Tessa Barratt was raised a feminist by her father (a lawyer who fought to expose corruption in apartheid South Africa) and her artistic mother. She lived 18 years of her life in South Africa, then moved to the UK where she briefly worked in the (hugely sexist) film industry before attaining her degree in English and Creative Writing. It was at University that she took an especially keen interest in women's rights. After developing a disability, she was advised by doctors to move back to a warmer climate. In 2010 she settled in Sydney.
Joseph Salemi was born and raised in Sydney and started delving into feminism in 2011. His first exposure to feminism was Jackson Katz's Tough Guise: Violence, Media and the Crisis in Masculinity. This film had a huge impact on him, and inspired him to co-found the Sydney Feminists in 2012. Joseph delivers talks and film screenings that analyse the way in which masculinity is socially constructed and how narrow definitions of manhood can hurt both men and women.
Wanting to find friends, she joined the website meetup.com. It was on Meetup that she searched for a feminist social group. Finding none, she started her own, and so the Sydney Feminists was born. Both Tessa and her co-founder, Joseph Salemi, worked hard to expand the group to more than just a social venture, and now it functions as an activist, media education and networking organisation. Apart from running the Sydney Feminists, Tessa also helped organise 2012's Reclaim the Night march and worked as secretary for Amnesty International's NSW Women's Network from November 2012 through to August 2013. She was also a writer for online feminist zine Discordia Zine and is involved in several activist projects.
Joseph's focus is on getting men to challenge their own inherent prejudices as well as confront aspects of their personality that may have been negatively influenced by media and the dominant culture. He has delivered a number of film screenings of Tough Guise and was a guest speaker at the CROMM Conference at the University of Wollongong. He has also spoken at the 2013 UN Youth Conference and at the White Ribbon International Conference. His recent activity has specifically focused on school age children with an interactive panel at Roseville Girl's College and presenting in The Sydney Feminists' new Youth Penitentiary Program on Respectful Relationships.
Shreyasi was born in India and raised a keen feminist by Indian parents; her mother has a master's in English literature and her father is a mechanical engineer. Her family relocated to Saudi Arabia when she was 11, where she was first introduced to American education and the pressure to assimilate, and consequently racism. She completed her bachelor's and master's in mechanical engineering from the United States. As the only girl (or one of 2 or 3) in most of her college classes and eventually career, she fought significant bias from male classmates, professors and colleagues, and often struggled in her relationships with fellow women.
While working at General Electric in Bangalore, Shreyasi was a part of GE Women's Group and was first exposed to the positivity of being surrounded by similar-minded women. When she moved to Sydney to be with her husband in 2015, she eventually gained an even wider perspective of the struggles of female engineers all around the world. She joined Sydney Feminists as a blogger in 2018 and began a series of opinion pieces on women in STEM, which she continues to work on. She aspires to properly contribute to feminist endeavors in her home country of India someday.
Combining contagious enthusiasm for art, music and movement with an honours degree in Sociology, Kate has recently been exploring elements of art therapy and the concept of holistically managing one’s own physical/mental/spiritual health and healing by enriching creativity, self-awareness and self-esteem through art and up-skilling.
Based in Melbourne, Kate is extremely honoured to be part of TSF writing team and is thrilled to share her abundant, positive, healing energy with our community as our resident Agony Aunt in her column ‘Ask Auntie Kate’.
Previously, Kate was our most successful social media content creator, (50,000+ likes for an Instagram post in 2017!). An avid activist, the passion Kate has for eco-feminism, intersectionality and educating young people stems from managing her own traumas, trying to be the person she needed as a child, and the imbalance of power in the world.
Ex-professional dancer, choreographer, working artist and musician, we welcome the maternal, yet satirical energy Kate brings to our team! “Art is life, life is Art.”
Vicky's first foray into feminist activism was in 2010 in London. Experiencing regular sexual harassment in her local neighbourhood, one incident escalated into an assault. Disappointed by the police's victim-blaming response, Vicky launched her own anti-street harassment campaign. The campaign garnered national and international media attention, and as a result Vicky was regularly invited onto BBC radio & TV news shows as a feminist commentator.
Linzy spent the first 13 years of her life in China before moving to Sydney to receive an education at Presbyterian Ladies’ College, Croydon. Immersed in an elite girls’ school that highly values gender equity and girls’ development, she was inspired to devote her time and energy to volunteer with feminist organizations. During free time, she also committed to the cause of gender equality through leading a club at school and publishing blogs on feminist-related issues on her own website.
Vicky won several awards for her campaign, including Microsoft's '50 Remarkable Women', Trust for London's 'London Social Justice Award', One World Action's 'Powerful Unseen Women Who Change the World' and was named one of London Evening Standard's '1000 Most Influential Londoners 2011'. In addition, she was an advocate and keynote speaker for Slutwalk London, addressing a 5000-strong crowd in Trafalgar Square and fielding media enquries in the run-up to the event. She also served on the committee of UK Feminista, the UK's hub for feminist activism.
In 2016 Vicky moved to Australia to take up a job with The Guardian. She joined the Sydney Feminists committee in 2018.
Linzy joined the Sydney Feminist in 2018 as a student volunteer, assisting the team with organizing events. She enjoyed each team meeting, often being inspired by others in the group. More recently, Linzy helps the team with website organization. In the future, Linzy aspires to contribute more to the feminist movement by taking words into actions and being more actively involved in events and campaigns.
MORE PROFILES COMING SOON!
Brittany joined the Sydney Feminists in January 2018 as a writer and researcher. She writes largely media reviews for the organization's Tumblr, though she occasionally delves into other topics. She is also a part of the workshop team and now acts as assistant editor for the Blogger and Tumblr. Brittany is passionate about intersectional feminisms, transnational feminisms, indigenous feminisms, class-conscious feminisms, and ecofeminisms. She believes strongly in the importance of continual learning. In her roles with the Sydney Feminists, she hopes to both help educate others and continue educating herself as well.
Brittany moved to Sydney from the United States in July 2017 to complete a Masters of English Studies. Her academic research has been shaped and informed by feminist and queer theories since her early days of undergrad. However, her parents planted the seeds of feminism within her from childhood - she was raised as a tomboy and could never understand the "proper" way to act around more conservative friends and family members. Long before she acquired the language to think and talk about feminism, she was invested in movements towards equality. More recently, Brittany has been striving to balance her academic work with more hands-on activism and finding ways to bridge the two.