YWCA Australia believes in the power of women. Young women in particular have the power to lead change in our communities. The Young Women’s Council ensures that young women from all across Australia, from all different backgrounds, are represented within our organisation. They have a key role in advising the Board on issues that affect young women.
The Young Women’s Council provide a youth lens to the organisation, including our future planning, advocacy, policy, research, communications, membership and stakeholder engagement.
The first Young Women’s Council was elected by membership in November 2018. An opportunity to join the Council will be made available annually to all members who meet the selection criteria.
Our members are:
Sharifah Emalia Al-Gadrie
Sharifah Emalia Al-Gadrie is a community development worker and artist based in Nipaluna/Hobart. Emalia is a Project Officer at A Fairer World, Treasurer for human rights advocacy group, Citizen and elected member of the YWCA Young Women’s Council.
Currently, she also works as an assistant curator and community programmer for Salamanca Arts Centre. Her multidisciplinary creative practice explores identity, gender politics, connection and cultural heritage. She is informed in her work and her creative practice by intersectional feminism.
Zahra Al Hilaly
Zahra’s name means “flower” in Arabic – a reinforcement to her that she will continue to grow change from the grass-root levels; like the way that flowers grow, blossoming into something beautiful. Zahra believes that storytelling in every art form, is the route to changing this world.
Identifying as a marginalised minority herself, she believes that it is adamant to ensure the intersectional identities across the globe are accentuated in modern day media. Zahra hopes to one day be the modern-day Joan of Arc or Mary Wollstonecraft – where she will revolutionise feminism for our women of colour!
Hawi is a year 12 student based in Adelaide and after completing school plans to study law, international relations and social science. Hawi is passionate about diversity in leadership and increasing education opportunities and outcomes for all young women and girls around the world. Inspiring her feminist advocacy are leaders including Michelle Obama, Angela Davis and Sojourner Truth.
Hawi enjoys reading and writing poetry, travelling and surrounding herself in Ethiopian culture (and other cultures!)
Laura is a student and advocate from Darwin passionate about tackling climate change, sexual violence and intimate partner violence – the greatest contributor to burden of disease for women aged between 18 and 44 years. Laura would like to see more men being active and proud participants in the fight for gender equality.
When she’s not studying for her Juris Doctorate Laura enjoys reading non-fiction, camping and exploring the NT and playing netball, the most supportive feminist sport out there ‘here if you need’.
Dara is from Hobart, Tasmania and is currently studying a bachelor’s degree in Economics and Law. In 2019, Dara was a member of YWCA Australia’s delegation to CSW63, an experience that ignited her passion for policy and civil-society advocacy, as well as fueled her interest in economic justice.
As she expands her understanding of societal and political issues, she’s particularly inspired by celebrated social activists or writers such as Maya Angelou, Hannah Gadsby, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Bertrand Russel and Bob Brown.
When she’s not studying or working, Dara enjoys exploring her beautiful State with friends and family as well as working on puzzles and fantasizing about climate-change mitigation through affordable housing.
Victoria is a Doctoral Research Student in women’s development at the University of Technology Sydney. Her research focuses on how NGO’s can use digital technology to empower women. Victoria is passionate about a range of issues affecting women and hopes to influence policies with her research and passion for making positive change and impact.
Victoria is bold in the face of challenges, passionate about social policy and is determined to contribute to making the world a better place for underprivileged women and children. Outside of serving on the Young Women’s Council Victoria enjoys cooking, dancing, and reading.
Julia is a traveller and an optimist – always exploring new ideas or places and seeing the silver lining in everything. She brings that positivity and passion to her board role at YWCA. Julia works as a Senior Project Officer in Emergency Services Strategy & Design at Australian Red Cross and has held several roles at Red Cross, through which she has developed strong relationships across government, youth and community sectors and driven a culture of youth participation, innovation and volunteer leadership.
Julia has also delivered projects for NGOs in a voluntary capacity. These include a sustainable youth leadership structure as Manager for Big Week Out – a youth-led community service organisation, creating professional development opportunities for women’s leadership organisation Spence Club and coordinating volunteers and sponsorship for equestrian sporting events.
Her governance experience includes serving on committees for Spence Club, Lockington Horse Trials, Big Week Out, the Pony Club Association of South Australia and as the Ex. Officio member of the Red Cross South Australian Youth Advisory Committee.
Yusra is a young Sudanese-Australian passionate about advocacy and social equity. A self-identified intersectional feminist, Yusra is especially passionate about combatting gender inequality and the promotion of sexual and reproductive health and rights. Currently completing a Bachelor of Laws at La Trobe University, she has a working background in the community and non-for-profit sector.
With this keen interest in community engagement, Yusra believes firmly in the power of accurate representation and importance of elevating the voices of those faced with marginalization through continuous dialogue. In her free time, Yusra loves a good true crime podcast and is an avid fan of the intersectional and very feminist works of Toni Morrison, Kimberle Crenshaw and Janet Mock.
Alexandra is a Darwin born, emerging leader who is dedicated to advocating for gender equality and the right to self-determination. Studying a double degree in Laws and Commerce, whilst working for the Northern Territory Public Sector, Alexandra is a member of Australia’s first YWCA Young Women’s Council.
Alexandra holds strong business capability across Government procurement, human resources, the community sector and multicultural affairs. Alexandra thrives in stakeholder and community engagement and is passionate about capacity building initiatives for women and young people.
Born and raised in Tropical Far North Queensland and recently relocated to Sydney, Maninder Kaur is a young Sikh Australian activist. Maninder has represented her local electorate at the YMCA Queensland Youth Parliament and completed the global Education Perfect Science Championships in the top 1% of competitors. Currently, Maninder is studying a Bachelor of Advanced Science (Honours) majoring in microbiology and genomics at the University of Sydney.
Maninder is passionate about education, social justice, climate change, rights of refugees and addressing the global wealth disparity. She has a strong drive to see social change and is inspired by the journeys and determination of leaders like AOC.
Location: Sunshine Coast
Hanh is a talented photographer, who is inspired by JK Rowling – her favourite author, someone she considers wise, witty and compassionate. Hanh has worked with girls from an ethnic minority in a mountainous region of Vietnam, and was proud to teach them how to use the internet so that they could learn and explore things they don’t normally have access to.
Shay is a creative professional, podcaster, community advocate & media student, from regional South Australia, now based on Kaurna Land (Adelaide). She has worked as a community broadcaster at Radio Adelaide for 7+ years, & co-founded queer program ‘Pride & Prejudice’.
Shay is passionate about advocacy & education for chronic pain health issues endometriosis & PCOS as well as industrial issues for women in the workplace. She is a proud supporter of the ongoing campaign for the full decriminalisation of sex work.
Shay enjoys following politics, comedy and true crime podcasts and some of her favourite feminists include Celeste Liddle, Janet Mock and Sofie Hagan.
Aurora is a year 12 student, feminist and disability advocate from Gymea NSW. For Aurora, her experiences as a young woman living with a disability drive her social justice journey. Aurora is passionate about body autonomy, sexual and reproductive rights, domestic violence and breaking down social stigmas and shame. Aurora’s vision for a gender equal society is one where women have the freedom make decisions and to live the way they chose, without being questioned.
Outside of studying Aurora loves to read, cook spend time with her Terrier dogs and watch TV crime shows.
Hannah is an 18-year-old student and feminist advocate from the Adelaide Hills. Hannah is passionate about women in STEM, the representation of LGBTIQA+ women and climate change. Hannah hopes to see the media address gendered issues and climate change in productive and responsible ways. When she’s not studying or advocating Hannah enjoys many creative hobbies including painting and art and spending time with friends.
Her inspiration comes from powerful feminists including Emma Watson, Michelle Obama, Jacinta Arden and Malala Yousafzai.
Taylor is a qualified joiner, project manager and estimator from Queanbeyan, NSW.
She enjoys deep sea diving and marine biology, jazz and hip hop dancing, and has a passion for dogs safety, wellbeing and rights worldwide through her fundraising and awareness of the Soi Dog Foundation.
She was awarded the National Association of Women in Construction’s Tradeswomen of the Year in 2018 and has since spoken on many panels and in high schools about women’s leadership and diverse career pathways.
Her main goal is to spread awareness among school aged girls about the range of possibilities, skills and financial independence on offer in the construction and trade sector – and to save as many dogs and sharks as she can!
Profile to come:
- Molly Baxter