Advancing the rights and voices of over 4.5 million people.
Caitlin Figueiredo (“Fig-ar-ey-do”) is a proud multicultural woman, social entrepreneur and activist. She is the Founder & CEO of Jasiri Australia, an international youth led movement on a mission to unleash a fearless generation of women and girls. At 22 she was listed on the Forbes 30 Under 30 for founding the Girls Takeover Program, an international bipartisan program that promotes democracy and supports increasing female political representation through Jasiri Australia.
Her advocacy efforts in youth development and gender equality has seen her named as the youngest winner of Australia’s ‘100 Women of Influence’ and Women’s Weekly ‘Women of the Future’. As a survivor of gender-based violence, Caitlin recognised the impact of not having a voice. That’s why, at 23 years old, she became the youngest Vice Chair of the Australian Youth Affairs Coalition. As Vice Chair, Caitlin is a prominent voice on inclusive politics and youth rights. She currently represents 4.5 million young Australians on the national level ensuring their voices and issues are heard and respected by federal leaders.
In 2018, she was promoted by the Commonwealth Secretariat to represent the Pacific Region as a Committee Member of the Commonwealth Youth Council Pacific Board. In her spare time, Caitlin runs an upskilling education social enterprise and has worked nationally and globally with politicians, government departments, World Vision, Plan International and the United Nations.
She currently sits on three United Nations Task Forces and was named an Obama White House Changemaker for Gender Equality by Michelle Obama and a Queens Young Leader. A globally renowned gender equality activist, Caitlin is ranked alongside Gloria Steinem and Chelsea Clinton, as an influencer to 18.5 million women from over 196 countries.
Caitlin Figueiredo (“Fig-ar-ey-do”) is a proud multicultural Australian, social entrepreneur, activist and author.
Raised in Canberra in a migrant household, Caitlin realised the world was an unequal place at six years old and was determined to make a difference. Starting off small, she began volunteering at schools and in local community groups with the Salvation Army and World Vision. But despite her passion, she had a secret history of violence. At 12 years old, she used self-defence to end a decade of gender-based violence. Self-defence gave her the confidence to launch her activism seven years later.
During this time, Caitlin was determined to be an elite basketball player. After being discovered in Sydney, her career quickly took off with an opportunity to play semi-professionally and across New Zealand against Olympians, while balancing full-time college. However, after being diagnosed with a chronic illness and a freak football accident, Caitlin had to give up her career and begin again.
At 19 years old, Caitlin’s passion to service and activism reignited when World Vision approached her to establish their youth organisation in Canberra. Without the background or support systems, Caitlin founded VGen ACT, World Vision’s youth movement and within a year, ACT became the most successful branch in Australia. Shortly after, she was invited to found Arts for Peace by the Pakistani High Commissioner to provide empowerment and mental health support to assist women and girls transition into the education system through the creative arts.
Because of her groundbreaking work in Pakistan, The United Nations invited Caitlin to sit on three UN Task Forces at 20 years old. That same year, she led a UN team of 50 youth leaders from 28 countries to create a menstruation program for the Special Advisor on the 2030 Agenda Dr David Nabarro and UN Secretary-General.
In 2016, First Lady Michelle Obama and The White House named Caitlin a ‘Global Changemaker for Gender Equality’ cementing her position as one of the world’s leading youth equality advocates. Shortly after, she won the Australian 100 Women of Influence ‘Young Leader’ category. Still to this day, she is the youngest women ever to do so. She is ranked alongside Gloria Steinem and Chelsea Clinton, as an influencer to an online platform of 18.5 million women from over 196 countries.
In November of that year, Caitlin was inducted into the Australian Youth Affairs Coalition Board, the peak body for all 4.5 million young people to defend their rights at a federal level. She then took over an education business called Lake Nite Learning which provides upskilling opportunities to adults and school students.
As a survivor of violence, Caitlin is determined to end all violence and bullying against children. She does this through her role as an Ambassador for the Alannah and Madeline Foundation. As an Ambassador, Caitlin has worked on campaigns around Images Base Abuse, Gun Control and co-authored a book with other influential Australians such as Melissa Doyle AM, Leigh Sales, Tim Costello AO, and Layne Beachley.
Last year, Caitlin approached Plan International Australia to co-found the Girls Takeover Parliament program to promote democracy, young women’s leadership and increase female representation. Due to the success of the program, Caitlin was named on the Forbes 30 Under 30 List and ranked 8th overall in the social entrepreneur category. She was also awarded ACT Young Woman of the Year.
Recognising the power of young women, Caitlin was determined to make a more significant difference. In December she founded Jasiri Australia, a youth-led organisation on a mission to unleash a fearless generation of women and girls. Jasiri, which means fearless and brave in her family’s local language runs the country’s first pay-it-forward empowerment self-defence program. Under Caitlin’s leadership, she transformed Girls Takeover Parliament under Jasiri and expanded the program with the Commonwealth Youth Council into a global movement with over 150 women being trained and connected at the local and federal level. This has radically transformed young women’s and girls access to politics as it is the only bipartisan program in the region that gives them unprecedented access, training and job opportunities for free. An advocate for inclusive leadership, she also runs a Trailblazer Fellowship for culturally and linguistically diverse young women to end the leadership inequality.
Because of her groundbreaking work with Jasiri Australia, Caitlin was named a Queen’s Young Leader by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. A few months later, Former Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, Hon Tanya Plibersek, Lisa Wilkinson and an esteemed panel named Caitlin the Women’s Weekly “Woman of the Future”. Two months later, Caitlin won the Foundation for Young Australian’s Young Social Pioneer Education Category.
As a Queen’s Young Leader, Caitlin now serves on the Commonwealth Youth Council Pacific Committee and was promoted to Vice-Chair of the Australian Youth Affairs Council. At only 23 years of age, Caitlin was recognised as an expert in the field of aid and development, social entrepreneurship and gender by the Assistant Secretary of The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade when she was recruited to work on a high-level government project.
A World Economic Forum Global Shaper, Caitlin was previously invited by The White House to participate in calls with Valerie Jarrett and President Obama on health reform. Currently studying a double degree at ANU, she was identified by The Sir Roland Wilson Foundation and Chair of NAB, Ken Henry, as 'someone who is influential shaping Australia both now, and in the years to come'.