• Artist Noni Cragg captured in the studio by her brother and fellow artists David. (David Cragg)Source: David Cragg
To celebrate International Women’s Day today, we celebrate the talents of seven inspiring young women. From writing, dancing, blogging, painting, theatre, modeling, acting and activism – a new crop of women are telling stories in a way that’s all their own.
Jerico Mandybur

7 Mar 2016 - 1:56 PM  UPDATED 8 Mar 2016 - 10:14 AM

Hannah Donelly

A prolific writer and grassroots publisher, Hannah Donnelly is the young Wiradjuri woman behind Sovereign Apocalypse zine (a self-published magazine) and music blog Sovereign Trax, showcasing the maddest music from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists. She says Sovereign Apocalypse was “formed through yarns about future imaginings of total Indigenous sovereignty. A space for story tellers, poets and artists to contribute how they imagine sovereignty in the future would look if the world was flipped…”

Shareena Clanton

Star of TV series like Wentworth and Redfern Now, Shareena Clanton is a multi-award nominated actress (and also worth mentioning on IWD, daughter of WA’s first female state prosecutor). An outspoken critic of the type-casting of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in film and TV, she says “Why can’t I be the secretary or the cop?  Why can’t I just be the mother on the Kellogg’s commercial sending the kids off to school with breakfast?”

 “I’m just trying to make them [my characters] human, more on a level that anyone can relate to.”


Amelia Telford

A Bundjalung and South Sea Islander woman, Amelia Telford is the National Director of the Seed Indigenous Youth Climate Network and is committed to building a sustainable future for young people. Speaking to NITV on the work she does, she says, “Our fight to protect our land and the climate is intertwined with our struggles to protect and revive our diverse cultures and build sustainable communities. The more we can connect these issues, the more we can build solutions that tackle the issues together.”

Yarramun Conole

Yarramun is a young woman committed to using her well-known blog to stay connected with other Indigenous people online, talking about current affairs and community activism through On Being A Blackfella. She says, “I see the blog as mostly engaging with Blackfellas or Black people from around the world. Also I engage with lots of non-Black people of colour too. And I think that’s really cool. There’s a lot of solidarity going on. I love it.” The 18-year-old is a passionate online activist and challenges misogyny and oppression wherever she sees it, as well as creating a ‘safe space’ on the internet for young people.

Lilla Conradsen

An 18-year-old model on the rise, Lilla Conradsen is represented by Jaz Daly Management and is proud of her Aboriginal-Dutch heritage, walking Indigenous Fashion Week, Mercedes Benz Fashion Week and beyond. Dreaming of being a model after watching a Victoria’s Secret runway show, Lilla now has some serious fashion and lingerie brands under her belt – and her star power is only rising. Stay tuned to see if Lilla will follow in fellow model Samantha Harris’ footsteps and land herself the cover of Vogue.

Noni Cragg

Specialising in painting portraits of close friends and community members, artist and Bundjalung woman Noni Cragg has made a name for herself by combining modern techniques with powerful cultural representations. On her subjects, she says, “These people are beautiful in so many ways; I hope to accurately capture this in my body of work so that the public can see what I see. I want my brothers and sisters to know we aren't alone; we are all connected.”

Nakkiah Lui

Known for her writing and acting work on Black Comedy, as well as being the playwright/actor behind the award-winning Kill The Messenger, Nakkiah is a Gamillaroi and Torres Strait Islander woman committed to pushing the envelope of comedy for social change. As she tells NITV “Maybe they [non-Indigenous people] will watch our show and laugh at it, and realise that Blackfellas are just like them, and reconsider their thoughts, motives and perceptions of Aboriginal people."

Ella Havelka

Ella is the Australian Ballet’s first ever Indigenous dancer. Having worked with Bangarra Dance Theatre for many years, the Wiradjuri woman from Dubbo was poached by the company’s artistic director David McAllister. She’s also the recipient of a Deadly Award for Dancer of the Year and is an active artist – practising traditional basket weaving, painting and lino print. Some of her works now belong to Wagga Wagga art gallery. “I can only hope to inspire others within the Indigenous community to pursue their own dreams and passions,” she says


Read about 20 inspiring black women who changed Australia forever.