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Jacinta Arnold

I am a political womxn. A tail end baby boomer in denial. Mother of three. Hobbyist. Donna Quixote for tenants.

Photograph of Jacinta Arnold
Image supplied by Jacinta Arnold

What's easy for you as a womxn?

Its easy for me to be unsettled and in a state of turmoil living in this imperfect and cruel world.

What's difficult for you as a womxn?

Finding my place in a world created by men for men. My lack of agency.

How do you maintain mental fitness/mental health?

Exercise and relaxing by being creative with cooking and dabbling in drawing and painting.

What brings you joy?

Daily interactions with people. The visual arts. Literature. The amazing people in the world who do ordinary things in extraordinary ways. My husband and children. My friends. I love my job.

How do you nurture your relationship with nature?

I have a vegetable patch and a chicken coop. I am a lazy gardener and derive great pleasure from the systems I have set up to minimise kitchen waste and reuse all foods through the chickens and by composting. Harvesting from the garden and eating fresh eggs is the bonus. I like walking in nature. Enjoying the sunsets- my favourite part of the day-so fleeting.

Where do you feel a sense of belonging/community?

I have lived in my neighbourhood for 30 years. I love the relationships one forms with local shopkeepers and residents. Walking the local streets means keeping in touch with the everchanging landscape and people.

Where do you live/work?

I live in Highgate Hill and work in Spring Hill in Turbull, Jagera country.

What have you changed your mind about?

I’ve changed my mind about the importance of the States in our Federation. Prior to the Covid Crisis I was a federalist. Now I value the state governments much more.

What makes you optimistic about the future?

I am not optimistic about the future.

What motivates you?

I’m interested in ideas. I wonder if we are living the “end stage” of the enlightenment, with systemic inequality brought about by prioritising individualism over the collective good. My wonderful life in a first world country that is responsible for so much of the Earth’s destruction is a source of great angst. Despite my anguish I haven’t done much in my life to change anything.

What’s important to you?


Best piece of advice from a woman?

Always try and eat at least 8 different vegetables at the evening meal, sage advice from my late, great mother in law.



Owning up to a self-belief that we lack agency takes courage. It can herald a step forward.

When we talk about personal agency, we are referring to our individual ability to act in a way that accomplishes our goals.

Our ability to do this can be hampered by the power dynamics, education and laws of individual nations. If you're curious to know more, in 2014 The World Bank Group released the report Voice and Agency: Empowering Women and Girls for Shared Prosperity .

"Voice and Agency, focuses on several areas key to women’s empowerment: freedom from violence, control over sexual and reproductive health and rights, ownership and control of land and housing, and voice and collective action."

If you relate to this we invite you to comment.

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