Today I had the pleasure of interviewing the passionate Madeline Price who was recently selected as a Queensland State Finalist for the 2015 Young Australian of the Year award. As the director and founder of the One Woman Project and a promoter of advocacy, Madeline has insightful knowledge on pressing global issues, such as gender equality.
What’s your story? tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am a fourth year Bachelor of Arts/Laws student, majoring in Sociology and Journalism, at the University of Queensland. I am an avid traveller, having been to more than 15 countries, a student, a volunteer, an activist and an eternal optimist. In my spare time I enjoy waterskiing, playing the guitar, watching re-runs of Friends and guessing plot lines to George R. R. Martin novels.
What made you want to start up One Woman Project?
From an early age, I was aware that gender inequalities existed (it was not until I was much older that I realised the extent to which they permeated every facet of society), but was eternally frustrated when those around didn’t see the inequality or, more often than not, exclaimed ‘But we are equal!’. That is where the One Woman Project stemmed from – a way to educate young people about the global gender inequalities that exist.
How did you become interested in gender equality?
From a young age I was passionate about ending inequalities everywhere – be in extreme poverty, gender inequalities, war, and so forth – but it wasn’t until I was on an alternative to Schoolies trip, in 2011, that I realised the global nature of gender inequality. I walked into a classroom a few hours north of Kampong Cham, Cambodia, only to find myself facing twenty young boys. I stepped out of the classroom, wandered through the village and tallied in my head – the village was roughly 50% men, 50% women, but only boys were in the classrooms. I asked the teacher why, and she said that the girls were more useful as workers, and less useful as students.
This was the first time that I became acutely aware of an obvious gender inequality and, upon returning to Australia, found myself confronted by the gender inequalities faced at home as well – the gender wage gap, sexual violence, intimate partner and domestic violence, the glass ceiling.
What is the One Woman Project about?
The One Woman Project is a youth-run, registered, non-for-profit organisation aimed at advocating for and promoting gender equality. It centres on three main focuses; public awareness campaigns, biannual conferences and educational seminars for highschool and university students focusing upon global gender inequality.
Can you tell us a bit about the seminars and conferences?
The educational seminars cover eight topics of global gender inequality, including; the difference between gender and sex, the feminisation of poverty and the education of women, representations of men and women in film and advertising, maternal health and HIV/Aids, sexual violence in conflict zones, political quotas and representation, intersectionality and the future of the gender equality movement. The educational seminars also offer the opportunity to network with like-minded individuals and organisations.
The conferences – the first of which will be held in July 2015 – focus upon expanding on the educational seminars. They will feature guest speakers from a variety of fields, workshops and networking opportunities. They are open to all members of the public – not just high school and university students.
How can people sign up?
High school and university aged participants of all genders can sign up to the Semester 1 2015 program through our website here.
Any advice for someone wanting to start up their own project?
This is something I tell all my volunteers – you can learn anything, be it facilitation, finances, campaign and advocacy skills – but you can’t learn passion. People will believe in what you’re passionate about, they will follow you when you can articulate your passion – our society needs passionate people.
Who is your biggest inspiration?
My parents have always been my constant source of inspiration – they are two of the most incredible people you will ever meet. Their enthusiasm, their passion, their constant ability to laugh at themselves (and me!) has really shaped how I am as a person. Not to toot my own horn or anything, but I am an amalgamation of all their best qualities – a superhuman (haha!).
What is your favourite book?
My favourite book is Illusions: Tales of a Reluctant Messiah by Richard Bach. This book has been a constant inspiration to me and a dedicated push to do more for my local, national and global community. The most motivating part?
‘Here’s a test to find if your mission on earth is finished. If you’re alive; it isn’t.’