Don’t leave any­one be­hind

Cockburn Gazette - - INTERNATIO­NAL WOMEN'S DAY - SPECIAL EDITION - Karen Roberts AU­THOR Lau­ren Pi­lat

KAREN Roberts never “lifts the lad­der up” be­hind her­self and wants other women to do the same to sup­port the “sis­ter­hood” and achieve equal­ity.

As hu­man re­sources di­rec­tor of the Depart­ment of Fire and Emer­gency Ser­vices (DFES), Ms Roberts said to achieve progress, women must work to­gether, rather than leave oth­ers be­hind.

“We have a per­sonal re­spon­si­bil­ity to pay it for­ward and bring oth­ers along for the ride; don’t lift the lad­der up be­hind us,” she said.

“Com­mit to each other and the sis­ter­hood to make for a fairer, more equal so­ci­ety.”

The 52-year-old Dou­ble­view res­i­dent has worked in male-dom­i­nated or­gan­i­sa­tions, in­clud­ing the WA Po­lice, for the past 15 years.

As a ca­reer pub­lic ser­vant, Ms Roberts first broke into the uni­formed work­force by join­ing the Army Re­serves. She was there for 13 years and said the ex­pe­ri­ence was an “in­cred­i­bly im­por­tant char­ac­ter shap­ing ac­tiv­ity”.

Ms Roberts also spent one year work­ing in Papa New Guinea, where there was “so much sor­row”, and women and chil­dren were were dis­ad­van­taged and marginalis­ed, with “un­speak­able” fam­ily vi­o­lence.

Her lat­est vol­un­teer role is as a board mem­ber for an­gel­hands, work­ing to pro­vide ser­vices for long-term re­cov­ery from trauma as a con­se­quence of ex­treme vi­o­lence.

Her lat­est project is es­tab­lish­ing DFES as a White Rib­bon ac­cred­ited or­gan­i­sa­tion.

She said with DFES be­ing a male­dom­i­nated work­force, it was the per­fect fo­rum to have dis­cus­sions about vi­o­lence against women.

Pic­ture: Matt Jelonek­mu­ni­ d479735

Karen Roberts, who works at DFES State Op­er­a­tions Cen­tre, says women should sup­port each other.

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