• Mona Community

Mona has grown! Meet our new team members


Mona Magazine began with the core belief that when women come together with a shared passion and goal, worlds are changed! Coming up to the second anniversary of the day Lauren, Kat and Kim, (unbeknown to them at the time) were laying the foundations of Mona over cuppas at the kitchen table, the little Mona team has grown! We never wanted the idea of Mona to begin and end with us three, our goal has always been to inspire more people to get involved with Mona's mission of bringing more diverse voices and perspectives to the conversation around gender in country Australia. We are so excited to introduce you to the new additions to Mona's core team who will taking on various roles and bringing so much experience and talent to our work. Leonie Napier, Jan Roberts, Oumi Karenga-Hewitt, Darby Ingram and Emily Fishenden.


Leonie Napier


Leonie Napier is community minded with a focus on developing relationships that encourage empathy and understanding. It is her hope that women build one another up to be confident in who they are, to understand their value and apply their courage within that gives rise to a voice that nurtures each of us to thrive. She is a writer of fiction and theatre having just written and starred in her first production Bloodshed at the Banquet at the Leeton Art Dec Festival to raving reviews.

What's you favourite book, movie, tv series?


Seriously, too many to choose from but a really inspirational book would be Daring Greatly by Brené Brown.


Who inspires you?


Those who are compassionate and forgiving and stand up for the vulnerable.


When you hear the word Feminism, what comes to mind?


Suffragettes come to mind. The strong and courageous who battled for womanhood. The sacrifice for justice. The women who were committed to have women referred to as human beings in the law. It is hard to even consider that now, but a truth in the time of the Suffragettes.


What are you looking forward to doing with Mona?


Connecting with women, hearing their stories and building supportive and nurturing network.



Jan Roberts


Jan has been a feminist all her life, even before she'd heard the word or understood what it meant, it was in her DNA! Born and raised in rural NSW, she was awarded a scholarship to attend Sydney University in 1969, where she trained as a secondary school teacher. Thus, began her activist life, which is still part of her life to this day. In the late 1970s she was part of a feminist group that established the Wagga Women’s Health Centre and changed her career path to work in this Centre. She has entered the Crone/Wise Woman stage of her life, turning 70 in 2020. What a ride it has been for her!


What's you favourite book, movie, tv series?


One of my favourite books is Women Who Run with the Wolves, by Clarissa Pinkola Estes, which came into my hands in 1993. When I read it, I was blown away. It left me enthralled and opened a whole new dimension to my life. This dimension was how myths and stories could teach me how to reclaim and rejoice in my true feminine power. This was soul work that empowered, nurtured and expanded me.


Who inspires you?


What a question, who inspires me? So many people, particularly women, have inspired me over my life; from those who have achieved great reforms and the everyday encounters with women who share wisdom, compassion and kindness in their daily lives. However, Joanna Macy has been a constant mentor through the past 40 years, and continues to inspire me as she moves into her '90s. She is one of the world’s most revered environmental and spiritual leaders and I had the privilege of attending a workshop with her in Sydney.


When you hear the word Feminism, what comes to mind?


The word feminism conjures up all manner of images, feelings and hopes for me. This word is not a cold definition of a philosophy. It is a way of life full of passion, courage and a deep desire for justice and sisterhood. It is the pathway forward for humanity, bringing balance and wisdom to a patriarchal power structure which has brought us to the crises we face in our world today.


What are you looking forward to doing with Mona?


I look forward to a new chapter in my life by joining the Mona collective. I am so excited the original three amazing women, Lauren, Kim and Kat, who have birthed Mona, are open to others joining this core group. This embodies the open spirit of Mona. As I have said, being a crone is a role I take seriously. My active, out-front days are over and I look forward to my mentoring role and sharing the knowledge and wisdom I have gathered so far in my life. I also eagerly anticipate the new learning and energy I will receive in return.



Oumi Karenga-Hewitt


Oumi is a working mother of one. She was born in Burundi and grew up in the UK before moving to Australia. While she has always studied or worked in something writing related, it’s never been focused on telling the stories she is passionate about. She currently works for RDA Riverina and Country Universities Centre and is the Vice Chair of Western Riverina Arts. Oumi is interested in developing content for screen and is excited to explore a range of stories and experiences along the way.


What is your favourite book, movie, tv series?


Book: Battle Hymn of a Tiger Mother by Amy Chua

Movie: No idea!

TV Series: Charmed is my classic but also Modern Family.


Who inspires you?


Instead of a particular person, I think I am inspired by people who go out of their way to include others - whether that is through work, friends or family.


When you hear the word Feminism, what comes to mind?


I think there are a lot of misconceptions about the people who support and call themselves feminists. I think of people being open about the power imbalance that comes from patriarchal structures and wanting to do something about it.


What are you looking forward to doing with Mona?


I’m looking forward to working with and meeting lots of great women in the region and bringing stories to life through sound and video.



Darby Ingram


A proud Wiradjuri and Fijian woman, living on Country in Griffith, NSW. A new mother, passionate writer and avid lover of the arts. Before taking a break to raise her son, Darby was studying Sociology Anthropology minoring in Indigenous Studies at UNSW and writing as a cadet journalist for the National Indigenous Times. She is currently studying and working part time. For fun she has been teaching herself to weave in the same way her ancestors did.

What's you favourite book, movie, tv series?


Beloved by Toni Morrison, Swing Time by Zadie Smith, Go tell it on the Mountain by James Baldwin. Movie would be Coach Carter; there’s so many movies to list but Coach Carter is a true comfort watch. My fav TV Series is Insecure by Isa Rae is an incredible writer and actor.

Who inspires you?


Black women, my ancestors, my sisters, and black women I experience from afar Maya Angelou, Zadie Smith, Solange Knowles. I’m also inspired by my country and by my son.


When you hear the word Feminism, what comes to mind?


History, evolution, intersection. I see fire dancing; some of us are trying to contain it and take notes. Others want it to keep dancing and shed more light. Both responses are keeping the fire burning.


What are you looking forward to doing with Mona?


I’m looking forward to meeting new women and hearing new stories. I know I can learn a lot from everyone I come across.



Emily Fishenden


Emily Fishenden loves writing short stories that are dark, scary and make the reader think. She is the current President of her local Fellowship of Australia Writers branch and enjoys creating opportunities for others to share their love of writing.

What's you favourite book, movie, tv series?


My favorite book is A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess.


What are you looking forward to doing with Mona?


I'm looking forward to helping Mona spread their amazing message further across the country.







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