Changemakeher is the female-led entrepreneurial venture of a group of high school girls in STEM from Brisbane State High School. Maja Wilbrink and friends launched the project after Maja was inspired by New Zealand start-up GirlBoss.
Acting as a sort of STEM support network for girls, Changemakeher hosts events, conferences and hackathons for their (female and even male) peers. Now graduated from high school, Maja and friends have handed over the reigns to year 12 students, Khushi and Ally Fulton.
“I’m a chief ambassador,” says Khushi, “That means facilitating meetings every week, every Tuesday lunch time. We organise fundraisers and events, meetings with partner organisations, social media management…” The list goes on.
One of Changemakeher’s mantras is to ‘lead by example’. Khushi started to notice a divide between boys and girls in STEM, while competing in a science competition in year 10. All boys teams outnumbered their all girls team by ten to one.
Her team placed first in the competition, and Khushi felt inspired to make an example out of it.
Khushi is a STEM person at heart. She sees herself studying computer science, or perhaps a combined degree in mechatronics or economics, but that doesn’t mean she’s lacking in humanities skills. English is one of her favourite subjects, and she competes in debating in her spare time.
“The humanities and sciences aren’t two separate things,” says Khushi.
“Entrepreneurship is a definite bridge between the two worlds, you’re coming up with entire solutions by yourself.”
Bridging STEM skills and creativity is a big part of what Changemakeher do, encouraging girls and women to be future change makers, starring in career fields where women are currently underrepresented.
“There’s always that issue with girls lacking confidence to make that leap, and I think that’s the whole point of Changemakeher.” says Khushi.
“Girls see us and think, wait a second, I can do that too!”
– Eliza Brockwell