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    INSPIRED: Stawell young leader Kiri Artz will have a chance to meet her role models in Canberra in 2021 after winning a leadership award.

Kiri Artz wins her way to Canberra

A young leader from Stawell who won an award for championing women’s rights will have an opportunity to meet her role models in Australia’s capital city. 

Stawell Secondary College year-10 student Kiri Artz is among 16 young rural leaders across Australia to be recognised.  

Kiri was the winner of a Country to Canberra leadership competition for a speech she wrote about women’s rights and gender equity.

As part of the award, Kiri has won a ‘Power Trip’ to Canberra to meet ‘inspirational leaders’ such as politicians, chief executives and mentors.

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“I never thought that I would win – it’s crazy,” Kiri said. 

“I’m hoping to meet a lot of my role  models within parliament, such as Sarah Hanson-Young from The Greens party, because she really stands up for herself against sexism in parliament.”

Kiri’s award-winning entry highlighted a societal need for women and girls to continue to support and stand up for one another.

She said misogyny and patriarchy was still hidden throughout society and continued to discourage women. 

“I was really thinking about the fact that women are underrepresented in our society and workplaces – especially in parliament,” she said. 

“I really think that by supporting and helping each other succeed we can empower each other in times of need.” 

In her piece, Kiri argued women must stand up for themselves and each other when gender inequalities and objectification was present. 

She said she believed equality could be achieved when people started to speak out against ‘everyday sexism’.  “Every day sexist jokes or remarks or things like double standards that we see every day, I hear these things all the time and it just seems to be the norm – especially for me as a high-school student,” she said. “When you hear those remarks being made, it’s just about telling people to think about it. Is what you’re saying really fair? What would happen if the roles were reversed, would it still be funny?

“I think that we have come a long way from the past, but I do believe there is a fair way to go and we can definitely get there by supporting each other, advocating for social change and bringing issues to the surface so they can be exposed and looked at.”  

This year’s ‘Power Trip’ has been postponed until 2021 due to Covid-19. The winners will get to meet one another in a virtual setting during a two-day online program, called C2C On Screen. The inaugural online experience will play host to a series of events, including a mentorship round robin and leadership workshops.

The Power Trip will be rescheduled for a suitable time in 2021.

– Dylan De Jong

The entire November 11, 2020 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!