10 Days of Heroines

Te Wāhi Wāhine o Tāmaki Makaurau / the Auckland Women's Centre are lucky to work with incredible wāhine every day. In our '10 Days of Heroines' series we are putting the spotlight on some of the incredible wāhine we have worked with recently, highlighting the wonderful mahi these women undertake in our community.

Stacey Morrison

“We grew up without #reoMāori but reclaim for our kids & our ancestors. Kōrero for those who never got to kōrero”

We’ve admired award-winning te reo champion and broadcaster Stacey Morrison from afar for a long time – and now she’s even more of a heroine to us since we’ve seen her in action in person. She always holds the space for our WWTM community kōrero events with impressive warmth, integrity, understanding and charisma. Our audiences have the true privilege of being welcomed by her into a conversation among friends, and she puts our guest speakers at ease by always knowing exactly what to ask, and how to ask it. As she says, “incredible women celebrate incredible women!”

Michèle A’Court

"There is a tear in the fabric of the patriarchy and we're going to push on through and change the culture."

Comedian, author and social commentator Michèle A’Court is our heroine because her feminism is fun and smart and serious all at the same time – and she’s great to hang out with! She reminds us of the importance and value and joy of hands-on parenting (and grandparenting!), while she’s also broken glass ceilings in the traditionally male-dominated sphere of stand-up. We are hugely grateful for her support of WWTM, donating her time and creativity to our annual Feminists are Funny fundraiser, always curating the most amazing line-up to make it one of our favourite evenings.

Khylee Quince

“Racism isn’t our problem to solve [as Māori]. Different voices are really important. Being a good ally means… showing your face. Using your voice.”

Mixing humour and imagination with straight talk and action, Associate Professor Khylee Quince is our heroine for helping to change law education and the justice system (a massive task!) so they serve everyone better, including Māori. For example, thanks to her efforts and leadership, judges are now often informed about the lives of the people they’re sentencing.

At AUT, Khylee is the first Māori Dean of Law in the country, and Chair of the NZ Drug Foundation. Earlier this year she offered a blueprint for change-makers in her WWTM kōrero with Stacey Morrison. We stan!

Qiane Matata-Sipu

“I hope indigenous wāhine really understand how powerful they actually are”

Visionary storyteller & photographer Qiane Matata-Sipu is our heroine for giving hope and joy by flipping hierarchies and proudly celebrating indigenous excellence. By showing diversities of success, her #NUKU100 project is “changing the narrative for and about kickass indigenous women” a far-sighted goal, which are nothing less than a cultural reset for Aotearoa New Zealand, and beyond, ensuring indigenous women step forward and are finally rightfully acknowledged.

And through grit, determination and artistic smarts, Qiane and her whānau successfully campaigned to save their whenua at Ihumātao from developers, against all odds. Tautoko!

Mahvash Ali

“I want to leave you uncomfortable, because right now we all live in a world where ethnic cleansing, and words that reflect the idea of ethnic cleansing, are acceptable.”

Journalist Mahvash Ali is our heroine for irrepressibly challenging stereotypes, lazy thinking and intersectional sexism which – as a hijabi (a Muslim woman who choses to wear the hijab) – she sees all too often. A vivacious break-out star of the WWTM Muslim women forum in 2019, The Project current affairs producer and self-confessed coffee addict ensures people keep their eye on the real issues. In June this year, she wrote a thoughtful, important piece on a controversial counter-terrorism conference, reminding readers that “Women are agents of change. So let’s empower them…” LESSHGO!