How teenage triplets launched a magazine while in high school

·Content Producer
·4-min read

At sixteen years old, triplets Luiza, Marina, and Juliana Knijnik started a youth magazine online called WOKE, giving young people a platform to write about issues that matter to them.

For over two years, the trio have been WOKE Magazine's editors who built the platform from the ground up since winning $2,000 at the Dragon's Den competition in 2019 to get the WOKE Magazine started when they were in Year 10. Luiza says that she and her sisters have been passionate about helping others since they were kids.

Marina, Juliana & Luiza, otherwise known as the 'Knijnik triplets,
Marina, Juliana & Luiza, otherwise known as the 'Knijnik triplets,' started WOKE, an online youth magazine at just sixteen years old. Photo: Supplied.

"We had always had in the back of our minds, creating a platform [but] we really didn't know how to have other young people have their voices heard," she told Yahoo Lifestyle Australia.

"I guess a website was the best way to do that."

"The opportunity kind of presented itself and we just went for it."

The sisters are now in year twelve, studying to complete their Higher School Certificate while managing WOKE Magazine. Juliana adds that she and her sisters were inspired after the global school strike for climate change that took place worldwide, including Australia.

"You know how the whole school strike was happening at the time and there were some people who thought kids shouldn't be doing that?" she said.

"I guess we wanted to prove that we could."

Georges River Council Mayor Kevin Greene with the Knijnik triplets, Luiza, Juliana and Marina at the launch of WOKE Magazine.
Georges River Council Mayor Kevin Greene with the Knijnik triplets, Luiza, Juliana and Marina at the launch of WOKE Magazine. Photo: Supplied.

Born in Brazil the triplets and their family migrated to Australia when they were five years old. Marina says that their parents and the 'prevalence of social injustice' back in Brazil are part of the reason why she and her sisters are proactive in the community.

"Our parents have had a very big influence on us," she said.

"They've always spoken about injustices and what's been happening in the world.

"It's always been such a big part of our lives because they've always been passionate about it."

Juliana, Luiza, and Marina Knijnik with their parents back in Brazil.
Juliana, Luiza, and Marina Knijnik with their parents back in Brazil. Photo: Supplied.

With the HSC exams only a few months away, managing and editing a magazine is no easy feat - teamwork has been the key to keeping everything in check. Living at home has proved to be helpful because it makes bouncing ideas off one another a breeze.

"We each have our own strengths that compliment each other," Marina said.

"We just try and get through it together," Luiza added.

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WOKE Magazine features six sections that include News and Politics, Human Rights, The Planet, Identity, and Young People Making a Difference. 

WOKE Magazine home page.
WOKE Magazine home page. Photo: WOKE.

"For the first edition, we invited young people from our school to write and that got a lot of engagement," Luiza said.

"It just kind of took off from there, young people from other schools started writing."

Since then, the dynamic trio have been been in touch with teens making a difference in their home countries from all across the globe, to tell their inspirational stories on WOKE Magazine.

"We didn't expect it to grow so fast, pretty quickly."

"We've interviewed Amika George, for example, in England, she changed the Period Poverty laws," Luiza said.

"We've been really lucky to interview young people from all across the world that have been making a difference."

The Knijnik family at the WOKE Magazine launch
The Knijnik family at the WOKE Magazine launch in 2019. Photo: Supplied.

Since WOKE Magazine launched in 2019, Luiza, Marina, and Juliana Knijnik have grown the youth platform by securing a number of grants including one from Multicultural NSW. 

"All of our friends would read all the articles and give us feedback," Marina said.

Some people decided to publish articles anonymously, just because if it was sensitive content, or they didn't want their name out but everyone at school was really supportive," Luiza added.

The triplets are on track to go to university after graduating high school at the end of this year to pursue studies in the areas of law, social justice, and the arts. 

The Knijnik triplets in school
The Knijnik triplets. Photo: Supplied.

They will continue developing WOKE Magazine in the hope that their youth platform will grow to keep motivating, inspiring, and empowering young people to make a positive change in their communities.

"When we get to uni, we hope there are even more people that are keen to write, hopefully, the magazine will expand in that sense."

"It would also be very cool to make it more international," the young Knijnik women said."

"To have writers across the world [for WOKE Magazine] would be very cool."

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