Published: 07 May 2021

Not shying away from challenging conversations, young women from around the Coast this week took part in a roundtable discussion about gender inequality with domestic violence campaigner Rosie Batty.

An initiative from youth empowerment initiative Project O, the participants spent the afternoon sharing their experiences of combating gender stereotypes, mental health challenges, and highlighting where they want to see change.

It was followed by Ms Batty, who was awarded Australian of the Year in 2015, sharing her experiences of being an advocate for gender equality and her work tackling domestic violence.

Ms Batty said seeing the eagerness of the women to create change is what inspires her to continue speaking up.

"It is always so transformative for me to meet with the young women of Project O and hear their fresh ideas and how they want to build a safer, stronger community," Ms Batty said.

"There is a real desire in the community to get change on gender equality and domestic violence, and these young women are part of this movement.

"Change starts here, in your street, at your school, in your community," she said.

Project O participant Jade Bamberry said this workshop helped to equip her with the language to speak up.

"I didn't know how to speak about the things I cared about, and now I feel like I know how to advocate for the things I'm passionate about in my community," Ms Bamberry said.

Following the discussions, the young women created an action plan for prompting community change which they shared with Wynyard High School and Independent member for Murchison Ruth Forrest.

Ms Batty has also signed up to work with Project O on another project called 'All of Us', a three-tiered social impact campaign focused on driving change on family violence.

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