An inspirational force
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