Sweet 16

Sweet 16 was a personal project seeking the wisdom of women over 60.  Asking, What advice would you give your 16-year-old self?

The project was a part of HeadOn 2014 Festival and which I would like to developed into a book to extend it’s reach.

The exhibition was so well received the two exhibition spaces, the Tap Gallery in March 2014, and Surry Hills Community Centre in May 2014 both extended the show dates. We were also showcased on ABC Sydney Breakfast with our MC Clare Mann interviewed by Robbie Buck.

Given the success of our wonderful women, I’m now seeking community support to create the BOOK and to pitch to publishing agents!

Ways in which you can help get make this book a reality

  • Join the Facebook Group
  • Share our story  with your networks, friends, and family who might like to get behind what we are doing!
  • Recommend a friend to be a part of the next chapter! I’ll need another 10-12 people over the next year. I’m looking for ethnic diversity. We are currently under-represented in the Middle Eastern, Greek, Italian and Asian communities.  Don’t forget they need to be over 60!

Together we will be heard


The story behind Sweet 16

I have been driven by a desire to do something to be involved in the wave of voices crying out against violence against women and girls. I have always been concerned with the representation of women and girls in society through our stories, expectations, media and beliefs.

In the aftermath of the gang rape and murder of the young woman in India, it seems women around the world have become more united. With the knowledge “one in three women on the planet will be raped or beaten in her lifetime, that’s one billion women” [1] I knew I wanted to present a positive representation of women.

I want to be a part of the voice that validates and acknowledges the contribution women play in society. I had been looking to begin a photographic portrait project celebrating that contribution and speaking to women of all ages. A project that would demonstrate the wisdom, knowledge and resilience of women.

The idea of interviewing women over 60 came about after watching a short health education clip of melanoma survivors. The survivors were speaking to themselves as young people, telling him or her self what they need to do to avoid the illness. The idea resonated with me.

I chose to speak with older women because as we age we have even less currency in society. I saw I could ask women over 60 what advice they would give to themselves aged 16 thereby providing a wonderful opportunity to learn from the experiences, wisdom, humour and resilience of these gracious women and provide an access point of reflection and dialogue to women of all ages and the wider community as a whole.

The exhibition is dedicated to my mother Pauline May (nee Kitchen)

[1] OneBillionRising.org

I have a small Facebook Community Page dedicated to female empowerment, equity and social justice. I post things of interest from time to time. Feel free to join