Society of Women Leaders celebrates 10 years of supporting Australian Red Cross

19 March 2024

Australian Red Cross Society of Women Leaders (SWL) proudly celebrated its 10th anniversary overnight, raising more than $300,000 with a gala at the Art Gallery of NSW.

As one of Australia’s leading female giving-circles, SWL has raised over $6.8 million for Australian Red Cross over the past decade, supporting 29 programs domestically and internationally.

Australian Red Cross interim CEO, Penny Harrison, said this funding has ensured the organisation can continue to be there for people in need.

“Funds raised through Society of Women Leaders has directly supported programs like Night Café in Brisbane, a safe space where young people who are sleeping rough can access a warm meal, and practical and mental health support,” she said.

“This important funding has also enabled us to deploy specialist female leaders to global emergencies – like the Ukraine conflict, Türkiye Syria Earthquake response and Vanuatu Cyclones recovery.”

At the gala event SWL members announced a new initiative – Rising Women Leaders (RWL), a membership tier for 18 to 35-year-olds that aims to engage the next generation of female philanthropists for Australian Red Cross.

SWL National Chair, Susan Wynne, said “RWL is the future community of like- minded, young women passionate about humanity, creating a supportive environment and access to philanthropy. The strength of RWL lies not only in its financial contributions but also in nurturing a sense of a female leadership.”

Australian Red Cross acknowledges the Blackmore Family Foundation’s exceptional philanthropic support and is proud to formally announce Caroline Furlong as the first Lady Helen Munro Ferguson Member of SWL.

In her address to Gala attendees, SWL Founding Member, Hayley Baillie said “Over the last decade, I’ve been educated about pressing humanitarian issues that face our communities and have been inspired by the focus and commitment of Australian Red Cross workers who dedicate their lives to assisting people in need”.

Thank you to valued sponsors, Bayard Foundation and Pallion, for making the evening possible.

Find out more about SWL.

Access images from the Society of Women Leaders 10 Year Gala.

For media inquiries and interview requests please contact: Australian Red Cross media or call 1800 733 443.

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