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International women's day 2019

08 March 2019, Action for Change

The women who help drive our movement

In recognition of International Women’s Day, we take a couple of minutes to acknowledge the diversity and passion of some of the women who help shape who we are, how we work and where we’re going as Australia’s leading child’s rights organisation.

These are their answers:

Karen Flanagan - Principal Advisor - Child Protection

My job at Save the Children is… 

Principal Advisor - Child Protection

Which means I get to design, implement and monitor programs which aim to stop all forms of violence against children. We do this by working closely with Governments in countries mainly in the South East Asia/Pacific Region to help them prioritise children’s protection. 

The best part of my job is…

Meeting many amazing and dedicated staff in countries where we work who deliver these programs. I am privileged to work closely with staff by providing mentoring, support and training as part of their ongoing professional development. I also get to meet families and children we work with very regularly to learn about their needs and this inspires me to advocate even more strongly. 

I chose to do this job because…

I was raised to be an advocate - marching for civil rights since I was a child growing up in the late 60’s/70’s in Northern Ireland and realized that social work was a logical career choice.  I thought child protection would be the most challenging so of course I was drawn to it and also seemed there could be no higher priority – which I still believe 35 years later! 

International Women’s Day is important to me because…

It is an opportunity to pay tribute to women in general and remind ourselves that whilst there has been some progress, gender equality has a long way to go, even in a developed nation such as Australia.

The one issue facing children that I’m most concerned about right now is…

The lack of attention to the horrifying statistics and reality of violence against children globally and why governments and people are not demanding action.

Anni Hughes - Reception and Office Coordinator

Anni Hughes - Reception and Office Coordinator

From my first week here, back in December. An elderly gentleman came to the front counter to hand deliver his donation. He said he does this whenever he can as he is living on a pension and finds it difficult to put a lot of money aside for regular donations, but will save up what he can spare over time and bring this in to us. His kindness and generosity warmed my heart and is one of the many reasons I love my role.
Laurette Hargreaves - Corporate Partnerships Manager for Victoria

Laurette Hargreaves - Corporate Partnerships Manager for Victoria

Where you are born and what gender you are should not dictate the life you get. It’s important to me that every woman should have the same rights I do – the same as any other human being on this earth.
Helen Matovu-Reed - HR Advisor and Services Lead

Helen Matovu-Reed - HR Advisor and Services Lead

One story from my time at Save the Children is witnessing a young boy who visited our Head Office one afternoon with his father, carrying a jar filled with all the pocket money he'd saved from his birthday to donate to Save the Children. He couldn’t have been older than 10. It was incredibly moving. That has been one of the many inspiring experiences I've had in the short eight months that I've been here.

Heather Currie - Digital Operations Manager

My job at Save the Children is… 

Digital Operations Manager

Which means I work with our Save the Children staff around Australia, to create powerful digital marketing campaigns and projects. This activity all helps to raise money and awareness to support children in Australia and around the world. 

International Women’s Day is important to me because…

International Women’s Day is really important to me because, as a feminist, I believe that achieving equality for women will help all people – not just women. When we empower women and girls, the impact is felt by everyone in our communities. There are so many incredibly inspiring female leaders and it’s important to redress the gender balance by focusing on women’s issues through a diverse lens. This is the IWD theme for 2019 #BalanceforBetter which is important because we need to see and hear more from diverse women in our community to finally eliminate the pay gap and gender divide.

The one issue facing children that I’m most concerned about right now is…

Unfortunately, there are still far too many issues that I’m worried about. Personally, I’m passionate about child protection, particularly children seeking protection as asylum seekers and refugees. These are some of our most vulnerable children in the world right now, fleeing horrifying situations such as war, political unrest and crises that most of us here in Australia, just couldn’t imagine. All children deserve a safe, healthy and happy childhood and I think as humans, it is all our responsibility to take action to make this happen, in any way we can, such as advocating for change with the people who have the power to change it and making a donation.

Katharina Glynne - Project Coordinator in Strategy and Growth

Katharina Glynne - Project Coordinator in Strategy and Growth

The one issue facing children that I’m most concerned about right now is breaking the cycle of intergenerational trauma for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people.
Jess Brennan - Media Manager

Jess Brennan - Media Manager

International Women’s Day is important to me because although gender parity has accelerated over time, I find it totally unacceptable that women are still earning less money than men in comparable jobs, are unequally represented in executive positions, are overlooked and disregarded due to innate societal sexism and suffer from gender-based violence many, many more times over than men.
Meshel Laurie - Head of Community Building

Meshel Laurie - Head of Community Building

I chose to do this job because I want to be part of a strong global movement fighting for human rights. Save the Children has the experience and expertise to actually effect change at the micro and macro level. Being a tiny part of that is so much more empowering than tweeting my outrage into the abyss!


These are just a few of the amazing women that power our movement. There are so many more like Hawa in Western Australia, Aunty April in Doomadgee, Bec in Queensland all the way to Alice in Liberia. This International Women's Day, we wanted to say thank you to all the women who help to make sure every child has a bright future.

Images: Michael Chilton/Save the Children

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