The Pioneers: 
ASEAN Women of 2018


We are proud to announce that our video series featuring six remarkable women from across the region is now online.  

We travelled to six countries in Southeast Asia to meet six very impressive women. There’s a triathlete, a rapper, a billionaire, a hacker, a cancer immunologist and an environmentalist. You might already know of them, but you may not know the everyday obstacles they face as women.  

The series was first broadcast across the Asia Pacific on ABC Australia television and was developed with funding from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Australia-ASEAN Council.  

We encourage you to watch all six of these short vignettes – and share with your networks using #ASEANWomenof2018.


The Queen of Vietnamese rap


Suboi rose to fame when she unexpectedly rapped in front of President Barack Obama. From a young woman who learned English by listening to rap lyrics, Hàng Lâm Trang Anh has become a powerful female voice in an industry dominated by men. In this short film she explains the experiences that have shaped her uncompromising lyrics – and her dedication to Vietnam despite a rising following in the US and beyond.



Feeling the rush in the Philippines


Ani de Leon-Brown is a three-time national triathlon champion and one of the most successful athletes to come out of the Philippines. As the current coach of the national triathlon team she is equipping the next generation of athletes with the skills and work ethic necessary for elite endurance sport. In this film we get on to the road and in to the pool for a taste of the demanding training regime of a professional triathlete.



Curing cancer, raising a daughter in Australia


Dr Misty Jenkins is leading a ground-breaking technique that makes cancer cells attack each other. Misty was the first member of her family to attend university and eventually took her passion all the way to a fellowship at Cambridge University. In this film we spend a day in the life of a cancer immunologist who also balances the role of motherhood.


The improbable billionaire of Singapore


Dato’ Jannie Chan is a billionaire businesswoman who redefined the notion of luxury across Southeast Asia. She started as a sales clerk with the family watch business and then made it her business to cater to a rising and highly discerning clientele. At 70, she’s honed her talent as a ballroom dancer while supporting a demanding young family. In this short film we learn why she’s able to literally stop traffic.



Hacking to live, in Indonesia


Irene Agrivina is an artist, technologist and all-round hacker at the forefront of a powerful movement in Indonesia. Her collective has unpacked and converted old technology into new tools, be that water purifiers or prosthetic limbs. In this film we gain rare access to Yogyakarta’s underground problem solvers, who join together to find improbable outcomes for the most vulnerable.



A champion for Malaysia's dwindling forests


Yasmin Rasyid has devoted her career to battling big business in the plight of Malaysia’s natural heritage. Yasmin trains local communities in sustainable living and protests the most daunting of opponents, in most cases with her daughters in tow. In this film we venture into the forest with Yasmin and her family to learn what it takes to protect a cherished commodity.