International Womens Day


This year, to celebrate IWD, we want to shine a light on four amazing women we admire: Kara Rosenlund, photographer and wildlife warrior, Sally Hines, Chief Operating Officer of The Big Issue and Homes for Homes, Lillian Banks, Bangarra Dancer and Jessica Macpherson, CEO of the incredible charity St Kilda Mums.

While each of these women has chosen a different path in life, what unites them is the positive contribution they are making to our community; they challenge us to think differently, to be more creative, generous and kind. They are, quite literally, saving and changing lives.

We are incredibly grateful to Kara, Sally, Lillian, and Jessica for taking the time out of their very busy schedules to talk to us. We hope you find these conversations as motivating and energising as we did.



Kara Rosenlund

Photographer & Wildlife Warrior

1. Happy international women’s day 2020! What do you hope will be different for women by international women’s day 2030?
 
I hope by 2030 we aren’t so gender specific and all people are celebrated equally. It's been such a long time coming.
 
 
2. We started the year with heavy hearts in the midst of the bushfires. It’s important at times like these to also find optimism. What has been a bright spot for you over this past year?
So true, even though we started the year with such heavy hearts I found it was a time filled with so much generosity and emotion. The worldwide community came together to help Australia when we needed it the most. It was a harrowing time, yet so many people opened their hearts to help our country. Plus, it put the Climate Emergency at the forefront of discussion and that is crucial.
 
 
3. What’s the greatest challenge or adversity you have faced in your life and how did you overcome it? Do you have any tools in your tool kit you reach for in these situations (mentor / mantra / other)?
I always look to and listen to my instincts when I’m in a challenging situation. I always trust my gut. By doing this I find the bigger challenges life throws at me are easier to overcome and manoeuvre.
 
 
4. What are you most proud of?
I am most proud of what I do, everyday. Being a female photographer and running my own business is something I always wanted. What makes it even better is sharing this time of my life with my wonderful small team of creative hardworking women. I love coming to the studio to work with them. They are my highlight.
 
 
5. Finish this sentence (because we’re all still growing!). "When I grow up I want to…"
 When I grow up I want to become a mother.

 

Jessica Macpherson

CEO St Kilda Mums


1. Happy international women’s day 2020! What do you hope will be different for women by international women’s day 2030? 
 
I hope that we will have stopped locking up Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women for minor crimes like unpaid parking fines. I hope that we will have stopped stealing their children.
 
 
2. We started the year with heavy hearts in the midst of the bushfires. It’s important at times like these to also find optimism. What has been a bright spot for you over this past year?
 
An important conversation has begun about how the way we produce and consume is linked to climate change. It's only once we acknowledge the problem that we can tackle the causes and act.
 
 
3. What’s the greatest challenge or adversity you have faced in your life and how did you overcome it? Do you have any tools in your tool kit you reach for in these situations (mentor / mantra / other)?
 
I have moved many times and lived in many different cities. It can be very lonely in the beginning and hard to make new friends. Each time I have found something new to do. Volunteering for a cause you love is probably the best way to meet like minded people.
 
 
4. What are you most proud of?
 
My kids!
 
 
5. Finish this sentence (because we’re all still growing!). "When I grow up I want to…"
 
Create a social enterprise that helps women (and men) get fantastic jobs in technology.
 

 

Jessica Macpherson

CEO St Kilda Mums



Lillian Banks

Bangarra Dancer


1. Happy international women’s day 2020! What do you hope will be different for women by international women’s day 2030?

I believe this is an important day for all woman to come together as one, to find the power to be confident, to have a voice, to be strong and to encourage each other. It’s a day to remind ourselves how strong and powerful we are as one unit. There’s incredible dominance and strength when woman all unite.

 

2. We started the year with heavy hearts in the midst of the bushfires. It’s important at times like these to also find optimism. What has been a bright spot for you over this past year?

A bright time for me over the past year has been celebrating Bangarra Dance Theatre’s 30th year anniversary. It’s given us the chance to travel all around Australia regionally, nationally, and internationally. We have the opportunity to go to different communities and learn so much from them. The best experience if when we can give back to the community by performing stories from a black perspective and a highlight is always teaching workshops to the next generation of storytellers.  

 

3. What’s the greatest challenge or adversity you have faced in your life and how did you overcome it? Do you have any tools in your tool kit you reach for in these situations (mentor / mantra / other)?

The greatest challenge for me in life so far would be having to move away from home in Broome and my family. I’ve had to sacrifice this to achieve my goals and dream of becoming a professional dancer. Not having family close to me was a struggle.

 

4. What are you most proud of?

One thing I’m most proud of is achieving everything I’ve done so far. I have done and achieved so much more than I could have ever imagined. I am still early into my career and I’m truly excited and ready to see what life throws at me and what more is out there for me to learn and see.

 

5. Finish this sentence (because we’re all still growing!). “When I grow up I want to…”

When I grow up I want to travel all around the regional communities in Australia to teach dance and to help and support the next generations to achieve their dreams. Whether that’s in dance or any other career choice they choose, it’s up to us as leaders to help pave the way for these kids to continue our culture and stories.




1. Happy international women’s day 2020! What do you hope will be different for women by international women’s day 2030?

There are shifts happening towards greater equality, and we are seeing increased representation of women in senior positions in the workplace with the introduction of quotas and targets. However, inequality of opportunities, such as unequal access to education, health services, and finance means that women are more likely than men to be living in poverty. The gender inequality is evident in women being paid lower wages, lacking access to decent work and unpaid care work.

Research shows by closing the gap in income levels, there is a reduction in poverty.

What I hope for by 2030, and even earlier (!) is that there are more significant moves towards closing this gap and improving women’s economic equality.

 

2. We started the year with heavy hearts in the midst of the bushfires. It’s important at times like these to also find optimism. What has been a bright spot for you over this past year?

I am lucky to work for two organisations, one of those being Homes for Homes. Homes for Homes is really interesting and exciting. We all know that homelessness is a big problem in Australia and the biggest barrier to housing people is money. Homes for Homes will increase the supply of social and affordable housing through the generation of a new income stream tied to the sale of individual homes.

It's a solution that involves the whole community – any homeowner can jump onto our website and register their properties with Homes for Homes and make a promise that, at the time they sell their home, they will donate 0.1% of the sale price to Homes for Homes who will then grant this funding to housing providers to create homes for people. If you are a property owner, I’d really encourage you to register and help to end homelessness

Last year, a real bright spot for me was being able to handover the keys for the first Homes for Homes funded project to Jemma, Romel and their two year old daughter. They’d previously been lived in housing that was unsafe – they were constantly exposed to drugs and other dangers. One of the real joys of my job is being able to clearly see the impact of the work my organisation does.

3. What’s the greatest challenge or adversity you have faced in your life and how did you overcome it? Do you have any tools in your tool kit you reach for in these situations (mentor / mantra / other)?

The quote that has always resonated for me is from Margaret Mead “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

I love this quote. For me it articulates the idea that from hard work and dedication, even something small can flow into something game changing.

When you are in the not-for-profit space it’s easy to feel disheartened or defeated when stakeholders don’t buy into the vision straight away. When this happens, I reflect and regroup. Say in the case of Homes for Homes, I remind myself that what we are doing has never been done before – we are literally changing the game and trying to solve homelessness in this country. It’s admirable and important. Remembering the end goal helps me to keep persevering.

It is a hard job, but if were was easy - everyone would be doing it, and I feel really fortunate to work with such a wonderfully engaged and energised team who just don’t take no for answer!

4. What are you most proud of?

I’m most proud to be raising my daughter Maggie. Every day I feel proud to be her Mum. She is an absolute fire cracker, can’t be stopped, powerhouse! I think we can all learn a bit from our children, for me her fearlessness when presenting her opinion and confidence to speak to anyone she likes is really admirable. As a parent, it’s easy to put those qualities down to being bossy or stubborn, but as a leader, I think these qualities are really impressive.

So watch out world - because she is coming with her very proud mum supporting her from the sidelines.

5.Finish this sentence (because we’re all still growing!). "When I grow up I want to…”

Change the world!!!


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