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Marina Passalaris BU Day Interview

The Day Teens and Their Mums Reconnect

Hundreds of teenage girls and their mother's will converge on BU Day 2018 at Sydney's NSW Art Gallery on Saturday 11th August to talk about what's on their minds, the matters they care about and the tough issues they face daily.

BU Day is a special event for girls and their *mums to inspire, educate and entertain!

It's new kind of day, to celebrate young women and the important female role models in their lives.

*We welcome aunties, sisters, neighbours, godmothers, grandmothers, cousins and any amazing women who add value to their life.

Staged for the past five years by Beautiful Minds - an organisation that provides educational workshops for teens and preteens aged 8 - 17 - BU Day 2018 is set to inspire, educate and entertain teenage girls and their mums on important life topics through engaging speakers and a variety of celebrities and mental health experts.

Beautiful Minds tackles the tough topics that teenagers face daily, bringing them to light so they feel empowered, educated and supported through workshops, school programs, online courses and events.

BU Day special guests include:
Elle Ferguson - Cosmopolitan Woman of the Year and Co-Founder of They All Hate Us and the Elle Effect
Sophie & Carolyn Delezio - Survivor and Founder of Day of Difference Foundation
Healthy Luxe / Jen & Hannah - Mother Daughter Nutrition Duo
Dan Price - Mental Health Advocate and Ambassador of R U OK? Day
CEO of One Girl / Sarah Ireland - BU Day's chosen charity - a not-for-profit organisation harnessing the power of education to drive change for girls and their communities.
Leanne Hall - Mind & Body Expert , psychologist and TV Presenter
BT Financial / Daniella Elchaar - Financial Institution
20th Century Fox / The Darkest Minds Feature

Females of the Future Panel
Amar Hadid - Professional Skateboarder
Holly Somerville-Knott - CEO & Founder of Tell Someone Who Cares & Stardust Foundation - Planet, People, Animals
Lilly Somerville-Knott - Author, motivational speaker and social justice advocate
Lara Dabbagh - Singer (Recently featured on Season 7 of The Voice) & Rapper
Izzy Dymalovski - Girl Boss of Luv Ur Skin and many more.

Inspirational guest speakers will also offer support and advice on relevant and current teen topics like friendships, bullying, mental health, nutrition,how to be happy and accept who you are, being confident and being you.

Beautiful Minds Founder, Marina Passalaris said: "BU Day 2018 is an incredible way to bring our teen girls and reconnect them with their mums or other amazing female role models they choose to attend the day with. It gives our guests the opportunity to discuss what is on their mind, learn from experts, meet celebrities as well as other teens, watch dance and music performances and just have a fun day being themselves. Every guest will go home with a gift bag valued at $55.

BU Day 2018
NSW Art Gallery
11th August
11:30am – 2:30pm
For more information about BU Day 2018 and Beautiful Minds, visit.


Interview with Marina Passalaris, Beautiful Minds Founder

Question: What inspired you to begin BU Day?

Marina Passalaris: The inspiration around BU Day came from observing where our young girls were engaged and who they were following on social media. We saw 6 years ago when we first launched the event that girls had so many social media role models that they looked up to so if we could get these role models and celebrities in front of our audience to share our messages, then we would have girls who would be actively engaged in learning but in a fun and inspirational way. Teens do not listen to school teachers or parents so by placing them in an environment where they actually want to be, half the battle is done.

I Founded Beautiful Minds 13 years ago and today it is Australia's leading provider of confidence and self-esteem education for preteen girls aged 8 – 11 and teen girls and boys aged 12- 17. We host regular school holiday workshops, events and retreats about life skills, confidence, mental health and everything that our young people are going through. What we observed over the years was that the young people that attended Beautiful Minds always told us about how incredible their experience was and the feedback from parents was outstanding, but our teens were not following us on social media or sharing with their friends that they had attended one of our workshops. The reason being that there is and always will be (with youth) a stigma around anything to do with self-development or mental health. By creating BU Day and launching this as a new offering for Beautiful Minds, suddenly our teens were really vocal about their attendance as it was an event with celebrities, DJ's, dance performances, inspirational guests, beauty gift bags and activation areas.

Question: What can we expect from the upcoming BU Day?

Marina Passalaris: This year's BU Day has been opened up to a wider audience. We are encouraging girls to attend with their mothers, sisters, neighbours, aunties, basically any amazing female role model in their life. This year is all about celebrating the incredible females around you so we can all come together to support and lift each other up. This will open the age range from girls right up to women in their 60's! Everyone who attends this year's BU Day will take home a beautiful gift bag valued at $50 and will know that they have helped support a young girl in Africa to be educated as we are raising money to support our charity partner One Girl.

Question: How did you go about sourcing the best guests for BU Day?

Marina Passalaris: We are really careful with who we select for our BU Day. We source speakers and performers that are doing amazing things in their community and are great role models for young women and girls. We only work with individuals that are credible and have real life stories to share. There are so many social media stars out their giving incorrect information to their thousands of followers or not practising what they preach and we really need to steer clear of these individuals as we take the work we do with young people very seriously. We need to ensure that our audience attends an incredible day at BU Day but that they go home armed with tools, strategies and inspiration to move forward in life, making the best choices for them. At the end of the day our aim is always to ensure our youth are happy and healthy.

Question: Who of the special guests are you most excited to hear from and why?

Marina Passalaris: I am most excited to hear from Sophie Delezio. Sophie is the Australian school girl who gained media attention when she was involved in an accident at the Roadhouse Childcare Centre in Sydney. She suffered burns to 85% of her body and lost both of legs. She has since become an activist for victims who have suffered similar situations. Sophie is now 17 years of age and is a true survivor and amazing role model to our girls showing them what true resilience means and how to move on past bad situations. Her talk will be incredibly inspirational to all.

Question: Can you tell us about the Females of the Future panel?

Marina Passalaris: This year we really wanted to honour all the amazing young girls in our community that are doing incredible things! We have:

Amar Hadid - Professional Skateboarder
Holly Somerville-Knott - CEO & Founder of Tell Someone Who Cares & Stardust Foundation - Planet, People, Animals
Lilly Somerville-Knott - Author, motivational speaker and social justice advocate
Lara Dabbagh - Singer (Recently featured on Season 7 of The Voice) & Rapper
Izzy Dymalovski - Girl Boss of Luv Ur Skin. Izzy was on Shark Tank before launching her International range of skincare products.

All of these girls are under 16 years of age and are all contributing to their society in a really dynamic way. We want to share their stories and salute them!

Question: What are some of the tough issues teenager girls are experiencing, currently?

Marina Passalaris: Our current topic three concerns for girls are:

Anxiety and feeling overwhelmed with school and life in general

Friendship issues. Girls are struggling to find their place amongst their peers as bullying and a constant change in their friendship circles dominate their time together at school.

Body image and how they see themselves. With social media comes the constant comparisons to girls and who they follow and look up to. This is giving our girls an incredibly unrealistic view of reality and what 'normal' looks like. We have young girls and teens using an adult tool such a social media and they are not mentally equipped to handle it or to know how to use it without it affecting them.

Question: What do you hope to achieve from BU Day 2018?

Marina Passalaris: We hope to bring girls and women together for a day of inspiration, education and entertainment. We want them to laugh cry, hug, learn, reconnect and walk away knowing that they can achieve anything they set their minds to.

Question: What's next, for Beautiful Minds?

Marina Passalaris: Beautiful Minds is Australia's leading provider of self-esteem and confidence education for preteen girls aged 8 - 11 and teens aged 12 - 17. We have a lot of exciting things launching soon!

We deliver sessions in 55 schools in Australia and our content is gifted to 800 schools, an online school diary for students (targeting 1.5 million teens and 3 .5 million parents).
We host just under 70 one day workshops for preteens and teens Nationally and will be expanding into Perth and Canberra in 2019.
We have our own online program that is launching soon. It is a series of videos for teens and parents that will be available on our new website that goes live in September.
We run regular retreats for teen girls around the country and are hosting a glamping retreat in October in Melbourne.
We have an ongoing partnership with 20th Century Fox. We recently partnered with them to host the Sydney red carpet film premier for the movie Love Simon. On the 12th of August, we are launching The Darkest Minds movie premier with 20th Century Fox in Sydney.
We are launching in LA in November with our Global Summit happening in Austin Texas and LA. We have partnered with Rachele Brooke Smith a Hollywood Actress and Founder of the Disruptive Movement and Go Love Now, an organisation that goes into schools. Together we are launching a 2019 World Tour that we are really excited about.

Interview by Brooke Hunter


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