‘Uplifting women is the answer’: Australians called on by iconic ambassadors to join fight against poverty and gender inequality
Hayley Conway is the Head of Public Affairs and Engagement at CARE Australia. Her team combines public education, stakeholder engagement, government relations and media in pursuit of CARE Australia’s mission of supporting women and defeating poverty. Over the last 15 years, Hayley has worked across not-for-profit and for-profit sectors to lead evidence-based advocacy and campaigns in areas as diverse as technology regulation, mental health, state and federal elections, LGBTIQ+ rights and renewable energy. In addition to her role at CARE, Hayley is a Director of Equality Australia and the Green Institute and is a Williamson Fellow. She holds a Master of Communication and is my special guest.
Widely respected media figures and activists, Nyadol Nyuon, Ashleigh Streeter-Jones and Allira Potter are joining forces with humanitarian aid not-for-profit CARE Australia this International Women’s Day 2022 to celebrate the incredible domino effect women can have as changemakers. The new ambassadors are calling on all Australians to bring together friends, teams and networks to shine a spotlight on women – and how when ‘she’ leads, everyone benefits.
From diverse professional backgrounds and each with their own area of expertise and passion when it comes to advocacy work, the three activists have formed a ‘circle’ in support of CARE Australia’s new Her Circle initiative.
CARE Australia and its circle of ambassadors will work together to grow awareness of the fact that, in her home, workplace or community, a woman is the change-maker, connector, and mentor that drives change for herself and for those around her.
“When one woman escapes poverty, she brings four others with her – that's a powerful multiplier,” said CARE Australia Head of Engagement, Hayley Conway. “We are thrilled to be sharing the incredible stories of women changemakers through CARE Australia’s Her Circle campaign, with the help of our ambassadors.”
“Around the world, the evidence shows that when women earn an income, they invest it into the health and education of their families . When a woman is empowered with the tools and opportunities to lift herself out of poverty, she uplifts her family and her community, too,” added Conway.
“When a woman’s voice is listened to, she speaks not just for herself, but for those around her. Our passionate and experienced ambassadors will help spread these important messages to Australians so we can work together to tackle global poverty.”
Nyadol Nyuon, Australian lawyer, human rights advocate and media commentator for outlets including ABC and Sydney Morning Herald, said: “I am proud to join CARE Australia as an ambassador for Her Circle and to be part of this important mission.”
Born and raised in Ethiopian and Kenyan refugee camps before moving to Australia at age eighteen, Ms Nyuon said: “Even in a privileged country like Australia, women continue to experience poverty, in part because their work is not valued. Whether it’s professional work, caregiving or motherhood, women are consistently undervalued and even devalued – particularly those that may face other intersecting forms of discrimination.”
“There are many ways in which this can be improved. Firstly, there is the important role the government must play, and the role each of us women can play, as our sisters' keepers. I have made it to where I am today because other people lifted my expectations and ambitions beyond what I thought I was capable of, or what I thought I deserved. As women, we can be the uplifters of others.”
Writer and activist Ashleigh Streeter-Jones was described by Forbes Magazine as a “youthful visionary” when included in the ‘Forbes 30 under 30’ list and has advocated on an international level, including at the Commission on the Status of Women at the United Nations. She was also recognised as one of Australian Financial Review’s 100 Women of Influence in 2019.
“Creating a better future isn’t only about smashing the figurative glass ceiling; we need to lift the floor for girls and women globally. As an advocate and activist for young female and non-binary voices in politics and public decision making, I have been working toward achieving this for nearly ten years.
“I am extremely proud to be involved with CARE Australia’s Her Circle initiative as I believe empowering women is key to solving inequality. My overarching goal is to give a voice to those who may have been silenced more than others by society, to create a more inclusive and equitable world. I’m honoured to work with the other ambassadors in my circle, and with CARE Australia, this International Women’s Day to amplify these efforts,” said Ms Streeter-Jones.
Allira Potter, advocate for Indigenous and women’s rights, added: “As someone who is constantly striving for more cultural diversity, gender equality and equal opportunities, I am thrilled to be working alongside CARE Australia as part of Her Circle. “As an empowerment and spiritual coach and trained Reiki practitioner, my practice is fully immersed around cultural awareness and education. I place a huge emphasis on debunking the traditional wellness narrative to ensure diverse representation and decolonisation takes place across these practices. It’s all about opening doors and creating opportunities for everyone, regardless of their gender, culture or skin colour. That’s why, when I heard about Her Circle, I jumped at the opportunity to be on board. “Empowering myself, and working towards breaking down cultural and racial barriers, was my first step towards empowering others. In the same vein, if we lift one woman out of poverty, she uplifts her communities and her circlewith her. Given the support they so rightly deserve, women all over the world have the power within themselves to make real, lasting change.”
Hayley Conway of CARE Australia concluded: “We can’t wait to further CARE Australia’s efforts through our Her Circle campaign this International Women’s Day. We’re calling on all people in Australia, not just women, to recognise the value of women’s contributions so we can continue to tackle the disadvantage and poverty that disproportionately affects women.” To learn more and find out how you can make a difference, visit care.org.au/her-circle