Q&A: Madeline Price of One Woman Project

Q&A: Madeline Price of One Woman Project

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On Sunday 4th December, the One Woman Project will be carrying on the theme of Brisbane’s Feminist Festival by hosting Women in Work, their last conference for 2016. It’s a sold out event that everyone at Hot Chicks with Big Brains is VERY excited about. Emma got in touch with Madeline Price ahead of the event to find out more about how the One Woman Project came to be, what to expect at Women in Work this Sunday, and what we all have to look forward to from the One Woman Project in the near future.

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Can you tell me a bit about yourself and what you do?

I’m privileged to be the Founder and Director of the One Woman Project and work alongside more than 30 passionate, enthusiastic and dedicated volunteers. The One Woman Project is a youth-lead, registered non-for-profit organisation focused on education about, and advocacy promoting, gender equality. Established in 2013, the Project is one of Queensland’s fastest growing youth-lead organisations and features five key components: an external educational seminar series, outreach and engagement events, in-school programs, public awareness campaigns and a bi-annual conference.

What motivated you to start the One Woman Project?

After experiencing gender inequality while on a trip to Cambodia, I returned to Australia passionate about doing something to end global gender inequality. But everyone I turned to – all of my friends – would respond to my discussions about inequality, with the phrase “but we are equal”.

I soon realized that if we educated young people about global gender inequality, it would be the first step to actually doing something to end it.

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What was the biggest challenge you faced when getting the OWP started?

What I thought would be the biggest challenge was getting other people involved. This, so far, has definitely not been a problem: with over 30 volunteers and thousands of past attendees, we have a passionate family of supporters. What has been the biggest challenge – and what is an on-going problem for a lot of youth-lead organisations and movements – is credibility.

We are often dismissed as being “too young” or “too inexperienced”, even though we are the only organisation doing what we are doing.

What’s been the OWP’s greatest achievement to date?

It’s impossible to name one main achievement. Every time we have our fortnightly Whole Team Meeting, a volunteer has done something incredible that I would count as a crowning achievement! But some highlights include: hosting Brisbane’s largest feminist festival (Brisbane’s Finest Feminists in July 2016), the power and reach of our seminar series and in-school workshops and the longevity of our volunteers. We have a volunteer who was in our first ever seminar series in 2014, and we have a couple of volunteers who started off as participants in our seminar series, then became high school interns and are now full volunteers in the organisation. And there are more!

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When did you decide to hold conferences in addition to the One Woman Project’s seminars/programmes and why?

We started to host conferences because an existing One Woman Project volunteer suggested it. She came to me with this brilliant idea for hosting two conferences a year, a fully fleshed out plan, and a list of people she would need to make it happen. I was so impressed by her initiative and hard work that I jumped at the chance to support her in the endeavour. This method – of a volunteer coming to me with a great idea and an even better plan – is how we started not only our conferences, but also our engagement and outreach events, and our campaigns!

Conferences are a fantastic way to engage with individuals who may not have the time, ability, or resources to come along to our eight-week seminar series.

They’re a great, one-off opportunity for people to engage with the message of the One Woman Project and global gender equality (and to “dip their toe in the water”).

What can we expect at Women in Work this Sunday?

Sunday will be a jam-packed day filled with keynote presentations, two panel discussions, a workshop and the opportunity to network with other like-minded individuals.

We’ll be stirring up controversy with a ‘Gender Pay Gap’ panel discussion featuring the Honourable Minister for Women, Shannon Fentiman; employment law advocate, Michelle Chadburn; and transgender woman and activist, Ngaire Wilson.

We’ll be inspired by the entrepreneurship of Donna Toussaint and her daughter, Freya, who aren’t only partners in a business but are also supporting young people with disabilities in their local community.

We’ll have all of our questions answered by women in a number of diverse fields on our ‘Ask a Feminist’ panel discussion. This will feature the first ever Professor in Physics, Halina Rubinstein-Dunlop; psychologist and feminist academic, Dr Renata Bongiorno; and founder of Queensland’s largest mobile soil recycling, decontamination, amelioration and waste reduction business, Alison Price.

We’ll be amazed by the passion and dedication of our second keynote speaker, Sarah Mak, the founder of The Story Boxes, and her journey through business, motherhood and the art of storytelling. And we’ll be fired up after Gemma Lloyd’s (from Diverse City Careers) workshop on feminist issues in the workplace.

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What are you most looking forward to about Women in Work?

I have no idea which part I’m most excited about!

What are your long-term plans for the One Woman Project?

2017 is set to be a massive year for the One Woman Project. We’re looking into expansion opportunities; we’re already located in Queensland and the ACT, but who knows where else by the end of next year! We’re going to be hosting a multi-day feminist festival, which will be Queensland’s largest ever, and we we’ll be expanding our in-school workshop program.

Keep your eyes peeled, because the One Woman Project will be breaking down some barriers!

Answers and Images by Madeline Price of One Woman Project

Questions by Emma Kate Lewis

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