In the lead up to our first event of 2019, January Story-share: Advice to my teenage self, we’re catching up with our speakers to find out more about them and get a sneak peak at what they’ll be sharing on the night.
Today, meet Jane Alver – Australian lawyer, activist, PhD student and gender equality advocate.
Tell us a bit about yourself!
I am a doctoral student, lawyer, former public servant, singer, mum, activist, volunteer, feminist, and swimmer, with my nose constantly in a book.
What is one thing you absolutely wish you had known when you were a teenager?
As a teen I wish I had recognised that I WAS a leader and activist – it took me a LONG time before those labels sat comfortably.
How can feminism help teenagers today (and did it help you when you were a teen)?
Feminism gives the support of a wonderfully supportive community – it has completely forged the me I am today. I have received encouragement to speak and space to be heard. I would like teens to discover for themselves that women supporting women has power in it and finding and being embraced by one’s community in whatever form that takes is such a joy in life.
What is something you’re looking forward to in 2019?
In 2019 I am looking forward to finishing my thesis and sharing my findings with feminist civil society in Australia and the Pacific.
Is there an empowering book or article you think everyone should read?
I have just finished Becoming by Michelle Obama. It gave honest insights into dealing with imposter syndrome and overcoming that inner voice that chips away at your confidence ( “Am I good enough? Yes I am.”) It also reinforces the benefits of a strong female network to juggling a family, a career, a participatory life (“Friendship between women gives emotional ballast, and is built on a thousand small kindnesses swapped back and forth”.)
You can hear more from Jane at the January Story-share: Advice to my teenage self, on Tuesday 15 January at Smith’s Alternative in Canberra.