ABOVE: Dr Dharmica Mistry
BELOW: Amna Karra-Hassan
What a incredible honour it was to be nominated in the industries most prestigious awards, the Women of Style Awards. Nominated in the Business category, I felt so fortunate to, on the night have been able to have so many inspiring conversations with exceptional women who are doing brave, innovative and pioneering things in their field.
As an example of the caliber of pioneers in the room, two of my personal favourites were;
Dr Dharmica Mistry, who is leading ground breaking studies on the association between breast cancer and scalp hair, & from her extensive research on that study, is working on a breast cancer blood tests, she is hoping to introduce in 2018. (The highlight of my night is when I stopped her as she was walking by, and congratulated her on her win, and truly incredible work. Expecting her to politely say thank you and keep walking, she screamed 'Samantha Wills! Oh my god! I love your jewellery so much, like, LOVE it, let me show you a photo on my phone of my SW, and how I display my wooden boxes at home! Can you hold my bag a sec while I find the photo?! Eeekkkk, this is so exciting!' ----- I mean... Life. Made....Wow)
Amna Karra-Hassan is an activist and advocate for diversity, inclusion and gender parity.
Amna works for the Australian Federal Police in the Reform, Culture and Standards portfolio responsible for engaging the workforce in cultural change. In her 'spare time' She is the President of the Auburn Giants Australian Football Club (which she founded) and has pioneered programs for women of minority communities in Western Sydney. Amna uses her influence to change the conversation on gender, culture, faith and representation.
I came away with a heart full of purpose to push more boundaries, and motivated to, rather than wait for a path to be shown that you should follow, to get out there and bloody create your own. Pioneer the way.
Congratulations to all the winners including Dharmica (Science) and Amna (Sport), and to everyone nominated, what a truly, honestly, incredible honour it was to have my name appear alongside each and every one of yours. While the nomination in and of itself was unexplainably humbling, it was the opportunity to be in the same room as these women, that was the biggest reward.
The Utmost Thanks To;
My business partner Geoff, who continues to push me to fight for more, and always be looking at ways that we as a brand can be giving back, and who is a huge advocate, for women in business.
To all of TEAM SW; how damn lucky am I, to work alongside each and everyone of you!! This nomination had very little to do with me, and everything to do with each and everyone of you. Lucinda, Nadia, Rosalie, Jess, Adriana, Lucy, Bettina, Rachel, Katie, Kendyll, Courtney, Kath, Yvonne, Ali, Tanya, Kathy & Zoe.
Special mention to Katie, who's ongoing work on the Samantha Wills Foundation, empowers, and celebrates women daily.
Matt, for very graciously braving the farrrshion pack, and coming to the event with me. For not only killing it on the red carpet (!), but for when I said more then once thru the night, that I did not deserve to even be nominated in such prestigious, world changing company, you told me I absolutely did, and that my work in the arts played a different, but as important role in society, and impacts people in ways I will never even know about.
And to women everywhere who are pushing, and persisting, and pioneering, for not only what they believe in, but consciously outreaching to other women along the way to rally for, and support each other's success.
And to the truly amazing men who are championing, and celebrating all the women in their lives. There is truly nothing that inspires me more.
It was so very clear at this event, that empowered women, empower women. And I think that....is really fucking cool. -SWx