News International Women’s Day – Alice Aedy (Class of 2012) 08.03.2024

To mark this year’s International Women’s Day on the theme of ‘Inspiring Inclusion’ we were absolutely delighted to welcome Alice Aedy – activist, documentary photographer, film-maker, founder of the multi-media platform Earthrise, and Old Dolphin – to speak at our whole school assembly.

Alice looked back on her time at Godolphin explaining how ‘everything I learnt here shaped me profoundly’ and how her work is now focused on the three pillars of People, Planet and Purpose. Initially inspired by the Syrian refugee crisis in 2015 and the tragic images circulating in the media, she then spent time in refugee camps in areas of conflict and crisis and through her photography harnessed the power of storytelling. Alice has continued to work on the frontline of human tragedy including spending time in Ukraine after the outbreak of war as well as focusing on the plight of refugees, racial injustice and women’s rights. This in turn developed her passion as an advocate for climate justice and desire to shine a light on the impact of climate change on mass migration and how climate change does not effect us all equally. She noted that the human stories were often missing from the narrative around climate change – such as the plight of the indigenous communities that make up 5% of the world’s population whilst protecting 80% of the world’s biodiversity – and in 2020 became one of the founders of Earthrise, a storytelling platform. The multimedia channel provides a platform for her team’s work and the online community who produce social and digital media, short documentaries, and more recently feature documentaries, on the theme of Climate Justice. In recent years they have worked with Greta Thunberg, Jane Goodall, Barack Obama, Sadiq Khan and, of course, David Attenborough.

Alice empathised with our students who she says might feel grief and anxiety about the climate challenges whilst also feeling quite powerless. However, as it is a human-made crisis she explained that we do have the power to make a difference and contribute by finding our sense of purpose. She told our students that she ‘never thought I’d be an entrepreneur’ and urged them to have the courage to do what they can to tackle problems. She urged them to ask themselves, ‘What do you care about? What are you good at? What problem needs solving?’. And reflecting on her time at Godolphin she said: ‘Hold on tight to the friends you make here. You’ll rarely find a group of such fiercely independent young women!’.

With those warm words of encouragement ringing in our ears, we showed our enthusiastic appreciation and thanks to Alice for such an inspiring assembly that had a huge impact on our girls.

After the assembly, Alice joined the Development Department to take part in our Alumnae Podcast series interviewed by Geography teacher and leader of sustainability initiatives, Miss Graham, before having a tour of the school and the new library followed by lunch with the Head Girls Team. The day was rounded off with a workshop and Q&A session with our student Sustainability Committee.

We can’t thank Alice enough for being so generous with her time and for being a superb role model for our students; she really is an amazing Old Dolphin!