IWD 2020 Panel: ‘Women Changing The World’

On International Women’s Day this year, I spoke at a ‘Women Changing The World’ event organised by tech start-up incubator Fishburners.

The panel featured women using their entrepreneurial talents for good. Here are some takeaways.

“You’re not always right, which takes a long time to learn. Everyone has their vision, but keep focused on the common goal.” – Simone Amelia Jordan

Packed house for the ‘Women Changing The World’ panel on #IWD2020. Image: Fishburners

“Take up space and flex your voice. Make room, take a spot. At events, at board meetings, wherever you need to be.” – Sasha Sarago

“You need to build resilience. You will be disappointed every second day. Equip yourself with a strong back and a strong network that backs you.” – Carola Jonas

Attendees soaking up knowledge at the #IWD2020 panel

“Stick to your vision and mission. The point of innovation is it is different and it won’t make sense to a lot of people. A lot of it is intuitive.” – Patricia Kaziro

“Value what you bring to the world. We need male energy but we also need female energy and to date, female energy has not been equal.” – Deborah Fairfull

“It does not get easier; things get harder. There are lots of ideas out there and just because something wasn’t your idea, doesn’t mean you can’t get on board.” – Jenna Leo

Step Forward: Vision Board Workshop [March 2018]

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STEP FORWARD

Vision Board Workshop, Sydney Australia

Grab your girls and let’s celebrate Women’s History Month!

Are you in need of INSPIRATION?

Vision Boards display images that represent whatever you want to BE, DO or HAVE in your life.

In 2018, our lives are moving at a rapid pace and we’re losing sight of the GOALS and DREAMS shaping our future.

Make your ambitions VISUAL and REAL to create your reality and maintain your motivation.

Saturday, March 24 2018

11am-2pm

Redfern Community Centre

29-53 Hugo Street, Redfern NSW

Cost: $47 + booking fee (includes):

  • Lunch + Refreshments
  • Pre-Workshop Tips
  • Large Foam Vision Board
  • Magazines
  • Scissors, Glue, Tacks, Stickers, Varnish

Catch Up On The Latest Episodes Of ‘The Bridge’ Podcast

Episode 13

Life comes at you fast, doesn’t it! I haven’t had a chance to post the past six episodes of our podcast as I was working hard on the Australian premiere of the Tupac Shakur biopic All Eyez On Me (video and photos coming soon).

Here are the episodes below, where you can really notice the growth in chemistry between my co-host Nate Wade and myself in addition to an extremely diverse range of topics!

Episode 7 Of The Bridge Podcast: Getting Stronger

Episode 7

Episode 5 of The Bridge podcast is now live!

Myself and Nate Wade chop it up about:

-Is yet *another* big Hip-Hop tour cancelled Down Under?
-Australia’s recently released Five Year Mental Health Youth Report and how action is urgently needed to stem rising youth mental illness in the country
-How race plays a huge difference between the Hip-Hop/R&B music scenes in Australia and New Zealand
-The mystery surrounding the death of former NFL player Aaron Hernandez
-A tribute to Katherine Keating and VICE Impact
and much more!Please LISTEN, RATE, SUBSCRIBE — and send feedback!

Episode 6 Of The Bridge Podcast: All For One, One For All

Episode 6

Episode 6 of The Bridge is now live!

Myself and Nate Wade chop it up about hot topics:

-The recent incidents of racial abuse towards Aboriginal players in the AFL
-How minorities must heal issues among themselves before they can create a powerful united front
-Why “reverse racism” doesn’t exist
-Stevie Wonder getting married for the third time at age 67
-If playing music during sex makes it better
-A psychologist in Australia recommending some child sex offenders be forgiven for their crimes and trusted once again by their communities

and much more!

Please listen, like, share, rate and subscribe!
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/…/…/the-bridge-podcast/id1218197763

Episode 5 Of The Bridge Podcast: “Talk That Talk”

Episode 5

Episode 5 of The Bridge podcast is now live!

Myself and Nate Wade chop it up about:

-The meaning behind the term “Aussie Swassie”
-The recent United Nations report blasting Indigenous conditions in Australia as “appalling”
-An update on our conversation with Krit
-The Sydney Film Festival
-A spotlight on 90s “urban” film soundtracks
-Fresh rumours on Suge Knight’s possible involvement in 2Pac’s murder
-Tribute to Aussie hip-hop pioneer “Spice”

and much, much more!

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-bridge-podcast/id1218197763

Episodes 3 and 4 Of The Bridge Podcast

Episode 3

Episode 4

During Episodes 3 and 4 of The Bridge podcast, Simone and Nate cover a wide variety of topics including:

-Repeal of Section 18c in Australia’s Racial Discrimination Act,

-Professional athletes’ conduct in relationships

-Pharrell Williams becoming the first male face of Chanel

-Former MTV Australia V “Krit” calling out racism in Australia’s media

-Tribute to the late Garnet Reid, a New York music industry veteran

and more!

Episode 2 Of The Bridge Podcast: Sexual Healing

Episode 2

On the latest episode of The Bridge, Simone Amelia and Nate Wade chop it up about:

-The growing (and interesting) phenomena of asexuality
-If a man ever *really* wants to get married
-An explosive blog published by former MTV Australia VJ Krit about systemic racism in Australia’s media
-The rumoured remake of Coming To America
-How “urban” radio is failing in Australia
-Upcoming Hip-Hop tours Down Under

and more.

Be sure to subscribe on iTunes!

The Debut Episode Of The Bridge Podcast

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What a HELLUVA year it has been.

Enduring a serious flare up with my Crohn’s Disease that literally forced me to leave my home for the past 10 years, New York City, and head back to Sydney, I’ve experienced a rollercoaster of emotions these past 365 days (and will hopefully be able to get into more details at a later date).

Now I’ve settled back into a slower-paced lifestyle in Australia and it was time for me to leap back into doing what I love most: hosting. I’ve just started my first podcast with my longtime friend Nate Wade called “The Bridge” and we couldn’t be more excited.

The Bridge is aimed at being a much-needed BRIDGE between cultures, a BRIDGE between knowing and experiencing Hip-Hop in America then translating it to Australia, and an exploration of international news, views — and some ratchetry, of course.

We rushed this episode out to time it with Harmony Day in Australia yesterday on Tuesday, March 21, a holiday that celebrates cultural diversity. Harmony Day coincides with the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

Our special guest is The Honourable Linda Burney MP, the first Aboriginal woman elected to the Australian House Of Representatives. In celebration of The Bridge being recorded in the historic area of Redfern and kicking off during Women’s History Month, Linda talks about the scary rise of Pauline Hanson’s popularity in Australia, her experiences as an Indigenous woman, why young people need to understand the importance of the political process and much more.

Talking The Source, Racism In Australia, Hip Hop & More On The Karen Hunter Show, SiriusXM

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Yesterday [Monday, March 28] I had the absolute pleasure of stopping by The Karen Hunter Show on the UrbanView channel on SiriusXM.

An esteemed journalist and author with a very inspiring career, Karen congratulated me on my new role at The Source Magazine and my first full issue: our current #RealRecognizesReel diversity in Hollywood special. We also talked about the legacy the brand has and how we’re continuing it today with an all new “MindSquad.”

We then touched on the beauty and controversy of Hip Hop music and culture, the influence of acts like Kanye West, the differences between The Source and a media title like Complex and more.

Becoming The Editor Of The Source Magazine

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A full-circle moment, as defined by Merriam-Webster, is a “series of developments that lead back to the original source.”

The original source, in this case, is The Source. And my full-circle moment is happening today (Monday, November 9 2015) as I become Content Director for the media brand that inspired my entire career.

I knew from a very young age hip-hop would determine, shape and influence my personal and professional growth. I discovered The Source magazine when I was 13 years old in the early 90s, taking sneaky trips into the city to soak up the atmosphere at Soul Sense record store. Soul Sense was the unrivaled destination for lovers of “urban culture” in Sydney, Australia (shouts to local legends Eddie and Robert Kaleel and Freddie Mahinda) and a haven for multicultural youth to revel in a music form that at the time, was truly underground. Those were the days, man. Love for the music was pure, especially for us international fans physically so far away from its mecca. I wasn’t yet working so I’d beg Mum to give me money every month to buy The Source and VIBE, and because you could only get them from Soul Sense as imported magazines, she’d shell out roughly $25-30 each time for me. I would excitedly devour each page, memorizing the staff list and picturing my name. I had wanted to be a journalist since I read a book called The Reporter in the third grade (or Year 3, as we say back home) and covering hip-hop came naturally.

In 2003, I founded Urban Hitz magazine. This came after I did high school work experience at Smash Hits (shouts to Agatha Antonian) and TV Hits (shouts to Santi Pintado) and then during my college days, Juice magazine (shouts to my earliest media mentors Toby Creswell, Lisa Anthony and Stuart Hitchings). I was editorial assistant at Juice but happily took the lead on their “urban” coverage and positioned myself as an authority from a very young age (inspired also by WKD, a Melbourne-based R&B publication, at the time). When I graduated with my journalism degree in 2002, I worked with my good friend and top Australian DJ George “G-Wiz” Bechara to produce a street press (a.k.a. free) hip-hop/R&B magazine called Request, which gave me the confidence to ultimately create Urban Hitz in 2003.

Urban Hitz was my local tribute to The Source, an on-sale national publication with a balance of emerging coverage from Australia and New Zealand plus American content. Thanks to my publishers at the time (Derwent Howard) I was allowed to have my brand exactly mirror the one I learned from, with powerful stories tinged with social commentary, exclusive in-depth interviews, lifestyle features and more. Urban Hitz is my greatest achievement because I was told no-one in their right mind would pay for an Aussie-based hip-hop/R&B magazine when they could still buy The Source or VIBE, especially with a female editor. Not only did we become the highest-selling urban publication in Australia to this day, we did it with limited resources and industry support. We had the people, the kids who were just like me, and that’s all we needed.

When I moved to New York City after wrapping up Urban Hitz at the end of 2006, hired by DrJays.com to create content for their popular retail site, I told the owners I was familiar with the Dr. Jays store brand from years before—by reading about rappers talking about it in The Source, of course. I had an incredible full-time run with DrJays.com and consider the company family to this day (working with them still from time to time), because not only did they support my life goal of living and working in New York City, they allowed me to start doing on-camera interviews, execute major fashion campaigns with breakout stars like Nicki Minaj and much more. I branched out from print to digital with them and then embraced a career in radio with Hip Hop Nation (SiriusXM) and DASH Radio, thanks to incredible people in my corner. Through it all my original love for magazines never died, and a dream deep inside to work for the title that kicked everything off never waned. So after a few light social interactions with L. Londell McMillan (current Publisher of The Source), we sat down recently to a five-hour brunch where we discussed the past, present and future of the brand. Londell’s career is decorated and celebrated, but what I admire most about him is after such a long time in the industry, he’s honest to a fault and extremely passionate. His NorthStar Group is today one of few Black-owned media companies, which is extremely important to me coming from a minority background.

I’ve accepted this position at The Source to focus on the positive. To reconnect with the old and usher in the new. To pay homage to the legacy of the brand and at the same time, move it forward. From editorial to marketing to branding to international expansion, I’ll be lending my lengthy expertise while learning and growing with my team.

I cannot emphasize enough how The Source made me the woman, hip-hop lover, journalist and socially conscious spirit I am today. Like a rapper equipped with the albums that inspired him to get in the booth or a community leader studying the activists who came before them, this magazine laid the groundwork for me as a journalist. Its writers and editors spoke loudly to me through each page, sending a clear message to be part of this culture was an honor. That hip-hop was unlike anything else on this planet, an uncomfortably beautiful bridge to endless possibilities. It taught me a young ethnic girl who grew up with a single mother thousands of miles away could actually be part of the world she truly felt she belonged in, as long as she remained authentic to herself and put in the work.

Mum still has my old copies of The Source in big plastic containers back home, and when I told her about my new position her reaction was, “Oh, that bloody magazine! You finally made it huh?” Sure did, Ma.