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 Encouraging others – especially older women – to realise their potential as writers and researchers has been the most fulfilling aspect of my career.

 Professor Emerita Elizabeth Webby AM FAHA

Throughout her life, Elizabeth has helped give a voice to many women writers and researchers, encouraging their development and pursuit of their artistic or scholarly ambitions. She has mentored women for decades, influencing the ways they explore the human condition and opening their minds to new ways of thinking. Elizabeth taught at the University of Sydney for 32 years and from 1988 to 1999 was the editor of Southerly, Australian’s oldest literary quarterly. In 2004, she was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for her service to the study, teaching and promotion of Australian literature, for her support of Australian authors and for fostering links between academic and general reading communities. Many Australian students and authors have been helped by Elizabeth’s calm support and gentle guidance, as well as her passion for the written word.

http://www.poetrylibrary.edu.au/
http://www.womenwritersnsw.org/

Photographer: Diane Macdonald
Location: Sydney
 

Anastasia Park

26/08/2011

 
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 I remember the first second Jacinta was born. I was in the delivery room with our mother and then the doctor asked if I wanted to cut her umbilical cord and my first thought being a teenager was how disgusting! But then I took a deep breath and just did it. A similar thing went through my head when I was asked to take full time care of my sister. My philosophy throughout life is you just need to get on with it and move forward as there are so many people out there doing it much harder than you. The reason I took on this massive responsibility was to give my sister the childhood I never had, a stable home environment and unconditional love. I’m so proud of her accomplishments and how far she has come despite the circumstances. Would I do it again definitely - yes! Because no amount of words can describe the feeling of knowing you have made a difference in a child’s life.

Anastasia Park

When Anastasia was twenty, her mother was declared unfit to raise Anastasia’s five year old half-sister, Jacinta. Anastasia did what most twenty year olds would never even contemplate doing - she volunteered to raise Jacinta as her own, to give her the love and the security that she herself missed as a child. Taking on the responsibility of raising a child when she herself was little more than a teenager was a daunting task, and the road was rocky, but now Jacinta is taking her HSC exams and planning on entering university next year. She will be the first in her family to attend university. Anastasia’s hard work battling homework, the legal system and bureaucratic red tape has paid off - in the form of lovely, well-adjusted young woman, Jacinta.


Photographer: Diane Macdonald
Location: Sydney
 

Julie McCrossin

24/08/2011

 
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These days I feel like my vocation in life is to help people listen deeply to each other and then pause and think before making a judgment. My totems are the Yellow Tailed Black Cockatoo with its eerie, mournful wail and the Sulpher Crested Cockatoo with its raucous, anarchic screech that makes me laugh. My life and work are a mixture of both.

Julie McCrossin

Julie McCrossin gets people talking. After 20 years as a broadcaster with ABC Radio, ABC TV and Network 10, she is now a freelance journalist, facilitator, trainer and speaker. Julie is renowned across Australia for her warmth, humour, intelligence and commitment to social justice. Julie has qualifications in the arts, law and education. Yet her most valuable skills are her capacity for listening, empathy and playful fun. In her work, Julie asks questions and really listen to the answers. Her professional and voluntary work predominantly involves very sensitive and complex subjects, like suicide prevention, child protection, family law, palliative care and mental health. People initially think it must all be so grim, but Julie finds that gentle fun is as important as the serious reflection. Her background in comedy and children’s theatre helps her unleash the joy in others and encourage them to have a voice.  
http://www.frans.com.au/
http://www.napcan.org.au/
http://www.glhv.org.au/
http://www.hollows.org/

Photographer: Diane Macdonald
Location: Sydney
 

Caroline Kelly

24/08/2011

 
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Forty or fifty years ago, someone diagnosed with pancreatic cancer would most likely face death within months. Shockingly, in spite of all the advances by mankind, that is still the case in 2011. Too many lives have been lost to this disease and I want to do all that I can to help change that and give hope to those battling it.

Caroline Kelly

In the months after her husband’s diagnosis with pancreatic cancer, Caroline and Avner co-founded a fund to make a difference to those affected by one of the most lethal cancers. Sadly Avner, like 95% of patients diagnosed with this disease succumbed to it months later, a statistic that hasn’t really improved in the last 50 years. Caroline and her two co-directors, have continued to lead the foundation, passionately focused on improving the statistics and outcomes for patients. More than $1.7 million has been raised through charity walks and dinners, and through the support of companies such as Woolworths, Coca-Cola Amatil and Wellcom, as well as countless individuals and volunteers. This money has already funded a trial, is funding cutting edge research into sequencing the genes of pancreatic cancer and the next initiative is for a pilot into providing home nursing in the final nights of a patient’s life in their home. Caroline works full-time running the foundation in hope of improving the statistics for future generations.

http://www.avnersfund.org.au/

Photographer: Diane Macdonald
Location: Sydney
 

Zona Tripp OAM

16/08/2011

 
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After living through my husband's MS for 33 years, I have been determined in my small way to do all I can to raise funds for research into this terrible disease that effects so many young people in their prime. I do what I can, hoping that a cure will be found.


Zona Tripp OAM

Zona’s husband, Dr Jeffery Tripp, was diagnosed at the age of 35 with Mulitple Sclerosis, and was told that by the age of 50 he would be in a wheelchair. Sure enough, at age 50, he lost mobility and Zona helped him in and out of his wheelchair day in and day out for years. Wheelchairs were heavy and cumbersome things back then and used to weigh over 25 kilos. The combination of lifting Jeffery and the wheelchair took its toll on Zona, who needed hospitalisation. It was then she contacted MS Australia, and they sent over a woman to bathe, feed and drive her husband to work daily for three months, to help her recuperate so that she could look after her husband again. To repay MS Australia for their support, Zona and eight of her friends founded the Dr Jeffery Tripp Committee. This year the Committee is 35 years old and has raised over $1 million for MS Australia through dinner dances and luncheons.


http://www.msaustralia.org.au/


Photographer: Diane Macdonald
Location: Sydney
 
 
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 We need to treat waste with the respect it deserves.

Scientia Professor Veena Sahajwalla

Veena grew up in Mumbai where, for reasons of poverty and need, Indians have created an economy that finds ways to extract value from waste. Aided by her background, education and research, which ranged from witnessing the recycling of waste into everyday life in Mumbai to her PhD in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Michigan, Veena has won numerous awards for her invention which incorporates waste plastics as a carbon source for steelmaking. In 2005 she received Australian Museum Eureka Prizes for Scientific Research. In 2011 Veena won the prestigous Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award given by the President of India in acknowledgement of her outstanding achievement in the field of science and in recognition of her valuable contribution in promoting the honour and prestige of India and in fostering the interests of overseas Indians. Veena is the Director of the Centre for Sustainable Materials Research and Technology (SMaRT@UNSW) - a centre which works with industry in the development of innovative materials and processes and the reduction of energy consumption. Veena also presents on the TV show “New Inventors” - a show that celebrates the inventiveness and resourcefulness of the human mind, and she attempts to get the younger generation, especially girls, interested in Science as a vocation.

http://smart.unsw.edu.au/

Photographer: Diane Macdonald
Location: UNSW, Randwick, Sydney
 
 
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 I have been blessed with the resources to create a foundation through which people working in the fitness industry can reach out to Australians in need.  With age, my empathic muscles have grown far more greatly than my biceps (thankfully!), making me highly motivated to encourage enthusiastic and passionate fitness professionals to reach out so that people in need can benefit from the power of exercise. I feel inspired every day to champion the cause of Fit for Good – and am extremely proud of the way our industry is reaching out with kindness and generosity of spirit.

Lisa Champion

Walking early one morning with her husband, Lisa talked about wanting somehow to bring more compassion to the fitness industry, an industry they have been a part of for decades. After learning the ins and outs of non-profits, Lisa founded Fit for Good, the fitness industry’s charitable foundation, in 2011 with the goal of enhancing the lives of Australians in need through health and fitness opportunities.  Working with community service organisations, Fit for Good offers gym memberships, exercise footwear and clothing, personal training, group exercise, healthy lifestyle and motivational talks and scholarships to those who have been effected by homelessness, drug and alcohol addictions, mental health problems, long term unemployment or other hardship. Lisa and her team connect volunteer fitness professionals who give their time to inspire those less fortunate to take up exercise and adopt healthier lifestyles. Exercise can be a powerful tool in the fight against depression and anxiety, it can help people feel empowered, it raises energy levels and serves as a fantastic mood booster. Fit for Good is the first foundation of its kind in Australia.

http://www.fitforgood.org.au/

Photographer: Diane Macdonald
Location: Sydney