mARIE, Founder


Growing up, I have worked with unique people that have shaped my ideas on what makes a meaningful and successful life. In my childhood, I lived with a migrant domestic worker who became an older sister in the family. Throughout my professional career, I have worked with asylum seekers and refugees, 'at risk' young people, students with learning disabilities and individuals from diverse cultures and sexualities. I developed relationships with so many wonderful people and learned to work collaboratively with them. On this journey I realized that not everyone saw those individuals in the way that I encountered them from personal experience. 

Behind The Label came to life because I wanted to create a platform for stories we don't often hear from - that is, a platform to appreciate individuals who need to be valued for their own growth and contributions. The more we see their value, the more we can work closely together to build stronger working relationships and communities.



aLYSIA, author


My mother tells me that as a child I would ask questions about everything, an answer was never a conclusion but an avenue to the next conundrum. It seems my inquisition has not ceased. I am fascinated by the tiniest nooks of human habit. Where do we divert into actions that are solely and specially our own and what are the things we share? This thirst for knowledge has traveled with me on my career path, studying Sociology and working in public relations, community education and management for several NGOs in Australia, Kenya and Ghana. I am particularly passionate about finding ways to make complex issues easier to understand and the way evolving social media platforms and other learning tools can provide a source of education for those working in fields relating to social justice, aid and development. 




Isabella, author


Living in Australia, China and England, I became intrigued by the ways in which different societies are governed, which led me to study international law. In contemplating how majority and minority groups interact to influence policy and lawmaking, I was particularly interested in the domestic application of international human rights theories. This is a theme that has shaped my work and volunteer history, engaging with groups of people whose rights are often infringed upon, including Indigenous Australians, refugee children, and victim/survivors of family violence and childhood sexual abuse. Through Behind the Label, I hope to contribute to conversations about human rights and what they mean in social contexts. I believe that as individuals in society, we have both rights and responsibilities. Understanding how these diverge and intersect affects how we think of others in relation to ourselves, and the decision-making processes that lead to social change. I hope that by examining and challenging notions of ‘me’, ‘us’ and ‘them’, we can foster inclusiveness and support individuality.

Morgan, author


I have always been exceptionally curious about people. Growing up, I am told I would constantly ask "why?" and "how does that happen/work?" - my favourite thing to do was stare at people and try to understand them. A vivid story my family often laughs about is a time when I was very young and in a cinema, small Morgan kneeling on her chair and staring at the man behind her whilst trying to hide the fact; exclaiming to my dad, "that man is staring at me!" and him replying, "that's because you're staring at him!" I have not travelled down a traditional nor mainstream path, coming up against many obstacles and personal trauma whilst having to learn how to move through them and integrate their teachings. I never really felt like I belonged anywhere and to anything until I moved to Footscray and began studying Social Science, majoring in Counselling - I finally felt like I had found one of my true passions, one that had been humming along just below the surface of my personality my whole life. My curiosity and empathetic nature has seen me through many roles within the community and social sector, NGO's and not-for-profits, landing in my current role as Policy and Strategic Projects Officer at Melbourne City Mission. I believe wholeheartedly in supporting people to share their stories as a form of advocacy, leadership development and as a tool for systems co-design - with a particular focus on lived-experience.

liz, author


Travel has always been a big part of my identity. Growing up, my family and I would seize every opportunity we could to uncover a new part of the world, and this thirst for adventure and discovery has become an integral part of my adult self. As I move around the globe now, and as I call new cities home, I am constantly redefining my sense of community and finding commonality with people from seemingly different worlds. I loved University because it was another outlet for me to explore the world; the way people are governed by custom and internalised norms, the way we all play a part in a bigger picture, and the way we can bridge the gap between geography and lifestyle through storytelling. This is what compelled me to be a part of Behind the Label, the idea of connecting with others based on sharing and listening. As children, we are taught not to talk to strangers, but as an adult I don’t see anything strange about hearing an untold story from an unknown face.