Annelise (she/her) is a storyteller and activist working with Run for It, and the co-founder of It's Not A Compliment.
This profile is part of our Changemaker series, focussing on sharing stories from across Australia from people working with youth-led organisations and movements to beat injustice and create change.
Annelise Lecordier is an organiser using her gift for storytelling to amplify often-silenced voices and engage young people in politics, with the ultimate aim of creating a more equitable society.
Working in the communications team at youth-led campaign group Run For It, Annelise is passionate about helping diverse young people get elected to local government.
“How cool would it be if we had people on the inside that actually represented the rest of Australia, and that actually had an interest in representing the views of the people they’re meant to be fighting for?” she says.
Annelise’s commitment to developing Australia’s political landscape isn’t her first experience with changemaking.
Her desire to shift the status quo was apparent from an early age, and as a child her dad nicknamed her a ‘little activist’ for her strong sense of justice.
“Growing up I was always questioning why things had to be the way they were.”
In her home country of Mauritius, Annelise commonly witnessed catcalling and harassment on the streets – a frequent and often traumatising experience for women and gender-diverse people all over the world.
And when adults told her it was “just part of our culture”, she refused to accept it.
“It’s not part of my culture,” Annelise says, now co-founder of Melbourne activist group It’s Not a Compliment, which aims to break the silence and stigma surrounding street harassment.
It was at a Melbourne protest calling for people seeking asylum to be welcomed and supported in Australia, that Annelise’s ambition to create positive change escalated.
She realised she was ready to organise, not just march.
Democracy in Colour’s Create Change Fellowship gave her the tools, knowledge and network to become a campaigner – and she’s been doing using those skills effectively ever since.
“You discover how many different ways you can be involved in a movement.”
Today she oversees social media, communications and media relations at Run For It, with the goal of making politics more accessible to young people.
“To break down the idea that politics is this really boring thing that has no impact on real life,” Annelise says.
“To show how that one decision, that’s being made in some committee you’ve never heard about, actually has a real impact on your day-to-day.”
Annelise is inspired by the way changemakers like Rachel Cargle and Aja Barber use Instagram to broach big, complex topics and make them approachable – from why racial injustice is a feminist issue to the intersection of colonialism, climate change and consumerism.
“What I like about them is they make it accessible but it doesn’t feel like that’s the end of the conversation, you get that it’s part of a much bigger context and that there’s a lot more to break down,” Annelise says.
The most significant lesson Annelise has learned through her activism is that progress can be slow – and that’s ok.
“You’re not going to change everything in a short amount of time, or in your lifetime, even,” she says.
“But making a difference to just one person is actually really significant.”