Find­ing a place for women

Cockburn Gazette - - WOMEN WHO INSPIRE US - Belinda Cipri­ano

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.

Pic­ture: Matt Jelonek­mu­ni­ d478932

Dr Anne Aly has found her place in pol­i­tics.

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