This year 140 people joined the Director General Sharyn O’Neill and guest speaker, paralympian Jessica Salamati, nee Smith, to celebrate International Women’s Day at Fremantle Sailing Club.
Jessica shared her inspirational story of how she grew up ‘looking and feeling different’. Born missing her left forearm, she suffered third degree burns in an accident as a toddler and battled anorexia, bulimia and depression as a teenager. After a long journey to self-acceptance, Jessica now works to promote positive body image.
She believes that this generation will break down the barriers for equality, but only if we lead by example. Jessica tells us to be bold enough to take risks and to embrace the empowerment of change.
Jessica is the founder of 'Join The Revolution', an award winning international social media campaign, encouraging people to practice positive self-awareness. The campaign is designed to unite people all over the world, to support each other and to stand together when it comes to body image. She was awarded Emerging Leader at The Australian Government Positive Body Image Awards in 2013, a category created especially to recognise Jessica’s work.
In 2015, Jessica was a State finalist for Young Australian of the Year, and was awarded the Pride of Australia Awards Courage medal for overcoming personal adversity to inspire young Australians to accept themselves and others.
Jessica has worked extensively within the mental health and health promotion fields as a program coordinator and health promotion officer. She is a renowned motivational speaker having taken the stage at hundreds of events around the world. She also visits high schools across the country to provide students with a personal and genuine perspective on eating issues.