grandmother, a resilient and talented business owner who lived to 116 years old. Yarrie arrived in Australia with her family in 2004 as a refugee. She has followed in her great-grandmother’s footsteps to build a business of her own, bringing a healthy, traditional African drink to the Australian community. As her business grows, Yarrie wants to give back and plans to employ people who are disadvantage and may be struggling to find work, especially those from a refugee background.
AMP Tomorrow Maker 2016 - Yarrie Bangura
4. Margot Fink
Margot Fink is a LGBTQI activist and Trans role model and is driven to eliminate the discrimination against LGBTQI individuals. Margot was instrumental in creating ‘All of Us’, a nationally accredited teaching resources about LGBTQI matters. Margot wants to ensure other young LGBTQI people feel supported and safe.
Margot's Story - All Of Us
5. Amrita Hepi
Amrita Hepi, a Bundjulung and Ngaphui woman, brilliant dancer, writer and activist wants to empower people to value and embrace their bodies through movement. Amrita also has a goal to assist young women, especially women from minority backgrounds, to discover their purpose and aspirations and move towards them with self-determination and confidence.
To be a Good Dancer, Don't Give a F**k | Amrita Hepi | TEDxYouth@Sydney
6. Georgie Stone
Georgie Stone is a young Australian transgender advocate, who herself was the youngest person in the country to receive puberty blockers in the process of gender transition. Her journey and tireless activism helped to changed Australian law which previously required children to apply to the Australian courts for access to stage one treatment (puberty blockers). Access to stage 2 treatment (cross sex hormones) is still regulated by Australian courts. Despite Georgie receiving access to stage 2 treatment in 2015 she continues to petition legislative reform for the benefit of transgender children nation wide.
Advice To My 12 Year Old Self: Georgie Stone
7. Amelia Telford
Amelia Telford, is a trailblazer and passionate advocate for environmental protection. She is the National Co-Director of the Seed Indigenous Youth Climate Network, an indigenous youth climate network which has a vision for a just and sustainable future with strong cultures and communities, powered by renewable energy. Amelia campaigns to amplify the voices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders on environmental issues to ensure that communities across Australia have a say on environmental changes that affect them most, for example the rising sea levels on the Torres Strait. Among other awards in 2014, Amelia received the National NAIDOC Youth of Year in 2014.
Amelia Telford: Why I took a stand – Climate justice and the future of the first Australians
6. Tilly Lawless
Last year Tilly Lawless delivered a talk at the TEDx Youth event, ‘Shifting the Future’. She stated that sex workers are consistently spoken over and left out of feminist discussion and that sex workers are human like everyone else, and deserve our living and working conditions fought for. Tilly advocates for the rights of sex workers by writing about her own life experiences to break down the stigmas and misconceptions associated with prostitution. Her activism supports the empowerment and human rights of a group of women often marginalised by Australian society.
Sex work is integral to the feminist movement | Tilly Lawless | TEDxYouth@Sydney
These eight women are paragons of inspiration that advocate tirelessly for the rights of trans and cis women across Australia. However, on International Women’s Day I encourage you to look around to find other young women in your life who passionately embody what it means to be courageous and able to make a positive impact on the lives of others. Our sisters, daughters and friends, who foster and care for children, fight for a cleaner environment or who volunteer for a local community or activist group. These women press for progress and drive change collectively in the pursuit of a better world. Lets celebrate them this IWD too!