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Celebrating International Women’s Day

Celebrating International Women’s Day

On International Women’s Day, Red Cross celebrates the contributions of women and girls. We acknowledge what we have achieved in gender equity, and we commit ourselves to the work that still needs to be done.

Glow Red is a network of connected women from across the Red Cross and Red Cresent movement. It highlights opportunities and successes of women in the movement.

We’re proud to have nominated five women to the Glow Red #100Voices project this year. Each of these women bring different backgrounds and lived experience to Red Cross delivering more creative and innovative solutions for the people we work with.

Nora Bawazier

Nora has a love of learning. Not only has she gathered a range of professional qualifications from finance to neuro linguistics, but she loves to help others learn too.

After moving to Darwin in the Northern Territoy Australia from Indonesia she became a Red Cross volunteer using her training and facilitation skills. She’s led capacity building workshops for migrant women and trained Red Cross people in Psychological First Aid so they can respond in emergency situations. She’s also used her skills to support communities recovering from flood and cyclone and coordinated outreach calls to people in mandatory isolation during the pandemic, all while managing her own challenges, and being far from family in Indonesia through the pandemic.

When asked what motivates her to do what she does, Nora says she loves to learn. “The more I learn, the more I realize there are many more things I still want and need to learn. It’s also especially important to be a cheerleader for other women and to be of service to others; because when we service the needs of others with love and help others heal their pain, we inevitably heal ourselves too.”

Melinda Godber

Melinda joined Australian Red Cross in 2009, after working with the corporate sector. She immediately knew she a found a home.

She’s passionate about developing the culture of our workplaces and capabilities of our people, and understands that both of these are of critical importance to enabling the important role women have. In particular, she is passionate about how leadership and learning can positively create opportunities for women to change communities and organisations.

One moment during the 2010 Queensland floods made a particular impression, where she witnessed a Red Cross team member calmly comfort a highly distressed woman, helping her see a way through the crisis.
Learning can make such a difference to someone’s life. The opportunity to try something and grow in a safe environment can open so many doors. Yet, it is often the opportunity that many women miss out on. “The impact women can have has been underestimated in so many ways,” she says.

These experiences culminated in the development of Australian Red Cross’ Talented Women Development Program – Accelerate, empowering women within Red Cross to recognise their potential and to become leaders.

“Imagine a movement where we are able to ALL share our experiences, to listen and to learn from one another. The voice women have is so important in making this a reality. To be able to grow the strengths of our amazing female talent is critical to our future. Imagine the impact that would have!”

May Rosas

May Rosas is a Cultural Governance Partner and a Senior Wardaman/Dagoman custodian, better known to her family as Diganbal. May plays a vital role promoting, maintaining and preserving her local language and culture.

Maintaining and strengthening local culture is vitally important in healing the intergenerational impact of colonisation. Strong culture builds a sense of belonging and self-respect. May ensures Red Cross work and programs are led by community and harness culture as a strength.

She monitors to ensure people in aged care homes receive culturally appropriate care. She supports young people to understand, respect and practice their culture and she conducts welcomes for migrants, Red Cross volunteers and visitors to the community. In the broader community of Katherine, NT she works to ensure greater awareness and respect for local Aboriginal culture, helping preserve one of the oldest continuing cultures in the world.

Sabeeha Nihad

Sabeeha is a dynamic and determined individual. Since joining Australian Red Cross in March 2019, she has transformed Red Cross’ migration support work in Darwin, Northern Territory.

Sabeeha demonstrates integrity and a strong commitment to meaningful relationship building. She listens to the community needs with patience and empathy, and brings energy, dedication, strategic thinking, and her passion to the mix, to facilitate the best outcomes for the communities and peoples we work with.

She’s made a real difference in the NT community with her women empowerment project Connected Women. Connected Women is a flagship program for Red Cross, designed to increase the capacity, abilities, and confidence of women in the NT, in particular, women from migrant and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. Under her leadership, Connected Women has grown to 400 members from over 45 nationalities; each a champion of resilience seeking to build a purposeful life for herself and her family.

As Sabeeha always says, “What they need is a one chance and bit of encouragement. Wonders will follow.”

Jenny Brown

Jenny is a change maker. She wants to lead change and advocacy for Australia’s First Nation peoples, putting them at the heart of humanity. She is a proud First Nations woman from the Wandi Wandian clan of the Yuin nation.

She is responsible for ensuring the Red Cross movement is culturally safe and inclusive, with cultural healing embedded in the organisation’s strategy, policy and program design. The work she leads has a strong place-based focus, ensuring the solutions, changes and innovations Red Cross introduces are driven by community and meet community need.

Jenny is a strong influencer for Australian Red Cross and has played a key role in the organisation’s commitment to advancing reconciliation. She led the development of two Reconciliation Action Plans and an organisational commitment to dismantling the ongoing effects of systemic racism and cultural ignorance.
Jenny models her leadership style on the wisdom handed down by her ancestors. With a Masters degree in Public Administration and a Social Science degree, Jenny is passionate about community-based research, and considers herself a lifelong learner. She is passionate about enabling change so future generations can live safe and fulfilling lives.

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