There is an increasingly powerful force in Canberra, one that is slowly but surely emerging as a supreme influence on the way Canberrans eat, shop, dress, play and live. This force is a blog called HerCanberra. Started as a hobby by its creator, Amanda Whitley, HerCanberra is now a fully-fledged professional operation, featuring the voices of local writers on topics of interest to the capital's female population.
Last week I was lucky enough to be one of 10 women invited by HerCanberra to an event they called 'Canberra’s most fascinating women'. Ten Canberra women from diverse backgrounds—from public policy, Indigenous leadership, the arts, child protection and small business—were invited to dinner, for the purpose of stimulating and then recording their conversations about every aspect of life in Canberra.
I cannot speak for myself, but the other nine guests were certainly fascinating: Sarina del Fuego, RAW Canberra showcase director and Short + Sweet Cabaret Canberra producer and director; Rachel Evagelou, owner of Handmade Canberra, a fantastic shop in Civic, winner of the Start-Up Category of the ACT Telstra Business Awards; Deborah Hill, founding member of the Canberra Roller Derby League, and Registrar, Exhibitions and Loans at the National Library of Australia; Vicky Kidd-Gallichan, a fashion designer and owner of couture label, Rockstars and Royalty—she was fantastic; Patricia Mackey, Principal Public Advocate for the ACT government; Carmel McGregor, Deputy Secretary, Department of Defence; Rosanna Stevens, founder of Scissors Paper Pen, a literary collective giving young, emerging and new writers professional development and publishing opportunities; and Rachelle Towart, CEO of the Australian Indigenous Leadership Centre.