Sandra Sully's Dream Team For International Women's Day Project
She's usually in front of the camera, but lately iconic journalist Sandra Sully has been spending a fair bit of time behind the scenes directing things.
Sully -- 10 daily's contributing news editor, 10 News First's senior editor, and the face of the network's daily bulletins -- has quietly assembled her "dream team" of Australian women, for a new passion project to celebrate International Women's Day.
AGENDA Empowering Australian Women is a new glossy coffee table book, featuring 15 "trailblazers" of all ages.
From Dame Quentin Bryce to sex discrimination commissioner Kate Jenkins, to Olympic champion swimmer Cate Campbell and athlete Turia Pitt, it's a powerful project that examines questions asked by Sully.
"Where to after #MeToo?" -- “What barriers still exist for women?" -- "What is men’s role in this?" -- "How do we close the gender gap?"
Sully, speaking to Stellar Magazine, said the project has been a passion for her, part of a week-long event series in Sydney to mark the annual Women's Day.
"Every year the UN issues its mantra for the day, but I wanted to find out what’s relevant to Australian women specifically,” she told Stellar.
"I wanted to know what we are doing well, where we’re winning, but also where we are failing and how we can change things."
From athletes to dignitaries, musicians to ordinary young people, the book features a wide range of women Sully admires.
"I hope this book captures what’s important to us and articulates what we want and what we need to change," she told Stellar.
"I’ve always been a passionate feminist, but you’ve got to convince and cajole and educate the broader community so women – and society – benefit."
Sully called Bryce, the first woman to hold the position of governor-general, "a hero of mine" who exemplified "elegance, grace and compassion". She also spoke in awe of Pitt, who sustained extensive burns while running a marathon, who was captured in bare feet for one of the most striking images in the book.
"She [Pitt] just gave me everything, and it was an absolute privilege to photograph her," photographer Danielle Harte told Stellar.
The photoshoots took place over a week, with Harte saying she "wanted to bring out the infectious energy and capture the internal compass of each woman – the power and beauty of her smile."
Sully said she was often surprised by the answers each woman gave to the questions asked in the book.
"I hope other people will enjoy realising that there isn’t one opinion or solution that fits all. I wanted the answers to reflect a variety of demographics and experiences," she said.
"[Men] still largely run the show in terms of leadership positions, domestic-violence rates in Australia are still dangerously high, [as is] the new face of homelessness.
So I wanted to advance those conversations by engaging with people who can change that paradigm.”