This year's International Women's Day theme is #BreakTheBias, encouraging women-identifying individuals everywhere to imagine a gender equal world free of bias, stereotypes and discrimination ！ injustice and inequality not just due to their womanhood, but to all identities their personhood intersect.
9Honey has collated a list of powerful Australian women that truly embody a world that is diverse, equitable and inclusive, and have made waves in history to ensure that difference is valued and celebrated ！ forging equality for those to come.
Here are 10 Australian women that are breaking the bias, not just on International Women's Day 2022, but every day.
For a daily dose of 9Honey, subscribe to our newsletter here.
Born with an ichthyosis, a rare genetic disorder that affects her skin and hair, 'appearance activist' Carly Findlay is the epitome of breaking the bias.
Gaining popularity through shows such as You Can't Ask That and Cyber, Findlay speaks out candidly about the physical pain, mistreatment and ableism she faces as a person with a disability.?
Despite the ableist judgements she faces daily, Findlay celebrates inner beauty and advocates for the breakdown of conventional beauty standards, and inclusivity of people with disability in the media and fashion.
In 2019, she initiated the first-ever disability-inclusive fashion event, Access to Fashion, which showcased the works of models and designers with disabilities.
Pushing through boundaries, Findlay emphasises the importance of allowing people with disabilities to speak for themselves and that disabilities shouldn't let anyone stop them from living life to the fullest.
Codenamed 'The White Mouse' by the Nazis for her ability to evade capture, Nancy Wake ！ a New Zealander by birth who grew up in Sydney ！ is one of Australia's most highly decorated servicewomen for her heroic actions during the Second World War as a special agent.
From parachuting behind enemy lines to helping Allied soldiers escape from Vichy France to Spain, Wake defied the gender norms at the time and stood out against most male agents of her rank.?
Wake became one of the Gestapo's most wanted, but didn't let the fear of capture and torture stop her from accomplishing her missions.
After being decorated as a war hero, Wake returned to Sydney, running twice for a seat in government unsuccessfully.
A remarkable modern woman from a time long ago, Wake continues to serve as an inspiration for all.
Courageous, undaunted, and honest, Grace Tame leads us into a new age of Australian feminism with fierce determination. The 2021 Australian of the Year continues to astound us with her unapologetic stance in speaking out against abusers and fighting for the eradication of sexual abuse and grooming.?
Tame defies the conventional traits of being submissive and polite, which are expected of women, even today, and encourages all women to defy social norms with her.
Her #LetHerSpeak campaign has garnered international recognition, and as she rallies with women's abuse activists such as Brittany Higgins and Chanel Contos, we can only envision a safer and more respectful future for all genders.
The former World No. 1 who dominated the WTA hard courts during the 1970s, Evonne Goolagong Cawley (quite literally) changed the face of Australian tennis.?
Goolagong Cawley's career was truly outstanding ！ her major milestones include being the first Aboriginal to win not one but seven Grand Slam titles, and the first mother to win a major title in the Open era.?
The Wiradjuri woman's achievements, however, extend far beyond the lines of the tennis courts. A unique trailblazer, she paved the way for future Aboriginal athletes ！ from Cathy Freeman to current world number one, Ash Barty, who cites Goolagong Cawley as her key inspiration and mentor.
Who could forget the world record sprinter and Olympic gold medalist, Cathy Freeman?
Being the first Aboriginal woman to win an Olympic gold medal, Freeman memorably ran her victory lap bearing both the Australian flag and the Aboriginal flag, bringing wider international recognition to the Indigenous Peoples of Australia.?
Her popularity and legacy as one of Australia's greatest sporting legends has allowed her to start the Cathy Freeman foundation, a non-profit organisation aiming to help Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youths through sport and school.?
At the age of 24, Turia Pitt's life changed drastically as she suffered burns to 65 per cent of her body in an out of control grass fire during an ultra-marathon in Western Australia's Kimberley region.?
Combating overwhelming odds, Pitt survived and despite her severe injuries and changed appearance, she didn't let her suffering stop her from living. Pitt is a celebrated advocate, and doesn't shy away from standing up against tokenism, calling out publications and political parties for the lack of representation with other women with disabilities, particularly women of colour.?
Pitt is a survivor and advocate for all, inspiring women across Australia that the impossible is always achievable when you put your mind to it.
The list wouldn't be complete without Australia's first woman Prime Minister, the Honourable Julia Gillard. During her time in office, the 27th Prime Minister of Australia faced severe media backlash which was further fuelled by male politicians from all political parties.?
A majority of the criticisms, however, focused heavily on her status as an unmarried, childless, woman of her age rather than her job as the leader of the Labor party.?
Her legacy as a pioneer for women in Parliament is forever immortalised by her 2012 Misogyny Speech.
Dr. Yumiko Kadota is a mental health advocate, a voice for today's generation on burnout and a whistleblower on the toxic work culture within Sydney hospitals as a female surgeon of Asian descent.?
Dr. Kadota's aspirations to become a reconstructive surgeon came to a crashing halt by the exhausting work hours and toxic work environment within Sydney hospitals. The staggering sexist and racist microaggressions Dr. Kadota faced, both by patients and co-workers, affected her mentally and physically, resulting in a six-week hospitalisation.?
Rather than letting her burnout and subsequent resignation break her down, Dr. Kadota used her experience to call out on the injustices women face in the field of medicine, particularly for women of colour, and advocate for mental health awareness. Her 2021 memoir, Emotional Female, provides a raw detailed account of the hardships she went through and inspires women to take a stand when enough is enough.
The former face of SBS, many of us grew up watching Lee Lin Chin announcing the weekend news with her unique accent and stoic professionalism. Fighting off racial discrimination in workplace, Lee Lin Chin climbed her way to the top to become one of Australian media's most recognised faces.?
Throughout her 38 year career at SBS, Lee Lin Chin was the much needed and comforting face of Asian representation in the media for many Australians of Asian descent. Whilst she no longer reads the news on national television, Lee Lin Chin keeps active through social media, raising awareness of Asian discrimination in Australia and support of LGBTQI+ communities.
By breaking the silence, former Sydney private school girl Chanel Contos broke the bias. Her humble Instagram poll exploded into the Teach Us Consent campaign, changing the face of consent education and respectful relationships in the federal curriculum forever.
Teach Us Consent is now a pivotal movement for modern day feminism in Australia, and will be working in conjunction with Our Watch to produce consent and respectful relationships resources for children and youth aged 11 to 16, set to be used in the corporate sector, sporting organisations, youth and family services, and by parents and the wider community.