HomeArticlesBusiness & InvestLifestyleGold Coast women who #ChooseToChallenge – Aimée Lindorff
Aimee Lindorff

Aimée Lindorff

Gold Coast women who #ChooseToChallenge – Aimée Lindorff

Natalie O'Driscoll | March 2021

We talk to five Gold Coast women who embody the theme of this year’s International Women’s Day.

This International Women’s Day theme is #ChooseToChallenge. So what does that mean? A challenged world is an alert world. We can all choose to make the world a better place by challenging and calling out gender bias and inequality. These three high profile Gold Coast women do just that, whether it’s through their businesses, direct action, personal efforts or some combination of all three. Meet Aimee Lindorff.

Aimée Lindorff – Director | Gold Coast Film Festival

Gold Coast Film Festival’s (GCFF) new Director Aimée Lindorff is a multi-talented content producer, editor and production coordinator, and the co-founder of storytelling project Inside Voice and Producer of Screen Queensland’s SQ On Air. She’s made TV and movies for the likes of Netflix and Discovery Channel, hosted her own women-centred podcast and created writing events all over Queensland. With the GCFF well into pre-event mode, we were grateful for her taking the time to answer a few questions.

This year’s IWD theme is #ChooseToChallenge. How do you choose to challenge social norms, expectations of women and / or gender inequality in your life?

I’ve always been a contrarian – specifically around ‘what girls do’, particularly around what success looks like for women. Choosing to challenge your own perceptions and assumptions, and being open to being challenged is hard – and challenging those around us is really hard. But inclusion, accessibility, equity, it’s not a question or up for debate. So I choose projects that reflect those ideals, I choose to challenge people who say that inclusion and access are too hard. They might be hard, but they are critical – and so overdue.

What does IWD mean to you?

International Women’s Day is a complex day of so many emotions. It’s a day of reflection – a chance to remember the women who paved the way in our past, to assess the state of things, and to lay the path for the future. It’s is a day of advocacy and activism – we still have such a long way to go to create an equitable, inclusive, and accessible society. The current conversations around equitable pay and Time’s Up movement are evidence enough that we still have work to do. And it’s a day of celebration – to recognise the unrecognised work of the women who struggled and brought us to where we are, and the incredible work women do every day.

Tell us about a woman who has inspired you to push the boundaries in your life or career.

It might be cliched, but my mum has always inspired me and been a major influence on me. My dad was in the military, and that’s a hard life for families. Growing up in a heavily masculine, and often toxic, environment, there was never a matter of my not being able to do anything. Anything the boys did, I could do, and my mum always supported my ideas and ambitions. She nourished that internal challenge – sometimes to her own regret (HA!) – but it bred in me a level of defiance against social expectations that has definitely fed my interest in social justice, inclusion, access, and equity. She was quietly ambitious in her own way, choosing a life that was so far removed from her friends and family, and while we disagree about A LOT, I wouldn’t be the person I am without that spark of independence she sparked in a ratbag kid.

Do you have any advice for young women wanting to run their own events and festivals?

The challenge of events and festivals is that they can be all-consuming – working in the cultural space often makes it difficult to have standard work hours, and the expectation of working until you drop is so detrimental. So my advice for young women is make your work work for you. You don’t have to do it all, and I recommend you don’t. Ask for help, delegate, and don’t expect everyone to like you. Asking for what you need still seems to be taboo – don’t be afraid of hearing no, but don’t not ask, because most often than not, people do want to support you but aren’t sure how…until your question shows them a way.

Separately, events and festivals are built through community engagement, but don’t ever rest on community. Sometimes the community cannot bear the load, so lay a strong infrastructure and when the community cannot carry the weight your foundation will keep it afloat. Culture and the arts are critical when a community is struggling – COVID demonstrated this. Times like these the community will turn to cultural organisations to carry them through. So be ambitious and strategic, and always keep the community and audience at the heart of your planning. One of the exciting things about the Gold Coast cultural community is how many women there are – so never be afraid to ask for advice.

Read about other Gold Coast women who embody the theme of this year’s International Women’s Day.

Marion Charlton, Chief Operations Officer | Gold Coast Airport

Harriet Brown | Ironwoman

Ella Fitzgerald | Artist and Photographer

Evette Hess | Beauty Industry Mogul

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