Forget the Kardashians. These are the women we should be looking up to.

La Trobe University
Thanks to our brand partner, La Trobe University

These 11 Aussie women will seriously inspire you.

Does anyone really look up to any of the Kardashians?

According to their TV ratings and social media accounts — yes, yes they do. (Sigh.)

But we’re here to tell you there are so many more worthy role models right here at home. So, PUT DOWN THE REMOTE and read up on these incredible Aussie women.

1. Delta Goodrem.

Just as she was hitting her stride as one of Australia’s most successful young singers, in early 2003 Delta Goodrem received the news that she was suffering from Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Delta Goodrem.

Now that she has recovered, she devotes much of her time to supporting charities such as Research Australia’s “Thank You Day” which honours Aussie medical researchers, is a member of RADD (Recording Artists, Actors And Athletes Against Drink Driving) and in 2011 became an ambassador for the Kinghorn Cancer Centre at Sydney’s Garvan Institute for Medical Research.

2. Erin Molan.

The Footy Show favourite Erin Molan is a rising TV and radio star. Recently she watched her older sister Sarah battle bowel cancer shortly after giving birth to her second child.

The sisters now both work with Bowel Cancer Australia, raising awareness of the disease and reminding everyone about the importance of early detection.

3. Marta Dusseldorp.

TV and theatre actress Marta Dusseldorp most recently starred in the TV series A Place to Call Home and is regarded as one of Australia’s best theatre actors.

She is also devoted to her work as an ambassador for Save the Children, which has taken her to the Northern Territory where she spent time with Aboriginal families and their children.

Marta Dusseldorp.

4. Natasha Stott Despoja.

Former politician Natasha Stott Despoja reached the heights of political power in Australia when she took over the leadership of the Democrats.

Since her retirement, she has worked tirelessly for several charities including Ovarian Cancer Australia, The Orangutan Project, the HIV/AIDS anti-stigma campaign, Oxfam and the Burnet Institute. She became chair of the Foundation to Prevent Violence against Women and their Children in 2013 and is also Australia’s ambassador for women and girls.

5. Gail Kelly.

Former Westpac chief Gail Kelly was listed as the 56th most powerful women in the world by Forbes magazine in 2014.

Since moving on from her career in banking, she has devoted her time to being CARE Australia’s Ambassador for Women’s Empowerment, visiting Malawi and Cambodia.

Gail Kelly.


6. Maggie Beer.

One of Australia’s most loved celebrity chefs, Maggie Beer isn’t content with her successful empire and appearances on Masterchef.

She also founded The Maggie Beer Foundation, which is focused on aged care and quality of life for older Australians.

7. Cate Blanchett.

Not satisfied with a slew of awards and an impressive international career, Cate Blanchett is also a committed environmentalist.

She helped launch the Australian Conservation Foundation’s Who On Earth Cares campaign, filmed a special appeal for SolarAid, and also supports multiple other causes.

Cate Blanchett.

8. Nastassia Bondarenko-Edwards.

La Trobe University graduate Nastassia Bondarenko-Edwards is a corporate tax lawyer at a top tier law firm who also does pro bono work with a not-for-profit legal service, helping people at risk of homelessness.

“Losing your home – especially if you have children – is a big issue. Understandably, it can be overwhelming,” she says.

“Often, just having someone assisting with the matter, explaining options and negotiating on your behalf can be of great assistance.”

9. Stephanie Alexander.

In 2004, Australian cook, restaurateur and writer Stephanie Alexander launched the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program at Collingwood College in Melbourne. She wanted to teach children about healthy food by establishing kitchen gardens in primary schools.

The program is currently in 297 schools.

Stephanie Alexander.

10. Thérèse Rein.

Entrepreneur and former “first lady”, Thérèse Rein was awarded the Human Rights Medal by the Australian Human Rights Commission in December 2010.

She is patron of the UNICEF Maternal and Infant Health Campaign, the Indigenous Literacy Foundation, OzHarvest Food Rescue and is a member of the Honourary Board of the International Paralympic Committee.

11. Quentin Bryce.

Former Governor-General Quentin Bryce has spent many nights handing out hot food from charity vans. She has long been a voice for feminism, has spoken out against violence and sex discrimination and has fought for equal opportunity.

Related: The 6 best moments from Quentin Bryce’s time as Governor-General.

Which woman do you admire the most?

Speaking of role models, here are a few more:

Want more? Try these:

This is what a good role model for girls looks like.

Delta Goodrem is moving back to Ramsay Street.

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