It’s a list of people who “define what it means to be Australian”.
Put together every year, the Australian Financial Review Magazine’s Cultural Power List is a snapshot of our nation’s values, beliefs, inner-battles and social successes.
This year, five of the ten most culturally powerful people are women – and we think it’s about bloody time.
The lineup was judged by a panel of independent, culturally-savvy, well-known Australian personalities. People such as Oscar-winning actress Rachel Griffiths; CEO of Screen Australia Graeme Mason; Head of Strategic Events at University of NSW Ann Mossop; and Chief Creative officer of PwC Russel Howcroft.
They were looking for moments in the year where one person – or one idea – has pierced through the echo-chamber Australians are ordinarily nestled nestle within between social media and the news we consume. “You just go deeper and deeper into your stuff and as a result there’s no peripheral vision,” Gruen regular Russel Howcroft told Australian Financial Review (AFR).
Peripheral vision is what these judges were looking for, or “moments that made us all look up and stare”. Five of these involved Australian women.
“The 2017 Cultural Power List, out of all the rankings in this year’s Power issue, gives the greatest snapshot of the diversity existing within Australian society at present,” said AFR editor Matthew Drummond in a press release.
“In particular, we see the greatest representation from women and minority groups, who exert a significantly higher degree of power in Australia’s cultural space than in areas like politics and business.”
There is AFL Women’s at number two, after a year that saw the league debut to a crowd of 24,00 when Carlton beat Collingwood in the first game of the series. And a season that saw almost 200,000 people attend games and 5.6 million watch it from their living rooms.
“The enrollments of young girls and women in AFL football have gone up 56 per cent in the past year,” the AFL Commissioner Gabrielle Trainor told AFR. “And at least 30 openly gay women seamlessly transitioned into elite Australian Rules Football: I think that was a profound moment.”