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Ash Barty, Shannon Murphy, Mariam Mohammed and More Reveal Their Biggest Inspirations

The change-makers on the people that motivate them in all they do.

For the past 25 years, marie claire has championed women in all their glory.

Whether it’s the hometown heroes making a difference in their local community or the Hollywood heavyweights fighting for better representation on and behind the camera, we’ve shared their stories of bravery, boldness and brilliance.

While birthdays are often a time to reminisce about the past, we’re also using this opportunity to look to the future. To celebrate, we’ve singled out the 25 trailblazers and future-shapers set to make their mark on the next quarter century. They’re champions of courage, change and creativity – the fearless females who are shaking things up in the world of art, business, sport, entertainment and advocacy. 

Here, five of them answer the question: Who inspires you, and why?

Without further ado…

(Credit: Image: Getty)

Ash Barty, Tennis Champion

“Evonne Goolagong Cawley is a very special person in my life. I think she has been iconic in paving a way for young Indigenous youth to believe in their dreams and to chase their dreams. She’s done exactly that for me as well,” Barty said of the fellow Indigenous tennis champion after her momentous Wimbledon win earlier this year.

“I think being able to have a relationship with her and talk with her through my experience, knowing she’s only ever a phone call away, is really, really cool.”

(Credit: Image: Getty)

Shannon Murphy, Director

“It comes from everywhere…My mother is American, my father is Australian. I was born in Africa but I grew up in Hong Kong and went to a British school – that’s a lot of influences.”

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Miss Blanks, Musician 

“Women. Flawed women, problematic women, Black and Brown women, Trans women, round-the-way women, the kind of women to knock some sense into you but embrace you with all of their being type women. These are the women that raised me, embraced me, taught me how to be a better woman, a stronger woman, how to be a woman with a voice, showed me how to have agency, and that my liberation is bound up with the liberation of ALL women, so it cannot be experienced until ALL women can be empowered and free.”

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Mariam Mohammed, MoneyGirl Co-Founder

Once does not simply pick one! Yassmin Abdel-Magied for her courageous representation of Muslim women in media. Antoinette Lattouf for her continued advocacy of diversity in mainstream Australian media. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez for embodying the change that is possible through strong, grassroots, collective action – and for giving hope to young women of colour across the first world that we do, indeed, have a place in political representation.

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Gabriella Pereira, Fashion Designer

“Those who live firmly in the present. The pandemic has impressed on me that there is really no time like now (I don’t save my good wine glasses for special occasions anymore).”

For the entire Next 25 list, pick up the September issue of marie claire Australia, out now. 


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