Our nation is full of incredible women – here are five fav’s
Chief Justice Susan Keifel – Smashing the Glass Ceiling Monday 30th January 2017 was an iconic day for the Australian High Court (and for Australian Women alike) with the appointment of our very first female Chief Justice – Susan Kiefel. Born in far north Queensland, our nation’s top judge didn’t exactly have a conventional start to her education and career, leaving high school in year 10 and studying law by night class. Boasting a career of firsts she became the first female in Queensland to be appointed to the Queen’s Counsel in 1987, before landing a spot on Supreme Court 6 years later. Continuing her career incline she worked in the Australian Law Reform Commission and Federal Court, which lead her to the High Court by 2007. Our Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull describes Justice Kiefel’s rise as inspirational, while she explained to The Australian that she felt ‘very fortunate’ to have stumbled upon her career path so early in her life, while referencing the weight of her new position, “It … makes one feel very conscious of the responsibility that’s involved in the office.” Susan is not only a true inspiration, but a trailblazer for women in all industries, reminding us to keep pushing the boundaries and aiming for the pinnacle of our professions. Break that glass ceiling ladies!
Del Kathryn Barton – Unabashedly celebrating the female form Arguably Australia’s greatest artist and the first woman in history to receive the prestigious Archibald prize twice, this Aussie icon has migrated from canvas to the screen to direct her first short film, RED about “uncompromising celebration of female power” and starring Cate Blanchett. Many would consider her the ultimate feminist, portraying the female in a myriad of strong archetypes: matriarch, earth mother, priestess and lover. Never, are women portrayed as being submissive or timid beings. Barton boldly explores sexuality, and you’ll find yourself enticed into her world of multi-breasted women suckling transcendental creatures, nude celebrity portraits and perpetual provocation. She is the poignant pin-up of modern art, representing the powerful potency of what it is to be woman, though she credits her children for radically changing her, explaining ‘The alchemy of life offered forth from my inhabitable woman’s body is perhaps the greatest gift of my life’. Merely stroll through our hallways to indulge in the satiable seduction of her bold female protagonist, in both artwork and sculpture within our award-winning Paramount offices.
Annabelle Chauncy – Taking care of the world The Australian woman caught up in the beginning of a civil war in Kenya, jumped across the Ugandan border at 4.00am in the morning (instead of heading home) accompanied by 20 military personnel, heavily armed with machine guns. It’s safe and astonishing to say the next three months changed Annabelle Chauncy’s life forever. While travelling through rural and disadvantaged areas of Uganda, Annabelle was moved by the lack of access to basic education, and felt compelled to make a positive contribution, create realistic change and a sustainable future within in the community. A chance meeting collided her with David Everett and with a shared passion they established School for Life Foundation in 2008, a not-for-profit organisation focused on providing primary and vocational education in Uganda. Her holistic approach drives the sustainability of the organization, using agriculture to create income and feed the children, while the vocational training ensures that the school remains community-run, providing free clean drinking water and health care to the entire community. She has won the impressive ‘Woman of the Future Award’ (CBA Women in Focus), the ‘Paul Harris Fellow’, and admirably the ‘Medal of the Order of Australia’ (OAM). We have big love for this woman who has dedicated her life to giving back to the community in service of others. Follow her incredible story on School For Life.
Mama Kin – singing the praises of womanhood “It’s a good time to be a woman in the Australian music industry. It’s a good time to be a woman full stop”. Danielle Caruana, known professionally as powerhouse musician Mama Kin, is an Australian singer-songwriter, a self-described Philanthropist and one hell of an inspiring woman. Recently interviewed for Rolling Stone’s Women in Music Her Sound, Her Story, she talks about female solidarity, embracing self doubt, fear and juggling motherhood with chasing your dreams. Her eloquent speech on the tremendously popular TedX platform drew sighs of relief and laughter from the crowd of Australian women. Tender, raw and uncensored, she speaks about the other man in her marriage – David – her inner tyrant. A must watch for all of our strong, getting-shit-done sisters out there and our personal favourite. Among her other impressive accomplishments she is the Co-founder and Director along with her husband John Butler of the non-for-profit organisation, The Seed Fund. Successfully running for over a decade, The Seed was born out of the desire to empower musicians, build confidence, and teach them how to be self-sustaining. Held annually in the misty and magical Blue Mountains, it opens itself to 25 emerging bands and solo artists over four days of workshops. Taught and mentored by internationally renowned band managers and musicians, with a deep passion to pass on their knowledge, support these artists and extend the community of music. Disarming, honest, and not to mention supremely talented, Mama Kin is our favourite Woman in Music for this month. An endearing delight, indulge in the soulful, foot-stomping and heartbreaking music of Mama Kin.
The Honourable Quentin Bryce – a matriarch for all Australian women With a career spanning decades, our charming former Governor-General stood proud as she opened the new ‘Pathways to Politics Program for Women’ in Queensland last year. Of her many firsts and great successes this one was close to her heart. Although we have reached great achievements as women, Mrs Bryce believes we’re not there yet. Speaking to the Sydney Morning Herald she explains ‘the most significant is education and women’s participation in that. We have a long way to go before women have reached our ambitions in equality of opportunity, and I want to make my contribution in progressing this.” A regal philanthropist, her quiet determination and hard of work has made her a woman who is still kicking goals and making history.