Women Making a Difference - How to Lead a Successful Social Impact Campaign

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At her words, we believe everyone has what it takes to change the world – no matter who you are, you have a story to tell and a vision you can share. But we also know that sometimes, it can be hard as an individual to feel like you can make a difference. Activism can be lonely at times, and sometimes we can lose sight of the communities we are trying to empower. This is why we have teamed up with the folks at Chuffed.org to host an event for women looking to make a difference. If you’ve ever wanted to do more but aren’t sure how to get started, or you’re looking for others to join you on the journey, this is the night for you.

We’ve brought together three amazing speakers - involved across campaigns for refugee rights, gender equality and the LGBTQI community - to share the biggest challenges they’ve faced, lessons learnt along the way and advice for those wanting to enact change. We will be joined by Ramya Prabhakaran, a community advocate at Palmera, Shannon Driscoll, Executive Director and Co-Founder of GirlsRock! and Fadak Alfayadh, a community lawyer, writer, gender equality and refugee rights advocate.

We were lucky enough to sit down and have a chat with Fadak as part of our upcoming series on Women with Refugee Backgrounds – we can’t wait to share the video with you, but for now, here is what she had to say about her project Meet Fadak, and why she feels that sharing her story is so important.

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“The name of my project is called Meet Fadak, and the idea behind that is that we should encourage people to meet a refugee. And they should hear my story from my perspective, because I am the best [person] to tell it and not anyone else.

I want to tell my story to Australia for the purpose of knowing the human behind the story, and collecting lots of refugee stories along the way. So that people meet refugees and essentially hear our stories from our perspective. Because there are a lots of people out there who might call themselves experts on refugees but haven't had the experience and might be very distanced from it. They might not know the nuances of what it is to be a refugee and to be part of a refugee community, or they might simply have other agendas that don't have anything to do with improving refugee rights. We have a lot of talented young refugees who should be heard, and that Australia would be very grateful to hear from them. I think [we] should be in the public discourse and in the public narrative and to be able to tell our own stories from our own perspective.”

We also sat down before the event with Domini Marshall, founder and director of her words. We asked her about the event, and how coming together can help us in creating real social change.

Why are events like this important to you?

“Events like this are important because we live in a world where we're constantly switched on, scrolling through social media feeds and watching the news happen before us and, as an individual, it can feel really overwhelming and sometimes damn hopeless to think about how we can create change for good. So these events bring people together in a safe and supportive space to learn about the change that other women are leading and how you can learn from those experiences too. Whether you're someone who's leading a large social impact campaign for a not-for-profit, an activist fighting for a cause you're passionate about, or someone who cares deeply about the state of the world and isn't sure where to begin, these events are all about courage, connection and conversation. So we can keep taking steps towards creating a more equal and just world - together.”

When planning these events, how do you keep them intersectional and accessible? How can other activists bring this into their work? 

“We're absolutely not perfect but we try to ensure that our events reflect our ethos and values at her words - which not only influences the kind of topics we talk about, but also means that it's incredibly important to us that our events are accessible and inclusive and that we're giving a platform to different perspectives, particularly those from marginalised communities. With this particular event, we partnered with the wonderful platform - Chuffed.org - so we were wanting to celebrate women both from their community and ours who were doing amazing things and creating change. When it comes to accessibility for events, we always ensure that the venues we use are wheelchair accessible, we just won't consider a venue that isn't. Further to that, it's important to us that these events are Auslan interpreted wherever possible. For anyone putting on an event or creating content, or just working on a project, I think the best way to take an inclusive and accessible approach is to always ask yourself, whose voices are missing from this conversation? Who is excluded from attending or from certain events etc? And how can you address that?”

What do you hope attendees get out of this event? How to you want people to feel when they leave?

“We hope that our guests walk away feeling like they're part of a community that will support them in choosing courage and creating change - whether in small or big ways - in their own lives. We hope that guests feel inspired and empowered to start wherever they are with whatever they have. It's going to be full of 'real talk' around our panellists' experiences so we're going to get really honest around what needs to change and how each of us can come together to work towards a better world. We'd really love everyone to participate in the discussion - ask any and all questions they have and come up and say hello to our panellists and to the her words team.”

We can’t wait to hear more from Fadak, Domini and all of our other speakers – together we plan on tackling issues like how we can create change as individuals and communities, how to keep the momentum going once we get started, and what it takes to lead a social campaign. We promise it will be a night that will challenge, educate and inspire – we can’t wait to see you there.

Women Making A Difference: How to lead a successful social impact campaign

Thursday, October 4, 2018

6:00 PM  7:30 PM

Buy tickets here.

One Roof

81 City Road Southbank Australia (map)

Domini Marshall