Helping change the world

Ainslee Hooper has contributed to a book, The Women Changing the World. (Louisa Jones) 253626_05

Armstrong Creek’s Ainslee Hooper hopes her experiences being a disabled person in an ableist society will inspire others to make a difference in the world. She speaks with Justin Flynn about sharing her story in the new book, The Women Changing the World.

Ainslee Hooper said she was “shocked and honoured” when asked to share her story in an upcoming book written by women who are changing the world.

The book, The Women Changing the World, is a collection of stories for women by women focused on inspiring purpose, vision and everyday activism.

It features real-life, relatable role models from all walks of life who are women changing the

world through entrepreneurialism, education, conscious living, giving back, advocacy, innovation and more.

Born and bred Geelong local, Ainslee, who now calls Armstrong Creek home, was asked by co-editor Peace Mitchell from The Women’s Business School to contribute to the book, which will be released next month.

“In the book, I’ve discussed my journey, and some of the barriers throughout my life that, although I didn’t realise it at the time, were all leading me to Ainslee Hooper Consulting,” she says.

Established in 2019, Ainslee Hooper Consulting offers a range of bespoke services aimed at reducing the risk of ableism and promoting disability inclusion at the grassroots level.

“I’ve worked with councils, disability service providers, public venues and sustainability services firms to identify invisible barriers that inhibit disability inclusion,” Ainslee says.

“Consulting on projects such as disability action plans, governance reviews, speaking engagements, and much more. Now I can add author to the list.

“The barriers I’ve faced have been the result of being a disabled person in an ableist society.”

Ainslee said she has never considered herself to be a change maker.

“I remember thinking ‘I don’t have anything to share, I’m just doing my thing’,” she says.

“There are so many other disability advocates out there who have been fighting for the disability community for years.

“It wasn’t until I started the process of writing that I realised my story might help inspire others who see themselves in my story.”

Ainslee had a sneak peek at some of the other contributions to the book and it left her very impressed.

“They are so powerful, they left a lump in my throat,” she says.

“So many stories of adversity have resulted in women doing what they do today to help others.

“I feel honoured to be included among them and to help inspire others who may have shared a similar path or see themselves in these stories.”

Away from work, Ainslee is in the first year of a PhD in anthropology at Deakin University, researching the experiences of disabled people in Geelong during COVID-19 and COVID normal.

“I also compete in benchpress with Global Powerlifting Committee, so I’m at the gym when I can be, looking forward to the next comp, whenever that may be,” she says.

Peace says: “Believing in yourself is an incredible force of power that starts with you.

“Whether you want to change the world, invent an incredible product, take on the big brands, inspire people, take your business global, start a movement or dream bigger in any way it’s time to take action and follow that calling.

“It can be challenging to be a successful leader and Ainslee Hooper gives this advice for others thinking about following their calling to make a difference in the world.”

The Women Changing the World launches nationally in November with an online festival featuring interviews and presentations from each of the 34 authors.