But it's a skill that has worked for the young campaigner who understands "my cause is not an easy cause for anyone to sign up to". As a teenager, Khadija Gbla arrived with her family from war-torn Sierra Leone settling in Adelaide. After giving a memorable TedX talk about her experience as an FGM survivor, Khadija's fate as a rivetting campaigner with a unique voice was sealed. She has gone on to become the voice of the anti-FGM movement in Australia, advocating for survivors, pushing for legislation reform and, in the process, ensuring the safety of future generations of young girls.
"We have 200 million women and girls all over the world who have been cut," she says in the most recent episode of Finding Fearless with marie claire podcast. "That number would not be acceptable on any other issue. If we were cutting off the penises of boys and men – and that is the equivalent to FGM, not male circumcision – the world would have stopped by now. Because, damn, those penises are important. But why don’t we protect little girls and women?"
She is quick to point out this is not just an issue for African and Asian Australia.
"I literally blow people's minds when I tell them white Australia is also practising FGM. For years they thought `we would never do such a thing like those barbaric people across the world.' But I tell them `I want to save your young white girls who are being subjected as teens to labiaplasty'. Young girls are being allowed, or encouraged, to have plastic surgery to alter their genitals for no medical reasons, but to just `look right'. This is outrageous."
Now as the ambassador for Our Watch - the body tasked with preventing violence against women and children - Khadija is working to ensure no woman, regardless of culture, race, colour, class, is left behind in the ongoing battle to deal with the scourge of domestic violence in this country. But it's a battle that Khadija believes is not really taken seriously by the government.
"The sad reality is women's lives don’t seem to matter to our government, because if they did, events like the needles in strawberries issue wouldn't have have attracted more attention than DV.
"Also, those coward-punch laws - laws to stop men from hitting each other - would not have been [fast-tracked] way better than domestic violence laws.
"One woman dies every week at the hands of a current or former partner so you can literally get away with murder here. What men perpetuating DV can get away with in Australia, is extraordinary. But if you punch another guy or you have a needle in a strawberry, then our PM gets so outraged."
Khadija says we need to simply listen to the women and men working on the frontlines of the domestic violence epidemic and give them the resources they need to keep women safe. Hear, hear.
Hit play here for lessons in cut-through, finding your voice and selling the unsellable. And then we can all join #Khadija4PM!
If you or someone you know is impacted by family violence or sexual assault, please call 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 7328). In the event of an emergency, please call 000.