Courageous Women Doing Business Differently

Ashlee Donohue, Shantelle Thompson and Carol Vale in conversation with Bec Harcourt 

Ashlee Donohue is a proud Aboriginal woman from the Dunghutti nation, born and raised in Kempsey, NSW. Ashlee is an author, educator, facilitator, speaker and powerful advocate on topics relating to Aboriginal women. Through her consultancy Miss Ashlee Enterprise she has led numerous anti-violence and anti-racism campaigns; she has presented at the UN Status of Women Forums in New York; and she and is the author of the memoir Because I Love Him, a personal account of love, motherhood, domestic violence and survival.

Ashlee is the Co-ordinator of the Mudgin-Gal Aboriginal Corporation-Women’s Centre, Chairperson of Wirringa Baiya Aboriginal Women’s Legal Centre, and sits on the ‘Our Watch’ Aboriginal Women’s Advisory Board and City of Sydney’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory panel. Ashlee tirelessly works to create safe spaces for Aboriginal women, provide platforms for sharing lived experiences and develop strong networks.

Shantelle Thompson is a strong and proud Barkindji/European woman, who is also known as the Barkindji Warrior. She is the proud mother of three children, including twins. Shantelle grew up in Dareton, NSW and is still strongly connected to her country and the community of Sunraysia. A healer, leader and storyteller, she has created Kiilalaana (Barkindji for growth) where Shantelle delivers keynote speeches, works with corporates and not-for-profits as a health and wellbeing ambassador, runs workshops for various education and youth group and program providers.

Shantelle’s driving purpose is to fight for those unable to fight for themselves, to be a voice for those who do not have a voice. She believes actions speak louder than words, and strives to show what is possible through her journey as a three-time Jiu-Jitsu world champion, being a storyteller and sharing her story. Never one to rest on her laurels, after narrowly missing out on selection for the 2018 Commonweath Games she is on a mission to prepare and qualify for a spot on the Australian Wrestling team for the 2022 Games.

Carol Vale is a proud Dunghutti/Gumbaingirr woman from NSW. She is a professional facilitator, social researcher and policy analyst with expertise in Aboriginal issues, public policy and stakeholder engagement across a range of sectors. Carol is the Managing Director of Murawin Pty Ltd, a specialist inter-cultural consulting and facilitation organisation that specialises in working with a range of clients to enhance organisational capacity by undertaking social research, community consultations, stakeholder engagement and evaluation services. 

Carol established Game Enough?, a majority owned Indigenous business that promotes access to the unique tastes of Australian game meats and native plant based foods. She founded Tiddas in Business, a platform where Indigenous and non-Indigenous women come together to share our experiences, skills and insights into building businesses for impact. Carol is also an activator for SheEO, a global community of radically generous women transforming the way we finance, support and celebrate female entrepreneurs who are creating a better world.

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This conversation is part of a series of Indigenous Business Month @ UNSW events.