Out of Africa

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The African Women’s Federation hosted leaders from the continent to speak on empowerment

Women’s empowerment has become the buzzword today with women working alongside men in all spheres. They profess an independent outlook, whether they are living inside their home or working outside. They are increasingly gaining control over their lives and taking their own decisions with regard to their education, career, profession and lifestyle.

With a steady increase in the number of working women, they have gained financial independence, which has given them confidence to lead their own lives and build their own identity. They are successfully taking up diverse professions to prove that they are second to none in any respect.

Building on the success and empowerment of women, the African Women’s Federation, took the learning and networking event to a new height.

In May, leading women from various communities gathered at the African Village in Adelaide for the women empowerment event drew inspiration from dynamic speakers, strengthen existing relationships and broaden their network.

The presence of international TV celebrity chef, actor, businesswoman Dorinda Hafner; social worker Nagita Maureen Kaggwa and public health specialist Dr Lillian Mwanri inspired participants to continue to do more in their communities and use any opportunity to network to broaden their skills, experiences and horizons.

The event was also an opportunity to promote AWF to South Australian women as a viable organisation where women can nominate themselves as a candidate for advertised positions. There will be an AGM on 30 June and would like as many women as possible nominate for the positions that will be available.

AWF supports women in their first five years of migration to Australia but any woman is welcome to our doors and its does not matter at what stage of migration journey they in, AWF will support any woman who needs support.

AWF is governed by an Executive Management team with a diverse range of skills and experiences. They include acting chairperson Rosaline Braima, secretary Catherine Maynard, treasurer Winnie Baraka, assistant treasurer Shejerina Gali, public officer Lucy Yangi and advisor Gillian Kariuki.

Catherine Maynard, who is from Tanzania, has lived in Australia for the last 17 years. She is a marketing, communications and community development specialist who has worked for the not for profit, local and state governments. She is a well-respected community leader in the African and Australian communities and has a real passion of working with, her sharing ideas and experiences and empowering communities in particular young people to be very best that they can be. She is currently the Secretary of AWF and Chairperson of the Tanzanian Community Association of SA.

Meet the speaker

Dorinda Hafner—Chef, host, breath of fresh air

Dorinda Hafner has a fascinating background! She comes from a family of doctors and healthcare workers. From an early professional training in London and work as a registered nursing sister, obstetrics nurse, ophthalmic nurse, optician and, believe it or not, a model, she is a breath of fresh air. She’s a head-spinning combination of many things. Be in her company for more than a minute and you wonder what your life was like before you met her!

Dorinda, who has 5 TV series and eight books to her credit, and whose shows have reached over 40 countries, has received numerous awards such as the “African Australian Woman of the Year”. In August 2012 she was awarded the title of “Living Legend” at the Opera House, Sydney and Prime Minister Julia Gillard named her as “A People of Australia Ambassador”.

She can regale you with tales of her life. She’s spellbinding. You’ll need tissues on the tables as she’s been known to have everyone crying with laughter! Dorinda sits at tables with paupers and princes alike. Her popularity with most cultures is a credit to her outstanding communication skills. And if that were not enough for one lifetime—Dorinda’s now also a very popular marriage celebrant—“You are not really married until you are married by Dorinda!”

Nagita Maureen Kaggwa—Service across borders

Nagita Maureen Kaggwa, Bachelor of Social Worker (Hons) born in Kenya, of parents of Ugandan decent, migrated in Australia in 1984 as a child with her family.

Having graduated with first class honours at the University of SA in 2005 and completing a thesis dissertation, on ‘cross cultural social work’. Nagita has embarked on a career dedicated to the wellbeing of children and families who identify as belonging from CALD and new and emerging communities, specifically, in the field of Child Protection, a career spanning 15 years. During such time she has tirelessly advocated and campaigned for systemic change to ensure service delivery is culturally responsive, through her participation in state and national steering committees, community volunteering and government lobby.

In her current role as the senior practitioner with multicultural services, Department for Child Protection, Nagita continues to utilise her extensive practice wisdom in the delivery of culturally responsive social work. Nagita was awarded the 2017 South Australian Governors Multicultural Awards, for promoting multiculturalism and diversity in the area of “Family Safety”.

In 2018, Nagita has commenced guest lecturing at Flinders University in the school of Education and Social work.

Dr Lillian Mwanri—Health first

Dr Lillian Mwanri is a professor, public health specialist and a Fellow of the Australasian Faculty of Public Health Medicine (FAFPHM). She completed general medicine in Tanzania in 1991 and her PhD in Medicine in Australia in 2001. She was bestowed the Fellowship in Public Health Medicine (FAFPHM) by the Australasian Faculty of Public Health Medicine (AFPHM) of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) in 2010. She has extensive experiences in a wide range of public health issues including health promotion, epidemiology, ethics, chronic disease, community engagement and community development. She completed her PhD conducting and analysing a randomised controlled trial designed to investigate a range of health impacts of micronutrient supplements in anaemic and disadvantaged children in resource poor schools in a developing country.

She has worked in a range of diverse roles as a clinician and a public health specialist in Africa as well as in Australia. She worked with the African migrants in Australia to address a wide range of health issues including poor dietary patterns and physical inactivity as predictors of chronic disease in these populations. Her experience and interest in migration and public health medicine have seen her conducting additional research activity in healthy ageing, physical activity and mental health, HIV and other chronic diseases in culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) populations. She has collaborated with African communities and organisations across Australia and has worked in the government institutions including SA Health. Dr Lillian is currently working in public health practice and academia at the Flinders University of South Australia. She has significant roles in teaching and research in Public Health Medicine as well as developing humans.

 

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