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Raising Girls


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You could argue that there’s never been a better time to be a girl in Australia. Girls are outperforming boys at school, they can now aspire to play AFL football and this year a female student was selected for the first time to compete for Australia at the coding Olympics.

But studies are showing rises in the levels of stress and anxiety among girls in the developed world. Pressures that are often especially intense for girls – relating to body image, bullying, objectification or sex, for example – are amplified in a teenage world that increasingly revolves around social media.

How can we support girls to stare down these challenges? As part of our HEY GIRL series, we’re devoting a whole Question Time session to the topic of raising girls. Got questions about girls’ education, friendship, sexual health, role models or the unique challenges facing girls from diverse backgrounds? The Question Time format is one hour of pure audience Q&A, moderated by Madeleine Morris, so bring your question along and put it to our panel.


Madeleine Morris

Madeleine Morris is a Melbourne-based reporter for ABC television’s 7.30. She was formerly a presenter for the BBC in London and reported from dozens of countries before returning to her native Australia. She is the author of Guilt-Free Bottle-Feeding: Why Your Formula-Fed Baby Can Grow ... Read more

Nelly Thomas

Nelly Thomas has been described as one of Australia’s most natural comedians. An award-winning performer, she was listed as one of Australia’s ‘most innovative thinkers’ in the Age’s The Zone and was featured on the ABC’s Big Ideas: The Smartest Stuff on TV, Radio and On... Read more

Mimmie Ngum Chi Watts

Dr Chi Watts is commissioner of the Victorian Multicultural Commission, lecturer at the College of Health and Biomedicine, and leads the Bachelor of Health Science at Victoria University. Dr Watts is a public health expert. Her expertise includes: migrant and refugee health, women’s health, social... Read more

Anna Barnes

Anna Barnes is an award-winning playwright and author. Her book Girl! The Ultimate Guide To Being You (Penguin, 2012) was named one of the 2013 Eva Pownall Notable Books by the Children’s Book Council of Australia. She regularly speaks to girls at schools about various topics, from how to make you... Read more


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The Wheeler Centre acknowledges the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation as the Traditional Owners of the land on which the Centre stands. We acknowledge and pay our respects to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and their Elders, past and present, as the custodians of the world’s oldest continuous living culture.