Advocacy

Because I believe words can change the world

I write to make a difference in the world

So naturally, advocacy is a key part of everything I do.

It might be by helping an organisation or business that’s making a positive impact on the world to find their perfect words.

It might be through my journalism, where I share stories that matter, often raising awareness for important causes and perspectives.

Or it might be through sharing my own experiences.

Either way—I know words have power. And I’m committed to using that power to change the world.

 

CAUSES I CARE ABOUT

There are a lot of different causes I care about and advocate for, like:

  • Disability
  • Chronic pain and fatigue
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Adenomyosis and endometriosis
  • Bushfire recovery
  • Mental health
  • Bipolar
  • Anxiety
  • Gender equality
  • Animal rights
  • Cancer

I have a personal connection to these causes, which makes me even more passionate about wanting to make a difference.

 

 

CHRONIC PAIN AND DISABILITY ADVOCATE

I’ve always had painful periods. But I didn’t realise just how painful until I was 23, when I broke my wrist and realised my period pain was more painful than a broken bone.

Before long, my pain worsened. It wasn’t just during my periods any more, and a whole host of other symptoms popped up, including fatigue, brain fog, nausea, numbness and tingling in my hands and feet, and difficulty with mobility.

I searched for years for answers to my pain. I had three surgeries, and countless tests and scans. I saw dozens of doctors and specialists, begging to be heard.

Now, I have a diagnosis for fibromyalgia, and am being investigated for a number of other conditions. And it’s because of this lived experience that I’m so passionate about chronic pain and disability advocacy: because it opened up my eyes to many of the challenges and barriers disabled people face.

I try to help where I can by sharing my own experiences, as well as the experiences of others, to raise awareness and hopefully create societal change. I also hope my work helps others who are going through the same thing to know they aren’t alone.

MENTAL HEALTH ADVOCATE

I’ve lived with mental illness for as long as I can remember. I have bipolar and anxiety, and also experience PTSD symptoms as a result of surviving the 2019/2020 Black Summer Bushfires, so I’m pretty passionate about mental health advocacy and championing lived experience as much as I can.

I know very well what it’s like to struggle with your mind. I’ve been to some very dark places, where I wished with all my heart that I could cease to exist, just to ease the pain.  But with therapy and a lot of hard work, I’m in a much better place.

I still have my down days; and that’s okay. I am so open about my own journey, because I reject the idea that mental illness is shameful. And I think talking about what we experience is the first step to combatting the stigma that surrounds mental health.

BUSHFIRE RECOVERY ADVOCATE

In 2019, I returned to my beloved hometown of Batemans Bay on the NSW coast, only to be trapped by fire. And on New Year’s Eve, I watched my town burn.

The Black Summer Bushfires were terrifying. I felt so helpless, and so afraid. I didn’t know if the people I loved were alive.

With no power and limited reception, information was a premium, and even the Fires Near Me app was dangerously outdated. So, I decided to use my journalism skills to provide information. I shared what I saw on social media, including photos and images that went viral. I even wrote one story by hand, before driving to a place with reception, using my laptop’s last 20 minutes of charge, speedily typing it up, hot-spotting my phone and sending it to my editor. And after the bushfires, I continued to share the stories of my community through articles. By doing this, I was able to raise $20k+ for my local community.

But I realised articles just weren’t enough. So, I decided to start writing a book. It’s a narrative non-fiction collection of our stories of survival: the good, the bad, the brave and the terrifying.

I’m currently seeking representation from literary agents before I apply to some more publishers. I know there are other bushfire stories out there, but I am adamant all our stories matter. 

They’re our voices. Our history.

And I won’t let the world forget what we’ve been through.

 

Words of love from people i’ve worked with

I’m the commissioning editor for News Corp’s women’s network and I have commissioned a number of stories through Zoe over the past few years. Not only is Zoe an incredibly skilled writer, she is also sensitive, compassionate and creative, and always files before deadline. She’s open to feedback and a true joy to work with. Some of my most memorable commissions have been through Zoe and I always know that a story is in good hands when Zoe is at the helm. I would unreservedly recommend her for all your writing/copywriting needs.
Bek Day

Commissioning editor, Kidspot and Whimn

Zoe is not only a brilliant writer and researcher, she is a pure pleasure to collaborate with. I regard Zoe as the future of journalism for her high ethical standards, commitment to publishing the truth and her genuine caring for those she interviews and works with. I’m honoured to feature Zoe’s work in my upcoming book and next magazine issue because she is a top notch professional who truly cares about the work she produces. Zoe is destined to make a positive and powerful impact in the journalism world and I feel so lucky to be working with her, as she continues on her writing, editing and publishing journey.
Kathy Divine

Owner, Australian Vegans Journal

Zoe is a professional and capable freelance writer who can produce clean, engaging copy on anything from a department store complaint that’s trending on social media to an investigation of the aged care system. Her copy is clean, she files on time and is very pleasant to deal with. She has good ideas, handles feedback well and always has a sense of humour.
Kerry Warren

Former commissioning editor, News.com.au

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About

Zoe Simmons is an award-winning journalist, copywriter, editor and SEO specialist who helps small businesses write powerful, impactful copy. The kind of copy that touches your heart, tingles your toes and makes your soul sing.

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