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News from Young UN Women Australia Sydney Committee June 2011

Take five wit h

Elizabeth S haw

June 2011 Young UN Women Australia Sydney 1

We’re back! After some radio silence, we are back for our second newsletter for 2011. This edition is filled with information about the latest activities of Young UN Women Australia Sydney - we’re using the word ‘latest’ quite liberally, here and plenty of other tidbits. This edition has: an excellent interview with Elizabeth Shaw, Executive Director of the UN Association of Australia; reflections on our International Women’s Day BBQs and Young Women’s Leadership Forums; a new ‘jobs’ section and information one the many opportunities with the Young UN Women Australia Sydney Committee!

in the newsletter world. We’re going to start theming our newsletters. We want to focus on different areas that affect women, and we want our themes to be broad enough to inspire you to write about something that you’re passionate about... whether it’s at home or overseas. Next edition’s theme: WHERE WOMEN WORK Congratulations!

Soumya Shetty, a student at UNSW and member of Young UN Women Australia Sydney, won the PwC-UN Women Competition in March. Soumya will be paired with a female mentor from PwC for 12 months.

After this edition, we’re also going to shake things up a little

International Women’s Day Uni BBQs On Tuesday 9 March, International Women’s Day barbeques were held at several University campuses around Australia. In NSW, Macquarie University, the University of Technology and the University of Sydney each hosted a free barbeque to celebrate the centenary of International Women’s Day, and held a raffle to raise funds for UN Women projects. Sydney University’s BBQ was a huge success in student engagement and fundraising. Brittany Guilleaume, Sydney Uni Campus Ambassador, steered a fantastic event that was well-attended by both women and men on campus. Meanwhile, at Macquarie University, MQ students were treated to a selection of musical performances by talented female artists from within the university community as part of a larger celebration of International Women’s Day 2011. Enormous thank 2 Young UN Women Australia Sydney June 2011

yous to the team from the MQ Equity and Diversity Unit for their army of purple-shirted volunteers helping out at the BBQ. What an inspiration! The UTS IWD BBQ was a day of bonding for volunteers, students and faculty. The air of solidarity (and sausages sizzling) was unmistakable and the message was well received not just by the women, but by all the men too! We happily and hungrily look forward to another IWD for 2012. Many thanks to our campus ambassadors: Les Han (Macquarie), Ketki Madane (UTS) and Brittany Guilleaume (Sydney Uni) for their work in organising the BBQs. Courtney Tight, Justine Marshall and Ketki Madane. Photos from MQ Equity and Diversity Unit, courtesy of Svetlana Martynovich.

WHAT WE’RE READING Half the Sky by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl Wudunn ‘Turning oppression into opportunity for women worldwide’, Half the Sky establishes that the best way to combat poverty and extremism is through the empowerment and education of women and girls. A must read. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. RRP$44.95

Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Shaw

take five with...

Elizabeth Shaw

Elizabeth Shaw is the Executive Director of the UN Association of Australia, which educates and engages the community in the work of the UN, and lobbies the government to support multilateral systems of governance. Prior to this, Elizabeth worked as a Solicitor at the State Solicitor’s Office in Perth where she provided legal advice to state government departments and undertook regular court appearances on their behalf.

Elizabeth has always been an active member of her community, serving as the Editor of the UWA Student Newspaper, the President of the UWA Law Students’ Society, and a Student Editor on the UWA Law Review while at university. Elizabeth has also served as the Chair of the City of Perth Youth Advisory Council and was the founding Chair of Young UN Women Australia’s Perth Chapter. In 2008, Elizabeth was selected to be the Australian Youth Representative to the United Nations, consulting with over 5,000 young Australians before presenting her findings at the UN General Assembly in New York.

Elizabeth currently sits on the Board of Directors of the Inspire Foundation, the Left Right Think Tank and UN Women Australia and is completing a Masters of Public Policy at the ANU. How did you get started in leadership positions and with UNIFEM? I started volunteering when I moved from Melbourne to Perth to study law at the University of Western Australia. I had no friends and university seemed to be buzzing with great clubs and societies on campus. I got involved with the student newspaper and the Law Students’ Society, both of which combined my general interests at the time with great social activities. The roles I took on at UWA made me realise how much I enjoyed looking at a group or organisation overall – what they were doing, how they did it, what they could aim to do in the future – and improving how it runs. Over my university years, I became passionate about the role of young people in society and also about the work of the United Nations. These two passions culminated when I

by Justine Marshall

was appointed the Australian Youth Representative to the UN in 2008 – an absolutely lifechanging opportunity. While I was over at the UN in New York, I was struck by how the role of women was central to most of the key issues we were discussing – conflict resolution and peace-building, the spread of HIV/AIDS, education and literacy rates, food security. I was able to select gender equality as my interest area and track key issues relating to the empowerment of women in the Third Committee. When I got back to Australia, I was keen to find a way to support women around the world and further the goals of the UN by empowering women. UN Women was a perfect fit, and I worked hard to establish the Young UN Women Australia Perth Committee in 2009. What has been your best experience with UNIFEM / UN Women? I really enjoyed my time chairing the Perth Committee of Young UN Women, particularly the challenges involved in building the group from the ground up. Central to my enjoyment was a belief in the work of UN Women, the genuine June 2011 Young UN Women Australia Sydney 3

The best way you can make a difference to the world is by looking around your local community for things that need to be done and simply doing them.

and enthusiastic support of our community partners and the sheer joy of meeting so many amazing people passionate about gender equality. Moving from Perth to Canberra, I realised how great the Young UN Women network really is – a ready-made set of friends. I love the idea of nurturing these networks throughout a lifetime and for all of us around Australia to be mentors and friends in waiting! What do you feel is the most important issue young women today face? I was really blown away when I read Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn’s ‘Half the Sky’ a few months ago. The book uses stories of real women and focuses on three main abuses – sex trafficking and forced prostitution, genderbased violence including honour killings and mass rape, and maternal mortality. While the book described unspeakable horrors, the women at its centre were so courageous, and life-affirming despite almost unsurmountable odds. The book is absolutely life-changing and sets out far better than I could an agenda for helping the women of the world. I encourage everyone to read it… and then force everyone else you know to read it too! What are the priority areas for UN Women Australia? What role does the board play? The change to UN Women from UNIFEM Australia has changed our mandate somewhat. While key areas still include violence against women and peace-building and security, 4 Young UN Women Australia Sydney June 2011

we are moving away from focus areas such as HIV/AIDS and migration and more into women’s leadership in every country in the world, which obviously gives us a bit more of a mandate to engage on this in Australia.

community groups. Whether it is graphic design, legal advice, PR or event management, community groups benefit immensely from local partnerships like these that many of you would be in a position to broker.

These areas are set by UN Women in New York. The role of the UN Women Australia Board is to set the strategic direction of UN Women Australia in terms of our programs, funding, membership and advocacy, and also make sure all of our legal and financial compliance requirements are met. UN Women Australia also plays a leadership role in helping other National Committees for UN Women establish and find their feet, and is hosting the 2011 National Committees Meeting in September.

You can also play a key role by acting as an informal ambassador for the causes you are passionate about with your friends and family, and work to engage them as donors, volunteers and advocates. Don’t underestimate your ability to build a grass-roots network that can be remarkably powerful.

Any tips for young women who want to make a difference in their world? The best way you can make a difference to the world is by looking around your local community for things that need to be done and simply doing them. As I know, many Young UN Women members in Sydney would be starting careers in many different professions, and a powerful way of helping the community is by donating your professional expertise to

Finally, I think as women we all need to be publically and proactively supporting other women, by passing on opportunities, encouraging and supporting younger women and making ‘women’s networks’ every bit as powerful as old boy’s clubs! Beth Shaw was interviewed by Justine Marshall

Photo courtesy of Courtney Tight

UN WOMEN AUSTRALIA’S YOUNG WOMEN’S LEADERSHIP FORUMS The Young UN Women Australia Sydney Committee ran two Young Women’s Leadership Forums in late May and early June 2011, as a part of the Australia-wide forums, following a grant received from the Youth Development and Support Program that is managed by the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations. The forums, in Newcastle and Sydney, offered girls the opportunity to hear from inspirational speakers and engage with issues affecting young women at various skills stations. The Young UN Women facilitators were joined by Zoe Lamont from the 10ThousandGirl campaign, who ran a skills station on goalsetting and financial planning. Other skills stations included getting active and running a campaign, body image and selfesteem, and CV skills. Jodi McKay, former member for the Hunter and former NSW

Minister for Women, addressed both Sydney and Newcastle forums with a moving speech about success and loss. It is rare to hear about leadership in such a candid and honest way. The Newcastle forum was also treated to a speech from Dr Kate Brooks, Astronomer at the CSIRO and Vice-President of the Astronomical Society of Australia, who spoke about balancing a career in science with a growing family. Gabe Kavanagh, President of the Amnesty International’s NSW Branch and a Director of the NSW Rape Crisis Centre, delivered a candid speech about inequality in Australia and being fierce to an enraptured Sydney audience. We were lucky to meet some amazing young women from the following schools: Newcastle Forum Newcastle High School Cessnock High School

Hunter School of Performing Arts Irrawang High School Kotara High School Kurri Kurri High School Lake Macquarie High School Merewether High School St Pius High School Swansea High School Sydney Merrylands High School Beverly Hills Girls High School Campbelltown School of Performing Arts Fort Street High School Greystanes South Creative and Performing Arts High School Holroyd High School Macarthur Girls High School Many thanks to Newcastle High School and Merrylands High School for generously hosting the forums, and to all students attending! Young UN Women Australia Sydney also thanks Project Coordinator Jillian Kempton for her amazing work in organising the forums. Courtney Tight June 2011 Young UN Women Australia Sydney 5

#jobsingender Our new #jobsingender hashtag on Twitter highlights job and internship opportunities in gender and development in Australia and overseas. Here are some of them.

Red Cross Gender Adviser Disaster Management Fiji (Suva), 12 months.

Working with the Fiji Red Cross in intergrating gender more effectively into disaster management. Voluntary.

Get Involved

Opportunities with Young UN Women Australia Sydney Careers Beyond Borders Our annual international careers information night is back! With plans to run this speakers event in August at not one but two(!) universities this year there are plenty of opportunities to get involved. Share your skills in speaker engagement, advertising, developing a resources kit or on the night event assistance. City2Surf Take the City 2 Surf challenge and run with the UN Women Australia Team! The first 100 people to start fundraising will receive UN Women merchandise to wear on the day! To join contact Lara Jacques at

Applications close 23 June 2011, though early applications will be considered before closing date.

Spring Campaign - Internship Opportunities Join us in our biggest and busiest time of year as we raise funds for Pacific Islands projects in the Spring Campaign (September). This year’s theme is Violence Against Women and we are seeking project Interns to run our exciting Spring Events!

For further info and other Red Cross Listings, please see:

Trivia Night Challenge: engage women, men, young and old in a night of awareness raising and fun. Event organisation will include venue and catering booking, advertising and sponsorship.

w.comm Forum

Film Festival: raise funds for the Spring Campaign while having a great night out watching inspiring films. Event organisation will include venue hire, advertising, film hire and speaker engagement.

Canberra, 20-23 August 2011 w.comm is a new forum promoting the role of women in politics. The forum aims to get more women involved in politics. A group of women politicians from all parliaments across Australia are holding the forum in Canberra to find out from you what can be done to get more women into politics. Nominations close 24 June 2011. You must be a young woman between 18 and 25 to nominate. For further information, and the nomination form, please see:

If you know of any jobs in gender and/or development that you would like to highlight with us, please email us at or tweet us @YoungUNWomenSYD with the hashtag #jobsingender in your tweet. 6 Young UN Women Australia Sydney June 2011

School’s Challenge: Are you a High School student wanting to raise funds and awareness at your school? Why not run an event during the Spring Campaign; events could include a mufti day, a school concert, a bake sale… big or small and in between, every little bit counts! For more information, to get involved or apply for an event internship in our Spring Campaign email Intern applications due by 15 July 2011. Newsletter We would like to invite submissions relating to women and the workforce for our next edition.Our theme for next edition is WHERE WOMEN WORK. Submissions should be 100-500 words.

Email to join any of the above opportunities

What do you think about... Rihanna’s music video for her latest song, Man Down? (trigger warning for sexual assualt)

Good times, great classic hits...

Young Women, Bright Lights - Tues 9 March 2011

Dr Meredith Bu

rgmann speaks

Anthea Paul

Photos courtesy of Courtney Tight

Young UN Women Australia Sydney Committee Chair Brigid Dixon Secretary Jess Frazer Treasurer Lisa Cantlon Media & Marketing Coordinators Justine Marshall, Courtney Tight Partnerships & Fundraising Coordinator Christina Nguyen Events & Volunteers Coordinators Hala Hubraq, Kori Nemme Contributors Ketki Madane Designed by Courtney Tight

Tuesday 14 June is WORLD BLOOD DONOR DAY. Visit your local Red Cross to donate today!

GET INVOLVED email us like us follow us

Submissions We welcome submissions to our newsletter in the form of short, relevant articles and listings. We would like to invite submissions relating to women in the workforce for the next edition, which is themed WHERE WOMEN WORK. Please email for further information.

UPCOMING MEETINGS Tuesday 14 June Tuesday 12 July Tuesday 9 August

June 2011 Young UN Women Australia Sydney 7

A student fills out her workbook at the Young Women’s Leadership Forum in Newcastle Photo courtesy of Courtney Tight

June 2011 - Young UN Women Australia Sydney eNewsletter  

The Young UN Women Australia Sydney Committe's eNewsletter for June 2011. Content includes: an interview with Beth Shaw, opportunities with...

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