Melinda Tankard Reist is a Canberra author, speaker, Fairfax Media columnist and media commentator, blogger and advocate for women and girls. She is well known for her work on the objectification of women and sexualisation of girls and efforts to address violence against women. A co-founder of Collective Shout: for a world free of sexploitation, (www.collectiveshout.org), Melinda is named in Who’s Who of Women (Australia) and World Who’s Who of Women.
Melinda is author of Giving Sorrow Words: Women’s Stories of Grief After Abortion (Duffy&Snellgrove, 2000), Defiant Birth: Women Who Resist Medical Eugenics (Spinifex Press, 2006) Getting Real: Challenging the Sexualisation of Girls (Spinifex Press, 2009), now in its fifth printing and co-edited with Dr Abigail Bray, Big Porn Inc: Exposing the harms of the global pornography industry (Spinifex Press, 2011).
Melinda’s commentary has been published and broadcast in Australia and overseas. She has chapters in a number of books including, most recently, Steve Biddulph’s Raising Girls (Finch 2013). Melinda has been a panellist on ABC’s Q&A, and is a regular on Channel 7′s Morning Show and Sunrise, along with frequent appearances on a range of television and radio programs. Melinda has contributed to multiple online opinion sites. She was a columnist with Australia’s largest selling newspaper, the Sunday Herald Sun, until her recent appointment to FairFax Media. She is also editor of Faking It: The Female Image in Young Women’s Magazines (WFA 2007). Melinda is named in Who’s Who of Women (Australia) and World Who’s Who of Women.
‘The best speaker we have ever had’ – Mitcham Girls High School, S.A
Melinda is in demand as a speaker in Australia and overseas. She addresses thousands of young people a year in schools and youth events. She has addressed professional development days for educators and international gatherings of school principals. Melinda is also asked to speak to women’s organisations such as those committed to women’s health and ameliorating violence against women. See the ‘Testimonials’ section of this site for responses to her presentations. Melinda also consults on a range of issues of concern to women.
Melinda’s advocacy for women and girls has included helping establish a supported accommodation and outreach service for women pregnant and without support, involvement in projects to address poverty, trafficking and sex slavery, and working to highlight and address the objectification of women and sexualisation of girls in Australia and globally.
Melinda has worked with World Vision in the design of its national anti-trafficking campaign and lent her support to other NGOs working to address the status of women globally. She has formed alliances with many international groups on these issues. Melinda has recently been appointed an Ambassador for World Vision Australia, Compassion and the Raise Foundation. She is a partner in the global Brave Girls Want alliance, launched in August 2013.
Melinda is one of the founders of the grassroots campaigning movement Collective Shout: for a world free of sexploitation. Collective Shout names and shames corporations, advertisers and marketers who objectify women and sexualise girls to sell products and services. Collective Shout has succeeded in campaigns against a number of major corporations.