Fiona Patten – Major Minor

Fiona Patten MLC was elected to the Legislative Council to represent the Northern Metropolitan Region in the 2014 Victorian State Election.  She is the founder and leader of Australian Sex Party – a minor party having a major effect.  In 2009, Fiona set up the Australian Sex Party out of frustration and disappointment in regard to the lack of social change on many issues and not just what one imagines is all about sex!  Her party has policies on Drug Law Reform, Dying With Dignity, Taxing Religious Institutions and minimising Government intervention on adult’s lives.

Photo by Jennie Groom © 2015
Photo by Jennie Groom © 2015

This photograph illustrates the party’s Federal Religion and Ethics policy – (from Australian Sex Party website):

“Church owned companies include some of the most well known brands in Australia including cereal manufacturers, insurance companies and publishers and yet they don’t pay income tax. A conservative estimate is that income tax exemptions alone to churches and religious organisations cost taxpayers nearly $ 20 billion a year. Add to that GST concessions, exemptions from capital gains tax (on property and share trading) and the Fringe Benefits Tax Exemption and the cost to tax payers is staggering.”

However this week, Fiona is celebrating and welcoming the Federal Governments move to legalise cannabis for medicinal purposes.  Something she has lobbied on for decades.

When I photographed Fiona I thought she had a great look and fashion sense, as it turns out before politics she was a fashion designer with her own label ‘Body Politics’ which she sold from a shop in Canberra, it seems as though politics was a driving force back then!

Mia Klitsas talks pads for pads

Mia Klitsas identifies with the dictionary definition for the name of the sanitary products she sells, Moxie; force of character, determination, or nerve.

Photo by Jennie Groom © 2015
Photo by Jennie Groom © 2015

After learning about girls in Uganda missing up to 20% of their school time due to unmanageable periods, Mia was determined to do something about it. Realising she couldn’t just ship over the sanitary items she already sells because of landfill and other issues, she found AFRIpads, a group making reusable pads in Uganda. Mia started a campaign where a percentage of the profits from the sale of her popular Moxie pads, is used to buy the AFRIpads kits. In 2013 she bought 500 AFRIpads kits and gave them to 500 school girls in Uganda. Today, we were told they have just hit the milestone of 10,000 girls with the sustainable and re-usable AFRIpads kits, happily using them and happily going in school.

Mia Klitsas encouraged us today at the Because I Am A Girl 2015 Adelaide Breakfast to ignite change, think about the impact we could have with just with one idea, locally or globally. Mia says she only has a small team of 5 including her business partner, Jeff Gore but the impact they have had already is infinite.