2018 She Leads High – 5 Quick Questions with Dhani Gilbert

22 October 2018

The annual She Leads High Conference is a one-day leadership event for young women, including female and non-binary people, in years 9 and 10. The event will take place at the University of Canberra’s Ann Harding Conference Centre on 1 November 2018.

In this interview, we talk to Dhani Gilbert, one of our keynote speakers at the upcoming She Leads High Conference.

Dhani Gilbert is a 16-year-old proud young Wiradjuri woman who is passionate about community, culture, the environment, education, social justice and youth empowerment. Her active contributions to the Canberra community and advocacy for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples saw Dhani named Young Canberra Citizen of the Year.

Describe your leadership journey in 30 words or less.

Continually learning, community based and optimistic about the contributions we can individually and collectively make to create positive change.

What has been (or is) the biggest challenge you have encountered in your leadership journey?

This applies to both what I tell myself and in the conversations I have with others – to not minimise my capability to do good or to add value.

Why is it important that we increase the number of girls and women in leadership positions? How does this impact on gender equality?

It is important we increase the number of girls and women in leadership positions because it powerfully changes perceptions about what is possible; and there is no shortage of seriously capable, talented and courageous women ready to take up leadership positions.

The impact of leadership that more fairly reflects the diversity of the community is important as it brings equality to the table, the discussions we have are no longer just half the story, they are holistic and therefore better solutions are able to be achieved.

If there was one resource that you recommend every future girl/woman leader would read or view what would it be?

Just one is tricky, so I am going highly recommend not underutilising the power of having a conversation, with fantastic women that surround you.

If you have or see brave, resilient, talented women around you doing amazing things, acknowledge it and ask them if they wouldn’t mind giving some time to talk with you about their experience.

If you could give one piece of advice to yourself in high school, what would it be?

Don’t doubt that what you bring or are doing adds value! Because showing up, learning, participating, talking and ‘doing what you can, where you can’ is important.

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