Based in Sydney, Australia, Tracey Spicer AM is an award-winning journalist, broadcaster, and author of The Good Girl Stripped Bare. Tracey Spicer has had many notable moments of her career, including winning multiple and well-deserved Walkley awards. She was named New South Wales Premier’s Woman of the Year and accepted the Sydney Peace Prize alongside Tarana Burke for the Me Too movement.
Tracey Spicer also won the national award for Excellence in Women’s Leadership through Women & Leadership Australia and the Social Enterprise and Not-For-Profit category in the prestigious 100 Women of Influence awards, supported by the Australian Financial Review. After tackling some of society’s most challenging topics, Tracey was named Agenda Setter of the year by Women’s Agenda. Over the last three decades, she has worked hard and utilized her expertise in the media and NFP sectors, which awarded Tracey the Order of Australia.
As a proud advocate for women in the workplace, Tracey Spicer has worked hard to expose gender inequalities in the workplace for many years. Tracey Spicer had her own experience with gender inequality as a journalist, which sparked her passion for helping women. By leveraging her journalistic know-how, she shed much light on the issue. Tracey is considered a major contributor to the changing standards in Australia, calling not only for equality but also the exposing of toxic and abusive practices in the business world.
Tracey has a passion for ensuring all people are treated equally worldwide, especially those from marginalized communities, and survivors of harassment or abuse. With this goal and passion in mind, Tracey has participated in the production and presentation of several documentaries highlighting women and girls’ lives in several countries, including Bangladesh, Kenya, Uganda, Papua New Guinea, and India. With so many structural barriers facing women and girls in the developing world, Tracey wants to bring these concerns to the forefront to create positive change.
Tracey Spicer also has a place in her heart for philanthropy and giving back to her community in Sydney, Australia and beyond. She is particularly interested in partnering with organizations fighting for equality and helping support women in their lives and careers. Over several years, Tracey has partnered with ActionAid Australia, Women’s and Girls’ Emergency Centre, Manly Warringah Women’s Resource Centre, and Northern Beaches Women’s Shelter to help them on their missions. She also currently holds an Ambassador title with multiple organizations, including ActionAid Australia, Cancer Council NSW, QUT’s Learning Potential Fund, and Purple Our World. Tracey believes that she has a duty to utilize her platform to do all she can to help further these good causes and provide more opportunities for people to learn about their work and get involved.
It took overcoming many obstacles to get Tracey Spicer to where she is today, and she hopes to inspire the lives of girls and women, both in journalism and other fields. Over time, Tracey has worked on many notable projects, including her book (The Good Girl Stripped Bare), a TEDx Talk entitled “The Lady Stripped Bare,” and essays published in several books. Tracey Spicer hopes that by diversifying her work, she can reach more people to accomplish her goals of gender equality worldwide.
Our Interview With Tracey Spicer AM
Question: What’s the most important thing we should know about you?
Tracey Spicer: From a very young age, I was acutely aware of inequality. Growing up in an extremely low socio-economic area gave me a deep understanding of the difference between people with power, and those without it. This fuelled the fire in my belly – burning to this day – to do everything I can to support people in marginalized communities.
Question: Name the most impactful lesson you learned from failure.
Tracey Spicer: Be careful about who you trust. Taking after my dear Dad, I tend to see the best in people. This usually works out well, but – from time to time – you can be let down. I’m slowly learning to be a little more cautious about who I bring into my inner circle.
Question: What accomplishment are you most proud of?
Tracey Spicer: Actually, I’m most proud of working hard alongside my husband to raise two wonderful children. They’re teenagers now, so it can be challenging! But they make us laugh every day, bringing great joy into our lives. This next generation is incredibly wise: global thinkers with terrific insights. There is much we can learn from them.
Question: What did you waste the most time on when you were first starting your career?
Tracey Spicer: Worrying about people thinking I was stupid. Even though I was Dux of my sub-senior year at high school and did really well at university, I was sometimes perceived as a ‘dumb blonde’ because of my appearance. I internalized this misogyny and began to believe it. Imposter syndrome, writ large!
Question: Name a tool you use for work that you can’t live without.
Tracey Spicer: Meditation apps. Before each keynote speech or emcee gig, I find a quiet spot to sit and breathe for 10 minutes. Presenting is a very Zen practice – you have to be in the moment. I do a different breathing exercise each time, to keep it interesting.
Question: What is your favorite hobby and why?
Tracey Spicer: I became quite obsessed with Ashtanga yoga more than 20 years ago after my Mum passed away prematurely. It helped me to handle the stress and anxiety associated with grieving. I still practice most days, often doing headstands with our daughter to help calm her nerves, as well.
Question: What excited you the most about your industry right now?
Tracey Spicer: The fragmentation of the mass media over the past 15 years has amplified marginalized voices like never before. The gate-keepers of the mainstream media are much less powerful, and that’s a good thing.
Question: What concerns you most about your industry right now?
Tracey Spicer: We must maintain journalistic integrity, in order to continue speaking truth to power. Cutbacks in newsrooms are extremely concerning. Sadly, this is the flip-side of the fragmentation of the mass media.
Question: What’s the greatest risk you’ve ever taken?
Tracey Spicer: Taking a major commercial television network to court and starting a national conversation about maternity discrimination was a huge risk. I thought it would end my career. But it turned out to be the best thing I’d ever done, because it was a privilege to talk to so many people with similar challenges. It also led to changes in policies and procedures to protect women at work.
Question: Name one small habit that positively impacts your productivity.
Tracey Spicer: Focus. When I’m hard at work, the building could be on fire and I wouldn’t notice!
Question: What tips do you have for getting a seat at the table?
Tracey Spicer: Practice using mantras to get rid of the negative self-talk. One of mine is, “You deserve to be heard”. Women have been silenced for centuries – we need to push back.
Question: What book has made the biggest impact on your life?
Tracey Spicer: The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck. It reinforced my views on how the system is stacked against the working class.