There is so much disconnect between the experiences of young people and the policies that are made that will dictate their lives.
We are on a mission to bridge this gap, which is why we've set up the GIWL Global Youth Committee. Chaired by trailblazing sexual consent activist Chanel Contos, it brings together passionate young changemakers from across Australia and the Asia Pacific to identify emerging challenges and opportunities for young people – helping GIWL to understand the issues that are most important to young people today and shaping the direction of our research, policy and engagement.
Culture, policies and laws that are being made now will be lived out by young people of Australia, so they are integral to how we shape the future of this country. I am so excited to see what this unbelievably impressive group of people achieve with this new platform, and what they take from it to their existing roles of leadership and social change”
– Chanel Contos, Chair of the GIWL Global Youth Committee
Meet the committee
Zahra Al Hilaly (she/her)
Zahra is a vocalist for gender equality, interfaith dialogue and diversity and inclusion. A proud Palestinian and Iraqi woman, Zahra is committed to ensuring marginalised perspectives are amplified in traditionally exclusive spaces. She currently acts as the Chief Executive Officer for Oaktree Australia, the largest youth-run organisation in the country, where she focuses on empowering young people from the Asia and the Pacific region to become leaders in governance and policy.
Zahra also works with Women Deliver to enhance young people's involvement to decolonise gender equality advocacy. With a migrant and refugee background, she also holds a deep-rooted interest in challenging leadership structures to better enhance diverse voices. As such, Zahra is also the co-founder of the Christmas Island Youth Leadership Summit, establishing the first-ever youth policy body for young Christmas Islanders on the island.
Beyond the gender space, Zahra has previously worked as an investigative journalist and currently holds a Bachelor of Law and a Bachelor of Communications. Zahra is also a Duke University fellow, working on the intersection of climate justice and faith-based practices, particularly working with Australia’s rural, refugee community to create an inclusive movement.
Zahra sits on the boards of Missing Perspectives and the Australian Youth Climate Coalition. In 2023, Zahra was also named the youngest-ever recipient of the Australian Women in Excellence Awards and in 2021, she was named the first-ever Young Asian-Australian of the Year.
Ashna Basu (she/her)
Dr Ashna Basu is a doctor, speaker, writer and advocate. Ashna works as a doctor in Psychiatry, and conducts research with a focus on mental health. She serves as Chair of Young MWIA, a branch of the Medical Women's International Association that represents medical women up to the age of 40 globally, and is also the President of the Medical Women's Society of New South Wales.
A passionate advocate for gender equity in health, Ashna was the 2022 recipient of the Australian Medical Association's Women's Health Award, the 2023 recipient of the NSW/ACT Young Achievers Awards' Leadership Category, and has also been recognised as a Finalist for NSW Young Woman of the Year 2023. Ashna sits on the RANZCP Committee for Research and the Australasian Psychiatry Editorial Board, and is a conjoint associate lecturer at UNSW.
Outside of medicine, Ashna holds her GAICD, has served on multiple boards and is a co-founder and director of PinkSparrow Ltd, a governance advisory firm that assists not-for-profit organisations with their corporate governance. She has experience in management and strategy consulting, and co-authored UNSW’s 2020-2025 Student Mental Health & Wellbeing Strategy.
Maggie Blanden (she/her)
Maggie Blanden (she/her) is a proud palawa woman from lutruwita/Tasmania and the great-grand daughter of Aunty Ida West AM. She is a passionate advocate and change-maker in the space of Indigenous self-determination, sovereignty land rights and criminal justice reform. Maggie has previously worked in law reform and policy development, native title as well as in the criminal justice system. Maggie is in her final year of her Juris Doctor at the Melbourne Law School and hopes to continue to work for community and advocate for change post-studies.
Phoebe Britten (she/her)
Phoebe is the youngest member and Australian representative to the OECD Youthwise Advisory Board. In addition to studying a BA/LLB at the University of Sydney with an interest in international law, she is the Executive Producer & Host of the political podcast ‘The Modern Democracy’ - aiming to empower young voters from regional and rural Australia by breaking down complex national policy issues. Recently, she was a delegate to the World Bank Group Youth Summit and was invited by Harvard College to represent Australia in the Architects of Asia Conference in Hong Kong (2023). She’s passionate about women’s economic empowerment & leadership, gender-transformative education, and creating substantive equality for women from regional & rural Australia.
Georgie Carey (she/her)
Georgie is a young leader who isn’t afraid to question the status quo. She is currently the Deputy Mayor of the Town of Mosman Park, after being elected to Council in 2017 as one of Australia’s youngest Councillors at age 21. Georgie is a passionate advocate for the inclusion of young people in positions of decision-making at a local level and on the global stage. She is also the Chairperson of the Youth Affairs Council of WA and a member of the Perth Hub of the Global Shapers Community, an initiative of the World Economic Forum. In 2019, Georgie was selected as Australia’s representative at the 2019 G(irls)20 Global Summit in Tokyo where she co-authored a Communique highlighting policies to promote young women’s economic inclusion that was presented to G20 world leaders.
Renee Cremer (she/her)
Originally from Gubbi Gubbi country (Sunshine Coast), Renee Cremer is a proud Yuin woman and mother. Renee is currently serves as Chief Executive Officer of Young Australians in International Affairs. In this role Renee has been intent on demonstrating her passion for youth leadership and engaging more First Nations youth in international affairs.
In 2021 Renee had the honour of representing Australian youth as Australia’s first ever delegate to the G7 Youth Engagement Forum (Y7). She was also a Global Voices Scholar part of the delegation to the 2019 OECD Forum in Paris. During this time, she wrote a policy paper on improving engagement and integration outcomes for unskilled and underemployed female migrants living in regional and rural Australia.
Renee graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Deakin University in 2021, completing a major in politics and policy studies and minors in international relations and criminology. Renee has also spent time as a youth support and pathways coordinator in regional Queensland.
Renee is an early career public servant living on Ngunnawal and Ngambri country.She looks forward to developing a career in federal policy and international relations, hoping to inspire other young Indigenous women, and mothers especially, to pursue their passions with tenacity and dedication.
Jasmine Davis (she/her)
Jasmine Davis is a final year Doctor of Medicine and Master of Public Health student studying at The University of Melbourne. Born and raised in regional Victoria, Jasmine has a deep passion for reducing health inequities faced by those living in rural and remote areas, and how this intersects with gender and sexuality.
Jasmine is an outspoken advocate having led the Australian Medical Students' Association (AMSA) in 2022 as the President, representing 18,000 medical students and 500+ student volunteers. She has published research on the impact of conscientious objection in healthcare to women's access to abortion, and currently works at ANU as a research assistant for a team working on increasing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients' access to primary healthcare.
Jasmine aspires to be a Rural Generalist doctor with advanced skills in public health, in order to tie in her passion for rural primary care, and her desire to influence systems level change to reduce systemic inequity in health.
Hannah Diviney (she/her)
Hannah is a writer and disability advocate. Her most prominent campaigns include her Change.org petition for Disney to create a disabled Disney Princess and successfully getting Lizzo and Beyonce to change ableist lyrics. She’s also an actress – having made her television debut in the groundbreaking SBS show Latecomers as arguably the first disabled person to lead a show in the world. Her feature film debut Audrey is set to hit cinemas in 2024.
She is also the Editor in Chief of global grassroots youth newsroom Missing Perspectives, dedicated to platforming the lived experience of girls and young women around the world. Her debut book, I'll Let Myself In, was released on September 12.
Noemie Huttner-Koros (they/them)
Noemie Huttner-Koros is a performance-maker, writer, dramaturg and community organiser based between Wurundjeri country and Whadjuk Noongar country. Noemie's artistic practice often engages with sites and histories where queer culture, composting and ecological crises occur, and their work taken place in theatres, galleries, alleyways, dinner parties and blanket forts.
Their shows include: Mother of Compost (M1 Singapore Fringe Festival), The Lion Never Sleeps (Australian Book Review’s Arts Highlights of 2019), The Trouble-Makers (You Are Here Festival & Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts) & Democracy Repair Services (The Blue Room Theatre 2023). Noemie is a graduate of the Bachelor of Performing Arts at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts and Master of Theatre (Dramaturgy) at the Victorian College of the Arts.
Their Masters Thesis explored the entanglement of ecological and queer dramaturgies in performance-making processes. Their writing has been published in Best of Australian Poems 2020, Rabbit Poetry Journal, Australian Poetry, Disclaimer Journal & SeeSaw Mag. Noemie was a co-founder of Arts & Cultural Workers for Climate Action in WA and has been organising on climate justice with a variety of organisations over the last ten years.
They are currently the Graduate Dramaturg at Red Stitch Actors Theatre and were the Creative Coordinator of 2022 KickstART Festival Youth Week WA (Propel Youth Arts WA). They were the winner of the 2020 Venie Holmgren Environmental Poetry Prize & 2021 WA Young Environmentalist of the Year. Noemie is passionate about empowering people to participate in culture and democracy, the civic role of the artist in society, and dreaming up vibrant, queer, collective futures on this precious planet.
Naz Jacobs (she/her)
Naz Jacobs is a dedicated human rights advocate, driven by a passion to build a more just and equitable society for all. She is a Policy Advisor on Race Discrimination at the Australian Human Rights Commission, and holds a Master of International Law and International Relations specialising in human rights law. Her policy experience includes advising on disability policy at the Australian Department of Social Services.
She also worked as a human rights and social impact consultant at KPMG and Point Advisory, advising major companies on human rights approaches and addressing modern slavery. She has held additional roles in racial justice advocacy, human rights campaigning, and international human rights. As a neurodivergent woman of colour, Naz is passionate about advancing intersectionality and aims to bring this approach to all of her work.
Ananya Kundu (she/her)
Ananya Kundu is a young peace builder, feminist researcher and activist based in India. Her work is focused on human rights, gender, peace and security, feminist movement building and climate change. She is the Country Coordinator for India at Women's Regional Network, a south-asian network that aims to amplify the voices of women in conflict. She also serves as the Co-Chairperson of Climate Change Working Group at WCAPS (Women of Color Advancing Peace, Security and Conflict Transformation), New York. She holds a Master's in Gender Studies and a Bachelors in English Language and Literature.
Kupakwashe Matangira (she/her)
Kupakwashe is an activist and social entrepreneur. She is a Consultant for the Youth Reference Group for the Department of Home Affairs, where she advises on issues affecting young people across NSW and how the Department can best serve their needs. Kupakwashe also represents African young people and those from migrant/ refugee backgrounds, and has advised on Australia’s immigration strategy, and social cohesion and anti-racism policies and initiatives.
Isabella Negus (she/her)
Isabella is an Australian Army Officer with a strong commitment to leadership and a genuine concern for global matters, especially those affecting vulnerable populations. Isabella has gained diverse experiences from international deployments and humanitarian assistance activities, with a specialised emphasis on Gender, Peace and Security roles.
Emily Parsons (she/her)
Emily is a third-year student at the University of Adelaide, undertaking a Bachelor of International Relations, and a Bachelor of Arts in International Development. Emily has a strong interest in creating equitable workplaces for young people who work within retail and hospitality, with a particular focus on addressing sexual harassment and improving conditions for those from under-represented backgrounds, including neuro-diverse and indigenous employees.
Rachael Pascua (she/her)
Rachael Pascua is a young Maori-Filipino woman who has worked extensively in the primary prevention of violence against women. Rachael coordinated R4Respect, a youth-led respectful relationships and consent education initiative. Rachael guided R4Respect to reach more than 600,000 young people, receiving a National Community Gold Award by the Australian Institute of Criminology. In 2022, Rachael was a QLD Young Achiever of the Year Finalist.
As an advocate for young people from marginalized and multicultural backgrounds, Rachael is passionate about empowering young people to be agents of change. Rachael has advised the Queensland Government and ANROWS on young people and gender-based violence. She is currently a Government Relations Advisor at Our Watch, where she helps advise all Governments to embed gender equality. She is excited to work alongside other passionate young leaders through the GIWL Global Youth Committee to advance gender equality in Australia.
Haseeb Riaz (he/him)
Haseeb Riaz is a medical student, who over the past 2 years has co-founded and developed a non-for-profit organisation called MAN UP, which provides peer to peer education around healthy masculinity to high school aged boys. The organisation aims to address toxic masculinity through workshops and presentations that engage young boys in high school to investigate their ideals of masculine culture, mental health and relationships.
During his undergraduate degree, he was also heavily engaged with the Dr YES program, which provides sexual health, mental health, and alcohol/drug related health education to high school students, where he was a Project Coordinator in 2019. In 2022, he was appointed as the co-chair WA Ministerial Youth Advisory Council, and also sat on the Australian Medical Students’ Association national executive and board as the National Treasurer.
In 2023, he is the Deputy Chair of the Medical Students' Council of WA and also a board member of the Fogarty Foundation, working to improve early childhood education access and opportunity. He is passionate about being an ally to gender equality, and working to encourage young men to engage with dialogues about gender equality, especially in rural settings.
Clodia Stanislaus (she/her)
Clodia is currently studying a Bachelor of Politics, Philosophy and Economics (BPPE) at the University of New South Wales.
Born and raised in the Western suburbs of Sydney, Clodia’s lived experiences within her marginalised community is something she passionately advocates for through her writing and activism. Having been published and commissioned by Red Room Poetry for her ecopoetry, Clodia uses her writing to discuss issues of climate change, gender inequity and mental health.
Having worked with leadership and activism companies across both western Sydney and Australia such as Max Potential, Macquarie Universities leadership group and Raise Our Voice Australia, Clodia knows first hand the significance of educating young people on the power and merit of their voices, ideas and values.
GIWL Youth Summit
Are you aged 18-30 and are passionate about gender equality? Join us at our Youth Summit in Brisbane from 19-20 October. This interactive 1.5-day forum will bring together young feminist trailblaxers to share the most pressing gender-based issues facing this generation.
The summit will be led by trailblazing activist, Chanel Contos and will be attended and facilitated by inspirational young people from across Australia, including youth activists, industry experts and the next generation of leaders from a range of sectors – from arts and culture to science and tech. It will consist of a mixture of interactive workshops, expert-led facilitated discussions, panel events, networking and career development opportunities and more.