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Top 40 spot gives student voice on gender equality

Chloe FraserBusselton Dunsborough Times

Cape Naturaliste College student Sophie Luscombe is hoping to open the eyes of the community with her ideas about equality and unconscious bias in society after being selected in the top 40 for the Country to Canberra leadership competition.

The prestigious nationwide competition offered 10 rural-based young women the opportunity to travel to Canberra to visit Parliament House, meet politicians and chief executives and attend exclusive conferences.

Despite missing out on a spot in this year’s leadership team, Sophie said she was humbled to be in the top 40. The 16-year-old’s essay submission focused on defying stereotypes and the elimination of unconscious bias in society to create strong pathways to power for women.

“I’ve always been a big advocate for gender equality in school and the workplace,” Sophie said.

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“In my essay I address unconscious bias which is so relevant in schools.

“And it’s not just women who face unconscious bias. It’s minority groups as well.”

Sophie said the issue could be addressed in schools and proposed a special course to be added to teaching degrees to educate the future generation of teachers about unconscious bias.

“Once people are aware of the little things and start to pick up on them, they could stop it happening in everyday life,” she said.

As a finalist, Sophie was invited to join the Country to Canberra blogging team and be apart of the online mentorship program.

“I am so excited to have the opportunity to put my work out there for people to see,” she said.

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