Introducing our 2020 Young Women’s Council

Following the YWCA Australia Annual General Meeting last night in Adelaide, we are proud to announce the new members of our 2020 Young Women’s Council (YWC)!

After more than 100 young women put in their applications to join the Council, eight have been directly elected by YWCA membership to represent young women across Australia.

Find out more about them below, in their own words, straight from their applications!

Emalia Al-Gadrie

Sharifah Emalia Al-Gadrie


I work for as a project officer for a social justice hub. I also volunteer with a local human rights advocacy group and am a practising artist centring my work around identity, feminism and heritage. My longest running personal project is a craftivist zine called mak(h)er mag in which I profile womxn creatives to raise funds for charitable organisations such as the International Women’s Development Agency.

I am an intersectional feminist so I am passionate about all issues facing young women and girls! It’s hard to choose just a few but if I had to choose, I’d say that I am particularly passionate about defending the rights and increasing the representation of women of colour. I am passionate about young women’s access to education and opportunity. I am very passionate about addressing domestic violence and the systemic misogyny that lets it flourish. I am passionate about trans women being supported. I am passionate about women living with a disability being treated with equity. 

Zahra Al Hilaly

Zahra Al Hilaly


As a first generation Australian to migrant and refugee parents from Palestine and Iraq, the value of education has always been heavily instilled upon me. I am currently studying a double degree in Law and Journalism, with the aspirations of becoming a human rights lawyers, focussing in the field of refugee rights.

Growing up watching my parents struggle in Australia, it has been a long-time goal of mine to help immigrants and refugees in Australia. As such, I have worked on numerous projects which have allowed me to advocate for the rights of immigrants and refugees.

Molly Baxter

Molly Baxter


With a background in journalism and communications, I have lived all over Australia before falling in love with and settling in Australia’s northern capital. My passion lies in growing women in sport and politics. I am a good leader and communicator, and an excellent sport – I believe in fairness and integrity on and off the field towards all.

I have captained Tasmania’s women’s rugby union team, and represented a number of states in sports from hockey and athletics to rugby union. I want to see women’s sport thrive in Australia and give women opportunities to play whatever they want.

Victoria Ekwughe

Victoria Ekwughe


I am a PhD student at the university of technology Sydney. My research is on the use of digital technology for women empowerment. I am passionate about empowering women in rural and remote communities to improve their standard of living.

I have witnessed the effect ignorance and lack of education have on women. I want to be a part of an organisation that helps women improve their standard of living and encourage women to stand and speak up for themselves.

Maninder Kaur

Maninder Kaur


I am a 17 year old Sikh Australian living in regional north Queensland. I am heavily involved in my school and local community and sit on or lead a wide range of committees.

For far too long women have not had the same opportunities as their male counterparts in a multitude of fields. As a girl who intends to pursue a career in STEM, fields where women are the current minority. As a young female, being a voice and an inspiration for the thousands of diverse women of this nation is an honour I wish to pursue.

Shaylee Leach

Shaylee Leach

Kaurna Land (Adelaide)

I’m a feminist, creative type from regional SA, now based in Port Adelaide. I’m a student at the University of Adelaide, studying a Bachelor of Media & Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Gender Studies. I’m currently interning at the Working Women’s Centre. I’m a community radio broadcaster at Radio Adelaide, co-producing/hosting a queer program ‘Pride & Prejudice’ for the 7 years. I’m currently working on two podcast projects ‘Too Little, Too Much’- exploring issues surrounding poverty & self-determination. Also ‘Queers with Careers’ chats with LGBTIQA movers & shakers, & questioning notions of ‘success’.

I’m interested in contributing to an organization that can make a difference to gender-based issues. I connect with the values of the YWCA, their work as a service provider & as advocates for women’s voices. I’m a big fan of the Intersectional Feminist approach, as it recognizes women’s different experience’s can be more complex, based on compounding factors.

ywca young women Aurora Sapphire Matchett
Aurora Matchett

Aurora Matchett (Re-elected)


I live with disability, and I bring to the Council, my lived experience, passion and a firm understanding of how it impacts young women, in terms of social isolation, communication, cultural identity and inclusion, and I am committed to lending my voice to support others like me.

My recent opportunity to engage in public debate around social justice issues on ABC’s Q and A High School Panel, spurred on my desire to maintain and increase how I challenge oppressive positions against women.

In my role as a current member of the YWCA’s Young Women’s Council, I have shown I am passionate about giving women and girls a platform to be heard, in order to address the impacts of gender bias, misogyny and the patriarchal constraints placed on women both in today’s climate and throughout history.

Moana Prescott

Moana Prescott


I am a proud Ngiyampaa woman from Broken Hill, NSW and am currently working as a graduate in the Federal Government. I am passionate about empowering women and girls, particularly Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, to self-determine. Women and girls should be able to make informed decisions about their finances, education opportunities and relationships.

Intersectionality in feminism, in my work and my studies is a key driver of mine. As an Aboriginal woman and first generation Australian I strive for the self-determination and gender equality of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, and immigrant women. 

Our new members join existing YWC members Alexandra Hatzivalsamis, Laura Burfitt, Hanh Lam, Dara Campbell, Hannah McGrath, Taylor Perrin, Yusra Hasan and Hawi Anderson in 2020, working together to speak up on behalf of all young women in Australia.

A big thank you to our outgoing members who have made such a difference during their term on the YWC: Harpreet Dhillon, Georgie Morphett, Freya Mulvey, Tanmaya Vivekanand, Ashlee Coleman, Lizzy Rickaby and Emiko Mori-Wiffen.

YWCA Australia wishes to acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the lands on which we work, live and play and pay our respects to Elders past and present. We recognise First Nations people as the custodians of the lands, seas and skies, with more than 60,000 years of wisdom, connection and relationship in caring for Country.

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