Khadija Gbla is a high profile, passionate and inspiring African Australian woman. Khadija was born in Sierra Leone and spent her youth in Gambia. Khadija arrived in Australia as a refugee aged 13 in 2001. Khadija experienced discrimination, ageism, racism, sexism and mountains of stigma. This led to Khadija’s interest in human rights at the very young age of 13. She is now renowned as a human rights activist and she has extensive involvement with diverse areas of the community. Her experiences have solidified her values of equality and justice.
As an entrepreneur, inspirational speaker, facilitator, philanthropist and mentor, Khadija has displayed courage and determination. Her aspirations include giving women, youth and minority groups a voice at a local, state and international level. Khadija utilises her inspired and powerful voice to advocate for equality, diversity and inclusion.
Khadija provides skilled advocacy, leadership, training, keynote speaking and commentary on subjects including domestic and family violence, mental health, cultural safety, gender diversity, sexual health, racism, human rights, migrants, refugees and asylum seekers and cultural diversity.
Khadija’s achievements, community work, human rights advocacy and practical skills have been publicly recognised and honoured through numerous human rights awards. She has appeared in Australian and international media, including the Special Broadcasting Service, the Australian Broadcasting Commission, the Project, Marie Claire, The Guardian and the Sydney Morning Herald. Khadija’s public profile is far-reaching.
Khadija has remained true to herself and her values of integrity, acceptance and equality by continuing to advocate for those whose voice has not been heard. She has remained grounded, and human, as she works hard to achieve her goals. An irrepressible optimism, she approaches life with a sense of humour. Her courage in denouncing the practice of FGM in Australia and internationally, as well as her outspoken stance against domestic violence and racism, in the face of community backlash, has meant she an effective voice and an inspiring role model. Khadija strives to embrace both her African and Australian heritage, as she advocates for acceptance and equality.
Khadija seeks to inspire others to accept their differences and become agents of change in their communities. Khadija advocates for equality, enlivening and empowering others to act with her against the violation of human rights.
“I believe in the power of speech as a transformative force: it can change the direction of a life, a community, or even an entire country. My message transcends age, race, culture and faith to sow the seeds of change.” Khadija Gbla 2016
2013 - Amnesty International Human Rights Activists to watch in 2013