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Posts from the ‘Women of Merit’ Category

Courage and grace under fire

How impressive is Gillian Triggs – President of Australia’s Human Rights Commission? She inspired another reallyinterestingperson (Fiona McLeod SC) to take up a legal career. Triggs is promising to be an antidote to the Orwellian Immigration Minister. She is a voice of reason, measure, logical and calm morality and humanity. But more than that, she’s one hell of an experienced lawyer – “a woman of formidable intellect whose unlikely career and personal tribulations have honed an instinct for human suffering and the rights of the neglected.” Invest some time to read this piece by Tim Elliot “Meet Gillian Triggs, the woman taking on Immigration Minister Scott Morrison” re-published in The Age on-line today.


From activist to muse to international guardian

At the end of June, a former “fairly bolshy” student activist will take up a position mostly formerly held by military men at the International Committee of the Red Cross in Geneva. She will be the first Australian, and the first woman, to hold the position in the organisation’s 150-year history.She was the inspiration of one of Australia’s biggest hit songs of the early 90’s by a band that’s just completed a 25th anniversary tour.

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Acting up

Some dreamy kids, who spend hours with their nose in books and happily absorbed in their own imaginary worlds grow up a little and explore the world of theatrical performance and harbor dreams of being a great actor. Then sometimes they dump that idea and decide to study law, fight human trafficking and slavery in their spare time, do stints in leadership positions in the legal world, and then get a gong on the Victorian Women’s Honour Roll.

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NSW born but Melbourne made

Elizabeth Proust has occasionally been referred to as “Madame Melbourne” and no wonder really. Melbourne, and many of it’s key institutions have ‘made’ her just as much as she has (re)made many of them. This is a woman who barracks for Collingwood Football Club and was also chair of MSO; who worked for two Victorian premiers at opposite ends of the political spectrum (Cain & Kennett) and who, like many believed that it was ‘just a matter of time’ before there would be equal numbers of women in leadership positions. She now says time’s up on that strategy.

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From Mildura to Berlin for a song

Mildura is not known for its opera scene. But it might gain an extra degree of cultural notoriety if Siobhan Stagg’s star continues to rise. I met Siobhan in mid-2012 when she performance at the Woodend Winter Arts Festival. The Festival’s Artistic Director, Jacky Ogeil, confided in me when she booked the 24-year-old: “Watch this one, she’s a find. She’s going places.” How right she was.

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From clearing to connecting

In grade 4, growing up in the wheat and sheep country of the South Australian Mallee, Fiona McLeay experienced one of her earliest memories of injustice and unfairness. Her good friend, the daughter of Irish immigrants was mercilessly bullied:  “I still remember thinking “this just doesn’t make any sense – why should how she talks make any difference to how she is treated?  Thirty-five years later, no one has ever given me a satisfactory answer to that question.”

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Foreign correspondent. Story teller. Sally Sara

This is a bit of a cheat because I didn’t write a post about this person by speaking to them. But since this blog is about reallyinterestingpeople, I couldn’t miss a mention of ABC foreign correspondent Sally Sara. Back in the day when I dreamed of being a great investigative journalist I set my admiring sights on Jana Wendt, who was so calm, so cool & controlled, so smart, and just so damned polished (I could not claim most of those).  Read more