Finding a place for women
FROM academic to politician, Cowan MHR Anne Aly has found her place.
The mother-of-two has worn many hats, including counter-terrorism professor, and while politics was something she hadn’t considered, it’s a role in which she is thriving.
“I never wanted to be in politics but after more than a decade as an academic and researcher and practitioner in counter-terrorism, I found that I was getting frustrated with the lack of action and political will,” she said.
“I was travelling the world and enjoying an international reputation as one of the world’s leading academics on the subject.
“I was an expert adviser to the United Nations but I just kept coming home and thinking that Australia was not changing and more needed to be done.
“So when the opportunity to run for the seat of Cowan came up, I thought long and hard about leaving behind the career I had built up and decided that I should take the opportunity to make change; to be the change I wanted to see.”
The Madeley resident will this year spend International Women’s Day giving talks about what it means to recognise the struggles women around the world continue to face.
“We have achieved a lot for women in this country but we can’t celebrate our wins until every woman is also able to celebrate with us,” she said.
“It’s important to recognise that women and girls around the world are the most vulnerable and are often disproportionately impacted by global issues like conflict, famine and oppression.
“We have come a long way since women in Australia first got to vote but that doesn’t mean we stop championing the cause for women and girls around the world to ensure that they have access to education, economic freedom and are not used as political tools of oppression.”
Dr Aly’s book Finding my Place, released on March 19, is an honest and raw account of her life.
She had this advice for women looking to get into politics.
“Find a good mentor; it is invaluable to have someone who will shine a light for you and help you navigate the wilderness,” she said.
Dr Anne Aly has found her place in politics.