What is your dream?
My dream is a more ethical world driven by compassion and leadership. In 2014 I founded a not-for-profit organisation called the Ethical Living Challenge (ELC) which engages and inspires young people on global issues. Each day for 21 days, participants receive a themed e-mail with information, resources and a daily activity on topics like sweatshops, food, and technology. In the 2015 challenge, ELC had over 1000 participants from around the globe. With the right support, promotion and funding, my goal is for ELC to grow and have the widest reach and impact possible.
How did you find your passion?
I had the incredible experience of living in Jakarta for a year when I was younger which shaped my outlook on the world: even as a 6 year-old, my head told me that something wasn’t right. Why was I living in a walled compound of houses while Indonesian children my age begged on the streets outside? Reflecting on this question when I returned to Australia fuelled my passion for social justice and my commitment to activism. Since being elected Community Service Captain of my junior school in Year 6 – then the same role for my high school in Year 12 – it’s been an amazing journey for me.
Tell us about your dreams / goals for the next 12 months?
Firstly, that the world will be completely just, sustainable and ethical in the foreseeable future. There will be no exploitation of our poorest neighbours to meet our material desires, no crippling poverty that takes lives too early, no unfettered destruction of the environment, and no excuses for political inaction. The second part of my dream, which provides a solution to the first, is that every young Australian will take part in the Ethical Living Challenge. It’s an ambitious dream – but I dream big. Because it’s not unachievable: it motivates me to keep working on it every day and continue spreading awareness and inspiration. My dream is that ELC will be the primary platform in Australia for young people to learn about pressing global issues and understand how to go about solving them.
How will the scholarship support your endeavours?
My Aim for the Stars scholarship has provided the funding necessary for the project to thrive and expand with a wider reach and impact both in Australia and around the world. I have been able to re-design and re-launch a brand new website (www.ethicallivingchallenge.com) which has already attracted hundreds of new participants. Through increased advertising and a new team of 14 volunteers, the scholarship has given financial and emotional support to help me continue growing ELC beyond my wildest expectations.
What has been your career highlight or biggest achievement?
Being a UNICEF Young Ambassador - an amazing experience surrounded by other passionate young people working towards a world where children's rights are fully realised. The year-long role included a trip to Canberra to speak with MPs and helping develop a co-authored children's book on refugees with another Ambassador.
How important is inspiration?
Highly important! I don't know where I would be without keeping my eye on the horizon - I have to have goals and dreams to motivate me, and it's worked pretty well so far. AFTS has been another huge addition!
Who is your hero?
I have many role models, including Jane Austen and ethical philosopher Peter Singer, but I'd have to say by two biggest heroes are my Mum and Dad. They have taught me so much wisdom about the world and have given me every opportunity to pursue great things as a young ambitious woman in the 21st century.
Who or what has inspired you?
I have quite an international focus in the projects and causes I am currently involved in, but I'm trying to have a more local focus. I have a deep desire to inspire a new generation of passionate young people to both achieve their dreams and be global citizens to affect global change on pressing issues. I'm extremely passionate about education and this is main way I'd like to give back to my local community. I think that most schools - whether highly privileged or lacking basic services - could do with a more globally-minded and leadership-focussed outlook, so I hope that I can help set the agenda for this.
What advice would you give to sisSTARs with a dream?
'Persevere and never despair'. This actually my mother's family motto stretching back a few generations, and it really strikes a chord with me. We all face some tough hurdles in life at some point or another, and it's a good reminder that there is always a light at the end of the tunnel or a silver lining in all that we do or fail to do.
Classical, orchestral and anything featured in a period drama film
Indian vegetarian curry
Oh gosh, this is an impossible question! But here are two of my favourites: Three Cups of Tea (non-fiction) and North Child (fiction).
Favourite TV show?