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International Women's Day 2022

To celebrate International Women’s Day, we wanted to highlight two women in our community who are doing amazing things and having a positive impact on the world around us.
Both issues Lottie and Madi mention in their interviews hit close to home here in Australia and we’ve loved watching how their desire to see real change has paid off. As both Banish and Project Hiu continue to grow rapidly, we’re seeing real awareness and action taking place. These stories make us proud to be women! 

Madison Stewart, Founder of Project Hiu

What you do?

I am a conservationist and an activist. I work with sharks and this led me to begin projects within communities that fish sharks. With their help, I'm attempting to replace the fishing practices with more sustainable and economically beneficial trades, like tourism. 

What is your motivation for doing what you do?

I have loved sharks since I was a little kid. I saw the way that people perceived them became their undoing. They have drastically declined in our lifetime, 70% globally in the last 50 years. No animal is more worthy of our protection. Yet it’s that fear that first attracted me to the shark, how cool it was for me to see an animal people were scared of and would run from. Sharks are often displayed as evil, in reality, they are quite scared of us. I fell in love with Indonesia when I went there to film shark fisheries, the closer I got to the fishing communities, the more I felt like I could make a real change, for the sharks and the people. 

What positive change are you hoping to see in the future?

I would like to see activism become a normalised part of life for all of us who go into the ocean and even the people who don't. Activism doesn't mean hatred for people like shark fishermen, so I’d also like to see conservation change to be something we approach with compassion. 

How are you seeing women positively impacting your industry?

Women have it together, oh my goodness. The level of power women have is so underestimated daily. I see them as the driving forces behind compassionate and well thought out tactics to make changes within communities. Women know what it's like to feel suppressed and to have to fight against the current to be seen or heard sometimes, this makes us the perfect advocates for change. It's easy to see evidence of this in the powerful women in our industry.  
A lot of the areas we are dominating; (shark diving, free diving and cinematography), are things no one expects from women. 

Lottie Dalziel, Founder of Banish
Sydney, Australia

What you do?

I'm the founder of Banish, one of Australia's leading sustainable marketplaces and education platforms.

What is your motivation for doing what you do? 

When I personally tried to be accountable and significantly reduce my waste, I found it SO hard, SO confusing and SO overwhelming but rather than be disheartened I saw an opportunity to help make it easier for others to make a positive impact and I'm proud to say that I have spent every day since doing just that.

What positive change are you hoping to see in the future? 

The aim of everything that I do is to make living sustainably easier and more accessible to inspire and empower Australians to reduce their environmental impact (e.g., that could be recycling better, composting, or reducing their waste). 

How are you seeing women positively impacting your industry?

It thrills me to say that majority around 80% of the Banish businesses and suppliers that we use are female-led. I know that starting a business as a female isn't easy, so I want to help as many other women as possible. Women are taking control of their future and the future of the planet and are a force to be reckoned with! From creating amazing products to changing the norm and the way Australians compost and manage waste to running for parliament they are so inspiring; it keeps me striving for more.

To support these businesses and organisations, head to these links; Banish and Project Hiu.

Love Becky and Kip x

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