Poet Purnima Ghogar Ruanglertbutr delivers her #EmbraceEquity message

 March 08, 2023

"When performing, I breathe the power of words, which affirms its ability to empower, change and provoke. I’m always in my element when on stage - performing is both an individual and communal experience that’s transformative, inspiring and pure magic," says Purnima Ghogar Ruanglertbutr, an award-winning Australian-Thai poet.

For International Women's Day (IWD), Purnima delivered a powerful spoken-word poem entitled Embrace Equity in honor of the 2023 campaign theme.

Through her words, Purnima inspires collective activism to drive change - from grassroots action to wide-scale momentum, she reinforces that need to call out discrimination, draw attention to bias, challenge gender stereotypes, and embrace true inclusion and belonging.

The aim of the IWD campaign is to get the world talking about why equal opportunities aren’t enough and the importance of understanding the difference between equality and equity; this poem ignites the conversation.

Watch Purnima perform her spoken word poem, Embrace Equity, written in honor of IWD.

Poetry exploring themes of women's empowerment

IWD poetry

Writing to empower, uplift, and inspire, Purnima's poetry explores themes of women’s empowerment, activism, the diaspora, creativity, identity, belonging, mental health, love, and healing. Purnima creates and weaves words inspired by the universe, creativity, hybridity, diaspora, nature, feelings, the light and dark.

With personal and professional routes in Melbourne, Sydney, London and Bangkok, Purnima's poetry and art depicts an aesthetic fusion from the wealth of her Indian and Thai heritages, as well as her interest in the special relationship between the visual and written modes of expression. This aesthetic fusion is something that is uniquely Purnima because of her affinity with so many places. 

"Art is a way for me, as a Thai-Australian of Indian ethnicity, to reconcile the question of where I’m from," says Purnima.

A passionate poet, Purnima is garnering attention for her spoken word poetry performances and is currently writing her debut poetry book. Purnima also performs her poetry to audiences in live settings, inspiring people from diverse backgrounds to embrace their authentic selves.

Purnima's talent has earned her awards and publication in magazines and newspapers in South East Asia and Australia. 

An accomplished multi-disciplinary artist

Poetry isn't Purnima's only skill. In fact, this accomplished woman wears many creative and entrepreneurial hats as a visual artist, curatorresearcher, and educator of literature and creative writing. 

"I view art as an expressive medium that enables one to both explore and reaffirm their own cultural identity. I consider myself an interdisciplinary artist that works across multiple mediums, so what that means is that often my art will inspire my writing and vice versa," explains Purnima.

Instilling a love for art in others through teaching

International Women's Day poetry

Born and raised in Thailand, Purnima attended Bangkok Patana School, the school where she currently teaches English Language and Literature. After graduating, she went to the University of Melbourne, Australia, to do a Bachelor of Creative Arts (Honours).

“The degree appealed to me so much that I didn’t apply to anywhere else. I knew I wanted to major in creative writing, literature, and visual media, so that was the degree that allowed me to do everything that I love," says Purnima.

Purnima then received a scholarship to pursue a Masters of Teaching specializing in English and Art. “I didn’t stop there. I was driven to learn more about managing the arts, so I took the opportunity to undertake a Master’s of Art Administration at the University of New South Wales in Sydney," explains Purnima.

"In school, English and Art were my favorite subjects because I was taught by teachers who were so passionate about their craft. I had the thought now and then that I wanted to be like them and instill a love for the subjects in others. This largely came to fruition upon being rewarded the New Generation International Postgraduate Award from the University of Melbourne, which is given in recognition of being in the top one percent of the cohort within your undergraduate course - it is essentially a scholarship to pursue a full-time Masters in a degree considered a highly-skilled profession. That placed me into the education sphere in the broadest sense," adds Purnima.

Igniting interdisciplinary creativity through her work

Purnima is certainly a role model for creative women everywhere. Through her global work, Purnima is igniting interdisciplinary creativity, and demonstrating the huge reach and impact one woman can have on the art world. 

And what can others learn from this talented woman? 

"Be persistent in the pursuit of your dreams," advises Purnima.



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