Hi, I’m Samantha Nolan-Smith, founder and CEO of The School of Visibility. The School of Visibility is an online school for women to be supported in speaking up, and being seen and heard in the world.
If you care to know a little bit more about me and how the School came about, read on…
I’m a non-indigenous Australian woman who has proudly supported women and their right to be seen and heard in the world, since childhood. (My audience, at the time, consisting primarily of my mother and father who patiently listened to my regular tirades about ‘girls being just as good as boys’ and encouraged me to not just talk about it, but to go out and prove to the world that this was the case.)
Arriving 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.
then, 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 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 to support other women to do the same. I developed techniques and repeatable processes for overcoming visibility fears. I started teaching those processes and seeing great results in myself and in my clients. And so I built out a suite of classes, short courses and programs and that’s the curriculum you now find here at The School of Visibility!
In case that’s not enough about me, some of my other passions in life include:
- reading books and drinking tea (Sencha, Genmaicha and/or Earl Grey please)
- 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. Yes, that my friends, is my idea of heaven.
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.