An in­spi­ra­tional force

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - Perth Airport -

ISHAR Mul­ti­cul­tural Women’s Health Cen­tre (Mirrabooka) am­bas­sador Rabia Sid­dique is an in­cred­i­bly in­spi­ra­tional woman who lives by this year’s In­ter­na­tional Women’s Day (IWD) theme ‘make it hap­pen.’

De­spite fac­ing abuse, dis­crim­i­na­tion, chronic health prob­lems and trauma, the for­mer ter­ror­ist and war crimes pros­e­cu­tor, in­ter­na­tional hu­man­i­tar­ian, re­tired Bri­tish Army of­fi­cer, hostage sur­vivor and mother of triplets, al­ways finds a way to make changes in the com­mu­nity.

Ms Sid­dique said it was about em­brac­ing in­di­vid­ual ca- Hav­ing worked with char­i­ties for 36 years, Ros Wor­thing­ton knows a thing or two about phi­lan­thropy.

Ms Wor­thing­ton started char­i­ties in­clud­ing the WA Make a Wish Foun­da­tion, Breast Can­cer Care WA (BCCWA) and Love An­gel Projects to help oth­ers dur­ing their times of need.

She also worked on the HelpMe cam­paign for Life­line WA to in­form peo­ple about the is­sues sur­round­ing de­pres­sion and sui­cide.

The 63-year-old who started BCCWA in 2000 af­ter recog­nis­ing the need for sup­port for women with breast can­cer in WA, said she was spurred on to do so af­ter see­ing up to 30 women a week at her mas­tec­tomy bou­tique.

“Breast can­cer was preva­lent in my fam­ily; my mum was 34 when she was di­ag­nosed with breast can­cer and I my­self had a mas­tec­tomy and re­con­struc­tion at the age of 34,” she said.

“When I lived in New Zealand, I started pac­ity and re­spon­si­bil­ity to cre­ate rip­ples of change in fam­i­lies, com­mu­ni­ties and work­places.

“Each one of us has the ca­pac­ity and the power to change things in our own lives and help oth­ers change as well and to in­spire change,” she said.

“I would like to think that the next gen­er­a­tion of women – and let’s face it our youth are our lead­ers of to­mor­row – are full of hope and that they de­cide to make it hap­pen as well and play a part in chang­ing our world.”

In light of IWD, the South Perth res­i­dent is tak­ing a stand against women’s can­cers and

the first mas­tec­tomy bou­tique in the 90s help­ing women with breast can­cer.

“When I came back to WA and started my own bou­tique here and saw up to 30 women a week and that's what drove me to start Breast Can­cer Care WA which was for­merly Breast Can­cer Foun­da­tion of WA.”

Ms Wor­thing­ton said In­ter­na­tional Women's Day was a great way to recog­nise women for the con­tri­bu­tion they give to the world and would this year be hold­ing her own event with a Gourmet Break­fast at Fraser's State Re­cep­tion Cen­tre.

“We will cel­e­brate West­ern Aus­tralian women in par­tic­u­lar and pay trib­ute to rais­ing money for re­search by host­ing the West­pac Pur­ple Hearts Ball on March 7 at the Perth Con­ven­tion and En­ter­tain­ment Cen­tre from 7pm as part of Team Pur­ple Hearts.

“We’re a team of 11 moth­ers, pro­fes­sional women, all of whom have been touched by can­cer in some way,” she said.

“All pro­ceeds from the ball go­ing to women’s can­cer re­search through the Harry Perkins In­sti­tute of Med­i­cal Re­search.”

Fam­ily friend Sa­man­tha Jade, whose mother Jac­qui died last year from can­cer, is the head­line act at the ball.

those women who have been on that in­cred­i­ble jour­ney of breast can­cer with pro­ceeds go­ing to BCCWA,” she said

List­ing Oprah Win­frey and Ellen DeGeneres as two women she as­pires to, Ms Wor­thing­ton said her fu­ture was bright with more phil­an­thropic work to come and talk of writ­ing a book.

“I will be launch­ing ‘Buy­ing Time’ – a 10week cam­paign where we are ask­ing the West Aus­tralian com­mu­nity to buy an hour of time for BCCWA,” she said.

“I'll con­tinue to do what I am do­ing which is ser­vice to oth­ers and hope­fully will get to write that book.

“I go by the motto that 'strong women stand up for them­selves and a stronger woman stands up for oth­ers'. That's how I see my­self in a sense.” THE Bassendean res­i­dent and cur­rent Miss Naidoc works for the Wir­rpanda Foun­da­tion as a pro­gram co-or­di­na­tor in the Deadly Sista Girlz Pro­gram and as a re­cruit­ment ad­viser in the Foun­da­tion's VTEC Em­ploy­ment Pro­gram.

The 23-year-old said her life had changed since be­ing crowned Miss Naidoc last year and she was en­joy­ing her role which in­cluded men­tor­ing young in­dige­nous women.

A Noon­gar-Ya­matji yorga (woman), born in Perth, she said her role mod­els in­cluded Olympian Cathy Free­man and her nanna Glo­ria Wal­ley.

“When I was younger I was very much into my sport, es­pe­cially ath­let­ics, so Cathy Free­man was ev­ery­thing to me,” she said.

“For a lot of Abo­rig­i­nal peo­ple that was such a high­light and ob­vi­ously the fact that she was rep­re­sent­ing our coun­try as well, was just amaz­ing.

“I al­ways looked up to her as a kid but a more per­sonal role model for me is my nanna Glo­ria Wal­ley – she is prob­a­bly one of the strong­est women I know.

“She has been through a lot of hard­ships in her life and she some­how man­ages to keep the fam­ily to­gether. I’ve al­ways looked up to her and hope to be half the woman she is.”

Miss Wal­ley said this year she would be spend­ing In­ter­na­tional Women’s Day with her Deadly Sista Girlz at a morn­ing tea.

“I’ll speak to the girls about who their role mod­els are and what they want to be when they grow up,” she said. “In­ter­na­tional Women’s Day is all about high­light­ing women in our com­mu­nity and the good work they are do­ing, so it will be great to hear what our fu­ture gen­er­a­tions are want­ing in their lives.” SEE THE FULL IN­TER­VIEW AT www.in­my­commu­nity.com.au

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