In the context of major global social movements that gained momentum in 2020, the theme of how
to create change in 2021 struck a chord with 100 Women members and supporters at our recent
panel event at Fraser Suites in East Perth.
The event panel brought together a number of notable Perth community change-makers –
Generation One CEO Shelley Cable, City of Mandurah Mayor Rhys Williams and Shooting Stars
Executive Officer Fran Haintz – in a discussion facilitated by 100 Women Ambassador and
internationally acclaimed criminal and human rights lawyer Rabia Siddique.
100 Women founder Alicia Curtis opened the event, sharing the story of how
the organisation was born after she read the book Half the Sky.
“[The] issue of women’s empowerment is a choice. It is a choice that we make –where funding goes.
And I felt like there needed to be a change in where we spent our money,” she said.
“We pulled together a group of people – ordinary people like you and me – who had a vision to
create change. Who had a vision that philanthropy could be done a little differently; that it needed
to be done a little differently. And eight years later, here we are today.
“The core purpose of 100 Women is to ignite diversity in philanthropy through the power of
collective giving to empower all women and girls.”
A Wilman-Nyoongar woman and CPA-qualified accountant, Shelley Cable spoke about her drive to
advance the futures of young indigenous Western Australians through employment opportunities –
a goal she continues to pursue in her current role with the Minderoo Foundation’s Generation One.
“Generation One has the mission of closing the employment gap with and for Indigenous Australians
within one generation,” Shelley said.
“One of the things that has been quite scary in looking at the Indigenous employment gap is how
slowly it is closing. Over the past 10 years or so, between 2008 and 2018, the gap closed by 1.23 per
cent. So, on that timeline, we’re looking at 200 years to close the gap. We are trying to do 200 years
of work in a generation, so we’re pretty busy.”
A similar champion for indigenous youth empowerment, Fran Haintz leads educational program
Shooting Stars, which encourages young indigenous women to engage with education through sport.
Fran spoke of the disparity in support offered to Aboriginal young men and young women, and the
issues of racism as a major barrier. Fran challenged the panel event audience to support the efforts of Shooting Stars and similar organisations by becoming systemic advocates and breaking down
“You’ve all got a voice. I think sometimes a challenge for us is to use our voice. (But) before you use
your voice, have a listen to who you need to be listening to,” she said.
“Right now, we’re busy empowering [our Shooting Stars girls] to have their own voice too, so that
they have a right to use it. And then that helps them go on their journey.”
Panel facilitator Rabbia Siddique has long been a vocal advocate for the advancement of women and
girls on a global scale. In leading the panel, she shared with the audience how she came to be
involved with 100 Women, and how her role as a 100 Women Ambassador aligns with and enriches
the experience she has gained in her legal career and work as a history-making humanitarian, author
and international keynote speaker.
Rhys Williams was elected to the City of Mandurah Council at 21 and at the age of 29 was elected
Mayor, becoming one of the youngest mayors in Western Australian history. A passionate advocate
for women’s rights, Rhys also spoke of his change-making experience from a global perspective,
recounting a formative visit to a small Saudi Arabian as part of a delegation to investigate why local
men were turning to terrorism. Rhys said insightful conversations between the women in his
delegation and local women revealed a startling truth.
“The problem in this community, and the reason why these men are turning to a life of terrorism, is
because they don’t feel loved. They don’t feel nurtured,” he explained.
“So here we were, a group of people designing a strategy to solve a problem that we thought was
going to involve multi-millions of dollars of infrastructure, and actually the problem was about how
to support mothers to be able to support their sons. In the end, the whole strategy that we worked
on was about creating opportunities for women to be able to connect with each other and support
each other parents.”
Following the event, attendees shared how inspired they felt by the panel participants’ stories,
experiences, encouragement and enthusiasm for enacting meaningful change for women and girls –
locally, throughout Australia and across the world.
100 Women is creating change for women and girls on a global scale. If you’re not already a
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