The Age of Visibility is a place where women are supported to be seen and heard in the world.
We do that by shining a light on all the ways we’ve been conditioned to be accommodating, to agree with others rather than challenge them, to support in the background, to follow rather than lead, and to comply with the wishes and priorities of men.
- We shine a light on the invisible forces of oppression. Forces that keep people (mainly men) making decisions that don’t prioritise or benefit us. Forces that see us swallowing our words and putting up with situations that don’t serve us.
- We explore the unconscious methods by which oppression is perpetuated and we share techniques for dismantling oppression from the inside, out.
- We help you to release visibility blocks (inner blocks that we all carry and which limit your ability to be the most confident, articulate, fully expressed person you can be) so that you’re confident to speak up and influence others to create positive change in the world.
- We support you to overcome the stories we’ve all internalised about who can and should be visible in the world and how that should look and sound.
- We share tools and strategies to support you to free yourself from the grinding impact of systemic inequality (interconnected systems that help certain people thrive at the expense of others).
- We help you to see the blinding effects of unacknowledged privilege, unconscious bias, and internalised oppression.
- Then we give you the resources you need to overcome these things so you can stop playing small and being marginalised in a world that desperately needs to see and hear from you.
Your thoughts on the worldwide problem of women and their oppression/lack of power/permission to be visible attracted me to your work. You are honest, spot on, and without gimmick. That’s so refreshing.
— Shalagh, Maryland, USA
We run classes, short courses, and visibility programs and share articles on women and visibility, visibility in business, the invisibility of privilege, patriarchal archetypes™ that keep women in their place, and much more.
If this is your first visit here, you might want to start with our page of visibility resources.
The Age of Visibility: how it all came about
Hello, I’m Samantha Nolan-Smith, founder of The Age of Visibility. I’m a non-indigenous Australian woman of British and European heritage who has proudly called herself a feminist from the day I first heard the term. I was about 20 years old at the time and despite the lack of a label before then, I’d been regularly championing the rights of females at every opportunity, to whomever would listen. (My audience consisting primarily of my mother and father who patiently listened to tirades that became ever more impassioned after each viewing of Anne of Green Gables).
Once I realised this passion of mine had a name, I eagerly studied every feminist subject I could gain access to. I co-founded a women in law group to see if we could create a women’s network to break through the glass ceiling, and I wrote my thesis on power and pornography.
Upon graduation, in a wholehearted nod to my inner good girl, I embarked on a career in corporate law only to quickly discover that it was not my cup of tea. Searching for an alternate career path, I then happily ensconced myself in the world of social justice, working to support Aboriginal people in Australia, refugees in Britain, and people with a disability in Canada.
Four years of suffering from chronic fatigue saw me step away from more traditional work environments in favour of something I could do on a laptop between naps. Hello online entrepreneurship! I started my own online business in 2009 and built a strong and loyal following. Business was good, but each time my community would grow quickly, or I’d start getting more promotional opportunities, or I’d welcome in a whole lot of new clients or students, I would internally shut down.
Fears of being judged, being wrong, or being exposed in some way, were overwhelming. I was happy to be seen by a small group of ‘safe’ people but not by the world at large. I was happy sharing my opinions in safe circles but not with a wider audience. I was happy being known in my small pond but terrified to step into a larger one.
Eventually I decided to do something about all those fears and founded The Age of Visibility. I started by focusing my attention on other female entrepreneurs, supporting them to be seen and heard in their industries. However, the more I dived into visibility work, the more I realised just how deeply embedded these visibility fears are for most women, and so I expanded our focus to support women more broadly to be visible in their homes, in their professional lives, and in public spaces.
So that’s how The Age of Visibility got started. And just in case you’d like to know a bit more about who’s behind this whole shebang, some of my other passions in life include:
- reading books and drinking copious amounts of tea
- my family. Especially my kids. They challenge and inspire me every. single. day.
- yoga and self-directed compassion
- meandering through art galleries and working from cafes
- taking long walks and listening to podcasts
- political philosophy, Feminist philosophy, and 20th century French philosophy
- the extraordinary resilience and abiding wisdom of Indigenous people around the world, especially the mighty Aboriginal people of Australia
- travelling to new places and immersing myself in different cultures, and
- picnics, red wine and cheese. Obviously.
I’ve an LLB/BA from the University of NSW (with a wonderful semester at the University of British Columbia thrown in the mix), BA (Hons) from Monash University, GDLP from the College of Law, I’m a registered yoga teacher with Yoga Australia, and a qualified Journey Practitioner, and Master Practitioner of the Compassion Key.
Samantha Nolan-Smith is the founder of The Age of Visibility, an organisation that supports women to be seen and heard in the world.
The Age of Visibility shines a light on the invisible forces of oppression and encourages women to step out of the shadows and feel comfortable with being vocal and visible on their own terms.
Combining her background as a lawyer and public policy advisor with her training in personal and spiritual development, Samantha has a unique approach to overcoming barriers to visibility. She focuses on dismantling the social conditioning which stops women from being seen and heard in the world.
Samantha is available for interviews and speaking engagements on the following topics:
- Being seen and heard in a noisy world
- Visibility blocks – how internalised oppression stops us from speaking up
- The invisible forces of oppression – how privilege and unconscious bias perpetuate systemic inequality
- The personal is political – transforming systemic inequality from the inside out.
To contact Samantha please use the contact form below.
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