Aria Nanai & AJ Brennan
What does the Eurydice Dixon Gender Equality Champion Award mean to you both?
Why did you apply or get put forward for the award originally?
AJ: You guys [GPAN] made me feel so welcome and understood and if this is something I can do to help them out, I’d do it.
Aria: The main thing I remember was my school wellbeing team saying my commitment to GPAN, not only during school but also even with performances and tailoring my songs to spread awareness on gender equality.
What was it that you used the scholarship money for?
Aria: I got to use it to get a video editing software that I’d wanted for so long. It was perfect because the timing fit perfectly for helping with my music career otherwise I would have had to push back on doing music videos and stuff. I used it for a music video I filmed last year which was a learning experience too!
AJ: I used it for a camera, a tripod, a SD card and some USBs which I’ve been using to film my media work this year. As well as filming rehearsals for music so I can see what I need to improve on there. As I’ve been home it’s been a real help because I wouldn’t have had access to a camera from school due to the lockdown. I just finished a personal project which I’ve been working on since last year but because of lockdown I’ve had to rethink what it looks like. Big relief to have it finished!
Why do you think young people should apply for this award?
Aria: It’s such an amazing thing to experience and it changed my mindset on a lot of things and my perspective. Even the whole point of the award made me think more about everything and be grateful.
AJ: I think young people should sign up to this award as it was such a tragic incident and it involved someone from our community. Just to show young people in our community that even though bad things happen there are people who want to do positive things , take on the fight of gender equality and make sure everyone is equal. And that’s something not many people know and I think they would learn more if they signed up for this award and joined GPAN!
What have you done this year to continue championing Gender Equality and Prevention of Violence against Women?
AJ: At school I have been bringing a lot of conversations to our meetings, especially talking about the girls and guys who are both struggling mentally and that we should be taking care of each other. I kind of dobbed in another student because ‘hey they didn’t show up to class for 2 weeks, someone go check up on them’. I’s making sure that everyone remembers that we are all equal and everyone this year has been struggling. I know it’s not just me who has been struggling but everyone and trying to get everyone to remember that there are people in homes where family violence is happening and they should be checked on.
Aria: With me I’m onboard with learning as much as I can and trying to go to the GPAN meetings whenever I can. Another big thing is bystander action. and whenever I hear someone talking about anything to do with violence against women or gender equality. If I don’t agree with them challenging their ideas but not in an attacking way. And again trying to get as many people as I can to come to GPAN as possible.
Any final words?Aria: You can do it!
AJ: If you want change be the change!