Notable Aussie females raise their voices ahead of International Day of the Girl

20 September, 2023 – World Vision Australia has joined forces with some of the country’s most influential female campaigners and barrier breakers to highlight the growing global issue of violence against girls, as a report* from the not-for-profit reveals child marriage rates have more than doubled since the COVID-19 pandemic.

The all-star female lineup includes Melbourne Cup winner, Michelle Payne; First Nations model and advocate, Samantha Harris; the first-African-born Australian Netball World Champion, Sunday Aryang; and passionate female activists; Liz Ellis, Pallavi Sharda, and Melissa Doyle AM.

Together, the women have kickstarted the 1,000 Voices for 1,000 Girls movement – a rallying cry in response to the alarming surge of girls worldwide being forced into marriage, taken out of school, and placed at increased risk of violence, with the organisation anticipating statistics to rise.

In support, each notable name has raised their voice to tell the stories of some of the world’s most vulnerable girls and are encouraging Australians to do the same in the lead up to International Day of the Girl (October 11).

Commenting on her involvement, Michelle Payne said, “The statistics of violence against women and girls around the world are incomprehensible.”
“I’m very passionate about using my voice to be able to raise awareness on these issues – and in doing so, provide hope and opportunity to girls around the world,” added Michelle.

After fleeing the civil war in Ethiopia with her parents, this year, Sunday Aryang became the youngest member of the Australian Diamonds. She says, ““The reason behind us moving to Australia was because a lot of the gender-based situations that are happening in Ethiopia. “My dad wanted us to get an education, which is something I know a lot of young girls simply don't get in Africa. Everyone deserves an education, safety and a voice – together, we have to keep advocating for that,” added Sunday.” 
World Vision spokesperson and CEO, Daniel Wordsworth said, “Twelve million girls a year are married before they're 18. It’s time to rewrite this story.”

“We’re not just telling stories through this movement. We're reshaping destinies. Together, we show a path to where every girl’s voice is heard and celebrated,” added Daniel.

The 1,000 Voices for 1,000 Girls movement hopes to encourage Australians to support 1,000 of the world’s most vulnerable girls in the lead up to International Day of the Girl, and help give them a voice through World Vision’s Child Sponsorship program.

Back to all Results