From skaters to singers, mountaineers to Mars mission-leaders. From the deep blue sea to the dark, black skies. Australia is full of girls who dare to do things differently. Adventurous girls. Girls with guts and spirit. Girls who stand-up and say, "watch out world, here I come!". Do you know what they are? They're FIERCE. These are their stories. Join the amazing Amy Shark, Julie Bishop, Yael Stone and more as they tell the inspiring tales of some of Australia's most extraordinary women.
Mary Ann Bugg was an Aboriginal woman who became a savvy bushranger and accomplice to Captain Thunderbolt. Mary Ann was the bushranger's spy, riding ahead into towns to check for police. She used her bush skills to gather and hunt food for the group of bushrangers she rode with. Mary Ann used her first-class education and stunning beauty to fool the troopers and avoid being caught. Narrated by singer-songwriter Thelma Plum.
As a young girl, Tayla Harris was the only girl on the football field. It didn't stop her though, she kicked butt and fought hard for her place. Now, she's a star AFLW player and a champion boxer. But her most important fight of all was against internet trolls. When Tayla was bullied savagely online for doing her job, she took a brave stand — one that will go down in history. Narrated by musician and singer, Amy Shark.
Sabre Norris was just nine years old when she landed a skateboard trick no other Australian girl had ever done — the 540. She's not just a fierce skateboarder though — Sabre is also a brilliant surfer. She's refusing to let ill health stand in her way of being the best in the world — so keep your eye out for her in the skateboarding at the 2020 Olympics!
Narrated by actor Claudia Karvan.
What do rad surfer and skater, Sabre Norris, world-famous opera singer Dame Nellie Melba and star AFL player Tayla Harris have in common? They're FIERCE! And their stories are going to be told in a brand-new series of Fierce Girls. Fierce Girls tells the stories of extraordinary Australian women read by other fierce ones like actors Yael Stone and Claudia Karvan, singer Amy Shark and Australia's first-ever female Governor-General Dame Quentin Bryce.
Subscribe now to hear new Fierce Girls from September 20.
Turia Pitt was running a 100 kilometre ultra-marathon in the outback when she was caught in a bushfire. Turia was really badly burnt, spent months in hospital, and was told she would never run again. But she was determined to prove the doctors wrong, because Turia knew that she could do anything if she just believed in herself.
Written and narrated by thirteen-year-old Donna Peari.
Molly Kelly had a white father and an Aboriginal Mother and was just a young girl when she was taken from her home. She was stolen from her family and taken to a settlement where white people hoped to stamp out her Aboriginality. But Molly escaped and walked one thousand miles home to her family, using a rabbit-proof fence as her guide.
Written and narrated by twelve-year-old Ruby Macheda.
If you’re an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person, we want to let you know that this episode contains the name of people who have died.
Irene Szoeke had an incredibly tough start to life — she was born in a prison camp during World War II. She was one of the lucky ones — Irene and her family survived the war and later found a home in Australia. As she grew, Irene worked hard and asked big questions. So when an amazing new invention came to her work — a computer — Irene was the perfect person for the job.
Written and narrated by eight-year-old Ariana Szoeke-Campbell.
Andrea Hah started to climb some of the biggest, toughest rocks in Australia better and faster than the boys. And that’s when she knew rock climbing was the sport for her. But when Ninja Warrior came to Australia, she just had to put her strength to the ultimate test.
Written and narrated by thirteen-year-old Lily Geach.
When Sam Kerr was a kid she spent hours upon hours kicking a soccer ball in the back yard of her suburban Perth house, dreaming of becoming an international football superstar. But how does an average kid from Australia make it big on the international stage? Practice. And more practice. Sam did so much practice she became the youngest person to ever represent Australia in football.
Written and narrated by nine-year-old Maia Kelly.
We asked you to send us your stories of Fierce Girls, and woah did you deliver! Next week, on International Women’s Day, you’ll hear the first of five amazing stories written by Fierce Girl listeners just like you.
Margaret Olley was a bit of a rebel who was often in trouble at school. But she loved to paint and found beauty in the everyday things around her. Margaret became one of Australia’s most loved artists and her paintings are famous around the world.
Narrated by actor and producer Deborra-lee Furness.
At school Julia Gillard’s least favourite subject was Home Economics. The teachers told her she’d need it one day, but Julia wasn’t so sure. She had her mind firmly set on a career. First she was a lawyer, then a politician and later she became Australia’s first female Prime Minister.
Narrated by author and journalist Tracey Spicer.
I am woman hear me roar in numbers too big to ignore! Singer Helen Reddy was tired of hearing women sing about boyfriends and husbands, so she wrote a song about strong, independent women. Her song, I Am Woman, struck a chord and became an anthem for women around the world.
Narrated by conservationist Madison Stewart, aka Shark Girl.
As a girl growing up in Mumbai, Veena Sahajwalla loved seeing how people reused all the rubbish. When she grew up, she became an engineer and a waste warrior determined to find new ways of turning mountains of trash into treasure. Narrated by the host of Behind The News Amelia Moseley.
Pam O’Neill grew up loving horse racing. There was just one problem — girls weren’t allowed to be jockeys. Pam thought that was ridiculous, so wrote hundreds of letters to racing bosses until she was allowed to become Australia’s first female licensed jockey. Narrated by Olympic swimmer Cate Campbell.
When she was a kid Gabi Hollows needed an operation to fix her crossed eyes. As a grown up she kept fixing eyes — just not her own. So far Gabi has helped more than two million people across the world regain their sight. Narrated by Australian ballet dancer, Ella Havelka.
Susan Alberti loved playing AFL when she was a kid, but had to hang up her footy boots when her dad told her it was too rough to play with the boys. She didn’t think it was fair that girls were relegated to the sidelines. So she made it her mission to start a national Women’s AFL competition and get girls off the bench and onto the field where they belonged. Narrated by journalist, TV and radio presenter and founder of the Carrie’s Beanies 4 Brain Cancer Foundation, Carrie Bickmore.
Surfer Layne Beachley grew up when girls were expected to sit on the beach and mind the boy’s towels. Layne ignored that ridiculous rule and became the best female surfer in the world — seven times! Narrated by Olympic gold medal winning hurdler and World Champion Sally Pearson.
Evonne Goolagong Cawley's first tennis racquet was a broomstick. Her second was a wooden paddle. It didn't hold her back. Evonne became the best tennis player in the world winning 14 grand slams and Wimbledon twice.
Narrated by actor, writer and director Leah Purcell. Archival audio: BBC.
When Lillian Armfield became a police officer in 1915, do you know what her bosses armed her with? A handbag! She caught plenty of crooks with it though. Lillian became Australia’s first female detective and paved the way for thousands of women to follow her into the force. Narrated by comedian, writer and singer Em Rusciano.
New episodes of Fierce Girls are coming soon! October 11. In the meantime, check out our other ‘pawdcast’, Animal Sound Safari! It takes your ears around the world to hear weird and wacky stories about animals. From celebrity sloths in Costa Rica to warrior mice who defeated a human army, each episode is an adventure.
Hey Fierce Girls. We’ve got an unreal podcast we reckon you’re just gonna love - Short & Curly! It asks the curliest of questions which will really get you thinking like: who should decide when you get your ears pierced; what’s the point of school uniforms; and should lollies be banned? What!?! Check it out!
In the 1940s when Ruby Payne Scott went to university she was the only girl in her class. Back then, you could count the number of female physicists in the entire country on one hand. Ruby was super smart but she struggled to get a job because blokes thought women belonged at home. Not Ruby — she once used a bent coat hanger, some plugs and a few bits and bobs to tune in to the noises of the galaxy — something nobody had ever done before. It’s no wonder she went on to become one of Australia’s most outstanding physicists. Narrated by robotics whiz Marita Cheng.
When Edith Cowan was a girl, her mum died and her father was sentenced to death for murder. She knew hardship ... and it drove her to get a better deal for women and children who were then treated like second class citizens.
She took her fight all the way to Parliament House in Perth when she became the very first woman in Australia to be elected. If you turn over a 50 dollar note, you’ll see Edith’s strong and determined face staring right back at you.
Narrated by the mighty journalist Leigh Sales.
When she was just four years old, Nancy Bird-Walton already knew what she wanted to do with her life — fly. She saved her pocket money to pay for lessons and her own aeroplane ... and before long people were paying her to fly them across the country.
Nancy was the first woman in Australia to get paid to be a pilot. Today, the A380 is the biggest passenger plane in the world — and if you look into the sky you might just see one that’s called Nancy Bird-Walton.
Narrated by singer and producer Kate Miller-Heidke.
Daisy Bindi couldn't understand why her boss paid wages to the white workers, but not to her. She was no different to them. And neither were all the other Aboriginal workers who were being treated like slaves.
In 1946 Daisy decided enough was enough. She helped lead a three-year strike which won Aboriginal workers fairer pay and better working conditions.
Narrated by singer, actor and radio presenter Christine Anu.
Warning: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander listeners are advised that the following episode of Fierce Girls contains the names of people who have died.
Not so long ago girls weren't allowed to swim in the same pool as boys let alone compete in the Olympics. Girls weren't even taught how to swim freestyle! Best friends Fanny Durack and Mina Wylie weren't standing for it. They were great swimmers and wanted the chance to swim for Australia.
Sports fans agreed and took to the streets to protest until finally the rules were changed, and Fanny and Mina competed at the 1912 Olympic Games in Sweden.
Narrated by the fiercest of the fierce Turia Pitt.
When Pamela Lyndon Travers was a little girl her aunt came to stay. She was rather strict, but kind at heart, and carried with her a seemingly bottomless bag made of carpet. P.L Travers had the memory of this aunt swirling around in her imagination when she sat down to write a book, and before she knew it Mary Poppins flew onto the page. The magical nanny who could talk to animals and use her umbrella to fly, became one of the most loved and famous characters of all time.
Narrated by TV presenter Lisa Wilkinson.
If there’s something that makes Ronni Kahn's blood boil, it’s seeing good food thrown on the scrap heap. Ronni is the foodie Robin Hood — she rescues tasty treats bound for the bin and gives them to the hungry. The "queen of leftovers" has had to move mountains to get politicians and business owners to agree to stop wasting perfectly edible food. And it’s been worth the effort — Ronni has saved 80 million meals!
As a little girl, Catherine Freeman had one dream — to go to the Olympic Games. Luckily, she could run fast. Really fast. So fast, she not only went to the Olympics, she won a Gold medal in the 400m race in Sydney! When she sprinted across the finish line ahead of everyone else, she became the very first Aboriginal Australian to win an individual Olympic gold medal and one of the fastest women of all time.
Narrated by Australian Netball champion and #TeamGirls ambassador Laura Geitz.
Everyone said 16-year-old Jessica Watson was too young to sail around the world all on her own. And when she crashed her boat into a giant ship in the dead of the night, in the middle of the ocean, the trolls shouted, “we told you so!”. But they were way too quick to judge the fierce and brave Jessica. She tried again ... and then it was her turn to say, “I told you so!”. Narrated by Little Lunch actor Madison Lu.
Louise Sauvage was born with one leg trapped under and around her body, and the other up over her shoulder. Even though the lower half of her body has never co-operated, Louise hasn’t let it stop her being fierce AND fast! As a kid she was awesome at all sports, and a speed demon in a wheelchair. Louise is a champion wheelchair racer and has won nine, yes nine, Paralympic gold medals. Narrated by six-time world surfing champion Stephanie Gilmore
What does every good spy parachuting into enemy territory need to evade capture? A handgun, a nightie, lipstick and a satin cushion of course! That’s what secret agent Nancy Wake had in her back pack when she jumped out of a plane during the Second World War to fight the enemy. They nicknamed her the “white mouse’’ because she was so hard to catch. Nancy helped many people escape the Nazi’s evil clutches and cheated death on more than one occasion. Narrated by singer, actor and producer Justine Clarke.
In a world where girls are fed a diet of princesses, unicorns and YouTube stars, Fierce Girls tells the real life and inspirational stories of brave, adventurous, and mighty girls and women! Like Nancy Wake the spy and Louise Sauvage the champion wheelchair athlete. Cathy Freeman who ran like the wind and Nancy Bird-Walton who flew the skies. Fierce Girls tells the stories of incredible Australian women read by other fierce ones like surfer Stephanie Gilmore, actor Justine Clarke, journalist Leigh Sales and the fiercest of the fierce Turia Pitt. Subscribe now so you’re the first to hear Fierce Girls on March 6.