Hi, I’m Samantha Nolan-Smith, founder of The Age of Visibility.
I’m a non-indigenous Australian woman 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. At university 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 wrote a thesis on gendered power and the representation of women in 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 intimate 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 which you see before you!
And in case you’d like to know a bit more about me, 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.