Wendy McCarthy AO

26/10/2011

 
I  encourage young women to say yes to opportunity and worry about the risk later.

Wendy McCarthy AO

Wendy began her career as a secondary school teacher and remains passionate about the power of education and its ability to transform lives. For decades she has been a teacher, educator and change agent in Australian public life. Wendy has worked with government, corporations and community based organisations in education, women’s issues, public health, heritage, and media and she has held national leadership roles in all of these areas. She has represented Australia at conferences on women’s health and leadership, education, broadcasting, conservation and heritage and for four years was Chair of the Advisory Committee of WHO Kobe Centre, Japan. Currently she is the Chair of Circus Oz; McGrath Estate Agents; headspace Youth Mental Health Foundation and the Pacific Friends of the Global Fund. She is a Non-Executive Director to GoodStart Childcare Limited.  In November 2009, after 13 years of service, Wendy retired as the Vice-Chair of Plan International and as the Director of Plan Hong Kong and Plan Australia. In 2005, she completed a decade as Chancellor of the University of Canberra and she was a founding member of the Australian Chancellors’ Conference. As well as being a published author, Wendy has held executive and non-executive director roles in many of Australia’s leading private and public institutions. Her advocacy for the rights of women and children and leadership have been recognised nationally and in 1989 she was appointed an officer of the Order of Australia for outstanding contributions to community affairs, women’s affairs and the Bicentennial celebrations. In 1996 she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the University of South Australia and in 2003 she was awarded a Centenary of Federation medal for business leadership. Wendy thinks of herself as a tribal elder.

http://www.wendymccarthy.com.au/
http://www.plan.org.au/
http://www.headspace.org.au/


Photographer: Diane Macdonald
Location: Sydney
 
 
I am motivated by the challenge of improving the lives of Australian children – the most vulnerable members of our society and our greatest future asset. My current work with Indigenous children highlights the fact that health, education and compassion are the greatest gifts we can provide to address disadvantage.

Professor Elizabeth Elliott AM

Elizabeth is a paediatrician at the Children’s Hospital at Westmead, dedicated to enhancing child health and wellbeing through clinical care, research, education and advocacy. She is Professor of Paediatrics at the University of Sydney and Founder/Director of the Australian Paediatric Surveillance Unit, which facilitates research on rare, debilitating childhood diseases, and instigated development of a national plan for rare diseases. She is Chief Investigator for the Lililwan Project –to address fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) in the remote Fitzroy Valley in the Kimberley, WA. She holds a prestigious Practitioner Fellowship from the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia. Since 2005 Elizabeth has run education workshops for clinicians in remote Dien Bien Province in Vietnam to address high maternal and child mortality. She attended the Prime Ministers 2020 summit, was twice a NSW finalist in the Telstra Business Woman of the Year awards and in 2008 received an AM for service to paediatrics and child health. Community contributions include to the SMILE Foundation, Cure Kids Australia, Steve Waugh Foundation, Women’s College (University of Sydney), SCEGGS Darlinghurst, NSW Guides and the Hoc Mai Australia Vietnam Medical Foundation. 

www.apsu.org.au
www.thewomenscollege.com.au
www.girlguides-nswact.org.au
www.smilefoundation.com.au
www.sceggs.nsw.edu.au
www.georgeinstitute.org.au/marulu
www.nhmrc.gov.au
www.chw.edu.au
http://sydney.edu.au/medicine/hocmai/

Photographer: Diane Macdonald
Location: The University of Sydney
 

Fay Nelson AM

12/10/2011

 
I was determined not to be a person who could be trampled on and ground into dust, which is what happened to many Aboriginal people in my youth. Being part of the Aboriginal Struggle for freedom and equality brings enormous pleasure to me, knowing leaders like Mum Shirl (Shirley Smith), Charles Perkins, Chicka Dixon and many others, following their lead to help people less fortunate. Who knows - without their leadership I may be still living in a dirt floor humpy on a riverbank. There is much work to be done still, including establishing an Aboriginal History Museum to honour the heroes who fought against oppression, acknowledging those who helped give me the freedom I have today.

Fay Nelson AM

Fay, an elder of the Banjin people, has always been passionate about bringing dignity and respect to the Aboriginal people, to their traditions and way of life. Armed with only a 6th grade education, Fay withstood the jokes and jeers as she pioneered her way into the art world, ultimately bringing Aboriginal Art to its now recognised place in Western society. Marketing Aboriginal Art to Westerners was a challenge as their traditional descriptions of art did not apply to Aboriginal Art – which is based on ancestry, ceremonies, songs, dance and land. Fay has lectured on art here and abroad, and managed exhibitions in America, the South Pacific and in Australia. She is a founding member of the National Aboriginal and Islander Skills Development Association (NAISDA) and chaired this organisation for the first thirteen years of its life. It is from NAISDA that the internationally renowned Bangarra Dance Theatre was created – as Aboriginal dancers were not accepted into mainstream Australian dance companies at that time. Fay was also the Director of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts Board, headed the Aboriginal Women’s Unit in the NSW Department for Women, and currently is the Business Development Manager and Community Relations Manager in her daughter’s company, Yarn’n Aboriginal Employment Services, which helps find jobs for Aboriginal people and advises companies and governmental agencies on best practices for Aboriginal employees. Fay is also in the process of developing a children’s picture book based on spiritual links to this land.

http://www.yarnn.com.au/
http://www.naisda.com.au/

Photographer: Diane Macddonald
Location: Redfern, Sydney
 

Rosa Alpert

12/10/2011

 
I chose this charitable activity because deafness is the easiest disability to fix. Call me an opportunist, I found the easier cause to help.

Rosa Alpert

Rosa founded the charity organisation, The Sound World, to raise money to provide Cochlear implants for deaf children in the developing countries where this help is not provided by the government. Her organisation also puts pressure on governments and educational authorities to provide a proper framework for much needed cochlear implants, post-operative care, rehabilitation and educational development. It started in 2007, with two children in Russia and now continues to Armenia with future plans of Afganistan and Palestinian Authority. The Sound World is the Australian charity with unique activities of providing ongoing post surgery rehabilitation to help children with hearing disabilities to integrate into their new sound world.

http://www.thesoundworld.org/

Photographer: Diane Macdonald
Location: Sydney
 

Naomi Steer

15/09/2011

 
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Humanitarian challenges facing refugees who have lost everything can appear overwhelming but sometimes simple solutions can mean the difference between life and death. A mosquito net to prevent malaria, a plastic sheet to keep out the rain, a cooking pot to make a hot meal, and clean drinking water to prevent disease. 80% of all refugees are women and children and providing support to them is top priority for me and the team at A4UNHCR.

Naomi Steer

Naomi was one of the main founders of Australia for UNHCR (A4UNHCR). Since setting up UNHCR’s Australian fundraising operations in 2000, she has travelled to many refugee situations including Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, East Timor, Chad and Uganda to speak with and record the stories of refugees. Close to Naomi’s heart is the Safe Mother and Baby program funded by Australian donors. Now running in Somalia - which has  one of the highest rates of maternal and neonatal mortality rates - the program focuses on reproductive health and education. At the centre of the program is a simple kit made up of a plastic sheet, clean blade, soap, string, swaddling and resuscitation instructions all of which enables mothers to give birth in a clean environment, reducing the risk of haemorrhage and post-natal infection. This simple, low cost kit of basic materials has saved thousands of lives.

http://www.unrefugees.org.au/

Photographer: Diane Macdonald
Location: Sydney
 

Sarah Garnett

15/09/2011

 
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Books are powerful - they have the ability to change someone’s life. They
offer choices, whether it be to reconnect with a past interest, to learn or
to just escape from an often miserable day to day existence.

Sarah Garnett

In 2003 after the death of a young friend, Benjamin Andrew, Sarah decided to make herself useful by working as a volunteer.  She started helping serve meals to the homeless and disadvantaged in Sydney’s CBD. One evening Sarah noticed a man sitting under a streetlight reading a novel while waiting for the food van.  She started bringing him a few books and it was here The Benjamin Andrew Footpath Library began. The Footpath Library exists solely on donations of money and services. Currently it gives away 2500 new and secondhand books a month in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane to homeless hostels and community organisations. The books are a gift, they are not returned.  For Sarah, the aim of The Footpath Library is to promote literacy, make books more accessible to homeless and disadvantaged people and change society’s attitudes to these members of our community.

http://www.footpathlibrary.org/


Photographer: Diane Macdonald
Location: Sydney
 

Tara Winkler

06/09/2011

 
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To be able to make a difference in the lives of such vulnerable, innocent children, to make the world a safer place for them to grow up in - has made my life richer and deeper in so many ways. It makes me strive to be the best person I can be.

Tara Winkler

Tara was in her early twenties and working as a volunteer in Cambodia when she heard about a corrupt orphanage where children were suffering from severe neglect and shocking abuse. Tara assembled a team and took action - rescuing 14 children from the orphanage and creating the Cambodian Children’s Trust (CCT). CCT is now home to 50 children, helping them overcome their backgrounds of abuse and nelgect, breaking the cycle of poverty through care and education. Tara resides in Cambodia and speaks fluent Khmer, and the Trust she founded also supports families in the Battambang region, street children, people with HIV/AIDS, sex workers, victims of landmines, the physically and mentally disabled, and others who are in need. Tara plans to purchase land to build on, so that CCT has a permanent base to provide children with the security they need. Rather than one large institution, the preferred model is one in which small groups (from eight-ten children) are cared for in individual homes by a house mother and father, creating an atmosphere of a typical Cambodian family. CCT has also opened a shop in Battambang to help support its activities and ABC’s Australian Story has produced a story on Tara and CCT. In 2011, Tara was named NSW Young Australian of the Year.


http://www.cambodianchildrenstrust.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
 

Deborah Nicholas

25/07/2011

 
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Working with Aboriginal mothers and babies makes me feel proud to be part of an important journey of righting some wrongs and closing the gap of disparity between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians. The rewards of watching children grow up happy and healthy are worth all the hard work 10 times over.


Deborah Nicholas

Awarded NSW Midwife of the Year, Deborah works within the Aborignal community, caring for babies from pregnancy through their first eight years of life. Because of the complex social and economic disadvantages effecting Aboriginal families, Deborah finds it essential to work in a holistic manner - often going beyond the usual scope of midwifery practice. She supports women through motivational counselling, advocates for and provides referral for community assistance with housing, domestic violence, drug and alcohol counseling, and community support services. She believes a loving relationship between a mother and her child has beneficial impacts on the family and community for generations, and a positive and loving infancy establishes an individual’s resilience and general wellbeing from infancy to adulthood.



Photographer: Diane Macdonald
Location: Forster, NSW
 

Tracy Everingham

22/07/2011

 
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To me the beauty of Sydney Homeless Connect  is seeing the joy in people’s faces as they have these lovely experiences on the day. It’s achieving these tangible outcomes that help people get onto the path out of homelessness that makes all the work worthwhile.

Tracy Everingham

Tracy is one of the founding members of Sydney Homeless Connect - a program designed to bring together people who are homeless and at risk of homelessness in Sydney with the services and support that they need whilst providing them with a positive day they will remember. This annual event brings together professionals that can help the homeless, like legal aid, housing commissions, employment bureaus, and countless other organisations that want to help those in need. The day also includes a healthy lunch, haircutting, portraits, animal care, free clothing, and even therapeutic massages. As the Head of Operations for the charity, Tracy is responsible for ensuring the smooth running of the logistics of the annual event and also coordinates much of the day-to-day business of the charity. Tracy’s exceptional organisational skills and attention to detail help her to keep Sydney Homeless Connect delivering the work that she is so passionate about. This vital link in the community has been operating for two years.

http://www.sydneyhomelessconnect.com/

Photographer: Diane Macdonald
Location: Sydney