Mel Wojtas is one of our fabulous Keynoteworthy speakers who is a trailblazer for change in the family and domestic violence space. Check out the interview we did with her.
Mel, you’re known as the awesome speaker with purple hair, can you tell us a little bit more about yourself?
I am a proud single mum and mature-aged student, studying to assist me in designing my start-up (a housing solution for domestic violence survivors in regional Australia). I’m also a consultant, media advocate, and speaker (aka ‘The speaker with the purple hair’).
What do you speak about and why?
I draw from my lived expertise (experiences across my life span). I discuss sexual harassment and bullying in a school or workplace setting. Domestic and family violence in the home, workplace and in LGBTIQ relationships. Mental health, growing up with a mentally unwell parent and losing them by suicide. Youth issues, identity, alcohol and other drugs.
The advocacy work I am part of is soul-nourishing, as I feel like I can channel any past adversity into a positive, via community awareness, policy reform and adding context to research content.
What gets you out of bed?
I’m passionate about positive role modelling for my children and raising them to be inclusive, compassionate and respectful humans. I am a fierce advocate for social and climate justice, intersectional feminism, human and animal rights.
What are you reading and listening to?
I’m currently working through ‘See what you made me do’ by Jess Hill, on Audible. This truly is the must-read book of our time, with ground-breaking research and insight into why men use coercive control and violence in their relationships. I recommend anyone working with or supporting domestic and family abuse/violence survivors to read/listen to this book.
I’ve recently begun listening to the ‘Man;Kind’ podcast, hosted by Poet and Storyteller Will Small from Lead By Story and look forward to being part of this project in 2020.
What is a quote or motto you swear by?
‘Do no harm but take no shit’
The world will be a much kinder place if…
Gender equality (and equity) were the social norm, and the archaic, patriarchal and colonial systems that have echoed throughout history were abolished.
Outside of work I love to…
Spend as much time in saltwater as possible and explore new surroundings with my kids and on my own, to maintain mental wellness and spiritual connection to nature.
I’m most fulfilled when…
I learn new skills and have the opportunity to contribute my expertise towards projects and events that have a positive social impact. The sense that a ripple can create a wave of change excites me.
I joined Keynoteworthy because…
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve become more aware of the disparity between who gets a seat on an expert panel, what types of people get air/screen time, or their voices heard at an event. Representation matters and the more we celebrate and showcase intersectionality, the more audience delegates, youth, and people online can feel seen, valued and respected in society. I jumped at the chance to be part of this platform.
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