About Zoya Patel

Zoya Patel is the award-winning author of No Country Woman, a memoir of race, religion and feminism. She is also the founder of feminist literary organisation, Feminartsy. Zoya has won numerous awards for her writing and editing, and has been published widely, including in the Australian Financial Review, ABC, SBS, Junkee, Overland, Meanjin, Sydney Morning Herald and more. She is a 2019 judge for the Stella Prize, and is the inaugural ACT Stella Schools Ambassador.

All Articles

Is it time more federal electorates were given First Nations names?
While watching the recent election coverage, I was struck by how few federal electorates are named with reference to First Nations people, languages or culture. In fact, according to the AEC website, out of a total of 151 federal electorates, only 24 have a specific First Nations connection. That isn't even a quarter. Whenever symbolic changes like this are suggested,...
Do you judge someone if they wear their heart on their sleeve in a professional setting?
I was at dinner recently and a few younger people at the table were discussing tattoos and when/where they wanted to get their first one. A young man bemoaned that he didn't really know what he wanted to get and was worried he'd regret it. I leaned across to point out that once you have a few tattoos, you don't...
Is it time we stopped talking about dieting and weight loss in public?
At a recent dinner with a group of friends, one woman told the group as she perused the menu that she had lost weight recently and was trying to stick to a specific calorie limit each day. At the same table was someone who had suffered an eating disorder and who has been open about her experiences and the negative...
BEST OF 2021: Are private landowners destroying the courtesy of community access on the South Coast?
Year in Review: Region Media is revisiting some of the best Opinion articles of 2021. Here’s what got you talking, got you angry and got you thinking in 2021. Today, Zoya Patel puts her argument for 'right to roam' laws to ensure access to public places like beaches. Like most Canberrans, I spend a fair bit of time down at the...
Should your workplace have any say in what you wear?
As the days get cooler and shorter, some might be welcoming the return to winter fashions - the chance to bundle up in coats and jumpers, warm boots and scarves to protect you against the Canberra chill. Indeed, it's probably good timing for the HR team at the Department of Home Affairs, who were in the news last week after...
Self-improvement is a myth we should all bust for good
There are two ways one can choose to view the new year: as an opportunity for change and growth, resetting the sins and failures of the prior year with optimism for the future; or as another depressing reminder of the endless march of time, which does nothing but reinforce our human inability to better ourselves. Just as a puppy is...
Are Millennial ‘snowflakes’ so aggravating because they’re pretentious, or because they’re right?
It'll come as no surprise to my regular readers here that I'm often called a 'snowflake'. In fact, some of you have probably called me a whiny millennial snowflake who's too sensitive and pretentious on this very site. But lately I've been contemplating why it is that the character traits that typify being a 'snowflake' are considered so aggravating when...