About more than just me.

I grew up in a safe home and life has been overwhelmingly kind to me thus far. But this isn’t everyone’s story. It isn’t every woman’s story. It isn’t Renee’s story.

Last night, I was warmly welcomed by the people at the Women’s Legal Service of South Australia as its newest Board Member.

Since being approached to consider a position on the Board, I’ve come to quickly admire the unwavering dedication of the staff and volunteers and the wide-reaching impact of their important work.

For example, in South Australia last year through just one of its four programs, the Women’s Legal Service:

  • provided 2,428 women with legal assistance for issues including domestic violence, separation, and access to children or property
  • 62.5% of these women were living below the poverty line
  • 23% did not speak English as their first language
  • and 20% of were at risk of homelessness.

Together, the hard-working staff, volunteers and pro-bono supporter network (including legal professionals and corporate supporters) provide a vital source of hope and advocacy to vulnerable women and children across SA, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and recent arrivals.

When we have much, it seems ungenerous not to be sensitive to the needs of others, a sentiment one of my favourite quotes captures perfectly:

I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back.

Maya Angelou

That this service needs to exist is heartbreaking. But the reality is, while people of every gender are making progress towards creating a world that is fairer for everyone, advocates are needed for women and children to fully participate in society.

My thanks to the Board for giving me this opportunity to contribute to the empowerment of women who deserve the same opportunities in life as me. I look forward to working with you to make our community safer for all.

A snapshot of the impact of the Women’s Legal Service SA last year and a warm welcome on a 42 degree day – from left: Tania Cavaiuolo with Lisa McClure (Chair) and Zita Ngor (CEO).

A new decade of opportunity

If you are looking to start or evolve your philanthropic approach in 2020 and think that aligning with a service giving vulnerable women in SA a voice could be a fit, please contact me.