Vanessa Pappas and Chanel Contos among Vogue Australia’s top 21 inspirational women


Vogue Australia has released its list of 21 inspirational Australian women for 2021 and among those named are Vanessa Pappas and Chanel Contos.

Who are they? How have they defined the conversations around Australia this year? The Greek Herald finds out.

Vanessa Pappas, Global COO of TikTok:

Vanessa Pappas.

Vanessa Pappas is a Queensland-educated executive who lives in Los Angeles with her wife and two young children.

This year, Pappas was named the Global Chief Operating Officer of TikTok, a short-video platform which hit one billion active monthly users in September.

Prior to this, she was interim CEO at the company and took on former US President Donald Trump, who was threatening to ban the app in the US. She initiated a lawsuit against the government with the response: “we’re not planning on going anywhere.”

TikTok’s office in Culver City, California. Photo: Rozette Rago for The New York Times.

But with Trump toppled from the White House, this crisis was averted. Now, Pappas is focused on expanding the platform’s reach globally and continuing to build a strong community.

“Day in and day out, I have been inspired by the TikTok community who have started cultural movements, kept their small businesses afloat, and kept us entertained,” she told Vogue Australia.

Chanel Contos, Consent advocate:

Chanel Contos. Photo:

23-year-old Chanel Contos’ petition for young women to share their sexual assault experiences earlier this year yielded thousands of testimonies and spurred a parliamentary reckoning.

The former student from Sydney’s Kambala Girls’ School also pushed for a more “holistic” approach to sexual education, suggesting it address topics such as consent, rape culture, slut shaming, toxic masculinity and queer sex education. 

READ MORE: Chanel Contos’ petition sparks sex education changes across Australian schools.

She told Vogue Australia she hopes 2022 will be the year to address issues around sexual education and to think about “how are we moving forward?”

Chanel’s petition garnered thousands of responses.

“I hope in 2022, gender equality is at the forefront of political issues, a driving force in the election, and causes people to really step up,” she said.

READ MORE: Chanel Contos’ petition forces NSW Parliament to debate the state’s sex education curriculum.

Contos, who is currently in London, also has plans to meet with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison in the near future.

Source: Vogue Australia.

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