Silver Sirens 2020
RE-DEFINING A BRAVE NEW WORLD
A GLOBAL CONVERSATION
When we evolve through this global COVID-19 experience, what sort of a world do we want? How do we take our place as women and as elders to navigate, hold, and steer this shift? These are the questions that Silver Sirens is raising to meet with women from around the world in a one-day event being held online from 9am to 5.30pm AEST, on Saturday 29 August 2020.
Silver Sirens began with a mission of re-defining ageing. For the past two years, events held in Sydney, Australia have gathered growing numbers of women celebrating this extraordinary ‘sweet spot’ period in women’s lives, when they have put in the years that build wealth, financial stability, and life wisdom, are no longer consumed with raising kids, chasing careers or studying - yet still have plenty of energy to burn. As each new wave of contemporary women reaches middle age, they rewrite the blueprint of how we see ageing. The truth is that 50+ women are becoming freer, more financially independent, visible and expressed than at any time in history.
“Empowered ageing is one of the most exciting cultural paradigm shifts the world has seen”
- Silvers Sirens Founder, Faith Agugu.
Meet the 2020 Speakers
Ronni Kahn AO
Ronni Kahn AO is a South-African born Australian, social entrepreneur and founder of food rescue charity OzHarvest. She is an advocate, lobbyist and activist well renowned for disrupting the food waste landscape in Australia. Ronni appears regularly in national media, serves in an advisory capacity to government, and is a keynote speaker all over the world.
Her mission towards sustainable action is supported through close collaborations with some of the world's finest chefs, including Jamie Oliver, Massimo Bottura, Neil Perry and Bill Granger. Ronni is an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) and was named Australian Local Hero of the Year in 2010. In 2018 her journey became the subject of the independently produced documentary, Food Fighters.
Founder of OzHarvest
Lt Col Olga Custodio
USAFR (Ret); American Airlines Captain (Ret)
Olga served for 24 years in the U.S. Air Force, retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel. Along the way, she received an Aviation Safety Award for superior airmanship for her handling of an in-flight emergency. After transitioning to the U.S. Air Force Reserves, Olga became the first Latina commercial airline pilot and later upgraded to Captain, flying for American Airlines.
Today, Olga is retired with over 11,000 flight hours to her name. She works with several nonprofit organizations that advocate for inspiring and empowering students, especially those from underserved communities, to pursue careers in aviation and aerospace.
In her 79th year, Francesca Emerson has seen a thing or two. Living between Sydney Australia and Selma Alabama USA , she has been troubled not only by the recent pandemic but also by the continual racial tension in her country of birth.
"Where does this Fear and Hate come from?" We are not born with prejudice it is something we learn by example. It would be great to see a world with the sight of a young child who's innocent eyes look at the world not through fear and hate but through curiosity. My vision would be as a woman especially a woman of colour for people to see colour and appreciate someone who looks different from us and have it not matter.
Author & Activist
Founder & CEO of GeboCall
Carol Anderson started me out on my Anti-Racist path. I sought to learn from a black person about black experience in America. My way of doing that has always been through a historical overview. From here on out I will advocate for education from black people rather than white folks.
Living in the vacuum of whiteness, only listening to white voices, further props up our place in a white supremacist system.
Do your work and listen to the people who are impacted by the system, rather than the people who benefit from the system. This small impactful change will take you a long way.
High School Teacher & Activist
Lilli Morgan is currently a high school teacher in outback WA, exploring the education system and how it can be better. She has an undergraduate degree in International Studies, a Masters in Public Health and a Masters in Teaching. After years of working and travelling overseas she has recently come back to Australia to see how we can be doing better, and what is it that our young people want.
After a few years there I stumbled across the idea of 'Public Health'; an umbrella industry looking at improving human wellbeing through the interaction of food systems, urban planning, social connectedness and the environment. My life passion is to help create systems that promotes health, rather than disease and loneliness.
From there my interest in trying to improve the education system grew, and I'm now a high school teacher in outback WA getting some on the ground experience of what that's like.
Boneta Marie Mabo
Youth Program Manager, Sisters Inside
During this pandemic the world ended as we have known it, we have been forced to be present. It's been a revelation of what we need to do. Slow down, take care of each other, prioritise our health and wellbeing and heal.
Since colonisation my peoples have accumulated trauma with every generation, have been forced to live in a whirlwind of separations while our health deteriorates and our overall wellbeing is an inconvenience to the colony.
Boneta-Marie is the State Youth Programs Manager at Sisters Inside where she has work for nine years. Sisters Inside is an independent community organisation, which exists to advocate for the human rights of women and girls in the criminal justice system. For the past six years the award contemporary artist has lead the Sisters Inside Young Women’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Art Program.
Lynda Millin Osborne
Founder & Creative Director of Cockatoo Dreaming
She is a proud Bundjalung Aboriginal woman from the north coast of NSW, and a proud Kuku Yulanji and Kuku Thyphan woman from Far North Queensland. She is a gifted speaker, host, MC, storyteller, mentor and coach. Using ancient and modern-day practices Lynda Millin uses the gifts bestowed to her from her Ancestors, Elders, nature totems and a deep connection to her Aboriginal culture.
She works intuitively using spoken word, music, movement and ceremony that she has been gifted through her Ancestors, Elders, family and deep connection to nature and spirituality. She has been called to share Aboriginal culture with the world to encourage and guide others.
Guided by the legacy of her Ancestors, family and deep life experiences she works wither guides and spirit to advise those she connects. She has the skills and tools to support others through life due to her my extensive spiritual, life and career experience. She has been very successful in Business, Education and Sport.
Founder, Secret Sisterhood
Jacquie has always been passionate about women’s causes. After completing a Fashion Degree at the University of Technology in Sydney, she was on the road to becoming a famous fashion designer (or so her partner thinks), when she went to India and realised her life mission was to help women and girls in need.
Within Secret Sisterhood Jacquie looks after all things creative as she believes everything in life should be pretty. She loves living with her partner Colin and also likes to travel, make her own clothes, party too much (or so Colin thinks) and has been known to enjoy the odd Aperol Spritz.
Public Policy Specialist
Susan Geria is a first generation African Australian, federal government policy advisor and self-proclaimed world citizen.
Specialising in social and regulatory policy, Susan has worked for both the Australian and Canadian governments.
In 2015 she left Sydney to live in Toronto, Canada, an experience she describes as integral to awakening her to the need to identify and walk in her purpose.
Having recently arrived back home and in the midst of the global pandemic Susan knows the time is now to use her gifts to be the change she wants to see.
Author & Activist
Joanne Fedler is an internationally bestselling author, writing mentor, women’s rights and environmental activist.
Her eleventh book The Sabbatical focuses on women navigating midlife, menopause, the empty nest, climate change and grief.
Her book Things Without A Name has recently been optioned for the screen. She loves ocean swimming, gardening, cooking and poetry.
GM, Bauer Media's Story 54
My vision is that we don’t have to single out women in the media and have a vision for them because they will no longer be under represented in the C suite of media companies.
We will be living in a media world where there will be more age and ethnic diversity, a greater focus on EQ and SQ over iQ in management and more originality.
I will continue to seek and crave more original ideas particularly in mainstream media that are more relevant to what women really think and feel.
(Waskam) Emelda Davis
Activist & Community Leader
(Waskam) Emelda Davis has worked across Grassroots, State, Federal government agencies and capacity building initiatives for First Nations, Australian South Sea Islander and broader community development.
As a proud woman of colour, I am grateful for the opportunity to represent 'Women for Election Australia' as a symbol of equal opportunity and access to the pathways and learnings to encourage women to engage across all areas of government and important decision making especially for marginalised communities.
In my current position as founder and chair of Australian South Sea Islanders (Port Jackson) (www.assipj.com.au) national representative since 2012 our board is representative of 70% women inclusive of youth representation as founding members.
Yogi, Mentor & Activist
I have always been curious as to how we can live in awareness, be present and feel energised, whilst doing our best to make the world a better place. It was this quest for understanding myself whilst working on innovative and demanding projects that led me to yoga and meditation, and ultimately to becoming a teacher and healer. I love sharing this ancient wisdom and find it to be truly transformative.
Amisha’s social entrepreneurship has been recognised by selection to the Cultural Leadership Programme and the Courvoisier Future 500, a Future 100 Award, and, among other honours, a Fellowship of the Royal Society of the Arts, defining her as a dynamic and emerging leader of the space for social change in the 21st century.
Geographer & Social Researcher
Vanessa is a geographer and social researcher based at Scotland’s leading environmental research institute, The James Hutton Institute. Vanessa’s work is broadly interested in how concepts of Nature are understood. In particular, the ways in which these concepts facilitate and obstruct good governance of environmental change.
In this session I present research on traditional environmental management, and reflect on the role of female elders as stewards of local adaptation to environmental change. Based on fieldwork in the Coral Triangle region, during which I worked with Indigenous co-researchers, I share experiences of extreme weather, and consider the complexity of climate-led displacement, in communities with histories of displacement from their traditional lands. I ask how communities are adapting to the increasing severity of droughts and floods. In particular, I ask how women’s knowledge and custodial practices are contributing to successful adaptation strategies.
Chan & Dee
Chan & Dee's Drink Tank is a comedy series created by Helen O'Connor, Louise McCabe and Claire Haywood. Beauty salon owner Chanel is feeling invisible at 50, so she creates her very own chat show. She enlists the help of her old school pals from Kinkytoppers Ladies College to co- host the show. But as the past catches up with Chanel and the set erupts in mayhem, Chan's dark roots are exposed.
Chan & Dee's Drink Tank is a comedy series created by Helen O'Connor, Louise McCabe and Claire Haywood. Beauty salon owner Chanel is feeling invisible at 50, so she creates her very own chat show.
Starring Helen O'Connor as Chanel. With Louise McCabe, Rhonda Doyle,Tracy Mann, Di Smith, Linden Wilkinson, Suzie Dougherty, Deborah Galanos, Dina Panozzo, Sue Smithers, Nicole Warner and Emily Weare.
Singer & Songwriter
Award winning singer-songwriter Marcia Howard (Goanna Band) has graced the stage with many International artists over her long career. Her voice described as “one of the finest” (The Voice) and her songs recorded in Ireland, Nashville, and Australia reflect her Celtic and folk-rock influences.
Marcia Howard has released solo albums, Butterfly (2000), Burning in the Rain (2004), Pearl (collaboration with Bygrave, 2011), Nashville Sessions 2015, and Everything Reminds Me (6 October 2017). Howard was a contestant for Season 5 of The Voice (Australia) from May to June 2016. She has taught music and performing arts at primary, secondary and tertiary schools.
Bunny Star (aka Bunny Hoop Star) is the founding owner and lead instructor of Australia’s first hula hoop business, Hoop Empire. Whirling around Australia and the world since 2005, Bea has activated thousands of events, classes, and parties with the magic of the hoop for both adults and kids.
Bunny’s mission is to inspire people to move their bodies and minds with creative movement and flow. ‘The bridge for me between the body and mind is about inhabiting your lived experience with ease, movement, stillness, rhythmic flow, dance, and play.
FUN is a necessary life ingredient.’ Based in Sydney, Australia, Bea is a certified Yoga Synergy instructor and teaches live and online classes in hooping and yoga flow. You will find Bea’s handmade hula hoops and learning programs at www.hoopempire.com