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Sanduni Sithara Hewa Katupothage Champions Teenage Girls

“I remember the girls who talked about feminism in high school were always white girls. I had a general idea of what it was, but I always thought ‘I’m not smart enough for that’.

As I got older I started to think back and realised, ‘Oh, that’s what they were talking about — the feminist lens’ but they were lucky enough to be exposed to it at a younger age. If I hadn’t studied sociology at Uni, then maybe I wouldn’t have become a feminist. But once you put those glasses on, you just cannot take them off, right? Now whenever I see any situation, the first layer I unpack is where is the inequality? How is the system oppressing people here? Not just gender, but also in terms of race and ability and class.

When I applied to volunteer at the Trust, it was a really good period in my life. I’d never worked in an office before and I could not be more grateful to Trust Volunteer Manager, Maria. She was the first person to give me a chance.

I volunteer on Rosie at the Trust and it has such a special place in my heart. I think it’s because it’s directed at teenage girls. They’re a part of the wider population who are shunned and dismissed and nothing they do is ever right. Everyone makes so much fun of teenage girls and their interests.

Teen girls are the ones who have the best ideas. They’re the change-makers. They’re the revolutionaries. They’re the ones who are the trendsetters.

It wasn’t that long ago that I was a teenage girl, if I could just go back in time and give my younger self advice, I’d just direct her to Rosie. You look back in time as well, like Malala and Joan of Arc. You find all these teenage girls who are going against the grain, just trying to fight for equality, fight for what they deserve and what they’re worth.

I really want to champion them. That’s why I love volunteering on Rosie. It’s just the best.”

As told to Esther Davies-Brown


In case you can’t tell from this interview, Sanduni is an absolute delight. She is a Monash student, currently in her fourth year of Uni and majoring in psychology and sociology. Sanduni works as a volunteer on our website for teenage girls, Rosie.

Rosie is full of great blog pieces by Sanduni on topics like cultural appropriation, teen crushes, and the spiritual side of periods.

Rosie is a space where young women can connect with the best web resources out there, helping them to navigate life’s tricky situations. Rosie has a range of tips, links and videos all centred around a theme of respect – for your body & mind, in your relationships, at work and for the world we live in.

Learn more

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