If 2021 was a year for female reckoning, 2022 was when women came in and got sh*t done. Last night, marie claire Australian hosted our inaugural Women of the Year gala, bringing together a powerhouse group of women to celebrate change and progress at Sydney’s Rockpool Bar and Grill.
“It’s a privilege to recognise the passion, bravery and creativity of this inspirational group of women,” said marie claire editor, Nicky Briger. “All our leaders in their chosen fields, leading with bravery and rejecting the status quo. We salute you!”
The evening — presented by Kérastase, and supported by Coach, Sensori+, Myer, Mumm and The Glenlivet — had some dazzling gowns and eye-catching looks, but was about so much more than fun and fashion; it was about celebrating the amazing female activists, game-changers, and champions across Australia.
The evening was a reminder of just how fortunate we are to live in a country with so many incredible women. Heartbreak High‘s Chloé Hayden’s emotional acceptance speech as the recipient of the 2022 Rising Star Award proved just how powerful representation can be, and why it’s something we must continually champion for.
“I never saw myself represented on the television or in magazines and movies,” she said. “I grew up wondering, ‘Am I a glitch? Am I even supposed to be here?’”
Wiradjuri and Wailwan activist and Aboriginal land rights lawyer Teela Reid, who tied as the 2022 Voice Of Now recipient, admitted that she hadn’t prepared an acceptance speech, so instead read the Uluru Statement from the Heart bringing tears to more than a few women in the room, and reminding everyone of the work still to be done.
Grace Tame, who was one of last year’s women of the year, presented the Changemaker award for 2022, handing the baton to consent education campaigner Chanel Contos, who tied for the accolade with The Teals’ — newly elected Independent MPs; Kate Chaney, Zoe Daniel, Dr Monique Ryan, Dr Sophie Scamps, Allegra Spender, Zali Steggall and Kylea Tink. It was an incredibly powerful moment, as two women, both incredibly respected in their ongoing fight for women’s protection against sexual violence, shared a hug and an emotional glance.
It was an evening to look back on 2022, celebrate change and recognise how much more needs to be done — and we can’t wait to see what these women achieve in 2023.