Determined change-maker Sarah Fiess has big plans in 2020 to build towards a country free of gender discrimination.
The Dubbo-raised professional is the co-founder of Australian Women's Day, "a day to celebrate what it means to be an Australian woman".
The date chosen for the event, September 22, is significant to the volunteer movement's mission to eliminate violence towards women by 2030.
Ms Fiess returned to Dubbo last month, speaking at a community event hosted by The Exchange during her visit.
The business owner, PhD candidate and mother spoke to the Daily Liberal about what motivates her to act for change, and delivered a message of hope for Dubbo's younger generation...
What was your education and career path and what inspired you to hold the first Australian Women's Day?
A local Dubbo girl, I attended St John's College and completed the HSC in 2002.
I was accepted into the University of Sydney where I completed my undergraduate and masters degrees.
While attending university I lived on campus at St Johns College residential accommodation.
I was part of the second year of women to be enrolled into the college, paving the way to equality in the university's residential colleges.
After a career in the both the private and public sector, I co-founded Australian Women's Day in 2018 after the birth of my two daughters.
I want to create a future for them that is free of gender discrimination and full of respect for all women and men.
I now live outside of Melbourne in regional Victoria with my husband and two young daughters.
In 2020, I will graduate with my doctorate from Swinburne University in Melbourne.
My PhD thesis is on women and entrepreneurship.
After a career in the both the private and public sector, I co-founded Australian Women's Day in 2018 after the birth of my two daughters. I want to create a future for them that is free of gender discrimination and full of respect for all women and men.Australian Women's Day co-founder and researcher Sarah Fiess
What inspired or encouraged you and Australian Women's Day co-founder Nicole Rowan to continue after the first event?
Australian Women's Day began in 2018 when my co-founder and I shared our desire to have a day to celebrate what it means to be an Australian woman.
It's a day to come together as Australian women and celebrate what makes us unique and special.
We chose September 22 to celebrate as that is a time of year when statistically violence against women increases by 40.7 per cent.
We want to use Australian Women's Day as a platform to celebrate women and rise them up.
We stand for all women of Australia, in all our diversity, all ages, ethnicities, religions, mental and physical bodily ability.
We work to raise awareness of the issues of gender inequality and violence against women and 100 per cent of profits from the day go towards supporting Australian women in crisis.
We are living in an age of uncertainty with rising public concerns of the droughts, bushfires, political and economic uncertainty.
Instead of entering into overwhelm or despair, it's so important for us as women and as community to come together, to share their stories and celebrate how amazing we are.
Visit www.australianwomensday.com and follow us on social media @australianwomensday
What are the plans for this year?
In the past two years we have had more than 24 Australian Women's Day events across Australia and in 2020 we will grow that total even more.
About September 22 we ask women to host an event and invite their girlfriends to gather together and raise money to eliminate violence against women.
What is your message for girls growing up in your home town?
YOU matter, YOU deserve to be celebrated.
Be ambitious, dream big dreams, step forward and be a leader in your community and in the world.
And it is SO important that you support other girls and help them to rise too.
You've got this!