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: If you could narrow it down to a single goal, what is the one thing you hope to achieve or change over the next 25 years?
Without further ado...
Angourie Rice, Actor
“I'd like to move into producing films in the future, because that's where you can really make a difference in choosing which stories are elevated and shared. We're already seeing a shift in diversity and inclusion in the film industry, and I'd love to be a part of that change.”
Sampa the Great, Musician
“Professionally, I hope to create a global platform that provides resources for African artists to create and earn a living, hopefully adding to the music industry on our continent. Personally, babies are starting to look a little cute.”
Teela Reid, Lawyer, Writer, Indigenous Activist
“Professionally, as a lawyer I want to see Australia realise the aspirations as called for in the Uluru Statement from the Heart, by enshrining a First Nations Voice in the Constitution and to establish a Makarrata Commission for treaties and truth-telling. I was a working group leader on section 51(xxvi), the Race Power, in the constitutional dialogues that culminated in the Uluru Statement, it was a great privilege to be mentored by my Elders and now it is time to do the work I am obliged to do. We must dismantle systemic racism in our society for our country to move forward. This will be a hard and uncomfortable task, but so necessary for us to heal our wounds.
I am also a key thinker behind the idea to establish the Walama Court in NSW. I have worked on this since 2016, the idea is to set up an Aboriginal sentencing court to ensure the Voices or First Nations people’s are centred in court processes and divert Aboriginal people away from the criminal process.
Ultimately, I hope we also become an Australian Republic. We need to be brave as a nation to write our identity and that means valuing First Nations people and letting go of our violent colonial past. A new flag and a new anthem we can all celebrate this ancient land we live and walk on.”
Shari Sebbens, Actor, Director
“I want to see more Black/Blak women and women of colour filling out positions in all departments in the theatre and film industry. That’s not at all something I can do on my own but it’s something I can contribute to in an active way.”
Mahalia Handley, Model, Activist
“That being a physical presence in the fashion industry both statically (as a model) and verbally (as an activist) would help to educate on the importance of inclusion and bring the media/fashion industry into a more balanced and fair representation both internally and externally of diverse talent. I want to change the way we feel about ourselves through positive representation and I want inclusion and diversity to be organically binding in our societal makeup rather than lip-service or tokenised.”
For the entire Next 25 list, pick up the September issue of marie claire Australia, out now.