Zoya Patel is the award-winning author of No Country Woman, a memoir of race, religion and feminism, and Once A Stranger (coming in 2023). She is co-host of the Guardian’s Book It In podcast, and the Margin Notes podcast alongside Yen Eriksen. Zoya is a columnist for the RiotACT, and regular books critic and writer for the Guardian, Canberra Times, SBS Voices, Refinery29 and more.
Zoya has won numerous awards for her writing and editing, and was a 2020 judge for the Stella Prize, and is the Chair of the 2021 Stella Prize Judging Panel. In her day job, Zoya is the Executive Director of Communications, Advocacy and Fundraising for leading feminist organisation, YWCA Canberra.
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On behalf of the Women’s Network, I wanted to express my sincere gratitude for Zoya’s participation in the event. We feel so fortunate to have had Zoya attend – she’s a fantastic speaker, who was really warm, authentic and engaging. Her participation was a major drawcard for the event: all of the seats in the room were filled, and I’ve been told we had over 100 participants watching the livestream online. I’ve already had a lot of feedback from attendees that they really enjoyed being able to hear about intersectionality from Zoya, and especially her analogy about how we all see the world in different ways through our own layers of cling wrap! I know that audience members also appreciated being able to gain an insight into her experiences growing up in different parts of Australia, and especially her reflections on how different life in Canberra can be depending on your gender and economic situation. I think it was eye-opening for many people in the audience. Zoya’s passionate advocacy and extensive work in advancing gender equality is so important, and it’s so refreshing to hear from someone so dedicated.